PNP Slams Holness Crime Claims



The PNP is accusing Opposition Leader, Andrew Holness of making baseless claims about the Simpson Miller administration’s handling of the crime portfolio.

These were the remarks made by Mr. Holness on Sunday as he addressed a massive crowd of JLP supporters in May Pen, that have angered the PNP.

On Monday, the PNP issued a statement, lashing the Opposition Leader for what it says are his cynical and thoughtless comments.

The PNP says Mr. Holness failed to offer any hint of a crime plan.

It says this is yet another instance of Holness making cavalier and irresponsible statements in a misguided effort to gain political mileage.

The PNP says it’s particularly disturbing when such statements are made in relation to issues concerning national security which require sober and responsible analysis and attention.

The PNP says its strongly urging Mr. Holness to exercise the level of responsibility expected of one who aspires to lead.

It says there were 1682 reported murders in 2009 when the JLP was in office.

The PNP is arguing that that figure represents the highest number of murders reported in any one year.

It contrasts this with the 1005 murders registered last year under the PNP administration, the lowest in 11 years.

The PNP says crime fighting is a serious national issue with multiple causal factors and responses.

The party says any attempt to reduce the issue to nonsensical statements, even in the heightened atmosphere of a political campaign rally, represents a disrespect to the intelligence of the Jamaican people.


Use the New Voters’ List! – G2K

The President of the young professional affiliate of the JLP, G2K, Matthew Samuda, says Prime Minister Simpson Miller would be disenfranchising thousands of young people if she calls a general election on the old voters list.

The most recent voter registration window closed on September 30.

Persons who registered ahead of the deadline would see their names added to the new voters list, set to be published on November 30 by the Electoral Office of Jamaica, ECJ.

Mr. Samuda says it appears as if the election will be called before the publication of that new list.

Mr. Samuda says he hopes that civil society and the private sector use their influence to encourage the Prime Minister to do what he believes is the right thing.


NHT promises more homes in 2 yr project

NHT promises more homes in 2 yr project

by Primrose Oliver

Some 9,000 housing solutions will be funded under a short to medium term housing programme by the National Housing Trust (NHT).

The two-year project will cost of approximately $25 billion.

The NHT says the move will enable thousands of families to realise their dream of owning a home.

Additionally, it says the trust is to boost the housing solutions available to contributors through a mix of NHT directed schemes and joint financing projects with private developers.

The NHT says the housing projects, some of which are already underway, will involve a mix of houses and residential lots in 42 developments.

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Peter Blake cleared by PNP

Norman Grindley
Blake: I am Niels Peter Blake, I am none of those persons (involved in criminal activity) and from now on that is how I want to be referred to.

Having defeated Damion Crawford in the run-off to be the People’s National Party (PNP) candidate for East Rural St Andrew, Peter Blake has cleared another hurdle of the selection process.

Blake told The Gleaner yesterday said that he had been informed that the party has no concerns about his integrity.

“I got a response from the general secretary and he has indicated that I have been cleared in regards to my integrity, my honesty, and my character,” he said.

Blake’s comments come days after PNP General Secretary Paul Burke indicated that the party had not yet decided on a candidate. Up to press time yesterday, the leadership of the constituency was meeting to decide whether Blake would be the standard-bearer.

While speaking with The Gleaner, Blake went on to address rumours about his character, which many believe may affect his chances for victory in the East Rural St Andrew seat.

“One of the rumours that have been going around for a few years is that I am this drug kingpin; another rumour is that I have been involved in dismembering persons abroad … and that I have been in prison … ,” he scoffed.

Blake, dismissing the rumours, said he was being confused with another Peter Blake, who was reportedly arrested for involvement in the lottery scam.

“I am Niels Peter Blake. I am none of those persons (involved in criminal activity), and from now on, that is how I want to be referred to,” he declared.

Stressing that he would not assume that he would be confirmed as the candidate, Blake said, “We are to have a meeting with the constituency leadership, and clearly that is the way forward.”

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Holness promises to tackle crime and water

Holness promises to tackle crime and water

by Primrose Oliver

Leader of the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party, Andrew Holness, says if his party forms the next government crime prevention and accessibility to running water will be among the priority areas.

