Monthly Archives: December 2010

New York Governor Grants Pardon to Caribbean Nationals

David Paterson-Former New York Governor
Published on December 28, 2010
by Global News Staff

NEW YORK, USA — New York Governor David Paterson has granted pardons to 24 immigrants, including Caribbean nationals, who were due to be deported because of prior criminal convictions.

Though he did not identify the nationalities of all the immigrants who had faced deportation, Paterson singled out Haitian, Edouard Colas.

The governor, the grandson of Jamaican and Grenadian immigrants, said Codas was brought to the United States from Haiti as a lawful permanent resident at the age of 10.

He said Codas was convicted in 1987 of attempted burglary in the third degree and sentenced to five years of probation.

“He has maintained gainful employment and is married to a United States citizen with whom he has two young sons,” Paterson said.

Paterson indicated that over the course of the administration’s review of more than1,100 pardon applications, it has become “abundantly clear that the federal government’s immigration laws are often excessively harsh and in need of modernisation.”

“The individuals pardoned committed past offences but paid their debt to society. They now make positive contributions to our state and nation, and I believe they should be protected from inflexible and misguides immigration statutes,” Paterson added.

His latest pardons come on the heels of six he granted earlier this month, including four Caribbean nationals, who had faced a similar fate.

Those Caribbean immigrants were nationals of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and the Dominican Republic.

Over the years, Caribbean leaders have blamed increased deportations of criminals, particularly from the United States, for the spiraling crime wave in the region.

Reprinted from Caribbean News Now!

American Airlines to Cutback Caribbean Operations Further

Published on December 28, 2010
by Global News Staff

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — American Airlines and American Eagle have announced that they will be making more cuts to the company’s San Juan operations with an additional five-route cancellation from April 2011.

A CMC report stated that four Caribbean destinations — Anguilla, La Romana, Port of Spain and Puerto Plata — are among the latest to be chopped from the airlines’ schedule. Also to be dropped from the schedule is Washington Dulles.

The planned reductions, including five that were announced in September also to take effect on April 3, 2011, will leave American Airlines and American Eagle with a combined 36 daily flights, down from 58 at present, as they pull back their once-huge Caribbean operations.

American Airlines spokeswoman Martha Pantin said the company has no estimate of the number of employees to be affected by the schedule changes.

American launched its Caribbean service in 1971 when it bought Trans Caribbean Airlines. It opened a connecting hub in San Juan in 1966, by growing it by 2001 to 135 flights operated by American and American Eagle.

Reprinted from Caribbean News Now!

Celebrities ‘Chill” out in Jamaica

Published on December 28, 2010
by Global News Staff

KINGSTON, Jamaica — A number of celebrities have been spotted in Jamaica, “chilling out” in the tropical island, seeking to escape the snow and cold weather in the United States and Europe.

A-listers Jay Z and his wife of two years, Beyonce, along with her sister Solange, as well as actress and singer Queen Latifah, are vacationing in the island, the Observer reported.

Ralph and Ricky Lauren are also here, as well as British actor Alan Rickman and NBC’s Today Show co-host Meredith Vieira. Enjoying Kingston’s renowned social life before heading to the North Coast has been English art mogul, Jay Jopling.

Jamaica has this past year attracted quite a few celebrities, including power couple Will and Jada Smith, American male model and actor Tyson Beckford, acclaimed interior designer, Michael Smith, as well as Essence magazine fashion editor, Eliana Placas.

American actress Scarlett Johansson, who recently filed for divorce from Ryan Reynolds, spent Thanksgiving in Portland.

Reprinted from Caribbean News Now!

AirTran to Offer Increased Service to Jamaica

Published on December 22, 2010
WASHINGTON, USA (JIS) – Jamaica’s tourist industry will welcome increased AirTran Airways service for the winter season, from the Thurgood Marshall Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) airport, beginning February 26, 2011.

The additional flight, which will operate between Baltimore/Washington and Montego Bay on Saturdays and Sundays, runs through May 1, 2011.

Director of Tourism, John Lynch, welcomed the additional service. “The additional nonstop flight from AirTran, will make it easier for travellers from Baltimore to visit Jamaica this winter season. Just a three-and-a-half hour flight away, Jamaica is an easily accessible warm-weather escape,” he told JIS News.

“Our exciting destination has so much to offer everyone, from our amazing attractions to our diverse accommodations and great cuisine, and with the additional nonstop flights, travellers looking to escape the frigid temperatures of the winter months in the mid-Atlantic area will find it impossible to resist,” he said.

AirTran Airways Director of Revenue Management, Roger Morenc said, “We are very excited about offering this increased high quality, low-cost service for the winter season and believe both the people of Baltimore/Washington and Montego Bay will benefit. Getting to the warm, inviting beaches of Jamaica has never been easier.”

Beginning February 26 through March 12, the flight will depart BWI at 10:00 am arriving in Montego Bay at 1:42 pm. The return flight will depart Montego Bay at 2:35 pm arriving in BWI at 6:03 pm. Beginning March 13 through May, the weekend flights will depart BWI at 10:00 am, arriving in Montego Bay at 12:42 pm, while the return flight will leave Montego Bay at 1:35 pm, arriving at BWI at 6:03 pm.

AirTran currently operates a daily nonstop flight from BWI at 8:41 am, arriving at Montego Bay at 12:23 pm. The return flight departs Montego Bay at 4:02 pm, arriving at BWI at 7:30 pm.

Reprinted from Caribbean News Now!

Bahamas Crosses 5 Million Tourist Arrivals Mark

By Chester Robards
Guardian Staff Reporter

NASSAU, Bahamas — The Bahamas has crossed the five million mark for visitor arrivals in 2010, up almost 15 percent over 2009, according to Minister of Tourism and Aviation Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, though he warned that the tourism industry is “not out of the woods yet.”

The Ministry of Tourism set about finding that five millionth visitor recently, narrowing down 12 people who came into several different ports of entry across the country, and pulled just one person’s name from a hat.

That person, Randy Holmes of Vancouver, Canada, won an all expense paid vacation to anywhere in The Bahamas next year.

This was only the second time The Bahamas has crossed over the five million mark for visitor arrivals and it is expected that by the end of the year, arrivals would have hit a record number.

“We expect by the end of this year that we will be considerably beyond the number we had the first time around,” said Vanderpool-Wallace.

“Most of that growth has come in the cruise sector as opposed to stopover visitors.”

According to him, stopover visitor numbers grew year-on-year by only 4.5 percent.

Vanderpool-Wallace asserted that the tourism industry, though recovering slowly, has to see the stopover visitor numbers increase, as those visitors leave more money in the country than cruise passengers.

“We all know and always remember that when we focus on tourism as an economic development tool that we want those high spending stopover visitors,” he said.

He added that the public/private sector sponsored companion airfare promotion was a huge driver of the increase in numbers of stopover visitors this year.

“We have exceeded the number of stopover visitors year over year,” said Vanderpool-Wallace.

“A substantial part of the reason for that is a fairly unique program we put together called companion fly free.

“(The) strategy is to lower the cost of access in The Bahamas to make it less expensive and that’s all companion fly free is.”

According to him, The Bahamas has sold more than 250,000 room nights because of the companion fly free promotion.

Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian