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BPTT announced the appointment of Elyse Guevara-Harris as its new corporate communications manager, effective October 1.
A release from the organisation said that prior to joining BPTT in 2012 as a communications advisor, Guevara-Harris held the roles of communications specialist and export market development manager at Unilever Caribbean Ltd and has over 12 years of experience in communications.
Carene Bissoo-Balkaran, senior administrative assistant to Giselle Thompson, vice president – corporate operations, also said in the release that former corporate communications manager, Danielle Jones-Hunte was appointed to the role of communications manager for the modernisation and transformation BP team in Sunbury, United Kingdom.
THE New Play Festival (NPF) will return later this month and will feature workshop performances of three plays: Earl Lovelace’s Salt, Narad Mahabir’s The Ford and Rhesa Samuel’s Asylum,
The plays will run from October 25-28 at the Big Black Box, the Playwrights Workshop Trinbago (PWT) said. The festival, now int its third year, aims to foster the development of original storytelling through drama and playmaking, provide opportunities for new plays and indigenous storytelling to be performed for personal and collective development, the PWT said in a media release. The festival also provides an opportunity for theatre practitioners of varying generations to work together, and a forum to raise awareness of local theatre works, inspiring appreciation, respect and support for local theatre.
Partnering with the PWT on this initiative is a consortium of organisations which include the National Drama Association (NDATT), the TT Performing Arts Network (TTPAN), the Big Black Box and Trinidad Theatre Workshop (TTW).
The NDATT public relations officer Paula Lindo said, “NDATT has been supporting the New Play Festival since its inception in 2016. As part of our mandate to develop all aspects of drama, it is our honour and privilege to continue our support of this project, which provides another opportunity to develop the skills within our membership.”
The Performing Arts Network has also been supporting the festival since its inauguration and the PWT for its Monthly Readers Theatre Series.
Network founder Triston Wallace said, “There’s nothing more profound than seeing the arts community come together to create a new product that is uniquely Trinbagonian. Allowing PWT to tap into our expansive network to access the talent they need, while also facilitating the opportunity for new, emerging and established artists to be involved in the process of creating new work, gain practical experience, while expanding their own personal network, helps to build a more unified and collaborative creative community, which is at the core of what we do.”
Big Black Box co-director Wendell Manwarren said the festival is the kind of production that it want more of in its space.
"Playwriting is critical, and the New Play Festival actively encourages the development of the form and creates an opportunity for the young and the not so young who are interested in getting involved in that side of theatre.”
The TTW continues to support PWT by providing a venue for its monthly readings on the first Wednesday of every month. Scripts read at these sessions are then shortlisted to be workshopped and staged at the annual New Play Festival, the release said.
Playwrights Workshop artistic director Tony Hall said the involvement of so many partners in this year’s festival was "long overdue.”
The festival co-ordinator Safa Niamat-Ali lauded the recognition being given to importance of playmaking. “It is refreshing that so many organisations recognise the value of playmaking toward building a theatre industry which bears our national identity, to come together to support this project,” she said.
The New Play Festival runs from October 25-28 at the Big Black Box, 33 Murray Street, Woodbrook.
For schedule and more info: http://iamndatt.wordpress.com/projects/npf2018, e-mail email@example.com.
BRANDON is ten years old and is low-functioning on the autism spectrum. He requires constant attention and his mother, who is a single parent, is forced to stay at home and care for him. A couple of years ago he was attending one of the Government-run schools for children with special needs, but as he got older, he started to show signs of behavioural issues and the school could not accommodate him any more.
His mother was told he needed behavioural therapy and when he settles down the school will take him back. It took her five months to raise $3,500 for the assessment. Once Brandon was assessed, she was told that he had to attend two sessions of therapy per week, each one-hour long, at $300 per session. She was unable to afford the sessions as well as the cost of hiring a car to take Brandon on the two-hour trip to San Fernando, twice a week. Brandon never got the therapy he needed and he has been home since then.
