2017 List of Summer Programmes in Jamaica

Summer is here, and we know parents and guardians are on the hunt for activities to occupy these huge blocks of otherwise unoccupied time that have suddenly befallen them and their children. Of course, they’re looking for fun, exciting, safe  – and affordable – places to send their charges. Here’s a list of summer programmes and activities available in Jamaica for 2017:

Ace Summer Sports Camp

Date: June 29-Aug 16 (Mon-Fri, 8am-2pm)
Audience: Ages 3-14
Synopisis: Sports include tennis, basketball, football, baseball, workshops and field trips.
Contact: Tel: 876-588-1989/876-384-5430 | Email: acehptennis@gmail.com

AquaWorx Session Swimming Camp

Date: July 2-28, Aug 8-25 (Mon-Fri, one-hour sessions at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm)
Synopsis: Great for persons who want their children to learn how to swim, whether thhey are beginner, pre-intermediates or intermediates.
Contact: Website: aquaworx.weebly.com

 Ballaz Camp

Date: July 3-7 and July 10-14
Audience: Lil Ballaz: 3-6 yrs (9am-12 noon) | Junior Ballaz: 7-11 yrs (9am-12 noon or 1-4pm)
Synopsis: It’s all about friends, fun and football for the little ones.
Contact: Tel: 876-920-8378/876-260-2255 | Email: info@goballaz.com

CPTC Media Technology Institute Just For Teens Summer Programme

Date: July 3-27 (Mon-Thur 10am-3pm)
Audience: Ages 13-18
Synopsis: Just for Teens provides two weeks of voice and speech training, with the remainder of the time invested in video production lessons. At the end, teens are expected to do a production showcasing what they have learnt, and they will also receive a certificate for successful programme completion.
Contact: Tel: 876-922-9214 | Email: training@cptcjamaica.com

Delicious Occasions Young Chefs Summer Classes

Date: June 19-August 18, Mon-Fri, 9am to 12pm or 1:30 to 4:30pm
Audience: Young chefs
Synopsis: Send your young chef to camp to learn knife skills, how to make simple breakfast, cake and pastry making and even international cuisine.
Contact: Tel: 876-509-0093/876-819-0959 | Email: deliciousoccasions@yahoo.com

Discovery Bay Marine Lab Summer Eco-Camp

Date: July 9-28, 2017
Audience:  Eco-Minions (8-11 yrs): July 9-14 | Eco-Warriors (12-14 yrs): July 16-21 | Planeteers (15-17 yrs): July 23-28)
Synopsis: A camp with fun-filled and environmentally-focused educational activities, providing campers with the opportunity to learn more about the marine environment through talks, video presentations, hands-on activities, experiments, games, and field trips.
Contact: Tel: 876-973-2241/876-973-2946 | Email: dbml@uwimona.edu.jm

Edna Manley College of The Visual & Performing Arts Summer School 

Date: July 3-28, 2017
Audience: Kaleidoscope: Children 4-11 | Artscope: Teens 12-18 | Adult courses
Synopsis: The Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts (EMCVPA) Summer School has a stellar more-than-20-year reputation of delivering a fun, artistic and creative summer programme. This usually culminates in a top-quality, highly anticipated production, showcasing all the talents learnt during the programme.
Contact: Tel: 876-619-EDNA | Email: marketing@emc.edu.jm | WhatsApp: 468-5409

Football & Swimming Foundation Building Summer Camp

Date: July 3-28 (Mon-Fri, 9am-12 noon)
Audience: 3-6 yrs
Synopsis: Aquaworx and Ballaz have collaborated to create a programme that allows children to learn the foundations of swimming and football.
Contact: Tel: 876-889-3969 | Website: aquaworx.weebly.com

 Halls of Learning Summer Camp (Robotics & Legos)

Date: July 3-27, 2017 (Mon-Thurs, 9am-1pm)
Audience: Depends on course
Early Builders (3+ to 6 yrs) | Storytella-Botics (7-13 yrs) | Robotineers (11+ to 16 yrs) | Young coders: Gaming (7+ to 13 yrs) | Young coders: Drones (7+ to 13 yrs)
Synopsis: This summer camp, hosted at the American International School of Kingston (AISK), will help young ones interested in gaming, coding and robotics.
Contact: info@hallsoflearning.com

iCANN H.E.L.P. Summer Camp

Date: July 10-27, 2017 (Mon-Thurs, 8am-1:30pm)
Audience: Younger children
Synopsis: Arts, comprehension, swimming and STEM are some of the areas iCANN H.E.L.P. promises to bring to life in fun and exciting ways for campers this summer.
Contact: Tel: 876-504-7216/876-630-6380 | Email: icannlearningcentre@gmail.com