He chided the government for not addressing issues central to crime fighters, notably salaries.

Mr Holness made a commitment to party supporters at a mass meeting in clarendon at the weekend, that his government will review the conditions and terms of service of police officers

Leader of the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party, Andrew Holness, says if his party forms the next government crime prevention and accessibility to running water will be among the priority areas.

He chided the government for not addressing issues central to crime fighters, notably salaries.

Mr Holness made a commitment to party supporters at a mass meeting in clarendon at the weekend, that his government will review the conditions and terms of service of police officers.

On the issue of water, the JLP leader says Jamaica does not have a water shortage problem, but a water management problem.

He bemoaned that the last JLP administration left money sourced from the i-d-b to build water supply schemes across the island which has not been done in the 4 years since they left office.

JLP Leader Andrew Holness.



UHWI board chairman insists incubators at the facility are safe

UHWI board chairman insists incubators at the facility are safe

by Primrose Oliver

The board chairman of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) Sterling Soares has described as quite alarming, photographs carried in the media on Sunday showing a truck with baby incubators.

On Sunday, Member of Parliament for West Portland Daryl Vaz brought to the attention of the media, a photograph showing, what he said, was a tow truck in Liguanea, St Andrew, heading in the direction of the UHWI with three incubators fully exposed to the open air elements of dust and bacteria.

Mr Vaz questioned whether this was the normal mode of transportation for the incubators.

He also said that there appeared to have been no lessons learnt following the deaths of 19 premature babies at the university and Cornwall Regional hospitals due to bacterial infection between June and October.

Mr Soares stated however that the hospital’s guidelines, with respect to acquiring healthcare equipment, are quite clear.

He says they are ordered from overseas and are delivered from the wharf in either crates or boxes, assembled within the hospital by engineers, who demonstrate proper care to the hospital’s technicians including how to clean and sanitise the units.

Mr Soares explains that he requested a report as to when the last set of such equipment was delivered to the hospital and was advised that a delivery was made on September 18.

This was a donation from the University of the West Indies through PROMAC.

He says the donation consisted of infant warmers and carriers, photo-therapy lamps, along with a recovery bed and stretcher and that these items were delivered by medical link.

In addition, the hospital chairman says after being removed from their boxes, the equipment was assembled in the Annex on Ward 11, sanitised and commissioned and sent to the respective areas of use.

Mr Soares states that in light of the records of the hospital, he does not know what to make of the photographs published by the media.

UHWI Appoints New CEO

UHWI Appoints New CEO

by Primrose Oliver


The University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) is reporting that there has been no further outbreaks of bacteria at the hospital.

The UHWI was one of two hospitala from which 19 premature babies are said to have died due to an outbreak of Klebsiella and Serratia bacterial infections.

Chairman of the hospital’s board, Sterling Soares says considerable progress has been made in implementing the recommendations of the team from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) aimed at helping to ensure no further outbreaks of bacteria occurs at the hospital.

Meanwhile, Mr Soares has announced that Senior Director of Finance at the hospital, Kevin Allen has been appointed to act as Chief Executive Officer, following the resignation of Dr Cecil White.

Dr White’s resignation was to have taken effect at the end of January 2016.

Mr Soares however says the board felt it was in the hospital’s best interest to appoint someone to act immediately.

In addition, the board has decided to appoint consultant neurosurgeon, Dr Carl Bruce, to act as senior director of clinical services, in the wake of the resignation of Professor Trevor McCartney.


Diamond Mile offers record $13.5m purse

Collin Reid
Paul Hoo (left), chairman, Supreme Ventures Limited, hands over his company's sponsorship commitment for the Diamond Mile race to Caymanas Track Limited's chairman, Christopher Brown, during the launch at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel yesterday.

The richest race in the English-speaking Caribbean, the inaugural running of the Diamond Mile offering a record purse of $13.5 million, will be run at Caymanas Park on Saturday, December 5, with Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) coming on board as title sponsor.

The event is hosted by the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC) and Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) and, according to racing secretary Denzil Miller Jr, it promises to be a memorable experience, “bringing glamour, fine entertainment and excitement to the Caymanas racing complex”.

