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Be Careful With Student Loans-Read the fine print!

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Florida\'s Caribbean Sun August 2010


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Central Florida\'s News you can use August 2010. Monthly publication

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Florida\'s Caribbean Sun August 2010

  1. 1. I’M UP TO THE CHALLENGE says new Trinidad & Tobago PM T rinidad and Tobago’s new force. “I have an extensive and de- Prime Minister, Kamla Per- tailed plan to deal with past prob- sad Bissessar has made it lems and make sure our streets and clear that she is up to the challenge homes are safe.” of leading the country and has During her four day visit to South pledged to tackle the tough issues of Florida, the PM had a hectic sched- crime and a declining economy ule. She flew into Ft. Lauderdale di- which the people of the twin-island rectly from Jamaica after attending republic want addressed immedi- the Caricom Summit. ately. Just hours after arriving she made Riding on a wave of popularity after her first appearance at a gala in her winning national elections in May by honor hosted by Florida arm of her a wide margin, the new prime minis- political party. The evening was ter said that her major task is to “clean filled with music, art and speeches up Trinidad and Tobago and trans- along with special presentations form the way government from local dignitaries and commu- works.” With her party not having nity leaders. She attended several held office for over a decade, there are PM Persad-Bissessar (right) being interviewed by Caribbean Sun’s Busi- private dinners, and was the keynote some who have questioned whether ness Editor Laverne McGee speaker at a Trade Reception also in the new prime minister has the ex- her honor. Trade and business with education has been in politics. And it‟s those years of experience perience to handle some of the tough that she says will help her combat the tough crime, economy and Trinidad is becoming a hot topic issues facing Trinidad and Tobago. with Trinidad nationals abroad who other issues that Trinidadians say they want dealt with immedi- Florida Caribbean Sun‟s Business are now becoming interested in in- ately. Editor Laverne McGee spoke exclu- vesting in Trinidad because of the Persad Bissessar takes her place in history as only the 14 th woman sively to Persad Bissessar on her first to become an elected Prime Minister. She now joins an elite club of change in government. official trip to Florida last month. Persad-Bissessar has also made it women including Margret Thatcher and Benazir Bhutto. But she She said that “I am more than up for says she does not want that to be the focus of her leadership. She clear she wants the Caribbean to be the challenge, and have been prepar- more unified, saying she wanted to says “her goal is to clean up Trinidad and Tobago and transform ing for the last 24 years.” That‟s how stop the rivalry between islands and the way government works”. For years nationals have com- long the lawyer with a background in - Continued on page 2 plained of government corruption, especially in the police “I AM JAMAICA” CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED T he “I AM JAMAICA” Campaign was launched simultane- ously in Jamaica, USA, Canada, UK and other locations around the world with the international premier of the theme song, music video and Declaration signing on Saturday, July 17, 2010 through to Sunday, August 14, 2010. The “I AM JAMAICA” campaign, an initiative of the Jamaican Dias- pora, calls on all Jamaicans, at home and abroad, celebrities, commu- nity leaders, artists, entertainers, entrepreneurs and others, to encour- age a sense of personal responsibility, to inspire each other in embrac- ing our talents and resources as a burgeoning global community for the upliftment and prosperity of our youth, and to evoke an emotional connection of hope, positive vibes, prosperity, one- ness, and all other core qualities of „Brand Jamaica‟ among Jamaicans worldwide. The campaign encourages Jamaicans to elevate their level of communi- cation and collaboration in addressing issues of national interest. The campaign also encourages the support of law and order in the society and implores a sense of personal accountability for re-socializing the mindset of the nation, at home and abroad. (Continued on Page 5) Freddie McGregor, Marcia Griffiths and other Jamaican singers involved in the “I Am Jamaica” campaign Karen Williams briefs media in Guyana Over 4000 Guyanese get permanent US visas yearly Over 4,000 Guyanese are granted immigrant visas to live permanently in the United States each year, the outgoing head of the US embassy in Guyana has disclosed. In a recent briefing for media in Guyana, Karen Williams, Charge d'Affaires at the US embassy, in re- sponse to a question disclosed that in 2006 the embassy issued some 5,135 immigrant visas. In 2007, 3,059 immigrant visas were granted. This was followed by 4,836 in 2008 and 4,586 in 2009. So far for this year some 2,624 immigrant visas have been granted. The issue of migration from the Caribbean region, especially of its skilled personnel including teachers, nurses and scientists has long been a concern to regional governments. It is estimated that some 15,000 US immigrant visas are issued to Caribbean nationals each year. Immigrant visas are issued to persons who qualify to come to the US as permanent residents. Non- immigrant visas are for those persons who are approved as visitors to the US. Florida’s Caribbean Sun
  2. 2. EDITORIAL Be Careful With Student Loans-Read the fine print! A s thousands of high school graduates prepare to enter col- leges and universities at this time of year, many are forced to rely on student loans to pursue their higher education. Relying on government and private student loans is understandable particularly given the current economic circumstances. However, it is imperative that students and parents read the fine print since these loans can turn out to be very expensive in the long run. As tuitions rise, many people are borrowing heavily to pay their bills. Some no doubt view it as "good debt," because an education can lead to a higher salary. But in practice, student loans are one of the most toxic debts, requiring extreme consumer caution. Unlike other kinds of debt, student loans can be particularly hard to wriggle out of. Home- owners who can't make their mortgage payments can hand over the keys to their house to their lender. Credit card and even gambling debts can be discharged in bankruptcy. But ditching a student loan is virtually impossible, especially once a collection agency gets involved. Although lenders may trim payments, getting fees or principals waived seldom happens. There is an estimated $730 billion in outstanding federal and private student-loan debt and only 40% of that debt is actively being repaid. The rest is in default, or in deferment, which means payments and inter- est are halted, or in forbearance, which means payments are stopped while interest accrues. Some students who started out with a $50,000 college loan to get them through their first degree have seen this debt rise to over $100,000 as a result of payment deferrals. The US Department of Education and private lenders such as Sallie Mae say they are working with borrowers to modify their repayment plans. The US Department of Education has expanded programs like income-based repayment, which effectively caps repayments for some borrowers. The Obama Administration has also included in its health care reform new provisions for student loans which will cap interest rates and offer easier repayment terms. However, it is imperative that both students and parents understand the conditions of these loans -they must read the fine print! I’M UP TO THE CHALLENGE -Continued from Page 1- all work together. After having lived in Jamaica for 14 years and being a school teacher there, she talked fondly of the island and calls it her second home. Another passion of the PM‟s is a fund she is working on to help save the lives of less fortunate children. She told McGee she wants her Chil- dren‟s Lifesaving Fund to be one her legacies. There are children in Trinidad whose families cannot afford to get life saving medical opera- tions. Some are not even available in Trinidad and the kids must be flown to other countries to get the life saving surgeries. She made an appeal quoting a famous soca song “5 cent, 10 cent, dollar”, saying she wanted donations no matter how big or small. There was little personal time for the PM during her visit, although she does have several close friends in that part of Florida. She is ex- pected to return to the US in September. Florida’s Caribbean Sun is published by Caribbean Sun Publishers, LLC 1013 N. Pine Hills Road, Orlando, FL 32808 Phone (407) 374-2979 Email: Administrative Manager: Melinda Gordon Advertising: Vanessa Chin Churaman (407) 325-5466 Business Editor: Laverne McGee Lifestyles Editor: Sharazade Kirton 2 Florida’s Caribbean Sun
  3. 3. Are weight-loss reality LifestylesCaribbean Health Summit September 11 television shows harmful? The Center for Multicultural Well- cholesterol, HIV, lung function, pros- By Sharazade Kirton cise. ness and Prevention Inc. (CMWP) is tate, breast and cervical cancer. Reality television shows which “The dif- collaborating with the Caribbean Through these screenings, many ab- focus on the issue of weight loss ferences American Chamber of Commerce of normal results have been detected and involve participants that are between Florida Inc., Orange County Health and many lives have been saved in significantly overweight have the way a Department and several Community the process. become very popular on various d o c t o r Partners to host the 8th Annual Carib- television networks. Among would treat Florida House Representative, bean Health Summit. This commu- these shows are The Biggest Sharazade Kirton those who Geraldine Thompson said that “the nity event will take place on Satur- Loser, More to Love, Celebrity are over- services provided at the Health Sum- day, September 11th, 2010 at the Cen- Fit Club and Dance Your Ass weight and the reality shows are mit will assist countless of families in tral Florida Fair & Exposition Park Central Florida as we experience Off. that doctors cannot force, they (Fairgrounds), located on West Colo- These reality shows are aired on could just recommend what you some of our worst economic times in nial drive, Orlando. The Health Fair recent history. The event gives the primetime television, attract need to eat and how you need to is free and will be open to the general high ratings and are money exercise,” the Jamaican-born community an opportunity to be in- public from 8:00am to 4:00pm. formed about the benefits of staying makers for the various televi- doctor said. sion networks. Dr. Lawrence sees no real dan- The theme “Your Health Matters” healthy”. Commissioner Daisy W. According to Janelle Rich, a 20 gers in the methods employed was chosen because many individu- Lynum adds that "Our health is very year old telecom student at the by the reality shows noting that als, in light of Health Care Reform, important and I applaud the Carib- University of Florida, “these apart from having doctors on do not take their health seriously. bean Health Summit for the years of shows can be viewed as a form hand, these TV shows provide They take it for granted. These indi- collaboration with our communities of exploitation of the partici- chefs and personal trainers viduals pay no attention to the way to educate, serve and enlighten each pants who are making money which make losing weight more they eat, they live sedentary lifestyles of us toward the value of great health for the television networks. convenient for the participants. and they are not motivated to visit and healthcare." These people display them- After losing the weight while the doctor on a regular basis. By fo- The Health Summit will provide par- selves to the world, opening participating in these reality cusing on this year‟s theme, we hope ticipants from the Central Florida themselves up to the possibility television shows, contestants that more individuals make their and Caribbean communities of all of ridicule and taunting.” tend to become extremely confi- health a priority, by taking the neces- ages, access to health screenings, in- These new weight issues reality dent and enjoy the results of sary actions to improve their health formation and educational seminars shows have however given new their hard work and dedication. and well-being. The impact of the related to health maintenance with life to the public debate on obe- But what happens after leaving Caribbean Health Summit on the an emphasis on promoting safety, sity in America and around the the show? Central Florida‟s communities has optimal wellness and a happy life- world, evidently encouraging “That‟s on them, maintaining a been significant. Over the past seven style. fat people to become more com- consistent routine of diet modi- years, thousands of people have been fortable with discussing obesity fication, exercise and will power screened for hypertension, diabetes, as well as their efforts to deal allows a person to maintain with the problem. positive results” says the Cali- “Many of these reality show fornia-based Dr. Lawrence who contestants go on looking for works with young athletes. Homer Hartage promises great fame and fortune and with the Obesity among children and education for Orange County hope of winning the cash prizes teenagers is especially high in or finding a soul mate. They go America prompting the likes of youths on there to be in the lime-light former president Bill Clinton to and create a name for them- launch a program to address the selves,” Rich said. issue. According to Brian Donelly, the According to Colin Heywood, a Former Orange County Commissioner Homer writer of a feature on celebrity- high school teacher in Brooklyn, Hartage is a candidate for Chairman of the Orange County School Board and, the success of shows New York, a significant percent- he is urging the county‟s Caribbean American community to support him. like NBC‟s “The Biggest Loser” age of people that are catego- Hartage, considered a friend of the Caribbean American community in Cen- proves that people want to see rized to be obese or overweight tral Florida, in an e-mail to the Caribbean Sun said “I will listen to parents, stars that look more like them, lie in the high school age cate- students, teachers and business leaders and give them greater voice in our ones that they can relate to. gory. children‟s education.” Other series experimenting with He says that the emergence of Hartage referred to a recent interview he granted the Orlando Sentinel news- the trend are Oxygen‟s “Dance reality television shows which paper whose questions he said he answered with clarity, reflecting “what I Your Ass Off,” Style‟s documen- focus on weight issues has gen- am hearing in the communities across the County, that there are serious con- tary series, and Lifetime‟s “Drop erated greater public awareness cerns about accountability, and how we make our schools excellent places of Dead Diva,” which premiered to of the issue and a higher com- learning.” 