47.7% Voter Turnout Is The Tragedy As Much As PNP’s Own Voters Not Voting

The PNP 1st time MP’s considered to be the ‘young and brightest’ have succeeded in making the PNP a one term party.

Your plans, goals and aspirations are naught if you are not in the ‘game’ long enough to make true change and reformation. You do not win an Election via twitter, facebook or any social media. What you win from that, are false notions based on the amount of followers that they are in a position to vote for your Party.  This is Jamaica, not North American or Europe.  Do you have any idea how many of your followers actually reside on the Roc?  Did you rely on your base Mr General Secretary??

Out of the 47.7% who turned out to vote, how many of them prey tell hold down a JOB in corporate Jamaica, the government sector are self employed who actually pay their way and their families way? Let me keep this simple. How many of those persons who follow you on social media, who many tend to ‘socialise’ at the uptown events with a price tag of over J$8,000.00 vote for any political party in Jamaica? As a matter of fact how many who religiously attend party events in this country vote? Or those who religiously attend the ‘hip’ joints for drinks, do they vote? How many ‘foreigners’ in this Country who are eligible to vote do so? I put it to you that those who enjoy the intellectual arguments on our political process many who are both PNP and JLP sympathizers will even go as far as to adorn themselves in party colours, do not vote. So who exactly make up the majority of Jamaica’s voting pool? The very same ones the PNP 1st time MPs chose to ‘dis’ and allowed ‘fracas’ and down right nasty behaviour to persist way too long without taking any action in addressing the cancer in its 1st stage. Their demands for dialogue from the top of the food chain were not delivered in time and so I proffer that they stayed true to their words and did not vote.

The 1st time MPs had full reign to entertain the media as they were ‘media frightened’. They loved to hear the sound of their own voices and enjoyed reading the daily mail where they made sure to be featured by their pronouncements.  They demeaned the very same people within their constituency who when they sought their votes in 2011 virtually crawled in every crevice and corner and displayed emotions suggesting they cared. What went wrong? Early on within their ‘reign’ it was evident that the good ‘ole’ people skills in knowing how to bridge the gap between those who cannot see your vision from those who can was lacking from the young and brightest. Did they seek help from the ‘veterans’ of the PNP?  Who knows? I would assume not, based on the developments that the media was sure to bring to the public highlighting the escalation of these fracas.

It was not just one fracas, it was several, and the only thing a fashion runway has in common with politics is that MPs must be on display for the people in their constituency. However, they seem to have been on display for those who were not in a position to vote for them as quite frankly those professionals believe that they are above voting, cannot be bothered to go through the process or that voting is for the ‘boogoyagga’. That is how they feel about Jamaica’s political system. So what and who you have voting is the reality. Will that change? We will have to wait and see. As for the youths, they are as fickle as they are academically bright.   A question to ask the youths, do the members of their household vote? That should also give you an indication as to whether or not you can rely on them to cast a vote for more than one term. So all this talk about the youth will only ensure we continue to have ‘one term’ governments. See how many promises can be fulfilled in one term!!!!!

As for the PNP 1st time MPs, their own arrogance will prevent them from going on a journey of personal development and introspection. So if you want to change the make up of Jamaica’s voting pool, you are going to have to work 10 times as hard to get your followers on social media to pay attention to the political process for more than a moment.  You love to debate because you are a ‘talker’ and ‘bright’, well start while you are in Opposition with small gatherings, engage and invite the wider public to open talks lasting 2 hrs. With youth comes energy and vigor. If you are patriotic and believe in your party as you profess, then let us see how you will operate within the next 4 years. Will you stay or will you leave or cross the isle? Are you going to try to heal the cancer in your constituency or are you going to continue with the blame game? Politics is not for the faint of hearted. It is not the strength of your mouth that shows your conviction rather it is your longevity to the ‘movement’ with success in retaining your seat for minimum 3 terms that separates the book smarts from the people smarts. It would be good to strike a balance between book and people smarts, but for the last 4 years we did not see nor did we get that from the young and brightest in the Peoples National Party.


 

EOJ promises results of official vote count by Monday

 (Jamaica Gleaner) Friday | February 26, 2016 | 5:45 PM
 
 
The EOJ says counting is taking place in the designated counting centres in each constituency except for five.
 
The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) says the final counting of ballots cast in yesterday’s general elections is expected to be completed by Monday.

Final counting for all constituencies across the island began Friday.

The EOJ says counting is taking place in the designated counting centres in each constituency except for five.

Counting for St Andrew Eastern, St Ann South Western, St Mary South Eastern and St Catherine North Eastern is being done at the EOJ’s Head Office at Duke Street Kingston.

The counting of votes for St James Southern is being done at the EOJ’s Regional Office in Montego Bay.

The Director of Elections Orrette Fisher reportedly made the decision to provide closer monitoring for the final count in constituencies where the preliminary results were particularly close.

Based on the preliminary count, the Jamaica Labour Party has won 33 seats, and the People’s National Party 30 of the 63 seats available.

