Sep 30, 2010

Seventeen Colours and a Sitar|Trinidad Guardian Newspapers

In the midst of performances, planning and conceptualising its 2011 artistic ventures, rapso super group 3Canal made an appearance in the new Trinbago film, Seventeen Colours and a Sitar. The renowned trio of Wendell Manwarren, Roger Roberts, and Stanton Kewley expressed joy at being a part of this new film endeavour, which also features visual arts phenomenon Rex Dixon and Trinidad’s celebrated sitarist Mungal Patasar.

At the recent opening of Dixon’s art gallery exhibition the three “rapsonians” praised the work of their directors, co-stars and all involved for their unique film experience. Roberts, who admitted to not having much exposure to painting outside of using paint for J’ouvert festivities, was glad to have been given an opportunity to tap into another side of his creativity and to experiment with the paint.

Sep 21, 2010

New CoP takes charge!


CANADIANS Dwayne Gibbs and Jack Ewatski will assume office today at the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain.
Gibbs, a former chief superintendent of police in Alberta, Canada, was yesterday appointed as this country's newest Commissioner of Police, while Ewatski appointed a Deputy Commissioner by the Police Service Commission.
The appointments of both men took place yesterday at the Service Commission's Department at Cipriani Boulevard, Port of Spain.
Both Gibbs and Ewatski received their letters of appointment by chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Nizam Mohammed, days after they arrived in the country.

Sep 19, 2010

Trinidad Rum Festival|Machel brings curtain down with sweet Soca music


Soca Superstar, Machel Montano HD brought the curtain down on the first-ever Trinidad Rum Festival last Sunday night, as he performed for an assembly of specially-invited guests at Angostura's official "RUM (Real Unidentified Mystery) Event. The Queen's Park Oval car park was transformed into an exotic showcase of the full range of products in the Angostura family, even as the audience, which was described as rather reserved or "stush" early on was transformed into a rather "swanky" one revelling in full "Carnival fete mode" by the night's end.

Sep 15, 2010

Rip Calypsonian Arrow!

Breaking News! AM New York City

It has been reported in chat rooms that calypsonian Alphonsus Cassell better known as calypsonian Arrow has died. The Montserratan recently returned from the United States where he received treatment for the cancer that has plagued his health for the past two years. However, while in Montserrat it was reported that he fell ill with pneumonia and was taken to a hospital in neighboring Antigua where he died early this morning. Arrow of Hot Hot Hot fame was one of the most famous calypsonian because of this mega hit that is known world wide... He will be missed.

Here is the news out of Montserrat....
The Mighty Arrow – Alphonsus Celestine Edmund Cassell died early this morning in Montserrat. Arrow, who is renowned for his globally acclaimed soca hit Hot Hot Hot, reportedly died from cancer. He was 55-years-old. Information regarding the details of his dead have still not been attained.

The Groove Master is now mixing it up and liming in heaven... His music will live on and we must always remember what the Groove Master wanted us to do... "Keep on grooving!"
"Arrow has over 33 music albums under his belt. Hot Hot Hot has sold over 15 million copies worldwide, and millions of copies recorded in twelve different languages, and different versions. Arrow made history when he became the first calypso soca artist to be awarded the prestigious MBE by the Queen for his service to music. His music will live on. Rest in peace Arrow we will all miss you."

Sep 14, 2010

Cocoa on the rise?|Government promises to revitalize the cocoa industry!

As the Government moves towards the revitalisation of the cocoa industry, farmers in north and east Trinidad believe if automated cocoa dryers and incentives for labour are not granted, the industry will soon die. The industry which contributed to T&T’s development for more than 200 years, began during the Spanish colonisation, but declined rapidly in the 1920’s because of falling prices.

Since the 1950s, repeated attempts have been unsuccessfully made to revitalise the local cocoa business. In the 1990s, farmers said they were promised leases and incentives to work their cocoa fields but none was provided. Although T&T’s cocoa has been ranked as the best in the world, local cocoa farmers continue to abandon their lands. Cocoa houses, once the hub of activity, now lie dormant.

The newly elected Peoples Partnership government has made many promises to the people of the twin island republic. However, I am pleased that there will be a drive to improve the agricultural environment in the country. We can grow a lot of the food that we need with good management and assistance to the farmers who dearly need financial assistance and access roads. 

Many years ago our cocoa was regarded as the best in the world and was used to flavor bulk cocoa supplies from Africa in the chocolate houses of England and Europe. Today our cocoa industry  is almost non existent. Most of the estates are abandoned or simply overgrown because the owners did not get the value for the product and effort to bring the produce to market. The government has promised change and with the assistance from foreign companies the cocoa industry might get the boot needed to rise and dominate again. 

We need to diversify away from oil to help develop the nation. Cocoa is one product that will provide some revenue year after year. We must get involved in these endeavors again. There is a labor problem that needs to be addressed. Labor is needed to work the estates and to keep the areas clean so that the cocoa trees can flourish and produce. New plants are needed and the Ministry of Agriculture  can assist in this area. If this is approached sensibly then in a few decades we can once again boast about having a cocoa industry that flavors the chocolates of the world once again! However, talking about it one thing... We need to act now!

