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 Is it 'do as you please' at NHT? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Is-it--do-as-you-please--at-NHT_17974996 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Both political parties' annual conferences are behind us, and are but distant memories. However, National Housing Trust (NHT) purchasing an indebted company is still fresh in our minds.<br /> <br /> NHT's mandate is to provide housing for contributors, but so far it has engaged in a multitude of things that have nothing to do with housing. In all fairness to NHT, it has provided houses for several people, but we have to look at the whole picture.<br /> <br /> During Portia Simpson Miller's first term as prime minister, funds were used from NHT to construct inner-city houses costing some $15.5 billion. The estimate for this project was $5 billion, but this is Jamaica and everything comes with a 200 per cent cost overrun.<br /> <br /> PJ Patterson, during his tenure, used the NHT funds to build Emancipation Park, and pay into the national education fund.<br /> <br /> I am at a loss as to what Michael Manley and Edward Seaga might have used the NHT funds for during their time in government.<br /> <br /> Bruce Golding attempted to extract $5 billion from NHT for an irrigation project for farmers, and was told he could not use the NHT for that. He sought legal advice, then backed down.<br /> <br /> The questions I want to ask are: Does the NHT change mandate from one government to the next? Or does one political party have a right to do just about anything it pleases?<br /> <br /> What is painful about NHT buying an indebted company is that many contributors are told they are not qualified to get a loan. If persons won't be qualified, why is money being drawn from their earnings, along with the employers' three per cent?<br /> <br /> The time has come for the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce to address the handling of NHT. Until these two powerful groups join with the downtrodden, governments will continue to use NHT as a cash cow and petty cash imprest. After all both groups have staff for whom NHT deductions are being paid who still haven't got a house. The private sector needs to step up to the plate to defend the rights of those who are unable to do so for themselves. They should stop paying into NHT and give the staff the money to take home. Stop paying taxes and invest the money, so you can employ more people.<br /> <br /> Of course, this would shut down the government. But I bet they would start doing what is right and not what is politically expedient.<br /> <br /> A reported $180 million has been paid for Outameni, $111 million earmarked for development, and there is a $144-million debt. Did NHT also buy the debt? If yes, then this would end up costing contributors $435 million? If that's the case what will be the 'real' benefit to contributors?<br /> <br /> Should this turn out to be the "best buy", will contributors see a decrease in interest rate and will NHT construct houses that are not matchboxes? An analytical study needs to be done to assess all that NHT has done outside of providing housing to ascertain the benefit that contributors have derived and if they have all been profitable.<br /> <br /> Wayne White<br /> <br /> wayne2white@gmail.com<br /> <br /> Is it 'do as you please' at NHT?<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11260847/NHT-1_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, November 21, 2014 1:00 AM Time for public hearings to fill State boards seats http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Time-for-public-hearings-to-fill-State-boards-seats_17984103 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Clearly the Jamaican state is urgently in need of reform in terms of governance. There is much that is wrong in the society regarding how we appoint individuals to serve on boards of state entities. The cavalier and political divisive manner in which such appointments are done manifested itself in the debacle now facing the remaining board members of the National Housing Trust.<br /> <br /> Yes, they were appointed by the prime minister, however, their failure to resign says they have failed to understand that they are servants of the people of Jamaica. Such arrogance and rudeness is most unbecoming and does not inspire much hope for the future of Jamaica. Then again, this is nothing new since the interest of the country is always a distant second to the interest of the two main political parties.<br /> <br /> The time has come for us to stop having our politicians appoint members to state boards. Successive governments have done this country a major disservice and now we are paying dearly for their insular and selfish actions. May God help us.<br /> <br /> We are now at that juncture in our country's history where we need a mature approach to governance. Maybe we should have public confirmation hearings, where those who are nominated to serve on government boards can be rigorously quizzed and thoroughly questioned by members of the public. They must be prepared to answer questions from civil society before they are confirmed to serve. We need to strive towards an era of transparency.<br /> <br /> Frankly, we need to move away from having the same individuals serving on multiple state boards. Is it that only a select few in the society have the skill sets necessary to serve their country? If this is so then we are in big trouble. We need to know the educational background of such individuals and clearly this would be exposed at a public confirmation hearing. The people of Jamaica deserve better, especially in a time of great personal sacrifice.<br /> <br /> In the words of the apostle Luke: "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more." Let us recommit ourselves to this nation of ours, it's not too late to make a U-turn and do what is decent and socially responsible.<br /> <br /> Wayne Campbell<br /> <br /> waykam@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> www.wayaine.blogspot.com<br /> <br /> Time for public hearings to fill State boards seats<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11256823/Untitled_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, November 21, 2014 1:00 AM Quality craft is available http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Quality-craft-is-available_17974993 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Having been involved in Jamaican art and craft since the late 1960s, I read your article 'Craft trade revival' with interest and confusion.<br /> <br /> I was part of a significant revival of the craft industry in the early 1980s, opening Harmony Hall in Ocho Rios in 1981, and a sister establishment in Antigua in 1987, where we hosted local and regional craft fairs throughout the 1990s. The EU-funded Caribbean Export in Barbados assumed responsibility for the fairs, rebranding as the popular and respected Caribbean Gift & Craft Shows (CGCS).<br /> <br /> In 1995, the same organisation hired me to produce a catalogue of Caricom artisans that became a seminal marketing tool throughout the region.<br /> <br /> The momentum has now been lost. CGCS briefly became Caribbean Design and has been dormant for several years. The gift shop buyers from the major hotels in the region, once the major market for producers, for whatever reason, now find it easier and more convenient to buy cheap merchandise from China via gift shows in Miami.