Grosvenor Galleries Summer Art Workshop for Kids

Date: July 3-14 | July 17-28 | August 8-18 | Aug 21-Sept 1
Audience: Ages 4-11
Synopsis: With Grosvenor Galleries, kids get to work with all kinds of art mediums and materials, including tie-dye, cushions, wood, clay, watercolours, canvas paintings and more.
Contact: Tel: 876-924-6684/876-378-5807 | Email: grosvenorgallery@cwjamaica.com

Moorlands Summer Camps

Date: Dates of different week-long camps vary between July 1 and August 19.
Audience: Ages range from: Coed: 12-13, 13-14, 14-15, 15-17, 16-18 | Boys only: 9-12 | Girls only: 9-12
Synopsis: Moorlands offers Christian, residential, one-week camp programmes for varying age groups from nine through 18 during the summer. There are different sessions available.
Contact: Tel: 876-294-6993 | Email: registration@moorlandscamp.com

Port Royal Marine Lab Marine Mania Summer Camp

Date: July 10-14 (6-9 yrs) | July 17-21 (10-14 yrs) | August 21-26 (15-18 yrs)
Audience: Seasquirts (6-9 yrs) | Shore Trekees (10-14 yrs) | Mariners (15-18 yrs)
Synopsis: Camp activities vary and may include boat tours, surveys, snorkeling, recycle projects, science experiments and much more.
Contact: Chauntelle Green or Sophia Davis | Tel: 876-967-8344 | Email: prml@uwimona.edu.jm

Racers Summer Camp 2017

Date: July 10-28, 2018
Audience: Ages 7-19, for all skill levels
Synopsis: This camp, put on by the same track group to which athletics star Usain Bolt belongs, offers coaching and technique training, with fees covering insurance, accommodation and three meals a day.
Contact: Email: admin@racerstrackclub.com

Sweetart Baking Camp

Date: July 10-28
Audience: July 10-14: Ages 8-12 | July 17-21: Ages 13-15 | July 24-28: Ages 16-18
Synopsis: Ideal for those interested in developing baking and decorating skills.
Contact: Tel: 876-805-5748/876-535-1288 | Email: info@sweetartnakeexpoja.com

YWAM Montego Bay Access Summer Camp

Date: July 9-29, 2017 (Ages 13-21) | July 16-29 (Ages 8-12)
Audience: Ages 13-21  and 8-12
Synopsis: YWAM’s Access Summer Camp is open to Jamaicans and non-Jamaicans alike. It is a Christian group with a heart for missions engaging varying age groups in fun activities centred around the gospel and loving Jesus.
Contact: Tel: 876-952-3672 | Email: youth@ywamjamaica.org

YWAM Montego Bay Niko Camp 2017

Date: July 9-14, 2017
Audience: Ages 12 and over
Synopsis:  Learn perseverance, teamwork, leadership and surrender at the YWAM Niko Camp, a camp organised by a Christian, missions-centred group.
Contact:  Tel: 876-330-9561 | Website: www.ywamjamaica.org

If you’ve got a summer camp or programme that you would like to be added ot this list, please send the details and a copy of the flyer to digjamaica@gmail.com.

Posted in #diGoftheday, diGSummer, General Information, Jamaica, Lists, Uncategorized, Youth Tagged with: , , , , ,

6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. Crime fight on: Police vamp up operations
  2. JCF anti-corruption unit to be re-established
  3. Slow court justice bothers Commish
  4. Quallo’s short-term anti-crime measures
  5. Arthur ‘Bunny’ Robinson gets good send-off
  6. Reggae Boyz lose to Peru

1. Crime fight on: Police vamp up operations

Under pressure security minister Robert Montague has told Jamaicans to expect inconveniences in public spaces as police operations intensify to stem the murder surge. Montague yesterday told Jamaicans in a radio interview not to be “overly concerned” about the situation that’s seen over 70 murders since June, about seven per day. See full story on The Gleaner website.

2. JCF anti-corruption unit to be re-established

The police commissioner George Quallo has announced that an anti-corruption unit will be re-established in the Inspectorate of Constabulary to deal with complaints against rogue cops. At present the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) deals with corruption complaints involving police personnel. See full story on The Gleaner website.

3. Slow court justice bothers Commish

A total of 1,251 persons were arrested and charged with murder since January last year, but Police Commissioner George Quallo has raised concerns that the majority of them may not see the inside of a prison cell because of the snail’s pace at which Jamaica’s judicial system operates. See full story on The Gleaner website.

George Quallo

4. Quallo’s short-term anti-crime measures

George Quallo, Jamaica’s police chief, has signalled that the security forces will be moving to take control of some of the most volatile communities across the island as part of the short-term measures to help stem the wave of murders that left a trail of 54 bodies in the last week alone. See full story on The Gleaner website.

5. Arthur ‘Bunny’ Robinson gets good send-off

Family, friends and well-wishers turned out recently to say farewell to the remarkable Arthur Ashbourn Robinson, more affectionately called ‘Bunny’. Holding back tears, in some instances, they delivered tributes in poems, anecdotes and songs for a loved one who died just before his 82nd birthday, on May 9, 2017. See full story on The Gleaner website.

