From no house in Jamaica to the White House
ichael Blake is the first African American White House Outreach Director for the first African-American President of the United States...and he’s 28 years young. Michael’s parents are from Jamaica and he was born in the Bronx, NY...he is now the Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.
Our Condolences go out . . . . . . to the Congregation of New Destiny Christian Center on the Death of their Pastor.
Michael Blake speaking to a crowd about the administration’s new program and policies.
In his own words, Blake says, “I’m a skinny kid from The Bronx, whose family went from no house in Jamaica to The White House in D.C.” He worked hard to get where he is today, and now that he’s there, he’s not being selfish with his blessings, at all. Blake visited Orlando and was hosted by The African American Chamber of Commerce — Continued on page 8 —
The body of Zachery Tims, 42, the senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, was discovered in his 37thfloor room of the W Hotel on Broadway about 6 : 0 0 p . m . o n F r i d a y, A u gust 12th. Tims led one of the largest congregations in Cen-tral Florida and his impact has been felt throughout the Caribbean American Community. “He’s going to be missed,” was the sentiment voiced by many in the Caribbean Community who are grieving the loss of their pastor.
— Continued on page 8 — Photo Courtesy of Erica Crawford of Crawford Designs & Promotions.
Michael Blake and some members of the Board of Directors of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce of Florida at the Jamaican Independence Ball.
Melbourne, Saturday, August 27th - Melbourne Auditorium Orlando, Sunday, August 28th - Wekiva High School
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L I F E S T Y L E
ow! We’re almost back to September when the first issue of CAP News Magazine was printed. We are almost 1 year old...you guys! I just looked at my first editorial and decided that we would do a recap of that first one to see which benchmarks we hit and which we’ve changed our mind about.
Guenet Gittens-Roberts, Publisher/Editor
news and it will be featured in our issue or call us and point out the stories in your community...we welcome it. Most of the people who get featured help us by providing the information to us.
We’ve learnt that we have to remain neutral about politics in the Caribbean and use the paper to introduce every political What I know now, after almost 1 year, is that I’ve learnt so party that wants to reach Caribbean people in Central Florida. much more about the wonderful Caribbean people who live This lesson has been an incredibly great one to learn as we in Central Florida and I love them even more than when I step away from the reach of politics and listen to every side of began this process. We’ve found out that Caribbean people the argument. The fact that I’m not in Guyana and can’t vote have done amazing things since they came to this country. anyway made me realize that I could shed the baggage of poliSome were in the closet about their Caribbean heritage and tics in Guyana. It also made me look more closely at my inwe’ve helped them to step out with pride. I continue to be volvement as a voice for politics in the US and I concluded that passionate about the people who work hard in the commu- I will take a side in the politics in this country as the decision nity to promote our culture - the ashere makes an impact for me and sociations, the radio personalities, my family. CAP News Magazine the people who hold cultural events will be supporting President Obama and this is a platform where we for a second term and we will be support their efforts. using this paper as a platform for sharing the message about the Last year we told you that this newsstrides that have been made and we paper is for the Caribbean Ameriwill be urging you as a Caribbean can Individual, one who celebrates people to get involved and get regthe unique vibrancy of the Caribistered as early as possible to avoid bean Culture coupled with an any issues at voting time. We will American Perspective. The person have an election watch column that who might be in a suit but will at will start in the September issue the very least tap their foot once where we will ask local attorneys to reggae or soca hits their ear. The weigh in with their opinions to Caribbean American Creole who break it down for you. knows that the future of our families is made better by the present we Join us on facebook at www. work on today. The aim was to facebook.com/capnewsmagazine to shine a light on the many achieveweigh in with your comments. ments that you and your children are making in America. Again, I invite you to join Caribbean American Passport as a member so Caribbean American Passport Publishers, Sam & Guenet We’ve gotten your support over the that you can support a Community Roberts with Michael Blake, Associate Director of the year and due to that we’ve grown Newspaper that supports the ComWhite House Office of Public Engagement. from 5000 monthly copies to 10,000 munity. Your membership will encopies every month. We inked a distribution deal with A&A sure that our People and our Community Organizations have a Halal and we are now distributed in at least 80 Caribbean Res- forum to share their cultural events and that we continue to taurants and Supermarkets across Central Florida and in lim- keep our Culture alive as we form a vibrant community here for ited quantities in North and South Florida. We ensure the Car- our families. ibbean Consulates in Miami get copies so that they are kept abreast of what you’re doing in Central Florida. We also take Membership includes a paper mailed to you monthly as well the magazine into American venues and events so that the as discounted rates on advertising and discounted admission American community can see us in a positive light and note to passport events. For more information about our Passport the remarkable strides we have made as Caribbean American Membership please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or people. We also email blast the paper out to a database of email@example.com over 4000 people across the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. However we still have work left to do - plans are on stream to build our website, so that we can have newsfeeds from throughout the Caribbean and up to date news posted GGR Marketing & Public Relations on the site...as it happens, you’ll be able to read about it. 1969 Alafaya Trail, Suite 133 • Orlando, Fl 32828 407.421.8118 • firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve continued to keep our focus on the Central Florida community, as we feel that each area deserves a focused look at the people in that area. We expect that by September we will have our first spinoff of CAP NewsMagazine, and it will be done for the Poinciana area. We will go anywhere that there are Caribbean people who need a voice to strengthen our community. Once we find strong community minded people to build the brand in other areas we will provide special inserts for those areas as well. In the meantime, recognize that this is your community paper, please send us your
Publisher ........................................................... Guenet Gittens-Roberts Editor .............................................................................Audrey Johnson Contributing Writers: ................................................. Natasha Gittens ....................................................................................... Roger Caldwell .......................................................................................... Sandra Fatmi ............................................................................................ Gail Seeram Contributing Photographers ....... ................................. Samuel Roberts ................................................................................................ K.P. Singh Distribution .................................................................... Samuel Roberts Copyright (C) 2010 GGR Marketing & Public Relations. All rights reserved.