<br /> <br /> The confusion came as I read further. On May 19 and June 6, I was invited to participate in a TPDCo/JBDC National Craft Workshop, with a proposed date of "late October/early November", only to receive a further e-mail on October 29 thanking me for my "support and interest in the planned National Craft Workshop. Notwithstanding, I have to advise that this activity has been put on hold until further notice owing to unforeseen circumstances".<br /> <br /> Whilst the OAS involvement must be positive, with confirmation that mainly young people are being trained, my confusion deepened a few paragraphs later when an official stated that disillusionment resulted from not attracting many young people. The further comment in the final paragraph that there is a "lack of variety and poor quality of craft..." fills me with gloom.<br /> <br /> Having trained people to produce, I very much hope that the OAS will now assist the artisans in the marketing of their products and encourage local retailers to buy Jamaican.<br /> <br /> Annabella Proudlock<br /> <br /> Managing Director<br /> <br /> Harmony Hall Limited<br /> <br /> info@harmonyhall.com<br /> <br /> Quality craft is available<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10945319/craft_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, November 21, 2014 1:00 AM Whoever jumps the highest wins! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Whoever-jumps-the-highest-wins_17984318 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The discourse concerning Digicel's call for strict regulatory and fiduciary oversight of the CWC acquisition of Columbus International needs to go beyond the classic 'sour grapes' response being levelled at the Ireland-based firm from almost every corner of society.<br /> <br /> Customers and detractors alike have been lambasting the once revered 'bigger, better network', especially via social media, in a manner that reminds me of the contempt many Jamaicans held for the stodgy Cable and Wireless monopoly in the pre-liberalisation era and shortly after.<br /> <br /> CWC spent US$3 billion on the deal. Digicel has admitted it offered US$2 billion. Is it that Digicel's bid could not stand up to the scrutiny of the very regulators it is now asking to probe CWC's alleged extravagance?<br /> <br /> Let's face it, underpayment for such a major asset would attract stringent regulatory scrutiny as much as overpayment. One billion US dollars could easily swing the pendulum in either direction. It is not the place of a spurned bidder, as Digicel appears to be in this case, to pronounce on such a matter.<br /> <br /> Basic market theory dictates that the ultimate price of an asset is generally determined by what buyers are willing to pay for it. Interested buyers see opportunity and they jump at it. Whoever jumps the highest and times the perfect catch wins! Simple.<br /> <br /> The effect that this rather curiously timed announcement from Digicel could have on the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) in London, where CWC trades, must not be understated. Announcements of this sort can cause jitters among investors and must, therefore, not be taken lightly.<br /> <br /> Indeed, even here at home, where over 20,000 Jamaicans own shares in CWC's subsidiary, LIME, shockwaves from the Digicel announcement could also hurt local investors. Perhaps the major calming factor for local and overseas investors and the general public would be that the source of this information was neither an acclaimed global asset management firm, nor did it originate from a leading securities and brokerage house with international pedigree. It came from an obviously perturbed telecoms rival.<br /> <br /> Chris Hanson<br /> <br /> spikejm72@yahoo.com <br /> <br /> Whoever jumps the highest wins!<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/6458103/Digicel-Building_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, November 21, 2014 1:00 AM JLP gov'ts always respected the statutory mandate of NHT funds http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/JLP-gov-ts-always-respected-the-statutory-mandate-of-NHT-funds_17974813 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I have noted an article appearing in the Jamaica Observer of Wednesday, November 19, 2014 in which it is stated: "When the Jamaica Labour Party used money from the Trust to purchase lands at Ferry the accusation of self-interest by the PNP was strong." I wish to point out that the lands at Ferry were purchased not by the National Housing Trust (NHT) but by the Urban Development Corporation.<br /> <br /> Further, contrary to the assertion made in a statement by the church groups yesterday that "successive governments have turned to the Fund to support national budgets or to fund projects offering political advantage", no JLP Government has ever molested NHT funds. This practice started in 2002 when NHT funds were used to develop Emancipation Park. It recurred in 2005 when the NHT Act was amended to provide $5 billion for the education transformation programme. It was done again last year when the Act was further amended to allow for the take-off of $44 billion over four years to support the fiscal consolidation programme.<br /> <br /> I protested on each occasion, suggesting that if resort to NHT funds was unavoidable, it should be done by way of a loan at interest rates comparable to the average return that the NHT earns from its investments (including its low-interest mortgages) so that it would become part of its investment portfolio.<br /> <br /> In the alternative, especially if our debt limits do not permit this, the Government, which owns vast amounts of land, should transfer lands suitable for housing and of an equivalent value to the NHT. In that way, the integrity of the NHT funds and their use for the statutorily mandated purpose of providing housing for its contributors would have been preserved.<br /> <br /> In 2008, the JLP Government sought to borrow, not to take, $45 million from the NHT to finance the drought-alleviation programme, but abandoned the idea after the board, led by Howard Mitchell, expressed its disquiet about the proposal.<br /> <br /> Bruce Golding,<br /> <br /> Former Prime Minister of Jamaica<br /> <br /> JLP gov'ts always respected the statutory mandate of NHT funds <br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11263110/Bruce-Golding_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, November 20, 2014 1:00 AM It's a pity Holness can't trust his own http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/It-s-a-pity-Holness-can-t-trust-his-own_17969320 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> At the Jamaica Labour Party Annual Conference on Sunday the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Holness said: "One of our greatest assets is that our final court is an internationally recognised court of arbitration and appeal, and we want to tek weh ourselves from it."<br /> <br /> It would appear that Holness and the Opposition have finally decided that under no circumstances whatsoever should the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) be our final court. I would now expect, therefore, that the talk about having a referendum no longer holds water. It appears that we will stick with the Privy Council in England.<br /> <br /> Holness seems to have no faith in the Caribbean people. No faith or confidence in the CCJ? Can it be interpreted that he has more faith in the British people and the England-based Privy Council. What a pity! If that be the case, I wonder how outsiders view us? How outsiders view Mr Holness?