Jul 31, 2010

That’s my plan says Imbert|Trinidad Guardian

“Research also showed text messaging reduced a person’s attention span to the same level as if you had had two drinks,” Imbert added. “I’d thought it best to ban all cellphones. At some point Warner will have to acknowledge he didn’t just dream this plan up and where he got it.”

Well Mr. Imbert here is the difference the Peoples Partnership will not hesitate to implement the law. If it is true that you announced this plan since 2007 and your government never implemented the law just think about the lives lost because of your governments in action.

Obviously the PNM will say that they were doing the research before attempting to implement the proposed law - all well and good. However, this is the same reasoning that was given for not having local government elections... Just look at what the PP government has done. There will be a fine of $5,000.00 and if you can't or don't want to pay then there can also be a penalty of two months in jail with hard labor (and a meeting with some very unsavory characters)

Action and inaction... Jack Warner is called action Jack and for good reason. Mr. Imbert your government is out of office and for good reason.

$2m flag still haunts Sports Company

The scandal and embarrassment of the $2 million legacy flag at the Hasely Crawford Stadium and the operations of the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago continue.

Sports Minister Anil Roberts, in a highly charged and fiery contribution to Parliament yesterday, said the details of a financial systems audit of the Sports Company revealed a string of irregularities including the leasing of expensive SUVs for the Executive Chairman and Executive Director, the creation of a ghost roof at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, the hiring of interns who never applied for work, the duplication of duties and responsbilities at extreme cost to the taxpayer and a host of other "madness" culminating in "abuse of office and downright unfair and corrupt practices" and flagrant breaches of procurement practices. It has led Ministry of Finance Auditors to recommend that the matter be investigated for possible breaches of the law.

On the $2 million flag, Roberts said:
1) the winning bid was one million dollars more than the losing one
2) the confirmation letter (of the award) to the "fortunate" company was given five days before the contract was awarded. ("I am sure Prophetess Pena would be proud of that company. They are so good, they write an acceptance five days before they win..Amazing!," Roberts quipped).

"To add salt to the wound," he said, "the projects administrator of the Sport Company stated that the person who signed the letter of award had no authority to bind the company.

"Mr Speaker, you think the story end there? Of course not," he said. Roberts said the winning bid of $2 million was based on two hundred cubic metres of concrete to be utilised in the foundation. "You know how many cubic metres of concrete they actually utilised, Mr Speaker? Thirty cubic metres- 15 per cent of the estimated amount," he said. He said the company estimated the butt???? size to be 20 by 20 but the butt size turned out to be 10 by 10. The estimate also included driving six piles to a depth of 40 feet each. "Mr Speaker guess what? No piles. Small butt, no piles," he said, to the roar of laughter. He added with some mischief, "So no Preparation H".

Please read the rest of the article at the link above. The corruption that existed in the former PNM administration runs deep and yet still there are people out there defending them. What needs to be done is to stop all the "ole talk" and take these people to court to account for their mismanagement of the nations resources. If found guilty efforts should be made to retrieve monies that were diverted into private accounts or if that cannot be done some of these people should be jailed.

That in my view is the only way to stop the defense of these people who can't accept the facts as presented. They behave as if all of these articles in the newspapers are nothing but political 'ole talk' and scandalous in nature. Jail some of these people and then they may begin to sing a different 'chune".

Jul 29, 2010

Construction bills over budget|Newsd@y Trinidad and Tobago

MILLIONS worth of bills submitted to the Government from companies in the construction sector were not “within the budgetary framework” of the last PNM Government, Finance Minister Winston Dookeran said yesterday.

“We are making every effort to meet those challenges without disturbing the fiscal balance,” Dookeran told a luncheon audience hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port-of-Spain. “I understand the problem we have been faced with is that there are many bills which were not within the budgetary framework.”

For years, contractors have complained that the State’s payments have dried up, even as projects regarded as excessive by some, such as the near $1 billion Brian Lara Stadium project in Tarouba, progressed, seeing millions worth of advances paid out.

Dookeran said the Government remains intent of having a new procurement bill made law.

Over budget seems to be the order of the day with the projects that were previously started by the PNM Government now have financial issues that could be a burden on the treasury.

These practices must not be allowed to continue in the future. There needs to be oversight of these projects to ensure that the contracts are respected by the contractors. It is apparent that almost all of the contracts are coming in over budget. The present government has to continue to finance these projects since they all have signed contracts. The problem is that these contracts were signed with the majority of the benefits on the side of the contractor.

Mr. Dookeran said that they are making every effort "to meet those challenges without disturbing the fiscal balance". That is indeed the challenge however the bigger challenge will be to satisfy the people who will want the government to deliver on their promises sooner rather that later.

Jul 28, 2010

Absent PNM MPs affected Diego results|Trinidad Express Newspapers

Diego Martin was the only region which saw a reversal from what transpired in the General Election two months ago.

While the People's National Movement (PNM) held on to corporations which corresponded to constituencies it won in the General Election—ie Point Fortin, Port of Spain and San Juan/Laventille corporation, the PNM lost Diego Martin by seven/three to the People's Partnership where it currently has three sitting MPs.

Significantly two of the three MPs, Diego Martin North East MP and former Works Minister Colm Imbert who was also an aspirant to the PNM political leadership and Amery Browne were absent from the local government election campaign.

This is very interesting to learn that Colm Imbert and Dr. Amery Browne did not assist with the local government election battle in their districts. Does this say something about the unity in the party? This, obviously, is something that needs to be addressed internally by the party. I am certain that Dr. Rowley is not pleased and will have something to say to these gentlemen.

In a time that that has seen this once glorious party recede as the force of the Peoples Partnership expands a key element for the withering of the PP force would have been unity in the ranks of the PNM. Apparently it was not a case of all hands on deck and there appears to be a faction within the party who just might not be in favor of Dr. Rowley as leader of the PNM. Having said that there is no excuse for not lending their support for the candidates who contested the local elections especially in their districts.

The loss of Diego Martin falls squarely on the shoulders of these representatives who abandoned the SS PNM. What a disappointment for this once glorious party. In time to come Dr. Rowley will have to deal with these members who claim to be PNM 2DBone. Until then the party will continue to flounder on the political seas of despair.

Jul 27, 2010

Peoples Partnership mash-up the PNM at the polls once again!|Local Government Elections

Peoples Partnership 11, PNM 3
"Well ah go park meh PP any place, any place..." The Peoples Partnership swept the local elections in Trinidad by taking 11 of the 14 regions contested. It appears that the PNM held on to Port of Spain, Point Fortin and San Juan/Laventille. 