Details for the Supreme Ventures Diamond Mile were outlined by representatives of SVL, BGLC and CTL at yesterday’s launch at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston.


“Supreme Ventures’ commitment of $5 million to the raceday demonstrates our ongoing commitment to enhancing the horse-racing industry,” said Paul Hoo, SVL’s chairman. “We commend the BGLC for its vision in conceptualising and launching the plan earlier this year for what promises to be the most prestigious horse-racing event in the region.

“We certainly share the view of the BGLC chairman, Gary Peart, in his comments at the BGLC’s launch in June this year that an event of this nature will help generate more revenue for CTL and, ultimately, it will help the owners, trainers, jockeys, grooms, and all stakeholders at Caymanas Park.

“It is also very encouraging for a stakeholder in the gaming industry to note that the regulators do not see themselves as regulators, but also as facilitators assisting in the growth of the industry by their sponsorship.

“Our sponsorship of the Diamond Mile race day, a new investment for Supreme Ventures, is valued at $5 million, which will represent an investment of $18 million in sponsorship at CTL for 2015 alone. Indeed, our investment in the sponsorship of horse racing and the promotion of the racedays to date exceeds $103 million, by far the largest partnership in the horse-racing industry.

“As one of the companies bidding for the operations of CTL, our vision is to return horse racing to its former glory, with prestigious events that bring out the attendance of patrons, engender the interest of sponsors to come on board throughout the year and make the track one that all stakeholders will be proud of,” he concluded.

Also speaking was CTL’s chairman, Christopher Brown, who said SVL has now raised the bar with the addition of the ultra-rich Diamond Mile “which boasts the single-largest purse of any race – $13.5 million”.

Denzil Miler pointed to several of the top horses expected to vie for top honours, including two-time ‘Horse of the Year’ TYPEWRITER; the 2013 Derby and St Leger winner, PERFECT NEIGHBOUR; and the crack imported horse, UPPA TUNE. He added that entries for the Diamond Mile will close on Wednesday, November 4, at 2 p.m.

Laurie Foster: Shelly’s Six-a-Side support

It was some Public Holiday night in 2008 – National Heroes Day appropriately springs to mind – that this columnist paid a visit to the Waterhouse community of St Andrew.

It was a period of personal vehicular immobility, a favourite taxi driver providing the transport. There was no arrangement for the return trip home, that was left to chance. Prime focus was to absorb the prelude to a function, at which the recently crowned being Olympic 100m champion and daughter of the area, Shelly-Ann Fraser (no Pryce yet) would be feted.

Given the tradition, a speech was expected. To be there in the first instance some would call it ‘’temporary insanity”.

Before the arrival of the queen of the evening, there was interaction with the crowd. The air was full of ‘’me an she went to basic school together”, “Is mi little niece and she neva run fast like mi,” and numerous other little quips, all aimed at showing some affiliation to the toast of the moment.

There were vendors galore, both at the venue, Ashoka Road and drawn from places beyond. Business was robust, street party-styled.

When time came for the night’s proceedings to begin, all being asked was “When she going to talk?”

When that special moment arrived, the cheers were deafening. Queen Shelly was on centre stage. Her upbringing flashed across the mind. So too, did live television clips of ‘Mommy Maxine’ after that fantastic Beijing triumph taking to the church to rock and sing praises with her equally enthralled brethren and sistren.

Shelly spoke of support for the community from which she launched her moment of global glory, still to be further embellished in the ensuing years. As guns barked close by, the casualties to be catalogued in the next morning’s news, she had a message to the idle perpetrators: “I will get to you, in time.”

For Foster’s Fairplay’s candidate for Jamaica’s finest female sporting ambassador of all times, the time is now.

As reported, Shelly has launched the third staging of what is to be an annual Six-a-Side football competition in her home environment. She issued a passion-filled call to neighbouring businesses to give their support, emphasising that the competition has dismantled a lot of the tensions that existed among warring factions.

Plans of this Shelly-Ann initiative include infrastructural upgrade at a facility sited at 451 Spanish Town Road, transforming it into a sporting complex.

