Sunday, October 23, 2016

An Open Letter To Prime Minister Allen Chastanet

Dear Sir,  I write to you today with the intent to focus solely on the economic situation in Saint Lucia, the dire need to raise revenue in order to meet the expenditures of government, and to manage the affairs of the country as you have been mandated to do by the elections of June 6, 2016.

As you are aware, the imposition of VAT and the raising of fees over the past few years have been blamed for the downward spiral of our economy because of the tremendous burden which has been placed on both businesses and regular citizens. Your campaign promises specifically stated a reduction of VAT and other taxes and fees as a means of reducing the squeeze on the people of Saint Lucia while finding more creative and equitable means of raising revenue. This clearly was received with great anticipation.

As your administration is poised to announce the reduction VAT and other strategies to ameliorate the state of our economy it must be noted that you are now at a pivotal point in the administration of Saint Lucia.. Your decisions today will be discussed and evaluated forever as they become the inescapable history of our island. 

It is with all this in mind, Sir,  that I call on you to raise taxes! 

Not onerous taxes, but those which have more than just the misguided intention of squeezing every last cent of revenue from the clutched fingers of our people. Ironically, these taxes will ultimately benefit our people even more than what is collected. I dare you, Sir, to now take this opportunity to make a bold move in the interest of this country. A move so uncommon and forward thinking that time alone will prove it one of the most strategic and sensible directions of any politician in our history although many may see it as politically risqué. I implore you to make this tough yet necessary decision.

Mr. Prime Minister, I call on you to decisively raise taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, salt, and sugar!

It must be noted that these three commodities are collectively responsible for the meteoric rise in health problems in Saint Lucia in the forms of cancer, alcoholism, and diabetes which ultimately result in death. In fact, we now have the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of diabetes in the world. It is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes, and lower limb amputation. The World Health Organization also states that avoiding tobacco is one of the ways to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.  Our alarming rate of diabetes vis-a-vis age, compared to the rest of the world, is clearly indicated by the red line on the graph below.


Mr. Prime Minister, when your administration was voted into office it was not solely to make fiscal policies but also to manage and direct the energies and psyche of our people. The direction that we take requires a mental attitude which at times is very lacking. It is therefore your responsibility to identify these deficiencies and steer the country towards that sense of purpose.

If Saint Lucia is to continue along this path we will all be overwhelmed by an untenable and critical situation requiring significantly more resources allocated to the treatment of these medical problems. This will leave an ever dwindling balance in the treasury for other needs which will have a domino effect on every other sector of our country.

Since you have already mentioned the impending increase in the departure tax and re-institution of the airport development tax, a decision which I wanted to suggest, I will advise you to explain the logic to the naysayers. These two taxes will be paid by those who can most afford them and will be offset to locals by the reduction of VAT and other taxes and fees. The more equitable distribution of revenue collection is the critical point to grasp.

In the long run our country will be healthier, the quality of life will be better, and the economy will rebound.

All of these measures require more than short term plans. We must also implement this change of mindset from the school level which will guarantee our sustainability as the younger generation matures. Attitudes and lifestyle are a significant part of the malaise in which we now find ourselves.

The detrimental effects of diabetes, cancer, alcoholism, and other serious ailments associated with the 'deadly three' inflict monumental costs to our country in the form of losses in job productivity, efficiency, cost of operations, competitiveness, and more.

If you make the hard and sensible decision to implement these taxes the ultimate benefit to Saint Lucia will far outweigh any negative criticism. The people are not stupid.

History will be on your side.

P.S. Mr. Prime Minister, Although we do not see post script notes too often these days, It has been brought to my attention that another matter which deserves attention is the problem which inundates our country especially when it rains. A healthy tax on plastic bottles, Styrofoam containers, and other minimally biodegradable products should at least encourage a move to more environmentally friendly materials. In so doing our inordinate expenses associated with flooding and health issues will be greatly reduced.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


