Rotaract Spelling Bee competition

Eleven students have advanced to the finals of the 29th Annual Rotaract Spelling Bee challenge, following the preliminary and semi-final rounds of the competition held last Saturday at the Deluxe Cinema in Grenville, St. Andrew.

 The 11 students who made it into the finalists of the Rotaract Spelling Bee competition

The 11 students who made it into the finalists of the Rotaract Spelling Bee competition

The top students who advanced are Angel Augustine of Beacon Junior School, Wynnade Garraway of Beaulieu New Testament, Tyler Telesford of Constantine Methodist, Mikayla McNeil of Hillsborough Government, Zafirah Bain of Grace Lutheran School, and Kayla Mitchell of Grenada Junior Academy.

The list is completed by Thierry Bethel of Petite Martinique R.C., Berniah Forrester of St. John’s Anglican School, Geisel Joseph of St. Louis’ Girls R.C., Raldimir Adams of St. Matthew R.C and Dennison Augustine of the Uganda Martyrs School.

A total of 33 proficient students from 33 primary schools throughout the island took part in the Rotaract Spelling Bee challenge, which is only open to Grade Five students.

However, the competition only saw the participation of 32 students, as one school was disqualified due to tardiness in getting to the venue of the competition for the 9.00 a.m. start.

In an interview with THE NEW TODAY newspaper, Rotaract’s Public Relations Officer, Zoe Hagley said the school, which she did not identify by name “was late, therefore, (it) had to be disqualified.”

“We have strict rules as it pertains to time,” she added.

The Rotaract Spelling Bee competition provides students locally as well as regionally with the opportunity to enhance their literary skills and develop healthy competitive skills.

The participants were faced with more than 20 complex words from various categories including festivals, anniversaries, professions and personalities among others.

This year the Club took the decision to change the format of the competition to “on-the-spot” elimination, in keeping with international standards.

Prior to 2016, the Spelling Bee competition was held over a period of almost two months, where preliminaries would be held in different parishes, including Carriacou, and the spellers were given multiple chances to spell a word.

Commenting on the decision to change the format of the competition, Hagley explained that, “when we did further research into Spelling Bees done regional and internationally, we realised that we were really odd and it is not done like that in most places”.

“It is done where the (speller goes up to the microphone, spell the (given) word and (if the speller does not spell the word correct), after a certain amount of tries (that competitor is) eliminated”, she said.

“And we want to make sure that the student who wins this competition, if they wanted to go into a regional or international Spelling Bee, that they are equipped to do so. We don’t want to baby them,” she added.

During the preliminary round, the competitors were allowed two incorrectly spelled words, while those advancing to the semifinal round were afforded one.

“We have a judge who is responsible for really taking charge… if we realise that they (the contestants) are spelling a completely different word (from the given word) and (or) they didn’t hear correctly, in that case we would give them another chance, because it would not be fair to the student(s),” she remarked.

The club also undertook another first by funding the travel and accommodation for two students from the Sister Isles for the preliminaries and semi-finals.

Speaking on this, the club’s President, Diyanna Gulston said, “Though the structure of the competition has changed, we couldn’t exempt the students from Carriacou and Petite Martinique. This is the first time we’ve made arrangements for the students to travel to Grenada for the preliminaries and semi-finals. With the generous assistance of the Osprey Lines and Deyna City Inn, we were able to ensure they were present for the competition, and both students will be participating in the finals!”

The final round of competition is carded for 9:00 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday) at the Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS) in St. George’s.

The winning student of the competition, will receive $1,000.00 in an education savings plan compliments Sagicor Life Inc., an Alcatel Tablet and three months free broadband service from LIME, $150.00 in stationery items from Bryden and Minors Ltd. and a first place trophy compliments Geo. F. Huggins & Co. G’da Ltd.

The winning school will also receive $1,000.00 towards a project of its choice.

Three spots under consideration for new Camerhogne Park

Three spots are being considered by the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell for the planned relocation of Camerhogne Park in the south of the island.

Ex-government minister Phinsley St Louis is not in support of moving the park

Ex-government minister Phinsley St Louis is not in support of moving the park

Plans are in the pipeline to use the original Camerhogne Park to facilitate construction of a 400-room hotel estimated to cost US$120M by Egyptian Billionaire, Naguib Sawiris.