6. Reggae Boyz lose to Peru

Peru scored a comfortable 3-1 win over the Reggae Boyz at the Estadio Monumental de la UNSA in Arequipa, Peru, in Tuesday night’s friendly international. The South Americans dominated the entire contest, making light work of the visitors, who struggle to test their hosts with any consistency and mount meaningful attacks. See full story on The Gleaner website.

Posted in 6 Things You Need To Know Today, Hot Topics, Jamaica, Lists, News Tagged with: , , , , ,

6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. Bloody mayhem – Commish to address crime rate
  2. Bolt to feature in PES 2018
  3. Vogel’s widow says helper was about to be fired
  4. Police Federation want watchdog for INDECOM
  5. Two shot in Clarendon, one dead
  6. Anger over Marcus Garvey sculpture

1. Bloody mayhem – Commish to address crime rate

Jamaica’s police chief George Quallo is today expected to outline measures to stem the wave of murders that, in the last week alone, has left a trail of 54 bodies, at an average of seven per day, across the majority of police divisions islandwide. According to the latest Periodic Serious and Violent Crime Review, compiled by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), 33 persons were murdered across rural parishes and 21 in the Corporate Area. See full story on The Gleaner website.

2. Bolt to feature in PES 2018

Jamaican sprinting star Usain Bolt has always fancied himself to be a good footballer, well, the eight time Olympic champion will get his chance to prove it – sort of. Bolt has been added to the line-up for the latest instalment of the popular football video game PES 2018, with the speedster available to gamers who Pre-order ahead of the game’s full release. See full story on The Gleaner website.

3. Vogel’s widow says helper was about to be fired

The tearful widow of former University of the West Indies lecturer, Dr Peter Vogel, testified yesterday that two days before his death, she told the family housekeeper accused of killing him that she was going to be fired. Parlan Vogel was giving evidence in the murder trial of the former helper, Yanika Scott, and her boyfriend, Kelvin Downer, which began in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston, almost 10 years after the former lecturer’s death. See full story on The Gleaner website.

4. Police Federation want watchdog for INDECOM

Chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation, Sergeant Raymond Wilson, has come out strongly against the Government’s position to dispense with a recommendation by a joint select committee of Parliament to establish a non-executive board to oversee the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM). See full story on The Gleaner website.

5. Two shot in Clarendon, one dead

The Clarendon police have launched a probe into the murder of 46-year-old Egbert Williams and the injuring of another man in May Pen. The police say about 1:30 this morning Williams was reportedly sitting on his bicycle in the vicinity of the May Pen Clock Tower when two men, one of whom was armed with a handgun, walk up to him and opened gunfire. See full story on The Gleaner website.

6. Anger over Marcus Garvey sculpture

Some persons were stunned and angry when they saw the bust of National Hero Marcus Garvey unveiled in the courtyard of the Faculty of Humanities and Education on the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies on Friday, May 19. The tenor of the online and mass media feedback was very negative, brutal even. Some readers had absolutely no mercy on the university and the sculptor Raymond Watson, who were widely condemned in words ranging from the ‘ridiculous’, to ‘sarcastic’, to ‘threatening’. See full story on The Gleaner website.

Posted in 6 Things You Need To Know Today, Hot Topics, Jamaica, Lists, News Tagged with: , , , , ,

The High Cost of Power: Why Jamaica’s Electricity Is So Expensive (In Layman’s Terms)

“Why is my light bill so high?” “Why am I paying so much for light?” These are not unfamiliar questions for Jamaicans at the end of each month when they receive their electricity bills. A common concern has been the very high cost of electricity in the country, which the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology (MSET) says can go as high as US$0.42 per kWh.

The Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) is the country’s sole distributor of electricity, serving a population of 2.7 million. The company owns and operates four power stations, nine hydroelectric plants, 43 substations and approximately 14,000 kilometres of distribution and transmission lines. They are responsible for providing electricity to homes and businesses, as well as generating bills for these at the end of each month.

The average Jamaican probably believes that electricity usage alone determines their light bills. The reasoning, therefore, is that if they use less electricity in their homes and businesses, the amount on their light bills should be significantly less. This belief reflects a limited understanding of what factors contribute to the cost of producing electricity in Jamaica, and how this may affect an electricity bill. There are several aspects to electricity production that must be considered if we are to understand why energy costs in Jamaica run so high.

Fuel costs

According to the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology (MSET), Jamaica’s energy system is “highly dependent on imported fossil fuels, [and] petroleum imports account for over 90 percent of electricity production.” Winston Haye, former JPS managing director, noted in an article that fuel costs alone represented approximately 61 per cent of the JPS’s overall expenses in 2009, and, conversely, about 50 per cent of the typical residential bill. These fuel costs vary based on oil prices, and the JPS does not make any profit on these costs. In other words, a percentage of the money customers pay on their bills goes directly to fuel providers, and the JPS does not gain from it at all.