This was a continuation of the General Elections that saw the PP winning 29 seats and the PNM taking 12 seats and in the process wrested governance from the PNM. Now they will take control of Local government and will not have any excuses while getting the job done at the local level. 

There were 2 cities, 3 Borough councils and 9 regional corporations up for grabs on Monday. The results are in and even Dr. Rowley conceded defeat early at 9:00 pm at Baliser House. Now that the Baliser has wilted and was not able to rally the troops it is time to move on. Lick your wounds and come again because this is now behind us. The election is over and it is time for the Peoples Partnership to stop the 'gallerying' and govern with conviction. Just do it... Get the job done!

Jul 26, 2010

Promise of safe elections or a fear of trouble to come?

Police promise safe elections|Trinidad Guardian Newspaper
Police officers will be out in full force from as early as 4 am today to ensure there are no disruptions during the local government elections. Deputy Police Commissioner Stephen Williams gave the assurance yesterday, saying the police were fully prepared for any eventuality. “We have prepared for the worst...We didn’t prepare for anything less than the worst, because if something happens we would be in a position to deal with it,” he said. “We definitely don’t want to be caught off guard.”

It is a good sign that the protective services are putting the pieces in place to ensure that there are no 'disruptions' in the voting process in today's local government elections in Trinidad. However, this make me wonder if this is simply the process due or does it have to do with the threats made on the life of the Prime Minister due to the impending auction of the Muslimeen properties tomorrow.

This auction can create problems that the country does not need at this time. We have had free and fair elections that have resulted in a change of government by peaceful means. In 1990 the Muslimeen attempted to take control of the government by force and held the country captive and the government under siege for six days. As a result of court cases and the ruling of High Court Justice Rajendra Narine the State was awarded damages in the amount of $32 million to the State. The auction of the properties is to recover the monies awarded since the Jamaat does not have the money to pay the State.

Most people don't believe that the Jamaat al Muslimeen will sit idly and allow this sale to take place or allow the winning bidders to take possession of the auctioned properties. Many have said that whoever bids and wins those properties are chancing faith. The government has already stated that if the properties are not sold that they will take control of the said properties and put them to use. There will be great unease in the country as this process takes place. We can only hope for an outcome that benefits all.

"We have Jack on our side man, We cyar go wrong"|Chaguanas Speaks, Trinidad Express


Today the people of Trinidad in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago will go to the polls once again but this time to vote for the representatives for local government. The people of Tobago vote in the Tobago House of Assembly elections. The local government elections in Trinidad have been long overdue and with 14 municipalities up for grabs (2 cities, 3 boroughs and 9 regional corporations) both parties are hoping to make a statement at the polls today. The Peoples Partnership is hoping to reverse the current status that has the Peoples National Movement in control of 9 of these entities. The PNM on the other hand is hoping that the re-branding of  the party now under the stewardship of Dr. Keith Rowley will be enough to hold on to the present situation and even to wrest a few others currently held by the UNC.  

Just last Friday the PP that is now in control of the government held a motorcade that passed through Chaguanas, Morvant and Laventille with the final destination at Picadily on the Greens, Picadilly Street in Port-of-Spain. The Trinidad Express Newspapers conducted a survey of the people in the area and it appears that the majority of people in the area are in favor of the Peoples Partnership taking control of the Local Government entities.

The notoriety of Mr. Jack Warner and the feeling that he can get anything done led one man to remark, "We have Jack on our side man, we cyar go wrong". It appears that Mr. Warner is the man who people believe can solve all the problems in their districts. He has answers and is always able to bring about some form of relief for the people and the issues they face. The faces or this Peoples Partnership is that of Kamala Persad Bissessar and Jack Warner. They appear to be the 'magic' formula that is driving this ship. On the other hand we have the leader of the COP Mr. Winston Dookeran quietly playing his role but not in the media light as are the stars of the party.

Today our people go to the Poll and it will be a nervous day for the rival PNM that is wary that another loss at the poll does not bode well for the will of the party. People have a tendency to side with winners and it is the Peoples Partnership that appears to be in favor of the public support. These are difficult times for the PNM and another loss at the polls today will not be a good sign to encourage people to become a part of the party once again.

The Peoples Partnership will have to implode to ensure that the PNM returns to office. If the Partnership continues to bring relief and moves the country forward then for many years to come it will be "guava season for the PNM".

Please go out and vote; it is you right. It is your civic duty to act, to make the changes that will affect the things that matter to you. We no longer want to hear, "we like it so". Vote and effectively bring about the change that you want.

Information sourced from the Trinidad Express Newspapers. The article that appeared in today's Express can be read at this link: via www.trinidadexpress.com

Jul 25, 2010

PNM Arima councillor joins COP|Trinidad Guardian Newspapers

Yet another People’s National Movement councillor has crossed the floor to the People’s Partnership. The revelation came on Friday at the Congress of the People (COP) meeting on Friday in Arima. Outgoing councillor for Calvary on the Arima Borough Council (ABC), Pheria Fournillier mounted the COP platform criticising the PNM on lack of performance and disregard for the burgesses. Having served her constituency from 2003 to 2010, Fournillier told party leader Winston Dookeran, deputy political leader Prakash Ramdadhar and seven of the party’s councillors contesting tomorrow’s election in the ABC that she jumped ship when she saw how Arima was stifled for progress and development over the past seven years.
via guardian.co.tt

It took one month of PP governance for Councilor Pheria of the Arima Borough Council to see the light or was it the quick response of Mr. Jack Warner to get the Mt. Pleasant Bridge built after 29 years of waiting? There is room for all citizens to change and come to the team that wants to create progress for the people in the district but please don't expect a prize of political placement of alderman or anything relating to political power.

The truth is that after serving the PNM for all these years and seeing nothing done even with their voice inside the PNM that controlled and still controls the Local Government body in Arima they remained loyal to the PNM. Now that things have changed they want to become part of the winning team. Well they can continue to work on behalf of the residents but it will take some time before the PP can trust these defectors.

No one knows what is in their hearts but if service is the goal then let their deed follow them and let them work on behalf of the people and prove their worth. We wish them all well and hopefully the character of the Arima council will change tomorrow after the votes have been cast.

Go out and vote and create the change that you want! Your time has come again and it is very important that you speak up for the changes that you want and deserve!

Jul 24, 2010

Enough 'ole talk', arrest someone for the Heights of Guanapo Church Fiasco

If you commit the crime you will do the time. Enough with the posturing and arrest someone for the fiasco that is the Heights of Guanapo Church. 

It is apparent that with the filtering of the information handed to the press that the picture point to the fact that Town and Country did not give approval for the construction of the church but the construction went ahead all the same.