Although Prime Minister Mitchell refused to identify the possible new locations, former Government Minister Phinsley St. Louis gave hints about the areas that are being considered.

St. Louis was recently named by government as a member of a committee of stakeholders to look at how the Camerhogne Park is used and if it can be improved in the existing location or improved at another location.

According to the ex-Congress Cabinet member, the sites under review for relocating the park were shown to him by current Health Minister, Nickolas Steele.

He said one is in the vicinity of The Umbrellas, another close to the Grand Anse cemetery and the other location is in the area of the Coconut Beach Restaurant.

Prime Minister Mitchell told reporters earlier in the month that, “Government has made no decision with respect to Camerhogne Park”.

However, in a post-Cabinet press briefing one week earlier, Senator Winston Garraway announced that there will be an upgraded park in a new location adjacent to the present park.

Sen. Garraway said there is on the table a proposal for the upgrade and enhancement of a new park with modern facilities and modern amenities.

According to St. Louis who once represented the South St. George Constituency in Parliament, he raised the park issues on a number of occasions with Prime Minister Mitchell.

He told the host of a local television programme that the very first time it was announced that moves are on to have the park used as part of the Riviera Hotel Development Project he met with Dr. Mitchell who assured him that Camerhogne Park will not be removed or replaced for any other use except another suitable place can be found for it.

The former Parliamentarian indicated that he pointed out to Dr. Mitchell that he cannot see any suitable place on Grand Anse Beach that can be used to develop a new park for use by locals.

“I am mortally concerned about the park being used for any other thing,” he said.

St. Louis stated that he got more concerned about the future of the facility when it was mentioned by Dr. Mitchell in his capacity as Minister of Finance in presenting the 2016 budget.

Dr. Mitchell told Parliament the Riviera Hotel is now being designed and during that phase of the project the investors have agreed to construct a new Camerhogne Park nearby.
St. Louis spoke of once again meeting Dr. Mitchell early in the new year and was told by him that although there are proposals on the table, a decision has not been reached about Camerhogne Park.

However, one day later Minister Steele who served as an emissary for Dr. Mitchell met St. Louis and provided him with the three proposed locations for Camerhogne Park.
St. Louis is adamant that the best way to have the matter settled is through a referendum.

“The government would try to see how they can probably hoodwink the people if you’re giving three (sites) for one (park),” he told the programme host.

Like the ex-government minister, Labour Senator Raymond Roberts continues to maintain his opposition to the relocation of Camerhogne Park by rejecting the idea of having the area of the cemetery as a possible site.

Sen. Roberts who was also a guest on the television programme believes this would be a desecration of the nearby Blessed Sacrament Church.

He indicated that it can also serve as a distraction to funerals at the cemetery that take place almost every day.

“Those of us who experience Camerhogne Park know it’s a park for a variety of activities. The church has service every day in the week.

There is a funeral nearly every day,” he said.

Local Engineer Tim Byam believes the time has come for zoning of projects.

Byam who was another guest on the programme believes Grenada has a lot of potential for development, but said the question that has to be asked is whether government is ready to enhance development.

He called for a controlled development of Grand Anse Beach, while expressing fears that the beach can be lost if care is not taken.

A 1989 Tourism Master Plan discourages and calls for restrictions on any further development around the world famous beach.

Obama standing tall and respected

SAUNDERSBarack Obama did not sound or look like a President who was giving his last “State of the Union” speech to the US Congress.  On January 12, his demeanour, style and presentation was that of a man who still retained a vision for his country’s future and who was determined to influence its shape.

Significantly, the Congress, including his worst Republican detractors, listened with respect however grudging.  The Obama before them was not the rookie usurper so many in the establishment politics of Washington had resented when he was elected, despite them, on a wave of popular support.  This was a President with seven years of experience, knowledge and achievement that could not be denied even though it might choke some Congressmen to admit it.

Obama commanded the hall as the elder statesman he has become with the greying hair and the additional lines in his face as marks of it. Naturally, much of what he had to say was centered on domestic politics particularly as the Congress, the media and the country are now gearing up for the final year of the campaign to elect his successor as President of the United States.

