Vendors association on CCC brawl Story by Sarah Peter htsslucia.org
President of the St Lucia Vendors Association, Peter “Ras Ipa” Isaac has described the recent action by a city constable who brandished a firearm during a scuffle with a vendor, as unwarranted and uncalled for.
Isaac says the incident was unfortunate especially since it was supposedly triggered by something as trivial as an argument over the price of a booth for the Assou square festivities.
He has strongly condemned the officer’s actions which he believes was
ill-timed especially in light of criticism over the use of force by authorities. Isaac has called for more training. Isaac also urged vendors to be more cooperative. He argued if the vendors were not satisfied with the price of the booths they should have conducted a more appropriate form of protest instead of being provocative.
The vendors association President also wants more dialogue between the Castries City Council and vendors in order to reach a compromise on the price of booths for future Assou square activities.
The registration process for Assou square activities ended Friday. The annual New Years Day celebration will be held from Midday to Midnight Tuesday January 1st and Midday to 10pm Wednesday January 2nd on the John Compton highway.
NYC speaks out Story by Sant Justin htsslucia.org
The Saint Lucia National Youth Council has expressed sincere condolences to the family and friends of the late 15year Jasma Lubin.
In a prepared statement the NYC says “it is personally disheartening to lose yet another very young life.”
The organization has called for a number of steps to address the suicide rate among youngsters.
This includes values-based programs at schools, increased financial allocations for youth structures, counseling services and the implementation of adolescent health programs.
NYC/Human services respond to suicide Story by Sarah Peter htsslucia.org
Fifteen year old Jasma Lubin was found dead on Wednesday following what police say is a suspected suicide in Vieux Fort.
Lubin’s death follows the suicide of a teenage boy earlier this year.
Director of Human Services, Elizabeth Lewis has expressed dismay over the incidents and is worried about what she says is a copycat syndrome.
She reminded persons there are avenues to turn to when facing the challenges of adolescence. Lewis advised parents and adults to provide a listening ear to teenagers in their time of need. She maintains parents need to play a bigger role in their children’s lives.
In that regard the human services director encouraged parents to make a concerted effort to dialogue with their children daily.
She says such a seemingly simple gesture can make a world of difference in someone’s life.
Lewis’s call has been echoed by the National Youth Council. The organization argues adults in our society need to be example of discipline, commitment and hope to youth.
The council further called for an increase in the number of counseling services and extra curricular activities on the island as well as greater transparency on the work of the Ministry of Social Transformation.
Suicide post mortem results Story by Winston Springer htsslucia.org
The autopsies in two high profile police investigations have been completed. The post mortem on 15 year old Jasma Lubin reveals death by ligature hanging.
She was found hanging from her bedroom ceiling at her Bridge Street Vieux Fort residence on Boxing Day.
A note was reportedly discovered by loved ones Meanwhile the cause of the death in the island’s latest homicide case has been also been determined.
Police say Critchlan James who was gunned down on the streets of Castries on the weekend died as a result of hemorrhagic shock secondary to a gunshot wound and spinal cord injury.
The 26 year old Faux-a-Chaux man was shot Sunday December 23rd at approximately 12:30am while standing near the CDC apartments on the corner of Darling Road and Jeremie Street.
The deadly shooting brought the island’s homicide toll so far this year to 44
TUF wage talks Story by Sant Justin htsslucia.org
The Trade Union Federation held an emergency meeting today to discuss the wage talks with the Government of Saint Lucia.
This follows Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony's announcement earlier this week that he will not be meeting the unions during the holiday season and plans to address the nation on the wage talks soon. However the Union Leaders were tight lipped when they emerge from the meeting on Friday at the SLTU headquarters at La Clery.
Last week the TUF requested an audience with the Prime Minister preferably before Christmas, after deliberations with government negotiators failed to a settlement.
However the meeting with the government leader never took place. On Friday, Union Leaders would not disclose their next move in the process.
Last Week the TUF President Julian Monrose said the government negotiators presented a counter proposal to the unions revised 15 percent increase wage offer but little progress was made at the meeting.
Prime minister Dr. Kenny Anthony says in the New Year’s address he will expound on the economic consequences of the wage negotiations.
Francois tamps deportee concerns Story by Winston Springer htsslucia.org
The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency this week released year end figures showing the number of people deported from the United States to the Caribbean and other countries.
The Obama administration is placing greater focus on removing convicted criminals from the US.
A new national detainer guidance program will restrict what are called “detainers” against individuals arrested for minor offenses and petty crimes and will focus available
Sresources on apprehending felons and repeat offenders.So how will this impact the work of local law enforcement? While not commenting directly on the report, Police Commissioner Vernon Francois explains the island’s battle with Deportees is not as acute as in other jurisdictions. However the police department is keeping tabs on these offenders.
Francois says the police force is working with counterparts in the US to monitor the whereabouts of convicted criminals..
He indicates the exchange of information and intelligence is essential to the keeping an eye on potentially dangerous criminal deportees.
The US government says 55 per cent, or 225,390 of the people removed, were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors, almost double the removal of criminals in 2008. Immigration authorities are reporting progress in focusing resources on criminal and priority aliens.
3.9 earthquake Story by
Winston Springer htsslucia.org
An earthquake with a magnitude of 3.9 rattled St. Lucia and neighbouring St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Despite the jolting experience there were no immediate reports of deaths or damage on any of the two Caribbean islands.
The Trinidad-based Seismic Research Centre at the University of the West Indies (UWI) said the quake occurred at 7.34 pm (local time) on Thursday.
