TRANSITIONING….

Living for today, in hope of tomorrow, dreaming far beyond……..moving through time as the caterpillar metamorphosis surrounds us……………..do you not feel, your own transition?

 

Where are you now, how do you feel, are you present in this place, at this time or are you lost in a maze of turbulence, that arises out of your own confusion in not accepting transition……………..Acceptance of transition is a must for your own evolution, your own spirituality, coping with the elements that present itself unexpectedly!!!!!!…….! But we must see, that every force, every obstacle, every occurrence that appears to hinder………….is in effect what we desperately need to complete our transition………………………..

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BLISS…TOO OLD OR TOO YOUNG…BLISS

 The house, the backyard, the one plus two kids, the father, mother, and we are content…………………..is that it? Is that for everyone?………………….What if it’s not enough? What if it’s not for everyone?…….

 

Who dictates that ‘model’ as being the ultimate in life? Who can tell me, that if I don’t fully attain that model, I am a ‘cast out’……..? Who can tell me how, when, what to feel, what to build and with whom?!!!!!!!!

 

What if, I’m as unique as God intended me to be, with my own ‘model’……what if my ultimate is to truly give and receive love as God intended it to be for me. What if in my pursuit of ‘self’ I’m where I am with only enough for that one ‘Man’……………..Will I and can I be enough for that one ‘Man’?

 

That would be my bliss…………..I live for bliss……………and to experience bliss each day is my ultimate, no matter the ‘Age’!!!

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KC (Kingston College) 90 Years – My Dad Would Have Been Chuffed

My late Father an old boy of Kingston College was a lover of the institution and even in death his dear friends ensured that the colours of KC, purple and white were adorned on his coffin. A Journalist (stringer), he spent some years at the Jamaica Gleaner Company. I have no doubt that if he were alive today he would have written a stellar piece on this 90 years old institution that has produced some the best minds in Jamaica.

KC you have always dominated North Street. Your presence is ever felt and may your alma mater ‘Fortis’ (The Brave May Fall But Never Yield), be forever engraved into the minds of those who enter through those gates.


(Jamaica Gleaner, Saturday 18 April 2015)

Kingston College marches for 90th anniversary

April 16, 1925 marks the founding of Kingston College (KC), and 90 years to that date students at the all-boys institution lined the length of North Street for a historic march to the site where the school was first established.
The sea of khaki interspersed with streams of purple could be seen from any vantage point along North Street on Wednesday.
The sporadic outbursts of celebratory cheers were complemented by energetic fanfare provided by the marching band.
The march culminated outside the walls of The Gleaner, where a plaque highlighting the location as the site of the building which housed the first 49 students of the school is erected. This was where the students gathered for prayer and reflection.
Vice-principal Everton Burrell was in a jubilant mood as he marshalled students at the historic event.
“Today is the exact day, 90 years ago, Kingston College was founded right at the same spot where The Gleaner Company is right now. As a symbolic event, we decided to march to the spot,” he said.

 

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So Sad – RIP Johnny Kemp

Big tune in the late 1980’s ‘Just Got Paid’.  It basically was my girls’ anthem each Friday when we hit the road.  Very unfortunate death based on the reports.  Once again, enjoy each day to the fullest.  Express yourself, be free and suppress nothing.  Being forever thankful each day should be our prayer and always find the time during the day to just appreciate and have a laugh. 


 

Johnny Kemp dies in Jamaica

(Jamaica Observer) Friday, April 17, 2015 | 5:34 PM   

 Jonny Kemp

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The body of Bahamian singer Johnny Kemp was found on a beach in Montego Bay, St James on Thursday.

Kemp, 55, who lives in New York, is known for the 1987 smash hit Just Got Paid.

According to the Corporate Communications Unit, the information arm of the police, Kemp’s body was found face down at around 9:50 am on Thursday.

It is believed Kemp fell and hit his head on the rocks.

Investigations are continuing.

 

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Jamaica Government Past and Present – What Say You?????