In a sense, the unseen elephant in the room was Donald Trump, an aspirant for the Republican nomination for the Presidency.  Trump appeals to the lowest common denominator in US society; he plays on fears and exaggerates their source; nothing is sacred with him – not race, not religion, not even good manners.  Without doubt he engenders fear among decent, well-thinking and progressive Americans.  He does the same across the globe.
A United States of America in Donald Trump’s hands is a terrifying prospect, particularly when he identifies the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Un, as a leader he admires, saying: “You’ve got to give him credit.  He goes in, he takes over, he’s the boss.  It’s incredible. He wiped out the Uncle, he wiped out this one, that one.”

The admiration for such unmitigated autocracy is deeply worrying in an aspiring leader who has described Mexicans as “rapists”, wants to stop Muslims from entering the United States, describes Indian and Pakistani immigrants as the cause of poor wages, and persistently calls for “victories” and seems anxious to involve the country in military confrontations abroad regardless of the consequences. Obama countered this dangerous rhetoric by saying that the US cannot “try to take over and rebuild every country that falls into crisis”.

As he correctly said: “That’s not leadership; that’s a recipe for quagmire spilling American blood and treasure that ultimately weakens us.  That’s the lesson of Vietnam, of Iraq – and we should have learned by now”.

Of course, the worst thing about Mr Trump is that he emboldens radical groups in the United States whose prejudices, bigotry and predilection for violence would render the country unsafe for minority religious or racial groups even if they are natural-born Americans. The unleashing of such groups would tear the US apart.  Its weakening would not be from outside, but from within.

A strong voice needed to be raised against Mr Trump’s disregard for facts and decency and his attempt to legitimise the worst elements in US society.  President Obama was right, therefore, to say categorically: “When politicians insult Muslims, whether abroad or our fellow citizens, when a mosque is vandalised or a kid is called names; that doesn’t make us safer.  That’s not telling it like it is.  It’s just wrong”.

The closest President Obama came to discussing anything related to the Caribbean were his two references to Cuba – both passing.  But they were important enough for him to include them in his speech, thus signalling that they remain key considerations for the US Congress now and in the future.  The first was closing down Guantanamo Bay which the US has held in Cuba for decades and use as a prison for suspected terrorists.   Obama had pledged to close Guantanamo in his campaign for the Presidency.

The fact that it still operates is entirely due to the hostility of the US Congress – in part, responding to the militant anti-Castro, Cuban-American lobby.  The second reference was to ending the long-standing trade embargo which has little popular support in the US except, again, for those who respond to the anti-Castro lobby.

The anti-Cuba sentiment that continues in the US Congress is largely sterile and completely irrelevant.  Cuba is no threat to the US militarily, economically or as a base for narcotics trafficking or terrorism.  It would be in the US’s interest, particularly for its business sector, to end the embargo and rid itself of the irritant and the needless cost of still occupying Cuban territory.  The respect for human rights and the reform of the political system in Cuba would be best achieved by full and normal engagement.

President Obama raised one other issue of vital importance to the Caribbean – Climate Change.  While he did not raise it because of the clear and present danger it poses to the region, it is crucial that he voiced it to the US people as a whole in the following stark terms: “Even if – even if the planet wasn’t at stake, even if 2014 wasn’t the warmest year on record until 2015 turned out even hotter – why would we want to pass up the chance for American businesses to produce and sell the energy of the future”.

In other words, he called on the nay-sayers to pull their heads out of the sand and look constructively at the opportunities to combat the dangers of Climate Change.  There remain issues to be resolved between the US and the Caribbean, financial services being high on the list.  But the world, including the Caribbean, has been safer with the Obama Presidency.

Of course, all those in the United States who resent Obama’s election to the White House would have liked to crow over his poor performance.  He devastated them by achieving the opposite. As he said, “Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction”. The facts support his assertion.  Further, for those who say that the US is a weakened nation, the evidence stands behind his statement that “The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth, period. Period”.

He also gave the people of the US an agenda for their future well-being and prosperity they would be unwise to ignore.

(Sir Ronald Sanders is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the US and the OAS.  He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London and Massey College, University of Toronto)

Salary Increase for Agriculture Extension Officers

The Keith Mitchell-led administration has increased the salary of Agriculture Assistance Extension Officers from $1000 to $1500 a month.

In making the announcement, Minister of State in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Religious Affairs, Senator Winston Garraway said this is the first increase the workers have received since 1996.

Speaking to reporters at a recent post-Cabinet Press Briefing at the Ministerial Complex, Sen. Garraway said these Extension Officers have been working around the country, providing assistance and technical knowledge to farmers throughout the island.

