The week that was
September 27, 2016


Chocolate lovers rejoice! After years of casting an envious eye south towards Grenada’s thriving chocolate industry, Vincies now have a home-grown, high-end dark chocolate of our own. The chocolate bars, simply labelled “Vincentian Chocolate,” showed up in local supermarkets last week, and promptly sold out. Some Vincies, whose idea of “chocolate” is limited to the syrupy sweet milk chocolate of Cadburys, Charles and Kit-Kat, complained of the “bitterness” of the new bar. However, dark chocolate lovers found the new offering, which has a high 72 per cent cocoa content, to be a rich and flavourful treat that compares well with European and, yes, Grenadian offerings. With Vincy chocolate, coffee, plantain chips, honey, jams and sauces now on supermarket shelves alongside our rums, rice and flour, things are beginning to look up for our beleaguered agro-manufacturing sector.{{more}}


West Indies cricket isn’t nearly what it used to be, but we must still celebrate when Vincy talent reaches the highest level. The latest call-up to the Windies’ squad is Spring Village’s Kesrick Williams. Williams, a 26-year-old fast bowler with limited experience in first class cricket, was outstanding in the recently-concluded 2016 Caribbean Premier League. Playing for the Jamaica Tallawahs, Williams took 17 wickets to be the Tallawahs’ best bowler and the third-highest wicket taker of the tournament. His CPL success and the withdrawal of Windies mainstay Andre Russell led to his selection for the ongoing Pakistan series. Although Williams hasn’t played in either of the West Indies’ two T20 losses to Pakistan so far, the experience of training and rubbing elbows with our region’s top cricketers can only help his development. Here’s hoping that the late-blooming Williams will continue to grow and excel.


Once upon a time, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves’ annual trip to Brooklyn was a showpiece for all of his enormous political talents: grasp of policy, charisma, and witty Q&A with a capacity crowd of diaspora Vincies. Gonsalves’ Brooklyn town halls were always eagerly broadcast by the ULP radio station and, more recently, streamed online. However, this trip to the Big Apple will go down in infamy as perhaps Gonsalves’ worst. His arrival in Brooklyn was greeted with a handful of placard-waving protesters – a first for a Gonsalves town hall. Then, in the Q&A section, a woman stood up and accused Gonsalves – with his wife and daughter present – of having inappropriate relations with her over two decades earlier. Although Gonsalves promptly denied the claims, and his accuser’s credibility and political relationship with the protesters is already being called into question on social media, this is certainly not what he had in mind when he flew up to New York. The Friends of Crown Heights Centre is becoming increasingly UN-friendly to local politicians. Eustace’s infamous “Ask Ralph” moment took place there, and now Gonsalves is staring down protesters and accusers. Will either leader hold a town hall in Brooklyn again?


Right after we celebrated Physical Planning’s belated order to halt the smoky, noisy, unapproved operations of Chill Spot and Pork City restaurants in Arnos Vale, they had to go and overplay their hand. Not satisfied with simply halting the businesses’ operations, a team of sledgehammer-wielding Physical Planning workers descended on Arnos Vale and began dismantling the facilities. To top it off, a member of Physical Planning’s demolition team reportedly told a local journalist to “haul yo arse” when she put a microphone in his face. There is a fine line between enforcing the law (which we support) and being heavy-handed (which we don’t). With their unnecessary show of force last week, Physical Planning crossed that line.


If I had a question in SVG Parliament

…I’d ask the Leader of the Opposition to explain the new shipment of building materials on the wharf for distribution. Why the Leader of the Opposition? Because it is he and his party who claim that building materials are nothing but a “bribe” used by the ULP to buy votes on the eve of elections. With materials here a full four years ahead of elections, we’d like to hear how this shipment fits in with the NDP’s “bribe” theory.

Media Watch

Social media is ablaze with angry comments – from both sides of the political fence – about the closure of Chill Spot. However, none of the outrage is coming from anyone who lives anywhere close to these establishments. As The Vincentian’s front page said two weeks ago: “Residents Conten­ted.” It’s one thing to miss the convenience or camaraderie of some late night roast pork before you go home to your quiet, smoke free home. It’s quite another to live with the noise and smoke 24×7.