Fixed costs

This covers the infrastructure required to generate, transmit and distribute electricity to the entire island. These can be seen as capital and maintenance costs – the money it takes to run the power plants, all the technical equipment, put up and repair light poles, wires, etc. Unlike fuel costs, fixed costs do not vary, and they do not depend on how much energy is consumed. According to energy consultant Winston Hay, “88 per cent of the [JPS’s] non-fuel costs are fixed (related to capacity) and only 12 per cent vary with changes in energy consumption”.

Dr Damien King, executive director of the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI), gave us an explanation of how fixed costs work: “Fixed cost is the cost that the power company has to incur regardless of how many users are on the system or how much electricity they use. When you have a large number of users, it allows the power company to spread these fixed costs over many users. When users come off the grid, the cost now has to be shared over a smaller number of persons and therefore rises on a per-customer basis.”

This was why in March 2017, when the University of the West Indies announced that it would be leaving the JPS grid in 2018, many persons voiced concern over how this would affect the average Jamaican’s light bill. This is also why JPS CEO, Kelly Tomblin, warned that if some large entities came off the grid, remaining customers would still have to “pay for the grid”. Fixed costs do not change based on who is on or off the grid. Rather, they simply reflect the money it takes to keep the grid going to meet electricity demand in Jamaica.

Dr King explained: “There are two things that determine the cost of electricity:

  1. The cost of maintaining the grid – you need a grid going down the entire street, regardless of how many people are connected to it.
  2. Reserve capacity – it’s one thing if people come off the grid entirely, it’s another if they are off the grid but only intermittently use energy from it. This means the JPS has to maintain the capacity to supply those people just for the moments when they decide to draw power. So, for example, if we have a stormy week and so no solar panels can generate electricity, these persons will then have to pull from the grid. The JPS, therefore, has to have the reserve capacity to meet that peak demand. Who pays for that?”

Reserve capacity

Not many Jamaicans are familiar with the concept of reserve capacity. Fewer still understand how important this is to electricity production and their light bills. Reserve capacity is determined by the amount of energy that needs to be available to meet peak demand. Whether or not this energy is actually used is not the issue. It has to be available in case it is required.

Dan Theoc, JPS chief financial officer, noted: “Energy is produced (or supplied) to instantly meet the total demand on the system. So, we must have enough generation running to instantly match supply with the demand. If the supply is not sufficient, then some customers will experience power outages.”

Let’s say, for example, that for the month of September in your house, you use the light in the kitchen, living room and bathroom; the TV; the fan and your computer every day. All of that adds up to 7 units of electricity per day. But on the last Saturday of the month, you wash your hair and use the hair dryer and the curling iron, and you do all your month’s washing at once with your washing machine. These things increase your usage in a single day to as much as 14 units.

What the JPS has to consider is your peak demand, which reflects the highest amount of electricity used for the period. On any given day, they had to have more than 7 units of energy available to you so that if you had decided to wash, blow dry and curl your hair on Wednesday instead of Saturday, you would have enough energy available to do so. If they supplied you only with the regular 7 units, you would have a power outage when you tried to use any more energy than that.

Think about it: on any given day, you vary your energy usage. Maybe a project comes up that requires you to use the computer all night instead of the customary one hour. Maybe you throw a party on your birthday, and get high-powered music equipment on that day, pulling far more energy from the grid than you normally would. Reserve capacity is what allows you to get energy in these times. But who pays for this reserve capacity? Especially when some people use solar-powered generators and only pull from the grid in emergency situations?

According to Dr King, the solution is to either charge people who are permanently connected to the grid for this reserve capacity, or charge people for being connected to the grid, whether or not they are permanently on it. He notes: “The fact is, providing back-up has a cost and you should pay for it.”

Sharing reserve capacity

Jamaica is an island. The country does not share land space with any neighbours. This matters in electricity production because it means that the JPS has to meet all the demand for electricity on the island at any given time. This requires a greater reserve capacity.

Dr King explains: “In the United States, if you are in New York or New Hampshire, because they are connected together, they can share capacity between states. So they don’t need to have independent capacity because they can ‘borrow’ from each other. This allows each to have a smaller capacity because they can get backup from their neighbours. When you are on an island, you do not have contiguous neighbours who can perform that role. Therefore, you have to yourself invest in all the reserve capacity you may need.”

The JPS expounds further: “Consider that the average cost of energy (COE) today is US 24c/Kwh.  This is based on an average: (i) generation cost of 15c (inclusive of a 25% reserve margin which must be maintained given that we are an independent island with no other sources of back up generation capacity); and (ii) transmission and distribution cost of 9c (inclusive of system losses of 25%).   If we were interconnected to another grid and had no need for the reserve (or spare) generation capacity and were we able to bring system losses down to say 10% (comparable to other Caribbean territories) then the COE would fall to 18.7c (all other things remaining the same).”