<br /> <br /> If an influential Jamaican political leader like Mr Holness appears to have no confidence in his own Caribbean court with judges of the highest intellect, it's likely outsiders might form the same opinion.<br /> <br /> It is my view that one of our greatest assets does not reside in England, but right here in the Caribbean. Justice Patrick Robinson, who has just been elected to the International Court of Justice, is a Caribbean man and a living example of where our assets reside. I was touched by the various tributes paid to him in Parliament on Tuesday. Could one of the distinguished parliamentarians who gave tributes quietly tell the Opposition leader that he need not fear because the CCJ is staffed with judges of the highest repute, akin to Justice Partick Robinson.<br /> <br /> Hubert McIntyre<br /> <br /> Montego Bay<br /> <br /> hihubert@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> It's a pity Holness can't trust his own<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11254296/andrew_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, November 20, 2014 3:00 AM Obama's plunge in popularity http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Obama-s-plunge-in-popularity_17974895 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> A true leader should not allow opponents to define him but, by his own strength and weaknesses, he should not fail to justify the confidence placed in him.<br /> <br /> President Obama, now with little to lose, should use his constitutional powers to do the right things for the American people and by extension the rest of the world.<br /> <br /> Being a leader is not a popularity contest, as leaders are given almost divine powers to motivate others both by actions and words, even when you cannot satisfy everybody's expectation they will be convinced that you have acted in their best interest.<br /> <br /> It must be understood that President Obama on January 20, 2009 was sworn in as president with the highest handicap score of any other modern-day president: He is an African American.<br /> <br /> President Obama's popularity peaked just by being elected president; his tenure in office at that particular time was secondary, but, like all human beings, he was not clothed with the mantle of immortality and it was inevitable that his popularity would be downgraded as a mortal being.<br /> <br /> Maintaining such a superior level of likeability with high expectations was way beyond any mortal being's ability to achieve.<br /> <br /> His timing for the presidential run was perfect; the American people and the rest of the world were yearning for a new political leader with a difference.<br /> <br /> He, however, was targeted for failure by some of his opponents, by using obstruction tactics, by blocking some important legislation that would be beneficial to a large percentage of the American population.<br /> <br /> Awarding President Obama with a Nobel Peace Prize during his first term in office was premature and ill-advised, setting the bar of expectation to an unrealistically high level -- not to say he is not deserving of the honour.<br /> <br /> His unrelenting efforts to help the middle class did not meet the approval of some of his opponents who represented the monied class. His achievements have not been aggressively marketed allowing his opponents to suppress them.<br /> <br /> The president, in his final years in office, has been given a lifeline of less expectation and so, can use powers vested by law to work with the other legislative arms in the best interest of country.<br /> <br /> I firmly believe that even some of those who oppose the president publicly admire him for the genuineness he displays by wanting the world to be a better place.<br /> <br /> Tony Miles<br /> <br /> tonymiles1940@gmail.com<br /> <br /> Obama's plunge in popularity<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11263109/Obama_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, November 20, 2014 3:00 AM We need to think about the economic benefits from ganja http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/We-need-to-think-about-the-economic-benefits-from-ganja_17974851 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I am a little concerned about the message of Clovis's cartoon on Monday, November 17, 2014 about "Pass the chalice..." in relation to ganja.<br /> <br /> I am worried for the fact that, as a nation, we are still not conscious of the great economic opportunuity that ganja decriminalisation will present and our government is still moving at a snail's pace to get policies in place so that we can get the production rolling.<br /> <br /> What we need to understand as a people is that if we don't use the marijuana and its byproducts we opt to lose the benefits the production of marijuana and development of by-products for medicinal purposes may bring.<br /> <br /> What I observe is a lot of our youth on the streets kneading the weed in their 'hand middle' celebrating and waiting for the day of the legalisation for public smoking. No one is out busy clearing areas to say, "I am preparing to be a part of this new revelation to grow the plant so that I will benefit from this economic blast."<br /> <br /> We need to educate ourselves properly; there is nothing wrong with ganja, but it is what we are using it for that is wrong and currently our young people are using it to damage themselves.<br /> <br /> Dr Henry Lowe's message to the nation is yet to be adopted, as he is trying to get us moving on the production line. What we need to understand is that what is happening here has been a dream for man, and I don't believe he has been selfish with his findings as he constantly informs us of his results.<br /> <br /> Come on, Jamaica, wake up and let us get moving in the right way.<br /> <br /> Rupert Brown<br /> <br /> aat2study@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> We need to think about the economic benefits from ganja<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10772378/Ganja-plant-3_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, November 20, 2014 3:00 AM PAJ, Vaz send OD congrats to Desmond Allen http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/PAJ--Vaz-send-OD-congrats-to-Desmond-Allen_17969439 The executive of the Press Association of Jamaica wants to place on record our warmest congratulations on the national award with which Desmond Allen was recently conferred.<br /> <br /> We are especially proud to know that a former president of our association has been honoured in this way. His contributions to the field of journalism over the years are too numerous to mention, but the comprehensive and fascinating profiles of prominent Jamaicans, and the media critiques as The Spike spring readily to mind.<br /> <br /> His work over the years has impressed many, and we are pleased to join with all those congratulating him on being recognised by your country.<br /> <br /> Dionne Jackson Miller<br /> <br /> President<br /> <br /> Press Association of Jamaica<br /> <br /> Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> It is with great pleasure that I join the Jamaica Observer family and the wider media fraternity in congratulating Desmond Allen, founding editor of the newspaper, on being conferred with the Order of Distinction (Officer Class) this year.