Therein lies the frustration when we talk about bureaucracy, corruption, crime, enforcement of law and order.  We do not suffer from lack of intellect in our Parliament, but we definitely suffer from something.  Sad to say, if we pose the question as to why based on the article below to our leaders and parliamentarians they would have a ‘bag of garb’ to espouse. 

If we were to pay them based on performance, not the perception of performance rather accomplishments how much would they earn from the government coffers?  Many would have to travel via the public transportation for starters, so you get where I going on that note.  Are we big enough to admit to our failures before casting blame on who has been in government longer?  Are we big enough to stop throwing stones back and forth and accept that many in leadership are there purely for decoration, maintaining perfect posture when it suits them?

Our standing is at 3.4, Haiti 2.1, think we are that much better, rethink that; Guyana has surpassed us.


 

 

Report: Jamaica’s Parliament in bottom half of world’s effective law-making bodies

(Jamaica Gleaner) Published:Friday | April 17, 2015

 
Jamaica’s Parliament on Duke Street in Kingston. 
 

The World Economic Forum has released a report ranking Jamaica in the bottom half of countries in the world with effective parliaments or law making bodies in the world.

Singapore tops the list of 143 countries.

The Global Information Technology Report 2015 ranks countries from one to seven with one being “not effective at all” and seven representing “extremely effective”.

Jamaica earned a score of 3.4 which places the country in the bottom half of the countries with effective parliaments, joining others such as Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Greece and Bangladesh.

The World Economic Forum says the score represents the weighted average from an opinion survey done in 2013 and 2014. 

The report comes as Jamaica’s Parliament is involved in a phase of heavy legislative work largely induced by requirements under the programme with the International Monetary Fund.

More broadly, the Parliament has been criticised for being slow and in need of reforms to make it a modern law-making institution.

Parliament’s two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives, generally meet once per week, each. 

Public perception of the work of legislators has not been positive. In a Gleaner-commissioned Bill Johnson poll last year, the average Jamaican believed that 70 per cent of Jamaica’s elected officials are corrupt.

However, the World Bank believes that the work of Parliament can improve if the structure on Duke Street in Kingston is improved or new one built.

A team in 2013 concluded that Parliament’s infrastructure is woefully inadequate and significantly undermines the work of members of parliament, committees, and parliamentary staff.

Barbados at 19th is the CARICOM country with the most effective law-making body.

Haiti, with a score of 2.1, is ranked the lowest at 135th.

Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago are the other CARICOM countries ranked higher at Jamaica at 75th and 80th respectively.

 

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What Say You Jamaica’s CEO????

This is what I refer to as ‘big talk, big action, big man’.  Thirty years of age (30) and this CEO has figured out one of the ways to ensure he will always be taken care of in life.  The 100 employees who are part of this dynamic will NEVER forget his overture and time will attest to that.  Dan Price has sown his seeds into his most valuable asset, ‘his employees’.

How many CEO’s in Jamaica before you think of downsizing will agree to an even 40% reduction in your annual income?  How many CEO’s in Jamaica will agree to a 40% reduction so as to bolster the salaries of valuable employees?  What is your staffing compliment?  Have you ever given yourself a pay cut during our austerity measures?  Does austerity applies to you personally or only to those valuable employees that you need to ensure your ‘lifestyle’ for you and your family is maintained?

What is the average age of Jamaica’s CEO in our top 20 companies, both micro and macro businesses?  Does Dan Price initiative move you to reflect upon or have you dismissed it completely?  I daresay to the media, do a documentary on 10 black Jamaican CEO’s and hear what their position is on this very topic.   The ‘big man’ has taken a 90% cut, I just asked you about 40%.


 

 

US CEO cuts salary to boost employee pay to $70,000

(Jamaica Observer) Thursday, April 16, 2015 | 9:55 PM    

 NEW YORK, United States (AFP) – One start-up founder is making his own effort to respond to the issue of income inequality — cutting his own pay while seriously boosting that of his employees.

