MINISTRY OF HEALTH ORDERS CLOSE WATCH ON DENGUE

The Ministry of Health has mandated the Health Promotions Department and Vector Control Officers nationwide to scale up intervention aimed at preventing an upsurge in the spread of dengue fever in Grenada.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. George Mitchell gave the directive in the wake of an outbreak of dengue fever in the region including Jamaica, where the disease has already claimed lives.

Dr. Mitchell told health promotions and vector control managers that given the regional situation and the fact that there is likely to be an increase in the mosquito population around this time of year, the Ministry is not taking any chances and will not sit complacent.

“We are all keeping a close eye on the development of the dengue fever situation in the region, (Jamaica) and so in order to prevent and control this upsurge in a timely manner, we are taking early and decisive action now”, he explained.

The CMO instructed that specific and targeted intervention in areas where there is a high presence of the Aedes Egypti mosquito be given urgent priority.

He also requested that public awareness and education activities be stepped up and should include heightened vector control activities aimed at preventing any possible outbreak on the island around this time.

The principal symptoms of dengue are:

– High fever and at least two of the following:

– Severe headache

– Severe eye pain (behind eyes)

– Joint pain

– Muscle and/or bone pain

– Rash

– Mild bleeding manifestation (e.g., nose or gum bleeding)

– Low white cell count

Generally, younger children and those with their first dengue infection have a milder illness than older children and adults. Watch for warning signs as temperature declines 3 to 7 days after symptoms begin.

Some general prevention tips:

-Preventing dengue is as simple as preventing mosquito bites. So protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times in mosquito-infested areas.

– Wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants.

– Use registered mosquito repellents when outdoors or especially at times of high mosquito activity like dawn and dusk.

– Consider using mosquito netting if you will be in mosquito-infested areas.

– Ensure windows and doors’ screens are closed to avoid allowing mosquitoes into in enclosed spaces.

– Avoid areas with standing water. (Search for and destroy all mosquito-breeding areas, get rid off all unwanted and non-essential water-holding containers in and around your home, trim high vegetation, check for leaks and blocked drains).

– Prevent access of mosquitoes to an infected person with a fever.

– Remember that personal protection and the environmental management of mosquitoes are important in preventing illness.

Clear Harbor Announces “Employee of The Year” Award Recipients

On December 8th Clear Harbor hosted their “Employee of the Year” ceremony.

Employees were given the opportunity to recommend other employees in different departments for making a significant contribution to the company’s success. The following areas were used to determine the winners of the award:

* Great attendance

* Exceptional performance

* Positive attitude

* The ability to be a positive role model

* Dependability & Reliability

* Assist with enhancing the image of the company* Willingness to assist other employees or with special projects when needed

Clear Harbor takes pride in recognizing their employees who contributes positively to the overall business by helping with others’ growth and development as well as providing world class customer service to their clients. During the ceremony twenty-six (26) employees were awarded for the exceptional service provided. The winners are as follows:

Akida Charles – Customer Account Executive

Kefim David – Customer Account Executive

Avi Charles – Administrative Generalist

Kellisha Hazzard – Supervisor

Benedict Peters – Security Guard

Keshon Joseph – Customer Account Executive

Cadisha Andrews – Customer Account Executive

Marvin Hosten – Desktop Technician

Carlata Calliste – Quality Assurance Coach

Rachel Nesta Joseph – Custodian

Casira Peters – Customer Account Executive

Rendell Pierre – Soutions Technician Claude Jones – Customer Account Executive

Ria Charles – Supervisor

Daryll John – Supervisor

Rockell Lewis – Supervisor

Deon Thomas-Gilbert – Supervisor

Shinelle Charles – Advocate

Jarrell Jeremiah – Transportation Service

Teril Douglas – Customer Account Executive

Jessica N.T Heuton – Supervisor

Tracy Ann Andrews – Trainer

Jevon Belmar- Reporting Analyst Supervisor

Tracy Williams – Customer Account Executive

Kaiyana Thomas – Customer Account Executive

Trevern Murray – Operation Support Coordinator

As Clear Harbor continues to expand, they are constantly seeking ways to improve what they do to satisfy the needs of their employees, clients, and the country.

A special congratulations goes out to all of the winner for their contribution across 2018.

The Crisis in the Justice System

The State of Grenada comprises three independent but co-equal arms of Government: the Executive (Cabinet), the Legislature (Parliament) and the Judiciary (the Courts). In order for Government to function efficiently, all three arms must be fully operational, none compromised. If one arm ceases to function, there is national chaos. The chaos may not be readily noticeable, but its disastrous effects are sure to be eventually felt by all.

