Entertainment News

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Food galore at Lions

Lifestyle - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 04:04

For yet another year, the Port-of-Spain Central Lions staged a successful all-inclusive gourmet event.

Held on Sunday at Lions Cultural Centre in Woodbrook, the cookout, billed as Karibbean Kravings Plus, was attended by a smaller than usual crowd, perhaps because the annual event was held on Sunday rather than on its traditional Saturday in May.

Nonetheless, the chefs—including nine from the Lions fold—were out in their numbers and they all treated guests to some delectable dishes.

Not to be left out were the dessert specialists and some of the cooks who came up with some unique names like Fish Hijacked in Venezuelan Waters, Vanessa Mendez’s Wine Fuh You Lover and Conrad Chin Fatt’s Shots for Curry Oink Oink.

The evening was graced by the presence of South Africa High Commissioner Thami XN Ngwevela and her staff.

Also in attendance were Port-of-Spain Central Lions Club president Dave Gibson; past International Director Terence Boswell Inniss and Father Harold Imamshah.

The High Commission also continued the tradition of having two of its indigenous dishes—Dumplings and Chakalaka, and Tangine Lamb Stew—on offer.

Also preparing dishes were alumni from Queen’s Royal, Fatima and St Mary’s Colleges, and Belmont Intermediate (Belex).

Judges for the evening included Angela Pidduck, Myrna Hosford, Irma Hannays and Peter Ray Blood.

Live entertainment was also provided by multitalented musician Arthur Marcial and St James Tripolians, plus DJ Wayne Rochard.

Categories: Entertainment News

Police and the mentally ill: Are they or aren’t they trained?

Lifestyle - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 04:02

Minister Dillon: Yes, they are

In April 2017, following the death of Raymond Joseph who was shot three times by municipal officers inside the Point Fortin Area Hospital, Fyzabad MP Lackram Bodoe had put forward an urgent question to National Security Minister Edmund Dillon about police training to treat with the mentally ill.

Dillon reportedly said officers do receive training in the matter. He was reported as saying, “Police go through different types of training at the police barracks including how to treat a mentally ill patient.”

Joseph, a 51-year-old ex-soldier from Mahaica Road, Point Fortin, was said to be well-respected within the community and relatives said he was being treated for a mental illness when a confrontation with police ended in his death.

Jennings-Smith: No, they aren’t

On May 17, 2017, the T&T Guardian carried a story by Geisha Kowlessar headlined, Cops not trained to deal with mental patients, in which Kowlessar referred to a comment from Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Glenda Jennings-Smith.

The story read as follows, “Faced with perennial criticism for using excessive force in handling the mentally ill, MP for Toco/Sangre Grande, Glenda Jennings-Smith, said the police however, are not properly trained to deal with mental patients and called on the various health bodies to stop neglecting their responsibility.

“This,” the story said, “as the family of a 24-year-old man, who was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer during an altercation near a Moruga bar… has called for an investigation.”

TTPS: We do not have mechanisms

On June 7, 2017, police shot and killed another mentally-ill man.

Inspector Lester Kerr was speaking at the TTPS weekly news conference following the police shooting of Damien Paul in Ste Madeleine when he reportedly announced that “the Police Service does not have the mechanisms in place to train police officers on how persons who are suffering from mental health problems in T&T, ought to be handled.”

This was less than a month after MP Glenda Jennings-Smith publicly said, “Police are not properly trained to deal with mental patients.”

Inspector Kerr was responding to media reports that told of how Paul was throwing stones at the police when he was shot and killed.

Kerr admitted that “law enforcement officers did not have the requisite skill set to treat with such cases.”

He was quoted as saying: “Well, we don’t have people trained to deal with mentally ill persons, what we would do is to contact the relevant authority if it becomes necessary but if a police officer is on any scene and they feel that their life or any other person’s life is in danger then they would act accordingly. But we are indeed saddened by any loss of life because it is not one that we really look forward to.”

Minister Moses: Police trained for all confrontations

On June 8, 2017, Power 102FM reported acting National Security Minister Dennis Moses as “assuring citizens that police officers are trained to treat with confrontation by all categories of persons including the mental ill.”

Moses, while acting as National Security Minister, responded to a question in the Senate and said, “The police are trained to treat with all categories of persons including confrontation by mentally ill persons.

Minister Moses explained that “the Police Service Academy Induction Training Programme offers training to recruits with respect to treating with mentally ill persons.”

PCA to acting CoP: Are they trained?

The PCA, in April 2018, described the killing of Colin Roopchand, 26, at his home in La Romaine, as “unfortunate” and indicated they were currently investigating the matter. Police shot and killed the man who lived with bipolar disorder and who “was acting violent and abusive towards his mother” and according to police, “he attacked them.”

The PCA called on acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams to provide the public with information as it relates to the level of training provided to its members in this regard. It further called on him to give an account of the failure, if any, to provide training on treating with those who are mentally ill and who pose a threat to the public.

‘Call Tyrone’?

Following Roopchand’s killing, when contacted for comment, acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams reportedly said “he did not want to speak freely on the matter. He suggested that all questions be sent to his office’s communications department.

Thereafter, he promised to respond by providing full details “as it relates to training and all other matters raised so that total clarity would be brought on the matter” (Newsday, April 7, 2018).

More to follow

—Caroline C Ravello is a strategic communications and media professional and a public health practitioner. She holds an MA with Merit in Mass Communications (University of Leicester) and is a Master of Public Health With Distinction (The UWI). Write to: [email protected]

Categories: Entertainment News

MCDCA serves up tasty jazz treats in PoS

Entertainment - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 03:57

For those who could not go to Tobago for the Jazz performances, the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts (MCDCA) gave them a day of Jazz with [email protected]-Simply Jazz and Fusion the Jazz Experience on April 26 in Port-of-Spain during the lunch and evening times.