<br /> <br /> Desmond has earned for himself many accolades for his outstanding work in media but a national award is indeed a fitting recognition of his immense contribution to the field of Journalism spanning over four decades.<br /> <br /> A well respected media veteran, Desmond has had vast experience in the print and electronic media, having held senior positions with both local newspapers, the government news agency, and was a correspondent for international media agencies including the Inter Press Service Third World News Agency (IPS) and the Spanish News Agency. Desmond has also had the privilege of serving his colleagues in the capacity of General Secretary of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers and here at home as president of the Press Association of Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Desmond is renowned for his inspirational personality profile series The Desmond Allen Interviews. It was, however, his column The Spike that helped to raise the standard among his fellow journalists and keep them on their toes as he gave useful pointers to improve their craft. He is a fine example to young journalists who can learn much from him, his style and professionalism.<br /> <br /> As a former minister with responsibility for information in the Bruce Golding-led JLP Administration, I had occasion to interact with Desmond on media matters and we have continued to enjoy a good working relationship.<br /> <br /> I trust that Desmond will be able to dedicate and share with us many more years of his enormous knowledge and experience and wish for him continued excellence and achievement in his career.<br /> <br /> Congratulations, Desmond, on a well deserved award and much success for the future.<br /> <br /> Daryl Vaz, MP<br /> <br /> West Portland<br /> <br /> PAJ, Vaz send OD congrats to Desmond Allen<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11260844/Desmond-Allen_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, November 19, 2014 2:00 AM What about our crime-free Christmas? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/What-about-our-crime-free-Christmas-_17969037 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> This is an open letter to the prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller:<br /> <br /> I have noticed that the new police commissioner, Carl Williams, has assured the Chinese nationals in the country of my birth, of which you are leader, that the police will be doing everything in their power to make sure that they -- businessmen and women in downtown Kingston -- have a crime-free Christmas period.<br /> <br /> So, Madam Leader, what kind of assurances are being made to the everyday people of Jamaica who are being murdered and robbed every day by fellow Jamaicans wreaking havoc on the society?<br /> <br /> I know you do not listen to the news and, from the looks of it, those that advise you are not very intelligent and aware, but someone must have told you that the number of murders since the start of the year have far surpassed the number of days in the year. And that's without counting deaths while in the protection of the police or by the police.<br /> <br /> I do not know if your minister of national security, Peter Bunting, is even aware of what is going on himself, as most of his time seems to be spent asking for divine intervention, as if Jesus is supposed to wave a magic wand and fix it all.<br /> <br /> I understand that this might very well be out of your league, because if National Housing Trust money could be used in the Outameni purchase fiasco and you can say that, as leader of the country, you had no clue about what was going on until you heard about it in the media, but I sill ask for your help.<br /> <br /> It's a good thing, then, that you have begun to pay attention to the media.<br /> <br /> I am not trying to draw your tongue, but do you not think that the citizens of Jamaica, whose votes you run after, need the same reassurance from the top police officer in the country that he is giving to the Chinese?<br /> <br /> I know that you are afraid of no boy, no girl, no time, nowhere, but please remember that, while you have bodyguards, the rest of the country has to depend on the police.<br /> <br /> I would therefore advise you, Madam Prime Minister, to have a very serious talk with your top cop and minister of national security, and let them know or remind them that the Jamaican Constitution states that all citizens of Jamaica -- not just the investors or those of Chinese descent -- are afforded the right to be protected by the State, and that these citizens deserve to have a crime-free Christmas as well.<br /> <br /> One more thing. Could you please see if you can lower the price of the imported chicken back so that Jamaicans who cannot afford the other parts or the entire chicken can at least have something to flour up and fry for their Christmas dinner as well? And while you are at it, can you please call the contractor to fix up the hospitals so that at least we can endure the wait to see a doctor in comfort.<br /> <br /> Michelle Bradshaw<br /> <br /> michelleannmariebradshaw@gmail.com<br /> <br /> What about our crime-free Christmas?<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11260843/Carl-Williams_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, November 19, 2014 2:00 AM Don't continue to insult our intelligence, PM http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Don-t-continue-to-insult-our-intelligence--PM_17940651 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The explanation provided by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller regarding the National Housing Trust (NHT) purchase of the Orange Grove/Valley (Outameni) property speaks to the continued insult of intelligence of the Jamaican population.<br /> <br /> The NHT has far outgrown its original mandate with assets greater than the commercial banks. But instead of investing and redirecting the finances to meet the needs of the emerging population, the Trust has opted to invest in tourism. Unless there is gold or some precious gem of great national value on the acreage of the property, then $180 million is overpriced. Whether or not it included "property, a generator, fuel tank and office furniture", it's still overpriced and it doesn't take a realty valuator to tell. Don't insult our intelligence.<br /> <br /> A scan of the lands available for sale in Trelawny, some much larger than this property, are significantly lower in price. What's so great about this one that we had to spend $180 million with the intention of investing more? Does it have a significant role in national development, more specifically housing and infrastructure?<br /> <br /> If the NHT is unsure as to where to allocate the funds, then they can increase the loan limit to professionals who can afford it. If they had any clue what the real estate market was like, they would know that $4.5 million cannot buy a house, much less a studio apartment. Don't even start on the starter homes, if you spin your roll three times you knock the wall twelve times.<br /> <br /> Mrs Simpson Miller, don't annoy me. As the prime minister, such a large transaction came to your attention after the media carried it? Clearly there's a disconnect between yourself, the Cabinet and the public agencies. Are people like Easton Douglas allowed to enter into such deals without your approval or knowledge? Just be honest with us, this is our consolidated fund, you are accountable to us and not yourself.