 SAINT LUCIA EMERGENCY SHELTER LOCATIONS
 
 
GROS-ISLET 
1 Gros Islet Roman Catholic Church 
2 Gros Islet Primary School 
3 Gros Islet Infant School 
4 Gros Islet Church of Nazarene 
5 Gros Islet Secondary School Monchy 
6 Monchy Roman Catholic Church 
7 Monchy Combined School 
8 Monchy Human Resource Centre Grand Riviere (Gros Islet) 
9 Grand Riviere Combined School BABONNEAU 
10 Babonneau Multi-purpose Centre 
11 Babonneau Secondary School 
12 Babonneau Infant/Primary School 
13 Babonneau Roman Catholic Church Fond Assau 
14 Fond Assau Combined School La Guerre 
15 La Guerre Combined School 
16 La Guerre Mothers & Fathers Hall Boguis 
17 Boguis Mothers’ and Fathers’ Hall 
18 Boguis Combined School Des Barras 
19 Des Barras Combined School Balata 
20 Balata Combined School Union 
21 Dame Pearlette Louisy Primary School 3. 
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CASTRIES NORTH La Clery 
22 La Clery Roman Catholic Church 
23 VBCC Club house 
24 Maranatha Seventh-Day Adventist Church Vide Boutielle 
 25 Vide Boutielle Combined School 
26 Vide Boutielle Secondary School 
27 Sir Ira Simmons Secondary School Morne Du don 
28 Morne Dudon Combined School 
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CENTRAL CASTRIES 
29 Camille Henry Memorial School 
30 Carmen Reneé Memorial School 
31 St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Boys’ Primary School 
32 St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Boys’ Infant School 
33 Ave Maria Girls’ Infant School 
34 Ave Maria Girls’ Primary School 
35 Anglican Infant School 
36 Cannon Laurie Primary School 
37 Holy Trinity Anglican Church 
38 Castries Seventh-Day Adventist Church 
39 Castries City Hall 
40 Castries Methodist Church 
41 Salvation Army Church CASTRIES EAST 
42 Bocage Combined School 
43 Bocage Secondary School 
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MARCHAND 
44 Marchand Combined School 
45 Marchand Parish Centre 
46 Marchand Roman Catholic Church 
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ENTREPOT 
47 Entrepot Secondary School 
48 Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary School 
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CASTRIES SOUTH EAST 
Bexon 
49 Bexon Infant School 
50 Bexon Roman Catholic Church La Croix Maingot (East) 
51 La Croix Maingot Combined School Ti Rocher (Castries) 
52 Ti Rocher Combined School Dierre Fort 
53 Dierre Fort Seventh-Day Adventist Church 
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CASTRIES SOUTH 
Ciceron 
54 George Charles Secondary School 
55 Ciceron Combined School 
56 Ciceron First Baptist Church 
57 Ciceron Secondary School 
58 Ciceron Methodist Church 
59 Lady Gordon Opportunity Centre 
60 Ciceron Community Centre Tapion 
61 Tapion School (Private) The Morne 
62 St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church Odsan 
63 Odsan Combined School 
64 Odsan Seventh-Day Adventist Church Marigot 
65 Marigot Secondary School (Jon Odlum Secondary) 
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ANSE LA RAYE 
Anse La Raye Village 
66 Anse La Raye Primary School 
67 Anse La Raye Seventh-Day Adventist Church (Aux Tabor Hill) 
68 Anse La Raye Roman Catholic Parish Hall Jacmel 
69 Roseau Combined School 
70 Jacmel Roman Catholic Church Millet 
71 Millet Primary School 
72 Millet Infant School Tete Chemin 
73 Tete Chemin Seventh-Day Adventist Church 
74 Tete Chemin Human Resource Centre 
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CANARIES 
75 Canaries Primary School 
76 Canaries Roman Catholic Church 
77 Canaries Seventh-Day Adventist Church 
78 Canaries Parish Centre 
79 Canaries Community Centre 
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SOUFRIERE Fond St. Jacques 
80 Fond St. Jacques Roman Catholic Church 
81 Fond St. Jacques Primary School 
82 Fond St. Jacques Parish Centre 
83 Fond St. Jacques Pre-School 
84 Raymond’s Disco (Private) Soufriere Town 
85 Soufriere Roman Catholic Church 
86 Soufriere Primary School 
87 Soufriere Infant School 
88 Soufriere Seventh-Day Adventist Church – Temple 
89 Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School 
90 St. Isidore Hall 
91 Christ is the Answer Church – Fond Beniere Bouton 
92 Bouton Combined School 
93 Disco – Chateau Belair Ebores 
94 Les Etangs Combined School 
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CHOISEUL 
Piaye 
95 Piaye Secondary School 
96 Piaye Combined School Saltibus 
97 Saltibus Combined School 
98 Saltibus Roman Catholic Church 
99 Daban Mothers and Fathers Hall 
100 Saltibus Multi-Purpose Centre River Doree 