Dan Price, founder and chief executive of payment processing start-up Gravity Payments, has cut his own salary by 90 per cent to set a US$70,000 annual minimum wage at the firm.

The news from Price, 30, became viral after the announcement made in a YouTube video this week was picked up by CNN, The New York Times and other news organizations.

“We’re going to have a minimum of US$70,000 for everyone who works here,” Price said.

The pay boost will be phased in over the next three years, with the lowest-paid employees getting at least $50,000 by the end of this year and the US$70,000 pay level reached by December 2017.

Price added that his own pay package of $1 million annually is “really high” and that he had decided to reduce his own pay to the same as other employees “until our profits go back up.”

The announcement drew wild applause from employees at the Seattle-based firm that employs more than 100 people. The news comes amid an ongoing debate about wealth, wage, and income inequality in the United States.

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has denounced the low tax rates for investments which allows some on Wall Street to avoid part of the tax burdens of middle-class working families.

Wall Street executives meanwhile have been getting unprecedented pay, led by Blackstone chief Stephen Schwarzman’s US$690 million.

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Aint This Something – Great News as 1st Quarter Ends – Knutsford Express

This is what I call win win for both passenger and company alike.  A conversation ensued at my place of business yesterday where we spoke of successful entrepreneurs who built companies that not only excelled but understood the thinking behind sowing seeds into your most valuable asset ‘the people’.  Those whose value added to your organisation affording you such growth should be recognized. Reinvesting in them is a win win formula that lasts through decades because the seeds were sown.  Will the Knutsford Express be around for the next 30 years, passing on from generation to generation?

I for one having experienced first hand this mode of transportation to the North Coast am totally sold on its viability and practicality for someone as myself who no longer enjoys driving long distances.  This coach service from the processing of your tickets, to the handling of your luggage, the soothing music at a volume conducive for public passenger travel and moderate driving speed; has managed to create air travel feel whilst never leaving the ground.  I welcome the Knustsford Express and a fare reduction toppled with the current incentive offered once you pay for your ticket in advance is even sweeter.  Knutsford Express surely stands tall as Brand Jamaica.


 

 

Knutsford Express cuts fares, eyes Portland as new destination 

Published:(Jamaica Gleaner Friday | April 17, 2015)

File Oliver Townsend, CEO of Knutsford Express Limited.
 
Knutsford Express Limited has cut fares as passenger loads have increased, the bus company reported in its newly released third-quarter earnings report.

Knutsford, meanwhile, is planning to tap into a tourism market for ground travel on the north coast, specifically persons headed east to Portland.

The company last added new routes in St Elizabeth, and opened an office at Gutters in that parish to serve the south coast, and is now preparing to add another route from the north coast to the Errol Flynn Marina in Port Antonio – a route targeted at both tourists visiting Portland and locals, it said.

Sales have been climbing at the bus company, which reported a 40 per cent boost in third quarter revenue to $126 million for the period ending February 2015, compared to $90 million in the comparative 2014 period.

Sales performance over the nine-month period to February was even more robust with growth of 47 per cent to $333 million.

In the third quarter, profit more than doubled to $19 million or 19 cents per share, while it spiked by 85 per cent over the nine-month stretch to $48.5 million or 49 cents per share – some of which is linked to the company’s interim tax status. A year ago, this period, Knutsford had a tax bill of $7 million but now it is zero, as its listing on the junior stock market in January 2014 has given it a waiver on corporate taxes for five years.

The company said in its preamble to the quarterly financials that the roll back in fares which took effect on January 11 was in response to declining fuel prices.

At the same time, it noted that there has been growth in passenger travel. The company said that new routes added in the third quarter with the establishment of its Gutters office “will offer service to a growing passenger base that comes from South St Elizabeth to include Junction, Southfield and surroundings.”

Attempts at comment from CEO Oliver Townsend and Operations Manager Hopeton Thompson on what that meant for investments the company’s fleet and the size of the fare adjustments were unsuccessful.