<br /> <br /> Timothy Cawley<br /> <br /> cawley.timothy@gmail.com<br /> <br /> Don't continue to insult our intelligence, PM<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11252601/Portia-Parliament_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, November 19, 2014 3:00 AM I'd take a non-bailout too http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/I-d-take-a-non-bailout-too-_17968830 I would like to be 'not' bailed out like Lennie Little-White.<br /> <br /> Don't put one red cent in my pocket. Just make your cheque payable directly to my creditors. Remember, don't make a mistake and give me one red cent.<br /> <br /> Better yet, I don't really mind if all/some of my debts were also written off.<br /> <br /> I wouldn't even mind being treated like a criminal by being barred from entering any property I may have sold for over 15 times its value.<br /> <br /> I may, however, drown myself in sorrow at my being a Jamaican -- black or not -- and 'not' being bailed out -- like Lennie Little-White.<br /> <br /> Egerton Chang<br /> <br /> e_rider69@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> I'd take a non-bailout too <br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11252590/lenny-little-whyte_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, November 19, 2014 3:00 AM Quick question http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Quick-question_17969040 If Jamaica has the calibre of judges that can sit at the International Court of Justice, why do we, as an independent people, have to look outside (London or Caribbean) for our final court?<br /> <br /> Joan E Williams<br /> <br /> Kingston 10<br /> <br /> gratestj@gmail.com<br /> <br /> Quick question<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11257375/patrick-robinson_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, November 19, 2014 3:00 AM Support J'can Anita Antoinette in The Voice http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Support-J-can-Anita-Antoinette-in-The-Voice_17957254 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The 2014 season of The Voice is on and one contestant is a beautiful young Jamaican-born lady Anita Antoinette.<br /> <br /> I ask why is there no support for her, even a fraction of that given to Tessanne Chin winner of the 2013 competition? Where is our Ministry of Tourism, and our media houses on this one?<br /> <br /> Could someone step in and give Jamaicans at home and abroad an opportunity to see and support another potential winner. I do not care whether she is from the "uptown browning class" or from whatever class, we should not discriminate, there is tourism opportunity and mileage in her also.<br /> <br /> It is also interesting to note that many more familiar reggae songs are being performed by contestants this year, but, of course, Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff are their favourites. Anita did a beautiful chair-spinning rendition of Marley's Turn your lights down low.<br /> <br /> Let us support Anita like we support footballers and whichever person, many of whom only their grandmother is Jamaican-born, at least she "born ya". Let us embrace Anita Antoinette, another of our own, in the NBC The Voice competition. No excuses!<br /> <br /> Good luck Anita!<br /> <br /> Michael Spence<br /> <br /> Kingston 6<br /> <br /> micspen2@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> Support J'can Anita Antoinette in The Voice<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11257638/Anita-Antoinette_4_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Tuesday, November 18, 2014 1:00 AM Gov't and NHT wrong on Outameni http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Gov-t-and-NHT-wrong-on-Outameni_17957378 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> It is not very often that one gets so confused about a public issue such as the National Housing Trust (NHT)/Outameni debacle.<br /> <br /> I am still not sure if the NHT is planning to operate Outameni as a business or if it plans to build houses, or both. However, in any case, I have to agree with the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) that something just isn't right about this business. There are conflicting messages coming from both the Government and the NHT.<br /> <br /> If the NHT is indeed planning to build houses, then they aren't going to be cheap. As the JLP's Vaz pointed out, at $180 million those houses will be beyond the reach of the average NHT contributor.<br /> <br /> If the NHT was planning to build houses and develop a part of the Outameni property as an attraction, then the cost per acre to the contributor will be too much as some of the property will be for Outameni.<br /> <br /> Also, the former owner of the Outameni property advised the NHT that those lands are not suitable for housing development. As such, one asks the question of what kind of houses the NHT is planning to build on those lands?<br /> <br /> As for the NHT planning to turn Outameni into some sort of business, that doesn't seem to make sense either. Other potential investors, including the Tourism Product Development Company, made it clear that, as far as making Outameni a profitable business, there is no hope. Indeed, we were made to understand that even the technical advisors of the NHT strongly advised the NHT's board not to purchase the property.<br /> <br /> Something is amiss here, and I don't like the smell of it! However, in order to help solve this problem, I think that there are three things that should be done.<br /> <br /> Firstly, a member of the NHT board told us that the Trust got the property at a bargain and that if it was forced to sell the property it would still gain. If this is true, then I would strongly advise that the NHT get itself out of Outameni by selling it as soon as possible.<br /> <br /> Secondly, while I don't always think that firing anybody will solve problems, I believe that this case requires that some heads should roll. I agree with the JLP that the board should go. How can the NHT justify squandering $180 million at a time when it is cutting grants to contributors? I really think that the members of the board should do the honourable thing and go.<br /> <br /> Finally, a limit on the amount of money that the NHT board can spend should be put in place, if one is not there already. Let's say that any amount above $50 million should require Cabinet approval. I don't think that the NHT should have such free rein to spend contributors' money like this.<br /> <br /> This NHT saga is rapidly becoming a major scandal. I think the NHT should get itself out of this mess as soon as it can.<br /> <br /> Michael A Dingwall,<br /> <br /> michael_a_dingwall@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> Gov't and NHT wrong on Outameni<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11252598/NHT_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Tuesday, November 18, 2014 2:00 AM Is oil in Ja the new bauxite? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Is-oil-in-Ja-the-new-bauxite-_17955160 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> In light of the recent approval for the Irish firm Tullow Oil plc to begin exploration in Jamaica, I am forced to think that this might be next bauxite. While some will think that this is good and welcome the motion, the fast and far-reaching implications of what might happen cannot be slipped under the carpet.<br /> <br /> Let me take the opportunity to refresh your mind. When bauxite was discovered and production began many businesses as well as large holes appeared across the island.