Stephen Mendes of Design Collaborative Associates Ltd has distanced himself from the project by submitting a letter to the office of the Attorney General. The letter, dated May 13, 2010, stated that Mendes was neither the applicant nor the agent in respect of any application to the Town and Country Planning Development on the church project.
"I therefore request that you direct all enquiries and communication in future to either the applicant or the owner," Mendes wrote. This quote is from the Trinidad Express article headlined "Call for Pena Probe". 

The land was never officially and legally transferred to Mrs. Pena, the spiritual adviser of then Prime Minister, Patrick Manning. We also know that the Chinese who came to the country under government contract were in the process of constructing the Church. It is apparent that Mr. Calder Hart using the powers of UDeCOTT was using the finances of the state to construct the church. What a mess. 

The then Prime Minister, Patrick Manning came out and stated the PM in the document could mean Project Manager and not Prime Minister to state that changes to the plans for the construction of the church did not come from the office of the Prime Minister. Look, it is about time they drag Mrs. Pena and the Chinese to a court and get them to state the facts. We need to know who was paying the Chinese to work at the site. If it was Mrs. Pena then we need to know where the financing for the project came from. Obviously she did not collect $30 million from her flock. If there was a loan involved then we need to know which bank granted the loan and what company or person secured the loan. 

We have had enough of the 'ole talk' with bits and pieces of information coming to the press to sensationalize the story. Get to the bottom of it and it state funds were used then arrest and jail the person or persons involved in this crime.

Jul 23, 2010

Special voting begins|Newsd@y

VOTING for special electors in the July 26 Local Government Elections was described as “slow” by presiding officers at two special electors polling stations on Tuesday. Voting for special electors began at 9 am and is expected to continue until Sunday.

It has begun and will culminate on Monday July 26, 2010 when local government elections will conclude with new representatives to serve the needs of the people.

This is a very interesting election since we now have a new political leader of the PNM who should "make a difference" for the political giant that took a beating at the polls during the last general elections. The PNM currently control 9 of the 14 local government agencies and it would be interesting to see if the nation is on the side of the PP or are back in step with the new leadership of the PNM.

Trinidad and Tobago has always been PNM country and if the trend does not hold and the PP government should prevail as it did for the general elections then only rampant corruption will remove the current government when the next general election comes around. It is very important that the PNM strike back by retaining the 9 corporations that they control and even win one of the five that is controlled by the UNC.

I can't wait for the results on Monday. Thus far the turn out for the special voters has been reported to be slow. On Monday, however, the story should be different and by evening we will learn the outcome. Is the PNM back or would it be more bad news with a sound trashing coming from the PP government. "Ah cyar wait for de results!"

Jul 22, 2010

PNM purges ‘traitors’ from the party|Newsday

The People’s National Movement is on a campaign to purge itself of what deputy political leader, Orville London, called traitors of the party.

PNM political leader, Dr Keith Rowley, was more pointed in his attack, naming former PNM La Horquetta/Talparo MP, Roger Joseph who recently declared his allegiance to the People’s Partnership.

Both men were present at the presentation of candidates for the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation at a public meeting held Tuesday night at the Exodus pan yard, Tunapuna.

The entire article can be read via this link at  www.newsday.co.tt

This is nothing new... People change sides and change their minds on a daily basis, it is just human nature. If we should think that someone should remain faithful to a cause, a marriage or a political party simply 'because' then we are doomed to failure because people need to adapt to the world they live in to get the best out of it... To be the best they can be. What should take place is that we should wish them well on their future endeavors instead of calling them traitors.

I know that a case can be put forward to defend the 'purging of dissidents' or those who no longer wish to support the same cause but why look at it in such a manner? When these people leave it opens the door for someone else who could very well be a better fit for the political party. As a matter of fact the moving of people between the lines bodes well for our democracy. However we need to act responsibly when dealing with this movement. Here we have one party waiting with open arms while the other is happy to get rid of the same people.
What is wrong with this picture? What would have been the statements if we saw the movement going the other way? Maybe this may be the same scenario years from now when the people get fed up with the current administration for some project that smells of corrupt activity.

In time to come we may move beyond these simple dealings and project a higher ideal that would make people stop and remark that it was a mature stance taken by "my political party" and in principle I will continue to support them even though we had problems that led us to this position in the first place.

Jul 21, 2010

OUTRAGE|Trinidad Express

The headline is in uppercase and bold font to emphasize the ridiculous state that the previous administration put our country in today - OUTRAGE!

The Rahael Construction Group "amassed over $1 billion" in cost overruns on various projects awarded to it by the State, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said yesterday as he zeroed in on companies associated with the family of PNM campaign manager John Rahael as stated in the Triidad Express article.  Is this outrageous? Yes it is but in Trinidad and Tobago most Trinidadians would simply say, "No big deal, all ah dem is thief". Did you get that? They simply don't care and will put on their blinders and vote for the same corrupt bunch of people all over again. 

The verdict is out on this present administration and we cannot use the same brush to paint the same picture. They are say the right things but we need to see action. This action should be in the jailing of some of these people who allowed this waste to take place and according to Trini talk, "bet yuh bottom dollar somebody have monies stashed away in some foreign bank".

Recently I asked a friend why does he still support the PNM after all the reports coming out in the newspapers are pointing to serious corrupt practices in the previous administration. He is PNM to de bone and remarked (you guessed it), "all ah dem does thief". This man owns a well know business in the country and should know better - 'what ah shame'!

In my estimation there will be an OUTRAGE if this government does not jail some of these people for these corrupt practices. There will be OUTRAGE (on my part) if the PNM should win control of local government and if the PP does not do something about all of this corruption then next election will be hell for them. It will not matter how much good they do, how many roads they fixed, improve traffic, decentralize Port-of-Spain, produce more and cheaper foods, improve the lives of the people or even ensure that Local Government functions properly. None of those things will matter. They will say look, we have been accused of so many things yet still no one was jailed - It was all a lie simply to get into office. 

So it is very important that we jail some of those corrupt people and, by the way, ensure that the Project Manager (PM) faces the music for the Heights of Guanapo scandalous affair (thought I forgot eh). It has only been two months my friends, hang on it will only get better. Improvements will surely come but so too will the truth that so many of you seem to be in denial about... Channa time (as in popcorn night but Trini style)!
Information sourced from "Outrage" in the Trinidad Express and can be read in its entirety here: OUTRAGE!

Jul 20, 2010

Former PNM Members Jump Ship

Former People's National Movement (PNM) appointed San Fernando Mayor Ian Atherly, who showed up on a People's Partnership platform last Friday to give an endorsement, said that he was excited by the new politics of the administration.

