Right Steps & Poui Trees


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Curiosity & Wonder: Weekly Photo Challenge – Final Edition – All-Time Favourites

“Welcome to the final installment of the Weekly Photo Challenge. In wishing you a fond farewell, we wanted to share our all-time favorite photos with you. We welcome you to share your favorites with us. Happy photographic trails!”

One of my favourite photos is of my granddaughter at the beach. She has such a sense of curiosity and wonder about the world around her, a sense which is sometimes a bit dulled in us as adults. Photography is one of the things that helps me to keep that sense sharpened!IMG_20180406_142242_resized_20180408_115510511 (1)

I have really enjoyed the Weekly Photo Challenge prompts, the first of which I responded to in October 2016. I don’t think I missed one since. It has really been a fun way to look back at photos I’ve taken and to share them on my blog. And it’s been wonderful to see the incredible photos shared by others! Good luck going forward, everyone! 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge – All-Time Favorites

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Love Bush: Weekly Photo Challenge – Twisted

“This week, show us something that doesn’t maintain a straight line.”

Love bush or dodder (Cuscuta spp) is a parasitic vine that is often seen growing on hedges and other plants on the roadside in Jamaica.IMG_20180508_151020_resized_20180523_034400277

It is called love bush because folklore has it that if you want to know if someone is your true love or returns your love, you can break off a piece of the vine and say the person’s name as you throw the vine on another plant. If the vine catches and starts to grow, then you know the person you named does indeed love you. Unfortunately, this childhood game helps to spread the parasite to new plants.IMG_20180508_151305_resized_20180508_070811636The vine twists around itself, other plants and fences as it spreads from place to place…P1300090Twisted indeed…

P1300097

Weekly Photo Challenge – Twisted


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Armadale. 22.05.2009. I Remember

Armadale

On May 22, 2009, a fire at the Armadale Juvenile Correctional Centre in St Ann, Jamaica resulted in the death of seven teenage girls. We cannot afford to forget.

Shaunnalee Kerr – 15 years old

Kaychell Nelson – 15 years old

Ann marie Samuels – 16 years old

Rochelle King – 16 years old

Nerissa King – 16 years old

Georgina Saunders – 16 years old

Stephanie Smith – 17 years old

The Report of the Armadale Commission of Enquiry 2010


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No, Seriously…That’s Why the Police Aren’t Using Their Body-Worn Cameras?

COP AndersonAbout two weeks ago there was an article in the Gleaner with the headline Police Not Making Full Use of Body Cameras – Commissioner, in which the new Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson seems to have given us a somewhat clearer idea of why to date no member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has been wearing a body-camera in any incident requiring investigation by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM). No fatal shooting, no shooting resulting in injury, no altercation, nothing. No incident occurring on any planned operation, not on any unplanned operation, not on any planned stationary vehicle check point, nothing. And this after these body-cameras were introduced with much hype and fanfare, having been donated by the US Embassy in August 2016. (See blog post Jamaica’s Body-Worn Cameras: A Comfort to a Fool?)

As one of the “different sectors of the society asking for an update on the cameras and why there was no footage from any operations that featured body cameras”, I was intrigued to see the Commissioner being quoted as follows regarding the lack of use  of the body cameras:

“One, you don’t have enough, and, two, our uniforms don’t have the technology to actually properly wear them. We are looking at some other models that we have seen recently. We have met some representatives up to last week that, perhaps, will suit what we do better”. (Gleaner, May 9, 2018)

An inadequate number of body cameras does not explain why the available cameras have not been deployed on planned operations where confrontations are most likely to occur. A logical approach would see these operations as priority for deployment. The other reason given is beyond belief…that police uniforms don’t have the “technology” for attaching the body cameras properly! When was this deficiency first discovered? Was there no consultation between the JCF and the US Embassy before the particular body cameras were obtained and donated? At what point was it planned to inform the public of this ridiculous problem preventing use of the body cameras? Does this mean that the existing body cameras are to be discarded?

The article also quotes Commissioner Anderson as saying:

“When you introduce new things and new capabilities, it’s a process. You don’t just buy something to stick them on. There’s a training component, there’s an equipment back-up component, a logistics component, a command and control component to it. There’s a whole thing that you used to deliver capabilities, but we haven’t been that good at it”. (Gleaner, May 9, 2018)

So the announcement of the donation of the body cameras in August 2016 and the announcement of the deployment of the cameras in February 2017 and the failure to give any official update to the public regarding the use of the body cameras or any official evaluation of the project has all resulted in the declared use of body cameras  by the JCF being an elaborate comfort to a fool.

I am glad that the Commissioner of Police has answered some questions from a reporter, but perhaps it is time for a full and official update by the Minister of National Security in Parliament.

(I have now done 5 or 6 blog posts about the body-worn cameras and the JCF, if you wish more information about the issue.)


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Walker’s Place of Safety Fire Brigade Report via Access to Information Request

Today I received a copy of the Jamaica Fire Brigade’s Final Fire Report regarding the fire which occurred at the Walker’s Place of Safety on January 16, 2018. The date of the Final Report is March 16, 2018. The fire resulted in the death of two girls who were resident at the facility, Oneike McGrae and Anna Kaye Moreland.

JFB Walker's fire report pic

Jamaica Fire Brigade Final Fire Report – Walker’s Place of Safety – March 16 2018

Having read the two-page report, I do not understand what justified not making it public at the time that it was completed and turned over to the Government.DJM Walker's report tweet 29-5-18

SG Tweet re Walker's report 7-4-18

It is clear that there remain many questions to be answered about this fire and the tragic loss of life and trauma that resulted, but as important a document as the fire report should not have taken many weeks to be released publicly. And one of the questions that needs to be asked concerns the adequacy of the report itself.

 


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“Nuh Wey Nuh Betta Dan Yard”: Weekly Photo Challenge – Place In The World

“Where do you belong? In the hustle and bustle of a big city or amongst friendly faces in a small town? For this week’s challenge, show us your place in the world….Where’s your safe space? Where do you go when you need to feel inspired or cheered up?”

Yard is where I belong….Jamaica…right here…home.

Looking north…P1230400

…south…P1210159 (3)

…east…P1240086

…west…P1230321

Weekly Photo Challenge – Place in the World