2.8 million viewers, the chan- fort level among teenagers for “I answered that I am a compassionate leader; I will make sure that our stu- nel's largest audience for an discussing and actually taking dents don't suffer because of arbitrary budget cuts. I told them that the pri- original series in two years. steps to lose weight. mary purpose of my candidacy is to provide a great education for our Safety is one factor that has al- “These shows have had two ef- youth. I expressed to them that taxpayers expect us to tighten our budget ways been a question for the fects on high school students. and show real accountability that makes a difference,” Hartage said. shows‟ contestants. One, there is a vast reduction in Are the weight- loss methods the negative comments which employed safe and medically fat students have had to endure approved or are they at odds from their peers and second, with professional medical treat- while they feel less humiliated ment for losing weight? about being fat they are taking Dinney Lawrence, a sports doc- steps to lose weight and become tor and alumni of Howard Uni- more healthy. They are a lot versity, said “liability is impor- more self-confident now,” The tant to these television networks Guyana-born Heywood said. and they wouldn‟t risk putting Talking about being overweight the contestants in danger, they can be a touchy subject, espe- usually have doctors standing cially when kids are going by to monitor them and to make through an adolescence stage, sure everything‟s okay.” where many are trying to find The environments in which themselves “These shows allow these reality shows are set are talking about being overweight forced environments which give much easier, and make it more these contestants no other comfortable, especially with choice but to go along with a kids this age,” he said. daily routine of diet and exer- 3 Florida’s Caribbean Sun
  4. 4. Prayers offered for Barbados Prime Minister B arbadians at home questing the nation‟s forbearance and abroad as well as I have decided to take two as other Caribbean months leave from my duties as nationals have been Prime Minister. This time will be offering prayers for the re- spent outside of Barbados,” he covery of ailing Barbados announced. Prime Minister David The point was also made that the Thompson who is currently functions of the Prime Minister‟s receiving medical attention Office have been left in the hands in the United States. of Deputy Prime Minister and Thompson, in an address to Attorney General, Freundel Stu- the nation at the end of June art, who would have full author- announced that he was pro- ity to run the Government as he ceeding on two months leave saw fit. to receive medical treatment “Naturally the Deputy Prime abroad. He asked Barbad- Minister will act as Prime Minis- ians to pray for his recovery ter throughout my absence... and and they have responded by I am devolving on him the au- offering prayers and get-well thority to make whatever deci- wishes on web sites, blogs sions he deems necessary to keep Prime Minister David Thompson has lost a and at events. the social and economic ship of state on lot of weight due to his illness. There are rumors circulating that the even keel,” said Thompson. prime minister has been diagnosed with will take place to determine if I need sur- “He certainly has my undisputed confi- cancer which were generated by his rapid gery. It may be a complex and serious pro- dence and respect and that of the entire weight loss just prior to leaving Barbados. cedure,” he told the nation. Cabinet and the members of the Upper “During the past few weeks I have under- Thompson stressed that he had been oper- and Lower Houses of Parliament... I have gone observation, tests and medication. ating at a reduced level and expressed the every reason to believe that, in these cir- My doctors then put me on a rigorous die- hope that he would be able to resume his cumstances, my absence from this country tary regime which did cause me to lose duties at full capacity, in the shortest pos- will have minimal effect on the efficiency weight. This was necessary and I know sible time. and effectiveness of government institu- that you all have seen the changes. I have “I reckon that it will be a few weeks before tions”, he said. not completed my regime of treatment and I am, God willing, able to discharge my therefore there is nothing significant to functions in a manner that is required in report at this time. Shortly, an evaluation the circumstances. Accordingly, I am re- Florida supports Arizona immigration law US warns new Suriname president despite Department of Justice law suit T he United States has warned newly elected By Gail Seeram president of Suriname, O n July 6, 2010, the Department of Justice challenged the Desi Bouterse to re- state of Arizona‟s recently passed immigration law, S.B. spect human rights and the rule 1070, in federal court. In a brief filed in the District Court of law. Bouterse is a former mili- of Arizona, the Department said S.B. 1070 unconstitution- tary coup-leader who has been ally interferes with the federal government‟s authority to set and en- convicted of drug-trafficking in force immigration policy, explaining “the Constitution and federal law the Hague and sentenced to 11 do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local immi- years in prison. He is also on gration policies throughout the country.” A patchwork of state and trial in Suriname for the 1982 local policies would seriously disrupt federal immigration enforce- killings of 15 politicians, journalists and other critics of his military re- ment. Having enacted its own immigration policy that conflicts with gime. In 2007 he publicly apologized for that sordid chapter, saying federal immigration law, Arizona “crossed a constitutional line. that he accepted political responsibility, but not any direct involvement. Suriname‟s Parliament elected Bouterse president in July after he won However, Florida Attorney General and candidate for Florida Gover- the support of a number of small parties to register a majority, follow- nor, Bill McCollum, filed