101 River Doreé Anglican Church 
102 River Doreé Combined School 
103 River Doreé Mothers and Fathers Hall La Fargue 
104 La Fargue Mission Evangelical Church 
105 Choiseul Secondary School 
106 (Church of God) Holiness Roblot 
107 Roblot Seventh-Day Adventist Church 
108 Roblot Combined School 
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Choiseul Village 
109 Choiseul Roman Catholic Church 
110 Reunion Primary School 
111 Reunion Enrichment Centre 
112 Reunion Pentecostal Church 
113 Why Wonder Disco (private) Victoria 
114 Victoria Roman Catholic Church 
115 Victoria Seventh-Day Adventist Church 
116 Cool Joint Disco (Private) Mongouge 
117 Mongouge Combined School Dugard 
118 Dugard Combined School 
119 Vibration Disco – Dugard (Private) Delcer 
120 Delcer Combined School 
121 Delcer – Jacques Dance Hall (Private) La Pointe 
122 La Pointe Pentecostal Apostolic Church 
123 99 Disco Ravineau (Private) 
124 La Maze Community Centre 
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LABORIE 
Augier 
125 Augier Pre-School (St. Francis Xavier) 
126 Augier Combined School 
127 Augier Roman Catholic Church (St. Francis Xavier) Laborie Village 
128 Laborie Boys’ Primary School 
129 Laborie Girls’ Primary School 
130 Laborie Roman Catholic Church 
131 Laborie Roman Catholic Parish Centre 
132 Laborie Community Education Centre Banse/La Grace 
133 Banse La Grace Combined School 
134 Banse La Grace Evangelical Church 
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VIEUX-FORT SOUTH 
Vieux Fort Town 
135 Beanfield Secondary School 
136 Vieux-Fort Special Education Centre 
137 Vieux-Fort Primary School 
138 Victory Pentecostal Church – St. Jude’s highway 
139 Plain View Combined School 
140 Vieux-Fort Comprehensive School Campus ‘A’ 
141 Vieux-Fort Comprehensive School Campus ‘B’ 
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VIEUX-FORT NORTH 
Belle Vue 
142 Belle Vue Roman Catholic Church – St. Isidore 
143 Belle Vue Combined School 
144 Belle Vue Human Resource Development Centre Pierrot 
145 Pierrot Combined School 
146 St. Martin De Porres Roman Catholic Shrine 
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Vigier 
147 Vigier Combined School Grace 
148 Community Centre – Coolie Town 
149 Fair Trade Centre 
150 Grace Roman Catholic Church 
151 Grace Combined School
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MICOUD SOUTH 
Desruisseaux 
152 Fond Desruisseaux-Mothers and Fathers Hall 
153 Desruisseaux Combined School 
154 Desruisseaux Seventh-Day Adventist Church 
155 Desruisseaux Roman Catholic Church 
156 Desruisseaux Multi-Purpose Centre 
157 Desruisseaux Evangelical Church 
158 Anse Ger Secondary School Blanchard 
159 Blanchard Pentecostal Church – Solid Rocks 
160 Blanchard Combined School 
161 Blanchard Community Centre 
162 Redeem Christian Fellowship Church – Blanchard 
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MICOUD NORTH
 Mon Repos 
163 Mon Repos Roman Catholic Church 
164 Mon Repos Combined School 
165 Mon Repos Seventh-Day Adventist Church 
166 Praslin Community Centre 
167 Bible Baptiste Church (Wooden) Patience 
168 Patience Combined School 
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Micoud Village 
169 Ebenezer Seventh-Day Adventist Church 
170 Micoud Secondary School 
171 Micoud Primary School 
172 Micoud Roman Catholic Church 
173 Micoud Multi-Purpose Centre 
174 Faith Tabernacle Church 
175 Lime Light Disco – Micoud Highway 17. 
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DENNERY SOUTH 
Dennery Village 
176 Dennery Roman Catholic Church 
177 St. Peter's Infant School 
178 Clendon Mason Memorial School La Caye 
179 St. Mary’s Anglican Church 18. 
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DENNERY NORTH 
La Ressource (Dennery) 
180 La Ressource Day Care Centre 
181 La Ressource Roman Catholic Church 
182 La Ressource Parish Centre 
183 La Ressource Combined School 
184 La Ressource Mother’s & Father’s Hall Grand Riviere 
185 Grand Riviere Secondary School 
186 Grand Riviere Seventh-Day Adventist Church 
187 Grand Riviere Human Resource Centre Gardette 
188 Gardette Day Care Centre Richfond 
189 Richfond Combined School Aux Lyon 
190 Aux Lyon Combined School Derniere Riviere 
191 Denniere Riviere Apostolic Faith Church 
192 Denniere Riviere Combined School Grand Ravine 
193 Abbot’s Disco (Private) 
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GROS-ISLET 1 Gros Islet Roman Catholic Church 2 Gros Islet Primary School 3 Gros Islet Infant School 4 Gros Islet Church of Nazarene 5 Gros Islet Secondary School

