Wed | Sep 19, 2018

DANGER! Rotten light poles ahead

Published:Tuesday | December 2, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Digicel Rising Star winner Verlando Small doing his thing at the 2013 KSAC Christmas tree-lighting ceremony and gospel concert. - Photos by winston sill/freelance photographer
Members of the audience at the 2013 KSAC Christmas tree-lighting ceremony and gospel concert.
Mayor of Kingston Angela Brown Burke (left) shares a word with then Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington (right) during the 2013 KSAC tree-lighting ceremony in St William Grant Park.
Gospel singer Omari, who performed at the 2013 KSAC Christmas tree-lighting ceremony and concert, is also slated to return to the stage this year.
Gospel singer Lubert Levy in full stride at the 2013 KSAC Christmas free-lighting ceremony and gospel concert. Levy is among a long list of performers slated to grace the stage this year.
A section of the large crowd that turned out for the ceremony.
Six-year-old Jaheem Robinson seems to be enjoying the huge Christmas tree in St William Grant Park, downtown Kingston, ahead of tomorrow's official tree-lighting ceremony and concert. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer

JPS to remove 3,000 - old poles in 2015

Erica Virtue, Senior Gleaner Writer

Thousands of aged, decayed and damaged utility posts, dangerously poised and endangering lives, are to be replaced next year by the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS).

At least 100 are located in downtown Kingston along some of the city's busiest thoroughfares.

Persons traversing North Street, in the vicinity of Church and Orange streets, seem most at risk, as metal posts, erected decades ago, appear ready to fall as their bases show signs of ageing and decay.

A close examination of the poles with wires - which JPS says are harmless - had varying stages of deterioration, with some kept upright by the smallest piece of metal.

Last week, JPS said all the decayed metal poles in downtown Kingston would be removed by next year.

The company said they are among thousands of old poles to be removed in its yearly purge of damaged or decaying light posts.

"The poles are owned by JPS and it is our responsibility to maintain them. They are actually retired and scheduled for removal. The wires are not high-voltage electrical lines. Most of them are cables belonging to telecoms providers and cable operators," said JPS in response to questions from The Gleaner.

According to the company, the removal and replacement of the poles is part of its normal operating procedure.

"Each year, the company replaces at least 3,000 poles across the island. There are approximately 100 metal posts in the downtown area slated for removal in 2015," JPS said, without giving an exact date for the start of the process.

The death of one person, killed after being hit by a falling light post in St Catherine, remains the subject of investigations by JPS and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).

Residents have blamed JPS and CHEC - the latter which was said to be conducting blasting in the area - for weakening the structure of the post.

It is unclear if CHEC has accepted liability, but the JPS said it was not responsible for the incident.

Safety Tips for Shoppers

Reduce your risk of being robbed in downtown Kingston this festive season

their increased presence on the streets of downtown Kingston for the
Christmas season, the police are urging persons in the market district
to adopt safe practices and be vigilant to reduce the risk of being

According to the police, shoppers can apply the following safety measures, among others, throughout the season

Ensure valuable personal possessions, excess cash and high-end
electronic devices such as are properly secured or concealed. This
reduces the likelihood of being targeted.

Avoid wearing excessive jewellery, particularly gold, especially when traversing commercial areas with high pedestrian density.

Always ensure vehicle and house keys are easily accessible, to minimise the time it takes to enter homes and vehicles.

Always try to walk in well-lit areas. If possible, never walk alone.

Be aware of your surroundings. If you think you are being followed, immediately proceed to a crowded area.

Try to avoid carrying too many bags at once. This limits your ability to respond promptly to possible attacks.

Do not leave valuables on the back of car seats or in visible areas inside the vehicle.

Be vigilant at crowded hair salons and barber shops, as criminals have
been known to target these places, especially during this season.

If you are using a car park, as best as possible select an area that
provides flexibility and a clear view when leaving and entering your

Always be conscious of your environment and do not be
distracted by cell phone conversations on route to/from a financial

Be mindful of persons soliciting rides or asking for
directions, especially persons pretending to know you or persons known
to someone you might be acquainted with.

'Let there be light'

KSAC tree-lighting for downtown Kgn tomorrow

recently refurbished St William Grant Park in downtown Kingston is to
come alive tomorrow when the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC)
hosts its annual tree-lighting ceremony and concert.

Mayor of
Kingston Angela Brown Burke will be joined by other officials of KSAC,
members of the downtown business community and others for the civic
ceremony, which is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. followed by the

This year, the tree-lighting ceremony is being done under
the theme 'It's Christmas, give a little love', and Brown Burke is
urging all Jamaicans to reflect on sharing and giving this holiday

"Our greatest responsibility as city leaders is one of
care - caring for the environment, the elderly and our youths," declared
Brown Burke.

"The ceremony symbolises hope for all residents of
Kingston and St Andrew, especially the less fortunate. It also serves as
a reminder for us all that it's Christmas, and it is our duty to give a
little love," added the mayor.

The concert will feature various
artistes and community talents, including Lubert Levy, Omari, special
guest Tessane Chin and a surprise guest star.


Last year, St William Grant Park in downtown Kingston was the place to be for the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation annual tree-lighting ceremony and concert. Here are some of the highlights from that event.