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Couva mas successful despite little money

Lifestyle - Mon, 04/02/2018 - 00:52

The Couva Carnival Committee (CCC) held its 2018 prize giving function on Tuesday, March 27 at the auditorium of the Couva Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce at Camden Road. CCC chairman Ramchand Rajbal Maraj said he was disappointed by the cut in subvention of monies from the NCC.

Maraj revealed that in 2018 the CCC got $150,000 which represented a slash of over 50 per cent in the CCC’s allocation in the last two years from the National Carnival Commission (NCC). Maraj said this meant smaller prize monies for bands and individuals.

He also said that while small businesses gave towards the event, big businesses in the Point Lisas area failed to make any significant contribution. Rajbal said two of the 150 operators on the Point Lisas Estate coughed up $4,200 in cash. He said despite the meager contributions the CCC was grateful for the funds from private entities.

The gathering also heard greetings from Henry Awong, the chairman of the Couva/ Tabaquite/ Talparo Regional Corporation and Couva South MP Rudy Indarsingh.

The band of the year title was copped by Madness Crew’s presentation of Feteland.

Categories: Entertainment News

Easter hazards for pets

Lifestyle - Sun, 04/01/2018 - 06:40

Easter is a lot of fun—the pouitrees are in bloom, kite season  is here again, hot cross buns are baking, sales of chocolate soar, and the kids are home from school.

While our pets tend to join in the celebrations, be aware of some of the hazards associated with Easter to prevent an expensive emergency visit to the vet or worse.

It is traditional to give gifts of chocolate eggs at Easter time, but we should limit this sharing to our human companions and not give chocolate to our pets.

Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine.

These are methylxanthine compounds that can be harmful to dogs, cats, and other pets.

Humans can metabolise and excrete methylxanthines much more efficiently than other animals, so chocolate is not toxic to us.

If you suspect that your pet has eaten chocolate, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Do not wait for the warning signs which can take up to 12 hours to show up and which include extreme thirst, diarrhoea, pacing, panting, staggering, laboured breathing, vomiting, abdominal pain, tremors, fever, heart rate increase, arrhythmia, seizures, coma, and death. The stimulants in chocolate remain in the body for a long time and in severe cases symptoms can persist for up to 72 hours.

Decorative Easter eggs roll around and are made of brightlycoloured plastic. These are tempting for pets to play with and chew on.

However, these can be swallowed and cause an obstruction, or if they are broken, the sharp edges can cause cuts in your pet’s mouth, esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Plastic Easter grass, foil wrappings, and Easter toys used for decoration and fillers for Easter baskets are usually colourful, shiny and make a crunching sound that attracts the attention of pets. If these are ingested, they can quickly become deadly, or require a costly emergency surgery to remove them.

Some people use real eggs but choose to paint them with food dyes. Pets may be attracted to the colours but also the scent of food. Most egg dyes are safe but ensure that you purchase those that are non-toxic because some food dyes have been found to be carcinogenic (cancer causing).

Hot cross buns are yummy for humans, but they contain dried fruit such as raisins, sultanas and currants and all of these are toxic to dogs. They can cause severe kidney damage leading to sudden kidney failure which may be fatal.

Easter lilies are beautiful for decorating your home to celebrate this holiday. However, cats are extremely sensitive to the plant. Even simply licking the flowers, leaves or stems can cause kidney failure, so it is best to avoid using this plant in your home if you have a cat.

Most of us look forward to a delicious Easter lunch or dinner but it is best to not give your pet treats or leftovers from this meal.

Holiday meals tend to have a higher fat content than the foods we eat on an ordinary day and these fatty foods can cause an upset stomach or pancreatitis.

In addition, if your dishes contain ingredients such as onions, garlic, avocado, chives, mushrooms or bones that can splinter, they can be dangerous to your pets.

We also tend to snack more on foods such as nuts over a holiday and our pets may end up begging more.

Macadamia nuts contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle, so don’t share these with your pet. Use healthy snacks instead such as fresh fruit and vegetables, cooked eggs or cooked meats without sauces and heavy seasoning.

Keep your pet happy and safe this Easter!

Categories: Entertainment News

Discover your country for Easter

Lifestyle - Sat, 03/31/2018 - 04:32

This weekend, Island Hikers are hosting two tours. Today, along with Nanan Tours, the hiking group will explore the Caroni Swamp and tomorrow will visit Rincon Falls. For today’s outing, explorers are asked to assemble, at 2 pm, at the entrance to Eric Williams Medical Complex in Mount Hope.

Today’s tour of the swamp is a boat ride down the main channel to the roosting area of the Scarlet Ibis. At around 5 pm, the Scarlet Ibis return from their feeding grounds to a particular location in the swamp where they gather for the night.

The Caroni Bird Sanctuary is a protected wetland approximately 40 square miles and home to the Scarlet Ibis. It is a significant tourist attraction, and visitors come from all over the globe to see the thousands of scarlet ibis returning to their roost at sunset. The swamp is also home to 180 species of birds, the most common being snowy egrets, blue herons, spotted sandpipers, green-throated hummingbirds, boat-billed heron, common potoo, tropical screech owl, and kingfishers.

