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12/08/09

Permalink 01:50:27 pm, by Melba
Categories: Entertainment, Commentary

Gully/Gaza Feud

Just when you loose all faith in the police force they do something that makes you have to think again. “Action, not a bag a mouth’, that’s what we all want to see. I don’t know about you but I’m pleased to finally see something being done about the Gully, Gaza feud. It was really getting out of hand. The police are finally tackling the problem from the root which makes a lot of sense.

 

Apparently the police are preventing all performances involving either of the dancehall artists Adidja Palmer otherwise known as (aka) Vybz Kartel, or David Brooks aka Mavado. I really feel it for the promoters who invest a lot of money into these shows and then have to call them off however the safely of our people is paramount. I wondered about the Usain Bolt party that advertised Vybz Kartel but apparently he did not get to perform either. Which I think is very commendable as the police cannot afford to be bias.  

 

I think everyone realized that if the feuding was allowed to continue then the anticipated clash at Sting on December 26 this year had the potential to become a physical clash of followers in stead of the usual lyrical clash of artists. Even the Prime Minister, Bruce Golding has had to get involve and is scheduled to meet with the artists Vybz Kartel and Movado today. It’s really a shame when the head of the nation has to get involved with things such as this however the life of every Jamaican is too precious to procrastinate.

 

The clash of the Gaza and Gully followers on Manning Hill, where persons were left nursing machete and knife wounds is a prime example of the potential the feuding has for violence. Not to mention the rivalry in our schools. In fact recently I have noticed several communities throughout the corporate area where either the word Gaza or Gully has been painted on walls and sidewalks.

 

Enough is enough. As I heard someone say, both the artist Vybz Kartel and Mavado are milking this for everything they can. We must stop them in every way we can. Stop giving them so much airplay; stop them from performing and giving them the opportunity to motivate their followers. I really wonder if most of these artists realize the influence that they have especially over our young people. Obviously no one has explained to them that with such power comes responsibility. Well I really hope that the talks with both Kartel and Mavado go well today and that finally we can see an end to this Gully, Gaza non-sense.

 

Nuff Love

Permalink 11:01:03 am, by sweets
Categories: Entertainment, Culture, Health

Christmas Ham

Christmas Ham

 

 

It’s Christmas countdown, 15 days left for Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year.

 

I get quite excited especially at this time, because my head starts to tick like clock, as to what and how I will prepare for Christmas dinner and the table layout, running from the breakfront to the linen closet. “ Oh, what a thrill.”

 

Today, we’ll look at the Christmas preparation and a Christmas drink( separate and apart from sorrel which is a must).

Hams vary from size so I’ll just give some guidelines.

Remember you need to save the ham bone for good ole Gungo  Peas Soup for the new year

 

BAKED HAM

 

Place the ham, fat side up, on a rack in the shallow oven pan.

 

Bake in a moderately slow oven, allowing 15 -20 minutes per lb. Half an before it is finished, remove the ham from the oven, skin it, pour off the dripping, score the fat in a diamond shapes.

 

Stick in the whole cloves and pour over it some glaze. Mix together 1 cup brown sugar( 1 teaspoon dry mustard optional) 2 or 3 tablespoons pineapple or orange juice.

 

Garnish with pineapple and cherry.

 

 

DRAGON STOUT EGG NOG

 

Ingredients:

10 Eggs

2 Bottles DRAGON STOUT

1 cup condensed milk

1 cup evaporated milk

½ tsp grated nutmeg

juice of 2 limes

4 tsps vanilla

 

Method:

Blend all ingredients together. Serve over crushed ice.

 

 

12/07/09

Permalink 09:21:21 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Politics, Education

Quality of Judges of the Caribbean Court of Justice questioned

For a few years now, well actually for a long time now, Caribbean countries have all been trying to become more and more independent from our past rulers in Britain. I guess we just got pretty much tired of having to answer to these people who have oppressed our forefathers for years for their own benefit and have also raped our inherited countries (also for their own benefit), but either way, we want them gone. We have gotten rid of them for the most part but there are still parts of their rule that still linger, countries like Jamaica still have a governor general (the queen's representative) and still have the Privy Council as the highest court of appeal for our judicial system. In a fairly recent move to try to get rid of them we (CARICOM) have created a replacement for that court in the Caribbean Court of Justice.

