Dr Fletcher on PMA future Story byWinston Springer
According to Sustainable Development Minister Dr. James Fletcher the success of the Piton Management Area’s reprieve as a heritage site hinges on the completion of the long overdue limits of acceptable change study.
This revision will be monitored closely by the WHC’s International Union for Conservation in Danger.
Last month, a delegation led by the government minister persuaded the WHC to pardon the island following the breach of a previous agreement.
Dr. Fletcher says world heritage status does not preclude but sets parameters and guidelines for development in the vicinity of the site.
As part of a proactive approach, a moratorium has been imposed on new developments in the area pending the outcome of the limits of change study.
The government will meet with land owners and property developers soon to articulate this position.
The suspension of new developments does not mean existing properties and structures in the PMA cannot undergo repairs and refurbishment barring any changes to the landscape.
With that said Dr. Fletcher says the Jalousie Plantation Resorts can proceed with a major redevelopment project.
Likewise Ladera Resorts ravaged by Hurricane Tomas has been given the nod to carry out renovations.
The incumbent SLP government says the PMA’s heritage status was imperiled after the former UWP administration went back on its word and approved 5 new developments near the protected area.
Dr. Fletcher says the lobbying effort in Russia was not a technical exercise but was aimed at restoring the credibility of the government of Saint Lucia.
It is even more imperative therefore the state meet its international obligation on the PMA.
School bursaries Story byCarmy Joseph
The Ministry of Education is in the process of finalizing plans for the disbursement of bursaries for new Secondary School students.
During his April budget, Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. said the government would be offering one-off bursaries of $500 to students of eligible parents at the start of the school year.
The money was expected to assist parents in the purchase of vital school supplies like uniforms and shoes.
According to Education Minister Dr Robert Lewis, a system has been identified for the assessment of applications and subsequent disbursement of funds which will be done well ahead of the start of the new school year.
To be eligible for the bursary, the following criteria must be satisfied by the applicant: the student wrote the Common Entrance Examination; the student will be attending a Secondary School; and the student has applied for the bursary.
While the bursary is available to all parents, some may choose not to access it; hence the application process becomes necessary.
Any student who returns to Grade 6 will not be eligible for the bursary. The application forms will be available at all district education offices immediately after the launch of the programme which is expected to take place in the form of a press conference by the Minister for Education next week.
Groovy soca monarch Story bySant Justin
The Groovy Soca Monarch competition got underway at the Pointe Seraphine Shopping Complex a little after 11PM.
The grounds were littered with fans that came to support one or more of their favorite soca artistes vying for the title of Groovy title.
The 2008 Groovy King of St. Lucia took to the stage at number 7, intent on regaining what was his first and only ever title.
HTS news caught up with Teddyson John on Friday afternoon – hours after his eight point defeat of the defending Monarch.
The 2011 Groovy Monarch defended his crown at number ten with his song entitled “Mosquito.”
And although the Soca Superstar appealed to the masses, the song was only enough to award him second place.
And for the first time in Saint Lucia, two brothers have placed in the top three in a Soca Competition.
Up and coming soca star- Ambi performed his ‘Roll’ right into position number three.
John won the prestigious title with his ‘Land of Whine’, produced by Precision Production out of Trinidad and Tobago.
Along with the cash prize of ten thousand dollars, John will also have a music video sponsored and produced by the Ministry of Creative Industries.
Panorama set for Friday Story bySarah Peter
“A night of solid pan”, is how Chairperson of the Steel Band Association, Julian Calderon has the dubbed 2012 Panorama Competition.
Calderon says patrons can expect a night of sweet melodic pan music from several steel bands across the island.
Eleven bands are expected to take part in the competition Participants in the small bands category include, New Generation, St. Lucy’s Steel Band, Harmonites, Pan Ambassador and Pan Exodus.
Calderon went on to appeal for the assistance of corporate sponsors for future panorama events.
