Thursday, June 29, 2017

Finally,The Dream Came True - Bradley and not Lorne Turns the Sod!

Sunset Resort
Good day! First of all let me apologize to my readers for such a long lapse since posting an article. Circumstances beyond my control plus work pressures have all had their fair share in this delay.

However I was kinda pushed to write this piece, when I read a tweet on my tweeter account -"Invest St Lucia and the Government of SLU will today be engaged in the Sod Turning Ceremony of the Fairmont Hotel, Sab Wisha, Choiseul. The event is hosted by Invest St Lucia." Wow!

I had already gotten wind of this when the Minister for Tourism made mention of this in his presentation at the House last Tuesday. However the day was not mentioned. Bravo!

Coming to think about this, my respect for our District Representative has quadrupled. Unlike the members on the other side of the divide who appear to destroy/get rid of everything which bears the signature of the United Workers Party whenever the former comes into office after being in opposition - the Balembouche/Rivere Doree Lands is a shining example but this is for another show.

Bradley, the Rep, has made it crystal clears that anything he comes across whether it is by the SLP or not, once it will benefit his constituents he will continue with it. Don't be surprised if you hear the SLP surrogates say that this Hotel is a Lorne project.  No its not or to be fair,partly.

The resort when  is expected to:-

1.  Project costing between one hundred and seventy to two hundred million US dollars, 
2.  Expected to be a four and a half to five star boutique-type property.
3.  Include a craft component enabling craft to be produced and sold at the resort.
4.  Major job opportunities during the different phases of construction of the Sunset Bay resort, utilizing the number of skilled workers of the Choiseul community.
5.  Expand opportunities for tourism linkages including tours, taxis, fisheries and agriculture,

Lorne knew very well that the propaganda he was spreading before the elections about the sod turning ceremony was solely a ploy to get votes. Nothing was in place to get this project off the ground because Planning had not given the Ok, "They are expecting all things being equal, from start to completion to take between fourteen to sixteen months,” he reiterated.

Plans were not finalized and so much had to be done that was still pending, so to say that he Lorne was about to go ahead with the sod turning ceremony was a political bluff - SLP's forte. 

The sod turning ceremony is expected to start at 3:00 pm today. Present at the ceremony will be the The Hon Prime Minister, The Minister of Tourism, The District representative, Chairpersons from the different Constituencies and Invest St Luc

The general public is invited.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"To Eat Economic Omlettes,We Must Break Ecological/Enviromenal Eggs" - Pastrol

Pastrol Konsant
DSH! So the development that is planned in VF has been a source of serious contention for some time now, and quite rightly so. As far as designs and plans go, it will wreak havoc on the ecological landscape of that part of Vieux-Fort. This part is undeniable!!! Another undeniable issue is that the St.Lucian economy has had minimal growth, if any, for some time now and "tings rough" to put it mildly.

We now have to make some very difficult decisions, decisions that we will be able to reverse!! This coming from someone who's career focus is now a hybrid of Civil Engineering and Environmental Studies, I believe that we NEED DSH!! We have to choose between the extinction of species[bad] and the extinction of people[far worse]. That is what we are dealing with here.

The economic benefits of this project, in my opinion, far outweigh the negative repercussions that will undoubtedly occur. We need to choose the lesser of two evils: an economic injection with obvious pitfalls or continued hardship for so many citizens of St. Lucia.

The DSH Project
We all want to eat that economic omelette, well ladies and gentlemen, we must break some ecological/environmental eggs. What we need to do now is try to find ways to preserve the endemic species, if possible, before this project begins causing damage.

Humans are invasive species, we have invaded all the lands that were once filled with flourishing flora and fauna and life still goes on. After DSH, life will continue to go on but I'm confident in a much more economically progressive manner for the citizens of St.Lucia.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Choiseul Mourns The Passing of Dr Augustin Charles

Dr Augustin Charles
Early this morning social media was buzzing with the news of the passing of Dr Agustin Charles aka King Bolo – a blogger, educator, public servant and activist.  Many took it to be Fake News.

 I remember forwarding the news to a comrade who instantly replied, “Sorry. Just checked and found out that’s fake. Sorry.” Well my dear readers this is not Fake News. Bolo passed on Easter Sunday 2017, at about 3:25am. 

Dr Charles who had been down for a while suffered from some neurological issue – that’s how he put it to me in one of our frequent early morning convos via WhatsApp. In spite of his illness he was well spirited, cracking a few jokes here and there and revisiting our old times together.

Who was Dr Augustin Charles? Not many can give a conclusive report on this icon. – He was multi-talented with a brilliant brain, yet very compassionate human being and family man. However, St Lucia News Online did a fairly good write up. 