"I believe it is a new dawn and the administration will listen to the voice of the people and its local government representatives," he said.
Atherly said that he was inspired by government's response to suggestions for improving San Fernando.

"Joining Chancery Lane with the San Fernando Hospital and merging it into one will enhance the facility and provide better service to the people of southern districts," he said.
Atherly said the failure to implement improvement plans for the southern city has been frustrating under the former administration during his term as Mayor.
Atherly was Mayor for six years until 2006. He was replaced by Mayor Ken Ferguson.
The entire story can be read at this link via www.trinidadexpress.com

This is a difficult one to come to terms with as far as the honesty of the persons 'jumping ship' from the PNM to the platform of the PP government. This has been the case over the years but in the public eyes because of the upcoming local government elections.

Recently Mr. Jack Warner condemned the procurement of the catamaran vessel HSV Su for use as a water-ferry because the vessel never went into service. Martin Joseph, ex PNM MP was implicated in the procurement of the vessel but is now on board the PP platform. Does this mean that Mr. Joseph is now a 'hands off' regarding possible prosecution for wasting the taxpayers money?

Next we have Ian Atherly; former rejected Mayor of San Fernando who was asked not participated further by former PM Patrick Manning. He too has now 'jumped ship' and joined the PP platform. Should we take these people seriously? Do they really have the interests of the people at heart or are they simply looking to "reboot" and present themselves as viable entities in the political public domain? Should we trust these people?

It is always difficult to judge people on the surface without knowing the facts and how they truly feel about serving the interests of the people. The supporters of the PNM will not treat them well and we have already seen the PP embracing them with wide open arms. I don't know and will reserve judgment. After all they are citizens of the country and have a right to change their beliefs and political party. In the end the people will have the final say.

Isn't Trinidad politics 'nice' - I will say it again my channa (not popcorn) is ready for the electoral results... See you on results day!

Jul 19, 2010

COP candidate cleans up Arima borough|Newsday

CONGRESS of the People candidate for Arima Central, Clinton Jennings, last week embarked on a massive clean-up drive in the Arima Borough.

Along with his supporters, Jennings and his team drove through the streets of the borough and removed garbage left after the Clean and Beautify campaign last month.

Jennings told Newsday, piles of garbage were still on the streets waiting to be removed.

He and his team went to Hagley Street, Arima, and Lawrence Park, also in the borough, and removed truckloads of garbage.
via www.newsday.co.tt
Photo also from Newsday.

Bravo for the efforts of Mr. Clinton Jennings for cleaning up the mess that was left on the streets for more than a month now. The Clean and Beautify campaign was meant to accomplish a stated goal. However, since the people played their part in the exercise I now have to wonder why the Borough Corporation did not play their part and remove the debris left behind?

The Borough is PNM controlled and the cleanup campaign was an effort of the newly installed PP government. This is shame and clearly shows that there is a need for change in the personnel at the management level of the Borough Corporation. Commonsense should have prevailed and the person responsible for removal of the waste should have ensured that the garbage was removed from the streets in a timely manner.

I remember when I was a young man and the County Council instructed that people should clean up and put the refuse on the street for removal this was promptly done. A lot has changed but for the upcoming local government a lot more needs to be changed. The electorate in the affected areas will have their say at the polls.

Jul 18, 2010

The Birdie could not Ramajay|Slinger Francisco

My friend Gail remarked that Sparrow gave her the 'freshcole' tonight; well she was not the only person who cried after seeing the mighty one fall from grace at NAPA in Port-of-Spain last night. 

Indeed it was a very strange night, and one that caused me to pause for a moment and take stock of my life. I witnessed something that simply broke my heart. I am a person who can reach the sappy realm very easily and tonight started out with fun and plenty ole talk and jubilation then extreme sadness swept over us like a raging tsunami crushing everything in its path.

There were many performances but Calypso Rose at age 70 performed like a tigress on the stage at NAPA in Trinidad. She was simply marvelous but then came the shock of the night that left everyone who witnessed it puzzled and dismayed. The greatest ever was announced and the expectation was high. I was pumped for the performance of the birdie. The King of Kings, the mighty one, Slinger Francisco was about to take the stage but then something strange happened.

Initially I thought it was part of the performance and the chair that the Mighty one was sitting on was part of a performance to come. This was not the case because the shell of the man sitting on the chair was not the debonair one, the man who could mash up de place... No, that was not Slinger Francisco! Something was wrong, maybe he was not feeling well, and why was he there in that state? It was sad indeed as the once master of the art form struggled to sing and could not do it the way he used to do it, with flair. The light and fire was gone from his eyes and his voice trembled as he struggled to keep pace with the music.

This was so sad and painful to watch. I believe that everyone watching the show noticed a determination, a great desire on his part to get the job done. The Mighty Sparrow had every intention of completing his stint on stage. At times it looked like he was meditating or taking a quick nap but he quickly got back in time with the music when he had his part to play.

This should not have taken place tonight. The mighty one should have been introduced to the crowd and with a supporting cast sang a few verses - nothing more. The fact that he needed to sit to perform should have been an indication to the promoters that this should have been handled differently.

We have to thank the Mighty Sparrow for the music he gave us, respect him for whom he is, give him his due and let him enjoy the show as a very, very special guest. It is obvious that he cannot perform again and we wish him well. May the Lion of the Calypso World live long, live strong and prosper with good health. Thank you for the music and wonderful memories... I am so confused after seeing this performance tonight...Enough.

Photo Source: http://www.wackradio901fm.com/

Updated 07/19/2010
The Trinidad Express in a report on the performance of the Mighty Sparrow at NAPA stated that "Sparrow, 75, who lives in New York, is suffering from diabetes, which continues to take a toll on his body".

Sparrow's wife, Margaret, also stated and it was reported in the same article that "it was not that the master calypsonian could not walk, but that walking has been causing him severe pain over the last month". This was referenced because Sparrow was brought on stage in a wheel chair and transferred to a chair from which he performed. She also stated that the Birdie, who now lives in New York, is undergoing tests to determine the cause of the back pain.

The article from the Express Newspaper can be read in its entirety at this link: "Tears flow at NAPA as stricken Sparrow sings."

Jul 17, 2010

Trinidad and Tobago Fast Patrol Boats

via youtube.com

In today's edition of the Trinidad Express in an article titled "Dragnet" there was mention of the OPV' when Minister John Sandy (National Security Minister) unveiled the crime plan as demanded by the electorate. The folloowing is an excerpt from the article:
"Included in the overall crime plan is provision for increased coastal patrols by the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, the Minister said. He said in this regard Cabinet was considering all the possibilities pertinent to the acquisition of the three offshore vessels (OPVs) sourced by the previous administration. (See Page 8)

He said three criteria were being used in the decision-making process—the security requirements and its worth to Trinidad and Tobago in the marshaling of the country's territorial waters; the financial aspect as it relates not only to the cost of the system, inclusive of four helicopters, but also to the maintenance factor; and the legal considerations".