While voter turnout was below 47.7 percent, Fisher says he is pleased with the proceedings on Election Day.

 

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Jamaican Born Chef – Winner Of Food Network Chopped – Yesssssss!!!!!!

What a wonderful achievement for this Jamaican Chef who only left the shores of his homeland recently in 2014.  Two (2) years ago and look where he is now.  An excellent series the Food Network’s Chopped is as I am often an avid viewer who often wondered when we would see one of own take the crown.

We have Jamaica’s solid foundation in our education system on display here.  With Chef Andre being educated at Donald Quarrie High School, then moving on to the HEART Academy only solidifies that talent can be found at any learning institution on the Roc.

Congratulations Chef, you have made Jamaica proud and where you go from here can only propel you to gain further international recognition as ‘good food’ is one of the greatest pleasures of indulgence on Planet Earth.


 

Jamaican chef wins Food Network’s Chopped

(Jamaica Observer) Wednesday, February 24, 2016 | 12:37 AM     50 Comments

 
Andre Fowles (second right) with his competitors on the Food Network’s Chopped. (Photo: Twitter.com)

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaican-born Andre Fowles was victorious on Tuesday when he lined up on the Food Network’s highly acclaimed series Chopped.

With Caribbean cuisine as the focus of Tuesday night’s flavour-filled show, he walked away as the winner.

Fowles, who is currently the resident sous-chef at Miss Lily’s — an authentic, vibrant Jamaican restaurant in New York — left Jamaica in 2014.

Prior to joining the team at Miss Lily’s, Fowles worked for two years as chef de partie under the tutelage of Martin Maginley, multi-award-winning chef at the cashmere-chic Round Hill Hotel & Villas. He also worked at Kingston’s celebrated Mac’s Chop House under the celebrated Mario Machado.

 Originally from Kingston, Fowles attended Donald Quarrie High School and was trained at the Runaway Bay HEART Academy. He credits his grandmother, Veronica Davis, affectionately called ‘Mama Cherry’ for his foray into the culinary arena.

More information later.

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The Vilification of Jamaica’s Prime Minister Continues – Our Self Hatred Is Forever Imminent

One really does not need to outline the accomplishments of Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller.  It has to take outsiders to recognise and give this woman the respect she deserves.  People are people and they will speak in any fashion they choose when they get ‘caught up’.  Just look at the USA Presidential campaign and the fore runner  whose mouth is as foul as any fish monger.  What has the Prime Minister said to deserve ‘scrutiny’ of her words at this present time?

I get it.  There is an underscore of Jamaicans who do not like the Prime Minister because she looks like them.  Let me break it down for you.   You suffer from self hate.  Chances are you ‘screwed’ your way up the corporate ladder irrespective of your certification.   You constantly compete with young people.  When you travel outside of Jamaica you are classified as a ‘nigger’.  Your academic achievements are never acknowledged as the colour of your skin is noticed first and foremost.  Your eloquence is only applauded in Jamaica by those who suffer from your unfortunate self hatred.  You grave for attention and so want to be accepted by the Jamaican whites who are remnants of plantation ‘livity’. 

You cannot change the colour of your skin as each time you ‘tone’ you are constantly reminded of who you are and where you came from.   Your childhood was riddled with many sad memories that you cannot seem to move on from.  Even though you have made it out of the ‘trauma’ or embarrassing lifestyle through no fault of your own as you were a child, you resent the ‘black’ woman who has not only surpassed her humble beginnings but still succeeds despite the odds to get up each and every morning, thank the Lord for her achievements and accomplishments while leading a team of independent thinking men and women.

While you have some money, maybe the house and the flash car, the man, the children, you are still internally unhappy as you live a life of pretense and the voice and sight of Prime Minister Portia Simper-Miller sends you into total envy, grudgefulness and venom of the worst kind.  You may also live outside of this country and qualified as you are, how high profile are you in another man’s country?  Those living on the Roc, your only escape from your misery is that you fail to admit, that the more you achieve if you achieve at all, you have become more bitter of your own self.  Instead of addressing your deep seated issues bordered on your upbringing as a child, you continue to spew venom at a woman that the more you chastise is the more you have elevated her on a pinnacle that even while on your back or hands and knees making your payments, you will never be able to hold a candle to her.

We know of the coconuts that reside on the Roc.  Who are they?  The black skinned people that have acquired and believe they are ‘white’.  Those who look white, you are fully aware that when you leave this soil and touch on ‘foreign’ quarters you are considered a ‘nigger’.  Self hatred affects the haves and the have nots, the educated and the uneducated and no matter how you dress to cover your self hatred the level of toxicity is too high.  Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller is an authentic woman, many of you are only carbon copies as you do not have a clue how to be your natural self.


