Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 12th 2013 Contents A5
Thursday, December 12, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
CHARLES KONG SOO
Work has stopped on the con-
troversial multi-sports complex at
the Orange Grove Savannah,
Tacarigua, after a second stop
order was issued by the Tuna-
puna/Piarco Regional Corporation
TPRC vice-chairman Esmond
Forde confirmed that yesterday.
Forde said: "Earlier this month a
second stop order came from the
Building and Inspections Depart-
ment of the corporation to cease
work on the project.
"Keep in mind that we have also
written the agency that is repre-
senting the Ministry of Sport, and
the Sports Company of T&T
(Sportt) with regard to ensuring that
the relevant documentations are
submitted to the corporation for
"This includes a certificate of
environmental clearance (CEC) from
the Environmental Management
Authority (EMA), Ministry of
Drainage certificate and WASA,
T&TEC and fire department
Tacarigua residents and members
of the Save Our Green Space Com-
mittee have called for the project to
be moved, saying it will deny the
hundreds of people who use the
current facilities at the ground a
Since July they have staged a
series of protests against the planned
development on the Priority Bus
Route near the Eddie Hart Grounds,
in front the TPRC and in front of
Sportt's headquarters, Henry Street,
The body's acting secretary, Ver-
non de Leon, said yesterday he was
hoping the second stop order would
He added: "We are optimistic
that there has at last been a response
to the law and the corporation's
authority because for the first time
this morning we saw that there was
absolutely no activity there."
The group had claimed the devel-
opers had failed to stop activity at
the site after the first stop order was
He said the residents wanted the
project moved to the state lands
south of the Churchill-Roosevelt
Highway so as to preserve the
savannah, the residents' way of life
and the aquifer beneath it.
President of the Downtown Owners and Mer-
chants Association (DOMA) Gregory Aboud said
yesterday businesses in Port-of-Spain were suf-
fering at the hands of merciless wreckers.
He made the comment in response to the police
association's announcement yesterday that officers
would not let up on the wrecking for the Christmas
In a telephone interview with the T&T Guardian,
Aboud said Port-of-Spain continued to be deprived
of parking. He added it was sad the Police Service
was not willing to give them a reprieve, adding
businessmen were frustrated by that.
Speaking to members of the media at the weekly
police press briefing yesterday, public information
officer, acting inspector Wayne Mystar, said the
wrecking of vehicles would continue because a
park-and-ride system had been established to
facilitate shoppers. He called on motorists to observe
the parking rules of the city.
But Aboud said while politicians were "running
around issuing hampers," the city was being choked
to death by the removal of more and more park-
"While we sincerely appreciate the park-and-
ride initiative, it has not been able to replace much
needed parking facilities and strong dissatisfaction
is circulating among the large and small business-
men," Aboud said.
He said over a dozen representations were made
to varying levels of government to rectify the prob-
lem, yet the "terror" of wrecking persists.
He said the only law that seemed to be enforced
in the city was the parking law, adding there were
times when cars were wrecked and their spots
seized by a street vendor.
"Businesspeople are not surprised by remarks
of Wayne Mystar. We have become accustomed
to having our request denied while all others invoke
their request as is Christmas season," Aboud said.
During the press briefing, Mystar also sought
to assure citizens shopping in the capital and other
shopping zones for the Christmas season would
be safe, as police officers would be out in their
numbers patrolling shopping areas.
He highlighted the "Safe City" initiative launched
by the Port-of-Spain Division last month, which
he said was still in effect.
Mystar also warned that motorists should keep
valuables out of the sight of possible thieves.
He added that homeowners should also be weary
of anyone seeking to offer assistance at this time
as that may be a lure to gain access to their homes.
Scaffolding should also not be left near homes, he
said, as that may be used by thieves to gain entry.
In his youth, Michael Als led a march
from south Trinidad to Whitehall, Port-
of-Spain, where he scaled a flagpole and
hung the flag of the Youth Power Move-
He was a unionist, a community leader,
an author and a social activist and he had
one bias that everyone at his funeral yes-
terday seemed to agree on: He was biased
towards anything that propelled the devel-
opment of the working class.
Als' brother, Mario, while delivering the
eulogy at his funeral yesterday, described
him as someone who got the job done.
He was remembered as the founder of
the Banking, Insurance and General Workers
Union (BIGWU), the father of four, a com-
munity activist in Toco and a man who felt
it was his responsibility to have an effect
on the lives of the people around him.
Current BIGWU president Vincent Cabr-
era said Als was responsible for establishing
employment protection for finance workers
"The workers in the finance sector, media
sector and indeed the entire services sector
owe an immense debt to Michael Als.
"Nearly everyone advised that Michael
was crazy to leave his good teaching job to
organise black workers," said Cabrera, adding
these people were proven wrong.
"Michael was a natural organiser and an
expert mobiliser who demanded from all
his associates great discipline and commit-
ment in doing the people's work," he said.
Als died last week at 67.
His funeral, which took place at the
Cumana RC Church, Toco, was a well-
attended event, with mourners braving rain
and flood waters to pay their final respects.
They included President Anthony Car-
mona, House Speaker Wade Mark, himself
a former BIGWU executive, Community
Development Minister Winston "Gypsy"
Peters and many of the people Als interacted
with through his union activity and his
involvement in the Toco Foundation.
He was described as a fighter for social
justice, a storyteller and a man who was
passionate for his community.
Wendy Diaz, a representative of the Toco
Foundation, which Als founded, said he was
a man who always championed a cause and
who assisted civil-society organisations,
especially those promoting women.
She said Als would be missed not just by
his community but by the nation, as his life
affected students, farmers, parents and care-
givers and affected positive change in the
lives of many.
He was buried at the Cumana cemetery.
Stop order again at Orange Grove
Work ceases on multi-sports complex
upset over no
ease in wrecking
Als remembered as man of people
President Anthony Carmona, left, shares the sign of peace with BIGWU vice-president Mario Als during the funeral service for Mario's
brother, Michael Als, at the Cumana RC Church yesterday. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
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