“The salary that was given to them in 1996 is what they are receiving up to this day. As a government we felt this is not fair to them and I think we all have missed the boat in this regard.

“At this point in time, we have looked to regularise this or correct this anomaly and to ensure that the officers are in a place where they are remunerated adequately.

“It is one thing to talk about providing service to the people of this country, it’s another thing to be remunerated adequately…and we believe this hasn’t happened over the years and this will be fixed as of now.

Sen. Garraway noted that the number of years that the officers provided service to the country at the same salary on $1000 is what prompted government to grant the increase.

He said the government will be rolling out a new programme between January and July to ensure that the officers are prominently positioned.

LET THE PEOPLE’S VOICES BE HEARD

BrianFrancisIt is often said that a government is supposed to be by the people and for the people.  What that means in a practical sense is that the government should act in the interest of the people of the country since it was elected to office by those very same people.  But the truth is that no one really knows for sure exactly how that thinking is supposed to be reflected in all of the things a government does in the name of the people or even how such a guiding principle can be implemented in the real world. Whatever the situation in any country, the reality is that when one examines very closely the behaviour of governments, there is only one conclusion that can be reached: change is indispensable!

Indeed, we in Grenada and other parts of the Caribbean have for way too long allowed our governments to literally get away with murder.

The things we accept and embrace from our governments over many years leave much to be desired.  The “inconvenient truth” is that often we end up with the governments we deserve, just to borrow a fashionable saying.

Consequently, whether it is the dog and pony show that played out publicly in the OECS over the appointment of a new Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to succeed Sir Dwight Venner or all the melee here in Grenada over the Camerhogne Park, it is quite clear that if left to their own devices our governments would do precisely what they want unless we the people demand differently.

Even though the controversy over the Camerhogne Park is yet to be resolved formally, the voices I have heard in support of as well as in opposition to the relocation of that important facility tell me it is possible for “democracy” to be well and alive in our small piece of the rock.

What has to happen next in relation to the settlement of that issue is straightforward: the will of the people must prevail!  The government should not be allowed to have its way using the argument that the country’s development is important and hence investments in hotels and other such amenities are critical especially for employment generation.

As important as such investments are and as urgent as it is to get Grenadians back to work, that justification by itself is weak and should be rejected by all and sundry simply because our development is more than just economic transformation. Our cultural heritage and environmental protection are but just two equally important features of the country’s advancement that ought to be taken on board always in everything we do now and in the future.

At the broader level, the ferocious debate over the relocation of the Camerhogne Park implies unambiguously that as citizens of this beautiful country we do have democratic rights to challenge issues deemed to be of national importance and can express those rights through peaceful and purposeful demonstrations in the public view.

Once the dust settles and there appears to be a resolution of the crisis, good sense ought to prevail and individuals should act accordingly. No doubt, Senator Ray Roberts and other Grenadians are displaying that sort of attitude and should be commended by all of us for their principled stance.

To take Grenada to the next level of socio-economic development, the present government has to exhibit in no uncertain terms that it is all about accountability, transparency and good governance.  Why? There is a direct correlation between the quality of government (as reflected in accountability, transparency and good governance) and the country’s economic performance which is being touted about as often as we care to listen by the NNP administration. Improvement in economic performance can be the result of, say, greater innovation on the part of economic agents.

To the people of Grenada: Are you going to give up your fundamental rights to challenge your government whenever the need arises only because you feel a sense of loyalty to one political party or the next or are you willing to accept that the country’s economic development cannot proceed with an abortive government? If you choose the latter, then, logically, it is now your responsibility to ensure that quality government is the order of the day now and going forward, period!

You see, as the electorate, you are well within your democratic rights to elect the party and by extension the government of your choice. Likewise, each citizen is well within his or her right to criticise the government over any matter of national bearing without fear or favour.

By so doing, the government is forced to clean up its act and behave in a manner that is consistent with high quality because it would know full well that if it does not its rein will more than likely end after the stipulated five-years in office.

Since no serious government and particularly a government led by the current Prime Minister would wish to demit office after one term, you the people should and always have the last say. Your humble servant urge you to let the people’s voices be heard, forever!

(Dr. Brian Francis, a former Permanent Secretary in the local Ministry of Finance, is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics at the Cave Hill Campus in Barbados of the University of the West Indies)

Can Grenadians trust Dr. Mitchell and his New National Party?