 

After the shooting… what Portia said

(Jamaica Gleaner) Published:Wednesday | February 24, 2016 | 12:28 AM (35 Comments)
 
 
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Arnaldo Brown, St Catherine East Central standard bearer surrounded by police personnel after the shooting – Gladstone Taylor Photo
 
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller is being scrutinised for her comments after gunshots rang out at a meeting in her St Andrew South Western constituency on Tuesday night.

Two people were shot and injured and at least 27 others injured in an ensuing stampede.

Here are some of the Prime Minister’s comments from the platform after the shooting:

“Whoever was the evil that was sent here to do what has happened earlier will recognise that members of the People’s National Party are never afraid of anyone. I am going to find out who did it and it doesn’t matter what constituency they come from, neighbouring or otherwise. I am going to deal with it. Comrades, you know, I’ve been wondering and I said it to someone that if other meetings were disrupted, when is it they would disrupt a meeting for us. 

“I have a request for the Jamaica Constabulary representatives. What happened here tonight must never be overlooked because some others want our meeting to look like some other meetings. But what they do not understand about PNP people; we are never afraid, we are not afraid of anyone. And I want to thank the police for the way they have handled the situation but ask that it be investigated because we are not like the other party. This is a loving, peaceful party, the People’s National Party, founded by Norman Washington Manley.” 

 

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LESS THAN 48 HRS BEFORE JAMAICA’S GENERAL ELECTION – WHO IS MORE DESPERATE FOR POWER – YOU DECIDE

To give you an idea of the seriousness of this upcoming general election take a view those of you thousands and thousands of miles away called the ‘Diaspora’.  Those living on the Roc who are aware or interested in the political process, take a view also.

It is a tragedy when our illiterate are mislead.  However, when our educated who have at least at minimum, a 9th grade education and those at the tertiary level fail to read and reason, one wonders if education is all that it is cracked up to be.     Whatever you stand for, your children most likely will stand for.  YOU should be your children role model not social media, dancehall, hollywood, bollywood or jammywood.  Start debating the issues of life with them and less on the flosses of life.  If they are not able to debate the issues of life when they reach teenagers, then when they become adults you better be prepared to continue to nurture them and also their children.  What are you reading and what are your kids reading?  Propaganda is ingrained in your psyche and if you can’t reason on that as Adults, then you surely will not be able to prepare the next generation.  Do you want your child to become a follower or a leader?  Surely we cannot all become leaders but we can become wise followers if we know how to debate the issues of substance.  


 

 

Deceitful act! Police commissioner blasts use of cops’ images on JLP fliers

 

(Jamaica Gleaner) Tuesday | February 23, 2016 | 3:33 PM
 
Police Commissioner, Dr. Carl Williams, has blasted unscrupulous persons who have used the images of images of members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to create campaign paraphernalia for the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

In statement today, Dr. Williams says persons took a photograph posted on its official Facebook page in 2012 and manipulated the image the give impression that the five on-duty police personnel and by extension the JCF, are a part of the JLP’s campaign machinery. 

He says the use of image in this fashion is an unfortunate and deceitful act.

According to the police commissioner, the action has put the members in an uncomfortable position and at risk of unnecessary negative attention, especially during this emotionally-charged period.

Williams stresses that the creation and publication of these images in no way defines the political position of the organisation emphasising that the JCF is a neutral body.

He says he condemns the use of these images, and explicitly notes that the JCF categorically distances itself from these images and their designer.

The police commissioner says the JCF cannot afford and will not allow the continued use of the images which he says may serve to malign the professional conduct which the Police have and will continue to display during the election period.

Meanwhile, Williams reiterated that all police personnel should desist from overt expressions of support for one party or another.

He points that this is prohibited as outlined in the JCF’s Book of Rules.

The police commissioner says the Inspectorate of Constabulary will be monitoring the general professionalism of members on Election Day and will investigate reports of police misconduct or unprofessional behaviour.

He says any member who acts in a manner counter to the set rules of operations will be severely dealt with.

*Note: Earlier we reported that the Police Commissioner Dr. Carl Williams blasted the JLP for the unauthorised use of the images of JCF members as part of its election campaign. Dr Williams did not name the JLP in his statement but spoke to person(s) who created the paraphernalia for the JLP.  

Juliet Holness, brother file suit against Phillips and four other PNP sympathisers

(Jamaica Gleaner) Published:Tuesday | February 23, 2016 | 1:35 PM
 
Juliet Holness and Andrew Holness exchange words at a JLP gathering. 

The wife of the Leader of the Opposition Juliet Holness and her brother Stephen Landell have filed a lawsuit against the Minister of Finance and Planning Dr Peter Phillips  and four others arising from what they described as false,  malicious and defamatory statements made against Mrs Holness twice this month.

The other defendants:

1. Omar Newell, a PNP executive member; the general secretary of The Patriots, the PNP Region II  secretary and operator of a twitter account

2. Dorothy Buchanan, the operator of a Facebook account, a PNP sympathiser  and the mother of PNP St Elizabeth South West, Hugh Buchanan

3. Kadia Francis, the operator of a Facebook account special assistant to Arnaldo Brown at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

4. Kerron (Zabby) Woods Saunders, the operator of a Facebook account.a franchise protection officer at Jamaica Urban Transit Company, a PNP sympathiser.

