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Permalink 11:00:56 pm, by Melba
Categories: Commentary

Air Traffic Controllers threatens to take Action

Since last year the Jamaica Air Traffic Controllers Association (JATCA) has been in negotiations with the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for an increase in wages and fringe benefits. The JATCA is seeking a 20 – 40 percent increase which would bring them on par with flight safety inspectors.
The Government is insisting that they cannot grant the increase because of the Public Sector Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which essentially freezes all public sector wages from April 01, 2004 to March 31, 2006. The JATCA is insisting that they did not sign the MOU.

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Permalink 12:31:33 pm, by Melba
Categories: Weekly Rap-Up

Weekly Rap-Up: November 13 - 19, 2005

Sunday November 13, 2005
 The twenty seventh Tropical Depression of the season formed on Sunday in the southeast Caribbean. Should this system strengthens it will become Tropical Storm Gama, the third Roman alphabet. It is expected to be south of Jamaica by the weekend.

 On Saturday night two men, one armed with a gun attempted to hold up a bar in Falmouth, Trelawny. The one with the gun was challenged by a customer who managed to wrestle the gun away from him. The two would be robbers then fled. A point 2.2 pistol with its serial number erased was handed over to the police when they arrived on the scene.

 Thousands attended the funeral for the two slain members of the Missionaries of the Poor, Suresh Barwa and Marco Las Puna. The service of thanksgiving for their lives was held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in downtown Kingston at 10:00am Saturday morning. After the service a procession was led through the inner- city communities where the brothers worked caring for abandoned and mentally-challenged children, persons afflicted with AIDS and the elderly. The bodies were buried on the Missionaries of the Poor compound on North Street at a private burial. The parents of Marco arrived from the Philippines to attend their son’s funeral.

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Permalink 10:49:56 am, by Melba
Categories: Culture

Christmas in JA

They are beginning to play Carols on the radio stations, pepper lights are beginning to twinkle here and there, and sorrel and gungo are now available on the curb sides. Yes ladies and gentlemen it’s nearing that time again, Christmas in Jamaica. In fact there is exactly thirty five (35) days left to Christmas day.
So are you prepared? I’m sure many of you said no. We do it every year, we go into denial until the last week then we catapult into action spinning like a ‘chicken without him head’. Of course by then all the bargains are gone and you end up spending much more. I can hear you, “Christmas is for kids”, “I’ll be skipping this year’s Christmas, check me again next year”, “I’ve converted to Jehovah Witness” and I know, “me naa no money’’. It won’t work people so snap out of it and get started. I tell you what, why don’t we take it one week at a time, and do it together. Here are some tips for this week.

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Permalink 06:52:52 pm, by Melba
Categories: Health

Volunteers needed for New HIV Vaccine Testing

Thirty two volunteers are needed in Jamaica to become guinea – pigs for the new HIV vaccine. This was disclosed by Dr. Peter Figueroa, chief of Epidemiology and HIV/AIDS in the Health Ministry yesterday at the launch of the new vaccine trial. The trial will be conducted worldwide and is scheduled to begin early next year. Already 1500 persons from other countries have registered.
The volunteers must be between the ages of 18 and 60 and must be HIV negative. Some of them will be given three doses of the vaccine Ad 5 HIV-1 gag/pol/nef over a period of six months. Another group of persons will be given similar doses of a substance called a placebo an injection without any active vaccine made of saline solution. The two groups will be monitored and tested for up to four years there after.

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Permalink 09:05:17 pm, by Melba
Categories: Sports

Cricket - Game or Torture?

