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Fellow Jamaicans and Friends of Jamaica, as the year 2010 comes to a close we look forward in the expectation of opportunities for renewal and progress. We must take cognizance of our blessings as a people and country who continue with fortitude to build a great nation comprised of Jamaicans at home and abroad. We remain all mindful of our respective roles and responsibilities while we reflect on the past and place our hope in the future.Throughout the past year, your Consulate General has made every effort in its essential task of protecting in the jurisdiction of Florida, the Southern USA, the Cayman Islands and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, the interests of our nationals, both individuals and bodies corporate, within the limits permitted by international law. Equally we have been engaged in furthering the development of commercial, economic, cultural and scientific relations in the interest of Jamaica. We have not done this alone. We have called upon and received much assistance from the coalition of Jamaican Alumni and individual groups, the Diaspora Community leadership and organizations, the officials of city, county and State with whom we have interacted. Indeed, we have called upon, and have been the recipient of a continuous flow of goodwill. We remain grateful for your support.
The ACLU today was joined by Congresswoman-Elect Frederica S. Wilson, whose district includes Miami’s Little Haiti, in calling on President Barack Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to refrain from deporting Haitian nationals with criminal records who have completed their sentences.In the letter sent today by the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Director Laura Murphy and ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon, and co-signed by Congresswoman-Elect Frederica S. Wilson, the ACLU implored restraint on the part of the Administration in light of pressing human rights and humanitarian concerns and the raging cholera epidemic that has taken hold in Haiti.“We ask President Obama to hold off on removing Haitian nationals from this country in light of the horrific conditions now facing our neighboring nation,” said Howard Simon, ACLU of Florida Executive Director. “It is within his power to show leadership and prevent a civil liberties and human rights disaster.”
Budgets are tight for many people during this holiday season! But as we look forward to concrete improvements in the economy, at least for now thousands of homeowners can enjoy the benefits from an annual savings on their flood insurance policies thanks to the hard work by Miami-Dade County! That’s right, Miami-Dade residents saved over $23.4 million last year on their flood insurance policies thanks to the work from the County’s Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) and other local agencies. That’s a savings of about $100 on each flood insurance policy for residents in special flood hazard areas of unincorporated Miami-Dade County. Residents in low risk flood zones or some municipalities may have received a lower discount.This is a huge benefit that our residents receive thanks to the County’s ability to maintain an excellent rating of five (5) in the Community Ratings System (CRS) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). ÃƒÆ’¢â‚¬Å“I am proud of the work we have done which has enabled us to obtain this significant flood insurance discount for the property owners of Miami-Dade County. We have been able to maintain this excellent CRS classification for the past seven years,” said Carlos Espinosa, DERM Director. ÃƒÆ’¢â‚¬Å“Any savings that we are able to pass on to our residents is extremely important to us, especially during the current tough economic times. We will continue to work with Miami-Dade Public Works and other agencies to improve our local stormwater flood control system in order to maintain a good rating from FEMA and provide this flood insurance premium reduction to our community,” added Mr. Espinosa.
Getting to Antigua and Barbuda just got easier! Visitors to the twin island destination now have another convenient non-stop option from New York on Caribbean Airlines. Tourism officials and airline representatives gathered at JFK’s Terminal 4 today to officially launch the new service which was commemorated with an official ribbon cutting ceremony just prior to boarding. The non-stop service, which will run on Tuesdays and Fridays, will originate from Port of Spain, Trinidad, to V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua, with return service from New York’s JFK.Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Minister, Hon. John Maginley, was on hand to officiate, along with Antigua and Barbuda Director for the USA, Mrs. Derede Samuel Whitlock and Caribbean Airlines’ General Manager/USA and UK, Mrs. Valerie Murphy-Rahman.The Minister views the additional air service to Antigua and Barbuda on Caribbean Airlines as an asset and he believes that it will help to facilitate the additional demand for travel from the United States that is anticipated this winter. “The launch of the Caribbean Airlines service helps to increase our seat capacity and provides greater access from some of our major gateways. As the US economy continues to improve, we have seen a steady increase in bookings and, as a result, we will be better prepared to tap into this market potential, ” he stated.
Jamaican-born Dale Holness has been elected to the Broward County Commission in South Florida.Holness, who served for six years as a Lauderhill City commissioner, was one of three new commissioners and two incumbents sworn into office last month. He was sworn in by Art Kennedy, longtime chief of staff for United States Senator Alcee Hastings.Holness, who was elected to represent District 9, said his focus would be on the economy.