Attorney-at-law Chukwuemeka Cameron who is representing the claimants explained that it was not just an ordinary libel suit that was filed but it is also a claim in which declarations are being sought from the court to protect the rights of citizens to  free and  fair elections.

Mrs Holness is seeking several declarations, one of which is that, by publishing  the untrue statement Dr Phillips created conditions that are not conducive to the attainment of free and fair elections.

She is also seeking an injunction to bar the defendants from making any further alleged defamatory comments.

She contends in court documents that the public relations campaign which centred around the untrue and defamatory words was calculated to ensure that the PNP would win the seat that she is contesting and ultimately ensure that the PNP is returned to power.

The suit stemmed from comments allegedly made by Dr Phillips at  presence conference held by the  People’s National Party on February 12 and at a mass rally in Manchester on February 14.

Mrs Holness, a real  estate developer,  is a Jamaica Labour Party candidate for St Andrew East Rural in the general election on Thursday.

The claimants outlined in court documents that the defamatory remarks by Dr Phillips were made in relation to his call for the Leader of the Opposition to disclose  to the public, the source of the funds for the construction of his Beverly Hills mansion.

They said Dr Phillips knew that the media would be present at both meetings  and therefore it was natural and foreseeable that the said words would be published in the electronic and published media.

They contend that Dr  Phillips intended that the alleged defamatory words would be republished in the mass media as part of the campaign strategy to destroy Mrs Holness’ integrity.

She further claims that Phillips made the alleged defamatory statement with the improper motive of ensuring her defeat at the polls on February 25.

Stephen Landall, a critical care nurse, living in New York, and Mrs’ Holness’ only brother, is suing because of comments allegedly made about him by persons who responded to the statements made by Phillips.

Comments made by some persons on social media allegedly described convicted Jamaican drug dealer Andrew Wayne Landells who is serving a sentence of 15 years in the USA as Mrs Holness’ brother.

Mrs Holness said since the publications, she has assisted her parents to issue photographs of her brother as well as a press release to make it known that the convicted drug dealer was not related to them.

Mrs Holness claims that Dr Phillips as campaign manager published the alleged defamatory statements knowing that the voting public considers integrity to be an important issue in determining who they vote for.

She said he published the statements knowing that it was public knowledge that she was the wife of JLP Leader Andrew Holness, she was a real estate developer and that she was responsible for the construction of the house. She claims that Dr Phillips was aware of the false and defamatory publications on social media  about her and her brother prior to the mass rally in Manchester on February 14 .

 She  contends that Dr Phillips was aware that ordinary persons and media practitioners would believe that when he asks or frame questions in a certain manner, he has information or evidence to support it.

Mrs Holness further claims that based on his position and as former Minister of National Security, the members of the public would place heavy weight on his utterances as he had at all material times the “strategic objective of investigating, preventing and managing enforcement of financial crimes such as money laundering.”

The claimants say they will be seeking an injunction to bar Dr Phillips and the other defendants from continuing the alleged defamatory statements.

They also say they will be seeking damages for slander and libel.

They are seeking aggravated damages for the alleged defamatory words published, and exemplary damages to express the sense of outrage that the conduct of the defendants allegedly evoked.  

JLP writes to Political Ombudsman about possible Election Day fraud

(Jamaica Gleaner)Published:Tuesday | February 23, 2016 | 4:10 PM
 
 
Johnson Smith: We have heard from credible sources that yesterday electoral ink was removed from the stock of the Electoral Office.
 
The Jamaica Labour (JLP) has written to the Political Ombudsman expressing concern about misconduct on Election Day by People’s National Party (PNP) supporters.

The party says it has come to its attention that PNP supporters intend to disrupt the election process.

“We have heard from credible sources that yesterday electoral ink was removed from the stock of the Electoral Office issued or in use for the purposes of voting by the security forces and election-day workers,” said Kamina Johnson Smith, JLP spokesperson in a media release.

According to her, a reported has also been filed to the Commissioner of Police and the Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica and the JLP expects a full investigation by all relevant parties. 

The party is urging Jamaicans to be on the lookout for any misconduct during the election process leading up to and on Election Day.

“We will not stand for any attempt at subverting the rights of Jamaicans to vote, nor allow our democratic process to be tainted. Our supporters will be on alert for any attempt at voter fraud,” said Johnson Smith.

She says people  should immediately report irregularities to the Electoral Commission.

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Cop Shoots Brother To Death On Valentines Day, How Was Yours???

Should we be shocked or mortified at this outcome?  Raw emotions are instant and so immediately you utter, ‘Oh my God’.   How often do we hear of this type of killing on the Roc?   Often enough, sad reality.

Many human beings are evil, volatile, and devoid of loyalty to the blood line.  True enough we do not choose our bloodline but clearly there are those whose stories will make you think twice about ones loyalty to ‘family’. 