Read more at: http://www.damajority.com/complete-list-emergency-shelters-per-district-201617-saint-lucia/#
GROS-ISLET 1 Gros Islet Roman Catholic Church 2 Gros Islet Primary School 3 Gros Islet Infant School 4 Gros Islet Church of Nazarene 5 Gros Islet Secondary School

Read more at: http://www.damajority.com/complete-list-emergency-shelters-per-district-201617-saint-lucia/#
GROS-ISLET 1 Gros Islet Roman Catholic Church 2 Gros Islet Primary School 3 Gros Islet Infant School 4 Gros Islet Church of Nazarene 5 Gros Islet Secondary School Monchy 6 Monchy Roman Catholic Church 7 Monchy Combined School 8 Monchy Human Resource Centre Grand Riviere (Gros Islet) 9 Grand Riviere Combined School BABONNEAU 10 Babonneau Multi-purpose Centre 11 Babonneau Secondary School 12 Babonneau Infant/Primary School 13 Babonneau Roman Catholic Church Fond Assau 14 Fond Assau Combined School La Guerre 15 La Guerre Combined School 16 La Guerre Mothers & Fathers Hall Boguis 17 Boguis Mothers’ and Fathers’ Hall 18 Boguis Combined School Des Barras 19 Des Barras Combined School Balata 20 Balata Combined School Union 21 Dame Pearlette Louisy Primary School 3. CASTRIES NORTH La Clery 22 La Clery Roman Catholic Church 23 VBCC Club house 24 Maranatha Seventh-Day Adventist Church Vide Boutielle 25 Vide Boutielle Combined School 26 Vide Boutielle Secondary School 27 Sir Ira Simmons Secondary School Morne Du don 28 Morne Dudon Combined School CENTRAL CASTRIES 29 Camille Henry Memorial School 30 Carmen Reneé Memorial School 31 St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Boys’ Primary School 32 St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Boys’ Infant School 33 Ave Maria Girls’ Infant School 34 Ave Maria Girls’ Primary School 35 Anglican Infant School 36 Cannon Laurie Primary School 37 Holy Trinity Anglican Church 38 Castries Seventh-Day Adventist Church 39 Castries City Hall 40 Castries Methodist Church 41 Salvation Army Church CASTRIES EAST 42 Bocage Combined School 43 Bocage Secondary School MARCHAND 44 Marchand Combined School 45 Marchand Parish Centre 46 Marchand Roman Catholic Church ENTREPOT 47 Entrepot Secondary School 48 Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary School CASTRIES SOUTH EAST Bexon 49 Bexon Infant School 50 Bexon Roman Catholic Church La Croix Maingot (East) 51 La Croix Maingot Combined School Ti Rocher (Castries) 52 Ti Rocher Combined School Dierre Fort 53 Dierre Fort Seventh-Day Adventist Church CASTRIES SOUTH Ciceron 54 George Charles Secondary School 55 Ciceron Combined School 56 Ciceron First Baptist Church 57 Ciceron Secondary School 58 Ciceron Methodist Church 59 Lady Gordon Opportunity Centre 60 Ciceron Community Centre Tapion 61 Tapion School (Private) The Morne 62 St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church Odsan 63 Odsan Combined School 64 Odsan Seventh-Day Adventist Church Marigot 65 Marigot Secondary School (Jon Odlum Secondary) ANSE LA RAYE Anse La Raye Village 66 Anse La Raye Primary School 67 Anse La Raye Seventh-Day Adventist Church (Aux Tabor Hill) 68 Anse La Raye Roman Catholic Parish Hall Jacmel 69 Roseau Combined School 70 Jacmel Roman Catholic Church Millet 71 Millet Primary School 72 Millet Infant School Tete Chemin 73 Tete Chemin Seventh-Day Adventist Church 74 Tete Chemin Human Resource Centre CANARIES Canaries 75 Canaries Primary School 76 Canaries Roman Catholic Church 77 Canaries Seventh-Day Adventist Church 78 Canaries Parish Centre 79 Canaries Community Centre SOUFRIERE Fond St. Jacques 80 Fond St. Jacques Roman Catholic Church 81 Fond St. Jacques Primary School 82 Fond St. Jacques Parish Centre 83 Fond St. Jacques Pre-School 84 Raymond’s Disco (Private) Soufriere Town 85 Soufriere Roman Catholic Church 86 Soufriere Primary School 87 Soufriere Infant School 88 Soufriere Seventh-Day Adventist Church – Temple 89 Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School 90 St. Isidore Hall 91 Christ is the Answer Church – Fond Beniere Bouton 92 Bouton Combined School 93 Disco – Chateau Belair Ebores 94 Les Etangs Combined School CHOISEUL Piaye 95 Piaye Secondary School 96 Piaye Combined School Saltibus 97 Saltibus Combined School 98 Saltibus Roman Catholic Church 99 Daban Mothers and Fathers Hall 100 Saltibus Multi-Purpose Centre River Doree 101 River Doreé Anglican Church 102 River Doreé Combined School 103 River Doreé Mothers and Fathers Hall La Fargue 104 La Fargue Mission Evangelical Church 105 Choiseul Secondary School 106 (Church of God) Holiness Roblot 107 Roblot Seventh-Day Adventist Church 108 Roblot Combined School Choiseul Village 109 Choiseul Roman Catholic Church 110 Reunion Primary School 111 Reunion Enrichment Centre 112 Reunion Pentecostal Church 113 Why Wonder Disco (private) Victoria 114 Victoria Roman Catholic Church 115 Victoria Seventh-Day Adventist Church 116 Cool Joint Disco (Private) Mongouge 117 Mongouge Combined School Dugard 118 Dugard Combined School 119 Vibration Disco – Dugard (Private) Delcer 120 Delcer Combined School 121 Delcer – Jacques Dance Hall (Private) La Pointe 122 La Pointe Pentecostal Apostolic Church 123 99 Disco Ravineau (Private) 124 La Maze Community Centre LABORIE Augier 125 Augier Pre-School (St. Francis Xavier) 126 Augier Combined School 127 Augier Roman Catholic Church (St. Francis Xavier) Laborie Village 128 Laborie Boys’ Primary School 129 Laborie Girls’ Primary School 130 Laborie Roman Catholic Church 131 Laborie Roman Catholic Parish Centre 132 Laborie Community Education Centre Banse/La Grace 133 Banse La Grace Combined School 134 Banse La Grace Evangelical Church VIEUX-FORT SOUTH Vieux Fort Town 135 Beanfield Secondary School 136 Vieux-Fort Special Education Centre 137 Vieux-Fort Primary School 138 Victory Pentecostal Church – St. Jude’s highway 139 Plain View Combined School 140 Vieux-Fort Comprehensive School Campus ‘A’ 141 Vieux-Fort Comprehensive School Campus ‘B’ VIEUX-FORT NORTH Belle Vue 142 Belle Vue Roman Catholic Church – St. Isidore 143 Belle Vue Combined School 144 Belle Vue Human Resource Development Centre Pierrot 145 Pierrot Combined School 146 St. Martin De Porres Roman Catholic Shrine Vigier 147 Vigier Combined School Grace 148 Community Centre – Coolie Town 149 Fair Trade Centre 150 Grace Roman Catholic Church 151 Grace Combined School MICOUD SOUTH Desruisseaux 152 Fond Desruisseaux-Mothers and Fathers Hall 153 Desruisseaux Combined School 154 Desruisseaux Seventh-Day Adventist Church 155 Desruisseaux Roman Catholic Church 156 Desruisseaux Multi-Purpose Centre 157 Desruisseaux Evangelical Church 158 Anse Ger Secondary School Blanchard 159 Blanchard Pentecostal Church – Solid Rocks 160 Blanchard Combined School 161 Blanchard Community Centre 162 Redeem Christian Fellowship Church – Blanchard MICOUD NORTH Mon Repos 163 Mon Repos Roman Catholic Church 164 Mon Repos Combined School 165 Mon Repos Seventh-Day Adventist Church 166 Praslin Community Centre 167 Bible Baptiste Church (Wooden) Patience 168 Patience Combined School Micoud Village 169 Ebenezer Seventh-Day Adventist Church 170 Micoud Secondary School 171 Micoud Primary School 172 Micoud Roman Catholic Church 173 Micoud Multi-Purpose Centre 174 Faith Tabernacle Church 175 Lime Light Disco – Micoud Highway 17. DENNERY SOUTH Dennery Village 176 Dennery Roman Catholic Church 177 St. Peter's Infant School 178 Clendon Mason Memorial School La Caye 179 St. Mary’s Anglican Church 18. DENNERY NORTH La Ressource (Dennery) 180 La Ressource Day Care Centre 181 La Ressource Roman Catholic Church 182 La Ressource Parish Centre 183 La Ressource Combined School 184 La Ressource Mother’s & Father’s Hall Grand Riviere 185 Grand Riviere Secondary School 186 Grand Riviere Seventh-Day Adventist Church 187 Grand Riviere Human Resource Centre Gardette 188 Gardette Day Care Centre Richfond 189 Richfond Combined School Aux Lyon 190 Aux Lyon Combined School Derniere Riviere 191 Denniere Riviere Apostolic Faith Church 192 Denniere Riviere Combined School Grand Ravine 193 Abbot’s Disco (Private)