Inefficient generating system, theft

Theft accounts for 15% of the system losses experienced by the JPS. Another factor to consider is the inefficiency of some of the JPS’ generating systems. To quote Winston Hay (in a 2012 article), “A high percentage of JPS electricity [is] being generated by old inefficient steam turbines burning heavy oil, and, to a lesser extent, by gas-turbine units fuelled by expensive automotive diesel oil”.

He also notes: “The independent power producers (IPPs) under contracts with JPS also burn heavy fuel oil, but the modern diesel engines which drive their generators convert the fuel into electricity more efficiently than JPS’s outmoded steam turbines.” Inefficient generating systems result in higher generating costs, which directly contribute to the fixed costs mentioned above.

On a bright note, since 2009, the JPS has been “on a mission to change out most of [the] old inefficient power plants”. They note that currently, 80% of their power is produced from oil, 10% is produced from natural gas, and 10% from renewable energy sources.  They anticipate that in upcoming years, with the completion of the new power plants, oil will only represent 45% of the contribution, with natural gas rising to 40% and renewable energy to 15%; as they continue to work with the Government of Jamaica to explore fuel diversification – and realise a corresponding decrease in fuel and energy costs.


Interview with Dr Damien King, CAPRI co-executive director
Consultation with the Jamaica Public Service

Posted in About Jamaica, Economics, Finance, Jamaica, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. Deadly start to June
  2. McKenzie warns builders that he will have order
  3. Opposition warns impasse between judiciary, Gov’t dangerous
  4. Father of 2-y-o killed in car crash charged
  5. Jamaican woman in BVI chopped to death by husband
  6. Tomblin leaves JPS

1. Deadly start to June

The People’s National Party (PNP) said that it was concerned about murder statistics, which have revealed that up to last week Saturday, 639 persons had been killed since the start of the year. The first 10 days of June accounted for 68 of those murders. In the previous month, 137 persons were killed. See full story on The Gleaner website.

2. McKenzie warns builders that he will have order

Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie said he is not bluffing when he insists that buildings now being erected must be in full compliance with the building codes and laws of the country. McKenzie, speaking during a national building policy workshop at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston last week, made it clear that he was uncomfortable with people flouting the law by erecting buildings that have not been given the nod from the relevant state agencies. See full story on The Gleaner website.

3. Opposition warns impasse between judiciary, Gov’t dangerous

The Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) is warning that the current impasse between the government and judiciary over outstanding pay is constitutionally dangerous and must be resolved immediately. In a release this afternoon, Opposition spokesman on Justice, Senator Mark Golding, called on the Government to immediately finalise the outstanding package of pay and other benefits owing to the judiciary, in keeping with the recommendations of a December 2015 report of the Independent Commission. See full story on The Gleaner website.

4. Father of 2-y-o killed in car crash charged

A father, whose two-year-old daughter was killed after he crashed his vehicle along the AGR Byfield Highway in St Ann, has been charged. He is 24-year-old Omeal Riley of Roaring River in St Ann. He has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving.  See full story on The Gleaner website.

5. Jamaican woman in BVI chopped to death by husband

A Jamaican woman has been chopped to death in the British Virgin Islands and her husband, a native of St Vincent and the Grenadines, in police custody. She has only been named as Sherika. BVI News quoted the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force as saying that the incident took place yesterday evening at the couple’s home in the Greenland area of East End on the island of Tortola. See full story on The Gleaner website.

6. Tomblin leaves JPS

Despite her efforts to change the public’s perception of the Jamaica Public Service (JPS), the outgoing president and chief executive officer, Kelly Tomblin, knows that it has not been enough and has apologised to those who believe she should have done more during her five-year tenure. See full story on The Gleaner website.

Posted in 6 Things You Need To Know Today, Hot Topics, Jamaica, Lists, News Tagged with: , , , , ,

6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. Bolt expects emotional sendoff
  2. Gleaner hails sprint legend with keepsake book
  3. JPS blackout cost Ja $340m
  4. New JPS president & CEO to take office
  5. Waste-to-energy solutons coming by year end
  6. GSAT results out

Usain Bolt

1. Bolt expects emotional sendoff

World’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, has said that he is looking forward to what he expects to be an emotional send-off when he runs his final race on home soil at the JN Racers Grand Prix at the National Stadium. See full story on The Gleaner website.

2. Gleaner hails sprint legend with keepsake book

As a salute to the greatest in track and field, Usain Bolt, The Gleaner has produced a souvenir publication, which will be available to the public next month. The book, which traces the athlete’s career from Sherwood Content in Trelawny to the top of the world’s stage, is the newspaper’s way of celebrating Bolt on behalf of a grateful nation. See full story on The Gleaner website.