Dr. Hardowar opens new Office in Kissimmee . . . but he makes house calls!
he Future of Medicine is coming right into your home. new business idea, the need for this service is growing and is There was a time when doctors made house calls. Imag- greater than ever. ine the doctor coming to your home to treat you today, wouldn’t that make all the difference in the world. “Florida Family Medicine visits homes, hotels, offices - anywhere a patient needs care “ said Dr. Hardowar, “We help take That’s why Dr.Hardowar is practicing Modern Medicine in hospital, doctor, and other facility overflows. Additionally, we the GOOD OLD FASHIONED WAY by bringprovide in home care to families, the elderly, children, top name ing back doctor house calls. Dr. Hardowar, athletes, and high-end professionals. Our mission is Helprecently opened his new clinic in ing Hands when you need them most.” Kissimmee with a grand day of activities that included - Free Back to “Most people don’t even realize that the School Giveaways, Blood Pressure Screenoption of having a doctor come to you is ings, Diabetic Checks, Music, Appetisers a possibility. We do x-rays, and more and drinks. in the home, hotel, or office. We also coordinate care with the patient priDr. Hardowar completed his residency in mary care physician and their specialists. Family medicine at the University of Florida, Shands and has Our goal is to bring that comfort, privacy, and convenience now opened Family Medicine where he promises patients ulti- back to the people who want and need it. Our patients are mate care and convenience...by providing them with the con- kept healthier and happier at home by us providing them with venience of home visits. While house call doctors are hardly a better health care and quality of life.
Filing deadline of Oct. 28, 2011 for Widow(er) of U.S. Citizen By: Attorney Gail S. Seeram, LL.M., J.D., BBA
rior immigration laws required a widow(er)s of a U.S. citizen be married at least two years at the time of death of the U.S. citizen to be eligible to self-petition for lawful permanent resident status (or a green card). In other words, if an undocumented alien was married to a U.S. citizen and the U.S. citizen spouse died before your marriage lasted two years, then under prior law, the undocumented alien was not eligible to self-petition as a widow(er) to obtain a green card. This prior law cause many widow(er)s of U.S. citizen to have their immigration petitions denied and to be placed in removal/deportation proceedings. Many practitioners didn’t see the purpose of the two-year marriage clause and this law was termed the “widow penalty”. In October 28, 2009, under President Obama, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2010, P.L. 111-83, 123 Stat. 2145 removed the words “for at least 2 years” from INA£201(b)(2)(A)(i). The change in the law allowed the widow(er)s of U.S. citizens married any length of time to selfpetition for immediate relative status, but must still file within two years of the death of the U.S. citizen spouse. Additionally, if the U.S. citizen spouse filed an I-130 prior to the death, the I130 is automatically converted to an I-360 upon the death of the petitioner. This is a permanent change to the law, and cases involving a death that occurred on or after October 28, 2009 should be adjudicated accordingly. The requirement that the widow(er) not have remarried was not changed. Under the amended law, there is a transition period for deaths that occurred prior to October 28, 2009, in effect providing the opportunity for any widow(er) married less than two years, at any time in the past, to file a self-petition within two years of the enactment of the new law. The deadline, therefore, for a widow(er) whose spouse died any time before October 28, 2009 is October 28, 2011. This is a critical deadline because if the death occurred more than 2 years ago, such widow(er) would not be able to qualify otherwise if he or she misses the deadline.
4. He or she is admissible as an immigrant; and 5. In an adjustment of status case, that he or she meets all other adjustment eligibility requirements and merits a favorable exercise of discretion. Children of Widow(er)s: The child of a widow(er) whose self-petition is approved may be included in the widow(er)’s petition as long as they meet the definition for “child” under the immigration laws. Where the deceased citizen filed an alien relative petition for his or her spouse that was pending at the time of his or her death, and the alien relative petition can now be adjudicated as a widow(er)’s self-petition, the child(ren) of the widow(er) will be included in the widow(er)’s self petition. An individual qualifies as the “child” of a widow(er) depending on their age when the alien relative petition was filed. For those cases that were pending on October 28, 2009, the self-petition filing date is the date on which the deceased citizen filed the prior alien relative petition. If a widow(er) has an unmarried son or daughter who was under 21 when the deceased citizen filed the alien relative petition, that individual will still be considered under 21 for purposes of the widow(er)’s self-petition. Q. Are my children, who are not the children of my deceased U.S. citizen spouse, covered under this new law? A. Yes. Regardless of whether your children are also the children of your deceased U.S. citizen spouse, the program covers your children in the United States, as long as they meet the definition of your “child” under the immigration laws. Q. What if I was legally separated or divorced from my U.S. citizen spouse at the time of his or her death? A. If you were divorced or legally separated from your U.S. citizen spouse at the time of his or her death, you are ineligible for this program.