Read more at: http://www.damajority.com/complete-list-emergency-shelters-per-district-201617-saint-lucia/#
GROS-ISLET 1 Gros Islet Roman Catholic Church 2 Gros Islet Primary School 3 Gros Islet Infant School 4 Gros Islet Church of Nazarene 5 Gros Islet Secondary School Monchy 6 Monchy Roman Catholic Church 7 Monchy Combined School 8 Monchy Human Resource Centre Grand Riviere (Gros Islet) 9 Grand Riviere Combined School BABONNEAU 10 Babonneau Multi-purpose Centre 11 Babonneau Secondary School 12 Babonneau Infant/Primary School 13 Babonneau Roman Catholic Church Fond Assau 14 Fond Assau Combined School La Guerre 15 La Guerre Combined School 16 La Guerre Mothers & Fathers Hall Boguis 17 Boguis Mothers’ and Fathers’ Hall 18 Boguis Combined School Des Barras 19 Des Barras Combined School Balata 20 Balata Combined School Union 21 Dame Pearlette Louisy Primary School 3. CASTRIES NORTH La Clery 22 La Clery Roman Catholic Church 23 VBCC Club house 24 Maranatha Seventh-Day Adventist Church Vide Boutielle 25 Vide Boutielle Combined School 26 Vide Boutielle Secondary School 27 Sir Ira Simmons Secondary School Morne Du don 28 Morne Dudon Combined School CENTRAL CASTRIES 29 Camille Henry Memorial School 30 Carmen Reneé Memorial School 31 St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Boys’ Primary School 32 St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Boys’ Infant School 33 Ave Maria Girls’ Infant School 34 Ave Maria Girls’ Primary School 35 Anglican Infant School 36 Cannon Laurie Primary School 37 Holy Trinity Anglican Church 38 Castries Seventh-Day Adventist Church 39 Castries City Hall 40 Castries Methodist Church 41 Salvation Army Church CASTRIES EAST 42 Bocage Combined School 43 Bocage Secondary School MARCHAND 44 Marchand Combined School 45 Marchand Parish Centre 46 Marchand Roman Catholic Church ENTREPOT 47 Entrepot Secondary School 48 Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary School CASTRIES SOUTH EAST Bexon 49 Bexon Infant School 50 Bexon Roman Catholic Church La Croix Maingot (East) 51 La Croix Maingot Combined School Ti Rocher (Castries) 52 Ti Rocher Combined School Dierre Fort 53 Dierre Fort Seventh-Day Adventist Church CASTRIES SOUTH Ciceron 54 George Charles Secondary School 55 Ciceron Combined School 56 Ciceron First Baptist Church 57 Ciceron Secondary School 58 Ciceron Methodist Church 59 Lady Gordon Opportunity Centre 60 Ciceron Community Centre Tapion 61 Tapion School (Private) The Morne 62 St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church Odsan 63 Odsan Combined School 64 Odsan Seventh-Day Adventist Church Marigot 65 Marigot Secondary School (Jon Odlum Secondary) ANSE LA RAYE Anse La Raye Village 66 Anse La Raye Primary School 67 Anse La Raye Seventh-Day Adventist Church (Aux Tabor Hill) 68 Anse La Raye Roman Catholic Parish Hall Jacmel 69 Roseau Combined School 70 Jacmel Roman Catholic Church Millet 71 Millet Primary School 72 Millet Infant School Tete Chemin 73 Tete Chemin Seventh-Day Adventist Church 74 Tete Chemin Human Resource Centre CANARIES Canaries 75 Canaries Primary School 76 Canaries Roman Catholic Church 77 Canaries Seventh-Day Adventist Church 78 Canaries Parish Centre 79 Canaries Community Centre SOUFRIERE Fond St. Jacques 80 Fond St. Jacques Roman Catholic Church 81 Fond St. Jacques Primary School 82 Fond St. Jacques Parish Centre 83 Fond St. Jacques Pre-School 84 Raymond’s Disco (Private) Soufriere Town 85 Soufriere Roman Catholic Church 86 Soufriere Primary School 87 Soufriere Infant School 88 Soufriere Seventh-Day Adventist Church – Temple 89 Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School 90 St. Isidore Hall 91 Christ is the Answer Church – Fond Beniere Bouton 92 Bouton Combined School 93 Disco – Chateau Belair Ebores 94 Les Etangs Combined School CHOISEUL Piaye 95 Piaye Secondary School 96 Piaye Combined School Saltibus 97 Saltibus Combined School 98 Saltibus Roman Catholic Church 99 Daban Mothers and Fathers Hall 100 Saltibus Multi-Purpose Centre River Doree 101 River Doreé Anglican Church 102 River Doreé Combined School 103 River Doreé Mothers and Fathers Hall La Fargue 104 La Fargue Mission Evangelical Church 105 Choiseul Secondary School 106 (Church of God) Holiness Roblot 107 Roblot Seventh-Day Adventist Church 108 Roblot Combined School Choiseul Village 109 Choiseul Roman Catholic Church 110 Reunion Primary School 111 Reunion Enrichment Centre 112 Reunion Pentecostal Church 113 Why Wonder Disco (private) Victoria 114 Victoria Roman Catholic Church 115 Victoria Seventh-Day Adventist Church 116 Cool Joint Disco (Private) Mongouge 117 Mongouge Combined School Dugard 118 Dugard Combined School 119 Vibration Disco – Dugard (Private) Delcer 120 Delcer Combined School 121 Delcer – Jacques Dance Hall (Private) La Pointe 122 La Pointe Pentecostal Apostolic Church 123 99 Disco Ravineau (Private) 124 La Maze Community Centre LABORIE Augier 125 Augier Pre-School (St. Francis Xavier) 126 Augier Combined School 127 Augier Roman Catholic Church (St. Francis Xavier) Laborie Village 128 Laborie Boys’ Primary School 129 Laborie Girls’ Primary School 130 Laborie Roman Catholic Church 131 Laborie Roman Catholic Parish Centre 132 Laborie Community Education Centre Banse/La Grace 133 Banse La Grace Combined School 134 Banse La Grace Evangelical Church VIEUX-FORT SOUTH Vieux Fort Town 135 Beanfield Secondary School 136 Vieux-Fort Special Education Centre 137 Vieux-Fort Primary School 138 Victory Pentecostal Church – St. Jude’s highway 139 Plain View Combined School 140 Vieux-Fort Comprehensive School Campus ‘A’ 141 Vieux-Fort Comprehensive School Campus ‘B’ VIEUX-FORT NORTH Belle Vue 142 Belle Vue Roman Catholic Church – St. Isidore 143 Belle Vue Combined School 144 Belle Vue Human Resource Development Centre Pierrot 145 Pierrot Combined School 146 St. Martin De Porres Roman Catholic Shrine Vigier 147 Vigier Combined School Grace 148 Community Centre – Coolie Town 149 Fair Trade Centre 150 Grace Roman Catholic Church 151 Grace Combined School MICOUD SOUTH Desruisseaux 152 Fond Desruisseaux-Mothers and Fathers Hall 153 Desruisseaux Combined School 154 Desruisseaux Seventh-Day Adventist Church 155 Desruisseaux Roman Catholic Church 156 Desruisseaux Multi-Purpose Centre 157 Desruisseaux Evangelical Church 158 Anse Ger Secondary School Blanchard 159 Blanchard Pentecostal Church – Solid Rocks 160 Blanchard Combined School 161 Blanchard Community Centre 162 Redeem Christian Fellowship Church – Blanchard MICOUD NORTH Mon Repos 163 Mon Repos Roman Catholic Church 164 Mon Repos Combined School 165 Mon Repos Seventh-Day Adventist Church 166 Praslin Community Centre 167 Bible Baptiste Church (Wooden) Patience 168 Patience Combined School Micoud Village 169 Ebenezer Seventh-Day Adventist Church 170 Micoud Secondary School 171 Micoud Primary School 172 Micoud Roman Catholic Church 173 Micoud Multi-Purpose Centre 174 Faith Tabernacle Church 175 Lime Light Disco – Micoud Highway 17. DENNERY SOUTH Dennery Village 176 Dennery Roman Catholic Church 177 St. Peter's Infant School 178 Clendon Mason Memorial School La Caye 179 St. Mary’s Anglican Church 18. DENNERY NORTH La Ressource (Dennery) 180 La Ressource Day Care Centre 181 La Ressource Roman Catholic Church 182 La Ressource Parish Centre 183 La Ressource Combined School 184 La Ressource Mother’s & Father’s Hall Grand Riviere 185 Grand Riviere Secondary School 186 Grand Riviere Seventh-Day Adventist Church 187 Grand Riviere Human Resource Centre Gardette 188 Gardette Day Care Centre Richfond 189 Richfond Combined School Aux Lyon 190 Aux Lyon Combined School Derniere Riviere 191 Denniere Riviere Apostolic Faith Church 192 Denniere Riviere Combined School Grand Ravine 193 Abbot’s Disco (Private)

