Teaching A Love of the Environment: The LASCO Rootz REAP Program

Petchary's Blog

Last Friday, October 3 I had the great honor of speaking at the launch of the LASCO Rootz R.E.A.P. Program (R.E.A.P. = Releaf Environmental Awareness Program) at the St. Jago Cathedral Preparatory School in Spanish Town. I was also interviewed on Hot 102 FM, which was fun! I thought I would share my speech with you. I also wrote about the event on my Jamaica Gleaner blog page, “Social Impact,” here: http://gleanerblogs.com/socialimpact/?p=2259

Congratulations to all involved! For more information and to learn how schools can participate, please read my Social Impact blog and look them up on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you, Mr. Hall. Councilor Claude Hamilton, representing the Mayor of Spanish Town; Member of Parliament for St. Catherine Eastern Dr. Denise Daley; President of the Jamaica Independent Schools’ Association Pastor Wesley Boynes; Mr. Stephen Newland, Project Director, Releaf Foundation; Representatives of LASCO; Principal of St. Jago Cathedral Preparatory School Ms. Andrea Baugh, and the awesome Ms…

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allAfrica.com: Madagascar: Tombs and Title Deeds – Colonial Hangover

allAfrica.com: Madagascar: Tombs and Title Deeds.

This property problem dates back to 1899, when French colonisers established that only the state could issue land titles. Although during the next 115 years successive governments identified nearly 10m lots, only 500,000 were registered, according to the World Bank. By 2005 an applicant trying to obtain a title had to wait six years on average, complete 24 procedures and spend around $500, two years’ income for the average Malagasy household. The process was so complicated, time consuming and expensive that poor illiterate farmers could not complete it.

Indigenous Resistance: In the news today: Navajo Times

Why does Navajo Times have this article, ‘Groundbreaking, Hawaiian blessing for telescope’ — instead of an article about the Native Hawaiian protest over the telescope desecrating the sacred mountain Mauna Kea?


I was looking at Navajo Times to see if they covered the Dine’ women who were featured in Rolling Stone and on Democracy Now at Flood Wall Street in New York. I don’t see anything about Navajos at Flood Wall Street or the Climate March in New York. But I do see that Navajo Times has a non-Indian reporter covering the Longest Walk and prison camp, ‘Hwéeldi at 150.’

Why is this? There are so many unemployed Navajo and Native American reporters, why does Navajo Times continue to employ non-Indian reporters? Besides the ethics of this, it is a violation of Navajo Preference in Employment law.

The Dine’ women at Flood Wall Street and the Climate March in New York in September took a bold stand against the dirty coal industry and the violators in their homeland: Peabody Coal and dirty coal-fired power plants.

Is Navajo Times censoring the fact that the Navajo Generating Station, on the Navajo Nation, is one of the top polluters in the world? It is easy to fill a newspaper with political turmoil, a good way to distract readers from what is really happening as a result of the dirty coal power plants on the Navajo Nation.

via Indigenous Resistance: In the news today: Navajo Times.

Dozens hurt in Aqsa clashes as Israeli police ‘force Muslims out’ | Maan News Agency

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Clashes broke out early Wednesday at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound between Palestinian worshipers and Israeli police officers, leaving dozens hurt, sources said.

Security guards at the mosque told Ma’an that Israeli forces stormed the compound at 7:30 a.m. ahead of expected visits by right-wing Israelis on the occasion of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, or the Feast of the Tabernacles.

Israeli forces forcibly removed worshipers, attacking some of them with clubs, the guards said.

Some Muslim worshipers clashed with Israeli officers in the compound before managing to take refuge inside the mosque.

As worshipers threw stones, soldiers fired tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber bullets, injuring dozens of Palestinians, Al-Aqsa Mosque director Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani said.

Some of the stun grenades were fired into the Al-Aqsa Mosque itself, causing a fire to break out, and fire fighters were not immediately allowed access to the area, al-Kiswani added.

“The compound is almost empty of Muslim worshipers, while Israeli forces allowed herds of extremists to storm it and move freely,” he said.