Last Monday, lawyers held a public protest to bring focus on the dire state of the Judiciary in this country. In any country, when lawyers resort to protest action, we know there is a serious crisis at hand.

Since the mid-1990s, the Judiciary has been neglected. The NNP administration for years has been shirking its responsibility to fund and upgrade the courts, the Supreme Court Registry and the Deeds and Land Registry. When the NDC assumed office in 2008, the system was on the verge of collapse. The NDC Government undertook certain remedial measures, including:

(1). With World Bank, desperately needed digitisation of the records at the Deeds & Land Registry. This was to save the records, some of which were already partially lost, and to eliminate the actual handling of the fragile ledgers. The Deeds & Land Registry is the official archive for all land transactions in Grenada. Incomplete records therefore mean unreliable title searches. Unreliable searches put the people and the financial institutions doing land transactions at risk. The project was well advanced by the 2013 elections. There was absolutely no reason why it should not have continued, but it was stopped by this uncaring, reckless NNP administration.

(2). As part of the digitisation project, we introduced online title searches. The need to physically go to the Registry to do title searches (handling the fragile records) was being phased out. Lawyers were already utilising the system. By 2014, the online service was stopped because the Government stopped paying the necessary subscription which was a manageable sum.

(3). By 2013, the NDC Government was in the advanced stages of establishing a land agency. Draft legislation was already done and some staff was identified. That agency would have separated the Deeds & Land Registry from the Supreme Court Registry making for greater efficiency in the system all around. Again there is no good reason why this was not pursued.

(4). In 2011, the NDC set up the Commercial & Intellectual Property Office and passed new Intellectual Property laws. This development removed the registration of Companies, Businesses, Trade Marks & Patents from the Supreme Court Registry. The improved efficiency that resulted was one factor in our improved ranking on the ease of doing business index. That office had to be closed for over a month last year due to neglect by the Government.

(5). For the first time ever, in 2012, the NDC Cabinet approved the appointment of 2 Judicial Assistants to help judges with research and preparation of judgments. These positions were to be filled for the 2013 fiscal year. Up to this day that has not been done. This is how a Government that says it cares for the people, especially the poor, behaves.

(6). The NDC Government negotiated the acquisition of the LIME Building to serve as a temporary Hall of Justice until a permanent home could be constructed. The work was very advanced by February 2013. That’s why the courts were able to move into that facility during 2014.

(7). Work was very advanced for the construction of the Hall of Justice at Mt. Wheldale. There is no conceivable reason why, in the last 6 years, this project was not completed. The architectural drawings, the site and some other resources were already done and identified when the NNP assumed office. This failure only points to pure incompetence and an uncaring Government.

(8). Two additional judges were appointed to cater for the backlog and the increased case load.

(9). The NDC was in the process of sourcing new court reporting equipment to introduce real time preparation of trial transcripts. We were aware of the hardship people endured in having to wait years for judgments and trial transcripts to have their appeals to be heard. Now, some people have been waiting up to six years for their transcripts and the court reporting unit remains under equipped and under staffed.

All of the above initiatives of the NDC were abandoned by the NNP because they have decided that these issues do not win them votes. They are demonstrating their total lack of care for the ordinary man and their obsession with power.

It is unconscionable for Mitchell to appear on national TV and tell the nation that things are not as bad and that the lawyers are not accurately representing the facts. No one but Mitchell must take responsibility for the dire state of the judiciary. Under our laws, the only entity responsible for the Courts is the Executive. Imagine he is even blaming the Privy Council, stating that they never helped. Since when is a Court a funding agency? Shame on you Mitchell!

The NNP has shown time and again that they are a wholly incompetent bunch. They did nothing for the judiciary for 13 years between 1995 and 2008 and even after getting a jump start from the NDC, they have proved incapable of building on that start or of starting any new initiatives to enhance the judiciary.

In life, anyone who is given a start and does not build on it is deemed an abject failure. So is the NNP with the judiciary of Grenada.

(The above reflects the views of the main opposition National Democratic Congress)

Government to institute “Park and Shuttle” System

Minister of Transport, Gregory Bowen has announced plans by government to introduce a number of transportation initiatives within the first quarter of 2019 including a park and shuttle system to help ease the flow of traffic into the town of St. George.

Minister of Transportation – Gregory Bowen

Minister Bowen told reporters at Tuesday’s post-Cabinet press briefing that government is looking at areas in Tanteen and Queen’s Park, St. George where vehicles can be allowed to park in order to facilitate the system.