Knutsford Express’ capital expenditure on asset acquisitions reached $64 million year to date February or $10 million more at this same time in 2014. The company closed the nine-month period with fixed assets of $172 million, up from $118 million the year before, and total assets of $258 million, up from $202 million.

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Homage To Bob Marley – African Union

We have heard that there are persons who lived, truly lived their lives.  So much so at the time of their untimely death at relative young ages, we marvel at the impact many made.  It leaves us to reflect or we should reflect on ‘purpose’.  What exactly do you believe your purpose is whilst on Planet Earth?  Bob Marley’s death at 36 years of age was a mournful one for literally millions and millions of people.  Even though you never met this man, through his music felt a connection as his lyrics were truly soul searching, electrifying, mystical yet profound to your own state of reasoning.  To feel this power through his music, you would have had to listen to his songs for more than a passing.

It is said we never truly know the quality or importance of our own, until a stranger makes the embrace.  Decades later, Bob Marley still affects millions of people in a positive way as his time on Planet Earth was spent with a ‘purpose’.  A purpose that through his music broke grounds, colour barriers, never selling out his message through commericalisation.  Rather, uniting people from all cultures, ethnicities to the hope and possibility that love can over come.

Homage indeed to Bob Marley as even in death through his music, Brand Jamaica is represented……………………….’One Love’.


 

African Union Chairperson Pays Homage to Bob Marley

 (Jamaica Gleaner Published:Thursday | April 16, 2015)
 
Bob Marley
 African Union Chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, while on a short official visit to Jamaica, took time out to visit the Bob Marley Museum, home of Reggae’s King.

Dr Zuma toured the museum with her delegation, comprising Ms Mathu Joyini (South African high commissioner), Dr Potgieter (adviser), Ms Siphokazi Hermans (third secretary, Political South African High Commission) and security personnel. “Absolutely impressive, inspiring and informative,” was how they described their visit.

Ms Rosemary Duncan, manager of the Rita Marley Foundation (JA), presented gifts and greetings on behalf of President and Founder Mrs Rita Marley. The Rita Marley Foundation champions humanitarian and philanthropic projects in Ghana, West Africa.

Dr Zuma is the first female chairperson of the African Union. The organisation’s vision is for “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena”.

The African Union seeks to promote sustainable development at economic, social and cultural levels as well as the integration of African economies. Its main objectives are to rid the African continent of the remaining vestiges of colonisation and apartheid; to promote unity and solidarity among African states; to coordinate and intensify cooperation for development; to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of member states and to promote international cooperation within the framework of the United Nations.

On April 9, Dr Zuma delivered the keynote address during the Lucille Mathurin Mair Public Lecture at the University of the West Indies, Mona, to commence celebrations for the 80th earth-day of H.E. Percival James Patterson, former prime minister of Jamaica (1992-2006), and serving council member of the newly established African Union Foundation.

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Much To Do About Nothing

At times when I read our reporting’s, I wonder if we are in a constant state of denial to the realities of life on our Island.  I am not making light of the situation re the students apparent condition which is the result of smoking ‘weed’ from the accounts given.  Let us not fool ourselves, students, professionals and idlers have always had access to ganja as this product is sold in every crevice and corner.  Those who wanted to experiment; the opportunity has always been there.  One of the key components to this law is that persons cannot be charged, arrested and imprisoned for smoking two ounces of ganja.

In regards to our schooling system, what needs to be implemented ASAP are security measures where students must be frisked not only for carrying ganja to schools, but also weaponry and any other materials that should not be allowed on school property.  Keep things in perspective and let us not create drama; every scene need not be on the stage.


 

Students taken to hospital with symptoms of psychosis after allegedly smoking ganja on ‘decriminalisation day’

 (Jamaica Gleaner, Thursday 16 April 2015)

 
 
At least two students were taken to hospital yesterday for suspected psychosis, brought on after they reportedly smoked marijuana to enhance their learning potential.

Education Minister Ronald Thwaites said in Parliament yesterday that he received troubling information from two principals that the ‘decriminalisation day’ for the weed coincided with maladjusted behaviours of students who, it seemed, believed that it was OK to smoke ganja.