To every conscious minded and peace loving Grenadian, as we all reflect on the pass three years since the last general election, one can well remember the results of the election which declared the New National Party, as winning all 15 seats in our national parliament.

No doubt, it is the general perception of the New National Party that Grenadians have very short memory, and generally do not pay attention to important issues that affect them. They further hold the belief that as long as Grenadians remain selfish and gullible, all it takes is some food on the ground at the right moment to win hearts and mind to hoodwink them in winning any general election.

It is heartbreaking to see the level of drama and dirty politics being played out by The New National Party with the de-bushing and IMANI program. The adhoc, haphazard and marginalised way of dealings with the populace by the managers of these programs, led one to conclude that the very existence of the government depends on it.

Grenadians must not forget the grandiose promises made by The New National Party, before and during the last election campaign. “NNP is coming back”, they declared. “We will deliver and we will rescue you from the high taxes imposed by the National Democratic Congress.”

This was the hue and cry. One can recall NNP mounting stiff campaign against the imposition of the Value Added Tax (VAT) while suggesting that the timing was bad and the rate was too high for ordinary Grenadians to withstand.

They further stated that, should the people vote for NDC the Government will take Grenada into a structural adjustment program similar to what former Finance Minister George Brizan undertook. In fact there was a campaign ad depicting Mr. Brizan loading taxes on the backs of the people. The objective of the ad was to get people to give up the idea of voting for the National Democratic Congress.

One must never forget the massive build up of debt owing to creditors by the state, By the time the New National Party left office in 2008, the national debt was 1.8 billion and climbing.

Four-and-a-half years later the NNP is back and blaming NDC for not cleaning up the huge mess they left behind prior to 2008.

One big lesson all Grenadians should learn by now is to never trust Dr. Mitchell and his New National Party by what they say – instead judge them by what they do.

The very said issues they campaigned against are what they turn round and implement on the people, and most of what was promised is left undone. For instance the promise of no taxes resulted in the implementation of the most burdensome and severe tax regime the country has ever faced.

The NNP promised never to take Grenadians to the IMF but today we are in the bosom of the IMF. While they accused NDC for selling assets to NIS, they then turn around and covertly give away our most popular Camerhogne Park.

The policies and programs implemented by this government have severely hurt the average Grenadian worker while families are catching real hell to survive on menial wages.

NNP amounts to those who hold to zero values and no morals where politics are concerned, as well as those who believe that elections should be won at any cost, even if it means sleeping with the devil and telling a bundle of lies to the people.

Let us be mindful that everyone must account for his or her deeds before the great judge in the fullness of time – sobbing bitterly at the church in Happy Hill and flying off to the Vatican will not bring one deliverance as there must be a genuine repentance of heart.

In the face of growing criticism of his government and a Prime Minister who is a frequent traveler and seldom on island to look after the nation’s business, Dr. Mitchell is trying to find himself once again by pushing this idea that Grenada is growing again, due to his party being in government.

I challenge anyone to point to anything that this government has done to realise any semblance of growth in the economy, other than mercilessly taxing the people out of existence.

We all know the solid foundation laid by the National Democratic Congress Government in getting the Sandals brand hotel to Grenada and the positive impact it is now having on all the other small hotels on the island through Sandals’ extensive and far reaching marketing and promotion drive – ask Mr. Royston Hopkin he can better explain.

Another positive reality is that the US economy is now out of recession and we are already feeling the impact here at home by collecting larger remittance from relatives and friends residing in the US.

Dr. Mitchell is now trying to find himself again as he is seen making the rounds to deceive as many as he can with his trump card de-bushing and IMANI program.

As we enter a brand new year 2016, I call upon all conscious minded and peace loving Grenadians to work diligently towards taking back our country from the ruins of Dr. Mitchell and his political party.

Let our voices be heard, as we all endeavour to take back our pride, our dignity our patrimony and our spice country.

We are all proud Grenadians and very proud of our heritage I dare say. For 2016 we say yes to the naming of the athletic stadium after Kirani James.

We say no to the giveaway of Camerhogne Park. We say no to the laying off of workers at the Postal Corporation. We say no to the giveaway of our national assets to foreigners. We say no to constitutional reform in its current form. We say no to further increases in taxes on the backs of the people.

May God bless every one of you for the upcoming year 2016.