Q. What if I am a widow(er) who was removed or departed from the United States while an order of removal was pending? A. If the widow(er) is outside of the United States and had been ordered removed, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has discretion under the immigration laws to consent Requirements to Qualify as a “Widow(er): The following requirements must be meet for a widow(er)s to to the widow(er)’s reapplication for admission. USCIS will genself-petition for lawful permanent resident status (or green card) erally exercise discretion favorably and grant an application for consent to reapply for admission once all the requirements after the death of their U.S. citizen spouse: are met. 1. He or she was the citizen’s legal spouse; 2. The marriage was bona fide and not an arrangement Q. What if I am in removal proceedings? solely to confer immigration benefits to the beneficiary; A. Your attorney or accredited representative is in the best position to advise you about your specific case. 3. He or she has not remarried;
BRYAN AND GARY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CREATING A PUBLIC FORUM FOR SOME OF THE MOST PROVACATIVE AND THOUGHT PROVOKING TOPICS THAT DEAL WITH EVERYDAY LIFE? TODAY THEY’RE ASKING THE QUESTION: WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER TOLD YOU THAT THEY WERE GAY?
ARY: Bryan where do you find these topics? This is another great topic that for some parents could possibly be their worst nightmare. BRYAN: If you open the newspaper or turn on the TV the topics are there Gary, and it seems like more and more people are coming out of the closet nowadays. This is another thought provoking and socially critical topic and it could happen to anyone. So what would you do? GARY: Well I’m not sure this could happen to me Bryan, but if it did, I can’t say I would be a happy camper. The thought of my child telling me something Gary like that would go against everything I believe. Next thing you know they would want to come over for dinner so we could get to know each other better. Can you imagine that B? ...Me sitting there listening to them talk about how much they love each other. I couldn’t do that, could you? BRYAN: Could I what? Sit there and listen to that? GARY: Yeah. BRYAN: Bwoy mi nuh know. I LOVE my son very much, but I don’t know what I would do. I can remember my father telling me years ago, that no matter what I decided to do I should do it to the best of my ability. GARY: Bryan what the HELL are you telling me? What are you REALLY telling me? You do realize that we’re not talking about choosing a career path? Right? BRYAN: Yeah, but if what he wants is to be a homosexual, then I would want him to be the best Damn Homosexual out there. One that knows that his daddy loves him no matter what. GARY: I thought I had heard it all. Bryan, I don’t know what you’re smoking but I know it’s the good stuff because you are so far gone that I don’t know if I can bring you back. Now I am not in any way suggesting I would no longer love my child, quite the opposite. I would love my child too much to endorse, cheer, or support such a choice...So yes...don’t invite me to a wedding, house warming, or anniversary celebration. A well known prime minister once said “No way...not in my party,” and that’s where I stand. BRYAN: LOL, I hear yuh Mr. G. And I don’t want you to
misunderstand my position. I don’t care about a person’s sexual preference, however when they let that preference define their personality in a way that makes them obnoxious, loud, and in all honesty an embarrassment, that’s where I draw the line. If my son decided to be the flamboyant gay guy, I would let him know that his continued choice would end up with him being cut off. I don’t think I could deal with a son that acts fruity. GARY: LOL, Boy I didn’t think there was a way back for you. I thought I had lost you to the dark side. Welcome back. BRYAN: Ha ha ha, you’re not funny. GARY: Look Bryan, I do not believe individuals are born gay, straight or bisexual. Sexuality and its expression is a learnt behavior. It baffles my mind when I see parents who were once strong morally and spiritually, endorsing the lifestyle. And not only that, but are now converted because their child professes this Immoral lifestyle. I said it “immoral”, whether your perspective is biblically correct, biologically impossible, physically unhealthy...Nature suggests we were not designed to operate like this. I just can’t believe you would tell your son to be the best he can be. LOL BRYAN: Gary, Martin Luther King once said: “If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.” If my Bryan son is gonna go down that road, he needs to sweep it clean. GARY: O.K. Mr. Philosopher, whatever floats your boat. Let’s hear what our readers have to say. LIFE IS A JOURNEY THAT’S FULL OF UPS AND DOWNS, TWISTS AND TURNS, SUCCESSES AND FAILURES, AND A LOT OF THINGS IN BETWEEN. SO WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF FACED WITH THIS DECISION? E-MAIL US AT BACK2BASICLIVE@GMAIL.COM .
Caribbean American Chamber celebrates the Asian American Chamber of Commerce's 25th Anniversary
ounded in 1986, the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida, celebrated their 25th Anniversary this month. On Aug 7th, 2011 the chamber, hosted a Global Business Expo to celebrate at the DoubleTree Downtown Orlando. More than 500 VIP and guests attended this event with over 40 business and Asian community booths showcasing their services.
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CACCF Welcomes new Members Circa Restaurant, Florida Family Medicine & Social Media Hitmen
Caribbean Chamber's Directory of Caribbean Businesses was on display at the expo, plans are in place for the 2012 directory. For more information, go to www.caccf.org . Photos by Trung Nguyen Photography
All new & old Members are invited to a New Member Orientation Breakfast at Life Worth Living Pharmacy's Conference room, Friday September 9th at 9am. 6488 Currin Drive, Orlando, Fl. 32835.