<br /> <br /> According to the Government at that time "everyone" would benefit from the various socio-economic programmes. This I cannot deny. However, when bauxite was abandoned, thousands lost jobs, not to mention the large unfilled holes which are still visible on the Island.<br /> <br /> No doubt the island agonised economically and environmentally. We are still reaping the environmental repercussions; deforestation, soil erosion, and a waste of lands. And, yes, the Government at that time should be applauded for attempting to restore these lands. However, as with most projects started, they are either abandoned or never take off.<br /> <br /> I agree that discovering oil would be good, but are we ready for it? Can our feeble and vulnerable environment and eco-system bear, again, another strenuous pressure? That question can only be Additionally, if this is to go through, I would recommend that the Government establishes a Sovereign Wealth Fund, like oil-producing countries Qatar, China, Norway and Nigeria. This fund, unlike the National Housing Trust, main purpose would be to invest in the lucrative businesses of other wealth countries in order to gain higher earnings to improve the local infrastructure of the country.<br /> <br /> Jovaney J Ashman<br /> <br /> Top Albion, Manchester<br /> <br /> jovaney@stu.ncu.edu.jm<br /> <br /> Is oil in Ja the new bauxite?<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11238723/Tullow-Oil-1_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Tuesday, November 18, 2014 3:00 AM Let's salvage the Outameni purchase http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Let-s-salvage-the-Outameni-purchase Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> One wonders if this National Housing Trust (NHT) Outameni purchase was, in fact, a bailout, since the NHT has no interest in competing with or pre-empting any possible purchasers of the property.<br /> <br /> I stand to be corrected, but the property should have been put up for sale by the owners to the private sector and allow the market to offer an appropriate price. It would be up to the owners to make the most prudent decision how best to dispose of the asset, at which time the Government could become interested.<br /> <br /> As long as the property is activate and functioning it should not matter who are the operators as it would be another attraction available to the tourism sector. In any event, a purchase of this nature should have been done with the full knowledge and consent of the prime minister, and possibly the Cabinet. It demonstrates a serious state of disconnect for a purchase outside of the core business of the NHT to come to the knowledge of the Prime Minister, and possibly the Government, in the way it did.<br /> <br /> The property is now owned ostensibly by the NHT and with the level of dissenting voices and concerns about the purchase the Government should seek to bring an amicable settlement to the matter.<br /> <br /> The property could be placed on the market with a reasonable period allowed for interested purchaser to make offers. If no reasonable offers are forthcoming in this period then a land swap could be arranged with the Government providing land to the value of the purchase price of the Outameni property to be exchanged with the NHT for the Outameni property.<br /> <br /> This way the NHT would be provided with land that can be used to provide housing solutions for needy Jamaicans. The Outameni property could then be held by the commissioner of lands and managed, for example, by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, which could then be leased to serious long-term business operators with the investment being recovered over a realistic timeframe.<br /> <br /> Orlando Dyer<br /> <br /> Kingston 6<br /> <br /> Let's salvage the Outameni purchase<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11257637/Outameni_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Tuesday, November 18, 2014 3:00 AM Rude boy culture and tourism no match http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Rude-boy-culture-and-tourism-no-match_17957283 On November 16, 2014, the Anthony Bourdain Parts unknown, Episode 8: An unvisited side of Jamaica finally aired. Bourdain, with his off-the-cuff humour, authentic commentary, and his absolute love for food, offered a perspective of our country's north-east coast.<br /> <br /> Of course, his coverage of the blatant inequalities in our society should come as no surprise, since many contend with these issues on a daily basis. Indeed, it brings to the fore again, the need for us to solve these problems.<br /> <br /> Still, it was his trip to Oracabessa, beside Christopher Blackwell's Golden Eye that was the scene of a display of unparalleled ugliness. A fisherman recounted his perception of the imminent developments in the area, much to the consternation of Bourdain's escort, famed local actor Carl Bradshaw. Apparently, Bradshaw mistakenly exchanged his scripts, since for at least two full minutes, the menacing aggression and violent language he showcased was reminiscent of The Harder they Come or Third World Cop. He was visibly upset at the turn of the discussion, which was not complimentary of the proposed development of the beach and the surrounding area. The venom with which he asked the bold-speaking fisherman to stop speaking, with a few familiar Jamaican expletives, added to the sad scene.<br /> <br /> Faced with our mammoth crime problem, is this the image we wanted to plaster in the international arena, while inviting visitors to our fair isle? Is the rude boy culture and tourism an appropriate match?<br /> <br /> This fearful display, while unfortunate, should jolt us into addressing the monster which has received its citizenship by naturalisation. Perhaps, the time is meet for our leaders to begin the difficult task of removing the aggression which is almost seared into our national consciousness. So imprinted, that we have unwittingly marred ourselves.<br /> <br /> Janene A Laing<br /> <br /> janene_laing@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> Rude boy culture and tourism no match<br /> <br /> --> Local Letters to the Editor Tuesday, November 18, 2014 3:00 AM Time to send signal against diehard party voting http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Time-to-send-signal-against-diehard-party-voting_17955159 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The electorate should show more maturity and shed the diehard cloak of following political masters. Voters need to put themselves first and elect a representative that serves their best interest.<br /> <br /> A close examination of the constituencies that have consistently voted for a particular party reveals that they suffer from perennial neglect.<br /> <br /> Take a drive into the garrison constituencies in the Corporate Area; they have poor infrastructure, high rates of violence, overpopulation and unemployment and the same applies in rural areas.<br /> <br /> How many political representatives are products of the constituency they serve? How many representatives live in the constituency they represent? Shouldn't the representatives live amongst their people and share the ups and downs? Is that not what representing people is all about?<br /> <br /> The electorate should consider seriously whom they select as their voice to represent them. Do not just think party only.