THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
MINISTRY OF TRANSPORTATION STUDIES REVIVAL OF STREETCAR SYSTEM
Jamaica’s Transportation Ministry is investigating the feasibility of bringing back Kingston’s streetcar system. According to Robert Montague, Portfolio Minister, the Jamaica Railway Corporation has received instruction to study the issue. The revival would allow streetcars to network with the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) and the holders of its franchises to develop a multi-modal system of mass transit. A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with a Jamaican-owned firm to rehabilitate the Montpelier-to-Siloah portion of the tracks. Montague said the Ministry is working to move the start of that line from Montpelier to Freeport in Montego Bay in St. James. A route from May Pen to Spanish Town is also being examined.
INTERNATIONAL CERTIFICATION NEARS FOR ST. ANDREW’S HOPE ZOO
The Hope Zoo, which is located in St. Andrew, is looking to obtain international accreditation in order to take advantage of access to many funding opportunities and to obtain more animals. The accreditation would also make important changes in how the facility is run. According to John Seyjagat, director of the Zoo Association of America (ZAA), and Milton Rieback, the general curator of the Hope Zoo, the accreditation is expected to come in about a year. Being an accredited institution means that the zone would be on the same footing as zoos in North America and that zoos already accredited could send animals to the Hope Zoo to the benefit of staff training, internships, and partnership opportunities. The Hope Zoo is already recognized around the world for its Head Start and Reintroduction Program for the Jamaican Iguana, which had been though to be extinct for some 50 years until it was discovered in the Hellshire hills of St. Catherine.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
2018 HURRICANE SEASON THREATENS CARIBBEAN NATIONS STILL IN RECOVERY FROM 2017 STORMS
Experts warn that the pending 2018 hurricane season in the Caribbean could mean disaster for those countries still trying to recover from the extensive damage caused by 2017 storms. At a meeting of the Caribbean Development Bank’s board of governors in Grenada, officials said countries must focus on preparing for the increasingly strong storms ahead of time, rather than responding to problems after the hurricanes strike. Among the preparatory actions recommended are addressing poverty and strengthening the social safety nets and emergency response systems. Countries must create systems with more resilience to storms like Maria and Irma.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
BARTLETT DEMOSTRATES JAMAICAN COOKING IN THAILAND
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett is participating in a cooking demonstration at the fourth staging of the UNWTO World Forum in Gastronomy Tourism in Bangkok, Thailand. According to Bartlett, people in Thailand are excited about the idea of having Jamaican run-down competing with their similar dish called rengdang at a cook-off at the forum. He agreed to cook the Jamaican stew as long as a new cuisine that blends both countries’ dishes is created at the end of the demonstration. Bartlett proposes calling the new cuisine “Jamdang.” He first noticed the similarities between the two dishes at the last UNWTO Gastronomy Forum in 2017 in Spain. A fusion of the two cuisines could create a new market for local manufacturers and boost the economies of both nations.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
PHOTOVOLTAIC PARK COMPLETES FINANCING
The financing for Jamaica’s 51 MWp photovoltaic park is now completed with the French development bank Proparco and the Dutch development bank FMO providing the debt. Paradise Park, scheduled for commissioning in the first six months of 2019, requires a total investment of US$64 million. Neoen is a top independent producer of renewable power (IPP) as well as the majority shareholder in Paradise Park, has partnered with the MPC Caribbean Clean Energy Fund and Rekamniar Frontier Ventures, with all signing on to the project’s funding. This park is the first investment of the MPC Caribbean Clean Energy Fund. Neoen was the winning bidder of 19 bids in a tender offer from the Jamaican Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR). Paradise Park is expected to provide the Jamaica Public Service Company with the lowest-cost electrical energy ever made available in the island’s history.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
SISTER NANCY TO APPEAR IN GALWAY, IRELAND
The pioneering Jamaican deejay Sister Nancy, the first female dancehall deejay, will appear on June 7, 2018, in Galway, Ireland. The singer and deejay started her career as part of Prince Norman’s sound system, and in 1980, producer Winston Riley brought her to her studio recording debut, “Papa Dean.” She has performed at Reggae Sumfest and A Dee Jay Explosion. Her album “One Two,” featured the title track “Ain’t No Stopping Nancy,” “Only Woman DJ With Degree,” and ‘”Bam.” :Bam” was described by the BBC as a reggae anthem. The tune was sampled by Kanye West in “Famous” and features in the video game “Skate” and the movie soundtrack for “Belly.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
CARTER LOSES APPEAL, JAMAICA LOSES 2008 RELAY GOLD
A Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed the appeal of Jamaican sprinter Nesta Carter of disqualification from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing for a positive drug test that was found eight years later. Carter ran the first leg in the 4×100 meter relay. Usain Bolt ran the third leg and helped Jamaica to a world record win of 37.10 seconds in the event. However, analysis of Beijing samples by the International Olympic Committee in 2016 found that Carter tested positive for a prohibited stimulant. As a result, Jamaica was disqualified and stripped of the gold medal. According to the court, it “could not accept any of the arguments raised by Nesta Carter contending that the test results should be ignored or the IOC (disciplinary) decision should otherwise be overturned for certain alleged failures.” The verdict, not unexpected, spoils the perfect Olympic career of Usain Bolt, who received three golds in the 100, 200 and 4×100 meter races at three consecutive games in 2008, 2012, and 2016.The medal for the 2008 relay now goes to Trinidad and Tobago.