It said the quake occurred north east of St. Lucia and was at a depth of 78 km, adding “there were felt reports from the islands of St. Vincent and St. Lucia”.
Fire service issue road safety tips Story by Sarah Peter htsslucia.org
Deputy Fire Chief, Lambert Charles believes there should more punitive measures in place for drunk drivers.
Charles who was speaking in his personal capacity believes such a move could help deal with the lawlessness committed by reckless drivers.
The call comes in light of a seemingly laid back attitude on the road during the holiday season.
Charles says during the festive season motorists usually put down their guard and tend to engage in drunk driving.
He has strongly warned against such a practice suggesting harsher penalties to curb the problem.
Charles further called on members of the public to be responsible and don’t drink and drive.
The Deputy Fire Chief says the cost of drunk driving could be significant, financially and emotionally.
Drunk driving is the act of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. According to the statistics each year approximately 16,000 people are killed in alcohol related crashes.
NWU First Caribbean talks stall Story by Sant Justin htsslucia.org
Negotiations between the National Workers Union and the Executive of First Caribbean Bank are deadlocked on the contentious issue of staff benefits.
Assistant Secretary General at the National Workers Union, Solace Myers says discussions came to halt at the wage talks.
Myers says the deliberations were progressing smoothly until discussions on the issue of salaries began.
The matter is now before the Labor Department. The Labor Department is currently grappling with a number of wage negotiations between firms and their unions.
Employees at the islands two utility companies recently threatened industrial action in the in the throes of salary negotiations.
Emerald vista opens Story by Sant Justin htsslucia.org
The Emerald Vista luxury home development is situated on a breezy hillside overlooking the Atlantic and the Maria Islands in Vieux-Fort.
The developer Senator Deborah Tobierre says this development has been a few years in the making.
The luxury home development project is being promoted as a primary residence or retirement home for St. Lucians or as a vacation or investment property for those seeking a Caribbean setting.
Senator Tobierre says there were many challenges in the stages leading up to actual construction but they were able to turn the sod in November last year. Thirteen months later Emerald Vista has become a reality.
Parliamentary Representative Dr. Kenny Anthony commended the developers of Emerald Vista for their bravery and reflected on his own counsel when the idea was first mentioned to him.
Dr. Anthony expressed concern about starting a development in the initial stages of economic contraction and also wondered whether the south was ready for this development.
He said he was happy the project materialized and noted the historical significance of the Emerald Vista development.
Dr. Anthony urged St. Lucians to get more involved in real estate development as the housing market and the construction sector are areas that will lead any economic recovery.
He recommended investments in Emerald Vista and in Vieux-Fort in particular, touting the exhilarating views and the tranquility of the south. Emerald Vista’s slogan is “Luxury Made Affordable”.
Police hamper drive Story by Jade Brown htsslucia.org
The Royal St. Lucia Police Force has once again showed empathy to those in need of holiday cheer.
Officers of the community relations branch made a presentation of hampers to retired officers and the less fortunate.
Christmas cheer was also spread among residents in the Castries basin this week.
Corporal Ted King of the community relations branch applauds the latest effort of generosity demonstrated by the RSLPF.
Corporal King says Community Relations Branch has a number of plans for the New Year and will increase its community outreach.
He says the programs are essential to crime prevention in the country. Corporal King is concerned that acts of kindness and charity are only done during the festive season.
With that said he believes that the Police force should continue the practice of visiting the retired officers through out the year.
Teen beauty pageant Story by Sant Justin htsslucia.org
Young people from around Caribbean region will compete in the 33rd annual Ms Caribbean Talented Teen Pageant this weekend in Saint Kitts.
According to the franchise holder in St. Lucia this will be the island’s 24th participation in the annual affair.
Barry George says the local leg was held here earlier this year, where a stunning 17 year old outshone the rest.
George says this year’s contestant is well rounded and has a background in theatre arts. She was also the early favorite in the initial round of the competition leading up to the final event where the audience voted for the most the photogenic contestant.
The pageant organizer says her team is well equipped to see her through the pageant this weekend.
The pageant will feature 11 contestants. They are Ms. Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, BVI, Grenada, Jamaica, Nevis, USVI, Trinidad and Tobago and the titleholder St. Kitts.
Feed the poor Story by Sant Justin htsslucia.org
Feed the Poor Ministry undertook its annual Christmas Lunch over the weekend. The activity was held in collaboration with various partners, some of whom have been supporting the drive from inception.
CEO, Gaspard Henry says the additional support boosted the number of meals for the beneficiaries. Super J IGA and LUCELEC were among some of the entities which provided support for the annual charity event.
The companies not only contributed cash but in kind. The annual activity was held at the Castries City Hall.
The Trade Union Federation, a body comprising public sector unions like the Police Welfare Association, Civil Service Association and Saint Lucia Teachers Union began wage negotiations with the Government Negotiating team on Wednesday. The talks are part of negotiations for the triennium 2010 to 2013.
It comes days after the TUF wrote a letter to the Prime Minister seeking his intercession on negotiations they say was being stalled by the Government Negotiating team. While most parts of the agreement, had been ironed out, it was the wage talks they were most insistent had to begin and end before December. Civil servants have not stated the percentage wage increase they are pursuing – however government has indicated this is not the best financial time to increase salaries. This as the main Opposition contends the government wants to give workers a 3% increase over the next three years; a charge the government has denied.
Do you think a wage increase for civil servants is justified at this time?