She has welcomed on board the sponsors, who have already signalled their support.
“I am really excited to have them … for them to see the impact this football competition has had on the community.”

She wanted, as well, to have medical personnel present at all games, which she deemed to be mandatory.

The two-time Olympic 100m gold medallist – a feat accomplished by only two athletes previously – recounted a sad incident. It made the reason for her community upliftment plans even more relevant.

“I remember years ago when I lived in the community, men were in argument over football and one person ended up dying. It’s a good thing when you can have young men from different parts of the community come together and play some football and when they are done they can lyme and talk and go about their business.”

What is happening with this on-going competition is to be commended.

It shows a young woman’s resolve to enforce a thought that could have perished like so many others from the less committed.

Shelly has put as a priority the welfare of her disadvantaged people, raising their hopes and belief that they have not been forgotten and left to languish in the dark corridors of empty promises. This is a stark demonstration that there is something out there for them.

Let the nation wake up and appreciate that in their midst that there is a rare gem in Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Jamaica needs noble and selfless acts like these for our future stars to emulate.

Foster’s Fairplay, always seeking to extend plaudits to the deserving, is in ecstacy with her displays of benevolence.

Shelly is one of a kind.

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Surprise package – Jonathan Grant on cusp of semis

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Ricardo Makyn
Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer Calabar High School's Devaughn Gordon stretches a high boot from behind to toe the ball close to the face of Excelsior High School's Thorne Buchanan, during their ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup football encounter at the Spanish Town Prison Oval yesterday. Excelsior High won 5-1.
Ricardo Makyn
Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer Jonathan Grant High School's Delroy Grant (left) congratulates his teammate, Anaelka Grandison, for scoring against Charlie Smith High, during their ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup football encounter at Spanish Town Prison Oval yesterday. Jonathan Grant won 2-0.

IT’S an outcome few would have imagined at the start of the ISSA-FLOW Manning Cup season, but one of the competition’s surprise teams, Jonathan Grant High, sensationally moved within a point of qualifying for the semi-finals from Group K, after outclassing former champions Charlie Smith High 2-0 yesterday at Spanish Town Prison Oval, to lead Group K with six points.

Now, the Spanish Town-based institution needs a mere draw in their final game against Calabar High to advance.

Anelka Grandison sent Jonathan Grant ahead in the 32nd minute with a majestic strike past Charlie’s goalkeeper, Eric Robinson.

Tyrone Small put the icing on the cake for Jonathan Grant with another delicate finish, after slipping through Charlie Smith’s defence like a ghost to tap in at the 61st.

The goal sent the home supporters into ecstasy, as Jonathan Grant’s 12th man, their supporters, were fully in the game.

Jonathan Grant defended deep, blocked goalscoring opportunities and continued their counter-attacking runs, which exposed Charlie Smith’s back line.

Charlie Smith ended with 10 players, as captain Shaquille Notice saw straight red for violent conduct.

The Jonathan Grant team only just advanced to the quarter-finals ahead of Norman Manley High after equalising in their eight-minute replay of their final preliminary-round match.

Their only title in the local schoolboy competitions is a Walker Cup triumph in 1999, but they have toppled two former champions so far.

“Good victory; all about preparation, planned preparation, and we executed,” said head coach Oneil Thomas.

“We got harder fights from other teams, but we planned and prepared for Charlie Smith. We are on six points and still underdogs, and will take it one game at a time,” stressed Thomas.

Meanwhile, former champions Excelsior High School returned to winning ways and maintained their hopes of advancing with a 5-1 drubbing of 2005 champions Calabar High in the 3:00 p.m. feature match, also at Prison Oval.

Excelsior’s scoring was led by Voshawn Williams (15th, 48th), Thorne Buchanan (38th, 57th) and Christopher Thorpe (19th). Lenworth Reckford scored Calabar’s consolation.

The result leaves Excelsior on three points and second in the group – on goal difference with Charlie Smith – while Calabar are out of the runnings.

Excelsior assistant coach Xavier Gilbert credited his team’s scoring.

“Jonathan Grant has put themselves in the driver’s seat. They are in a better position than us, so we just have to do what we have to do and hope for the best,” he said.