The article in part reads:-

“...........He is well-known for his contributions to the popular Facebook group, SLAPS (St. Lucians Aiming for Progress). His passion for current affairs and news was also displayed on his blog, Choiseul Powerhouse.

                                                     Tribute to King Bolo
Also known as King Bolo, Dr. Charles served as deputy permanent secretary (DPS) and also officer in charge of the Ministry of Communications, Works, Transport & Public Utilities (now Ministry of Infrastructure) and also DPS and acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Social Transformation, Community Services and Local Government.

He was a science, mathematics information technology and physics teacher as well as head of the Science Department at Choiseul Secondary School.

Dr. Charles also served as principal of St Mary’s College, chairman of the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) Programme of Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), deputy chairman of the Road & Transport Board and a member of the Training/Development Committee.

Dr. Charles was a UWI scholar with an undergraduate degree (honours), a master’s degree and a PhD degree in science education (majoring in research and teaching of physics). He also attended Florida A&M University and Arizona State University.

He served in numerous capacities at both the local and national levels including deputy chairman (Choiseul Village Council); president, Choiseul Youth Organisation & Hills Sports and Cultural Club; president, secretary and treasurer (Choiseul Credit Union Ltd) and also represented the Credit Union and St. Lucia Cooperative at regional conferences and seminars.

He also served as a director on the Board of the St. Lucia Marine Terminals Ltd (SLMTL) and Prime Minister’s of the National Awards Committee, chairman of the National Conservation Authority and the Board of the St. Lucia Electricity Services (LUCELEC).

Dr. Charles was the father of five children – three males and two females.”

His body now lies at Crick’s Funeral home at Rivere Doree.


Friday, March 31, 2017

Choiseul Credit Union Behind By $2m Plus In Minimum Share Requirements Says Silvanus Fontenard

Mr Silvanus Fontenard
In a recent FaceBook post by Silvanus Fontenard, I came across this article which to my mind makes for interesting reading. Here is the full post, unedited.
"From January 2010 to December 2012 I pleaded with the Board of the Choiseul Credit Union to commence an aggressive and proactive process of selling permanent shares to members to enable the society to be compliant with the regulations of the FSRA.

 But all board members vehemently opposed the recommendation on the advice of a new board member who misunderstood the system, but whom they thought was the St Lucia's best authority on credit union management.

 But guess what? At the end of December 2016, and seven years later, the society fell behind the minimum share requirements by close to 2.5 million dollars and now have to make the adjustment by transferring large amounts to permanent shares to become compliant.

Wouldn't have been much easier on members if the process had been commenced seven years ago? I guess when people practice hatred instead of being businesslike these are the consequences. I wonder what the fool who mislead them is saying now.

 By the way I was just informed that he has just been reelected to serve for another three years to continue to mislead the society and take it deeper into the risk of possible deregulation.

 My advice to members though is that you should be proactive and buy as many permanent Shares as possible to protect your organization.

 Many board and committee members don't really care about the future of the credit Union, They are more interested in the power derived from serving, using the Society to promote their partisan political agenda or the perks such as traveling to conventions and summits and as a result do not even read the regulations and the policies .

What is most important is that the Society belongs to the membership and as a result you should all act to protect and secure its future for your children . So I advise you all to invest at least 10 percent of your savings in Permanent Shares to ensure that you not only meet the regulations but exceed it - This way you will always be ahead of the pact and can become a model organization again just as it was in the 1990's."

To make the Credit Union more sensitive to the needs of its members, Fonte thinks that certain measures must be taken. He says.

 “St Lucia needs a very tough Registrar of Credit Unions who will insist that regulations are adhered to and place heavy fines on delinquent officers who violate the regulations - This way there will always be full compliance.

Our Registrars are just playing games and this is why Elected Credit Union officials are able to break the law and get re-elected year after year.

Imagine a man who had a history of delinquency was allowed to sit on a Credit Union Board and ends up rising to the post of president while the registrar and the supervisory committee stands by - All because of partisan politics."

Why aren't you part of the board......did you opt out or didn't take part in the election/nomination process? Someone asked Fonte.

“My time at Choiseul Credit Union ended over four years ago, when the crooked board members stated that they did not want to work with me because I stood against the extortion which some were practicing as well as the refusal to undertake practices to secure a safe and sustainable future for the society.
 I don't think I will even set foot in there anymore.

My hope though is that members will open their eyes and not leave but make changes including getting rid of the crooked people who hold office”

Tuesday, February 21, 2017