Read more at: http://www.damajority.com/complete-list-emergency-shelters-per-district-201617-saint-lucia/#

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Nightmare in Choc Cemetery - Quelle Horreur

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'Dearly beloved we are gathered here today to celebrate the life of...' and so begins the eulogy at many funerals around the length and breadth of Saint Lucia. Choc Cemetery has been synonymous with burials in Saint Lucia for decades. 'Death Announcements' as they are affectionately known, are big moneymakers for local radio stations and have now graduated to full length presentations on local television, appropriately called 'Telebituaries' which usually end, "the body will be interred in the Choc Cemetery."  Over the years other cemeteries seem to feature much more regularly as the final resting place than they used to, in days gone by. 

To be blunt Lucians love a funeral. Not as a festive occasion but because it lets them show their love for friends and relatives since it is almost a mortal sin not to attend. It is a guilt which has been woven into the psyche of our people that there can be no redemption if you miss the funeral of someone you know. Woe be onto the business which does not allow time off to attend a funeral. 

Click on thumbnail for larger photo
So it is against this backdrop that we expect funerals to be events done just right. Grieving relatives travel from around the world to wail and moan in full public view so you better make it worth their hard earned money in these hard economic times. 

For a very long time the cemetery has become a ghastly place for too many relatives and friends. Instead of a peaceful send-off amid sobs, wailing and moaning, and attempts by distraught loved ones to jump into the grave, or at least shrieking, "take me instead" - families have been further tortured by unthinkable cemetery faux pas of disrespectful proportions.

Recently while attending a funeral which ended up at Choc Cemetery the gathered family and friends were faced with a dilemma at the tomb. The casket bearing their loved one refused to enter the tomb. No amount of prodding and heaving by the funeral home personnel or the grave diggers could put this dearly departed to rest. The problem, under the blazing 12 p.m. sun, was a casket which was too big for the hole! 

Quelle horreur!
Imagine the horror for the family who expected to be comforted by a wonderful send off being faced with grave diggers huffing and puffing with a casket. Pulling at the wrought iron fencing did not make a difference; plunging it in head first did not work either; almost vertical, no dice! In fact desperate scream and panic overcame many on the scene when the casket lid opened on one of the attempts to force it into the hole, revealing their recently departed to the midday sun. Bon Dieu!!

After much scientific calculations, of both Mathematics and Physics, it was concluded that the casket was a tad too long! It was hauled back to level position and one of the grave diggers descended into the grave with a mateau and chisel, disappeared from sight, and proceeded to administer ear shattering blows to the concrete encasement. The strategy was to break the concrete on one end and dig into the dirt in order to create a cavity of a few extra inches in order for the casket to fit. Isn't it a health hazard to breach the concrete wall of the tomb and allow a casket with a decaying body to protrude, unprotected, into the surrounding soil? Do the crabs and other burrowing critters enter that chamber then return to the surface to be trapped and eaten by unsuspecting individuals? Messieurs!

Graveside engineers
After half an hour or more, with multiple diggers sweating and grunting under the heat and humidity, the casket, which must have been worth several thousand dollars, finally scraped and screeched along the concrete walls of the tomb to its final resting place. It hit the bottom, with a metal on concrete thud. "Ee bon la" was the almost jubilant comment from one of the grave diggers.

How could this be possible? How could a grieving family spend thousands of dollars for a funeral and burial and be finally assaulted by such horrific events where their loved one is expected to be buried with dignity? Who is to blame for this nightmare in broad daylight? Shouldn't the funeral home, in cooperation with the C.C.C. (Castries City Council) or whichever agency is responsible for the particular cemetery, liaise before the burial to ensure that the casket would fit the tomb selected? It is a recurring story at so many funerals that some antics have to play out in the cemetery before loved one are put to rest. No wonder the expression "perfect peace" seems to be quite popular these days - it very well could be wishful thinking based on all these cemetery disasters.