Brandon has a very special diet and his mother supplements his diet with a nutritious drink and vitamins. He suffers with regular ear infections and often ends up at the San Fernando General Hospital. As a single mother, who has to care full-time for Brandon, his mother received the public assistance grant of $1,150 and a food card valued at $410. Brandon’s uncle gives them $1,500 every month. Thus, their total income for the month is $3,060. His mother lives in a small apartment downstairs her parents’ home so she doesn’t have to pay rent or utility bills; her biggest expenses every month is on food, especially given Brandon’s special needs, transport and medicine.
October is turning out to be a very rough month for Brandon and his mom. Brandon has been ill since the beginning of September and his mom has been back and forth to the hospital with him. He was admitted to the paediatrics ward for two nights. She had to purchase some of the medicines as the hospital did not have them. What made everything worst is that in the middle of September she was informed by her social welfare officer that both the public assistance grant and the food card were to be cut at the end of the month. Without any warning she was placed in a situation where she had to survive on $1,500 a month and she could hardly cover Brandon’s needs.
Sadly, Brandon and his mom’s story are not unique to them alone. There are many other children, with autism and other special needs who are in Brandon’s situation. There are other parents, like Brandon’s mother, who can barely afford basic needs. Brandon’s mother is very willing to go out to work but then other issues come up – who will understand Brandon’s needs enough to be able to take care of Brandon, how she will afford to pay for someone to take care of him ?
Unfortunately, when the government made the decision to cut the grants, it obviously did not take into consideration the fate of children like Brandon, children who were dependant on these grants and who could only survive because of these grants. All too often, governments make decisions with no informed research. There is a lack of understanding and empathy for the people who receive these grants. In most cases, the policymakers, those who call the shots, are far removed from situations like Brandon and his mother’s. Even if social workers are empathetic and want to help, their hands are tied as decisions come from the top.
Brandon’s mom was told to reapply for the newly-structured disability grant at the end of January 2019. But what happens from now till then? When she applies, she will have to wait another few months to know if it is approved and then to receive payment. How is she supposed to feed her child and cover the cost of his medical care in the meantime? When individuals, like Brandon’s mom, are placed in these kinds of situations it shows the failure of the Government to provide for its most vulnerable citizens. The Government has a responsibility to provide for all of its citizens otherwise we might as well say, “here, not everyone finds an equal place.”
Dr Radica Mahase is founder/director, Support Autism T&T
DAVID COKER, Akim Toussaint and Kelon Skerritt each scored twice last Sunday as Paragon breezed past Fatima 7-3 at the Woodbrook Youth Facility, in an open men’s encounter of the 2018 TT Hockey Board (TTHB) National Indoor League. Coker found the back of the net in the 13th and 40th minutes, Toussaint scored in the … Continue reading Paragon breeze past Fatima in indoor hockey
The TT Red Force remain keen to stamp their authority on the remainder of the CWI Super50 2018 heading into the knockout phase in Barbados according to Kieron Pollard, following the teams 75-run loss to Guyana Jaguars, on Saturday evening, at Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba.
Pollard, who spoke with the media instead of captain Denesh Ramdin, addressed what he felt the team did wrong versus Guyana and his own poor personal form in the ongoing Super 50, following an excellent Caribbean Premier League of 330 runs at 47.14 to earn a recall for the West Indies T20 team to India next month.
In the Super 50 he has so far scored: 0, 20, 3, 30, 0.
“It’s a game of cricket, Guyana batted pretty well on the wicket. Kudos must go to them”, said Pollard “Trevon (Griffith) came out and batted positively, which is a good sign as young Caribbean opening batsman, so too Barnwell (Christopher), then Reifer (Raymond) came in and their overall contributions helped them to get that total. “On a next day, we could have chased it down. We only lost it when that guy Pestano (Clinton) claimed the three wickets in one over and that’s what changed the entire momentum of game.