a brief in support of Arizona, stating that the ing national elections held in May. federal government has failed to do their job with respect to immigra- US Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Public Affairs, Philip J. Crowley tion. Bill McCollum is also working with state Rep. William Snyder, R has said that while the Barack Obama administration supports the re- -Stuart, to introduce a law in the Florida legislature. Florida joins eight sults of free and fair elections and processes, it expects that the Bouterse other states - Michigan, Alabama, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South administration would not tolerate corruption or violate democracy in Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia and Texas - in filing the brief sup- the former Dutch colony. porting Arizona's law. "We look to maintain our good ties with Suriname and the people of The Department of Justice brief said that S.B. 1070 will place signifi- Suriname, but we will be clear with the incoming Suriname govern- cant burdens on federal agencies, diverting their resources away from ment that, for good relations with the United States and the interna- high-priority targets, such as aliens implicated in terrorism, drug tional community, we expect this new government to stand firm smuggling, and gang activity, and those with criminal records. The against corruption and respect democratic principles, human rights, law‟s mandates on Arizona law enforcement will also result in the har- and the rule of law," Crowley said. assment and detention of foreign visitors and legal immigrants, as well The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper in a recent editorial has called on as U.S. citizens, who cannot readily prove their lawful status. CARICOM to suspend Suriname. “The decision of Suriname's parlia- The Department of Justice filed the suit after extensive consultation ment notwithstanding, we do not believe he is morally fit to lead Suri- with Arizona officials, law enforcement officers and groups, and civil name, about which we can do little. Nor do we deem him worthy to sit rights advocates. The suit was filed on behalf of the Department of in the council of Caricom, about which the community can do a lot. Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Prime Minister Bruce Golding, as Caricom's current chairman, will State, which share responsibilities in administering federal immigra- hopefully agree and will lead the charge to suspend Suriname from the tion law. Additionally, the Department of Justice has requested a pre- community until another leader is in place. Leaders must know that the liminary injunction to enjoin enforcement of the law, arguing that the passage of time doesn't of itself free them of responsibility for acts of law‟s operation will cause irreparable harm. impunity,” the newspaper said. Neighboring Guyana, which has a border dispute with Suriname, has indicated that it wants talks with the new president aimed at strengthening relations between the two countries. 4 Florida’s Caribbean Sun
  5. 5. Permaul completes 30 years in law enforcement R ussell Permaul has nority communities develop better communities and citizens in gen- served the Orange relations with law enforcement eral, said Permaul who has headed County Sheriff's Office agencies. "I want to see minority the Orlando International Airport with distinction for 30 youths and law enforcement offi-narcotics unit and the Gang Resis- years. During his three decades of cers develop better relations based tance Education And Training service-which he celebrated last on mutual respect. Young people (GREAT) program for the south- month, Permaul has had some should not be intimidated by laweastern United States, including "close shaves" having been in- enforcement officers in uniform." Puerto Rico and The US Virgin volved in several shootings. But Islands. thanks to the prayers of his late Currently head of the vice and or- Among relatives and friends at- parents and his still alive 96 year-ganized crime unit of the Metro- tending the award presentation old grandmother, who was on politan Bureau of Investigations was Elvernest Goring, his 96 year- hand to see him receive his 30-year (MBI) Permaul says his 30-year old grandmother, whom Permaul service award, Commander Per- career has been "a great experience had join him as he received the maul has never been injured on which I have really enjoyed. Per- award from Sheriff Jerry Demings. the job. haps some people wouldn't expect Permaul would not discuss his this type of career from a boy from retirement plans beyond indicat- The Guyana-born Permaul, cur- Albouystown," Permaul said, in ing that when he retires he would rently the highest ranking West reference to a poor section of the want to play a role in helping to Indian in the Orange County Sher- capital city Georgetown, Guyana. address crime and security issues iff's Office, has over the years in Guyana and the Caribbean. worked closely with the county's "I really enjoy working with the Caribbean American and other community. I began as a uni- He holds a Bachelor's degree in A Proud Elvernest Goring with minority communities. He told formed patrol officer and worked criminal justice and a Master's in grandson Commander Russell Per- Caribbean Sun in an exclusive in- my way up in the process develop- organizational management. maul at Award ceremony terview that his wish is to see mi- ing good relations with minority Attorneys support fired USDA official Calypso Rose comes to Timehri Banquet Hall say employers must thoroughly investigate racial incidents The legendary Calypso Rose will A perform August 28, 2010 at the new grouping of attorneys racial discrimination against Afri- Timehri Banquet Hall, Colonial Drive which includes several can American farmers and contin- in Orlando. Caribbean Americans ues to seek justice for those not yet has thrown its support paid pursuant to the Pigford case McArtha Linda Sandy-Lewis, better behind Shirley Sherrod, former in which Ms. Sherrod was a com- known as Calypso Rose has been Georgia Director of Rural Develop- plainant. We have also supported thrilling audiences around the world ment for the USDA, who was un- the objectives for similar claims of for decades. Born April 27, 1940 in fairly depicted as a racist based on Latinos, Native Americans and Bethel, Tobago, she began writing a distorted video clip of a March women.” songs at the age of 15, and has written over 800 songs. In 1966 she 27th NAACP speech and subse- “Furthermore, from an employ- wrote the song Fire in Me Wire, which has since become a calypso an- quently forced to resign. ment perspective,” Ms. Arnwine them. Rose was the first female to win the Trinidad Road March Com- petition, in 1977 with her song Tempo. She won the Calypso Queen title The Lawyers‟ Committee for Civil continued, “it is incumbent upon five years running. She has also won both the Trinidad Calypso Crown Rights Under Law, a non-profit any employer made aware of an and Road March competitions in 1978, the Sunshine Award in 1989 organization headquartered in alleged racial incident to conduct a and the Trinidad and Tobago Hummingbird Medal in 2000. Washington, DC, thorough investigation. Due proc- American Blues/R&B and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist Bonnie said in a statement "the ensuing ess is fundamental to equal jus- Raitt covered Rose's song "Wah She Go Do" on an album, released in series of events which resulted tice.” 1973, entitled Takin' My Time. with public apologies from the Obama Administration and U.S. “Ms. Sherrod has a remarkable For ticket information call: (407) 291-2047. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vil- background, skills and talents and sack to Ms. Sherrod on July 21st should be embraced as a shero for I am Jamaica -Continued from Page 1 serves as yet another teachable her courageousness in turning her moment to help our nation deal personal experience into lessons The spine of the campaign is a Declaration for Change and Account- with its long history of racial ten- for the entire American public to ability which supporters are asked to sign, uphold and share with oth- sions while also dealing with is- appreciate our commonalities and ers. An official “I AM JAMAICA” theme song featuring several reggae sues of wrongful termination and to embrace equity for all poor peo- veterans has been produced to convey the message of the campaign due process. ple. We call for her full compensa- and mobilize the community with the realization that music moves “As an tion and hope that Ms. Sherrod people. The reggae artists include Hopeton Lindo, Shaggy, Freddie organiza- will return to the USDA in a major McGregor, Marcia Griffiths, Courtney John, Peter Gee, Sophia Brown tion estab- position to direct critical policy to and Anthony Cruz. Accompanying the theme song is the official “I AM lished by help thousands of small, poor and JAMAICA” music video. The video, President minority farmers in need of assis- directed by Lukkee Chong and Max Earle of Frame by Frame Produc- John F. tance,” added Ms. Arnwine. tions, was filmed in various locations throughout South Florida and Kennedy in Jamaica and features the contributing vocalists, scenes from the Jamai- 1963 to mo- “Unfortunately, this matter was can landscape and people of the Diaspora supporting the bilize the precipitated by misguided reac- mission of the campaign. private bar tions to the NAACP‟s vital resolu- Today‟s leading social media platforms are being used to further the in the vig- tion regarding the need for the Tea campaign‟s mission and galvanize the Diaspora. In addition to the “I orous en- Party to reject any expression of AM JAMAICA” web site,, supporters can forcement of the nation‟s civil racism in its ranks. Nevertheless, follow the campaign‟s progress on Twitter at rights laws, the Lawyers‟ Commit- issues of race must not be sensa- IAMJAMAICA2 or join the “I AM JAMAICA” Fan page on Facebook tee for Civil Rights Under Law tionalized in a “24/7” news envi- at The campaign has also arranged for a cus- maintains an ongoing commitment ronment, but instead requires the tom YouTube channel,, pro- to ensure racial justice and equal- highest level of professionalism vided to the community as a platform to upload their personal ity for all Americans,” said Law- and journalistic integrity in mak- thoughts and offer suggestions and solutions, via video response, on yers‟ Committee Executive Direc- ing sure that news coverage is fair issues pertaining to the upliftment of the Jamaican community at home tor Barbara Arnwine. “As Mr. Vil- and balanced. We hope that the and abroad. Over a four week period leading up to August 6th, Ja- sack indicated, there are thousands entire Obama Administration, the maica‟s Independence Day, supporters and members of the Diaspora of civil rights claims against the media and the public will learn will be asked to sign the “I AM JAMAICA” Declaration for Positive USDA. The Lawyers‟ Committee from this episode. Action and Accountability, to spread the mission of the cam- has long supported redress from paign and to upload campaign response videos. 5 Florida’s Caribbean Sun
  6. 6. Trinidad and Tobago is ready to do business says PM D uring her first visit to dow is being worked on. This will allow most business transactions to the United States be done from one website. All information and documents that need to since being elected be filed will be accessible by the click of a button,” she said. Trinidad‟s Prime Minister on Then there is the issue of customs. Right now it can sometimes take May 24, Kamla Persad Bisses- days or even weeks for clearance. Bissessar says her government is sar encouraged Ameri- working to improve the efficiency to make it fast and easy for customs can entrepreneurs to invest in clearance. Best of all for investors, however, may be incentives such as and do business with the twin tax free policies, waivers, and exemptions that could save a business island nation. thousands of dollars. Especially with the exchange rate, which cur- That was the focus of the rently averages around TT$6 for US$1, the savings could potentially be speech she gave at a trade re- significant. PM speaking at Business Forum ception in Ft. Lauderdale , Many reasons were given why it is easy to conduct business with Florida recently. Several Trinidad. It has a stable economy, a stable political system and a South Florida and foreign dignitaries were in attendance, including skilled workforce of over 600 thousand English speaking people. And Lauderhill Vice Mayor Dale Holness who hosted the event. Holness is right now the Panama Canal is being widened, which will allow a lot of Jamaican descent, says Jamaicans have a fondness for Bissessar since more freight to come through. That expansion is expected to be com- she taught and lived there for 14 years. plete in the next five years. In her speech, the prime minister said her goal is to diversify Trinidad One of Bissessar‟s other big selling points is that investors will also and Tobago‟s economy and to be competitive in the global mar- have access to other external markets. ket. That‟s why, she said, she is putting things in order to make Trini- “Currently there exist formal trade agreements between T and T and dad and Tobago a business friendly country. Costa Rica, the European Union, Dominican Republic, Columbia and “New opportunities are being created and mechanisms are being put in Venezuela. In addition, T and T as part of Caricom is currently negoti- place to make it as easy as possible for those abroad to invest, trade, or ating a trade and development agreement with Canada, which is ex- operate their business from T&T. For instance, a single electronic win- pected to be complete in 2011,” she told her audience. Laparkan embarks on modernization program Disaster response center set for new Florida warehouse L aparkan has embarked on a program to ers. It‟s our customers and our hard working modernize its shipping and money employees that have kept us in business over transfer operations in an effort to offer the years and we are doing all that is necessary customers improved quality service at com- to keep our loyal customers and attract new petitive prices. The company is taking a num- ones. Like any other business the current ber of initiatives as part of its restructuring and global economic situation has had a negative modernization including the appointment of a impact on our business. Revenues are down number of agents across the State of Florida, but it is my view that we have begun to turn and the opening of a new warehouse in Miami around slowly. We at Laparkan have under- says Glen Khan, Laparkan‟s chairman and taken, in fact the process is now ongoing, to chief executive officer. recalibrate our operations so as to become Khan says the restructuring has resulted in the more cost efficient and effective and to ensure lay-off of some workers “but we have dealt that we offer the best quality service at com- with this in the most humane manner possi- petitive prices. ble” including the payment of severance pack- CS: What are some of the specific initiatives ages. you are taking to achieve this? (L-R) Glen Khan, Jeb Bush, Wesley Kirton Here is the text of the interview: GK: In Florida we have begun to appointment and Raphael Meijas at recent Disaster Relief Awards Luncheon on Carnival Imagination CS: How is Laparkan doing today in light of a number of agents in various communities so the economic recession? as to facilitate easy access to our services. Our barrels. Also, we recently closed our Linden GK: We have been in operation now for 27 new warehouse and corporate headquarters is Blvd. warehouse in Brooklyn and now use a years during which I believe we have given taking shape and we are working with the third-party handling facility which is designed reasonably high quality service to our custom- Americas Relief Team (ART) and other donor to accommodate the quick turn round of cargo agencies at establishing within this so that this cargo makes the first available sail- facility an emergency disaster re- ing. sponse center. You know that fol- CS: Has this restructuring resulted in the loss lowing the earthquake in Haiti we of jobs? donated the use of 50,000 square GK: Unfortunately it has. No business likes to feet of warehouse space at this see good hardworking employees go. But as new facility which was used and is we restructured this became necessary. About still being used as a staging area 30 employees were affected in New York and for relief and development sup- some in Florida but we addressed this issue in plies to Haiti. We are in the mid- the most humane way we could. We informed dle of a major restructuring of our those affected more than 90 days in advance of operations in the Northeast United their separation, offered them incentives to States-the New York or the tri-state stay on until the closure of the Linden Blvd. area. We have introduced a new facility, paid them severance packages and ar- state of the art Cargo Manager Sys- ranged professional help for them so as to help tem throughout the Laparkan net- them prepare their resumes and gear them- work which enables us to better selves to find reasonable alternative employ- track cargo and to be able to keep ment. In Florida some of these employees apart customers updated in a timely from receiving severance packages, have be- manner on the status of their ship- come special Laparkan agents. ments. Once fully implemented CS: Where do you see Laparkan going in the this will significantly reduce some future? of the problems we have had in the GK: I don‟t have my crystal ball with me….but past with cargo being misplaced on a serious note we are working to make La- and delayed. We have also set up a parkan a stronger, more efficient and modern customer service call center in company. We have a bunch of dedicated, com- New York which is operational petent and hardworking people and a loyal seven days a week for extended customer base which we are seeking to ex- hours each day so that customers pand. I am confident Laparkan will continue to can check on their shipments, grow and to be of service to Caribbean people schedule a pick up or a delivery of both in the Diaspora and in the region. 6 Florida’s Caribbean Sun
  7. 7. Jamaica's Ambassador presents credentials to Obama Jamaica‟s first female Ambassador to the ability "to acquire a wide For his part, United States, Audrey Marks, presented her range of professional President Letters of Credence to the United States Presi- and technical skills (and) Obama has dent, Barak Obama at the White House re- to rise to positions of expressed his cently. leadership within busi- desire to see In presenting her credentials to President ness, government and the continued Obama, Ambassador Marks expressed Ja- the non-profit sector. It development maica's desire to "deepen the bonds of friend- is as a result of this that of the special ship and the ties of co-operation that have they have been able to relationship united our peoples for so many years," and to make such a significant that exists be- build on existing relationships on the economic contribution to the de- tween Jamaica and security fronts, which will serve to aid Ja- velopment of the United and the maica's progress and development. States." United States. Ambassador Marks identified the areas of To this end, Ambassador Marks told the U.S. The US President expressed strong support for trade and investment as key components of the President that the Government of Jamaica the Jamaican government and people. He partnership between Jamaica and the United would continue to actively work with the Ja- pointed out that he had enjoyed meeting with States. maican Diaspora to "jointly stimulate greater Prime Minister Bruce Golding in Canada last On the role of the Jamaican Diaspora in the growth in our economy, such as through the weekend at the G8 meetings and understands United States and its facilitation of a long- identification of opportunities for joint venture the importance of what the Government of Ja- standing and vibrant interchange between arrangements that will expand the quantity of maica is doing and that they can look for- both countries, President Obama said that the foreign direct investment that originates from ward to his full support. United States had provided Jamaicans with the the United States." L-R Jahan Manraj, Sheriff Demings, along with Vanessa Churaman and Melinda Gordon of the “ Caribbean Sun” at recent Immigration Forum L-R Vibart Boodhoo, Fmr. Citizens Bank Chief Executive Allan Parris and Banks DIH Execu- A section of the crowd at Kalla’s Kitchen tive Desmond Gajraj relax over a beer at watching World Cup Finals Timehri Restaurant 7 Florida’s Caribbean Sun