The second match of the Three Match Test Series between the West Indies and Australia got under way Wednesday night Jamaica time in Hobart, Australia. ‘Man, what a dismal start for the Windies. (I’m being generous here fokes).’ They won the toss and elected to bat first. By the time I got settled down with some pickings to snack on, five wickets were gone. Indigestion was now setting in so I turned off the TV and went to bed. By daylight I heard the score, the “Windies’ were all out for a measly 149. Australia had gone 60 for no wickets and four more days to go. Lord, please let it rain in Hobart.
Nuff Love

Permalink 06:58:21 pm, by Melba
Categories: Commentary, Health

Chain of Hope

Last week a team of doctors from the United Kingdom charity called Chain of Hope performed open heart surgeries on fifteen Jamaican children. The team of ten medical professionals was assisted by ten doctors from the Bustamante Children’s Hospital.
The children ranged from three months to twelve years. The illnesses ranged from heart murmurs, babies born with a hole in the heart to rheumatic infections. Each child under went surgery that lasted approximately six hours. They all pulled through and are doing well.
The surgeries which would normally cost at least $30,000.00 US dollars were all done for free. All the children were from families who would not have been able to afford the operation without assistance.
Chain of Hope has been coming to Jamaica for the past ten years. Over the years they have treated some 350 Jamaican children. Follow up examinations were also done on some of those children.
The charity is devoted to helping children with heart diseases around the world. One of their focuses is to share their expertise with local doctors. Training therefore is a big part of their mission.
The parents of these children must be thrilled beyond words. One of the hardest things you can experience in life is to see your child suffer and not be able to help. The hope that these doctors have given these families is priceless.
Nuff Love


Permalink 07:25:36 pm, by Melba
Categories: Weather

Rising Waters

Hurricane season 2005 has turned out to be one of the busiest ever recorded. Although speared a direct hit by the many named storms Jamaica has had several close encounters which drenched the island and has left the earth super saturated. As a result any amount of rainfall even a drizzle is now causing flooding in many parts of the island. Another major concern is the number of landslides occurring along our main roadways.
Recently in Wakefield in Falmouth, Trelawny over 30 families had to be evacuated because of rising waters. After heavy rainfall on Monday night many roads were blocked by flooding. Sections of Junction main road in the vicinity of Grande Hole were also blocked from landslides. The Bog Walk Gorge in St. Catherine and the Castleton main roads were impassable.

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Permalink 10:38:43 pm, by Melba
Categories: Politics


Yesterday a group of about fifty Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Mayors, Members of Parliament and Councilors attempted to deliver a letter to Jamaica House demanding more money for local government. Led by Kingston Mayor, Desmond McKenzie they left from Devon House on Waterloo Road then proceeded on Hope Road to Jamaica House but was tear-gassed by the security force.
Repots are that they were asked by the police to desist as what they were doing was against the law. It is illegal to conduct any form of march without approval from the appropriate authorities. Failure to procure a permit is a breach of the Public Order Act. The group however continued to advance to Devon House. The police then resorted to using tear smoke to disperse the crowd.

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Permalink 07:49:54 pm, by Melba
Categories: Commentary

Jamaica a Triple Winner at the 12th Annual World Travel Awards

Jamaica won three of the top coveted awards at the 12th Annual World Travel Awards in London, England on Sunday, Leading Caribbean Airline Trophy, Leading Tourist and Conventions Bureau Trophy and Leading Caribbean Cruise Destination Award. Over 160,000 travel agencies in over 140 countries take part in the worlds most prestigious travel awards each year. This year 2 million persons voted online for best travel destination, best airlines and best hotel out of 3500 nominee’s worldwide.
Individual awards also went to Round Hill Hotel for the Caribbean’s leading villa hotel and Jamaica’s leading spa, Half Moon Montego Bay won the Caribbean’s and Jamaica’s leading golf resort, Sandals Royal Plantation, Ochi Rios won Jamaica’s leading resort and Beaches Negril won the Caribbean’s leading family all-inclusive hotel.

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Permalink 10:54:42 pm, by Melba
Categories: Weekly Rap-Up

Weekly Rap-Up: November 06 - 12, 2005

Sunday November 06, 2005
 A proposed new prison is to be built in St. Catherine to house 5,000 male and female prisoners. The maximum- security facility will house both sexes under one roof but in separate sectors of the complex. The prisoners will also be separated by risk level and gender.

 According to Phillip Paulwell, Minister of Technology over 260 million dollars has so far been collected from phone carriers who terminate incoming overseas calls in Jamaica since the inception of the levy on June 01, 2005. The phone cess, which is three US cents per minute for incoming calls terminated on land phones and two US cents on cell phones, is to be used to fund the Government’s E-learning initiative. The program is aimed at bringing primary school children into the information age.

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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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