Friday, 28 August 2020

LIFE & STYLE: Loshusan’s ‘Buy Jamaican’ initiative / A job for stale bread / How to buy fresh fish

18 local brands getting special showcase at Loshusan outlets 
Since the start of August, close to 20 all-Jamaica brands have been part of a special buy-Jamaican initiative at Loshusan Barbican and New Kingston’s Loshusan-owned John R. Wong supermarket, in a move the owners hope will inspire other food retailers to give greater support to Brand Jamaica. Discounts and samples are part of the promotion. In addition to Quality Harvest, Swypz, Ashebre, the Jamaican Peanut Butter Factory, Ruby’s Goat Dairy and Tru Juice, the month-long promotion includes such local brands as Coffee Roasters, Smart Eggs, Nature’s Cream Condensed Milk, Copperwood and Walkerswood, among others. 

Stale bread is your friend! 
According to, it’s easily the best ‘tool’ for removing stains from delicate suede shoes. How does it work? Gently rub the suede, in a circular motion, with bread that has been left out for a couple of days or toasted until brittle. “The bread works like fine sandpaper,” the website shares, “to remove the dirt and stains without damaging the material.”

When buying fresh fish… 
Ask the vendor to poke the fish with a finger! No, really. According to food experts, it’s important to check the texture of the flesh. A fresh fish has firm flesh and should not leave finger indentations or, worse, allow a finger to push through.

SOCIETY, SOCIETY: Barbara Blake-Hannah’s big UK honour … EU ambassador bids farewell …The Heinz Simonitsch factor …

>> Barbara Blake-Hannah is finally getting her due. Her distinction of becoming the first Black news reporter/journalist to grace British television back in the day is being recognized, decades later, with a journalism award being named in her honour. The Press Gazette, based in the UK, is sponsoring the award. “The UK journalism industry has a poor record of reflecting the diversity of the UK,” the media house said in a statement. “We thought this was a great way to start to address the problem.” We feel so too! 

>> And speaking of deserving people, some 14 young Jamaican bright sparks have been awarded the 2020 Chevening scholarship to pursue graduate studies overseas. The cohort includes TVJ news anchor Andrea Chisholm, a past winner of Journalist of the Year at the annual Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) Awards. 

>> After a four-year tour of duty on our shores, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska is saying goodbye. “We have been extremely lucky to have fantastic cooperation. We have had hiccups along the way but it has been an extremely rewarding, fantastic posting, and I will be very sad to go,” the EU’s top diplomat to the region told the Gleaner at her Jack’s Hill residence. “I think we have made quite an impact over the four years.” 
>> R.I.P -- We join the tourism industry in expressing condolences to the family of Heinz Simonitsch, the venerable Austrian-born hotelier (MoBay’s Half Moon Resort) and founder of the SOS Children’s Villages, who passed away last month. Simonitsch was a man of notable accomplishments. A member of the Order of Distinction (Commander Class), he served as President of the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association (JHTA) for five terms and won Hotelier of the Year five times. Enjoy your rest, sir. 

>> Questions of the Week 

1. Why do folks have issue with Koffee’s “tomboy style” all of a sudden? Oh, of course. She’s a Grammy-winning artiste now. 

2. Are you putting your X beside the bell or the head?

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS: Sir Kenneth Hall named UCC Chancellor / Hugh Faulkner takes over as INDECOM Commissioner / Proven’s Chris Williams appointed Access Financial Chair

>> Former Governor General Sir Kenneth Hall has been appointed Chancellor of the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC), which is now trying to attract international students through its online offerings and blended programmes. According to a release, Hall will act as the university’s chief representative for outreach efforts in a range of communities locally, regionally and internationally. As Chancellor, he succeeds Professor Dennis Gayle, who has retired.

>> The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) has a new head. Hugh Faulkner, who previously served as Executive Director of the Legal Aid Council, has taken ovewr the role of Commissioner for a five-year term. He succeeds Terrence Williams. INDECOM is a civilian-staffed state agency tasked with undertaking investigations concerning actions by members of the security forces and other agents of the State.

>> Christopher Williams, co-founder and CEO of Proven Management Limited, is the new Chairman of the Board of Directors of Access Financial Services Ltd, which has restructured its management team with a raft of new appointments. Company founder Marcus James now fills the role of Group Chief Executive Officer, former COO Frederick Williams has been promoted to General Manager, while attorney-at-law Justine Collins and banking exec Michael Shaw have been appointed to the board.

Friday, 21 August 2020

SCENE & HEARD: Marcia Griffiths honoured … Dacoda Mitchell flaunts it … Treisha Williams’ ‘One Dose’ takes the prize…

GETTING HER DUE: Aug. 6, Kingston: Ageless reggae queen Marcia Griffiths shared the stage with culture minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange and Tom Tavares-Finson at the special virtual taping of this year’s Independence Grand Gala, where Griffiths was presented with a Reggae Icon Award. Ken Boothe and Orville ‘Shaggy’ Burrell were the other Jamaica 58 honorees. (Photo: Ministry of Culture) 

CURVES AHEAD: Aug. 8, St. Mary. If you’ve got it flaunt it… actress Dacoda Mitchell showed off her gorgeous bod while partying with the cool crowd at the Ribbiz Big People Party in Oracabessa. (Photo: Skkan Media) 