Jerry Marryshow

More villas for Mount Cinnamon

Controversial British investor, Peter deSavary is once again making national headlines with plans to add another 32 new luxury villas to Mount Cinnamon Beach Resort and Spa at Morne Rouge, St. George’s.

Mount Cinnamon developer Peter de Savary and Member of Parliament for the South St. George constituency, Alexander Otway-Noel turn the sod to mark the commencement of expansion work at the resort

Mount Cinnamon developer Peter de Savary and Member of Parliament for the South St. George constituency, Alexander Otway-Noel turn the sod to mark the commencement of expansion work at the resort

The de Savary Group, of which he is the main player, has officially kicked off work on the new villas that will more than double the 23 five star residential villas at the resort.

Work commenced at the Mount Cinnamon expansion and development project site last week Wednesday, following a groundbreaking ceremony on the property which is overlooking the Grand Anse Beach.

De Savary who is Chairman of the Group said that the first set of about 10 condominiums would be completed in time for the 2016/2017 winter season.

“The first units (of the EC$67 million project) would be ready at some point in the forthcoming (winter) 2016/2017 season and the others will follow on from that,” he told reporters.

According to the British investor the architect and builder have been instructed “to move forward (with the project) as quickly as possible.”

De Savary said he is actively engaged in promoting Grenada as a tourism destination and expressed confidence that this is the opportune time to undertake the expansion project as the “market is looking very encouraging.”

He expressed the view that “Grenada is well on the way to recovery (from the global recession)” which struck in 2008.

“I feel a buzz. I sense greater interest in the country as I travel around the world and talk to people and I think we are blessed with an opportunity with a foreseeable future of attracting investors here…good people who can do good things in partnership with the people of Grenada and the government of the day where everybody can be in a win-win situation,” de Savary said.

“(Last) Christmas we had, I think, nearly 100 (clients). So, when the 32 (condominiums) are finished (the resort), would be (able to cater for) another 60 -70 people and that’s quite a lot of people to cater for,” he added.

De Savary pointed out that with an increase in clientele  the resort would require “additional and improved hotel amenities, furnishings, landscaping, infrastructure (et cetera).”

He described the construction of the new villas at Mount Cinnamon as “just phase 2 (of the Mount Cinnamon development Project)”.

“God’s willing, if Phase 2 goes successfully then we would move to Phase 3 and thereafter to Phase 4. We can move as quickly as the market allows us, if we have the confidence to do it and the market requires for us to do it.”

The British investor seemingly dropped out of sight after losing a near million dollar lawsuit brought against him by a British lawyer and her husband over breach of contract.

DeSavary was sued after the British couple had invested with him after he gave an undertaking to build a 250-room hotel on the Grand Anse beach – a project that never materialised.

According to the controversial investor, the overall project at Mount Cinnamon is expected to create “75 construction jobs, 45 new permanent jobs and a new demand for many local services once the condominiums are completed and in use.”

He said the main focus in going forward is on attracting a “quality market of people who appreciate what Grenada has to offer.”

“We have to make the (global) market aware…I am not just saying the United States and Europe, we have to look further a field than that (and) we will be expanding that market (and) attracting more people here (to Grenada).

“We are continuously trying to attract five star clients…people who are not just affluent, but they have to be people who appreciate what Grenada stands for…quality over quantity, authenticity, natural beauty, unrivalled friendliness, a progressive government and the benefits of co-operation …”.

Member of Parliament for the South St. George and Minister for Implementation, Alexander Otway-Noel, who turned the sod with de Savary to mark the start of the project, commended the developer for the additional work at Mt Cinnamon and thanked him for his other contributions to the island’s tourism industry.

The de Savary group has invested in other projects on the island such as Port Louis along the Kirani James Boulevard in St. George and Tufton Hall in Victoria, St. Mark.

The investor acknowledged that while further investment into the Port Louis project “has not been reasonable in the past,” plans are in the making to add another phase sometime this year.

“The market, for the last 7 or 8 years, has not been suitable at all to embark on any significant development at Port Louis,” he said.

“This year, we are going to try our best to attract some other investors to join with us in beginning one of the phases…to try to get Port Louis going,” he added.

The de Savary Group has owned and created over 80 luxury properties in 3 continents around the world over the past 40 years.

Grand Bacolet Rehab Centre – a second chance for young offenders

February is the latest date given by the ruling New National Party (NNP) administration of Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell for the official start of the Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre at Grand Bacolet.