He gave the assurance that Government would make the best decision in the interest of the country.

Jul 16, 2010

Ministry targets 21,000 homes|Trinidad Guardian

Mosquito infestation|Dengue Fever 
The Ministry of Health’s Insect Vector Control Division will spray 21,083 homes nationwide over the next eight days. According to a statement from the ministry, the spraying will begin today and will continue until July 23. .The ministry said particular emphasis would be also be placed on the treatment and spraying in communities where there had been clusters of dengue cases and high infestation of the aedes aegypti mosquito.

I am absolutely certain that if Local Government was functioning properly we would have been in a better position today regarding the mosquito infestation and the fear of dengue fever spreading.

I remember as a youth growing up in the Arima area that we had regular visits from personnel from the county council who would come in the properties in the villages and inspect for areas that mosquitoes could lay their eggs. They would spray the areas regularly and this was done manually. The agents came with tanks on their backs with a pump spray to effectively deliver the agent to destroy the mosquito larvae and eggs.

The erosion of the effectiveness of the county councils contributed to the decrease of services and the eradication of this job position. Then came the foggers but it appears that the effectiveness of this method is not as good as agents going from yard to yard inspecting and spraying to eradicate this problem. Those who had latrines were given an oil to pour into the pits. Now we have flushing toilets but the mosquito issue is now a contentious issue with people dying from the infections.

I do hope that with local elections coming soon that we can see change that would hand over power and services with the financing to ensure that local government becomes effective once again.

Every vote counts go out and vote and vote to ensure that your village gets effective representation. I would like to see the PP take control of the corporations but local representation is very important. Ensure that your representative had the fires needed to represent your interests and not that of any political party. Make your vote count!

Jul 15, 2010

Four drop out of race|Trinidad Express

I don't get it... Hold on now I must change my position because I do get it. These four rejected candidates filed to contest the election as independent candidates because they had a responsibility to serve the people right? Didn't they say that? 

Now we learn that after a meeting with Mr. Warner that they have come to the realization that a third candidate will split the vote... remember UNC and COP when they contested as separate entities? Obviously there is more in the mortar than just the pestle. These people decided after one meeting that the interest of the party is more important than the interests of the people!

This should be remembered by the constituents when these people present themselves to serve in the future and black list them... No backbone at all!

Jul 14, 2010

News Watch|Trinidad and Tobago

No more $$ for off shore vessels|Trinidad Express

Hey what is $5 Billion? No big deal... well for the PP government it is now a big headache and one that was termed a black hole by the Prime Minister. We are caught in a contract that we have to live up to' but at the same time and it was correctly articulated by the Prime Minister that we may have to get some form of compensation: 
"I don't think we can get out of it—it is they might have to pay us some money. The suppliers may have to pay us some money and that is what we are looking at—if we had a contract and you agreed to deliver by X date and X date has come and you say Y, P and Q and you reach B and C and we still can't get it then some kind of liquidated damages will have to be paid for that breach of contract in terms of delivery. There's a decision we have to take as to whether we take our liquidated damages and run or give them some more time."

Bakr properties for auction block|Newsday

According to a report in Newsday the Attorney General Anand Ramlogan intends to recover the $32 million awarded as damages to the State from the Jamaat al Muslimeen for the failed 1990 coup.

I am sure we will be hearing from Mr. Abu Bakr soon. The award to the State was made last September by High Court Justice Rajendra Narine. This was done after the Privy Council (final court of appeal in England) blocked attempts by Mr. Baky to avoid paying the money. 

This move by the Attorney General will not sit well with Mr. Bakr. Keep an eye on this matter as it is fraught with conflict. Mr. Bakr will open some deep wounds that will have the name of the former Prime Minister (Mr. Patrick Manning) and members of the former UNC Government in events that will lead to what I will now call "kankalang news to come".

Beckles calls for high voter turnout|Guardian

65 percent turnou or bust. PNM senator Pennelope Beckles is seeing the glory days of the PNM coming back with the upcoming local government elections as the measuring stick. She expects that the PNM will retain control of the Arima Borough, Port-of-Spain and Sangre Grande. Of course the PNM expect to retain control of the 9 Corporations they control presently. 

The PNM is behaving like all is well in PNM land even though we are reading about questionable contracts and mismanagement of the country's finances when they were in office. The race has started and the ole talk is already making headlines. 

After this election we will have an idea about the future of the PNM and the current leadership that was recently installed. I am curious but we will see what the people are thinking. Things change overnight in Trini land and that is what Mrs. Beckles may be hoping for at this time. She expects the voters to put on their blinders and forget the mismanagement and put them back in office to butt heads with the PP government and stall local government. It is important that we put people in place to work with the current government to move local government forward - to make it work on behalf of the people once again. Do you, as a voter, believe that the PNM will be able to make it work?

National debate on local govt July 22|Trinidad Guardian

The People’s Partnership and the People’s National Movement have agreed to participate in a national debate on the role of local government.

A release from the T&T Debates Commission said the the agreement was made yesterday between the groups and the commission. The Debates Commission is a project of the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce and is an independent, impartial and a non-profit entity.

The debate will take place on July 22 at 8.30 pm and would be broadcast live on national television and radio. As a result of a coin toss, the People’s Partnership would lead off answering the first question, the release said. Two representatives of each group will debate the subject: “Is the public correct in its view that local government serves no purpose except to consolidate or undermine the interest of the political parties?

Now we have government in action. When the ruling party and the opposition works together to achieve a common goal then that is one government (ruling party and opposition) working together to improve the conditions in the country.

If at the end of the day there is consensus and the common plan to move Local Government forward then the goal was set and achieved. This PP government is doing the right thing and one should take note that this was not  the case with the former administration of the Patrick Manning administration. There was talk and more talk and delays in the process that resulted in the postponement of local elections for years.

Now we are having local elections and coming on the heels of the elections discussions to ascertain the role and functions for the local government bodies as the country moves into a brave new future.

I applaud the actions of the PP government and wish all the candidates' success in the upcoming general elections. I am a supporter of the PP government but the voice of the people will determine the outcome of the elections not the ranting of anyone in the blogosphere.