Fusion-the Jazz Experience saw the elements all aligned to create the perfect evening outdoor concert on the steps of the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa).

The cool evening breeze and the effortless beauty of Napa’s architecture and lights complimented the medley of performances by the National Steel Symphony Orchestra and guest artistes Vaughnette Bigford, Michael “Ming” Low Chew Tung, the UTT Jazz Ensemble, and Shiva Manick.

As expected, it was yet another outstanding performance from the National Steel Symphony Orchestra (NSSO) as they delivered to the audience’s delight. Artistic Director of the NSSO Akua Leith signaled the orchestra’s intention to continuously raise the bar for steelpan performances as he led his team through a varied repertoire from Mungal Patasar’s Dreadlocks featuring Shiva Manick on the tabla, to Guantanamera and Sunday Morning Funk to name a few.

The powerful voice of Vaughnette Bigford, the smooth music of the UTT Jazz Ensemble, notably saxophonist and group leader Anthony Woodroffe, and Michael “Ming” Low Chew Tung on the keyboard had the crowd of more than 400 music lovers drifting and clapping throughout the night. They brought out the best of Jazz music in T&T, and the NSSO’s experience with fusion performances was evident as they blended the steelpan and jazz rhythms.

The MCDCA also capitalised on this event by facilitating a Craft Market in NAPA’s Foyer, featuring jewelry, local wines, handbags, homemade delicacies and much more.

The end result of this event: the crowd was left wanting more, which seems to be the usual aftermath of each cultural event hosted by the MCDCA.

The success of the nighttime event was paralleled by the second edition of the MCDCA’s [email protected] Concert at Woodford Square, titled Simply Jazz.

The first [email protected] installation, City Blessings, celebrated gospel music on March 29, an appropriate selection to conclude the Lenten Season.

The Jazz theme was next, and the midday heat on April 26 was somehow moderated by the groovy music of artistes Moricia Cagan, LeAndra, the Adan Hagely Project, Candice Caton and Shannon Francois.

Show host Jamie Thomas kept the Woodford Square crowd upbeat as he navigated the lunchtime session. Curious downtown shoppers and students making their way from the Bocas Lit Fest at the National Library were amidst the crowd of over 300 people choosing to fill their lunch hour with music under the trees of Woodford Square, switching off the typical Port-of-Spain lunchtime pace.

The upcoming [email protected] edition will feature an east-indian themed event to celebrate Indian Arrival Day in May, followed by a vintage and steelpan concert respectively.

Staying on the topic of varied music genres, the MCDCA successfully hosted a two-day concert event at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (Sapa) on April 21 and 22, billed as Seasons—a time of Remembrance.

Hundreds of patrons filled the Sundar Popo Auditorium to witness the National Philharmonic Orchestra (NPO) perform in a ‘classical meets local’ setting. Conductor of the NPO Dr Roger Henry reiterated to the audience that the orchestra intends to showcase the music and energy of T&T through the medium of classical orchestra performance.

Notable soloists Natalia Dopwell and Hermina Charles, along with the Academy for the Performing Arts’ Choir complimented the symphony orchestra, resulting in two evenings of world-class entertainment.

The National Theatre Arts Company was not to be omitted, with a solo dancer gracing the stage with gentility in her movements and expression. Satisfied audience members conveyed to the MCDCA team that the calibre of these young musicians and artistes is certainly on par with their international counterparts.

These concerts are part of a wider initiative to bring audiences closer to the range of music genres of T&T, whilst creating opportunities for the veterans, up and coming musicians, and cultural stakeholders to network, thereby expanding this country’s cultural community.

Categories: Entertainment News

LeShae is Caribbean’s Next Top Model

Lifestyle - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 05:01

Flow Trinidad, hosted a commercial-free viewing of the season finale of Caribbean’s Next Top Model Season 4 on Wednesday, April 25. The event which was held at the Savannah Terrace, Hilton Trinidad revealed the winner of the competition to specially invited guests.

LeShae Riley, a stunning 21-year-old, 5’11” Trinidadian contestant, strutted off with this year’s coveted Caribbean’s Next Top Model (CNTM) title as Season 4 came to a nail-biting finish. The statuesque LeShae edged out 15 other contestants including Suriname’s Daphne Veldkamp in the keenly contested finals.

Flow’s director of marketing Cindy-Ann Gatt, in her address, expressed joy over the following which the show generated across the region. She was also enthusiastic about highlighting CNTM’s contribution to celebrating Caribbean women. Gatt remarked, “Flow’s interest in Caribbean’s Next Top Model was an example of how a made-for-TV-series could reflect key aspects of who we are as Caribbean women while maintaining a connection to popular culture. With unique style and flair, the show celebrates the fact that Caribbean women know how to strike a pose, show attitude and exude confidence that no other part of the world can capture.”

Caribbean’s Next Top Model is produced by Starfish Media Ltd, based on the Next Top Model format licensed by CBS Studios International. Executive producers are Dionyse Fitzwilliam, Wendy Fitzwilliam and Kiran Maharaj.

Categories: Entertainment News

Tobago Fashion Coda 6 premieres

Lifestyle - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 04:52

Tobago Fashion Coda 6 got off to a fashionable start at the Magdelena Grand Resort on Thursday, April 26. Patrons got a taste of fashion from designers as Ecliff Elie, Dale Angus, Elizabeth Arthur and European diesigner Liselore Frowijn.

The evening, attended by fashion experts and guests from around the globe, was also filled with entertainment such as former Chutney Soca Monarch KI. Tobago’s own Buccooneers Steel Orchestra welcomed guests as well with the sweet strains of the steel.

Categories: Entertainment News

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