  8. 8. South Florida Welcomes New Trinidad PM By Laverne McGee before her election and has been key in promoting her popularity in Florida. But It was a celebration, a gala and a this time was diffned as a history making proud moment in time for Trinidadians in icon. With simplicity and charm she gra- South Florida. Over 300 welcomed Prime ciously accepted well wishes from every- Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar to the Mi- one. Security and the Master of Ceremo- ami, Ft.Lauderdale area with warmth and nies had to remind people that she was no an excitement that hasn‟t been felt in years. longer “Auntie Kamla” , as many ac- Like many Trinidadians living in the US quaintances were referring to her. UNC and other parts of the world, there is a re- Florida Vice-President Gregory Antoni newed interest in their homeland since her said people had been calling their offices recent victorious election. non-stop to get tickets to the event. The event was held at an upscale ban- PM receives portrait from artist Sirju Mohan The highlight of the evening was her quet hall called the Signature Grand in speech. She began by thanking South Flor- over the US economy, some members of Davie, Florida. Most people attending ida for supporting her long before she be- the Trinidadian Diaspora are wondering came from nearby Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, came Prime Minister. But she did not fo- what the possibilities are of investing in and Lauderhill, but some even came from cus on herself, she talked over the world. Trinidad. Whether it‟s business invest- Trinidad. Former UNC Government On Saturday July 10, Persad Bissessar ments, trade, or even buying homes, there member Carlos John was in the crowd, spent time with family and friends, and is a huge buzz about possibilities to renew along with local Florida politicians and attended several private meetings. Mon- connections with their former homeland. community leaders. UNC Florida hosted day she was the featured speaker at a net- Minister of Trade and Industry Stephen the evening filled with singers, dancers, working and trade event in Ft. Lauderdale Cadiz and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. and special tributes to Persad Bissessar. about establishing her Children‟s Life Surujrattan Rambachan also made the trip, The PM flew into South Florida on Fund, asking for help for Trinidadian chil- and met with members of the South Flor- Friday July 9 directly from Jamaica, where dren in need of life saving surgeries. That ida community to discuss these inquiries. she had been attending the 31st Caricom was followed by several presentations, in- Press Secretary Garvin Nicholas, who also Summit. Accompanied by her husband, cluding a painting of her, and a White- made the trip, said they are looking for- and dressed in a simple yet elegant black berry phone from Rim. ward to hearing more from Trinidadians dress, she was surrounded by formally But the evening wasn‟t just about cele- in Florida as well as all . She returned to dressed friends, family and supporters, brating Persad Bissessar‟s victory. With Trinidad Monday July 12. some of whom she has known for years. the economic crisis that‟s been hanging UNC Florida had hosted her many times GACACF LEGAL FORUM The Guyanese American Cultural Association of Central Florida hosted a criminal and immigration law forum with invited speakers, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings and Attorneys Gail Seeram, Wayne Gold- ing and Arturo R. Rios. The appreciative audience learned about their rights when stopped by the police and how a simple traffic stop can lead to criminal proceedings and even deportation for a permanent resident or undocumented alien. Above a section of the audience and the panel at the Forum held at Timehri Banquet Hall New US Ambassador to Jamaica US President Barack Obama has named Pamela Bridgewater to fill the post of US ambassador to Jamaica. Bridgewater is a career diplomat who previously served in Jamaica as deputy chief of mission. Her other overseas postings have in- cluded Belgium, South Africa and the Bahamas, and she has served as US ambassador to Ghana and Benin. 8 Florida’s Caribbean Sun
  9. 9. Libra (23 September - 22 October) Aries (21 March - 19 April) Part of you would rather avoid confrontation and conflict this This month is rich with potential for personal progress, though overall month, yet there is still a push to speak your mind. Burying your feel- success won't come easily as some of your goals slip out of reach. Moti- ings can leave you emotionally distraught, while revealing unexpressed vation is high and hope is in the air, but it's mixed with tension as your vulnerability can lead to closer connections now. need for freedom battles with your responsibilities to others. Scorpio (23 October - 21 November) Taurus (20 April - 20th May) A long process of change is finally coming to a head , so you can expect Delicacy reigns early this month as sensitivity and caution are in the radical shifts in your daily routine, your job and even your spiritual spotlight. There is a strong potential to deepen your understanding of practice. You are more able to let go of old fashioned beliefs and unreal- others this month, as long as you open your eyes to the unspoken sig- istic expectations about your future, and should feel more certain about nals of those around you. The long-lasting struggle between controlling the current direction of your life. your own life and responding to the life's little surprises can be allevi- ate now. Sagittarius (22 November - 21 December) You now realize the unproductive patterns that have been blocking Gemini (21 May -21 June) your potential, but there's still hard work to do, and change won't come The month gets off to a slow start, leaving you time to adjust to recent easily. Tensions mount between your personal independence and the changes and disappointments. Still, much of July may be spent dealing demands of career-related responsibilities. Your whole life may feel at a with one distraction after another. Yet between the distractions, you are tipping point, but all-or- nothing ultimatums won't prove as successful being called to reexamine your core values and immediate needs, and as sincere compromise now. take decisive action while you can. Capricorn (22 December - 16 January) Cancer (22 June - 22 August) The month of August brings a more solid foundation to any job you The pace of change doesn't slow this month, as you are driven toward have by defining what's working, what isn't and what you can do about deep self-examination and aim to tackle unfinished emotional business. it. There's also a significant shift in your love life now, but while you You may feel a need to separate yourself from others now, which can may be confronted with issues you'd rather not face, riding these waves actually create enough distance and clarity that you can start to view of emotion instead of hiding them suits you better now. This is an op- your relationships more objectively. portunity to take effective action. Leo (23 August - 22 August) Aquarius (20 January - 18 February) Your appearance and demeanor are sparkling this month, as is your You are now tempted to take all sorts of risks, yet reckless behavior relationship with money, your possessions and even your self-esteem. won't accomplish as much as you hope this month. You are aware now Nonetheless, it can't always be about you, and you are being called to of what's been holding you back, and now is the time to start gathering improve the efficiency of your interactions with others on both a busi- information to work toward positive new you. ness and a personal level now. Pisces (19 February - 20 March) Virgo (23 August - 22 September) Relationships roll