Sep 11, 2010

Calypsonian Arrow has a brain tumor!

Calypsonian Arrow has a brain tumor and the condition has worsened as reported in Caribbean New Now a web portal that provides Caribbean News. 

Musicmanderek:  "I am asking the shout-box family to say a pray for Calypsoian Arrow. He has a severe brain tumor... He is in hospital; let's pray for a successful surgery and his recovery."

This statement was made in the WACK Radio Shout Box this morning by a Musicmanderek who follows the Caribbean music scene with keen interest.  Montserratian calypsonian Alphonsus Cassell who uses the sobriquet Arrow rose to prominence with his mega hit "Hot! Hot! Hot!"(arranged by Leston Paul) in the 80's. 

There is no denying the significance of this man and the impact that Hot! Hot! Hot! had on the music scene for that period. Leston Paul commented that the arrangement was a blend of soca and rock and roll rhythms and that he " was delighted and honoured to learn that Arrow was among the stellar cast for the summit. “I am glad we both had the opportunity to see Barack Obama create history...I enjoyed his performance on television,” said Paul (Trinidad Guardian Newspapers).

We can and will say a prayer for this brave and famous Monserratian who had and still has the World dancing to the infectious rhythms of Hot! Hot! Hot! 
Photo from Google Images : Link to images

Sep 10, 2010

PP Govt using PNM plans—Imbert|Trinidad Guardian Newspapers

The vast majority of plans and projects in the People’s Partnership Government’s 2010/2011 budget are PNM projects, PNM MP Colm Imbert said yesterday. “For example the Motor Vehicle Licensing Authority which is being done with ‘Canadian help’ which the Finance Minister announced is the same project we signed an agreement with the Nova Scotia authorities to undertake since 2008—they even kept the same name for the authority which we approved in Cabinet,” Imbert said.

On the day the budget was presented Colm Imbert was very critical of the budget.Now he is saying that the budget contains PNM projects. Should I conclude that he would have been just as critical of these "so called PNM ideas" if they were part of a PNM budget? I don't think so...

He claimed that the Licencing authority project was proposed in 2008 but did not state why they did not act on it. This new government is in office for about five months and have gone ahead with the revamping of the licencing Authority. What does that say about the PNM and the present government? I rest my case.

Sep 9, 2010

Carnival 2011 Watch|Island People Band Launch

Island People Mas is set to better its delivery of services to masqueraders come Carnival 2011 that will be “out of this world,” says its creative director Marlon Grant. A signature move towards this goal was the relocation of the band’s mas camp and showroom from Stone Street, Port-of-Spain, to O’Connor Street, Woodbrook. 

The area had increased business activity, as well as better lighting and parking for the comfort of its clients. There’s also a youth section for next year’s Parade of Bands contest called Twilight Phenom, which forms part of the band’s 13-section portrayal titled Shades of the Universe for the national festival.

According to the Guardian article, "Every Friday from now until Carnival there would be after work limes at the band house".  Now take note of this one because "after work limes" is just another excuse for Trini who simply like to party. In this case I gather that they would be using the lime to create income and drum up support for the band, the designs and generally will be focusing on sales for the design initiatives. Good luck guys!

Sep 4, 2010

Local fruits are hard to find Disappearing act|Newsd@y

When one takes a stroll in the market in search of fruits, the ones that are prominent on the stalls are apples, grapes, pears and apricots.

Citizens have expressed great concern that they no longer see their favourite local fruits on the market including mangoes, pomeracs, ceries, star apples, sapodillas, pommecythere, limes, lemons, passion fruit and avocados.

Education and Research Officer of the National Food Crop Farmers Association, (NFCFA) Norris Deonarine, said the harsh dry season experienced earlier in the year really affected the production levels of the country’s local fruits.

He also believed, the country’s fruit industry started to really decline when Caroni 1975 Limited was shut down.

“There used to be a big production in citrus both in orange and grapefruit along Todds Road, since the closure, the orchards on that estate have not been maintained and the project has not been picked up and it is unfortunate. We used to export orange and grapefruit juice, this is why we have been calling for the revitalisation of the agriculture sector,” he said.

“Over the years, since the closure of Caroni 1975 Limited, we have seen a decline in the production of our local fruits, mainly our citrus, from grapefruit to oranges, we have not been able to produce the large quantity that we did before and it is really unfortunate.

“The governments in the past never really focused on improving the agriculture sector, they did things without looking at the long term effects on the economy, imagine we import almost everything we consume now and that shouldn’t be,” he said.

Recently, Food Production Minister Vasant Bharath announced the ministry was going to take crucial steps in reviving the country’s industry. At a meeting with farmers, Bharath lamented how TT now imports grapefruit, after exporting one million crates in 1975.

Deonarine said besides grapefruit, the country was a big exporter of pineapples. He said in the past, the country exported 20,000 pineapples to Barbados but that has also been on the decline.

Every time I read a story about the loss of crops due to the closure of Caroni Limited I get so upset. Most of the people who were not involved in Caroni limited supported the measures taken by the PNM to close down Caroni limited. Now we can really see the impact this company had on the country.

