The week: Full steam ahead

Home match : Tourists 1, Turtles 0

Justice Sykes decides that the Pinero Group’s hotel at Pear Tree Bottom can go ahead. He blames the government environmental agencies (NEPA and NRCA) for not following their own procedures, but excuses the privately owned Environmental Solutions (who did the Environmental Impact Assessment) because they claim to have done EIA on “short notice”.

Justice Sykes reckons that the Pinero Group were ambushed by JET and the NJCA (the 2 conservation groups that asked him to halt construction) as they weren’t told that a suit was being filed.

Diana Macaulay of JET made a gracious concession speech yesterday, saying that she thought the judgment was “fair to all parties”.

Now, what could she possibly mean by that ?

My guess:-
(1)The Government of Jamaica has received a slap on the wrist for their determined ignoring of procedure in order to fast track projects for PJ cronies. Their willful defiance of principle and good governance is, of course, a matter for God, and the Jamaican electorate…..

(2) The procedure for approving massive construction projects has been exposed to the public eye. The way it works, we discover, is that the project owner/principal pays for an EIA to be done and this is submitted to the so-called regulatory authorities.

Hmmm…I wonder how much work Environmental Solutions would get if they produced EIA’s demonstrating that any project would have a detrimental impact on the environment…..Just wondering…..

(3) There’s no way that Justice Sykes could ignore the fact that the hotel is 85% complete and that whatever damage the hotel is going to do to reefs and turtles has already been done.

Now, who wants to lay bets on when the Bahia Principe Hotel will first close “for repairs” ( ala the Ritz-Carlton) due to rivers of mud, flooding, sea turtles in the lobby or other “Acts of God” ? 2007 ? 2008 ? 2009 ?

“The Naked Truth about Hedonism II: A Totally Unauthorized, Naughty But Nice Guide to Jamaica’s Very Adult Resort, 2nd Edition” (Chris Santilli)

“Best Designed Wellness Hotels II: North and South America, Caribbean, Mexico” (Martin Nicholas Kunz)

Home match: Blowhards 0 Powers-that-be 1

Norman DaCosta of the National Workers Union spent much of last week issuing threats against the bauxite company WINDALCO who said they were making more than 100 workers redundant.

WINDALCO, in a cute move which is sure to be emulated by others having problems with Mr. DaCosta, issued a press release divulging an embarrassing detail regarding NWU’s 445 members at WINDALCO. Apparently, Mr. DaCosta’s members, whose rights he has been so vociferously defending, have flatly refused to pay the 100% increase in union dues which the NWU expects management to deduct from worker’s salaries.

What’s more, WINDALCO went ahead and made more than 120 workers redundant yesterday.

The referee (otherwise known as the Ministry of Labour) has not yet decided whether Mr. DaCosta scored an own goal……

“Shifting Fortunes : The Rise and Decline of American Labor, from the 1820s to the Present (American Ways Series)” (Daniel Nelson)

Home match: JLP vs. Government of Jamaica (match abandoned because GoJ didn’t show up)

Senior members of the JLP (notably Karl Samuda) must be nursing sore throats after spending the week repeatedly issuing warnings and ultimatums to the Government of Jamaica, namely :

(1) Stop hugging up Hugo Chavez

(2) Fire Phillip Paulwell (Minister of Commerce, Industry, most other things…)

(3) Make Alston Stewart (PJ crony and project manager for the construction of Sandals Whitehouse) pay back the US$40 million he made disappear during construction (and which the Jamaican taxpayers are now going to have to pay for – remember the moment when Omar Davis admitted he had looted the PetroCaribe fund for the “cost overruns” money )…..

Hey, Mr. Samuda, Leader Golding, Senator Shirley Williams. Just a few tips :-

We, the Jamaican people, are noticing your sterling efforts to expose the corruption and incompetence of the PJ Patterson (plus cronies) administration…Screaming and stamping your feet doesn’t really get you that much extra attention, and it does make you look…well…childish…..

Know when to stop flogging a dead horse (aka Paulwell). My phone bill is less than it was last year, and consumers in the USA can’t say the same.

Issuing ultimatums when you have no power to follow them through is a waste of breath, paper, air time….. Sue them already ! (Remember that your erstwhile leader Seaga buried the Caribbean Court of Justice by doggedly taking the matter all the way to the Privy Council.)

If you want to win the next General Election you need to make the charges of corruption stick to PM Portia. Right now, we’re all pretty much in agreement that PJ was/is corrupt. What will win you the next election is showing that Portia can-do-no-wrong-in-the-eyes-of-my-people Simpson Miller is/was just as corrupt……

“We Want Justice: Jamaica and the Caribbean Court of Justice” (Ian Randle Publishers)

Away match: U.S. immigrants 0 Anti-immigrants 1

Bad news for immigrants from the U.S Supreme Court. They’re sending an illegal immigrant back to Mexico despite his 20 years in the U.S.A.

This guy was clearly a scofflaw – he kept being deported and he kept re-entering the U.S. illegally. Now if the Supreme Court had let him stay, they would have been telling the U.S. Border Patrol to turn in their badges and go look for work picking lettuces, and obviously they couldn’t do that. But it is still bad news for Jamaicans. Although most of us are “overstayers” rather than out-and-out illegal immigrants, this case shows which way the wind is blowing….

Thought for optimists : some Jamaicans who have already made their money might come home and help us get things running right……

Away match: Jamaican men 0 Black American men 1

Jamaican men took a bashing this week (nothing new, some will say) as the Jamaican Senate, Amnesty International and Betty-Ann Blaine took issue with them on the matter of some of them abusing, raping and killing Jamaican women and children.

In addition to hearing that they are not protectors of, but abusers of, their women and children, Jamaican men were also told that they can’t drive. Most collisions (81%) and deaths (326 last year) on the road here are caused by male drivers. This, according to the study conducted by PAHO and WHO, is not all that surprising since 71% of Jamaican drivers (mostly men) bought their license.…..

The Washington Post, in their continuing series on black men in America, has a wonderful piece about 2 high schoolers who attended one of D.C.’s worst high schools, and succeeded (however temporarily) in improving the school for other black males. They have now graduated and gone on to the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts (quite a few distinguished Jamaicans have gone there).

Anything we Jamaicans can learn from these kids ? Well, one thing seems to be that men and boys do best when they take responsibility, rather than when other people, especially women, try to give them responsibility…..

“The Jamaican Crime Scene: A Perspective” (Bernard Headley)

“Bad Men Driving” (John Sheppard)

“Sex, Men, and Babies: Stories of Awareness and Responsibility” (William Marsiglio, Sally Hutchinson)

Away match : Windies 1 Soca Warriors 0

The West Indies cricket team having managed two very creditable draws in their first two Test matches against India, are bidding for our attention as they play the Third Test this weekend in St. Kitts. They are 581 runs all out in their first innings !!

The Soca Warriors are back home. In drawing one match (with Sweden), the Soca Warriors did well, but are home nevertheless and, as usual, we will have to look to Brazil and Ronaldo to boost the pride of all us non-Europeans…..

“Liberation Cricket: West Indies Cricket Culture (Sport, Society, and Politics)” (Hilary Beckles)

“A Spirit of Dominance: Cricket and Nationalism in the West Indies; Essays in Honour of ‘Viv’” (University Press of the West Indies)

[posted with ecto]

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