Jul 13, 2010

Decentralize Services

“Why is it everything is in Port-of-Spain and that is why I want to also make sure we have less people coming into Port-of-Spain, we have staggered hours of work, we have a priority bus lane on the highway where buses can now come on the highway at specific times and people can leave their cars at home and believe if a bus leaves 7am, it’s 7am.”

Yes Mr. Warner I agree with that statement... Why does everything have to be in Port of Spain? We need to decentralize the City and move as much as we can to other locations to decrease the traffic coming into the city.

The idea to move the operations of the PTSC to Caroni is a good one since it is a central location and the amount of room available for expansion is available. The facility in Port of Spain can then be better utilized with the bulk of the fleet located in the Caroni area. This is just a start and with the bus fleet centrally located access routes will not be congested in the city as the buses leave for various locations.

The next move is to ensure that the service is on time, on schedule and that people can rely on the bus service. The plan to have a priority bus lane on several highways will ensure that a large amount of people will move from point A to point B in the fastest possible time. Change is coming and with Mr. Warner in charge we can rest assured that it will be good.

Jul 12, 2010

Health Minister exhibits "Wajang Style" behavior

"We heard you, now shut up!"

Those were the words uttered by Minister of Health, Therese Baptiste-Corneilis while attending a meeting at Chaguanus. She interupted the speaker, "incumbent councilor Felisha Isahack to impose her power on the public" as reported in the Trinidad Express newspaper.

This is not a good sign and she needs to apologize for her behavior. We cannot accept this behavior from anyone especially from a party that wants to promote itself as a party for, of and by the people. This is totally unacceptable. 

The acting Prime Minister needs to advise the Minister of Health to apologize to the electorate. This behavior would have been vehemently condemned if it was done by a member of the People's National Movement. 

No Madam Minister we will not stand for this type of wajang behavior!

Jul 11, 2010

$1 billion 'Scandal'|Trinidad Guardian

The Broadgate Place project is a 26-storey building opposite City Gate Transport Hub in Port-of-Spain, specifically located at Nos 3 and 5 Henry Street, 6, 8 and 10 Broadway and 56, 58 and 60 South Quay, Port-of-Spain. It is designed to comprise a 26-storey office tower consisting of two floors of retail stores including a food court, two floors of parking and 22 floors of office space, with the fifth to 26th floor being leased to the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT).

The project is being executed by the Broadgate Place Property Company Ltd (BPPCL), a subsidiary of the Transcorp Development Company Ltd (TDCL). The Design/Build Contractors are the Bouygues Batiment Trinidad and Tobago Ltd (BBTTCC) and Project Managers', Turner Alpha Ltd. The project was expected to start in early 2010 and shall be completed over a period of 36 months, with a projected handover date in December 2012 for occupation of the same.

Absolutely scandalous! That is all that can be said about this Broadgate issue. So what is new? Absolutely nothing and once again we see the ineptitude and scandalous behavior of the previous administration (PNM) coming to light.

Why would any government invest over 1 billion dollars in a project and now own the rights to the money invested? Apparently there is nothing in place to protect the investment of the people's money invested thus far in the construction of this project. Does any of this make sense? Absolutely not and the previous administration should be made to account for this development and the spending of the government's purse.

Article after article appear in the daily newspapers showing problem after problem with the dealings of the previous administration. We have Mr. Warner speaking about sweet deals where millions are paid monthly to friends of an expelled political party for property rentals. We have UDecOTT in debt to the tune of billions of dollars and also government agencies owing UDeCOTT tons of money for projects done (all under the former administration). I do hope that these revelations do not go unpunished. Thousands of Trinbagoinians have already been punished because of lack of services with billions being spent on other projects including CHOGM.

Now they have retooled and are back for the local elections? I am upset and vex as any Trini would say. This is my wish - "Not ah damn seat for dem".

Jul 10, 2010

Licensing condition in Arima angers Works Minister|Trinidad Guardian

The acting PM said the majority of complaints received by customers related to the lack of customer service and the long period of time it took get a licence. He said he was concerned for the customers and employees who sit and work in poorly-ventilated offices and waiting rooms. Before Warner left, he addressed the employees and customers saying: “I want to apologise to you all for the state of this office.” Warner promised to improve and reform the Licensing Division to ensure effective customer service.

I know that Arima licensing office well. As a matter of fact I worked at the Ministry of Works in Arima when the office was constructed. It was and is a very simple construction that was welcomed - no longer did we have to head to Port of Spain to renew our driving permit.

Well that was more than twenty years ago. Well I guess the times have changed and the facility can no longer serve the needs of the community. We have to understand how things work in Trinidad first of all. It is a case of "if it isn't broke then leave it alone". Modernization came to Port of Spain and its environs but the basic needs of the people were neglected. No one complained to the authorities... Why? It is simple to understand... "We like it so".

It does not matter what political party you support because when it comes to service everyone has to undergo the same process - well unless you know someone who knows someone. Mr. Warner has been very proactive and with the drive he has surely we will see positive change. It is a shame that he came into office when the finances of the country are not in the best health. In any case we will see positive change and that my friends is what the Peoples Partnership is all about.

One must consider the changes coming in such a short period and measure it with all that did not happen during the tenure of the PNM. The focus of the PNM was elsewhere but the focus of this present administration must remain on the people. Make the lives of the people comfortable and provide services that can be easily accessed. No frustration and hours of waiting online. In such a scenario we need to continue to help by ensuring that Local Government supports the actions of Central Government. Yes just remember local government elections takes place this month. It is your civic duty to vote. Do the right thing.

Change is on the way Arima, change that will help relieve frustration and ensure that the process is accelerated. Support you government in its efforts to get things right. At the same time remember that the government has not been in office for just about two months. Be patient, positive change is about to replace long lines and the frustration people experienced while attempting to obtain basic services.

Jul 9, 2010

Skullduggery launches for Carnival 2011|Trinidad Express

Patrons who attended the launch of Skullduggery, Peter Samuel's presentation for Carnival 2011 at The Anchorage, Chaguaramas last Sunday were treated to music that defined an era. While it was not advertised as a "back in times" party, the event had that feeling.

With music by provided by Charlie's Roots, 3 Canal and several DJs throughout the evening patrons just could not stop dancing. Roots kicked off their session with Kerwin Trotman and Natalie York on vocals.
It truly was Roots of the 80s with Trotman performing former Charlie's Roots vocalist Christopher Tambu Herbert hits like "Free Up", "This Party is It" and "No No We eh Going Home".

Trotman did not leave listeners to reminisce only about the past. His set included this year's Road March "Palance", Yorke also performed what seems to be the most popular song in the world at present "Waka Waka" to the delight of the patrons.