3. JPS blackout cost Ja $340m

The April 17, 2016, islandwide power outage cost the Jamaican economy $340 million in losses, stated consultant with the Office of Utilities Regulation Valentine Fagan. He pointed out that the poor decisions made by the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), which resulted in the widespread power failure, had an economic cost that the country cannot afford. See full story on The Gleaner website.

4. New JPS president & CEO to take office

Canada’s Emanuel DaRosa is to assume office as president and chief executive officer of the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) on August 1. The JPS this afternoon confirmed that DaRosa will succeed Kelly Tomblin. Tomblin demits office on July 7. See full story on The Gleaner website.

5. Waste-to-energy solutions coming by year-end

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government will embark on a programme aimed at transforming the collection and management of garbage before the end of the year. Prime Minister Holness says work is far advanced in examining options for waste-to-energy solutions.  See full story on The Gleaner website.

6. GSAT results out

For the first time in five years, male students have outperformed their female counterparts in a subject area, recording an 8.2 per cent increase for English language in the 2017 Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT). Boys registered a mean percentage score of 76.7 per cent, while the females saw 68.5 per cent. See full story on The Gleaner website.

Posted in 6 Things You Need To Know Today, Hot Topics, Jamaica, Lists, News Tagged with: , , , , ,

10 Life Lessons From Captain Horace Burrell

When giants pass from this life, it is not enough to lament and bemoan what has been lost. Even as we grieve their passing, we should stop to examine the lives of these great men and women and extract lessons that will help us to make the most of the time we have left.

Captain Horace Burrell, affectionately called ‘Cappo’,  was a leader, a patriot, a military man, a father, a family man, an entrepreneur, businessman and diplomat. He died at 67 years old, but managed to accomplish many great things in the time that he spent on planet Earth. There is much to learn from his approach to leadership, business and life. Here are 10 lessons we extracted from his very full life.

1. Be the leader.

Anyone who worked with the Captain will tell you that he rose to the occasion of leadership as often as it became necessary. He was in charge of the Jamaica Defence Force’s football team, president of the Bakers’  Association of Jamaica, vice-president of the Caribbean Football Union, chairman of CONCACAF’s disciplinary committee, president of the Jamaica Football Federation and Football Foundation of Jamaica, vice-president of the Jamaica Olympic Association … the list is impressive. There’s a lesson there for us: do not be afraid to lead. If you see the need, if you know you have what it takes to get the job done and make a positive impact, don’t shy away from the task. Step forward with boldness and grace … and be the leader.

2. Serve your country.

‘The President’, as he was sometimes called, demonstrated his love for his country through his service to it. He was a military man, and gave over 10 years of service before retiring to pursue other interests. As a successful businessman (founder and CEO of The Captain’s Bakery and The Captain’s Aviation Services), he gave back by sponsoring many local sporting events. He also lent his administrative expertise to the growth and development of Jamaican football without reservation. He served Jamaica, and he did it well.

3. Pursue multiple passions with excellence.

The Captain was a military man, a baker, a businessman, and a sports enthusiast. He rose to great heights in all of these fields. It shows that it is possible to successfully pursue more than one passions. But what is the key? Bringing a consistent set of values to the table – being and pursuing excellence in all things. The Captain demonstrated this in every field he became involved in. His consistent excellence enabled him to repeatedly win confidence and attain success.

4. Build for the long term.

Many credit The Captain with laying the foundation for successful football administration in Jamaica. He didn’t just build to meet the JFF’s short term needs, but rather ensured that the organisational premise was laid for continuity many years hence. Today, the JFF has an organisational structure that enables its smooth oversight on a large-scale national level, and smooth operation on a small-scale parish level. That’s long-term thinking.

5. Plan for the short term.

A popular example? The tremendous amount of forethought and planning that went into Jamaica’s pursuit of qualification for the 1998 FIFA World Cup Finals. After he was elected president of the JFF, The Captain initiated the Football Foundation of Jamaica with the aim of gathering the financial and technical support required to ensure that the country was immediately equipped to qualify for FIFA games that would take place four years later.

6. Don’t be afraid to be unpopular.

Don’t be afraid to do what is necesssary, or make the tough decisions as a leader. In The Captain’s own words shortly after being elected president of the JFF: “As a leader, one cannot be afraid to make decisions, even if it means being unpopular; there will be no room for incompetence.”

7. Be decisive.

be firm and clear on your values, and then be decisive in your actions. As the Captain made clear when running the JFF: “Anyone failing to perform effectively, efficiently or scrupulously, I would have no hesitation in removing that individual immediately.”

8. Ignore the naysayers.

There will be detractors and naysayers for any endeavour you undertake in life. There will always be those people who try to impede your progress. Sometimes, it is best to ignore these naysayers and run with the vision you know you have. The Captain served in the JFF for many years. He lost the presidency for one term, amid a period of many naysayers and detractors. He didn’t let that stop him. He came back four years later to win the presidency and lead the JFF.