into the foreground this month, and you feel more of Thinking gives way to feeling for much of this month. Focusing on per- a desire to express your feelings. August is a time to get rid of beliefs sonal matters first will allow you to have a good time later without be- and goals that no longer apply, making you stronger and more able to ing plagued by tiny details. This month is a time to cut out what you no climb much higher later on. longer need and focus on how you can better work and play with oth- ers. Guyana Pays Tribute to Ken Haitian Soccer Team Plays at Disney De Abreu G T By Scott Gleba at Disney." lowing tributes have hanks to Walt Disney Even though been paid to the life World and the benevo- their coach and and work of retired lence of a member of the family members Banks DIH executive US Women's Under 17- were victims of Ken De Abreu who died last team, the Haitian Under-17 the earthquake, month at his home in Orlando, Women's squad competed in the the Haitian team Florida. Disney Cup International Youth somehow sum- The funeral service, held at St. An- Soccer Tournament, July 12-17, at moned the cour- drews Catholic Church was at- ESPN Wide World of Sports age to travel last tended by scores of relatives and Complex at Walt Disney World March to Costa Resort in Orlando, Florida. Haiti Rica for the friends including Demico House and the team were ravaged by the CONCACAF Under-17 Women's Manager Gajraj and former Citi- colossal earthquake that struck on "That (the hug with Colby) just Championship. Despite losing, 9- zens Bank chief executive Alan January 12. Six months later, the 0, to the U.S. in their opening really impacted me and I thought Parris. country is still fighting valiantly match, both teams made global I needed to help them in any way At a repast following the burial, a to recover, but the U17s are news with their moving interac- I could," Heaberlin told Fox 13 TV tribute from Guyana‟s Minister of among the nearly 200 elite partici- tion afterwards. in Tampa. "So I started brain- storming and that night, me and Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. pants from across the globe that When the final whistle blew, Hai- made their way to Disney. tian goalkeeper, Alexandra Colby my family came up with the idea Frank Anthony was read by Ar- Clubs featuring boys and girls crumpled to the ground in tears to try and bring them here." nold Gajraj, a close family friend. As a result, Heaberlin created the (ages 9-17) from nations as far and emotional exhaustion. In a away as England, Brazil, Malay- demonstration of genuine com- Many Hearts One Goal founda- UPCOMING EVENTS sia and Mexico were part of the passion, U.S. goalkeeper Bryane tion, which gave her a vehicle to biggest field in the tournament's Heaberlin approached Colby and raise money and bring the Hai- Jamaican Caribbean Cultural Festival tian players to her home state of 12-year history. gave her a warm hug. Soon after, Sat. August 14th 2010 @ 11:00AM Florida. "This year's field was one of the the entire American squad joined Florida Horse Park As fate would have it, Heaberlin most diverse and largest we've in, creating a memorable and in- 11008 S. Hwy 475, Ocala, FL34480 was called to the US team playing had in our tournament's history," spiring moment that captured the said the event's tournament direc- world's attention. at the FIFA U-20 Women's World A Magical Night of Music and Dance Cup in Germany. And though she tor Mark Luster. "The Disney Cup Following its three group games, Sat. August 14th 2010 @ 7:00PM wasn‟t with the Haitian U-17 continues to be a great opportu- the team returned to Haiti, where Shri Suryanarayan Mandir team in body, she undoubtedly nity for teams from around the life continues to be extremely dif- 8406 Clarcona Ocoee Rd, Ocoee,FL was in spirit. world to compete against other ficult. top young athletes while also get- This is where Heaberlin, 17, re- TTAC Independence Dinner & Dance ting to relax and enjoy a vacation entered the picture. Sat. August 21 2010 @ 7PM Orlando Garden Club 710 Rollins St., Orlando, FL Support our advertisers 9 Florida’s Caribbean Sun
  10. 10. 10 Florida’s Caribbean Sun
  11. 11. Guyana Republic Gala February 19 celebrity guest speaker likely The planning has already begun for next year's Guyana Republic Anni- versary Gala which will return to the historic Ballroom at Church Street "We are offering a payment plan under which persons who wish to at- in downtown Orlando, Florida on Saturday, February 19, 2011. tend this gala could place a deposit of $20 on each ticket and pay the remaining $40 within 60 days but no later than November 30, 2010. This fundraising event, put on annually by the Guyanese American Cul- This will help ensure that, should we be successful in having our celeb- tural Association of Central Florida (GACACF), was first held in 2005 rity guest speaker, there is no scalping of tickets. We want to ensure and is one of the signature events of the organization. The planning that Guyanese and friends of Guyana get an opportunity at an afford- committee for the event has already been formed and an agreement able price to be part of this event," said Kirton. signed with Puff ‘N Stuff caterers, operators of the ballroom, for the use of the facility. Kirton said that the committee is also seeking sponsors for the event and appealed to Guyanese owned businesses as well as other busi- The planning committee is chaired by Wesley Kirton and includes ness establishments that benefit from Guyanese patrons, to support the George Lyking, Gail Seeram, Andy King, Vanessa Chin-Churaman, event with their sponsorships. He said payment plans will also be put in Sulay Manraj, Carolyn Baker and Melinda Gordon. place for sponsorships so as to ease the burden of having to make a one-time payment. Tickets for the event are already on sale at a cost of $60 each which covers a three course meal, dancing and an opportunity to meet the Plans are also being finalized for top class musical entertainment. keynote speaker, who the organizers say is likely to be a big name ar- tiste with Guyanese roots. In anticipation of this celebrity guest speaker, For more information e-mail or call Melinda the committee says it is pre-selling tickets before announcing who the (407) 374-2979, George( 321) 438-0571 or Vanessa (407) 325-5466 guest speaker will be. Jamaica Independence Ball August 7 The annual Jamaica Independence Ball 48th anniversary of Independence this put on by the Jamaican American Asso- year. ciation of Central Florida will be held on Saturday, August 7, 2010 at the Rosen During the event, Hall said community Plaza Hotel, from 7pm until 2 am. service awards and scholarship awards The association's president, Denis Hall will be presented. He said tickets are told Caribbean Sun that the event will reasonably priced at $65. reflect the rich diversity of Jamaican cul- The popular 506 Crew band and DJ In- ture through food, presentations and en- spector Rogers will provide the music. tertainment. Jamaica is celebrating its . SUPPORT OUR ADVERTISERS!!! SAY YOU SAW IT IN THE CARIBBEAN SUN!!! 11 Florida’s Caribbean Sun
  12. 12. 12 Florida’s Caribbean Sun