JCC leadership programme changing lives
It's been nearly 20 years and many ceremonies, but Sameer Younis still believes in the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) Youth Leadership Training Programme.
His reason is simple: "It has changed the lives of many people - police and citizens," Younis said, as he addressed Thursday's graduation of the 57th cohort of the programme.
Organised by the JCC's Civic Affairs and Inner-City Development Committee, which he chairs, the programme is conducted with the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) and teaches entrepreneurial and family-life skills to inner-city residents. They also interact with security personnel, teaching both groups how to trust and work with each other.
JCC Vice-President Warren McDonald said the programme illustrated the type of partnership required for the nation to achieve progress.
Superintendent Hillary Williams of the Jamaica Constabulary Force's (JCF) Area Four, lauded the programme, saying it could reap real rewards, such as lowering crime.
Williams said the JCF was always seeking ways to deliver service, but needed the assistance of the public. She believes the programme was the perfect way to achieve that.
UCC representative Dr Sandra Palmer said there was an 84 per cent pass rate among the 57-member group and lauded the successful graduates for their six weeks of hard work.
May Pen mayor charged for breaching Contractor General Act
A summons was served on Mayor of May Pen Scean Barnswell on Wednesday for him to appear in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court next Tuesday.
The director of public prosecutions (DPP) had ruled that Barnswell be charged for his involvement in the Spaldings Market affair on the recommendation of the Office of the Contractor General.
In a report last month, DPP Paula Llewellyn stated that there is clear evidentiary material to institute criminal proceedings against Barnswell for attempting to mislead the contractor general, contrary to Section 29 of the Contractor General Act.
If found guilty, the mayor would be required to pay a fine of not more than $5,000.
Barnswell was brought before the contractor general as part of the investigations into former Junior Minister Richard Azan's part in constructing 10 shops in the Spaldings Market without the parish council's approval.
Azan, who resigned as junior minister last month, was exonerated of any criminal intent by the DPP.
NDM adds voice to calls for Thompson to quit ECJ
Another call has been made for former chairman of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) Dr Herbert Thompson to resign as an independent commissioner.
General Secretary of the National Democratic Movement (NDM) Michael Williams said the party examined all the issues at its executive meeting yesterday and concluded that Thompson should step aside completely from the ECJ.
Thompson was forced to resign as chairman after he accepted an award from the People's National Party at its 75th anniversary awards ceremony.
However, the former ECJ chairman maintained that he collected the award on behalf of the electoral body.
In a news release, the NDM reminded Thompson that "he was appointed first and foremost as an independent member of the ECJ".
"The recent actions, behaviour, statements and utterances of Dr Thompson have made it abundantly clear to the NDM that Dr Thompson's judgement as an independent thinker has been compromised," Williams said.
According to Williams, the former ECJ boss' presence on the commission was to represent and protect the people of Jamaica as an independent member and thinker.
MP dismisses claim that smoking ban is hurting the poor
Dr Dayton Campbell, the member of parliament (MP) for North West St Ann, has brushed aside arguments that poor people are being made worse off by the ban on smoking in public places.
"I am tired of hearing this argument about poor people. Everybody draws for the poor-people card to get in good favours with people," Campbell said during Wednesday's sitting of the Human Resource and Social Development Committee of the Parliament, which is reviewing the regulations banning smoking in public places.
The first-time MP was responding to a claim from Central St Catherine MP Olivia 'Babsy' Grange that a vacuum is being created with the ban on smoking in public places as persons who sell the product for a living would be adversely affected.
"It is going to impact on a number of people - poor people - who cigarettes have given an opportunity to earn a living," Grange said.