For what should be a simple move for our government to make in implementing the CCJ as our highest court of appeal, the government has for years been coming under alot of fire for their decision. People say that, it will be too expensive to setup this court, when there is already an established court that we can just go to England as use. However to me it seems that these people are not completely thinking about this going to England part as the costs involved with this are massive (think plane fare, visa, filing the suit etc... all in English pounds... its now J$146 to one Pound sterling by the way). The other argument has been about the impartialness of the privy council, being based far away from the West Indies are free from all political pressure which it could possibly go under, and also that we wont have the same quality of judges as is available in England, this is a valid point but it should be noted that judges wont come from one island, it will come from many of them, also do we really have no respect for ourselves to believe that we cant be impartial about it and is it being implied that our current legal education system is rubbish?

An article in the gleaner states that prominent attorneys in Jamaica "not yet ready to welcome the CCJ and its judges, simply because he does not believe that the judges on the court now are of the same standard as those at the Privy Council. He said that if the CCJ will replace the long serving judges of the Privy Council, the judges chosen should be of equal or higher calibre. He seems less than impressed with the current set on the CCJ bench". Really now... is it me or is this man dissing himself? Or he doesnt realize it? The judges will be selected will all probably be his comrades who went to school with him or before him and is therefore questioning his own quality of education. I am in complete agreement with David Coore when he states that:

"I have always been a strong supporter. No doubt the Caribbean has produced jurists of the highest quality and we have shown that in the past, in the days of the Federation (of the West Indies), with the Federal Court of Appeal and the quality of that appeal court," he said.

Coore said the quality of the jurisprudence should also not be questioned, as the judgments that he has seen from the CCJ, which has been in operation since 2005 have been well thought out and reasoned.

And I think all other arguments dissing our caribbean court system should go and swivel! How dare you question the quality of your own people. Instead I question the quality of those Privy Council judges, they know nothing about the caribbean, they know nothing about our people, what we go through, our issues and have no right to be setting laws that we have to follow

Permalink 10:22:09 am, by sweets
Categories: Culture

Christmas Clean Up

Christmas  Spruce Up

 

 

Since the month of December started Christmas is fast approaching believe, ready or not,  “Chrismus a cum”. I  had to journey into Kingston to pick- up my daughter from school and as usual I, always trying to be ahead of the traffic because if you  “ linger around” in the city and peak hours, catch you, “ dog nyam yu supa”.

 

On my way home I made a stop at Berger Paints – Spanish Town Road,  the parking lot full to capacity, I started to wonder what’s going on- SALE SALE , free paint or what.

Guess what, 16 days left for Christmas, and you know we Jamaican love to paint and “ fix-up” for the season, who can’t afford paint use “white wash”, remember it, use to paint around tree trunks, stones and fencing.

 

I myself got in the painting mood, I decided to change the colour of my kitchen, these days we’re moving from the traditional colours ( whites, creams and so on), so the colour I decided on, had to specially mixed. Recession or no recession we Jamdowners love to spruce up, just spend within your budget and purchase less, for example if you usually purchase a 20lb ham this year you go for a 10lb, and make it “stretch”, cut the slices a little thinner and smaller, because there’s no Christmas without ham for all “trenton/pork eaters”.

 

This week, all the stuff should be out of the closet washed and getting ironed, clean out the cupboard, windows and so on one big cleanup. Yes! starting to feel a rush of excitement.

 

Walk good, catch up later.

 

Sweets.

12/05/09

Permalink 11:05:59 am, by Skillachi
Categories: Business

Rally Jamaica

My favourite time of year is marked by many things, one of which is Rally Jamaica. Now I love motorsports, and of all of them I love rally the most (F1 a close second). To me its a true showing of driver skill, and ability, and of cars being pushed to their limits. Rallying normally takes place off the beaten track (ie public roads) and are more popularly done in dirt, and gravel, however there are asphalt rallies and in countries outside of Jamaica there are also ice and snow rallies. Now ever year Jamaica gets the last of the regional rallies in Rally Jamaica which normally takes place in the first weekend of december. It is a two day rally to see who can cover the stages in the quickest time. There are many different classes of cars depending on their engine size, drivetrain, and modifications done. So there is some level of equality in that regard. However all of Jamaica's top drivers enter in the top 2 classes of JA9 and JA8. JA9 consists of turbo cars which are World Rally Championship level cars (with 2 litre or larger engines) and are therefore literally just made for rally racing, and JA8 are made of cars which are heavily modified but not exactly WRC level cars. So thats a basic look at rallying.

focus wrc

Now rally Jamaica is always exciting because it gets entrants from not only Jamaica but from all over the caribbean, and there is always a friendly competition going on to see whether or not the Trinis or the Bajans will take our title from us - This has never happened before, the RJ trophy has never left Jamaica, but the RT and RB trophies have all come to Jamaica before... hence the rivalry. This rivalry means that each years drivers come with better cars and hone their skills more to fight for the trophy.