With that said this particular story states of a Valentines dinner that went sour leading to the pulling of a firearm, then discharging finally dead on the spot is the brother.  This unfolded in front of their Mother and Father who apparently brought them into the World?   Was there a feud between the two siblings prior?  If there was hatred, why attend a dinner?  All unanswered questions to the public that matters naught as the tragedy cannot be reversed. The brother who committed this evil act being a Police makes no difference to me as word on the Roc is that too many Officers are licensed murderers. 

What I find alarming though is the possibility may have existed where the cop had no love for his brother and sooner or later he would have murdered him in cold blood.   He aimed for his brother’s head, not his shoulder, leg, or hands, but an area where more times than not death is sure to come.  No use in running, so he surrenders himself to his colleagues.

What kind of fate do you think this being should receive?  How do a mother and father recover from this real vision?  I am told when a parent or parents have to bury their child it is the worst pain ever?

I shudder when I imagine it all!!!!!!!!!


Cop surrenders after allegedly killing brother at dinner

(Jamaica Gleaner) Monday | February 15, 2016 | 9:55 AM
 
A police constable attached to the Sav-la-mar Police Station in Westmoreland has been arrested in connection with the murder of his brother, 36-year-old Mark Bernard a labourer of Hatfield District in the parish.
It is reported that around 4 p.m yesterday, Valentine’s Day, the cop and his brother were having dinner at home in Hatfield with both parents when an argument developed.
The parents reportedly intervened, however, the policeman pulled his licensed firearm and fired hitting Bernard in the forehead.
He died on the spot.
 
The cop then reportedly drove to the Sav-la-mar police station and surrendered.
Investigators say the policeman’s licensed firearm has been seized and statements are being collected from alleged witnesses.
A probe is also being undertaken by the Independent Commission of Investigations.
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Opposition Leader, Andrew Holness Mansion – Back In The Press 2016 – Campaign Advert For Whom???

Oh how we like to dodge and pass the buck. Would it not be refreshing for those who claim to be new and different to just declare their hands? Wishful thinking and therein lies the hypocrisy of those in governance. I am of the firm belief that when you choose to go public and ‘drop word’ you must make sure your house is well clean and worthy of any inspection from the ‘health department’.

When this first hit the media, I was of the view that badmind, envy and grudgefullness was at the core. Not saying there are those related or unrelated do not feel those emotions, but I must understand that we have a public figure who speaks to accountability, corruption and all the ills that face our Nation. In so doing, such an individual seeking the highest office on the Land has to be able to prove his income can afford his luxuries. After all, the figures are now in, and my word we are talking about multi millions of dollars. From the time of purchase, to the start of construction all while he was Prime Minster for a whole two months, begs the question. Could it be a coincidence? There is a view that coincidences are not all what they are cracked up to be. In any event, business people are subject to scrutiny from our Government, so why not the Opposition Leader.   Should he answer the questions? Definitely, yes, he should as he must be held up to scrutiny as he must practice what he preaches.   To turn around and say those in Government should do the same does not preclude him from declaring his hand at the time given.

While the dodging continues and time elapses, there is an upcoming Election and the PNP is making use of every opportunity and time they have to campaign. The longer the Opposition Leader drags out this soap opera by delays and tactics, is the longer the Party remains in Opposition. One man can make a difference, but one man cannot run a political party. A ‘Team’ is needed and it has to be a winning team.


 

Opposition Leader yet to answer questions over purchase of St Andrew property

Holness needs to answer questions, says Phillips

(Jamaica Observer) Sunday, February 14, 2016     37 Comments 

An aerial view of Andrew Holness’s house in Beverly Hills, St Andrew.

The verbal wound that has affected the body of Opposition Leader Andrew Holness continues to bleed as the senior politician has still not responded to questions surrounding the purchase of land on which he is building a mansion in Beverly Hills, St Andrew.

Calls have been made by the governing People’s National Party (PNP) for full disclosure in a transaction which involved Holness, but the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader has not yet budged, although his critics believe that there are clear questions for him to answer.

One of the questions being asked pertains to an application for a registered title from the Office of Titles in July 2011. Documents obtained by the Jamaica Observer revealed that the initial application for the title was returned to him, as the Titles Office sought additional information to allow for processing.

Among the reasons given for the documents return were 


(1) to “state the occasion on which Andrew M Holness signed the transfer

(2) ”to print the transferor’s first name in the signing clause; and

(3) “to initial all amendments.”

The office asked Holness to correct and relodge his documents, which was later done.

However, the queer revelation that the land was purchased through a St Lucia-based company named ADMAT Incorporated, which listed Holness as a director, opened the door to greater scrutiny. The puzzling disclosure of a line on the application for the title carried the words “signed while on a visit to Jamaica”, although at the time he was the minister of education and lived in his homeland.

The documents bear a signature that is consistent with signatures of the Opposition leader on other documents that he had signed.

The Titles Office document states the purchase price as US$300,000 (or about J$25.8 million at the time).