“I got reports from two principals today of students feeling that ganja is now free and that they can now smoke it, and in one case, he [a principal] had to take more than one student to a nearby hospital for symptoms of psychosis,” Thwaites later told The Gleaner.

“I don’t know if they smoked at school or before school, but they presented at school with symptoms that required that action on his part,” the minister added.

Psychosis is a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.

The Gleaner has been reliably informed that one school principal has recovered vast quantities of ganja he has frisked from students on his school compound. The principal reportedly said that if he sold the weed recovered, he “could finance his school for a year”.

The amendment to the Dangerous Drug Act, which makes possession of ganja under two ounces a non-arrestable, ticketable offence, came into effect yesterday. The new law essentially decriminalised the possession of small amounts of ganja for personal use and sets out a regime for the cultivation of the weed for medical purposes.

Contributing to the 2015-2016 Sectoral Debate, Thwaites said that while his ministry supports the decriminalisation of ganja, it was against the use of the substance and other narcotic substances by students, academic staff and other staff in schools.

“Smoking anything is bad for your health. No smoking of any sort is allowed in schools,” the minister said.

Thwaites told The Gleaner that while he had been assured by the justice ministry that there was a strong public-education programme to discourage smoking, “we will have to mount our own, in addition to that.”

“Many students, I am told, regretfully, feel that if they use ganja, they will do better in their exams,” Thwaites said.

Meanwhile, Science, Technology, Energy and Mining minister Phillip Paulwell said in the same debate yesterday that he was getting ready to give the go ahead for two educational institutions to plant ganja.

The planting, however, is for research purposes, and is made possible due to the amended law.

“In anticipation of the law, two of our stellar research institutions – the university of Technology and the University of the West Indies have applied,” Paulwell, who has the ministerial power to give permission for the cultivation for research purposes, said.

“I intend, today, to grant two licenses to UWI and UTech for them to engage in the cultivation of ganja for research purposes,” the minister said.

“There are many countries now that have done very well in research for ganja. Jamaica wants to reestablish itself as a centre of excellence for the research in ganja. This should be the home for research and development in ganja,” Paulwell said.

He, however, warned that the research licence was not to promote the smoking of ganja.

“This product has tremendous value in it, and, as we move towards enabling the commercialisation of medical ganja, the research aspect is crucial,” Paulwell said.

In addition, the minister noted the comments of United States President Barack Obama who said at a town hall meeting at UWI last year that the decriminalisation of ganja was not a silver bullet to Jamaica’s economic problem.

“I know President Obama spoke about the silver bullet, I see a silver lining in this area and let us go and maximise the opportunities that exist,” Paulwell said.

He further said Jamaicans should have no fear about the ganja sub-sector being captured by powerful interests, arguing that everybody has a role to play; the small farmer and the large farmer.

“We have to ensure that unlike other things where we have lost opportunity, we collaborate and share information rather than compete internally, because even if you were to plant out every square inch of this country in ganja, the market for medicinal ganja is so big, we could not fulfil that market,” Paulwell said.

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Moral or Legality Of This Man’s Plight – Is There One??

There is a message to this story or should I say ‘moral’.  What say you?  The facts are simply this. Mr Brown is  56 years old, hardly ancient.  He became a British citizen as a result of his mother sponsoring him, hence the holder of a British passport.  His mother died in 2011, he suffers from depression but as often with depression there are those who function.  His father lived in Jamaica and he made numerous visits.  As a result of his father’s death in 2014, his depression became worse and he checked himself into a medical facility/hospital upon is return to London, England.  Alarmingly so, cost for his treatment was a whopping 2,000.00 pounds sterling per week.   Yes………………….’whole heap a money’.

Somewhere along the line, the hospital decided that this British citizen through naturalisation MUST return to his country of origin, and so they chucked him out.  I cannot put it any simpler as the facts substantiate my choice words.  As the article below explains with assistance from the then Acting PD (Public Defender) the gentleman will be returning to London on Saturday.

