News in brief
KSAC makes special allowance for holiday vending
Kingston Mayor Angela Brown Burke says the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) has started to put measures in place for the anticipated increase in vending activities in the shopping district over the Christmas season.
She says special vending areas will be in place from December 18 to January 4, 2014, to help maintain order and safety, and some streets will be designated for pedestrians only.
Brown Burke says details of the Christmas plans are being finalised and the public will be advised of the arrangements in short order.
Meanwhile, the mayor says the regularisation of handcart operators has been successful, with 600 persons being registered so far under the system rolled out by the KSAC in September.
Respect detainees' rights, INDECOM urges Gov't
A call is being made for the Government to take a serious look at how persons are being held in lock-ups across the island, as the conditions in these facilities could be violating detainees' human rights.
Delivering the keynote address at Tuesday's commissioning ceremony for 46 justices of the peace at the Leslie Ridout Hall in Kingston, Terrence Williams, commissioner of the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), said the State must be careful not to violate the rights of those being held in its care.
"The conditions under which people are kept, who are in the total control of the State, must be such conditions which do not deprive them of any rights guaranteed to them," Williams said.
His comments came against the background of reports that the Kingston Central police lock-up has been ordered closed by the Public Health Department because of the inhumane conditions under which persons were being held.
Jamaica won't miss out on ganja benefits - Paulwell
Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell has come out in full support of positive developments in ganja locally and internationally.
Paulwell said Jamaica "will not be left behind" as interest and movements in ganja-law reform and research and development grows rapidly.
Paulwell was speaking yesterday at the official launch of Cannabis, Marijuana, Ganja: The Jamaican and Global Connection, a book outlining the attributes and potential of ganja.
Paulwell noted that the United States (US), Canada, and other countries have been leading the way on the issue, despite the US, in particular, having taken a generally anti-marijuana stance over time.
He said the many benefits of medical ganja pointed to the versatility of the plant and its ability to aid Jamaica's development.
Paulwell stated that he has already directed the Scientific Research Council to lead the efforts of stakeholders in medical-ganja matters.
Campaign against illegal Corporate Area signs intensifies
Mayor of Kingston Angela Brown Burke is urging business operators in the Corporate Area to comply with rules and regulations when putting up billboards and signs.
She said the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) signs and billboard programme is now in its third phase, and letters are being sent to non-compliant entities, outlining the law and requesting that they make contact with the office within seven days of receipt of notices.
She stressed that failure to comply will result in the removal of signs, publishing of names in the print media, and legal action in the Resident Magistrate's Court.
She was addressing the monthly meeting of the KSAC yesterday.
In February this year, the KSAC began its drive to remove illegal billboards and signs in the city.
Three treats for Portmore communities this year
The Portmore Municipal Council on Tuesday held its tree-lighting ceremony on the grounds of the Portmore Civic Lions Centre.
Acting mayor, Councillor Leon Thomas, Councillor Alric Campbell and Member of Parliament (MP) Colin Fagan offered greetings. MPs Fitz Jackson and Arnaldo Brown were also in attendance, along with members of the Portmore Ministers' Fraternal.
In his greetings, Thomas informed the gathering that the council would be having three Christmas treats this year - in Gregory Park, Greater Portmore, and Edgewater - in response to a laughable moment in the dramatic presentation by Bridgeport High School, where it was stated that there would be no treats as the municipality did not currently have a mayor.
Special-needs children fêted by Hanover Educational Institute
The Hanover Educational Institute hosted its 11th Christmas treat for some special children at the Lucea Learning Centre in Lucea, Hanover, recently.
"This outreach programme has been in place since the inception of the school. Every year since then, the Hanover Educational Institute's students have been intricately involved in the planning, organising and execution of this programme.," said Angela Haye, the school's director.
She added: "They performed for them, singing Christmas carols, and interacted with them. They talked to the kids and assisted the ones who cannot feed themselves, and so on."