Holness would later become prime minister, replacing Bruce Golding who resigned in October 2011. However, having served just over two months in the highest political seat of the land, Holness’ party lost the General Election to the Portia Simpson Miller-led PNP.

The Titles Office document states that land transaction was handled by attorney-at-law Patrick Bailey and that attorney-at-law Julliet Mair-Rose represented the vendor, Carmen Sylvia Brown.

Contacted yesterday, Holness said that he was planning to host a news conference today, and promised to answer yesterday some of the questions posed by the Sunday Observer, but did not provide the information as the newspaper went to press.

PNP Campaign Director Dr Peter Phillips told a news conference at the PNP’s headquarters on Friday that the Opposition leader needed to answer some pertinent questions on the purchase of the land.

Phillips said that it was important for Holness to declare his assets and, specifically, to respond to questions over the purchase of the land, and the subsequent construction of his house, estimated by two quantity surveyors to cost close to $200 million to construct.

Last year June, JLP insiders told the Sunday Observer that questions about Holness’ judgement in building the massive house at the time had re-emerged in the party.

“The party knows that it will be one of the biggest advertising tools against us in the next election,” one JLP insider said.

In response to critics Holness had pointed out that he and his wife Juliet – who is a real estate developer – had been building the house for the past three years and that they have been frugal in their spending.

“About seven years ago I purchased an undeveloped piece of land which I originally intended to hold and develop sometime in the future. However, considering my family needs, my age, and the likely greater future demands on my time and attention, I decided that now was the right time to build,” Holness said in a statement to the Sunday Observer at the time.

“We started construction in September 2012. The terrain was steep and rocky, so we spent the first six months hammering rocks to create useable space for building and amenities. We ended up having so much stones that it made practical sense to use them to build all our walls rather than using conventional block and steel. And using the stones saved us the cost of trucking them away,” Holness explained.

He said that he and his wife project-manage the construction themselves, which allows them to go at their own pace and within their budget. The result is that the work has been going longer than they expected, but given the calls on their time, they don’t make it a priority or their current focus.

“I know it has attracted much attention, and rightly so. Public figures must get used to the fact that the public will be interested in what we do, how we live, where we get our money, and to whom we are obligated. Though I am an intensely private person by nature, I have learned to live in the public’s attention,” Holness said.

“It is also particularly important that there is transparency to assure the public and donors that politicians are not enriching themselves off the public purse or peddling influence. I have always taken a tough stance against corruption and influence peddling, and have kept far from even the suggestion of any such thing. This is why I am a strong supporter of regulating political party registration and financing,” the Opposition leader added.

“We are well aware that, aside from the legitimate questions of the public, much of the talk is politically motivated. From my certain knowledge there are other public officials, including ministers of Government, mayors and others who are also building. Like me, they are required to make yearly declarations to the Integrity Commission,” Holness said.

He said that the public’s comments are not always informed by facts, and in the gap between the facts and what detractors try to manipulate is a lot of room for mischief.

“We have heard some ridiculous figures being bandied about cost. If I had that magnitude of funds I would be finished building long ago,” he said. “Juliet and I often laugh to ourselves when we hear the things people speculate. If they only knew the hard work we put in.”

Holness said that while he celebrated the success and achievement of hard-working people, he was disappointed that there are those who make success and achievement a bad thing. “It is a way of thinking that makes us poorer,” he argued.

“I would want every hard-working Jamaican to be successful. I preach shared prosperity, not shared poverty. So for every Jamaican who is building your dream, keep on building and ignore the haters,” he said.

 

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Unity For A ‘Movement’ Bigger Than Self – Damion Crawford, Peter Blake, Imani Duncan-Price

The United States of America is in the middle of campaign fever. The likes of Bernie Saunders and Hillary Clinton vying for the democratic nomination remain interesting. On the Republican side you have Billionaire Donald Trump whose f…..bombs and p…..bombs seem to delight the crowds, what will they have next?

On the Roc we are experiencing a campaign like carnival with the ruling PNP canvassing the ground and the Opposition Party pooling their energy in a debate which we may or may not have.

In all the hoopla, I maintain that politics is not for the faint of hearted. Apparent strife, division, down right crudeness, the rise and fall of ‘one hit wonders’ left many believing that rebounding from such fracas was surely not going to come about in time for early General Elections by the PNP.   Here we have Damion Crawford, one of the most popular, talkative, opinionated youngsters ranked as a ‘one hit wonder’. Who would have thought he would have surfaced with the grapevine and propaganda chatter of his departure from the ‘Movement’? He has surfaced and by all accounts appears by his actions to be part of the PNP and genuinely so. To be knocked off your podium early on when youth is on your side can put you in poll position to be the best you can possibly become in a movement that is tailor made for a personality as Crawford’s. The ‘trick’ is to understand that greatness can come from ‘one hit wonders’ as long as personal development, respect for those who paved the way irrespective of personality traits is embraced. Being a mentee while being a mentor to someone else is possible. Practicing gratitude daily as your life is your own to chart and being open to learn from others regardless of their academic achievements.

