Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 18th 2017 Contents et me tell the story again.
How I went Brooklyn. For
Pan. Carnival Thursday
night. Entering Despers
USA's panyard, I brush past
police. On duty. Inside, news spreads.
Kathleen Reilly, who's waged a long
nuisance campaign against the band,
has herself been arrested. For harass-
It's not the same yard I recall. Gen-
tri ication's spread of new residential
buildings onto old industrial blocks
pushed Despers out their longtime
home. After years, they're back. On a
block that got away. As Odie drills the
band he grew up in, White women
shimmy shoulders. In a corner, a man
thumps a mini-conga. Out of time. Un-
Panorama eve. Approaching D'Ra-
does' spacious yard, next-to-nowhere,
the cloying welcome of Sanitation
Depot #14 is respite from the body-
shops on the unlit block where we
parked. A police cruiser pulls up.
Music stops. Alcohol disappears. (Ex-
cept one woman who say she done
pay.) Agreement is struck. They run
the tune one last time. By Pan Evolu-
tion, a few blocks away, we'd stacked
up single- ile, against one wall.
Panorama night. Family members,
a icionados who've paid US$50 or
more, pick a wet plastic chair from
rows set out in the open-air Brooklyn
Museum parking lot (habitual location
of the competition), try to wipe it dry.
Space out a little. So our umbrellas
won't drip on each other. We look up.
The view of the reportedly $90,000
stage is obscured. Two canopies, to
shelter judges and of icials, brand a
health insurer into our memory. The
company who block us from seeing
Monday, September 18, 2017
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Students from various schools joined the Heroes Foundation at the Audrey Jeffers Highway beachfront
to take part in the National Planning Committee's Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Clean-Up on
PICTURE DAVID WEARS
I ew Brooklyn for Pan
Ninety minutes later. My in-
gers quail so badly the phone-
screen won't respond. We've
abandoned the chairs, climbed
atop the bleachers. We see pans
on stage in the unrelenting rain.
Angela Cooper makes a false
start at the national anthem.
Gemma Jordan announces
the band. Aaall the way from
Phil-a-del-phi-a. The Full Ex-
treme recording cycles nine
times. The arranger is poised to
count them in. They walk off.
William Howard, the new, Af-
rican-American president of the
50-year-old West Indian-Amer-
ican Day Carnival Association
(WIADCA) said in 2015 Labour
Day Carnival was "maybe the
last thing Black people have
in Brooklyn." He comes on
the mic. Says---in American---a
decision will be made soon.
Makes a barely coded appeal
for bandleaders to gather some-
where dry where we can talk
civilly. No other announcement
follows all night.
A hijabbed guard approaches
us. (The City refuses to disclose
who gets all the money spent
policing Labour Day; but WIAD-
CA's hired Black Muslims for
It isn't going to stop raining
any time soon, she says. So
waiting around for that is point-
less. You may as well leave now.
Because "I have to go home." In
between, she mentions there
will be no show tonight.
WIADCA Facebook-posts a 12
noon to 4 pm Sunday re-sched-
uling, weather and authorities
permitting. Some panpeople
saying: Is not noon; is 4. Noth-
ing further from WIADCA.
Noon Sunday. Pans, players, a
small crowd gather. Stagelights
are lowered, blowdried individ-
ually, ascend, redescend. Two
hours silence. Restive patrons
engage what seem of icials gath-
ering onstage; are admonished:
Calm down. Wait. There's no
information. The executive is
meeting. Suddenly, people jos-
tling chairs toward the Museum
building. Gemma on the mic:
wheeling pans on-stage...slips-
Now it's no longer raining?
Please turn your seats right,
toward the area where the
bands will play. The nutsman
asking, please make a aisle for
him. The young Philadelphia
panside gone back home. No mi-
crophones. Meh, the audience
tiny-tiny. Where the judges?
Who care? The pan sweet.
Sunday 5ish. CASYM beats,
second-to-last, and Gemma
reveals: Bands aren't being
Can we read it, sir?
Prime Minister Rowley said he was disturbed by
what he read in the special report on the sea bridge
ferry iasco prepared by Christian Mouttet. We were
also told that Dr Rowley will expand more on the
matter when he appears before the Joint Select Com-
We look forward to hearing his comments at the
committee, as taxpayers have the right to know every
detail of this sorry mess over the ferry contracts. We
also need to know if our money has been wasted and
what is being done to ix the continuing lack of a solu-
tion to the transport links between our islands.
However, the more half-baked explanations are
given to controversies involving government, its
agencies or state companies, the murkier things look.
Transparency is the better antidote to suspicions of
There is a simple and powerful way to remove
these suspicions: just make all relevant papers public.
Mr Mouttet's report would be a good start. Perhaps
followed by all documents related to Petrotrin's rela-
tionship with A&V Drilling.
So far and so near
North Korea's game of brinkmanship involving long
range missiles and nuclear weapons may feel like a
million miles away from our Caribbean islands. So,
why should we worry?
As highlighted by articles we publish today written
by two ambassadors, from South Korea and Japan,
North Korea's threats are very real and very global.
Although countries like India and Pakistan joined
the nuclear club over the past decades, these are
more or less functioning democracies run by govern-
ments with a grip in reality and a clear understanding
of the nuclear options is, well, nuclear.
In North Korea's case, the world is dealing with an
erratic and unpredictable dictator seemingly relish-
ing a war of words with the US just as the world's su-
perpower is run by another worryingly unpredictable
For the irst time since the peak of the Cold War,
the prospect of a nuclear war, likely to affect every
country in the world, feels more real.
Our Sunday edition carried the story of Brian John,
who works for the security contractors at Port-of-
Spain General Hospital, as he helped clean a home-
less man brought there for medical attention. Mr
John went beyond his duties to make sure the man
had his dignity restored before being seen by doctors
We salute Mr John for his act of kindness towards
another human being. "When you do good, good
comes to you", he said. Well said and done, Mr John.
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