Senator Garraway is optimistic about the services to be provided to young offenders at the rehab centre

Senator Garraway is optimistic about the services to be provided to young offenders at the rehab centre

Minister of State in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Religious Affairs, Senator Winston Garraway provided the new date at a recent weekly post-Cabinet Press briefing held at the Ministerial Complex.

According to Garraway, managerial staff who was trained in the US have already taken up position in the centre.

The Bacolet Rehabilitation Centre, which is built to house just about 24 persons, will be used as an alternative to sending Her Majesty’s prison at Richmond Hill those young people who find themselves in trouble with the law.

Sen. Garraway said the facility will be geared at providing treatment through counseling and training in an effort to re-establish young offenders back into the society.

“There will be counseling, of course there will be a lot (of) training for the young people to look at themselves and look at the gifts that they have and be able to employ them in various skills and service areas”, he added.

Sen. Garraway also alluded to a number of social workers who would be used at the centre and some other services to be provided to inmates.

He also referred to the process that will be followed through the court system to get young people into the rehab programme.

“The objective is, when they are sentenced from the court it should not be to Her Majesty’s Prison but to the centre, depending again on a number of factors. If based on the crime, the person needs to be housed at Her Majesty’s Prison, that will happen but the objective is for juvenile offenders to be assigned to the rehabilitation centre…so the law will have to be tailored to that,” he said.

According to the Junior government minister, the duration of rehabilitation for a person depends on the state of each individual.

“Let’s take for example, you’ve been sentenced to five years in prison and the sentence based on the law is definite. In terms of rehabilitation one may wanna ask if you wanna give them five years of rehabilitation – sometime you don’t need that, sometime only two months, maybe a year, two years…”, he said.

“…That’s why there are a number of psychologists on staff, a number of people who are trained in this field and they will be able to report and then say to the management what the individual needs,” he added.

Sen. Garraway disclosed that government will have to amend the law to allow for incarcerated young teenagers to be sent to the centre since the court would have sentenced them to Her Majesty’s Prison.

“…That’s the courts sentence, If you want to reassign them then you have to deal with the law to do that and to give the centre the ability to execute and to work with those young people,’ he told reporters

Sen. Garraway announced that a number of  international organisations have given commitment to contribute to the maintenance of the facility.

Bluff and lies!!!

Someone said, “Ah ha” I told you so!  Nothing new. This administration continues to bluff/lie to the citizens day in day out.

Talk is cheap.  For instance, Government House rebuilding was said to have commenced, started and stopped even though the administration claimed that they had eventually got funding from at least two other countries after the Australian government had reneged on their promise to fund the building.

Talk is again in the air for the rebuilding of Government House.  It reminds me of the prestigious Ritz Carlton Hotel which should have been built years ago.

I did say to a non-national, “that and a green donkey you’ll not see”. Hope that will not be the case with the Government House.

You see with months of inconvenience to the public after four or more months of the Bruce Street Mall project, little work has been done and it is now said that work will recommence in 2016.

When did work stop? Will it ever re-commence under this regime?  I pray God that it will in early 2016.

Simeon Green

St. Dominic’s RC adopted by GVOFS

Approximately 60 students of the St. Dominic’s Roman Catholic School were recipients of material from Grenada Veterans of Foreign Services (GVOFS) to aid them in their educational development.

Joseph Granger hands over writing pad to student

Joseph Granger hands over writing pad to student

GVOFS, headed by retired US Army official, Joseph Granger, visited the school recently to donate writing pads and utensils to a number of needy students as identified by principal, Cephas Ettienne.

“We are happy to have them knowing fully well that they would have gone out of their duties to do such a wonderful thing during this period – the period of giving…”, said Ettienne as he thanked the overseas body for its contribution.

GVOFS is founded on the idea of helping those in need and is made up entirely of selfless individuals who are willing to invest in the future of a nation’s children.

Granger said if he could donate at least one notebook to one child, it would make a big difference.

“We have to put things in place whereby we can make it easy and affordable for every individual child to be successful…”, he said.

“…I decided to do this by adopting seven schools …we protect them, we give them the things that they need to be successful,” he added.

According to Granger, they would like to create an environment where the “haves” take care of the “have nots.”

Students stand in photo with GVOFS officials

Students stand in photo with GVOFS officials

It is his hope to foster a culture of social responsibilities and be a brother’s keeper one village at a time.