9. Network.

The Captain made friends everywhere he went. He had a network of friends spanning the Caribbean and many powerful names in international football. Let this be a lesson to you: networking is important. Make friends wherever you go, and build good relationships with people.

10. Vision and determination.

In his own words: “Vision and determination are qualities which are critical to the accomplishment of any endeavour. … My vision for football is quite clear. It is to carry the standard of our game to a level never before experienced. The potential for Jamaican football has never been realised because of a number of factors. We intend to correct those anomalies by providing the leadership needed to take our football where it ought to be.” Clearly, the Captain has a vision for Jamaica’s football, and was very determined to do what was necessary to realise that hope. Many would agree that indeed, he did.

Posted in Jamaica, Lifestyle, Lists, Men, Personalities, Tip Thursday, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. No payday for Cash Plus depositors
  2. Gangs responsible for nearly 50% Hanover murders
  3. Bushing contractor hits out at OCG
  4. Five killed in St James
  5. Cabinet writes of $106b in debt
  6. Cash Plus depositors may have breached law

Carlos Hill

1. No payday for Cash Plus depositors

Two weeks after former Cash Plus boss Carlos Hill was freed of fraud charges, the state agency handling the liquidation of his failed unregulated investment scheme has signalled that depositors should not expect a full refund anytime soon. The Office of the Government Trustee revealed yesterday that the losses to Cash Plus depositors have been calculated at just over $19 billion, almost doubling the initial reports. See full story on The Gleaner website.

2. Gangs responsible for nearly 50% Hanover murders

The Ants Nest, 100 Rounds, One Link, and One Voice gangs are responsible for approximately 13 of the 31 murders which have taken place in Hanover since the start of the year, according to Divisional Commander of the Hanover Police Division Sharon Beeput.  See full story on The Gleaner website.

3. Bushing contractor hits out at OCG

One of the contractors in the Government’s controversial 600 million dollar de-bushing programme is taking issue with the Contractor General Dirk Harrison. Tyrone Robinson is charging that Mr. Harrison is giving the wrong impression that he’s avoiding the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) in an attempt sidestep its probe into the programme. See full story on The Gleaner website.

4. Five killed in St James

The murderous rampage by gunmen in St James claimed five new victims this week – a triple and single murder in Barrett Town and a single murder in Granville – in an eight-hour span between late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. The latest murders bring the parish’s body count for 2017 to 110. St James had a record 268 murders last year. See full story on The Gleaner website.

5. Cabinet writes off $106b in FINSAC debt

Approximately 20 years after the Jamaican Government set up the Financial Sector Adjustment Company Limited (FINSAC) to protect investments of policyholders, depositors, and pensioners in the wake of the financial sector meltdown, the Cabinet has approved debt write-off owed to the institution amounting to $106.2 billion. Information Minister Senator Ruel Reid told journalists yesterday at a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House that the disposal of assets by FINSAC was now almost complete. See full story on The Gleaner website.

6. Cash Plus depositors may have breached law

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has disclosed that investors in the failed ponzi scheme Cash Plus may have breached the law when they signed up with the company. This afternoon, the DPP, Paula Lewellyn, released a 30 page document defending her office’s handling of the case against the company’s principal, Carlos Hill, which culminated with him being freed last month. See full story on The Gleaner website.

Posted in 6 Things You Need To Know Today, Hot Topics, Jamaica, Lists, News Tagged with: , , , , ,

5 Unforgettable Moments With Captain Horace Burrell

On Tuesday, May 6, 2017, Jamaica lost a football giant in the form of Captain Horace Burrell, late president of the Jamaica Football Federation and the man at the helm when the country’s Reggae Boyz qualified for the FIFA World Cup Finals in 1997. He was an irreplaceable player in Jamaica’s football history, and distinguished himself as an astute leader, entrepreneur, businessman and diplomat. Not many people are aware that he was a former president of the Jamaica Bakers’ Association, or that he used to lead the Jamaica Defence Force’s (JDF) football team long before he became involved in football at the national level. Here are five moments in our nation’s history that diGJamaica will never forget him for:

… when he became captain of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) in 1994.

It was the year he took over the JFF’s presidency from Heron Dale, and breathed his own version of life into the organisation. It was also the year the Football Foundation of Jamaica (FFJ) was launched, with a team of volunteers determined to steer the nation’s football team towards FIFA World Cup Finals qualification in 1998 – which they did.

This file photo courtesy of The Gleaner shows the Captain’s Bakery, Mandeville.

… when he founded The Captain’s Bakery in 1995.