Local drivers always seem to shine though. Drivers like Jeffery Panton, Gary Gregg, Richie Rerrie, Doug Gore and David Summerbell  are always the Jamaican drivers to look out for. These drivers, especially Jeffery and Gary are consistently the fastest entrants in the rally, especially if they enter with a proper car which gives no problems. However they have to compete against the likes of Paul Borne, James Betts, and Trevor 'Micey' Manning (didnt enter this year) all accomplished caribbean drivers who are highly competitive and who carry cars that generally mean business. But dont think this is a male only competition, there are also female drivers who are highly competitive as well, Natasha Chang is a name that sticks out among this list of female competitors who really scare the pants off alot of males.

natasha chang

All in all rally Jamaica is an exciting race and one which I eagerly look forward to every year. I'm late this year but I am going to watch it! So as the slogan for Rally Jamaica goes... Lets kick up some dust!

12/04/09

Permalink 06:09:54 pm, by sweets
Categories: Entertainment, Culture, Health

Must have Christmas Meals

Christmas Must Have – Yammins

 

Going to the market these days you’re seeing the christmas traditional must have, like you can now see the “little tinning cup” filled with shelled gungo seated between some of the gungo still in their secured pod. Each move I make “Nice lady, fresh gungo pint, half pint, gill any how much yu wan”.

Another must have is beautifully laid out “ dark red” sorrel( healthy – drink)ginger right beside it they both make a perfect match .

 

Here’s a guide for preparation  - Gungo Rice & Peas

 

Ingredients:

1 1/ 2lbs fresh green gungo

1lb rice

3 heads of eskellion – depending on size

1 sprig thyme

1 whole green scotch bonnet pepper

1 small dried coconut or 1 pack sachet of coconut powder4 cloves of garlic

12 pimento seeds

1 teaspoon seasoning salt

butter/margarine (optional)

 

Method:

Boil peas ( with pimento seed & garlic) until tender. Add coconut milk or sachet of coconut powder, thyme, pepper and seasoned salt and season taste.

Allow coconut milk to simmer and absorb seasoning. Reduce flame. Add rice and stir in continuously to allow rice & peas to be evenly distributed.

The flame can be increased at this time until boils and then reduce until rice is properly cooked.

Serve with Christmas meats.

                      

                                                      

Sorrel (Natural heart cleaner) there’s hardly any household you go and there’s no sorrel at this time of year

 

Ingredients:

3lbs sorrel

1/4lb ginger, washed, crushed and blended

12 whole cloves

6pt of boiling water

½ cup of overproof rum

½ lb granulated sugar or sweeten to taste

1tbsp rice

 

Method:

Wash sorrel sepals properly, put sorrel sepals, ginger, cloves and pimento seeds in a pot and pour on boiling water, cover with a clean cloth and set for a day.

A tablespoon of rice can be added to the sorrel to speed up the fermentation process.

Strain and sweeten with granulated sugar and little rum.

Bottle and chill.

 

Permalink 02:00:43 pm, by Melba
Categories: Entertainment, Culture, Commentary

20 Days to Christmas

Today is December 04, exactly 20 days before Christmas. Are you on track with your preparations? I must confess, I’m getting there in some quarters, behind on some however I’ve cheated in others. Sorry but you will find True Juice sorrel in my fridge.

 

The house part is coming nicely. My linen closet of hidden treasures revealed wonders. All that was needed is freshening up, washing and pressing. My helper and I have started the spring cleaning and by next week we should be ready to pretty up. The window cleaning through burglar bars is no fun. My helper she, give me the hardest task to do. I hear you, who is in charge? Believe me, she is. But she takes such good care of me and my family that she has become family.

 

The food part of the preparations is half and half. The fruits have been bought and are now soaking in preparations for baking next weekend. I have been lazy though with the sorrel drink so I turned to True Juice. I plan to remedy that this week end with my first batch of home made sorrel. Some nice local ginger out now and quite reasonably priced. I’m getting my pork leg this week to get cured. I also plan to get some chickens done as well.

 

The gift part of things is proving to be quite challenging. What a way toys expensive. I went to Sangster’s Book Stores Ltd. to get some glitter, cartridge paper and glue to start making some decorations for the Christmas tree with the children (by the way the children are enjoying making the decorations) and Sangster’s are having a 50% discount sale on selected item. I managed to get a couple gifts there but I think most of the others will be getting clothes. I plan to get a natural tree I quite prefer those. It gives the house a nice smell during the Christmas, and yes ‘nuff’ clean up after when it starts to shed. I definitely will give that job to the helper.