He said that motorists in some sections of the island will be allowed to park at Queen’s Park and then take a shuttle and come into St. George.

“That shuttle will be moving to and fro very quickly …. all the cars and so will not be coming into the town to cluster traffic”.

According to the senior government minister only special vehicles and emergency vehicles will be allowed into the city “so you will not have that cluster in town”.

Minister Bowen stated that vehicles coming from another part of the island will have to park in the Tanteen area and persons would have to take the shuttle to get into town.

He disclosed that a specific route would have to be created for persons who may be heading to Grand Anse from the Western and Northern sides of the island.

He said: “If you’re going from Gouyave to Grand Anse, the Climate Smart City will propose a route. We will have to expand Cemetery Hill, all over Old fort so that you can come down to join the Grand Anse road but you may be able to pass through certain areas in town”.

The minister announced that government is currently holding discussions with private bus owners to have “this initiative rolled out smoothly”.

“We are now discussing with the private sector, the buses, how many buses you should own. In fact, they’ve asked government to participate…if you have to get four shuttles, the private sector may put 60% and they’re asking government to put 40% in the cost of the shuttle…it will make sense for us to do that to ease up the congestion in the town”, he said.

Minister Bowen stated that by end of the first quarter of 2019, legislation should be passed in Parliament and implemented for the initiative to come into effect.

The Number Two man in the ruling New National Party (NNP) administration also commented on plans first announced in the middle of 2018, for government to look at ways in which it can provide after hours transportation especially for hotel workers who are often left stranded after finishing a late night shift at hotels in the south of the island.

Minister Bowen stressed that the Bus Association is willing and prepared to work with government on the plan.

He said: “They demanded that we put the rules in place because if four buses work this week and another six are looking at the side and they see that they make something, then they will flood the business and everybody will break down, so, they asked us to manage the buses. So, you say we have four working today in the Gouyave route, St. Andrew route, St. David route, another four will be working (tomorrow)”.

One of the other requests which came from the Bus Association, according to Minister Bowen was that government should meet any shortfalls in their income from the new plan.

“In other words, they have their expenses to pay and they must make their small profit, if they don’t make it, the state should meet the shortfalls. So, if we start with four buses, eventually…it’s like how you help the airlines when they come to Grenada, it is not unreasonable and we’re looking at this now.

“We hope, because we must be fiscally responsible and we do not have a lot of funds to play with, so we hope they will be able to do it without government intervening but once there is significant evidence that government should, I think we will support it.

Minister Bowen indicated that this initiative should also come on stream before the end of the first quarter of 2019.

The murder of Brizan!!!

Sir,

RE: Letter in your newspaper dated December 14th 2018, headlined, “A sick and bold-faced nastiness”, please inform the writer “Christian Soldier”, to ask another of the Grenada 17 about it as he knows about it, he was there in front of the gate when Brizan came up with his car.

Old Soldier

Laboratory Procedures

The Management of the Grenada Bureau of Standards (GDBS) through good professional practice is committed to ensuring that the organisation consistently provides quality testing services that meet regulatory requirements and where possible exceed the expectations of our valued customers.

We wish to clarify claims made in a report broadcasted by a local news station on January 4, 2019. The Bureau of Standards, as a statutory body, offers testing services to the public at a cost. Once a sample is submitted to the Bureau for testing, the person/organisation submitting the sample is informed that there is a cost attached before the sample is tested.

After the test(s) are completed, the person/organisation will be contacted to collect their results and to remit the payment. If there are queries about the charges, the person/organisation can direct their queries through the official channels for resolution. We apologise if this was not clearly communicated to the affected party.

It is the policy of the GDBS under its quality management system that all client information, inclusive of test results, are kept confidential and GDBS cannot communicate this information to any third party.

The Grenada Bureau of Standards remains committed to providing quality testing for our clients.

A moral obligation

Recently, Jerry Edwin has been telling us a story about Dr. Eric Williams, to create the fallacy that in principle he opposed the establishment of the Caribbean Court of Justice.

Generally, the story goes like this. Someone asked Dr. Williams about the court in 1976, and Dr. Williams had replied that if two people are fighting in one house, it is better to have an outsider to settle the dispute. He has made this statement on radio, and has written it in articles published in our local newspapers.

Edwin, who appears to be a member of the bandwagon of political regression, tells this story to prove that Dr. Williams was a lifelong opponent of the CCJ, and if he was alive today, he would opt for the British Privy Council ahead of it.