Michael Blake Continued from page 1 of Central Florida at two events on Wednesday, August 3, 2011, he was the keynote speaker at a luncheon, and a moderator at a roundtable forum where he moderated two panel discussions as part of the Urban Entrepreneur Roundtable. During his visit he found time to speak at small Caribbean gatherings where he reiterated the fact that we needed to take advantage of all the entrepreneurial tools available to us as a Caribbean community to build our businesses, met with the members of the Board of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce of Florida and ended his visit with a rousing speech at the Jamaican Independence Gala. Recently, Blake was selected as one of “The Grio’s Top 100 History Makers in the Making”, and President Obama calls the newly re-purposed Office of Public Engagement the “front door” of his White House and Michael Blake is the man charged with keeping that door open. The associate director has dedicated himself to the difficult task of finding realistic ways to engage the African-American community and minority businesses. Blake attended the “Yes We Can” political training program in 2006, where he gained his knack for campaigning. He went on to successfully co-organizing three state house campaigns during the 2006 midterm election and was eventually hired to work for the Obama for America campaign, serving as Deputy Political Director/Constituency Outreach Director in Iowa and Michigan. Now Blake works to keep those same groups the campaign energized in 2008 participating in 2011, through outreach programs such as special public events and blogging initiatives. Michael Blake is making history ... by helping President Obama keep his promise to the American people for transparency in government. Blake is constantly seeking to better the exchange of information between politicians and the electorate, and aims to make government function as President Obama challenges it to be - inclusive, transparent, accountable and responsible. What’s next for Michael? A steward of political dialogue and discussion, Michael Blake continues to work to discover practical avenues for real solutions to overcome structural inequalities and education disparities in national policymaking. Eventually, he says he seems himself entering into public service. “I really believe that public service, when it’s done right, is the best way to help people. A lot of people don’t realize, (or) think about that everything that we do in life is impacted by some form of policy. From the concrete that you’re walking on, to the size of the chair that you’re in, to the food that you eat, we don’t think about those things,” Blake said. In his own words ...“I say that I’m a skinny kid from The Bronx, whose family went from no house in Jamaica to The White House in D.C, who was told that I wasn’t smart enough to get into Northwestern, came from an elementary school was referred to having ‘savage inequalities’ and was told that I was silly for moving to Iowa to try and get President Obama elected,” Blake told the Grio. “Fortunately, those who inspired me reminded me that no person can stop what God has in store.”
Condolences Continued from page 1 Funeral arrangements have been set for Tims. A viewing is scheduled for Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at New Destiny Christian Center. Funeral arrangements are set for Saturday, at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Orlando. Monday night, a crowd estimated to be close to 1500 people gathered at New Destiny. His ex-wife Riva spoke, saying Pastor Tims had just taken a vacation to Puerto Rico with his four children. The search now begins for a new pastor and Riva Tims is among those being considered. "She is one of the people that you can see that there's a lot of love for her because she helped him build this ministry from where it is. It started with six people and it's up to over 7,000 people right now, and she was a very key part of that and that's why people love her still," said New Destiny Christian Center Executive Director Samuel Anderson. Until the church finds a permanent pastor, there will be guest speakers, like Bishop T.D. Jakes, who has nationally broadcast television and radio shows.
Plans are in place for the International Curry Festival to be held in Tampa on September 17th. Organisers met with Kash Ramanarain & Family to discuss plans for the event. This event is slated to be a three day celebration ending with the competition on Saturday at the Bayanihan Arts & Outdoor Center.
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Contact: Carl 321-663-6533
#1 Touring Play out of Jamaica “Ghett Out” coming to Orlando
entral Florida will never be the same come September 2011. On Saturday, August 27th at the Melbourne Auditorium and on Sunday, August 28th at Wekiva High School the Promotional team of Diamond Talent Management, LLC and Friends (Humble Lion, and Pebbles to name a few) will stage the number 1 Touring Play out of Jamaica “Ghett Out” starring the ever popular Keith Ramsey as “SHEBADA” and an all star supporting cast. This latest comedic masterpiece, which hails from Stages Productions, boasts a seasoned cast that also includes Abigail “Maude” Grant, Maxwell “Run Tings” Grant, Maylynne “Barbara” Walton, Luke “Makka” Ellington, Junior Williams and Orville “Ruler” Hall. “GhettOut” marks the highly anticipated return of popular actor Keith Ramsay to his namesake role of “Shebada.” “GhettOut” features several members of the breakout sensation “Bashment Granny.” Infused with loads of raw humor,”Ghett-Out” is centered on real-life inner-city struggles of residents seeking a better life. “Ghett-Out” follows the lives of residents in a tenement yard who are met face to face with corruption as their little “piece” of real-estate is set to be transformed into a thriving housing project and commercial district. As the action unfolds, things get sticky for all involved. Humorous injections, especially from Shebada, Maude and Ruler, will ensure eruptions of laughter among audience members.
On the surface, “Ghett-Out” is all fun and games, but an undercurrent exploring corruption and socio-political commentary in Jamaica lurks throughout, adding to the appeal of the production. Fastpaced and entertaining, theatergoers are guaranteed spontaneous laughter from cast performances. Diamond Talent Management promoters have a strong entertainment team of Sandra Fatmi and Junior Forbes, with combined experience in excess of 20 years in event planning, promotions and talent management, both locally and internationally. This joint partnership hopes to bring ongoing entertainment that will have you falling out of your seats or festivals to feed the soul. Stay tuned for meet and greet parties around town to meet “Shebada” and some members of the cast prior to the play, during the week of August 22nd. Popular MC Jesse Runner will serve as host, while DJ Phayz of Vibrant Soundz will entertain the audience as only he can. Tickets are available at all of your local Caribbean outlets. For more information call Sandra Fatmi at (770) 789-7004, Humble Lion at (646) 236-3928, Guenet Gittens-Roberts at (407) 421-8118, Sista Sharon at (407) 687-3312 or Dennis Hall at (407) 929-7477.