Most people only saw the sugar cane and failed to see the impact that Caroni had fruit, ground vegetables and root products. Caroni also had a great impact on animals for food production and was responsible for the buffalypso.

We now also have mosquito problems and flooding in areas that were once maintained by Caroni limited that were simply neglected by the government of the day when they closed the company. What a shame and this is the legacy of the PNM... I am so upset about this situation.

We can recover but it would cost a lot of money. It has already cost us dearly with the previous government doling out arable lands for housing (what a dumb idea) and certain parcels of lands going to people who will not use the land for food production.

We need to get back into the production of some sugar cane for the local market. This will benefit the country. We don't need to produce sugar for export but for local consumption. The rum industry will also benefit as well as the agricultural industry. Caroni limited can be a financially viable company if managed properly and will create much needed employment. Revive the company and make it a success story.

Sep 3, 2010

‘I wanted to help kill my wife’|Trinidad Express Newspapers

"Abdool told the magistrate that his wife wanted to commit suicide and he decided to assist her in the act by sticking her in the throat with a knife. “Four years we have been together and last week she ran off with a man and we sat down to talk about it at home when she took a knife and said she was going to cut her throat. So I tell myself, ‘if she wants to do that, I will help her’,” Abdool said."

Choops... "But what de jail is dis?" Now I know having read the paragraph above you had to laugh as I did but when you read the entire article you had to conclude that this man is sick or simply stupid. Oh and by the way I did not make any of that up it is a true story that appeared in the Trinidad Express Newspapers.

To add to this crazy story it should be noted that this man cannot read and was not charged for murder but charged with 'malicious wounding'. The judge was baffled that the accused was not charged with attempted murder. He was sentenced to serve 730 days in prison.

Sep 2, 2010

'Hang them in The square'|Trinidad Express

Criminals who are faced with the death penalty should be hanged in Woodford Square, says Minister of Justice Herbert Volney.

Volney was speaking to the Express yesterday, after arriving in Tobago for the People's Partnership's four-day workshop.

Volney said he is back to work and "ready to kick ball" after undergoing heart bypass surgery in June.

Questioned on the death penalty and whether he supported it, Volney said, "I am not opposed in principle to hanging persons, but it has to be in respect to brutal and heinous crimes."
He said sometimes there are crimes of passion and he does not believe a person should be hanged for this. Persons who kill a child, an elderly person, a police officer or prison officer, he said, should be hanged.

Works and Transport Minister Jack warner was the first Government Minister to start lobbying for the resumption of hangings. In fact, Warner has been able to get Attorney General Anand Ramlogan to set up a committee to look into the issue of resuming hangings.
However, not all party members are in favour. Most recently, Minister of trade and Industry Stephen Cadiz said he was not in favour of returning to the hangman. Before him, social activist Verna St Rose Greaves also said she would consider leaving the party if her Government resumed the practice.

Yesterday, Volney was very vocal about hangings, saying they should be a public affair.
"Persons should be hanged in Woodford Square, 6 or 7 a.m. in the morning. The people should see the hangings take place, they need to feel the fear of God and have fear for the law," he said.

Not so fast Mr. Volney...
In as much as we need to send a message to the criminal element in order to prevent some of these heinous crimes, I wish to remind all concerned that we live in a civilized society. To resume hangings is one thing but to voice the opinion that the hangings should take place so that the public could see a person's life come to an end is something that we read about taking place in other parts of the world.

Now hold on just one minute Mr. Volney.... The majority of the population is not at war with the government. It is a very small sector of the society and we cannot allow ourselves to become as uncivilized as these people. When that happens we are just as guilty!

Sep 1, 2010

Crowds welcome parade back to Savannah|Trinidad Express

Every creed and race jostled for an equal place along the barricaded perimeter of the paved section of the Queens Park Savannah in Port of Spain yesterday, in order to see the Independence Day parade.

The celebrations marked the parade's return to the Savannah and brought out long lines of people who gathered to watch the military parade and show of arms. They applauded and cheered as contingents from various arms of the protective services marched before President George Maxwell Richards, the Commander in Chief of the parade, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Opposition Leader Keith Rowley and other ministers and dignitaries.

Most of the trepidation that so many though will follow the installment of the People's Partnership has fizzled away with the actions of the new government.

So many people are now accepting that this change has been good to date.
The return of the of the celebrations to the Queens Park Savannah was a welcomed departure from the streets of Port-of-Spain and the crowds are proof of this acceptance.
"We are really glad they moved the parade back to the Savannah. We did not even bother to come last year because the route was short and it looked like a shorter show," patriotically dressed on-looker Stephan Gomez said.

The various services paraded in their splendour to the delight of the citizens who came out to honor those who serve our country. There is the view that this show of the military and accompanying services is but a sham and that it would be better to have cultural shows across the country. This is a good idea but everyone has come to accept the fact that the parade of the services is what is expected and acceptable at this time.

Just maybe, in time, we can change our views and instead of the parade delve into the culture and have shows that would be held across the country for the benefit of all... Just food for thought.





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