But even if Edwin’s story is true, this does not necessarily follow.

Perhaps people like Edwin do not mentally change and grow; they remain fixated on one set of ideas and the same mental orientation throughout their lives.

Dr. Williams died in 1981. The agreement by Caribbean governments to establish the CCJ, of which Trinidad was a part was signed in 2001.

The court was established in 2005, twenty-four years after Dr. Williams’ death. If Dr. Williams was alive today, it would have been forty years since he made the statement Edwin attributes to him.

I refuse to believe that Dr. Williams, one of the Caribbean most profound intellects, who authored over a dozen books, had the kind of mentality Edwin wants to attribute to him. Indeed, if Edwin was interested he would have seen much evidence that Williams was a man who frequently changed his mind. More research would have made him more ready to draw less biased conclusions, as well as make him realise that generally Caribbean people’s mental awareness have increased greatly since 1962, and they have become nationalistic.

One of the best examples of how sometimes Dr. Williams had a change of heart about things involves some words he said on Trinidad’s Independence Day in August 1962. During his Independence speech, he said to the Queen’s representative: “I want you to convey to Her Majesty our expression of unfailing loyalty and devotion to her throne and person.” However, 14 years later that loyalty failed, when Williams, who we are told was never comfortable with Metropolitan hand-downs, pioneered the movement of Trinidad to a republic, so that Trinidadians could begin to express their unfailing loyalty, not to an alien monarch, but to themselves, and so regain some of their lost human dignity.

National sovereignty is a highly important human rights issue. Human rights issues are always at the same time moral issues. Inconsolidating the the independence/self-determination of Trinidadians, as well as the fact, that he turned down a knighthood from the Queen, Dr. Williams proved that he was a person of intellectual and moral integrity.

It was not moral act for some of our politicians to tell Grenadians to vote “no” on November 6 to the referendum Bill. All Grenadians had a moral obligation to vote “yes” for it.

I am trying to understand the motive for Edwin getting on the bandwagon of political regression. His gross fallacy here must make people wonder if his professional competence is not suspect. I am asking Mr. Edwin who suggests that he has a commitment to educate Grenadians in political and judicial matters, and other lawyers who are interested, to go back to the 2016 referendum Bill about the CCJ, and examine part 10, where it says: Schedule 3 in the Constitution is altered in the Oath of Allegiance by deleting the words “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors”, and by substituting the word “Grenada”, and explain fully to Grenadians what these words proposed.

Readiness is always important as leaders of the NDC and others seem to accept, and these people must take their own advice. Therefore, the NDC must ready itself for winning elections by solving its leadership crisis as soon as possible.

I suggest that they adopt a similar solution as the St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP), some years ago, when they had a similar leadership problem. The SLP wooed Dr. Kenny Anthony, a Senior lecturer, away from U.W.I., to become leader of the party. This did bring a certain measure of strength and stability to the SLP.

Also, to increase its readiness, the NDC should replace Claudette Joseph as its caretaker/candidate for the town of St. George. People who can face reality will accept that it is highly unlikely she will ever win this seat as long as Peter David is the NNP candidate there.

The NDC needs to find someone else who can present a greater challenge to Peter David. Power is the name of the game of partisan politics, and this entails winning elections. The party must also take another look at Phillip Alexander in St. Andrew’s North West, because he does not seem to fit the part.

Some time ago Brenda Baptiste on GBN asked Alexander, in what ways he thought NNP and NDC were similar, and he came up with the rather unintelligent answer, that he couldn’t think of any way they were similar. An answer like this could hardly inspire voter confidence in him and in the NDC.

Devonson LaMothe

“WELCOME TO THE WORLD”

Babies are a special gift at any time, but especially so, when they are born on New Year’s Day.

Mrs. Althea Roberts, Manager – Retail Services, St. George’s Cluster presenting tokens to the proud moms of new-year born babies

Republic Bank joins in welcoming four (4) new babies born January 01, 2019. Each brings the promise of many happy and wonder-filled moments.

As is customary, Republic Bank presented each baby with a basket filled with goodies, valued at $125.00 and a Gift Certificate for a RightStart savings account, valued at $100.00. The RightStart account is designed for persons from birth to 19 years old.

This gesture is made to help the parents instill a good savings habit in their child, from birth.

The gifts were presented by Manager, Retail Services – St. George’s Cluster, Althea Roberts who on making the presentations congratulated the moms on their new bundles of joy and wished each a lifetime of good health and happiness.

