in Tobago ruined
North Coast Road to Maracas Bay must certainly be the most
scenic drive in the Caribbean and no one in his right mind
would think of widening this roadway. To do so would only
ruin its grandeur. This is precisely what has occurred in
our sister isle.
The gravel road from LAnse Fourmi to Charlotteville,
cut more than 50 years ago, only required paving. There was
absolutely no need to widen it, except around a few corners.
And this could have been judiciously engineered.
On several occasions I have walked as well as driven the entire
length of this road. There was no justification for increasing
its width. Only the contractor stands to gain.
The THA (it must take responsibility) has not only ruined
a magnificent landscape but has wasted taxpayers money
which could have been utilised to improve other roads.
Two come immediately to mindthe road to Canoe Bay as
well as the road to Rainbow Falls. And very few people have
had the privilege of visiting Starwood. The road is already
cut and all that is required is an asphalt surface. (The panoramic
view of Little Tobago from Starwood is awesome.)
One would have thought that after the colossal (as well as
criminal) wastage of public funds on the Providence Road,
the THA would have been prudent in its expenditure.
Like the fruiting mango trees that once lined Providence Road,
the innumerable trees that provided a canopy for the LAnse
Fourmi- Charlotteville Road are no more. The drive is most
depressing, to say the least, and the hideous scars inflicted
will take a hundred years to heal.
That this could have happened in the incredibly wonderful
island that is Tobago only reveals how insensitive to the
beauty of nature we have all become.
It is only too obvious that the mindless destruction of the
natural world is the hallmark of the Patrick Manning administration.
Satisfaction, service linked
frustration toward CCTT emanating from Georgia Falconers
letter of February 18 (Cable TV not worth paying for)
reflects the mood of so many proud T&T nationals in an
environment of bullies and beasts.
Customer service has justifiably taken its rightful place
in the hierarchy of organisations because without it progress
will simply stagnate. Such is the power of the customer.
Unfortunately, however, it is not yet recognised that customer
service and consumer satisfaction are inextricably linked.
Now the challenge is to align the customer service strategy
with a consumer satisfaction focus. Only then will we be able
to achieve a developed people status.
Until such time, or until I can make alternative arrangements,
I await patiently for Scotiabank PBOs to return calls, IBC
Express to deliver with confidence, and CCTT customer service
The Washing really refreshing
was waiting to see the results of the Carnival bands competition
and to see how well The Washing did.
The judging to me was very disappointing.
On Carnival Tuesday, having looked at almost ten hours of
people behaving like dogs fornicating in the Savannah with
virtually nothing on, The Washing was a very refreshing change
and was really the only real Carnival band on show.
Congratulations to the organisers of this band.
signs for peace in Mid-East
election of Mahmoud Abbas, the former Prime Minister of Palestine,
last month as president of the Palestinian Authority represents
a chance at bringing some kind of peace between Israelis and
Palestinians and even expanding to other parts of the Mid-East.
Abbas election is the first step in the democratisation
of the Palestinian people who have lived under occupation
for over 50 years and with little democracy, even when they
chose Yasser Arafat as their leader a decade ago.
Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met earlier
this month to re-start peace negotiations for a permanent
settlement of the dispute between the two peoples. If the
ceasefire declared after the meeting is sustained, we could
see an exchange of land and the establishment of a Palestinian
The two PMs met and tried to put the last four years of violence
behind them; it was not coincidental that US Secretary of
State Condi Rice met with the two before their meeting in
Egypt to work out a truce. The US has said the late Arafat
was an obstacle to peace.
With him gone and Abbas at the helm, the US wants to give
Abbas a chance to build a nation. But it will be foolhardy
to think that Abbas and/or Sharon will do whatever the US
dictates or that a lasting peace is around the corner because
the two men met under US blessings.
Nevertheless, the US and the Europeans can be the guarantors
of peace in the region.
The first summit-level meeting between the Israeli and Palestinian
leaders since the start of the second Intifada in September
2000 is a welcome development around the world. The Europeans
lauded it and American newspapers welcomed it with front-page
coverage and positive editorials.