He believes enough funds are not being injected into the art form. Sponsors for this year’s Panorama Competition include, Telecommunications Company Lime, Bank of St. Lucia and St. Lucia Insurances.
Courts Babonneau Steel Orchestra is the defending Panorama champions. Busta Emerald Steel, Leverage North Stars, Akika Steel Pan and Lime Diamond Steel are hoping to capture this years Panorama title.
Augier says bands ready Story bySarah Peter
Chairman of the Carnival Bands Association, Adrian Augier is hoping for a smooth Parade of the Bands on Carnival Monday and Tuesday.
The annual culmination of Saint Lucia Carnival will take place this coming Monday July 16th and Tuesday July 17th.
Augier says it is important the annual spectacle start on time so all bands get judged on the first day of the parade.
Late starts in previous years resulted in some bands being judged only on the second day. The parade will start from Caribbean Cinemas on the Chock highway from 9AM.
On Carnival Monday July 16th Cozy Guzzlers will start the Parade of the Bands followed by Royalites Extreme, Rituals, Just 4 Fun, St Lucian Spirits, Red Unlimited, Toxic Nation, Lushan TNT Connection and finally Looshan Revellers.
Carnival 2012 will climax on July 17th with the second day of the Parade of the Bands. The time for the annual parade of the band has been extended to 7pm.
Furthermore, bands will be allowed to go up the highway once they have crossed the stage.
Francois on brochures Story bySant Justin
The Royal St. Lucia Police Force is taking extra measures to ensure the general public remains safe during the carnival season.
Due to multiple home owners leaving their houses unguarded as they attend the various events, the season is generally known for various acts of criminality such as robberies.
Police Commissioner- Vernon Francois says the brochure is meant to alert persons about what they should be aware of. The brochure covers two main areas, burglaries and robberies.
Francois says combined use of the brochure and community patrol teams can make a difference in these matters.
This is the second year the brochure will be distributed to the general public. The brochures are available at Police Headquarters on Bridge Street, and will also be distributed by police officers patrolling the streets.
Land management workshop Story byLovely St.Aime Joseph
The OECS hosted an inaugural workshop for the OECS Land Policy Project. It was initiated by the Organization of Eastern Caribbean states and is supported by the UN Habitat and the University of the West Indies.
Director of the Caribbean network for urban and land management, Asad Mohammed, was the facilitator of the workshop.
He says the project will look at land use and land management. Mohammed says the project is one of great importance and will affect all OECS citizens whether directly or indirectly.
The two day land policy project workshop hosted at the Bay Gardens hotel ended on Friday afternoon.
Ave Maria exhibition Story bySant Justin
One grade six class from the Ave Maria Primary School hosted its annual arts and craft exhibition on Friday.
Grade Six Teacher- Rochelle Jn. Baptiste has been holding the activity for the past seven years.
She says it assists in taking student’s minds off the common entrance results.
Jn. Baptiste says the activity is usually accompanied by a dance and poetry production which was absent this year due to the early release of common entrance results.
She says the students are normally very receptive to that activity. The activity was held at the Ave Maria Primary School and was opened to parents and the public.
Dr Fletcher on PMA future
Groovy soca monarch
Panorama set for Friday
Augier says bands ready
Francois on brochures
Land management workshop
Ave Maria exhibition
Subventions from government are paid to all aspects of Saint Lucia Carnival. That means taxpayers subsidize everything from bands, to shows and community events. The cash injection is in addition to the bulk funding provided by government to the entity that manages the festival – for the past two years that has been the Stakeholder Committee and before them it was the CDF. Three Carnival bands including the reigning Band of the Year have dropped out of competition due in part to funding constraints. Other associations like the National Carnival Queen Committee and tent leaders have lamented dwindling sponsorship dollars and the need for government funding.
But is it fair to expect Saint Lucians to pay for a product they ultimately have to purchase in the way of costumes, tent shows and events?
Is it realistic for Carnival stakeholders to expect government to subsidize their contribution to the festival?