Viewpoint

   Following my whirlwind visit to Kingston, Jamaica last weekend - the corporate and cultural capital of the Western Caribbean - travelers can rest assured that everything is "cool and cris." The recent civil unrest and the government's security response in the west Kingston neighborhood of Tivoli Gardens caused great concern among travel partners in the marketplace, so I was keen to see the situation firsthand and can verify that Jamaica's vibes are indeed still nice, and notwithstanding low hotel occupancies, it is business as usual in the capital.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life and the extensive damage caused by the earthquake that hit Haiti yesterday. Our prayers are with the People of Haiti, all of whom must be deeply touched in one way or another by this tragedy. We offer our sincerest condolences to the families of all those who lost their lives and to those who are grieving their loss.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and in light of that I feel compelled to stand alongside so many dedicated individuals to end the often ignored epidemic of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of innocent young girls and boys.  Recently, State Representative Erik Fresen and I, along with State Senator Anitere Flores, embarked on a journey in Tallahassee. This journey, known as House Bill 99, "Safe Harbor Act," recently culminated with the governor's signature and is now law in the State of Florida.  This bill ensures we adequately address victims of child exploitation as just that, victims. This good bill will protect young boys and girls who are being lured and trafficked in the sex industry in our own back yard. The bill was authored by Kristi House Executive Director Trudy Novicki. Kristi House is the Children's Advocacy Center for all of Miami-Dade County and is dedicated to providing a healing environment for child victims of sexual abuse and their families.
Commissioner Dorrin D. Rolle is releasing the following statement regarding the tenants of both the 820 and 840 buildings of NW 70th Street, who were evicted when both buildings went into foreclosure: “My heart goes out to the residents of the Liberty City apartment complex who now face uncertainty with the recent eviction from their homes.
The 2009 numbers are in and violent and non-violent crimes in unincorporated Miami-Dade are at their lowest levels in five years. Nearly every area tracked revealed decreases, including robberies and motor vehicle thefts. The drop is in line with national trends, but it's also the result of long-term, comprehensive efforts to fight crime through targeted enforcement, community engagement and interagency cooperation. To the men and women of the Miami-Dade Police Department, thank you for your hard work, dedication and determination to keep our neighborhoods safe.
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