“When you lose three wickets in succession, one set guy in Simmons (Lendl) and obviously Bravo and myself, I think that is where we lost it. But again it’s a game of cricket, someone has to win or lose. We are on the losing side, but that doesn’t make us a bad team, we still have four wins and one more to get us to Barbados.” Observers were critical and questioned some of the tactical decisions during the Red Force’s chase such as: Ramdin opening and the inform Pooran batting at a low number seven.
“No, we definitely want to win all our games, in that dressing room, the vision is about trying to continue to stamp our authority on the tournament.
“I have been short of runs for the team, it’s something I don’t need no introduction to and don’t need everyone telling me I’m not scoring, these things happen in sport, it just about one innings to turn it around.
“But this (scoring) becomes more important in these tournaments when it comes to knockout stage matches and of course, with me going off to India, so (it) will be good to get some runs under my belt
Before the tournament Pollard, the Bravo brothers and Sunil Narine came to an understanding with Cricket West Indies CEO and director of cricket Johnny Grave and Jimmy Adams respectively to play in Super50 tournament, per board policy to get selected on the ODI team again looking ahead to 2019 Cricket World Cup.
While the board decided to promote young Fabian Allen and Oshane Thomas based on tCPL T20 form to the ODI team but not Pollard, the 31-year- old was happy with the call-up nevertheless.
“Always good to go play in India, we West Indians are loved there, and hopefully we can go there and make a difference. It hasn’t been good going for our Test team at the moment but, there is still five ODIs to play so let’s see.”
The involvement of some TT nationals in terrorist activities has attracted the attention of incoming US Ambassador Joseph Mondello and has also raised concerns among the public in the United States.
These concerns prompted an American news team to visit the TT in July to interview government officials and former ISIS associates to get a first-hand look at the situation.
The team of the weekly news show, Full Measure with Sharyl Atkisson, visited TT in July after reaching out to a Newsday reporter to assist them in organising interviews and gathering information on the prevalence of ISIS on the island.
The show which airs every Sunday on the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which includes ABC, CBS, Fox and CW networks, focuses on a variety of topics around the world.
[caption id="attachment_732628" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Leader of the Islamic Front Umar Abdullah, right speaks with US journalist Scott Thuman, at his Princes Town home in June. PHOTO COURTESY MARK ORCHARD.[/caption]
The team led by Emmy award-winning journalist Scott Thuman interviewed Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, leader of the Islamic Front Umar Abdullah and others as part of their hour-long episode which is expected to air on Sunday afternoon. Orchard said in order to get a full and accurate understanding of the presence of ISIS in Trinidad, it was necessary to interview stakeholders from as many different backgrounds as possible.
Newsday spoke to Full Measure's senior producer Mark Orchard in June who said the team's visit was aimed at giving viewers in the US a first-hand account of the situation in TT, without relying on the information from government officials.
He also sought to assure local and US viewers that the views of everyone participating in their interviews will be included in the final footage, as they wanted to provide an accurate account of the prevalence of Islamic radicalism in TT.
[caption id="attachment_732627" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Cameraman Bryan Barr, left, looks on as US journalist Scott Thuman interviews leader of the Islamic Front Umar Abdullah at his Princes Town home in June. PHOTO COURTESY MARK ORCHARD[/caption]
"There's never a substitute for seeing a situation first hand. Like everyone else, we'd heard the stories about proportionately large number of Trinidadians travelling to ISIS controlled areas in the Middle East so we came to see for ourselves why that happened and what the government is doing about it.
For his part, Thuman said the show did not intend to give a negative portrayal of TT and said they also filmed a short documentary on the Pitch Lake at La Brea, to highlight a more positive aspect of life in TT.
"I’d heard the statistics but it wasn’t until we started investigating that we saw the full extent of the problem. Recent moves by the Government to tighten laws made this the ideal time to come and do this story."
Despite the recent attention on the subject, Thuman says the general feeling among US citizens is one of intrigue than fear.
"Most people are so surprised to hear the story they are more curious than concerned."
THE three men killed by police on Friday have all identified as cousins, Kadeem "Pest" Welch, also called Kadeem Caldon, Collin Welch and Deon Caldon.
