Preserve Fort Augusta!
Fort Augusta was originally an oceanside fortress built by the English in the 1740s to provide the main defence for Kingston Harbour's west side. It was completed in the 1750s and named Fort Augusta in honour of the mother of King George III.
In 1763, lightning struck the fort and its 3,000 barrels of gunpowder, causing an explosion that broke windows 17 miles away and killed 300 people. The shocks created a crater which had to be filled before reconstruction could begin.
Nowadays, the remains of the fortress consist of massive crumbling walls of brick that have been fortified with other materials (including barbed wire), and have been used for decades as a prison for women. (source: Wikipedia)
This heritage is about to be transformed into a container terminal in a grand expansion of Gordon Cay. Where is the Jamaica National Heritage Trust in
Downtown bus park a waste of space
Spanish Town, St Catherinesewell_devon@yahoo.com
I recently drove by the Water Lane bus terminus and could not help but to notice the ghost town-like appearance of the place.
It is indeed outrageous that after so many millions of dollars was spent to erect the facility, it now lies bare, waiting to be another white elephant of the Government, like the Forum Hotel in Portmore and the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium. I hardly think the hotel was ever used, and clearly, the stadium is not being fully utilised.
The talk about downtown Kingston restoration and redevelopment has been going on for well over a decade now.
From the very outset, there were complaints and murmurings, from many transport operators and commuters alike, about the location of the downtown bus park. Due consideration was not given, or there was not a well-thought-out plan in place before this project was commissioned.
We have seen where the autho-rity of the day started running around to find some sort of quick-fix solution to the problems that were highlighted after it was opened. I would like to think that the search is still going on.
However, my contention is not where the centre is located. In my opinion, this location was suitable, smack between the commercial and industrial region of the city.
Nevertheless, I think that other infrastructural developments needed to have been put in place, including the expansion of the Darling Street Police Station into a joint military/police base. This would have given commuters and operators the assurance that their security would not be compromised.
Furthermore, the surrounding locale should be fully urbanised, so that in traversing the area, one does not feel a sense of isolation which can cause fear and anxiety, especially among some of the more vulnerable, such as young children and the elderly.
Second, the enforcement of the law is most crucial for the survival of any society. Lawlessness can only lead to turmoil, which in turn will retard economic growth and development. Therefore, the authority must do due diligence to ensure that all and sundry comply with the rules and regulations that govern the land. Thus, if the terminus is where commuting should commence and terminate, it must be enforced.
Notwithstanding, I must point out what I think is a disparity between the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) and other public transportation providers. It is very unreasonable to have allowed the JUTC buses to remain at Parade, while compelling the rest of operators to go to Water Lane. All buses and taxis should converge in the same precinct, so that no one can complain that they are being disenfranchised.
Crocodile danger in Black River
Recently, my family and I went on a tour of the Black River, conducted by one of the safari operators there. I will not disclose the location of this operator, as I hope same will read this letter and take the obvious measures based on my concern.
Between the administrative building of the safari and the Black River bank, there is a strip of lawn about four metres wide. At the end of this strip of lawn is a gate with a sign which states that individuals are not to proceed further. At the time of my visit, this gate had two horizontal spaces at its base approximately 70 centimetres high by one metre wide, through which either a crocodile or someone could easily pass through.
On same visit, I walked to this gate and followed the instruction not to proceed further. Located about six metres beyond this gate was what I thought was a plastic model of an adult crocodile lying with its jaws opened wide. I returned to the location on the river bank where members of my family and others boarded the boat on which we would take the river tour.
The captain of the boat pulled up quietly beside what I thought previously was a model of a crocodile and to my shock and dismay learnt that this was no model but a LIVE crocodile!
I consider having the gate between where this crocodile was located and the other section of this complex, having the mentioned spaces, grossly crazy, as an unsupervised child could have easily strayed to the location of this crocodile and possibly be killed by it!
I pray that the relevant authority will have this matter immediately investigated and addressed if to date the spaces in that gate still exist. Explanations given by the captain of our tour boat simply made no sense to me and others who were on the trip. It would be a terrible tragedy if a child or someone else was killed by a crocodile who ventured through the mentioned spaces in the fence or otherwise.
Chalky Hill road still needs fixing!
Robert G.F. Clarke
Manager, Worthy Park Estates, Ewarton PO, St Catheriner.firstname.lastname@example.org
Now it is £1 million (J$140 million) for the four, or is it five, of our senior government ministers and others to attend the London Olympics and 'market' Jamaica! Additionally, how many millions to 'celebrate' our 50th birthday? Sure, celebrate - but to that extent?
Where are the priorities? Surely, the glaring and outstanding needs of Jamaica's education, health, security and infrastructure systems should be considered ahead of feel-good missions and celebrations.
A case in point: Speaking of infrastructure, has the NWA abandoned the six-kilometre section of the Chalky Hill, St Ann, roadway between Golden Grove via Steerfield to Thickets (Trafalgar)? This corridor is the major trucking and passenger transportation roadway between north and south Jamaica. The road surface has been, for the past 18 months, in a deplorable and unsafe condition.
patching not enough
Thank God for the Knutsford Express, which provided some marl patching relief in June 2012 - now washed away by the recent rains. The resulting daily delays experienced and the constant and costly damage to heavy transport equipment and passenger vehicles is staggering - yet the pleas for help over months - and months - go unanswered!
Surely, Finance Minister Peter Phillips and MP (North East St Ann) Lisa Hanna would appreciate that the Chalky Hill roadway is typical of the outstanding priorities that exist throughout Jamaica and should take precedence over the extent of Government's recent expenditures for London and Independence.
Please, no 'Mammy' bags roun' 'ere!
Nicholas D. Mcdavid
PO Box 20, Kgn email@example.com
I would like to bring to your attention the picture taken on my BlackBerry Saturday, August 25, 2012. The picture is of a 'Jamaica'-branded item that is for sale at Sun Island Jamaica stores, with particular reference to the outlet at 45 Molynes Road, Kingston 10.
The image is of a 'mammy', which is one of the most, if not the ultimate, racist stereotype of black women, dating somewhere from the 1930s upwards in terms of 'iconic popularity'. This image was a portrayal that black women's roles were to be that of household servants and the like.
I naturally felt strongly about something like this being sold by Sun Island Jamaica, and I asked one of the cashiers how she felt about the image. She had no answer at first. I then asked if she considered herself a black woman, to which she answered and assured, "Yes."
I then put to her that the same image would be like saying all black women are monkeys because they like bananas. She accepted the example completely.
It is my plight, therefore, to raise some kind of awareness to our countrymen and women.
Some type of alarm should be going off at one seeing something like this! I said to a family member that selling a 'mammy' item, especially one that is branded 'Jamaica' in Jamaica, would be the same as selling an Adolf Hitler T-shirt in a Jewish neighbourhood in Brooklyn, New York. It simply wouldn't be allowed to happen or continue!
Maybe there might be some who think I am overreacting, but I would never have written if it was not something that completely rubbed me the wrong way. I think it is a cultural insult, especially being outside of an arena or explanation that is culturally and historically contextual to the image.