 

All in all, I hope things are shaping up for you all. I know a little extra money would help. I tried cash pot last week but it neva helped, so we just have to keep looking for the bargains. The festive season is certainly here though. There are so many parties going on (and dem don’t cheap). All the younger’s want to go to Usain Bolts 9.58 party tomorrow Dec 05, at Richmond Park, St Ann. Personally I don’t know how some of these artist going to split up themselves. For instance I see where Etana (I like her, she can sing) is to appear at the Reggae Marathon Finish line victory Party in Negril as well as at Usain’s Party in St. Anns on the same night. Personally I’d like to go to the Mek Wi laaf for Best Care show at the Pegasus on Sunday. Mi haffi go start drop word.

 

Nuff Love

12/03/09

Permalink 10:17:28 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Culture

Went on an Adventure Today

So as usually happens with my family, I ended up playing chauffer today, carrying my second mother to Mandeville to visit the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) campus. well, I visited anyway, she went there to work. First of all I must say that the NCU campus is quite unique, I have never been to a church based school so I've never actually seen a campus setup in such a fashion before, also the students seemed quite vibrant and interested in what they were doing and it says to me that there isn't really much difference between a church based institution and a regular institution... well maybe in the teaching but thats for another post. So after leaving the campus my mother asked me the interesting question as to whether I'd like to try another route, I stared at the gas needle and upon seeing we have ample fuel to get lost and refind ourselves I decided to go with my usual sense of adventure and go across a path I had never been.

So we headed off to return to Montego Bay not by going through Hanover, Westmoreland and St. Elizabeth, but instead through Manchester and Trelawny. I can first say that this is my first time driving through this route... that I can remember. My parents were adventurers so I cant say that I've never driven this route before but I personally dont rememeber driving through spauldings, or christiana, or wait-a-bit into trelawny. But truly this was a trip that made me see a part of Jamaica I truly havent seen in quite a long time.

As we travelled through Manchester the air slowly cooled from the high of 30 (celcius) to hovering between 24 and 26 degrees. This was a welcome change as the cool air made the journey more enjoyable and more bearable. However next to the temperature the friendliness of the people we saw as we traversed the countryside also added for a comfortable climate. Personally I'm a "town man", I'm used to people being more gruff and unfriendly and only polite enough to say customary salutations of good morning and good evening (if they even go so far). However this was noticeably different as the people we passed all were seemingly happy to see us and as we got lost a couple of times trying to find our way to christiana, the people were more than willing to give us directions, some people even stopping what they were doing to cross the road and direct us.

The other thing that I saw that managed to lift my spirits somewhat was the produce... Well to be honest we only saw two main types of crops, Yam and Sugar but the copious amount of it and the care which was taken by the farmers was a thing which could only be looked at in awe. Driving through Trelawny somewhere between wait-a-bit and clarks town (I think lol), I realized that every adult man I saw was wielding a machete, and this was certainly not for self defence purposes or to attack another, but it was simply to farm their yam hills. This was obvious because if you looked at the top of every machete you saw there was the obvious red hue of the rich Manchester soil, the same soil that also covered all their clothes, boots, and even the mules that were used to transport them and their goods. Further to this as we passed the acres and acres of hills lined with the sticks used to guide the yam vines.

The countryside changed from an arrangement of random trees, to a mathematical layout of yam hills all with vines equally arranged as if it was done with a ruler, but the smart person knows that those farmer's rulers are a now inborn skill which they do with the precision of any doctor performing delicate surgery. The yam then changed to sugarcane, a familiar sight for me but I cant say I've seen that much cane before, because the cane fields seemed never ending and went on for at least 15 kilometers of the trip, and the scent as usual is sweet and calming.

The seemingly infinite knowledge of my second mother also added to the enjoyment of the trip as I learned the history of alot of the towns we passed through and how they got their names, places where it seemed like we were the only people on the road next to the farmers who walked to and from their fields. Places such as the "alps" so named because the mountains which tower over the valley we drove through, give a picture which is said to be similar to the alps in europe with flat hillsides and towering mountains which were quite scary at times but somewhat welcoming.

As the journey ended and we reached closer to Falmouth and to Montego Bay and the temperature began to rise back into the 30s I got the chance to reflect on the Journey we had just taken. What seemed to last a fairly short time, actually lasted over an hour, but it was an hour that I got to see what I'm sure was the true old time Jamaica (with a bit of a modern flair), a Jamaica which has been long forgotten but still lingers just a bit off the beaten path, one only needs a sense of adventure... and a map.