The men were shot after they robbed a salesman and his security guard of $80,000 in cigarettes at a mini-mart at Todd's Road, Caparo. Around 10 am, the salesman and his security guard were at Papa James mini mart when they were confronted by two gunmen, who disarmed the guard and stole $3,500 in cash from both men. The bandits then stole the salesman's Nissan Navara which contained the cigarettes. The van was later found by police, abandoned at La Gloria Place, Todd's Road, Caparo.
Police tracked down the men at a house at Fitt Trace, off Todd's Station Road where one man surrendered and three others in the house opened fire on officers and were killed in the exchange.
Another man believed to be in his early 20s is on the run, police said. He was at the house but left with two women and some of the stolen goods before the police arrived. The owner of the house where the shootout took place is assisting police with their investigations. During the shootout one officer was injured.
A 21-year-old mother will appear in court on Monday charged with the death of her two-year-old-daughter after the toddler drowned at a beach in Chaguaramas, two months ago.
Rizpah "Miracle" Sterling, of Quarry Road, San Juan was charged with manslaughter for the death of Isiahilla Sterling, who drowned on August 12. Isiahilla was found submerged in the sea at Chagville Beach, Chaguaramas.
Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard gave police instructions on Friday to charge Sterling. She was charged by Cpl Thomas.
Last year, Atiba Gorkin, 35, of east Port-of-Spain was charged with manslaughter after his son Josiah "Messi" Gorkin drowned while at the beach in Chagauramas on July 16.
Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte says he has confidence in the Telecommunications Services of TT's (TSTT's) management to ensure the company’s profitability.
This, after the Industrial Court (IC) granted an injunction against the State-owned company on Friday, effectively barring it from transferring its fibre operations to Amphlia–a subsidiary formerly known as Massy Communications which it acquired from the Massy Group.
TSTT, in an immediate response, said in a statement it was surprised by the IC’s decision.
“I am aware that this matter is being handled by TSTT’s management. I have confidence in TSTT’s management and they have very good legal counsel," Le Hunte told Newsday today.
“I expect that they will be taking the necessary legal steps to protect the company’s interest. I leave that up to TSTT and their lawyers.”
A 27-year-old Carapo man was murdered last night after he went to investigate why his dogs were agitated.
According to police, Stephen Maloney of Simon Road, Carapo, was shot in his face and chest and declared dead at the Arima Health Facility. Police said the shooting took place around 10 pm on Friday. Police could not give any motive for his killing.
In an unrelated earlier murder, an unidentified man was shot once to the back of the head at Amowsville, Point Cumana. Police said around 7.15 pm, three men were seen talking to the man before he was shot. The men then drove off in a silver Nissan Almera.
The deceased was wearing a three-quarter pants and dark coloured t-shirt. Police said the deceased is not believed to be from the area and the killers chose there as the area is relatively quiet.
Criminal elements in Trinidad claim to have compromising photos, videos of chief justice
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By Ray Chickrie Caribbean News Now contributor GEORGETOWN, Guyana — Guyana, the former British Guiana, was a Dutch colony before it became a British possession in 1831 and, as a result, over half of Guyana’s National Archive is in Dutch. After an agreement between Guyana and the Netherlands to preserve and translate the Guyana Dutch […]
Surinam Airways must end mid-Atlantic route and focus on the Caribbean, says aviation expert
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Antigua-Barbuda expresses regret at ‘crass remarks’ by OAS secretary general
By Caribbean News Now contributor WASHINGTON, USA — On Friday, the permanent delegation of Antigua and Barbuda to the Organisation of American States (OAS) expressed its sincere regret to the permanent observer mission of Spain, and the people and government of Spain, for the hurt experienced when a former prime minister of their country was […]
IMF predicts strong but uneven growth for Caribbean
By Youri Kemp Caribbean News Now associate editor email@example.com WASHINGTON, USA — In its October 2018 Regional Outlook Report for The Caribbean, the wider South America and Central America, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted strong but yet uneven growth for the Central American and Caribbean region over the next two years. For the […]