Recently, in addition to the Scarlet Ibis, Flamingoes are creating an additional attraction. Some small numbers have returned to feed, and their protection needed from poachers. Common animals in the swamp are iguanas and caimans. Sleeping in the treetops are the cook’s tree boa or cascabel snake who hunt the birds at night.

There are three varieties of mangrove growing in the red swamp mangrove, black mangrove, and white mangrove. Living in the mangrove are the blue crab, oysters and four-eyed fish. Large fish like the grouper and tarpon frequent the swamp to spawn.

Rincón is a Spanish word that means in a corner and buried within its landscape there are several waterfalls. The source of the river originates from the northern foothills of the El Tucuche Watershed, and two spectacular waterfalls are the Habio and Rincón Falls. Further downstream the river plunges over several escarpments where to discover is a series of pools known as the Rincón Basin or referred by villagers as Black Pool. The basin because of its easily accessible location provides a favourite recreational spot for the community.

The expedition to the Rincón Basin will take 30 minutes and is an easy walk along a wide-open trail. The basins, located in an undisclosed location, are known mainly to villagers.

Those looking for additional adventure there is the option to explore the river and return downstream. Others can spend the time relaxing at the basins and jumping into the pool. It is a favourite destination for children since the walk is short.

The Rincón Basin is an extraordinary destination filled with mystery and incredible adventure.

Sunday’s assembly times are 7 am at the entrance to Central Bank Auditorium, Port-of-Spain, and at 7.30 am, opposite Sam’s Bar, Maracas Bay.

Island Hikers tour to Rincón Basin on Easter Sunday
Hiking time: 30 minutes
Rating: 2 easy
This hike is suitable for children five years and older.
For details contact Mario (749-2956); Jamal (761-1889).

Categories: Entertainment News

LGBT Community not happy with reggae star’s visit to T&T

Lifestyle - Sat, 03/31/2018 - 04:28

The concert is 13 months away but already the LGBT community in this country is expressing its displeasure with Reggae singer and one of dancehall’s stalwarts, Buju Banton’s schedule visit to T&T in 2019. It has resolved there should be no promoting of artistes who promote violence against against LGBT people. In the past some of Banton’s lyrics spoke directly and violently against homosexuality.

When asked to confirm if this displeasure was true, Colin Robinson, director of the Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CAISO), said, “Why wouldn’t LGBT people be concerned about Buju performing here? If there are folks marching at Parliament and the Hall of Justice every Friday who don’t want to share our country with us, why would it be a surprise that LGBT people aren’t happy to share our country with Jamaican homophobes?”

At the same time Robinson cleared up any concerns of a grand plan being circulated on social media, to stop the artiste from performing in T&T. He says, “CAISO isn’t part of any local plans, if they exist. The visit is 13 months away. We have enough work to do here and now. And I have no idea if Buju will still be the person he was when he gets out of jail.”

Robinson noted T&T has had robust responses to irresponsible hate speech in the past, some by the state itself. “Rayad Mohammed was charged for saying the things Buju sings about the Prime Minister’s family, Mavado was banned for his violent lyrics, the Equal Opportunity Commission is not afraid to take a hate speech case, he says, whether it comes from a teacher or a musician.”

He said artistes like Banton should use their influence to promote upliftment, peace and love and should make meaningful donations to causes that fight for the rights of people regardless of the category.

Banton born Mark Anthony Myrie would have expressed his views on the topic of homosexuality in his 1993 smash dancehall hit titled ‘Boom bye bye.’ The chorus, “Boom bye bye inna batty bwoy head, rude bwoy no promote no nasty man dem haffi dead,”spoke of death being the reasonable penalty for homosexuality.

The song though still quite popular in the Caribbean cannot be played on Jamaican frequencies. It has remained controversial over the 27 years since its release. And is an offence in countries like Canada, the US, UK and other countries in Europe where LGBT people have gained some acceptance and legal protections.

Upon his release from prison in December of this year, Banton is carded to make his first ‘freedom’ appearance in T&T at a concert date set for April 22, 2019.

The ‘Wanna Be Loved’ singer’s nine-year sentence for drug trafficking in 2009 will end on December 8, 2018. During these nine years at the McRae Correctional Facility in Georgia, Banton obtained a Master’s degree in music.

The grammy-award winning singer and songwriter’s marketing team led by Jodian Ebanks told the Jamaican Observer during a press conference held on March 25 aboard the Love Harmony Cruise, the artiste was excited about getting back on the road and to performing. She explained T&T was chosen for his first place of concert only after colliding schedules with Jamaican artistes originally billed for Banton’s release concert in Jamaica didn’t allow for it to go as planned.

In 2006, Time magazine called Jamaica “the most homophobic place on earth.” Angeline Jackson, human rights activist and executive director of Quality Citizenship Jamaica (QCJ), wrote in 2015, “Jamaica’s ‘anti-sodomy law’, a holdover from British colonial rule, criminalises “the abominable crime of buggery” and acts of “indecency” between men.”

She said few had been convicted under the law, but many use it as pretext for unfairness and violence. Broadcasting companies have cited it when refusing to air ads promoting tolerance and respect for LGBT people. And dancehall music artistes have used it to justify violent homophobic lyrics.

The T&T Guardian tried to contact the T&T promoter responsible for bringing Banton to T&T next year to get his views on the concerns of the LGBT community, but all efforts proved futile.

Categories: Entertainment News

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