Carnival is in the air with the launch of Peter Samuel's Skullduggery. This launch had had me thinking about Peter Minshall for some reason. I have not anticipated a Carnival presentation with such interest except for days when Minshall was boss. Well let's hope that the designs live up to the hype and that the story told brings the presentation to life. This is a big presentation and one to look forward to seeing on carnival day.

The names Peter Samuel, Charlie's Roots, 3 Canal and the DJ's on hand are a good indication that only the very finest ladies will be parading on the street for carnival 2011. There is hype and with it comes the expectation that the presentation will draw the masses at home but especially from Trinidadians living overseas. This is one to watch... King Carnival reigns supreme.

Jul 8, 2010

PH drivers to get special licences|Trinidad Guardian

In a radical move aimed at assisting the travelling public, the Government is set to legalise the operations of PH taxi drivers. Acting Prime Minister Jack Warner confirmed this yesterday in an interview with the T&T Guardian. Warner, who is also Works and Transport Minister, said the measure would be implemented with the aim of assisting commuters in several remote districts across the country. Warner said the proposal had already been “discussed internally” and a note is to be taken by him to Cabinet shortly for consideration and approval.

On the surface this may sound like a good idea especially for people living in remote areas who dream of having a reliable taxi service or in some cases any taxi service. However, there are many thing that need to be considered and I do hope the government does not simply impliment this system without first considering the impact that it would have on the greater society.

Indeed it is good that people travelling in PH taxis would now have insurance coverage in the case of accidents where bodily injuries occur. We don't know how the new insurance structure will work and would it be the same for the legitimate "H" taxis?

Who will be able to get the new "PH" license and what are the conditions to qualify for this license? Is there going to be a police record check and would persons with a 'record' be allowed to obtain a license?

How would we be able to know that a certain vehicle is indeed a licensed "PH" taxi and not some bandit taking advantage of the system to rob hapless citizens? Would there be in place some form of identification for these vehicles? That would be good and this should be done by the state to help bring in additional revenues and to ensure the legitimacy of the procedure. Maybe a color coded license plate or some form of fixture on the vehicle to identify it as a legitimate "PH" taxi.

How about this... Why not get smaller vehicles for the bus company to use in the rural districts and have buses (fewer in number) running all night? That could help relieve the problem and avoid this entire "PH" problem. We have not heard from the legitimate taxi driver association to date. Now that should be interesting.

We can't fault the Minister for attempting to fix the problems but we need to ensure that what is done is done in the best interest of the people and country in general.

Jul 7, 2010

PNM candidate wants to work with Volney|Trinidad Guardian

She said improved drainage to prevent flooding and good roads were among the major concerns of residents of her electoral district. Joyeau said the PNM’s Vision 2020 Development Plan for T&T was not only about the construction of high rise buildings but also the improvement of basic infrastructure, which touched the needs of every citizen.”

The article can be read in its entirety at this link: via guardian.co.tt

The paragraph above was taken from an article entitled "PNM candidate wants to work with Volney". There is nothing wrong with that especially when it means improving the lives of the people in the community that the representative serves. However, I am very surprised that Afiya Joyeau, candidate for the electoral district of Valsayn/St. Joseph will bring up the PNM's 20/20 vision and state that it was not just about the "construction of high rise buildings". Come on now Afiya, that is all that we saw and that is all that the former government spoke about.

I can't remember the former government making statements about the improved drainage and road construction taking place unless it was packaged as part of the electoral process. We neede to see and hear about improvements to the communities not just about the development of the City of Port-of-Spain to believe that the 20/20 vision had anything to do with the lives of the people in the distressed communities.

Nice try though. I wish you well because we need a strong opposition to keep the government honest.

Jul 6, 2010

Govt seeks laptop suppliers

ON the heels of the People’s Partnership’s vow in the recent General Election to give a laptop to all Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) Exam pupils, the Government yesterday advertised in the press to invite bids from suppliers.

An advert placed by the National Information and Communication Technology Company Limited (iGovTT) said, “iGovTT invites bids from qualified manufacturers for the manufacture, supply and delivery of computer hardware, laptops and peripherals .”

The company said its role is the designing, procuring, managing, implementing and maintaining ICT solutions for Government.

The advert said printed bid packages can be obtained for a fee of $250 from the iGovTT office at Lord Harris Court, 52 Pembroke Street, Port-of-Spain.

From the July 4 date of the publication of this invitation to tender, the company set a closing date of July 15, giving potential bidders about 11 days to put together a proposal.

Minister of Education, Dr Tim Gopeesingh, recently said he was confident the Government could supply laptops to the country’s near 20,000 SEA pupils in time for the September opening of the new school term.

You can read the rest of the story via this link  www.newsday.co.tt

The Peoples Partnership had taken the first step to ensure that their election promise of one laptop per child to all Secondary Entrance Assessment Exam pupils is met for the upcoming opening of the new school term.

The tendering process has begun and should take eleven days for the prospective suppliers to put forward a package for consideration. It has been a known fact that this tendering procedure was coming and most of the suppliers probably already have their source in place with a price structure that they hope will bring home the desired contract.

In  the end it is hoped that the children obtain a laptop that will be tailored to their needs at a fair market value to the government. Everyone needs to profit from their buisness dealings but in this case we do hope that the needs of the children are kept in the forefront  thereby ensuring that the public purse is spent constructively.

Jul 4, 2010

31 ticketed first day of bus route experiment|Trinidad Express

On Thursday, quite a number of people who were spoken to by the police claimed they were only told that anyone could now use the PBR. They said they were not aware of all of the rules governing its use at this time.

Tinidadians simply like to break the law and then plead ignorance when caught. Do you believe these people, 31 of whom were ticketed for breaking the law regarding the use of the Priority Bus Route during this trial run? I don't and they should be held accountable for their actions. The tickets were issued and should not be pardoned.

I live in the US and I was quite aware of the rules issued for the use of the PBR during certain hours of the day from Monday to Friday on a trial basis for the next three months. The HOV rules put in place strickly stated that there must be three or more persons in the vehicle including the driver. They also stated that if you 'drop off' a passenger and the occupancy of the vehicle fall below the allotment of three then the vehicle should exit the PBR - simple and well advertised.

The plain and simple explanation is that Trinis know but prefer to try and bend the rules and then plead, "but ah didn't know!" That ignorance and arrogance to an extent should not be tolerated - time for change and let it begin with those ticketed.

Jul 3, 2010

Listen to the music ... it is the beat and culture of our people!

I recently noticed something that bothered me... people on the outside appreciate the music and culture of Trinidad and Tobago a lot more that the people living on the island. That may sound strange taking into consideration that the music is created on the island but I tend to believe that this is a fact.