But for progress to be made, the US and the Europeans will
have to give Abbas substantial aid to pursue development and
create jobs for the surplus of unemployed in Palestine. Also,
Israel will have to end its incursions into Palestine to make
Abbas look strong and not appear as a stooge of Israel.
Sharon has responded with a good gesture by stating that Israel
will pull out of some areas under occupation and freeze settlements
in Palestinian territories. In addition, he has released hundreds
of prisoners and returned the bodies of dozens of militants
who were killed over the years and kept in Israel.
The Israeli military has also announced that it will stop
bombing the homes of militants. Israel also agreed to suspend
its policy of assassinating leaders of the armed resistance
Abbas himself has reached an informal agreement with Hamas,
which threatened continued violence against Israelis. Although
Hamas has talked tough, there is not likely to be major attacks
Abbas himself took the commendable step of deploying forces
to prevent attacks against Israel. In turn, Israel has agreed
to re-open the border to allow Palestinians to work in Israel.
In a related development, Syria has agreed to buy fruits and
vegetables from Israel. Egypts President, Hosni Mubarak,
has also promised to assist in the task of controlling militant
All of these developments are positive for peace between the
two hostile neighbours. But Palestinians are not likely to
completely give up the armed resistance without some tangible
benefits from Israel, such as concessions on land and the
right of Palestinians who lived in Israel (before the 1960s
war) to return.
PX 66 bought for Texaco GM
somewhat of a car aficionado who has owned 79 cars to date,
20 of which were Jaguars, the picture of PX 66 in the Guardian
Eye of February 14 was of some interest to me, moreso because
I knew that car when it was brand new.
PX 66 was one of two Statesman De-Villes purchased by Texaco
Trinidad Inc for the general manager, Lloyd Austin, to replace
one of three Jaguar 420 Gs. The other DeVille, PU 9191, was
purchased for the sole use of Augustus Long, chairman of the
board of Texaco Inc in New York, who made occasional visits
While still relatively new, PX 66 was involved in a head-on
crash one Sunday morning while being driven on Frederick Street
by Austin, who was unfamiliar with Port-of-Spain and was travelling
in the wrong direction.
Damage to the front of the car was so severe and so extensive
that it had to be sent back to the assembly plant (local)
where extensive rebuilding of the front section was done.
The other DeVille, PU 9191, which was eventually sold as well,
had started to show signs of severe rusting around the body
and has in all probability been consigned to the scrap heap.
While 33 years may seem to the average person to be a very
long lifespan for a car, in reality any car that is serviced,
repaired and maintained with loving care can virtually last
In fact, in a recent Barret-Jackson auction sale in California,
USA, a 1932 Hispano Suiza roadster, which had been restored
to original condition and which probably is the only surviving
example of its kind, sold for US$3 million.
As a matter of interest, there are still cars on the roads
of this country dating back to the 1930s and which are in
good shape and cherished by their owners.
How police once operated
dictates that I again return to the Police Commissioner, pertaining
to his belief that we must not revert to the type of police
work which was practised in the Burroughs/Stewart era.
Let me give Commissioner Paul an example of what took place
in those times. The following I, with other residents of a
street in the Valsayn area, experienced one Sunday afternoon.
Fox and The Elephant were active during
this time. On this particular Sunday, a police vehicle, driven
very slowly, was behind a policeman on foot, in whose grasp
was a man.
At each house the policeman would call out to those inside.
When someone in authority appeared, he would raise the mans
chin with his baton, so that all could have a good look at
The policeman then informed the householders to take
a good look at this man, he is a thief. The glamorous
word bandit having not yet surfaced, he continued,
If ever you see him in your neighbourhood, do not wait
until he breaks into your home to call us. Call us if you
see him in the area. Remember, he is a thief, well known to
This went on from house to house.
That, Mr Police Commissioner, is professional work. Do you
have many under your baton capable of taking such an initiative?