Jamaicans celebrate 49 years of Independence
amaica’s annual independence celebration took place lo- been severely impacted. He pointed to the new concept of cally on Saturday, August 6 2011, 49 years to the day that “branding”, a view that has glamorized and elevated greed and consumerism to unprecedented levels, contributing to sethe country embarked on the path to self-government. rious crimes and lawlessness in some areas. The fabulous gala, organized and sponsored by the Jamaica/ American Association of Central Florida and themed “A Call to Dr. Malcolm referred to some of the more famous Jamaicans Action”, was attended by an estimated four hundred (400) people, such as Arthur Wint, the former Olympic Athlete, from whose life and example he said the young people could benefit. He including friends from the region as well as the United States. urged the gathering to do what they can to assist the youth by, Keynote speaker Dr. A.C. Malcolm, an Obstetrician/Gynecolo- among other things, visiting their former schools to encourage gist from the Black River Hospital in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, students to stay focused on their education. briefly summarized conditions in the home country, stating that Jamaica as a country has no problems; its natural at- Project: Vision 2030 tributes are still as bountiful, but some young people have lost Dr. Malcolm stated that a new national development plan, a part of themselves. Addressing the matter of crime, Dr. Vision 2030, recently implemented by the government, is the Malcolm said that although all major crimes declined in 2010, first long term strategic plan designed within a framework of the first time since 1999, the moral fiber of the country has — Story continued on page 18. photos on pages 10 & 11 —
Jamaicans celebrate 49 years of Independence
Jamaicans celebrate 49 years of Independence
First Annual Cocobean Kiddies Carnival
n honor of Caribbean Heritage Month, Cocobean Productions held the first annual Cocobean Kiddies Carnival at the beautiful Prairie Lake Park in Ocoee. The theme this year was Birds of Paradise. It was a chance to introduce our kids and American friends to the true spirit of Caribbean Carnival and everyone had a blast! Kids from the ages of 2 years old to 10 years old paraded behind the music truck in hand-made costumes to the sounds of soca music (led by a moko jumbie). The beautiful lake in the background created a very tropical atmosphere. The kids then participated in children’s games like freeze dance (musical statues), hula hoop contests, conga lines and limbo contests. The games all took place under the shade of the huge oak trees that line the park. We
also had a hula hoop contests for all the moms, dads and grandparents in attendance. Lunch included hot doubles, chicken patties, hot dogs and ice cold drinks. Everything wrapped up around 1pm, so the really young ones could get home in time for their afternoon nap. Boy did they sleep well that day! Attendees were also treated to the sounds of live steel pan music and a Caribbean DJ. According to organizers Creig Camacho and Tara Swaby, “It was a great success and we cannot wait until next year”. Anyone interested in having their kids participate next year can contact Creig Camacho at Cocobean Productions at 407-788-BEAN (2326) or creig@cocbean productions.com.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Offices Faces Investigation By Roger Caldwell
two turned in nearly the same resignation letter that day.
Clarkson and Edwards said this about the day they were dismissed: “We asked the reason for this sudden, unexpected and shocking news, and Robert Julian said that he had asked, and was told that no reason was being given and that the firing ‘came from the top’.”
here is a legal mess brewing in Tallahassee with the firing of former Assistant Attorney General Theresa Edwards and colleague June Clarkson. The two lawyers had won a $2 million settlement from a Fort Lauderdale firm. They had generated national headlines about the questionable practices of banks, loan servicers, and law firms when it related to foreclosures.
As a result of the forced firing of these top lawyers, there has been a firestorm of criticism directed at Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. But I believe that the top means the ultimate decision maker, and that could only mean the governor.
Representative Darren Soto (D-Orlando) and state SenaBoth of the lawyers had received exemplary performance re- tor Eleanor Sobel, (D-Hollywood) have asked U.S. Senator Bill views, and they were the lead team on foreclosure fraud investigations. The foreclosure investigations were started by former Attorney General Bill McCollum, but Edwards said she noticed changes taking place when Governor Scott’s team came to power. “It all happened very abruptly. I think they wanted to put people in there that were more in line with their thinking,” said Edwards. Many political experts believe that Bondi’s office and the Scott administration is going soft on banks, lawyers, legal malpractice, and the Florida foreclosure mills. In order for Governor Scott to create a friendly-business state, he is looking the other way when there is foreclosure fraud. Clarkson and Edwards had been investigating foreclosure fraud for over a year, and had sworn statements of irregular procedures. Former employees of certain law firms described conditions where signatures were regularly forged on foreclosure documents, paperwork was notarized by nonnotaries, and flawed files were hidden from auditors of federal mortgage backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “We had absolutely no idea it was coming,” said Edwards. On May 20th, Edwards and Clarkson were summoned together to a meeting at 3:30pm. They were told by Robert Julian, the former South Florida Bureau Chief was for the Economic Crimes Section of the Attorney Pam Bondi General’s office, that they had the opportunity to resign or would be let go immediately. The
Theresa Edwards and June Clarkson Nelson and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to intervene in the investigation of the of the forced resignation of the two foreclosure lawyers. Andrew Spark, the first investigator of the two lawyers’ firing, has suspiciously resigned after releasing a memo criticizing Bondi’s office. “While I have a significantly different philosophy concerning these cases than Clarkson, Edwards, and most other homeowner advocates, the people of the state of Florida are entitled to fair and honest government, independent of personal connections and powerful interest, and I have decided to speak out,” said Spark. Clarkson and Edwards are not going to let the Scott administration and Pam Bondi’s office get away with unfair labor and firing practices. There are laws to protect employees, and Governor Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi did not treat their employees fairly.
