Paulwell justifies actions in 360MW project-procurement process
Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell has sought to justify his actions in relation to the process to procure the supply of 360MW of power to the national grid, saying, "This Government has made a commitment to the Jamaican people to significantly reduce the high cost of energy that decimates household budgets and cripples our productive sectors.
"Given that commitment, we are obligated to pursue all opportunities which could realise that reduction," Paulwell said.
"As minister, I have led the charge for reduced energy costs within the context of good governance and established government policy. I am fighting for Jamaica's very future, and I will not be derailed from my objective."
The Office of the Contractor General, in a report on its special investigation into the country's 360MW power project, has accused Paulwell of making statements to Parliament which were "inaccurate", "misleading", and of "improper intervention", which "was unfair and compromised the integrity of the process".
Holness raises concern over headless OUR
Opposition Leader Andrew Holness has said there appears to be a lack of urgency in appointing a new director general for the Office of Utilities Regulation.
Zia Mian left the office in February, 2013, firing a parting shot on the way out, saying that immediate steps must be taken to prevent the entity from being captured by politicians or utility companies.
In a media release yesterday, Holness said the tender process to select the preferred bidder for the 360-megawatt project needed the guidance of a director general from its inception, "not the unseen hand of the political directorate".
Holness said Jamaica would not have an energy solution any time soon under the current Government and warned that Jamaicans would continue to endure back-breaking energy costs.
Don't pay tickets for disobeying road sign - Lewis
"Do not pay those tickets!"
That's the directive from head of the Police Traffic Division Senior Superintendent Radcliffe Lewis to several motorists who were ticketed yesterday for making a right turn on to Kingsway from Hope Road in St Andrew in violation of the 'No Right Turn' sign erected there.
The sign was erected by the National Works Agency, but several times, it has been removed by Lewis, causing confusion for motorists.
On September 1, Lewis told The Gleaner that he had instructed the men and women under his command not to prosecute drivers who disobey the sign.
"I am now saying to motorists, whether the sign is there, yes or no, once the traffic is clear, you may make a right turn," Lewis said then.
"You will not be prosecuted any time of the day," he continued.
But yesterday, our news team observed a police team issuing tickets to motorists for disobeying the sign.
They explained that they were simply doing their jobs and were following instructions given by their superiors and not "directives issued by Lewis through the media".
PSOJ, JMA call on Gov't to respond to contractor general report
One week after the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association (JMA) expressed disappointment in a further delay in the completion of a bid evaluation report in relation to the Government's 360MW project, the JMA and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) have called for a detailed response from the Government to the contractor general report on the project prior to any announcement by the Office of the Utilities Regulation (OUR).
The groups said they believe that the selection process has been surrounded by too many unanswered questions and concerns and is calling for the OUR to delay the announcement of the selected bidder until the cloud resulting from the OCG's report has been cleared.
Family of York Town victims being counselled
Family members of the five victims who were shot and injured in York Town, Clarendon last week have been receiving counselling. Support has been pouring in from various groups and government agencies for those affected.
Representatives from the Clarendon Peace and Justice Centre and the York Town Foundation Benevolent Society were on hand to provide therapeutic counselling to the relatives and family members who say they have been unable to sleep since last week.
Mayor of May Pen Scean Barnswell, who was in attendance, called for a peace march to include all the schools, stakeholders and other business interests in the community to make it known that "enough is enough".
Barnswell said crime and violence deprive the community of investments and infrastructural development.
He said persons should tell what they know to the police in an effort to stem the crime and violence in York Town.
Senior Superintendent of Police in charge of May Pen, Michael Scott also urged persons to "let go of the fear and give the police any information they have about crime and violence in the community".
St James PC moves to stop road rehab project
The St James Parish Council (PC) last Thursday moved a motion to stop payment to contractors assigned to a National Works Agency-led road rehabilitation project in the Springmount community in the parish.
The move was suggested by mayor of Montego Bay and chairman of the St James Parish Council, Glendon Harris, following complaints made by councillor of the Springmount Division, Stein Graham, that the contractor had failed to replace water pipes, which they had dug up, resulting in sections of the community being without piped water.
Harris also told Graham that he, too, as councillor of the division had a responsibility to provide oversight in order to prevent incidents of this nature, which could result in a waste of taxpayers' money.