<br /> <br /> If people prefer to keep electing representatives because they were born PNP or JLP they should ask themselves the question: Why are we not provided with basic necessities as others?<br /> <br /> As an electorate we should place a higher premium on our votes considering they decide whether we are heard or ignored. It is time to put this diehard voting habit in the dustbin of history and demand from political representatives we elect that they serve us and not just be a rubber stamp or party puppet.<br /> <br /> Tony Miles<br /> <br /> tonymiles1940@gmail.com<br /> <br /> Time to send signal against diehard party voting<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11255584/Vote-ink_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, November 17, 2014 3:00 AM Rape: Sense and nonsense http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Rape--Sense-and-nonsense-_17954885 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Last week Thursday night, in a TV news report on discussions in Parliament about rape, I heard it once too often. That nice-sounding crap, "Rape is not about sex but about power". Give me a 'blouse an skirt' break and pardon my 'Swahili'. How can a sex offence not be about sex?!<br /> <br /> Educated people must learn to nuance their views accurately. Will we soon hear that "robbery is not about stealing but about power"?<br /> <br /> I can't even say I know what is meant by the rape shibboleth, because I honestly don't. Okay, maybe what folks mean to say is that "rape is not essentially about sex", but even that is still wrong-headed.<br /> <br /> I am no lawyer, but it would seem to me that to be successful in a rape case the prosecution must at least show that non-consensual sexual intercourse took place. Simply establishing that the accused subtly or otherwise unleashed power over the victim could hardly be sufficient in law.<br /> <br /> If sex and robbery are about power, not sex or stealing, why don't rapists and robbers simply tie up, kick, box and otherwise assault and cow victims with angry words of control so that victims know "ah who run tings" then leave taking nothing?<br /> <br /> Rape is about sex, just like robbery is about stealing, but both may be about other things as well.<br /> <br /> And, while I am at it, it is conceivable that a man can be raped by a woman even though an erect penis is necessary for penile-vaginal sex, unless we forget that an erection need not be volitional. Plus, you don't need personal experience to know that a man can [allow himself to] be aroused by a woman but yet he has no intention of having sexual intercourse with her. The same is true for a woman, hence, no matter when it is uttered, "no means no".<br /> <br /> Getting and sustaining an erection is not necessarily synonymous with consent to sexual intercourse. Let the police, and people in general, understand this elementary fact of life.<br /> <br /> Rev Clinton Chisholm<br /> <br /> clintchis@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> Rape: Sense and nonsense<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10868103/India-Protest_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, November 17, 2014 3:00 AM Westmoreland needs more than a visit http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Westmoreland-needs-more-than-a-visit_17955186 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> As a young woman living in Westmoreland, I am trying to see the growth of the parish but it's as if I am blind. For 25 years the governing party have got the votes of the people, but what have they done in return for the people? We have no roads, no work, as a man on the road would say "nutten naah gwaan".<br /> <br /> People in Westmoreland, stop voting for colour. And I say this whether it be green or orange. If who you elect to work not working, get them out!<br /> <br /> Mr Vaz and Mrs Reid, I say to either of you, if you win,p lease tell your leaders that we need a garment factory and we need the market to be fixed. Build this parish so the young people coming out of high school, training centers and universities can be employed.<br /> <br /> I was happy to see Andrew Holness and Portia Simpson MIller last week, but I ask them not to wait until when it's an election to visit your people. Remember that without the people both of you would not be sitting in Parliament.<br /> <br /> Zelma Smith<br /> <br /> Lewis Street, Savanna-la-Mar PO<br /> <br /> zelma_smith@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Westmoreland needs more than a visit<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11252526/Faye-and-Andrew_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11240391/portiavaz_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, November 17, 2014 3:00 AM Shame on Jamaican politicians http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Shame-on-Jamaican-politicians_17955140 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I have found the stand-off between our major political parties regarding the purchase of Outameni by the National Housing Trust (NHT) to be very interesting. It could well be a life-changing experience for all of us.<br /> <br /> The NHT is one of, if not the only reasonably well-run government institutions on the island, and it could easily be said that it is a model that could move the country to its next level of development only if our politicians could wisely recognise it.<br /> <br /> As a result of its success, the Governance of both parties seem bent on constantly putting their hand in the cookie jar instead of just duplicating the successful managerial history.<br /> <br /> Because of our politicians' idiocy, they fail to see that it is a wake-up call for all of us, and a very strong message should be sent to them from this experience.<br /> <br /> A precedent was set in 2003 and the leaders at that time were told that it was a very wrong move. Now the ghost still haunts us until this day. The legality of this move in 2003 was queried and promptly a directive to address that concern was made -- and a Bill amending the National Housing Trust Act (NHT) was passed in both Houses of Parliament allowing the funds to be diverted in a one-off transfer to reportedly finance the upgrading of schools that financial year.<br /> <br /> Since then, both JLP and PNP adminstrations have dug into the funds, while chastising each other for respective recklessness. What folly?<br /> <br /> Let's not go any further with this type of governance, it is wrong; laws are not to be tampered with for political mileage. We have created a mess and the time and place to deal with it is here and now. Let us do the right things and stop playing games for easy political gain.<br /> <br /> Rupert Brown<br /> <br /> aat2study@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> Shame on Jamaican politicians<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11252598/NHT_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, November 17, 2014 3:00 AM Explore new technology in farming http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Explore-new-technology-in-farming_17955138 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Last year, Jamaica imported a billion dollars' worth of red peas. Jamaicans love red peas in rice and peas or in stew peas dishes. The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Donovan Stanberry, said that we cannot compete with Belize, given their scale of red peas production and level of mechanisation. He also pointed out that Jamaica has legal obligations to Caricom.