CACCF to endorse Rick Singh
he Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce of residents. In the difficult economic times facing our community, Florida, Inc., is pleased to endorse Rick Singh as candi- an individual who is knowledgeable, experienced and grounded date for the office of Orange County Property Appraiser. in his field can help to re-evaluate and implement effective changes leading to a fairer tax base for all our property owners. Rick Singh has worked in the property appraiser industry for 17 years, in both the private and public sector. Six of those years For these reasons, the Caribbean American Chamber of Comwere spent with the Orange County Property Appraiser’s office merce of Florida endorses Rick Singh for the Orange County as a field Appraiser. He spent 12 years as a State Certified Ap- Property Appraiser’s office. The Chamber is committed to propraiser, running his own Appraisal Company, training and moting the economic welfare of the local Caribbean Amerimanaging many appraisers. His Real Estate brokerage experi- can population, and considers this Candidate’s overall agenda ence has cemented his understanding of the challenges facing will help the many residential and business property owners both residential and commercial property owners. and investors in our community as well as the wider Orange County community of property owners and investors. This candidate has outlined the need for a fairer appraisal process and he explained that once implemented, it would result in Sincerely, a more equitable and lower property taxes for Orange County Carol Singh, President CACCF
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Community Health & Wellness Fair
he Jamaican American Associa-tion of Central Florida (JAA) conducted an annual Community Health and Wellness Fair on Saturday July 16, with the theme of “Keeping up with Grade “A Health”. The Fair was held at the Life Worth Living Pharmacy on Currin Drive in Orlando, where FREE health screenings were offered to the attendees. Other assistance provided were information on controlling Diabetes, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, as well as Preventative Health Information sessions dealing with such areas as colorectal cancer, with the focus of Keeping up with Grade “A” Health”.
Things to do . . . J
oin Rick Singh, Candidate for Orange County Property Appraiser, for a Full Day of Deep Sea Fishing in Port Canaveral, Florida. Saturday August 20th, Departs at 8:00am and Returns at 6:00pm All aboard Miss Fun for the best experience you will have Saltwater Deep Sea Fishing in the Florida waters. Miss Cape Canaveral is an 85 foot Lydia Yacht, the ultimate creators of custom party boats. She is Central Florida's largest Deep Sea Fishing Vessel, coast guard approved for 100 persons. Designed to provide our customers with the most comfortable accommodations, Miss Fun is the most sought after Deep Sea Fishing platform for Full Day Fishing Excursions in Port Canaveral, Florida. Features include Enclosed Air– Conditioned and Heated Lounge, Cushioned Seating in the Full Galley & Bar, Separate Men's and Ladies Restrooms, and much, much more! *All Inclusive $125.00 Per Person. *Prizes for biggest, smallest, and ugliest fish. *Unlimited Mimosa Breakfast All of the Full fun Day Fishing Trips include a hot meal, soda, coffee, cold beers, rod, reed, bait, Florida Fishing License, and free parking! Call 407-383-3231. Incredible You!...The Empowered Woman' Expo & Conference Event Sat, Aug 27 at the Hilton Hotel, Altamonte Springs, FL. An awesome event for all the fabulous women out there in Orlando! Expo, Exhibitors, Music, fashion show, lively and interactive networking opportunity! Absolutely engaging Speakers for the Conference portion of event. All for $10 per person The TrinBago Association of Central Florida's celebration of Trinidad and Tobago's 49th year of independence and their association's 10 year anniversary. Grand Gala Formal Black and White Dinner Dance. Cocktail Hour 7 p.m. Dinner at 8 p.m. Ticket Price $50. Coming to Orlando September 17th at Soiree. For the first time in Orlando - O'NEIL BHAJMAN a finalist in the Chutney Soca Competition, 2011 with his hits - When last yuh wine on a stranger and mash a vine. SALLY SAGRAM, another finalist in the Chutney Soca Competition, 2011 with her hit song, So go nah. MAHENDRA RAMKELLAWAN, Road March King in Guyana, will be performing his hit song Dem ah watch meh & RICK RAMOUTAR, a finalist in the Chutney Soca Competition for the past three years will be performing his hit song - Ah shudda never ask you to marry me. ANIL BHEEM & BMRZ will be here live with his entire band, he is one of the top singers in Trinidad and is known for his fil, chutney, bangra and other types of music. He was also a finalist inthe chutney soca competition.
Edeline of Help Haiti Foundation gets a donation from Dr. & Mrs. Hardowar of school supplies to their school supply drive.