All four (4) babies were born at the General Hospital, St. George’s; with the first birth at 4.45 a.m.

Possible lawsuit against Grenada Invitational Inc. in the making

The Grenada Invitational Inc. could be facing a lawsuit from disgruntled athletes who are seeking payments for their participation in the inaugural Grenada Invitational back in 2017.

A letter sent to THE NEW TODAY newspaper via email last week suggested that a number of athletes are at their wits ends in seeking payment from the organisers of the Grenada Invitational.

The letter stated, “Dear Mr. Editor, I’m writing you about a complain. I will try to be brief but writing on behalf of a group of athletes who have been trying to get money owed to them for the 2017 Invitational meet in Grenada and this is 2019.

“…The only person who replied to me is Mr. Michael Bascombe but he said he’s no longer involved and said he forwarded our complaint to the guys in Grenada. Before contacting you, he said that he never received a response from them.

“Our only avenue now is to seek legal advice and we have no interest in participating in the invitational. I do not wish to make public too much information because we’re preparing to take legal action but so far there are 6 athletes but could be more.”

In October 2018, the International Association of Athletes Federation (IAAF) and the North American, Central American and Caribbean Championships (NACAAC), removed the Grenada Invitational from its 2019 calendar of games and was replaced with one in Cuba.

The move is seemingly related to complaints from athletes that they were not receiving payments from the operators of Grenada Invitational Inc.

Founder and Chairman of the Grenada Invitational Inc. Michael Bascombe resigned from his position in September 2018 after he sought without success to obtain a financial update from the persons in charge of the finances amidst claims that the company had defaulted on payments to athletes.

Information reaching THE NEW TODAY newspaper indicates that some athletes who competed in the 2018 games received payments after the operators of the Grenada Invitational allegedly received a bail out sum from one state-owned body but monies are still outstanding for the 2017 games.

This newspaper contacted the Treasurer of the company via email on Monday to get a response on the impending lawsuit.

Following is the response from Grenada Invitational under the heading “Erroneous claims made against the Grenada Invitational”.

“On Wednesday January 02nd, 2019, several local media houses ran slanderous and untrue stories stating that legal actions were going to be taken by Athletes owed by the Grenada Invitational from the Meet in 2017.

Sadly, the origin of the email, after investigation, has proven to be fraudulent and in fact, the source of the email is presently being investigated by the Criminal Investigation Department of the Royal Grenada Police Force.

The erroneous source of the information came from an email address liliatevans@gmail.com, which is confirmed to be suspiciously linked to a former associate of the Grenada Invitational.

Our lawyers have issued letters to the offending media houses and individuals and we expect full retractions of the story with genuine apologies, in lieu of legal proceedings.
Since September 11th, 2018, the Grenada Invitational has been under constant attack with local media being provided with dubious information about the private affairs of the Grenada Invitational.

As we make final preparations for the launch of the 2019 Grenada Invitational, we are of the view that it is important to send a strong message that enough is enough and we are prepared to use the full facilities of the Laws of Grenada to protect the integrity of the Games and the image of our beloved Island”.

Police investigate new trend of stolen vehicles

The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) is currently investigating a number of complaints about stolen vehicles which occurred over the Christmas period, according to Officer in Charge of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Superintendent Earl Dunbar.

Officer in Charge of CID – Supt. Earl Dunbar

Addressing members of the media at a press conference at Police Headquarters at Fort George, St. George’s last Thursday, Supt Dunbar said that a new trend is emerging about stolen vehicles which has vehicle owners on edge.

He disclosed that six vehicles were stolen over the Christmas period from St. George, St. Andrew and St. David including one bus, two cars, and two escudo vans.

“…It is not restricted to one particular area… it’s from different areas”, he remarked.

Supt Dunbar appealed to vehicle owners to be vigilant and to take the necessary steps to protect their vehicles.

“I want to appeal to the owners of these vehicles to make sure that their vehicles are secured properly when leaving. Some of the complaints that we are getting is because persons fail to take the precautionary measures in ensuring that their vehicles are properly secured when leaving. We want to make that clarion call that persons should ensure that their vehicles are safe, properly locked,” he said.

According to Superintendent Dunbar, some persons are making it very easy for their vehicles to be targeted by the car thieves.

He chided some persons for failing “to take the precautionary measures in ensuring that their vehicle are properly secured and hence the reason we are seeing that emerging trend of vehicles stolen”.

THE NEW TODAY understands that one of the vehicles reported stolen was from the Canal in St. David.

The owner is said to have gotten it back in the St. George’s area in a very damaged condition.