BIG SHOTS: Aug. 2, St. Mary. With Dream Weekend cancelled because of COVID-19, business partners Kamal Bankay and Don Creary still got their party on at the Ribbiz Big People Party, which drew a sizeable turnout to Oracabessa for a high-energy post-Independence affair. (Photo: Skkan Media) 

THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE: Aug. 2, Kingston. Impressing the judges and the voting public with her fired-up single “One Dose of the Holy Ghost,” Treisha Williams took first place at the grand finale of the Jamaica Gospel Song Competition. (Photo: JCDC) 

THE LIVING IS EASY: Aug. 8, St. Andrew. Still one of the trendiest hotspots uptown, CRU recently hosted a summer brunch, bringing out some classy girls and stylish dudes, who enjoyed sips and toasts and catching-up as they let the good times roll. (Photo: Skkan Media)

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

TALLAWAH MOMENT: Tourist board launches Rediscover Jamaica campaign

DESTINATION JA: “This time of year provides the perfect reason to enjoy our attractions,” says Bartlett.

“JAMAICA is leading the way in defining a new arrangement that will enable visitors who come to our shores to have an insurance cover that will enable them to get medical care and other attention while they are here and, more importantly, to be tested,” said Minister Edmund Bartlett, participating in the official launch of Rediscover Jamaica, a new campaign aimed at generating increased interest in the use of our tourism facilities (by both locals and visitors) – from attractions and accommodations to transportation and shopping hubs.

The launch, spearheaded by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and its partners recently took place at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

Even as he acknowledged that the COVID pandemic has taken a significant toll on the country’s resources leading to major economic decline, Bartlett said an initiative like Rediscover Jamaica couldn’t have come at a better time. “The timing is right. Summer is traditionally a time when we take trips… and this time of year provides the perfect reason to enjoy our attractions,” he noted. 

Director of Tourism Donovan White concurs. “This is an excellent time for Jamaicans to experience and rediscover the beauty and rhythm of home,” he says adding that, “Travellers from around the world come to our island for a complete vacation experience, and we are lucky to call it home.”

Friday, 14 August 2020

MURDER IN CHRISTIANA: Slain NCU associate professor was passionate about helping local farmers

TRAGIC END: Lightbourn's work in tissues culture was well known nationally, says NCU (pictured above).

As part of his work as an associate professor assigned to the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Science at Manchester’s Northern Caribbean University (NCU), Dr. Gordon Lightbourn spent a great deal of time in the lab, producing Irish potato seedlings for distribution to farmers across Central Jamaica. “He was a vital part of the national drive for self-sufficiency in the production of Irish potatoes,” says the university family, which has been thrown into mourning following Lightbourn’s untimely death.

Last Friday, the body of the 62-year-old educator was found lying in a pool of blood inside a bathroom at his home in the hilly town of Christiana. The body had multiple gunshot wounds.

Police believe Lightbourn (a single man apparently) had been dead for at least three days before his body was discovered by his helper, who showed up at the residence and received no response after calling out to him. She saw the lifeless body after peering through a window and raised an alarm.

As reports reveal, some residents had heard loud explosions three days before the body was discovered, but no report was made to the police, who are now hoping to make a breakthrough in the case.

Meantime, the university says Dr. Lightbourn’s passing is a huge loss not just for their institution but for the country at large. “His expertise and work in the area of tissue culture is well known nationally,” an NCU statement confirmed. “The family mourns the tragic passing of our colleague and friend… and we express our deepest sympathies to his family.”

According to the university, Lightbourn’s murder “highlights the unacceptable level of crime and violence in the society, even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

CHAT ’BOUT: Tufton claps back at detractors … Vangelee Williams quits the Sunshine Girls … Nurses call for improved health-care sector

“These vicious and false attributions made under the cover of social media have caused great pain and suffering and are clearly aimed at damaging my career, as well as causing emotional distress… but I will not be deterred in doing my job to the best of my ability and in service of my country.” – Health minister Dr. Christopher Tufton responding to personal “attacks” stemming from the Jamaica Moves/ Market Me controversy 

“I’ve been blessed to be able to represent my country over all these years. I am super proud of all the contributions I’ve made to the programmes I’ve been a part of… The little girl coming from the country on weekends to try and win a spot in the national programme was willing, was motivated, was full of aspirations and big dreams of representing the country at the highest level.” – Former Sunshine Girls skipper Vangelee Williams announcing her retirement from international netball 

“Learn the business. Don’t get caught up in the hype. Don’t leave your royalties and publishing in other people’s hands. Take your music inna your hands and know the business. Review your files. If you don’t understand it, carry it to a lawyer.” – Khago’s wife and manager Francine Gayle imploring new and aspiring artistes to protect their intellectual property 

“It is full time to truly appreciate the provision of good health care and that it is not a burden but a necessary good for the development of the economy and thus must be included at all levels in the planning process in various ministries.” – Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) president Carmen Johnson delivering her message to mark the recent observance of National Nursing Week 

“We, the people have successfully voiced and participated in our democracy and must continue to do so to ensure that all of us can benefit from our status as an independent nation… As we enter this ‘new normal’ environment, we must display the resilience for which we are known globally.” – Governor General Sir Patrick Allen delivering his 2020 Emancipendence message