Caribbean Community/Fellow Guyanese – Presidential Candidate for the opposition coalition, A partnership for National Unity (APNU), Mr. David Granger and Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, are scheduled to be in Florida in September. Events will be held in Miami and Central Florida. These events will include a cocktail reception on September 23rd and a business breakfast on September 24th to be held in Miami, a ‘meet and greet’ brunch at Circa Restaurant in Winter Park on September 24th from 1:00pm to 4:00pm and a more formal event to be held that evening in Orlando. The Central Florida events will be coordinated by the "Friends of Guyana Central Florida Committee" for more information please contact 407694-7497, 407-873-8883 or 407-810-6435. Dances will be done by Nach Vedha and Vashnie Dance Group with entertainment by Powerline Sounds HD, DJ Chris, Bacchanal Radio, DJ Sean, Masala Radio and Orlando's own DJ Nelly. — Continued on page 19 —
Grand opening of Laparkan’s new office and warehouse
entral Florida’s Caribbean American community turned out in large numbers to celebrate the opening of Laparkan’s new office and warehouse and community leaders thanked the company for its continued support of activities which have assisted in improving the quality of life in the Diaspora and in the Caribbean region. The new office and warehouse, located at 1934 Silver Star Road in Orlando is part of Laparkan’s ongoing program designed to improve its operational efficiencies and to provide its customers with enhanced facilities when conducting business with the company. Samuel Roberts, speaking on behalf of the heads of Caribbean organizations of Central Florida, the umbrella for some 20 associations, praised Laparkan for its commitment to the social and economic development of Caribbean American communities across the United States and back home in the Caribbean region. “There is hardly an occasion when any Caribbean Association approaches Laparkan for help and that help isn’t given. We are really thankful to Laparkan for giving back to the communities you serve and you can continue to count on our support as customers of Laparkan,” Roberts said. President of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce of Florida, Carol Singh pointed to the importance of efficient logistics services to the success of business enterprises and thanked Laparkan for being among the first companies to locate a branch of its operations in Central Florida over a decade ago. President of the Guyanese American Cultural Association of Central Florida (GACACF) George Lyking said
the expansion of Laparkan’s facilities in Central Florida was evidence of the company’s commitment to providing quality service to its customers. “I want to congratulate La-parkan for its vision and let you know that we will continue to use Laparkan because we trust Laparkan and you are a partner with our community,” Lyking said. Claudette Legowik, director of Cavaliers Hope Ministries, Inc. thanked Laparkan and its Orlando management team for all the assistance they have received over the years” in taking relief and joy to underprivileged children in Jamaica. You have been so good to these children in Jamaica many of whom have overcome poverty and gone on to be productive adults in the society. I am also thankful for your pledge of continued support as we expand our program in Jamaica,” she said. Lt. John Holysz, speaking on behalf of the Orlando Police Department congratulated La-parkan for its contribution to social programs in the community which helped to keep young people positively engaged and for providing services which are important to keeping families connected. Guyana’s Honorar y Consul, Ramzan Roshanalli congratulated Paul and Anita Singh of PS Freight Systems, operators of the Laparkan brand in Central Florida, for their hard work and dedication over the years. He also praised Laparkan chairman and chief executive officer, Glen Khan for the vision that continues to pilot Laparkan to even greater achievements. He informed the audience of the recent announcement that Mr. Khan has been named to receive one of Guyana’s top national awards, the Golden Arrow of Achievement.
2011-2012 Mayor’s Matching Grant Guidelines & Application now available!
How to Turn Your Talent into a Business Book and Workbook
earn how to apply for matching grants from the City of Orlando for neighborhood organizations, schools and By Janet Green nonprofit organizations that address neighborhood needs, enhance educational opportunities, reduce youth crime Book Signings coming soon in Orlando! and improve the quality of life in the City of Orlando.
Visit www.janetbusiness.com for the full schedule.
Through this grant program, schools and nonprofit organizations may implement educational enhancement and academic enrichment projects or provide youth programming that supports crime prevention and anti-violence. Neighborhood organizations may implement physical improvements, public safety, or educational and cultural projects and programs that benefit neighborhood residents.
od transitioned Janet from a Director of Human Resources to volunteering as a Director of the Entrepreneur Ministry at New Destiny Christian Center. God has blessed this ministry and from that she created materials that she uses to teach individuals how to start their business. She turned those materials into a book and a workbook which is now available at ww.olmsteadpublishing.com. Some points of discussions in her books and classes are as follows:
Grant funds are matched dollar for dollar by the applicant using a combination of cash, volunteer labor and/or in-kind donations of goods or services.
• Personal development for becoming a successful business owner • The four foundations that will set you up for a successful business • Connecting with positive people and disconnecting from negative ones • Writing a Business Plan • Choosing your business location • Determine the legal structure for your business • Preparing a start-up expense budget • Registering your business name • Advertising and Marketing your business • Selecting the right location for your business • Hiring and maintaining the right workforce • Employer’s responsibilities to employees • Techniques for successful business networking • Getting familiar with helpful resources at the Disney Entrepreneurship • Center, SCORE, SBA, & the different Chambers • What is Minority Certifications and what are the benefits?
Guidelines and Applications are available on-line at: www.cityoforlando.net/grants Application Deadline is Friday, September 16, 2011 Eligible applicants are required to attend one application workshop prior to submitting an application. Reservations are required. For more information: Visit www.cityoforlando.net/grants Email MayorsMatchingGrants@CityofOrlando.net Call (407) 246-3275
Follow her on LinkedIn and Facebook “How to Turn Your Talent into a Business” On Twitter “talent2business” for dates of her New York, Atlanta, Miami and New Jersey Book Signings. She is also available to teach this course at your location. Please contact her at janetbusiness.com or PO Box 691966, Orlando Fl 32869.
Jamaicans celebrate — Continued from page 9 — integrating economic, social, educational, environmental and governmental aspects of national development. It is a proactive partnership between government and the private sector designed with the hope of putting Jamaica in a position to achieve “developed country status” by year 2030. The plan envisions that Jamaica will be the place of choice for people to live, work and play and be empowered to achieve their fullest potential.