Politics is not for the faint of hearted. If the intention is to serve then there is no way one can wallow in self pity and ‘tek wey demself’. Falling is always part of the process…………………….


 

 

Damion Crawford has a lot more left in him, says Portia

(Jamaica Gleaner) Saturday | February 13, 2016 |
Damion Crawford. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has said that Crawford is her son in whom she is well pleased. 

Hours after Damion Crawford declared “I shall return”, People’s National Party (PNP) president Portia Simpson Miller on Friday said she will ensure he has a bright political future.

“Comrade Damion Crawford is my son in whom I am well pleased”, Simpson Miller said.

“He has a lot more left in him to serve the People’s National Party and to serve the people of Jamaica and I will see to that”, she said.

The sidelined PNP member has joined forces with his old team in East Rural St Andrew in a bid to ensure the seat is retained in the upcoming general elections.

“I want to commend Comrade Peter Blake and Comrade Crawford for working with Comrade Imani in true PNP spirit”, she said.

Crawford was replaced as the PNP standard bearer for East Rural St Andrew in an internal election.

Peter Blake, the man who beat him in the run-off was not given the torch.

The job was instead given to Imani Duncan Price who, on February 25 will be running against Juliet Holness, the wife of Opposition JLP Leader Andrew Holesss.

“She is a young start in the People’s National Party. She is replacing another bright young star of the PNP”, Simpson Miller said of Duncan Price.

Yesterday, Crawford, dressed in a pair of blue jeans and white shirt joined Duncan Price and members of the campaign team on stage at a PNP Youth Rally, sending the people into a frenzy.

“Unity in PNP family”, Duncan Price, the PNP candidate said.

Despite his attempts to contain the crowd he was drowned out by the horns and vuvuzuela.

“Hol on. Wi nuh gone nuh weh. Wi deh yah same way”, Crawford said, pulling the popular Mavado song.

But before he could further speak, PNP president Portia Simpson Miller arrived and Crawford’s time at the microphone expired.

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Serena Williams Gives To Jamaica – We Say Thank You

Do you always see the glass half empty or half full?  It is all in ones perception, the mind. 

Ever so often if you are aware on ‘wata gwaan pon di Roc’, you should become nostalgic at the possibilities. The possibility that we are not a lost cause nor are all our Leaders in governance so. There is much to be celebrated and more importantly the reality that outsiders not related to this Land do care. Their care followed by well needed support whether cash or kind is bordered on ‘no strings attached’. These are the philanthropists of our time. They are not all old white men who are bored with their billions and choose to spread their wealth to others. In fact absolutely nothing is wrong with that notion on second thoughts. How easy is it for the majority to part from their money regardless if they can spend it all or not? Let us not talk about tax relief. To be involved and donate takes an element of real compassion and awareness of ones purpose in life when one is blessed to be financially wealthy.

Giving the few hundreds and thousands in local currency is one thing but when you hear of those who give serious amounts of US$ or foreign country is commendable I opine. We hear names of many in the social arena that are supposedly wealthy yet really hear of their involvement in the ‘little much’ that impact will affect ‘much much’. Yes, they may very well choose to be anonymous, yet I doubt that is the case. Our people like to be noticed with attention likened to their own spin of celebrities. So being anonymous when philanthropy will ensure they remain on the front page, I find that hard to imagine. I could be wrong, but that is my view.

Salt Marsh Primary School in Trelawny had the helping hands of one of Tennis greats. One who is likened to be the very best this sport has seen in decades. One who chose Jamaica as the Land she will share her resources with through Education. No hype, no entourage, no bling bling, no floss just a visit to cut the ribbon and showing her support and elation at a job well done. Splendid I say, rather splendid!!!!!


 

 

Finally finished! Serena Williams elated after helping to build school in Usain Bolt’s birth parish

(Jamaica Gleaner) Wednesday | February 10, 2016 | 3:32 PM
 
 
In this screen grab taken from Serena Williams’ Insta vid Williams cuts the ribbon to a newly built school in Jamaica. The tennis star captioned the video: “After all the hard work, the school is finally finished!”.
 
Serena Williams did not win the title at the Australian Open last month, but she is a true winner putting her toned arms to work in Jamaica.

The tennis star posted a video on her Instagram page today showing her cutting the ribbon to the newly built school on the island.

Williams made sure to participate and get her hands dirty as she partnered with the Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation to build the school.

An elated Williams tweeted that the school is ‘finally finished!’.

In the Instagram post, which also featured local entertainer Sean Paul, Williams is seen cutting the ribbon to the newly built Salt Marsh Primary School in Trelawny.

Trelawny is the birth parish of track star Usain Bolt.   

 

 

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Nigerian Eye Doctor Charged In JA!!!!

