Right Steps & Poui Trees


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Gliding Birds, Rising Moon: Weekly Photo Challenge – Delta

“This week, share a photograph that signifies transitions and change to you. It can be the very beginning of a phase, or the very end. As you pick up your lens, explore the ways in which a single photograph can express time, while only showing us a small portion of any given moment.”

The moon has been doing this for millions of years, “rising” and “setting”, in its different phases…long before we humans were around to witness it.  The birds have been gliding across the sky for a far shorter time, but certainly time measured in many millenia. That afternoon, I watched in awe as the moon rose and a flock of birds glided in slow motion, on invisible currents, across the cloudless blue sky. Gliding birds, rising moon, a moment in time….

Gliding past the moon 2017

Weekly Photo Challenge – Delta

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Focusing on a Lizard…Again: Weekly Photo Challenge – Focus

“This week, share a photo that represents focus to you. Are you a stickler for getting in close to your subjects and capturing every detail, or do you prefer a more ethereal look that illustrates the sensations of the moment? Or both?”

I had left the cup out overnight. In it was a little leftover ginger tea sweetened with honey. In the morning, something else was in the cup…a little lizard.P1150733

Having climbed in, it couldn’t get out again.P1150719

I like the way in which the tea and the glass and the lizard’s translucent skin affect the focus…P1150783

PS I’m adding this a few days after publishing my blog post to assure readers that the little creature was fine after its ordeal. Right after taking my photos, I rested the cup on its side on a window sill and the lizard crawled out and ran away.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Focus

 


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Thank You, Blood Donors! #GiveBlood #GiveNow #GiveOften #WBDD2017

More than thirty years ago, as a newborn, my son had a medical challenge that meant he needed a complete blood transfusion. Many family members and friends gave blood on his behalf, but none of them had his blood type, which is not a common type in Jamaica. There were no units of that blood type in the blood bank system at the time, which was obviously very frightening for us.Blood types in Jamaica However, the staff at the blood collection centre at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) knew of a blood donor with that blood type on campus. They contacted her and asked if she would be willing to make a donation and she was. My son had his blood transfusion, which gave his tiny body a better chance of overcoming the challenges he faced. And all these years later, he is a healthy, grown man, making his contribution to society!

Over the years, I have thought with gratitude of that blood donor who willingly answered the call she got, and in doing so gave an invaluable gift to my son, me and my family. My son has become a blood donor himself and a few times we have actually gone together to the collection centre at UHWI to make blood donations. It’s a way of passing the gift along.

So today on World Blood Donor Day 2017, I’d like to celebrate all those who give blood, and to support the campaign message to #GiveBlood, #GiveNow, #GiveOftenWorld Blood Donor Day 14-6-17And if you aren’t able to donate blood yourself, share the message and encourage others to donate!

Check out the National Blood Transfusion Service website to get more information about giving blood in Jamaica.Blood collection centresHave a look at the PAHO/WHO web page to find more information about blood donation in the region.blood donation in Americas 2017And in ending, I want to congratulate my youngest brother, David, who is a long-term, repeat blood donor.  He has given blood more frequently than anyone else I know personally and his commitment is very inspiring!World blood donor day 2017.PNG

 


Making Haste: Joint Select Committee & Special Zones of Operations Act

This afternoon (June 13, 2017), the Joint Select Committee of Parliament considering The Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act, 2017 had its first sitting. It was a short, preliminary meeting primarily intended to set out how the Committee will proceed.

Delroy Chuck 2Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck is chairing the Committee and reminded that the Bill had been tabled in the House by Prime Minister Holness during his Budget Debate presentation on March 21, 2017. He noted that this Bill is one of the measures intended to deal with the high level of violent crime in the country and made reference to the quadruple murder that had taken place in the parish of Hanover this morning. He indicated that the Prime Minister had asked that the Committee complete its deliberations by the end of June. This means that the Committee has about two weeks in which to conduct its process and report back to Parliament; by the first week in July, at the latest, Minister Chuck said.

The Committee has asked that advertisements be placed in the media this week, inviting individuals and organizations to make written submissions on the Bill to Parliament, with a possible deadline for submission by next week Tuesday.  They will also write to a number of specific organizations inviting them to make submissions; among those mentioned were the Jamaica Bar Association, the Advocates Association, the Public Defender, Jamaicans for Justice, the Norman Manley Law School and the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology. Individuals and organizations which make written submissions may be asked to make presentations in the Chamber, which will need to take place next week or the week after that.

Dates for three meetings of the Committee were set today, though these may change, as sometimes happens:

  • Wednesday, June 21 – 9 a.m.
  • Tuesday, June 27 – 10 a.m.
  • Wednesday, June 28 – 2 p.m.

It is hoped that all contributions can be concluded by the end of these three meetings, after which the Committee will do a clause-by-clause review of the Bill before finalising their report to Parliament.

Minster Chuck said that Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte will be attending the meetings of the Committee and the next meeting will begin with the Attorney General giving an outline of the Bill. He also said that the National Security Advisor and representatives of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and Jamaica Defence Force will be invited to attend the meetings.

I am not sure of the full membership of the Joint Select Committee, but present today were MPs Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert, Evon Redman and Floyd Green and Senator Pearnel Charles, Jr. Apologies were tendered for MP Peter Bunting and Senators Mark Golding and Ransford Braham. (Marlene Malahoo Forte was present in her capacity as Attorney General, from Minister Chuck’s comments.)

The Committee is attempting to complete its work in a very short period, with very limited notice to the public for submissions, which may jeopardize the “closer scrutiny of the Parliament in a joint select committee” contemplated by the Prime Minister when he tabled the Bill.

Previous blog post in which I raised questions & concerns about the Bill: Yes, You Do Get to Ask Questions About the Zones of Special Operations Act


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Parliament: Weekly Photo Challenge – Order

“This week, share your take on order, whether literal, figurative, or anything in between (and sure — showing it next to a healthy dose of messiness is fine, too). From library stacks to sock drawers and from ancient temples to modern train stations, let your inner disciplinarian take over.”

The Chamber in our Parliament at Gordon House can seem so orderly when it’s empty.P1150409The Speaker of the House has the responsibility to ensure that Members of Parliament observe the rules of order of the House.  P1150419Copies of laws – in weighty tomes – sit in the Chamber, a reminder of the general need for law and order….P1150427

Weekly Photo Challenge – Order


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Bernie Cassius Anolis: Weekly Photo Challenge – Friend

“This week, share an image of a friend.”

I first noticed him hanging out in my dining room and living room sometime towards the end of last year. He was so bold, walking all over the walls, leaping onto the furniture, scurrying across the floor to snap up an unsuspecting beetle. Totally unperturbed by the people in the rooms, chatting or eating or drinking tea. This beautiful Turquoise anole (Anolis grahami), a species originally endemic to Jamaica.Bernie 2

When I posted his picture on Facebook, Yolanda said he looked like a Bernie. My brother Michael said, “He has a lean and hungry look”. So he became Bernie Cassius Anolis.Bernie

Can a lizard be a friend? By some definition, I have decided yes.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Friend