Sahara Dust

There is a haze over Kingston right now, floating above the mountains and filtering the sunlight. It is apparently a dust storm that has made its way over from Africa. The Washington Post wrote a story about this relatively regular weather event last year. Check it out here. Meanwhile, we haven’t heard much from local authorities about it. Shouldn’t there be warnings for the elderly, young children and those with illnesses? Apparently it can cause respiratory distress and has been known to exacerbate asthma in young children.

Boston Globe Editor Walter Robinson in Kingston

Pulitzer-prize winning Boston Globe editor Walter Robinson is in Kingston. Global Reporters for the Caribbean and the U.S. Embassy is hosting Mr. Robinson, who was also the subject of the Oscar-winning film Spotlight, which highlighted Robinson’s work (along with the Spotlight team) exposing the Catholic Church’s cover-up of sexual abuse by priests in Boston. Over 1,000 victims were abused. About 250 priests were identified. I will post more, as there was also a Q&A at the screening of the movie last night and Mr. Robinson’s comments are worth hearing.

Call centre no more?

We drive by this so often on our way out to the country in St. Thomas. I asked my husband the first time I saw it what it was, and he said it is the former Goodyear tire factory. Apparently it used to employ over 200 people until it shut down in 1997 when a particular line of tires was discontinued.  It used to supply tires to many Caricom nations.

It is now abandoned.

A little bit of research shows there were plans for it- to be specific, a call centre. But either that did not materialize or it did not last long. Then it was going to be a “film lot,” but I don’t see any evidence of that.


Charges against Latoya Nugent dropped

Latoya Nugent of the Tambourine Army has been relieved of the charges against her, as I wrote about for the Guardian here.

She pled not guilty to the three charges and the Deputy Public Prosecutor dismissed the charges due to a lack of evidence. Here is Latoya’s social media post on the matter:

I was officially charged in court today for 3 counts of using a computer for malicious communication. Yes. TODAY😂😂😂
The 3 counts:
Against Paul Thompson
Against Canute Thompson
Against Livingstone Thompson

I was asked to enter a plea on each count. I pleaded not guilty on all 3 counts.

Yanique Brown Gardner from the DPP then made a no evidence submission to the judge and asked for a discontinance.

Case dismissed.

As a #RetiredLesbian this feels like a gift on this International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

DPP Paula Llewelyn was also in court and outlined a bag a tings about why they were discontinuing. I suspect she wasn’t pleased, but I could be wrong.

[side note] My favourite part of the DPP’s long speech was when she referenced my ‘expletives-laden’ email to Canute’s lawyer. She noted that while my response may have been disrespectful to say the judge’s mother or her own mother, it was not obscene.😂😂😂

In all the comments in court today from the DPP, the judge, and Canute’s lawyer, I was reminded of how unkind Jamaica is to women and girls, and that as a people we first disbelieve victims and survivors of sexual violence. I was reminded of why the #TambourineArmy is so radical because we believe and stand with survivors.

Survivors, don’t you ever forget that #StellaStandsWithYou and the #TambourineArmy will always be #StandingWithSurvivors.

I will not be silenced.
You will not be silenced.
We will not be silenced.

Here’s to the #UnsilencingOfWomen


“Trough” hits JA, widespread flooding

It rained for over 24 hours. Much of the island was flooded, and schools were closed in Kingston. The Prime Minister enacted emergency procedures. He was off the island until late yesterday but apparently took control of the situation on his return. These are pictures from some community journalists I am working with on a project from different parishes. They have been documenting the damage caused by the rain. It is still raining today, although it is a light drizzle.

Climate change will hit Kingston first


IMG_4387As the rain pours and we are under flood watches, this seems an ideal time to show this map from a Washington Post story. It illustrates the effect of climate change in cities around the world. Kingston, JA, does not fare well, even if we moderate our behavior to reduce carbon emissions. Check it out here.


Logos Hope Ship


On Sunday we went to visit the Logos Hope Ship. It is a cruise ship that travels the world, selling books at reasonable prices. It was a cloudy, drizzly day, which suited the visit, except for the mud. There weren’t too many people there, and we even got in free as we had to wait for them to clear the water on the deck.

Once inside, we were treated to a video about the ship. Staff are volunteers and come from 60 countries, including Germany, South Korea and South Africa. They are a Christian-based organization that dock in different countries for several weeks and also perform community service.

We got a lot of children’s books, including an atlas and dictionaries, as well as a couple of management books for my husband. It was a nice experience and my daughter certainly enjoyed being surrounded by both the ocean and all those books.