What do you mean by ‘working without authorisation’?   Is it that the Nigerian optometrist is an ‘illegal’ on the Island or he is not a certified optometrist?   I am not of the legal mind and so are many of our readers, so simplicity and clarity are sought.  I will proffer regardless.

I have already told you that ‘wen u bemoan di migration move of our supposedly brightest, understand sey migration a gwaan from ‘Whappy kill Phillup’, an it nah stap’.  Lee Chin, Billionaire on Jamaica’s soil wrote a few days ago that whilst we complain and do nothing for ourselves, others will come to this Island and reap.  My sentiments exactly.

We are told by Economists that  despite the country’s  ills,  Nigeria is ‘where its act’ as it relates to ‘boom’ in the economy.  It sports Oil, and when you have that commodity your country is considered rich.  Despite the terrorists group Boko Haram, with a population exceeding 150 million Nigeria is still profiled as the Country where entrepreneurs can prosper and the rich become richer.

Not so long ago the media reported on a foreign Dentist who was practicing without a license on the Roc. In fact his license was suspended from a State in the good ole USA, yet he found refuge here. No follow up has been reported on that case. So why come to Jamaica I ask?  In comparison to Nigeria, the USA and what many on the Roc want to espouse, ‘wi nuh mash up?’


Nigerian optometrist accused of working without authorisation, charged

(Jamaica Observer) Saturday, February 06, 2016 | 9:43 AM     

ST JAMES, Jamaica — The Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) on Thursday arrested and charged a Nigerian optometrist in Montego Bay, St James.

He is Henry Nwankwo, who is of a St James address.

A news release from MOCA said Nwankwo was charged following an interview, which was conducted in the presence of his attorney, for breaching the Opticians Act.

It is alleged that he was practicing in the field without the required authorisation.

 He as since been offered bail in the sum of $200,000 with sureties and will appear in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate’s Court on February 17, 2016.

MOCA said investigation into the matter are continuing.

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‘Nervous Fi Travel Pon Flat Bridge?’ – No More Worries!!!!!!!

Both the Government and Opposition can agree that this is a marvelous accomplishment and worth the wait.   It is so easy to forget where we were coming from in terms of ‘Roads’. I for one used to lament at the length of time it took to traverse from Kingston to Portmore using the causeway. From Kingston to our resort towns I would literally feel ‘mash up’ as if I travelled to London England. Not to mention the wear and tear on the motor vehicle. Remember the days of serious potholes, where you dodge one only to land in a ‘worsera’ one. By the time ‘u sey who dat, u shocks gaan’. Talk about time is money, ‘nuff money lose’ as time meant nothing when traversing on the roads hoping to get to your destination on time.

Our Island is under 3 million but our landscape is vast and as such when you look at the highways, we must say honestly that it was long overdue and indeed a necessity.   ‘Any ting free nuh good’ and so we must pay a fee that represents the quality of works carried out that will leave a huge savings on our pockets. If your journey is reduced by more than 45 minutes that is a big saving in itself and we must be mature about that reality. There is much more to come and much more is needed, however, progress has been made thus far considering we have more people owning and driving vehicles than we did 20 years ago. I will be bold enough to say there are those that have it good now as they would not have a clue as to the experiences I referred to in earlier paragraphs.

No more Flat Bridge and the Gorge for me!!!!!!!!


 

Bye, Flat Bridge

(Jamaica Observer) Friday, February 05, 2016     64 Comments

A section of the Angels-Linstead leg of the north-south link of Highway 2000, which will be opened to the public on Monday.

JAMAICANS now have a “real” alternative to the Bog Walk Gorge and the feared and ill-fated Flat Bridge which spans the Rio Cobre.

Come Monday, motorists will be able to bypass the gorge when the Angels to Linstead leg of the north-south link of Highway 2000 is opened to the public.

Yesterday Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller helped to cut the ribbon at the Angels Toll Plaza to officially open the link.

Motorists will be able to use the new section of the highway for a month without having to pay a toll.

Simpson Miller, in an address at the opening, said the construction of the highway was an indication of Government’s commitment to modernise Jamaica.

She said the entire north-south highway project, built by China Harbour Engineering Company, will “trigger massive investments” in housing and business along the route.

Omar Davies, the minister of transport, works and housing, said the new leg of the highway will have an immediate impact on the travelling public. “Not only will it radically reduce the travel time between Angels and Moneague [in St Ann], but it will make obsolete the challenges which have come to typify travel through the Bog Walk Gorge,” Davies said.

“Never again will flooding of the Bog Walk Gorge be the cause of delays and danger for the travelling public,” the minister added, in reference to lives lost and motorists trapped in the gorge during flooding.

Davies said that travel time between Caymanas, off the Mandela Highway in St Catherine, and Mammee Bay, in Ocho Rios, St Ann, will be 45 minutes or less when the other stretches of the North-South Highway are formally opened in a few weeks.

Mike Henry, the Opposition spokesman on transport, lauded the opening of the new highway leg, and again promised that trains will run again in Jamaica if his Jamaica Labour Party forms the next Government.

 

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