Permalink 03:11:06 pm, by Melba
Categories: Commentary

Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) vs. National Transport Co-operative Society (NTCS)

What a mix up within the transportation sector. First the big law suit between the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) and the National Transport Co-operative Society (NTCS) where the NTCS win a bag ‘a money’, which by the way we the public will have to pay. Now the Transport and Works Ministry have to delay the route replacement programme as out of the 295 applicants that apply for the 164 sub franchise licenses up for grabs, only 38 meet the required criteria.

Let me start at the beginning as I understand it. In 1995 the NTCS which is led by Mr. Ezroy Millwood was granted a ten year contract to operate two of the four franchises for transport system in Kingston. However five years later, in 2001, the agreement was terminated as the Government sought to revive a proper public transportation system. $337.7 million was then paid to the NTCS for the remaining five years of its franchise and the routes operated by the NTCS were handed over to the JUTC.

Mr. Millwood later sued the Government and in 2003 was awarded $4.5 billion, plus interest, for loss of earnings by a three-member tribunal. This ruling was subsequently overturned by the Supreme Court. Mr. Millwood then appealed to the Court of Appeal who also ruled against him. Not satisfied, Mr. Millwood appealed once again, this time to the Privy Council. The NTCS has now been awarded $1.85 billion plus interest by the Judicial Committee of the United Kingdom-based Privy Council.

 

Despite the legal battles, the NTCS still operated some sub-franchised JUTC routes. According to Mr. Mike Henry, Minister of Transport and Works, the NTCS had failed to demonstrate that its members were willing to operate within the realm of the law.  They had also failed to produce, for an extended period, financial statements which were used to calculate a sub-franchise fee which is applied to the society's operating licence. The NTCS is unhappy with the recent increased in the sub-franchise fees from $4500 to $13500 per seat. Obviously there are other battles going on outside the courts.

 

The NTCS had been given until November 2 to wind up operations on sub-franchised JUTC routes which they still had.  This brings us to the present dilemma. If the NTCS operators go then there needs to be an alternative. Why have the Government waited until the appointed time to put things in place is beyond me. And to add insult to injury, because majority of the applicants don’t meet the required standard, they are now prepared to lower the required standards just to fill the slots.

 

I tell you sa, we the Jamaican public can certainly get beat up. First we have to find a bag a cash fi go pay the NTCS and on top of that wi now might get even worst transportation service. I just hope sey, somebody mek sure sey, dem have some kind a training programme for the sub standard awardees, a proper policing agenda and heavy, heavy fines put in place for these new sub-franchise operators.

 

Nuff love

Permalink 09:36:37 am, by sweets
Categories: Culture, Commentary, Health

Festive Season Dinner

"Yes mi fren!" My favorite time of year id fast approaching, I can feel the "chrismus breez" in the mornings. By now you should have your fruits, soaking up some good Jamaican Red Label Wine and White Rum (what a piece a fira at Wray & Nephew, can yu imagine if the real stuff had all gone up in smokes, some of us "spirited corna woulda dark).

Hope friends or relatives who visited for Thanksgiving, took some of Wray & Nephew Spirits to add more flavour for the Christmas to the Christmas Dinner Menu. We Jamdowners love to stick to our traditional foods anywhere in the world we go.

Some "food" for thought, start planning the kind of meal your planning to serve, the kind of persons you would be catering to like, diabetics and hypertensive. Start getting your meats have them cleaned up and seasoned freeze until ready for use.

Remember, to invite someone over for Christmas Dinner, itone of the best Christmas gift especially those who don't have family close by.

Walk good, one love, wi catch up.

Sweets

 

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Three Ministers

Three ministers - a Presbyterian, a Methodist, and a Southern Baptist and their wives were all on a cruise together. A tidal wave came up and swamped the ship, and they all drowned. The next thing you know, they're standing before St.Peter.

As fate would have it, the first in line was the Presbyterian and his wife. St. Peter shook his head sadly and said, "I can't let you in. You were moral and upright, but you loved money too much. You loved it so much, you even married a woman named Penny."

St.Peter waved sadly, and poof! Down the chute to the 'Other Place' they went. Then came the Methodist. "Sorry, can't let you in either," said Saint Peter "You abstained from liquor and dancing and cards, but you loved food too much.

You loved food so much, you even married a woman named Candy!" Sadly, St. Peter waved again, and whang! Down the chute went the Methodists.

The Southern Baptist turned to his wife and whispered nervously, "It ain't looking good, Fanny."

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