Curry Duck Curry Competition presents top artists & prizes on September 24th
he Caribbean community in Central Florida, Tampa and Miami are predicted to come out in large numbers to support the Sixth Annual Curry Duck Curry competition on Saturday, September 24, 2011. When the gates open at 12pm, those attending will observe over fifteen contestants using their cooking skills and secret curry recipes to make the best tasting Duck Curry (or Curry Duck). Contestants will compete for over $2,300.00 in cash prizes. The prizes up for grab Alluding to his own family’s experience in Jamaica, Mr. Blake are 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place, best tent presentation and said his parents accepted the call to action and that “amazing people’s choice. things can happen when people work a little harder”. He shared that his mother famously said, he went from “no house to the This year’s festivities will take place at Festival Field, located at 1 White House”. Mr. Blake was optimistic that forty nine years Citrus Bowl Place, Orlando, Florida. The event is open to the entire from now, Jamaica will be recognized, not just for Reggae Mu- family. Children will enjoy playing in the bounce houses while sic, but for many other accomplishments. adults will like the event program, vendor booths, food vendors, and full cash bar. The largest attraction this year is the raffle prize, Two young ladies, Jenna Lyons and Javeen Thomas, received which is a 2011 Hyundai Elantra. Proceeds from the raffle will be college scholarship awards, and the association is seeking young college-bound men for future awards. Other special awards were donated to a charitable organization that benefits children. handed out to members of the association, including current President Dennis Hall, who along with his wife Cecille and Lionel While the ducks are cooking up, performer such as Calypso Rose, and Hyacinth Bulgin, received the Lifetime Membership Plati- Ranjeev & G6 Revolution, KI from JMC 3Veni, D’Rani Rasika, , num Award, while Secretary Joan Edghill received the Bronze Branches Steel pan, Trinlando Tassa, Maya Dance Studio, and Award. Vice President Lionel Williams, Caribbean Passport Pub- Diya International will keep the crowd entertained. On stage, lisher Mrs. Guenet Roberts, and Mrs. Elizabeth Ayotunde of Life the hosts, Creig Camacho and Attorney Gail Seeram, will keep Worth Living Pharmacy also received awards. The Association’s the crowd’s attention while the DJs, Powerline Sounds HD, NatuCommunity Service Award went to Cassius Daniels and Michael ral Mystic, DJ Nelly, DJ Dean, DJ Nuff Style, DJ Singh Stylez, and Wells of Speedy Quick Printing. GT Sound Machine will keep the crowd palancing. Also, Jungle Vibes TV will be on site capturing footage and vibes. The large audience appeared to have been well entertained with food and dancing well into the morning. Entertainment included belly dancing, a skit based on the work of former comedian Louise “Last year we had over 4,500 people attend our event but this Bennett, and a fashion show with contestants from the Ms. Or- year it will be bigger than last year due to greater support from lando Caribbean Pageant 2011. As my old boss in Jamaica used the businesses and people in the community,” said John, one of the organizers of the Curry Duck Curry competition. Some of to say when he gave his approval, “good show, good show!” the contributors include Jumbo Jet, SeaFreight, LaParkan, MMI Healthcare, Banks Beer, Carib Beer, Heineken, Golden Apple Restaurant, Starlight, Accounting & Computer Services, Michael Maharana , American Realty Group, Caribbean Airlines, Selina’s Market and Immigration Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. “From no house to the White House” Special Guest Mr. Michael A. Blake, Deputy Associate Director in the Office of Public Engagement and Governmental Affairs at the White House, stressed the “need for action” to address the low high school graduation rate among young black men in Jamaica and the proliferation of single parent households being run by mothers.
The official after-party will be held at the Varsity Club immediately after the competition.
Roberts & Roberts Property Management Services Serving Orlando & Central Florida Property Management We provide property management solutions for homes, businesses and vacation rentals. Renters! we have homes available.
Contact Sam for more details: 407-810-6435. 18
Happy Ramadan! “To the millions of Muslim Americans across the United States and... the more than one billion Muslims around the world, Ramadan is a time of reflection and a time of devotion. It’s an occasion to join with family and friends in celebration of a faith known for its diversity and a commitment to justice and the dignity of all human beings. So to you and your families, Ramadan Kareem.” - President Obama Each year as part of Ramadan, which began this year on Aug. 1, millions of Muslims worldwide will fast for 30 days from sunrise to sunset. But the month long holiday is about much more than fasting. It’s not only no eating until after the sun goes down, it’s “no drinking” too: Muslims drink not even a drop of water from dawn to dusk. In addition to not eating or drinking anything all day, they also abstain from excesses like cigarettes and sex. Yet despite the fasting, Ramadan in most Muslim countries is an interesting mix of austerity and celebration. While they abstain from many things during the day, after sunset families and friends often visit with one other, filling the streets of major cities with food and laughter until the wee hours. Ramadan concludes with a 3-day festival known as “Eid” or “Eid ul-Fitr,” which literally means “the feast of the breaking/to break the fast.” The holiday marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and is a culmination of the month-long struggle towards a higher spiritual state. Donations to charities see a significant rise during the month of Ramadan, as many Muslims choose to give their charity for the year during the holy month. Mosques and religious organizations offer free iftar meals to the poor every evening. It’s also common for wealthier Muslims to give poor families Ramadan bags or baskets containing basic cooking items like sugar, oil, rice and tea before the first day of the month.
Things to do — Continued from page 15 — Teacher Appreciation Weekend Friday Sept 16th – Sunday Sept 18th 11:30am – 9:30pm Ceremony 3pm Sunday Stonington’s Restaurant 2316 S. Kirkman Road, Orlando, Fl. 32811 407-522-6339 All Teachers are Welcome Florida Business Expo Wednesday, Sept 21 · 11:30am - 8:00pm Rosen Centre Hotel 9840 International Dr Orlando, Florida www.floridabusinessexpo.com 407.296.5882
Caribbean American Passport Newsmagazine, August issue.