Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 30th 2015 Contents JENSEN LA VENDE
Well known watering hole Smokey
and Bunty, located along the Western
Main Road, St James, was destroyed
by a fire which started in an adjacent
food business, Sweet Lanyap.
According to fire officials, the bar,
food business and a house upstairs
the two establishments caught fire
around 5 pm yesterday.
FSSO Sylvester Reyes told the media
by the time fire officers responded
the entire building, estimated at $5
million, was already engulfed in flames.
The value of the goods inside, they
said, was valued at an additional
"I cannot determine if there was
any violation in the building at this
point. I know we carry out inspections
from time-to-time and this building
has passed investigation in previous
times," Reyes said, adding that the
cause of the fire was unknown.
Upstairs the bar was a home with
one tenant, 55-year-old Kelvin Chang.
Chang, who has trouble moving
around, was rescued before the fire
reached upstairs, Reyes said.
"He had some trouble getting out
when the fire started but he got out
safely. Appliances came from Four
Roads and Wrightson Road and we
were here within one minute of receiv-
ing the call.
"As for persons saying we took long,
I don't believe so but I can answer
that generally and say that even with
our sirens we have to face traffic when
dealing with these types of calls," Reyes
Speaking with the media at the
scene, owners of the bar --- Renaldo
"Bunty" Munro and Lisa McKenzie
--- said they hoped to have the business
back up and running within a few
weeks. Both said the bar did not suffer
as much damage as the other two
places, saying most of it was water
"We have to assess the damages to
determine the exact value of the loss
but right now we just want to thank
God that no one died or was injured.
I think in a couple of weeks we will
be back on our feet," McKenzie said.
Those who flocked to St James to
get a glimpse of what was described
as a "landmark" and "iconic building"
Some with camera phones and
tablets in hand took pictures of the
shell of the popular spot in the city
that never sleeps. Some were heard
lamenting that they have known the
establishment "all their drinking life"
and questioned where will they go
now for a cold beer.
Some of the most well known vis-
itors to the pub included former pres-
ident George Maxwell Richards and
former prime minsters Patrick Man-
ning and Basdeo Panday.
The bar was also visited by sports-
men and tourists, including Brazilian
footballer Cafu, cricket legend Brian
Lara and football stars Dwight Yorke
and Russell Latapy. The bar has sur-
vived several attempts by police to
shut it down and even bomb attacks
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Thursday, April 30, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Firemen at the scene of the fire which destroyed the popular Smokey and Bunty Bar on Western Main Road, St
James, yesterday. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
See full poll results at www.elections.tt
GAIL ALEXANDER AND RADHICA SOOKRAJ
The People Partnership will use the
Guardian Media Limited-commissioned Louis
Bertrand poll to analyse and work harder, says
Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal.
Commenting on the results of the poll, which
were published yesterday and showed the Peo-
ple's National Movement ahead in the sample
of Tunapuna's 26,000-plus electorate, Moonilal
"I don't make statements on the credibility
or veracity of polls but we take all polls seriously
and this poll will be used to analyse and assist
us to work harder."
While the poll showed the PNM ahead in
several categories, including how the parties
would be able to deal with the issues of crime,
corruption and unemployment, Moonilal said
he was happy that in the category of acceptability
as prime minister, Opposition Leader Dr Keith
Rowley was not too far ahead on Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar in the constituency.
"We're heartened that even with this poll
there's only a .7 per cent difference between
the Prime Minister and Rowley regarding
acceptability but we've been doing our work
on the ground," he added.
The poll showed 36 per cent of respondents
felt that Rowley was a better candidate for
Prime Minister, while 35 per cent favoured
Persad-Bissessar. Some 300 respondents in
the constituency were polled two weeks ago.
During a political meeting on Tuesday night,
Rowley said the PNM would use the party's
May 24 Family Day to launch a "Get Out
Kamla!" campaign targetting the PM and PP.
(See Page A9)
Addressing that yesterday, Moonilal said:
"He sounds like a political thug. He should
calm down and try yoga.
"Few people outside of PNM would take
it seriously. I don't think he can destabilise
T&T. He can't even destabilise Diego Mar-
On Rowley's claims that he "didn't feel
safe" since the Prime Minister was "panicking"
about her political opponent, Moonilal said:
"I can understand if he doesn't feel safe at
Balisier House after what happened with
Chaguanas East's walkout but he can always
make a request for more security, since Gary
Griffith (former National Security Minister)
gave him Special Branch security."
He also dismissed Rowley's statement that
PNM Oropouche candidate Terry Jadoonanan
had told him "Moonilal was in trouble" in
"I wasn't aware the PNM had a candidate
in my seat. That would be a lamb to the
slaughter and I enjoy lamb," he said.
But while Moonilal seemed wary of the poll
and its implications, Junior Works Minister
Stacy Roopnarine yesterday said she was
unfazed by it.
Speaking to reporters after distributing sta-
tionary to 405 Secondary Entrance Assessment
(SEA) pupils from 11 schools across her
Oropouche West constituency, Roopnarine
admitted she did not get time to peruse the
findings of the poll but said people should
"As you know, polls are subject to change
and their results are based on the criteria
used," Roopnarine said.
However, Roopnarine said she believed that
Persad-Bissessar was still the best candidate
as prime minister.
"I believe that her works speak for itself as
the People's Partnership Government has
done an unprecedented level of work in this
country," Roopnarine said during her stop at
the Tulsa Trace Hindu School, Penal, adding
at the end of the day people will also make
a decision on the basis of delivery of projects.
Moonilal: PP to analyse GML poll so...
Ground work being done
Fire hits popular Smokey & Bunty GETTING IT RIGHT
An article on Page A11 of
yesterday's article, headlined
"Baker: THA not using money
to benefit sister isle,"
incorrectly reported that
Tobago PNM Senator Shamfa
Cudjoe, in response to a claim
Tobago MP Delmon Baker that
there was flurry of road-paving
projects currently going on in
Tobago as part of the PNM's
election drive, said using funds
for election projects had been
going on in Tobago since the
time of former MP and prime
minister Arthur NR Robinson
Cudjoe in fact said: "The THA
Act No 40 of 1996 stipulates
that monies not expended
during the substantive fiscal
year would be deposited in the
THA Fund and go towards
"The practice of saving
unspent balances in the
contingency fund towards
funding future development
projects has been a deliberate
and long-standing strategy of
the Tobago House of
Assembly that has existed
since the days of ANR
Robinson, and other
administrations which led the
assembly before the PNM
assumed leadership in the year
"This mechanism helps to
advance the assembly's
development agenda, since
development programmes are
grossly under funded by
central government each year."
Our apologies to Ms Cudjoe.
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