I know that most Trinidadians living overseas come to terms with the culture and yearn to hear more and more of it every day. These are the very same people who did not practice what they preach when they lived on the island... I am one of those persons!

The one thing I want to point out is that in Trinidad there is only  one radio station that is total local with its content and that is WACK Radio (www.wackradio901fm.com) broadcasting out of San Fernando. However, having said that, my idea for this post came because of an audio stream out of England - Radio Tempo. I have another blog that I have placed Tempo on auto play when you visit the site that is named D'Lime (www.dlime.blogspot.com). 

Now Wack deals with the music culture of Trinidad and Tobago at home and also provides the feed to the rest of the World via the internet. However, the music that is played is more representative of the current music available with the exception of certain segments that reflect on the music that placed Calypso on the World stage. However, the music of the Mighty Sparrow is not regularly heard. Isn't he the boss the king of the calypso world past and present?

Now Tempo on the other hand should be renamed Sparrow's music library. Every day several selections from the bard can be heard. I am amazed that this is done on a daily basis and in a foreign land. Indeed they are calypso and soca 24/7 without talk - Simply music.

So if you like listening to music from a time when Calypso was King and indeed you want to listen to the King of Calypso then listen to radio Tempo (http://www.temporadio.co.uk/) or simply hop on to D'Lime (www.dlime.blogspot.com) to listen to the feed. Tempo - The world's finest 24/7/365 Caribbean Soca music radio station!

Now I can't leave without saying that WACK is one of my favorite stations but WACK is more than just music. The personalities who are on air make WACK a special radio station. They know their stuff and they know the culture but because they struggle to get the recognition they deserve they have to provide programming that would help pay their bills. When Tempo is all music Wack's content is more that than just music.

If you simply want to listen to music then Tempo is your choice. If on the other hand you want to be entertained and learn about the people and culture of Trinidad and Tobago then Wack should be your choice. Just take my advice and place both stations in you favorite folder in your browser and do as I do depending on my mood. I switch between stations all day. 

Listen to the music ... it is the beat and culture of our people!

Jul 2, 2010

Dookeran watches from the sidelines as Jack Warner announced as acting Prime Minister

PRIME MINISTER Kamla Persad-Bissessar once again demonstrated her continued trust in Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner when she yesterday selected him over more politically experienced members of her Cabinet to act in her stead while she is out of the country next week.

Making the announcement at the post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair press secretary Garvin Nicholas said Persad-Bissessar leaves Trinidad and Tobago tomorrow to attend the Caricom Heads of Government meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica from Sunday (July 4) to Wednesday (July 7).
Contintue reading the rest of the story via www.newsday.co.tt

The people who support the Congress of the People (COP) must be livid when the decision was made to have Jack Warner act as Prime Minister when the current PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar leaves for Jamaica today to attend the Caricom Heads of Government meeting in Montego Bay.
Just think about it Mr. Dookeran is the leader of the COP and with that position one must acknowledge that he could become the Prime Minister one day. One must also recall that Mr. Dookeran was once the leader of the UNC and by default the current Prime Minister's boss. Now he has been relegated to the sidelines and is expected to use his genius to make the rest of the People's Partnership look good by righting the finances of the country.

This is no way to treat Mr. Dookeran. I smell trouble in the making if not from Mr. Dookeran but from the camp of the COP that is already complaining about seat allotments for the upcoming Local Government elections. Mr. Rowley has to be smiling and must understand that there could very well be trouble in paradise.  The team of Warner and Bissessar is strongly in control of the People's Partnership.  Even Basdeo Pandeo remarked that the logical choice for the acting PM should have been Mr. Dookeran. Now you may believe that Mr. Panday is up to no good but there is much knowledge and know how that the silver fox can lend to the discussion. As someone remarked, "Forget the messenger, hear the message" in response to Mr. Panday's comments. Trouble is on the way... I can taste it.

As I continue to state... My popcorn is ready for the fireworks down the road. Watch with interest because anything can happen in West Indian politics. Don't flinch because when the telling blow lands one needs to be cognizant enough to weather the storm that will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of every Trinbagonian. Let's hope that common sense will prevail. 

Jul 1, 2010

72 Vagrants in court|www.newsday.co.tt

A POLICE EXERCISE on Tuesday, resulted in the arrest and removal of an estimated 72 vagrants from the streets of Port-of-Spain. The exercise which was headed by acting ASP Randolph Boyce and included Sgt Tom and Cpl Joshua Pierre, took place on Tuesday between 8 am and 2.30 pm.

The arrested persons were kept in custody and brought yesterday to the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court where the majority of them were charged with loitering, possession of apparatuses modified for drug use and using annoying language.

Because of the large number of persons arrested in the exercise, remand prisoners for ongoing court matters were once again not brought to court, this time to facilitate the processing of the vagrants.

The cases were also separated and the arrested persons were brought before the Tenth, Third and 4A courts. Forty-two of the cases were dealt with by Senior Magistrate Lucina Cardenas- Ragoonanan in 4A. Of this list, eight of the persons were women. seven cases were dismissed. One man, Errol Bruce, pleaded guilty to possession of a device and was jailed for six months hard labour. About 15 of the vagrants were ordered sent to St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital for observation, while the remaining individuals were placed on bonds of $750 and ordered to return to court at a later date.

Speaking to Newsday yesterday in a brief telephone interview, Boyce explained that the exercise was part of the ongoing anti crime operations along the George Street, Nelson Street and Duncan street areas.

I have reposted the entire article as it appears in today's Newsday daily newspaper in Trinidad and Tobago. What is wrong here? I guess I understand the need to 'help' the homeless and vagrants who can be a nuisance however, most of these people have nothing. They don't have a home some may be mentally ill, and all of them cannot deal with the outcome... ah ha that is it the "outcome". What really in the goal of hauling them before the courts and charging them with a 'crime'. If being homeless is a crime then jail the people and help them. Maybe then they will get a good meal, have a shower and be protected from the elements and the people who take advantage of them. 

Of course you should know that I don't believe that putting these people in prison is the answer but shouldn't the social services be called in to assist these individuals instead of 'hauling them before a magistrate? This was just a wasted exercise done for the sake of the press to make people believe that something is being done to correct the problem. Do you believe that these people care about the outcome from their appearance in court? 

I don't know what the the answer to this problem is because I don't know if the social services exist to deal with the problem. We have to wait and see what the police and social services are really trying to do here. What really is the plan to help these destitute people? That is what the government needs to relate to us before acting as they did. What is your opinion?





Côté ci Côté là TnT. Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved Revolution Two Church theme by Brian Gardner Converted into Blogger Template by Bloganol dot com