Witnesses said that eventually Israeli forces succeeded in forcefully removing Palestinians from the compound, besides those who had taken refuge in the mosque itself.

Instead, they closed the doors of the mosque and locked them with chains, trapping worshipers inside, the witnesses said.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld tweeted about the incident, saying “masked Arabs” threw “stones/blocks/iron bars” at Israeli forces near the Moroccan gate.

Three police officers were lightly injured, Rosenfeld said.

Since Tuesday morning, Israeli forces have restricted access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, only allowing Palestinian worshipers aged 60 and up to enter. Elderly men and women have had to leave their identity cards with the police officers at the entrances of the compound.

Photos provided by the Israeli police show officers at the Al-Aqsa compound on Oct. 8, 2014

New entrance for non-Muslims

Israeli army radio announced earlier this week that the ministry of tourism was working on a plan to allow Jews to enter the Al-Aqsa compound through the Cotton Merchants Gate, in addition to the Moroccan Gate which is already used as an entrance for non-Muslims.

The announcement was greeted with harsh backlash from Palestinians.

The Palestinian legal counselor of Jerusalem affairs, Ahmad Ruwaidi, said that the Islamic endowment department in charge of the mosque compound has received no notice of any such plan.

Ruwaidi said the announcement was “unacceptable,” calling Palestinian religious sites a “red line” and saying the move would harm the peace process.

Taleb Abu Arar, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, also said in a statement that opening an additional gate for Jews to enter the Al-Aqsa compound was the equivalent of opening a “gate to war.”

PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi also weighed in, saying: “Israel is creating a new reality at the expense of Palestinians, their religious rights, sites, and historical identity.”

“They are violating the sanctity of religious sites without consequences, which completely terminates possibilities for peace and will ultimately drag the whole region into disastrous clashes,” Ashrawi said in a statement.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque is sensitive for Palestinians due to its status as the third holiest site in Islam and its location in the heart of the Old City of Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its “eternal, undivided capital,” but the international community sees East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory and the capital of a future Palestinian state.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, referred to by Jews as the Temple Mount, is also the holiest site in Judaism.

But mainstream Jewish leaders forbid Jews from entering, for fear they would profane the inner sanctum of the Second Temple they believe was once located at the site.

Right-wing Jews, however, often visit the compound under armed guard by Israeli forces, leading to regular clashes with Palestinian worshipers.

via Dozens hurt in Aqsa clashes as Israeli police ‘force Muslims out’ | Maan News Agency.

Minnesota Firm Recalls Meat and Poultry Products for Possible Listeria Contamination

Buddy’s Kitchen, a Burnsville, Minn. establishment, is recalling approximately 62,488 pounds of meat and poultry products due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The meat and poultry breakfast products were produced on various dates from July 16, 2014 through Sept. 25, 2014, and then shipped to distributors, retail locations, and airlines nationwide. The following products are subject to recall:

“Swiss Cheese and Mushroom Omelet with Seasonal Tid-Bit Potatoes & Turkey Buffet Sausage Link” trays with the production codes “07/16/14 9”, “08/08/14 9” and “08/27/14 9”.

“Savory Scrambled Eggs with Seasoned Red Skin Potatoes and Turkey Buffet Links” with the production codes “09/19/14 9” and “09/22/14 9”.

“Garden Omelet w/ Parslied Potatoes & Chicken Sausage Links” with the production codes “07/16/14 9”, “07/17/14 9”, “07/18/14 9”, “07/22/14 9”, “07/25/14 9”, “08/22/14 9”, “08/25/14 9”, “09/02/14 9”, “09/09/14 9” and “09/16/14 9”.

“Fiesta Scramble Bowl with Sausage Links” with the production code “10I14 9”.

“Breakfast Skillet Burrito with eggs, sausage and cheese” with the production codes “18G14 2”, “06I14 4”, “16G14 4”, “17G14 2”, “07H14 4”, “20H14 2”, “21H14 4”, “22H14 4” and “25H14 4”.

via Minnesota Firm Recalls Meat and Poultry Products for Possible Listeria Contamination.