Is that a bolom exiting the tomb?
All over the island the story seems to be the same. Coffins or caskets unable to fit and sometimes grave diggers racing with the night in order to get everything completed before dark. How many families have had their loved ones suddenly exposed to the sun when some mishap causes the casket to burst open while going down because of a burst strap. Have we become so numb in Saint Lucia that it is simply a matter of accepting that the contents of those caskets is already dead, and that's just the way things are in Saint Lucia? 

When will we no longer accept grave diggers and other funeral personnel dressed in the most inappropriate manner for a funeral? Coveralls unzipped to the crotch; barefooted, and sometimes in short pants going down into the tomb raggedy as hell cannot be considered as appropriately dressed as the last people to have contact with our loved ones.

Speaking to many friends after this incident I have been informed of this being a regular occurrence. It has now become so commonplace that it is almost expected that something will go wrong in the cemetery. And then to top it all off, these grave diggers will impose the final insult by standing on the casket of your loved one to seal the deal.

From Gros Islet Cemetery, to Choc, Babonneau, Vieux Fort, Canaries, and all over Saint Lucia, the horror is the same.

Final insult

 Would you be happy with this?
(Click on thumbnails for larger photo)
           

Or this?
 


(Click on thumbnails for larger photo)


 


 Why do we continue to accept this less than dignified treatment?




Monday, September 12, 2016

The Soup Takes On National TV

An all-woman panel is set to tackle issues and perspectives in Saint Lucia like never before. They will highlight the many accomplishments of great St. Lucians, whose everyday achievements go unnoticed. Believe it or not, those achievers face real everyday issues and have genuine stories to tell and they will do so on THE SOUP.

THE SOUP is stirred by women passionate about life and curious about what makes people tick and what’s cooking in the cauldron of indecision. Curiosity does not kill the cat. It empowers.

These enquiring women are:
  • Sergin Joseph – Live Wire Media personality and sales and marketing executive
  • Medalese Breen - Educator, media practitioner, cultural pioneer
  •  Linda “Chocolate” Berthier – singer/songwriter, highly qualified nurse, media personality
  • Cindy James – a graduate of Grambling University, where she studied Marketing and was a top ranked cheerleader and for three years competed at the National Cheerleaders Association’s competition in Daytona, Florida. 

From the Prime Minister to art designers, St. Lucians will finally get a bird’s eye view of the individuals behind it all. Not only the stories of entrepreneurs or successful business persons, but the parent, the family member, role models will be highlighted.
The SOUP premieres on Calabash TV tonight, Monday September 12, 2016 at 7:00 PM

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Saint Lucians Do It Again

Saint Lucian Chevening scholarship awardees
Six Saint Lucians have been awarded scholarships in the much coveted Chevening Scholarships global scholarship programme of the British government. The Scholarships are awarded to exceptional individuals with leadership potential and enable the recipients to study one-year Masters courses in a range of subjects at UK universities.

The aim of these scholarships, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, aim to support UK foreign policy priorities by creating lasting positive relationships with future leaders, influencers and decision makers.

Left to right: Miguel Trim, Tommy Descartes, Melissa Hippolyte-Descartes, Ernette Kangal, Tevin Shepherd, Christal Jean

Of the 4300 applicants from the Eastern Caribbean 43 were interviewed by the British High Commission in Barbados, and only 18 were selected - Saint Lucians making up 6 of the total.
Eastern Caribbean Chevening 2016 scholarship awardees
On Tuesday the awardees gathered at the British High Commission's office in Bridgetown where High Commissioner Victoria Deane congratulated the scholars and expressed pleasure that this year every single country in the Eastern Caribbean to which the High Commission is accredited had a scholarship recipient.

Saint Lucia also created a first for the scheme as husband and wife pair Tommy Descartes and Melissa Hippolyte-Descartes will both pursue degrees in Economics at the University of Nottingham.

Tommy Descartes said the fact that he and his wife were accepted to study at the same university shows that Chevening is pro family.

Melissa Hippolyte-Descartes said both she and her husband were passionate about economic development and excited to get an opportunity to study what they love which will allow them to return to the Caribbean and to serve as economists with the government of Saint Lucia.

Meanwhile, Christal Jean, who currently holds a bachelor's degree in Forensic Science will pursue her master's in Genetic Manipulation and Molecular Cell Biology. She says the opportunity to advance her passion in forensic science will benefit Saint Lucia.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Levern Spencer - More Than Meets The Eye

Perhaps the performance of Levern Spencer as a finalist in the Women's High Jump at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro is less about sports and more about so many other things - so many things that many Saint Lucians have never even thought about.

Undoubtedly, this fine young woman from Cacoa, Babonneau has inspired Saint Lucians from far and wide, for many years, with her constantly improving ability in the high jump, proving to be a beacon of hope to many aspiring athletes. A win in Rio could have been the much needed shot-in-the-arm (or more likely kick-in-the-ass) which Saint Lucia sports has needed for so many years. With her limited resources Levern has been able to do what others with millions of dollars and impressive sports programs at their disposal were unable to do. Slowly but surely she has caught our attention giving hints of her impressive determination and stamina since she took up competitive high jumping in 1999.

Saint Lucian sportswoman of the year more times than any other woman in our history has not affected her humility. Unlike so many others who have had fame go to their head she has remained true only to her island and sport. The name Levern Spencer has remained synonymous with the high jump sport in Saint Lucia just as Breeze is to laundry detergent.

Levern has an impressive roster of appearances on behalf of Saint Lucia taking her to countries around the world since her debut in 1999 - See below listings:

Levern Spencer stats
Despite the obvious hard work, dedication, and much sacrifice, Levern has continued to fly the Saint Lucia flag higher and higher wherever she competed. We have all felt proud of her achievements, and this time around news that she had qualified for the Olympic finals in the Women's High Jump in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil had us all salivating at the prospects of a medal - any medal would have been good enough, damnit!

