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BEST WEEK EVER:

BEST WEEK EVER:

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Here’s hoping that all mothers had their best week ever, ending with last Sunday’s Mother’s Day. But a number of accomplished women had extra special weeks unrelated to Mother’s Day. First among them was Superintendent Ruth Hazel Ann Jacobs, who became the first woman to be appointed chief of the Police Force’s Criminal Investigation Department.

Superintendent Jacobs, who has 32 years of rich and diverse experience as a police officer, also fact-checked Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace, who went to Parliament two weeks ago, claiming personal knowledge of a human trafficking incident from SVG. {{more}}

Turns out, according to SP Jacobs – who is also head of the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit – that Eustace’s claims were more than a little fanciful.

Here’s hoping that this strong and experienced law enforcement officer can fight crime as well as she fights political misinformation.

Runner-up:

Deborah Dalrymple took over from Dr Adrian Fraser as head of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines site of UWI’s Open Campus in 2011. Now, her leadership has been validated, with the SVG Open Campus site winning the Principal’s Award for Best Department for the period 2011 – 2014.

Dalrymple has taken the SVG Open Campus site to new heights, as more and more Vincies of all ages take advantage of UWI’s local and online offerings. The site is also reasserting itself as a central space for public information and in-depth debate on important topics.

Dalrymple’s achievement is also another accolade for SVG’s growing reputation as a nation focussed on education and self-improvement. Congrats!

WORST WEEK EVER:

The Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force must really like the word “Force” in their name. How else can anyone explain a truckload of hostile officers charging into the studios of Hot 97 FM to drag away mild-mannered music producer Alex “Kubiyashi” Barnwell for questioning? Kubiyashi’s crime?

No one is really sure, but it seems like someone relayed false gossip to police higher-ups about something that was said while Barnwell was on-air. But even if the false gossip turned out to be accurate, the police’s overwhelming show of force was beyond overkill.

The police’s top brass has obviously learned nothing from the public backlash that followed their similarly overzealous arrest of a potty mouthed and immature teacher some weeks ago. But that teacher was a far less sympathetic figure than Barnwell, who has since taken the high road and tried to defuse the situation.

If only the police were as mature as their victims.

Runner-up:

Comptroller of Customs Grenville John has made our “Loser of the Week” list before for his actions in importing his vehicle allegedly without an invoice, following which, his staff assigned it a perceived low value.

Now, an exhaustive review by the Director General of Finance and Planning into the incident has reportedly cleared the comptroller of any wrongdoing. The report may have cleared John of legal wrongdoing, but it has done little to clear the questions surrounding the transaction itself, and the comptroller’s department generally.

Apparently, John has steadfastly refused to provide investigators with a copy of a bank draft, wire transaction, money transfer or any definitive proof of what he actually paid for the vehicle. Instead, he’s playing legal games that are more focused on non-disclosure than full transparency.

The court of public opinion has already decided.

If I had a question in SVG Parliament

…I’d ask the Minister responsible for Electoral Affairs if it’s a good idea for the Supervisor of Elections to be taking out full-page ads in newspapers to rebuke Arnhim Eustace and the New Democratic Party.

Yes; Eustace’s allegations of hundreds of double voters in the last election were a bit of baseless political scaremongering. But should the supervisor be publishing letters that basically call Eustace out? Every Opposition Leader in the Caribbean makes the case that the Supervisor of Elections is against them.

Now, if the NDP again fails to win the election, they’ll be using this ad as an example of the Electoral Office’s hostility.

Media Watch!

There’s a newspaper that runs weekly columns written by two declared electoral candidates – one ULP and one NDP.

Two of our newspapers are already dedicating a page-and-a-half to weekly political columns by the ULP, NDP and Green Party.

Do we need this extra dose of party politics? And if so, do the authors pay, or are they paid, for their insights?

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