<br /> <br /> Jamaica is engaged in an Extended Fund Facility arrangement with the International Monetary Fund. Yes, we are passing the tests, but as former Prime Minister P J Patterson pointed out, that is not enough. We need to grow the economy in order to replenish social services which are collapsing. The Mandeville hospital right now needs a piece of equipment used to pin broken bones; the cost is $20 million. If we can reduce importation of goods like red peas, then we can use the foreign exchange to do other things.<br /> <br /> Jamaica is engaged in an Extended Fund Facility arrangement with the International Monetary Fund. Yes, we are passing the tests, but as former Prime Minister P J Patterson pointed out, that is not enough. We need to grow the economy in order to replenish social services which are collapsing. The Mandeville hospital right now needs a piece of equipment used to pin broken bones; the cost is $20 million. If we can reduce importation of goods like red peas, then we can use the foreign exchange to do other things.<br /> <br /> Here is where the new Minister of Agriculture Derrick Kellier and the Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell can help. There is a new type of farming known as indoor farming -- not greenhouse farming -- that is threatening to revolutionise how we grow crops.<br /> <br /> Phil Torres, the host of TechKnow, discussed it with Al Jazeera. The indoor vertical farm industry is best suited for a warehouse space. There are towers of farm-fresh produce. There are columns of luscious greens bathed in a bright pink glow. The glow is as a result of thousands of red and blue LEDs and is one of the major innovations driving controlled environment agriculture. Photosynthesis occurs at red and blue wavelengths on the visible spectrum. Lights are engineered specifically for leafy greens and maximise photosynthesis value. The plants are protected from pests by walls rather than chemicals. Indoor farming doesn't use any pesticides, crops can be harvested up to 20 times per year, it uses 98 per cent less water and 70 per cent less fertilisers than outdoor. It is expensive to set up, but the crops are fresh and growing cycles can be cut in half. In starting up, plants are exposed to light 16-18 hours a day. It would be good if both ministries collaborate and carry out experiments to see how well this works and, apart from food crops, this seems suitable for medical ganja growth. The lighting can be tweaked depending on the type of crops; this could supplement our agro-parks production and sounds like a worthy idea.<br /> <br /> Mark Clarke<br /> <br /> Siloah, St Elizabeth<br /> <br /> Explore new technology in farming<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/9554238/stanberry_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, November 17, 2014 3:00 AM Manufacturers should follow JPS's lead http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Manufacturers-should-follow-JPS-s-lead_17940626 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The recent news by the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) that customers will see a reduction of approximately 8.4 per cent in their November electricity bills is welcome news for the Jamaican consumer.<br /> <br /> This pending reduction in light bills is made possible due to the fall of world oil prices. The collapse of world oil prices is a result of an oversupply of the community due largely in part that supply from the United States of America unconventional fields is rising faster than global demand.<br /> <br /> Additionally, increased output, mainly from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait both members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has contributed to a glut on the market. According to some reports, both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have indicated an unwillingness to reduce output so it's possible to see even further reduction of world oil prices.<br /> <br /> While the news from the JPS is most timely, coming just in time for Christmas, we must ask ourselves why is it that the Jamaican consumer is not benefiting more from lower prices of goods and services due to the decrease of world oil prices. Why is it that the Jamaican consumer did not see a reduction in their October light bill after all world oil prices has been on the decline for quite some time?<br /> <br /> A barrel of oil is at its lowest since October 2010 at around US$81 per barrel. Global oil consumption is currently at 90 million barrels daily, driven mainly by demand for transport fuels.<br /> <br /> Given the fact that electricity cost plays a major role in Jamaica's manufacturing sector we should by now be reaping some lower cost as consumers, as Brent crude oil has been falling over the weeks.<br /> <br /> Interestingly, when world oil prices are on the increase the manufacturing sector does not wait a minute before they pass on to the consumer the higher cost for goods and services.<br /> <br /> It is time the Jamaican manufacturers pass on to consumers whatever price reduction accrued from lower world oil prices. This will undoubtedly ease the economic burden on consumers, temporary though it may be.<br /> <br /> However, maybe it's possible that some manufacturers are instead waiting for the price of oil to increase once again. Let us for once think about the poor consumer instead of the bottom line.<br /> <br /> Wayne Campbell<br /> <br /> waykam@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> www.wayaine.blogspot.com<br /> <br /> Manufacturers should follow JPS's lead<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11246032/JPS-building-1_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, November 14, 2014 12:00 AM Gov't patronising us or playing a trick? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Gov-t-patronising-us-or-playing-a-trick-_17940473 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I am a frustrated 21-year-old citizen. I am offended at the pathetic attempts of our Government to patronise citizens.<br /> <br /> Just Tuesday, our prime minister attempted to respond to questions regarding the acquisition of the Outameni property by the National Housing Trust. We were meant to understand that the head of the Government &mdash; who does not watch the news &mdash; was made aware of the two-year-old $180-m purchase of a loss-making entity at the same time as the rest of the population, via the news?!<br /> <br /> Are we to believe that a government, which enforces austerity measures to pass six International Monetary Fund tests, cannot detect such a massive loss of the over one million taxpaying people and companies?<br /> <br /> The prime minister stated that the Government now owns the property on which the buildings sit but not the business itself. That's a relief. For a moment there we were out to see the Government buy debt to increase debt.<br /> <br /> Perhaps it was merciful that she should afford us the grand news "not to worry" because there will be a grand reopening of a business she doesn't own. How lovely. I must now surmise that we gratefully anticipate the grand unveiling of $180m worth of fencing, grass and officeware, set in the shadow of the white elephant we were prudent not to buy.<br /> <br /> Dave Richards<br /> <br /> d1darichards@gmail.com <br /> <br /> Gov't patronising us or playing a trick?<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11242195/outameni_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, November 14, 2014 12:00 AM