Levern Spencer - London 2012 Olympic Games


And to top it all off Levern Spencer, Saint Lucian extraordinaire, was the only Caribbean woman to have qualified among the 17 women finalists from around the world. So, not only was she jumping for Saint Lucia, symbolically she was jumping for the region. If that is not an achievement in itself then I don't know what is. To qualify to compete in the Olympics is an achievement in itself and means the participant is of exceptional ability which obviously came after many years of hard work and dedication.

As is evident from the chart above Levern's progress over the years have been consistent and on par with other prominent high jumpers from around the world; her awards and accolades speak volumes about her ability.

Just as with other successful athletes her accomplishments and now qualification for the 2016 Olympics has caused many people to live vicariously through her sporting ability. Her every action translates into an emotion for them as they armchair quarterback every jump she makes; it's almost natural. There is a lot of emotion invested in Levern this time around.It was as if Saint Lucians were hungry of something to cheer about. Darren Sammy was in the rear view mirror after his astounding success earlier this year and we were all pissed at the manner in which he has been treated by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). Lucians needed a break, a soulagement from the bickering of cricket and the recently concluded general elections. Deliver us Levern!

Leading up to her Olympic appearance the expected hype and publicity we see so much of on our cable TV systems and  the Internet for athletes elsewhere were sorely lacking. On the day of Levern's date with destiny any mention of her on our radio and TV stations was few and far between, if ever at all. At 6PM on one such station that I tuned into from the Internet there was no mention of her in the headlines or at any point until the end of that broadcast at 6:30 PM - a mere hour before her event. It was worse than trying to listen to a sports program on my father's Gram in the old days.

My father's Gram

Fast forward a few jumps and Levern is eliminated, much to the chagrin of some supporters. "How dare she get this far and not win a medal?" - so screamed some comments on social media and elsewhere. "How the hell could she run under the damn pole?" and other vexed comments followed in short order. You could swear some of these people had lent Levern their legs or other body parts and were expecting a payback on their investment. Notwithstanding all the support and subsequent anguish it is understandable the loss that all of us felt when no precious metal medal materialized.

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance (the five stages of grief) quickly manifested itself among those who were struck hard by unforgiving Olympics results.

But lets not be too hard on Levern. For sure she was out there almost all alone, this is the plight of poor athletes and the nations they represent. Unlike the U.S.A. or any of the other major contenders, our girl had no doctor, or dietician; no masseuse or strategist; almost none of anything the other sixteen contenders had at their disposal. With all the other Saint Lucian athletes knocked out of their competitions Levern was almost certainly all alone. Alone to bear the weight of her country's expectations, and of course the region as well.

Imagine those of you at home feeling nervous, and some, even afraid to watch as she was about to perform - now imagine how Levern felt out there on that field.

With all the harsh comments made in the aftermath of her performance I wonder whether these individuals would have been so merciless and terse had it been their own daughter. Nothing is guaranteed in any competition; the best athlete yesterday could simply be having a bad day today.

We seem to forget that athletic competition is not only about the physical aspect of the sport. Psychological support is an often forgotten and elusive part of competition in our island. It is not only about winning a medal or a prize. Complaints of NBC's coverage which highlighted primarily U.S. athletes, even when they lost, is a form of support for their own. Radio coverage and other public acknowledgement does wonders for the mental resolve of competitors. If you doubt this ask yourself what a home court advantage is all about.

The benefits of sports go beyond the physical and enter the realm of the psyche of our country. Sadly, many do not realize the effects of inspiration to others and the opportunity to keep our children occupied and away from the clutches of crime, drugs, and gangs. An hour or more spent on training is time away from these negative influences. Athletes who perform and inspire our children make a very positive contribution to our future.

Levern Spencer is a winner as she has single handedly inspired many young boys and girls in our midst. She has given us hope and pride that we, even with our extremely limited resources, could rank with the best in the world. And ranking 6th in the final count is a remarkable achievement. Her performance was not mediocre - meeting the stringent requirement to enter the Olympics was an accomplishment of grand proportions.

Even after her Olympic defeat Levern was still gracious and an example to all - Something we need so badly nowadays.  Bravo. Bravo. Bravo

video


Thank you Levern for putting Saint Lucia on the map
Thank you for all the years of hard work which you endured carrying our flag
Thank you for your personal sacrifices
Thank you for not selling our flag and flying someone else's as I'm sure offers were made to you
Thank you for being a true and unrelenting daughter of the soil


Wheresoever you may roam,
Love oh love, our island home.


 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Does Marc Anthony Believe in Aliens, And Who Is Alex?

While performing at the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival main stage event last night Marc Anthony downed his stylish black jacket because of the sweat pouring off his body. Underneath was a white tee shirt clinging to his slender frame, drenched with macho sweat.

Clear for all to see, on his right forearm was a tattoo of what appears to be an alien creature with the name "Alex" inscribed in script below it. Is Marc Anthony one of the stars who believes in extraterrestrial beings and maybe knows an alien called Alex? Also evident was a tattoo of what appears to be  the Lion of Judah. No longer evident is tattoo he had inscribed on his wrist way-back-when, during his in-love days with Jennifer Lopez. Also seemingly missing is the tattoo of the Statue of Liberty which replaced 'Jennifer' for his third wife Venezuelan, Shannon De Lima. According to sources "Statue of Liberty" is Marc's pet name for Shannon. 

So what's going on Marc, you dating a Rasta chick now? JLO's tattoo is gone, and so is the Statue of Liberty. Come on Marc, the Saint Lucian people have a right to know what this is all about. Are you dating a Rasta on the side, Marc? Say it ain't so!
Performing to a swooning crowd of women Marc Anthony delivered as he was expected. A stage presence and performance rivaled by none. Fist pumping, gyrating hips, and a flurry of punches which would make any heavyweight boxer envious, Marc pummeled the air like he was ready to take on Mohammad Ali and George Foreman all in one. Well, maybe not, his two surly ex-Marine, ex-Special Forces grunts would definitely get in the way before Marc's well lotioned skin was touched by any boxer or angry ex girlfriend.