No-one will ever forget the ads that permeated TV screens, newspaper and radio. Remember the jingle featuring Oliver Samuels, Dorothy Cunningham and Volier Johnson? “What the Captain bakes … ba-da-ba-da-ba-da!” It was a big deal, with plenty of pomp and fanfare for the bakery that claimed to “mek donkey, car and bus draw brakes”. The Captain’s Bakery & Grill has since opened numerous branches throughout the island, putting its own stamp on Jamaica and establishing an ode to the business acumen of the Captain.

… when Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz qualified for the 1998 FIFA World Cup Finals in France.

Nobody who was alive in Jamaica at the time will ever forget this period in our country’s sporting history. The air was literally rich with the excitement of the accomplishment. Chests everywhere were swollen with the sweetness of national pride and the intoxicating euphoria and prestige of being the first nation in the English-speaking Caribbean to qualify for the World Cup Finals. The song ‘Rise Up’ became a temporary anthem, and could be heard blaring from every street corner, and in every motor vehicle. ‘Epic’ doesn’t even begin to explain how people saw this feat. Many thought Rene Simoes (the Reggae Boyz coach at the time) would be made a national hero. It was Jamaica’s moment, and many would say, the crowning moment of achievement for the Captain, and his tenure as JFF president.

… when he received the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) from the Jamaican Government and the Order of Merit from FIFA in 1998.

After leading the country to World Cup glory, and for his illustrious background in business and leadership in the island, the Captain was awarded the Order of Distinction (commander Class) by the Government of Jamaica, who could not have chosen a better time to  bestow this honour on him. Not to be outdone, FIFA awarded him the Order of Merit for his work in Jamaican and Caribbean football.

In this file photo, courtesy of The Gleaner, Captain Horace Burrell (centre) greets Captains Chris Douglas (left) and Errol Stewart, both former pilots, at the arrival of Captain’s Burrell new Bell 206 B111 Jet Ranger luxury helicopter, which is the first acquired unit of the newly formed Captain’s Aviation Services at the Norman Manley International Airport on Saturday, September 29, 2007.

… when he founded the Captain’s Aviation Services in 2008.

It was another milestone for him as a businessman, and the expansion of a fledgling market in Jamaica. The Captain’s Aviation Services offers private helicopter travel to and from locations across Jamaica, concentrating on more popular tourist destinations, such as the Blue Mountains, Lover’s Leap, Port Royal and Dunn’s River. It was yet another signal of the Captain’s business prowess.

And here’s a bonus moment:

File photo courtesy of The Gleaner: Captain Horace Burrell, chairman and CEO of Captain’s Bakery Ltd, presents a trophy to the shortest team member of the Donald Quarrie High School at the ISSA/ Captain’s Bakery School girls football awards ceremony.


Posted in History, Jamaica, Men, Observances, Personalities, Photos Tagged with: , , , , , ,

6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. JFF President Captain Horace Burrell is dead
  2. Mother, daughter found buried in boyfriend’s bedroom
  3. Controversial hay project still operational
  4. Nat’l PTA supports ban on ganja edibles
  5. Greg Christie hits back at DPP
  6. Gov’t turns down proposal for board to oversee INDECOM

1. JFF President Captain Horace Burrell is dead

Jamaica’s football has suffered a major blow with the passing of Captain Horace Burrell, the president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF). Burrell died overseas this afternoon after a long struggle with illness. He was 67 years old. See full story on The Gleaner website.

2. Mother, daughter found buried in boyfriend’s bedroom

Forensic experts are to return today to continue investigations related to the disappearance of 24-year-old Nadian Dyer and her three-year-old daughter, Orlandie Malcolm, who were believed to be murdered and buried inside a bedroom in West End in Negril, Westmoreland. See full story on The Gleaner website.

3. Controversial hay project still operational

The agriculture ministry on Monday confirmed that it has not suspended the operations of a multimillion-dollar hay production project financed by taxpayers, despite a damning audit that found that lax oversight had resulted in millions of dollars in unauthorised and unbudgeted spending. See full story on The Gleaner website.

4. Nat’l PTA supports ganja edibles ban

The National Parent-Teachers’ Association of Jamaica (NPTAJ) has come out in support of a ban on ganja-infused edibles. In a release to the media today, the NPTAJ says it supports the ban because it is concerned about the likelihood of students being exposed to these products amid a proliferation of uncontrolled vending at the gates of many schools across the island. See full story on The Gleaner website.

Former contractor general, Greg Christie

5. Greg Christie hits back at DPP

Former Contractor General Greg Christie has responded to accusations from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn that he and other critics have ‘mischaracterised’ the several cases that were referred to her office during his tenure. See full story on The Gleaner website.

6. Gov’t turns down proposal for board to oversee INDECOM

A recommendation by a joint select committee of Parliament two years ago to establish a non-executive review board to oversee the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) has not found favour with the Andrew Holness-led administration. See full story on The Gleaner website.

Posted in 6 Things You Need To Know Today, Hot Topics, Jamaica, Lists, News Tagged with: , , , , ,