Is this what Jamaican/British nationals have to face as a possible reality for them if they suffer from an illness and are unable to pay for their own care?  If you have no tangible roots set up or in place at your country of origin, should that be reassessed for those who hold permanent residence elsewhere?  If you are a citizen through naturalization, does it mean that your naturalization may still be subject to certain protocols thereby excluding you from rights that are automatic to those who became citizens due to birth?


 

Homeless deportee returns to London Saturday

But must repay High Commission £900 for plane ticket

 (Jamaica Observer, Wednesday 15 April 2015)
 
 A relieved Brown with documents for his return to London. (PHOTO:NAPHTALI JUNIOR)

BRITISH citizen Norman Brown, who was sent back to Jamaica on a one-way ticket in January this year, is expected to return to England Friday, courtesy of Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Brown received a plane ticket costing approximately £900, and his flight information from the British High Commission in Jamaica, last week. But, there are a number of issues still bothering him.

He doesn’t know what will happen to him after he arrives at Gatwick Airport on Saturday, and disembarks from the British Airways flight for which he has been scheduled. One thing he is sure of though, is that he wants to leave Jamaica.

“I don’t know where I am going to go, what I am going to do. I don’t know what will happen to me. All I know is that I am just going: I want to leave,” the 56-year-old Brown told the Jamaica Observer Monday.

Brown is also concerned that the High Commission took his British passport and gave him an emergency one, with a covering letter warning that the original will not be returned to him until he repays the £900 for the ticket.

“I don’t think it’s right that I will have to repay for the ticket. How am I going to pay them, when I can’t get a job without my original passport?” he questioned.

Brown admitted that the High Commission has provided him with copies of the passport and other documents, but insists that employers will be reluctant to employ him without original papers.

“Papers are different from a passport. I am going to have a lot of difficulty getting a job,” he said.

He said that on his return to London he would also have to live on the streets until he can get some social security assistance.

Brown was sent to Jamaica on January 16 aboard a Virgin Airways flight from London, accompanied by a nurse, who disappeared as soon as she took him past immigration at the Sangster International Airport.

He told the Observer, in a story published on March 8, that he had been a patient at the famous Maudsley Hospital in Camberwell, South London, but had been sent back to Jamaica, where he was born, because of his depression.

Brown, who was born in Trelawny, had moved to England to join his mother and became a British citizen. His mother died in 2011, and he started suffering from serious bouts of depression. But he continued travelling to Jamaica to see his father in Portmore. Then his father died in 2014, and the depression worsened.

When he returned to London, he checked himself into the Maudsley Hospital last November.

However, he insists that the hospital, which is recognised as Europe’s largest centre for research and post-graduate education in psychiatry, psychology, basic and clinical neuroscience, and which had been treating him at a cost of approximately £2,000 per week, sent him back to Jamaica.

Brown was relegated to sleeping on the streets of Montego Bay, and eventually Kingston, until he went to the British High Commission, at around 3 o’clock one morning and started a commotion. This attracted the attention of security personnel and members of staff, and the local police were eventually called.

The police took him to the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) in downtown Kingston, where he met Deputy Public Defender Matondo Mukulu.

Mukulu, in assisting Brown, sent a pre-action protocol letter to the hospital, as a prelude to an injunction to force them to provide him with a return ticket to London, where he could continue his treatment.

“I have seen persons sent back to their countries with a chaperone, but as part of their treatment regime. For example, if they need to be in a different environment. But, what is shocking to me here, is that at the time when he was sent to Jamaica, he was never given a discharge letter by the hospital,” Mukulu stated.

The Observer was on Monday unable to ascertain what were the hospital’s responses as Mukulu is understood to be currently off the island.

In the meantime, Brown’s concern grows about what will happen to him when he lands in London on Saturday.

He said that he had been living with a girlfriend, who is no longer interested in him. He had no job when he was sent to Jamaica, although he had occupied several positions, including as a bus driver in London, and he has no home to go to.

 

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