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Cortez Simmons in court tomorrow for 2013 murder

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Providenciales, 16 Feb 2015 – Court tomorrow for murder accused Cortez Simmons according to the court docket. The now 31 year old Simmons has been imprisoned since May 2013 for allegedly being a part of the shooting death of Keziah Burke in April that same year.

Simmons had been beaten up initially when remanded; now he stands trial for the incident which has spawned other landmark cases and rulings in the country; including the trial of now exonerated Deputy Commissioner of Police Rodney Adams. Cortez Simmons is expected to appear before Chief Justice Margaret Ramsey-Hale in Provo at 9am, Tuesday.

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CHTA President calls for “Dynamic Tax” to address high cost of air travel

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#CaymanIslands, September 26, 2022 – The President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is recommending a tiered “dynamic taxation system” as a novel and potential solution to address ongoing concerns about the high cost of air travel within and to and from the region.

Calling for a flexible approach to levying airline taxes, CHTA’s President Nicola Madden-Greig said one of the major constraints facing Caribbean travel is the heavy burden of taxation, and governments could well consider successful revenue management tactics employed within the tourism and aviation sector.

Understanding that the full removal of taxes may be challenging, the CHTA president suggested a tax policy that is responsive to international travel demand seasonality. “For example, governments can affix a higher airline ticket tax in the peak winter season and lower taxes in the summer when demand is weak,” she said, adding that giving consumers better prices to drive visitation during the slow season could boost tourism, commerce and intra-regional VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) travel.

Speaking recently at IATA Caribbean Aviation Day in Grand Cayman, the successful Jamaican hotelier said the economics of such a variable policy may in fact result in a net gain in tax revenue to Caribbean governments. “As travel becomes more affordable and we stimulate more travel, this will result in more local spending, and consequently an increase in local tax collections,” she said, underscoring there will be an overall net benefit to the consumer thanks to lower ticket prices.

“I think it’s a concept that should be explored,” said Madden-Greig, who argued that a well-developed strategy could address diverse perspectives on taxation. “There’s a way to do it that allows for flexibility so you still have taxation on the front end, but when you need to drive demand, you can reduce those taxes and make up the difference on the tail end,” she said. The taxation details however must be transparent, she warned.

Madden-Greig, the Jamaica-based Group Director of Marketing & Sales at The Courtleigh Hospitality Group, said she hopes to explore the “dynamic taxation strategy” at the upcoming Caribbean Travel Forum, taking place at CHTA’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace in San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 3 to 5, 2022.

“This could definitely answer the call for reduction in taxes, but not a reduction necessarily all year-round,” the CHTA president explained, suggesting that policy makers could consider alternate tax regimes for regional and international flights in order to drive multi-destination and intra-regional travel.

She admitted that research is required on the technological options to implement the system: “It may not be an immediate solution, but it’s a solution we can work towards.”

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AMNESTY CAN ONLY HAPPEN WHEN WE CREATE PLACES OF REFUGE IN OUR COMMUNITY FOR OUR HURTING BOYS

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By Darron Hilaire Jr. – Youth Advocate & Mentor

 

We’re beginning a new week with a record-breaking murder report.

Here are some of my latest thoughts on the matter at hand.

I don’t agree that things are “out of hand”, as I’ve heard it said in many instances.

I think we are still dealing with a fairly young (relatively 10-year-old) issue.

I do agree that things are VERY BAD, but I also believe that intervention is still very much within our reach as a country – this context is very important.

When we are dealing with something bigger than us or foreign to us, it always seems “out of hand”. TCI’s crime and gun violence rampage are foreign issues. Just over ten years ago, all of this was unheard of in our little paradisiacal island.

Let me put it in a different context.

Mothers, for instance, who are not accustomed to disciplining boys or raising boys might say a boy is “out of hand” because, well, she doesn’t understand the nature of boys.

She will call his father and say, “Come deal with this boy of yours”, and the father would walk in, and it seems almost automatic to him how he dismantles the situation.

And, it is not automatic by any means, however, because he understands his own boyish nature, he doesn’t deal with the issue from the same extreme vantage point as the mother.

In an ideal situation, a healthy situation, he deals with it from a place of understanding.

To make matters worse, he deals with it from a place of aggression and rage – and this too has its implications on how boys grow up to be angry and aggressive men.

Let this be a caution by itself, that if we take the position of operating out of understanding, we have a shot at intervention, but if we take the position of operation out of aggression and rage, we will only further exacerbate the situation.

And this is what I believe we are doing – operating from a place of extreme.

On another note, I think the notices calling for a voluntary turnover of guns, a “gun amnesty”, as we’ve put it, is rather absurd.

I, on the other hand, am more concerned about what made these young men pick up the guns in the first place, rather than pressuring them to turn over their source of protection.

I think there are some questions we have to ask here – although, hypothetically for now, until we can come face to face with some of the offenders.

  1. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU FELT PROTECTED?
  2. WHO OR WHAT ROBBED YOU OF YOUR SENSE OF SECURITY?

As simple as those questions sound, I think it humanizes the situation – which is something we have to start to do. These are human beings. These are boys or young men, rather. These are someone’s children, someone’s brother, someone’s friends.

These are not faceless, nameless, soul-less, and body-less people. These are boys/young men with bodies, faces, names, souls, human needs, and families.

And my hunch is that sometimes when we don’t feel protected, we feel tempted to take protection into our own hands.

That is easy for us to picture as a people, because the reason we are crying out for the powers that be to take an intervention if we’re honest, is not because we care so much about these young men and their lives and their families, we are concerned about our own protection.

It is our sense of helplessness that is driving us to apply pressure, not always our sense of compassion. That in itself says a lot.

Because, helplessness will drive us to make cowardice recommendations to have these young men eliminated from the society as if they never belonged here, as if their lives never mattered; but compassion will beckon us towards curiosity, care, and courage.

I think when we put it that way, that is a feeling that all of us can resonate with.

I think when we think about it that way, we can start to devise strategies for conscious intervention and stop reducing everything to tactical force.

YOU CAN NOT HEAL TRAUMA WITH MORE TRAUMA.

The tactical force will help with rounding up, YES, but it will not help with soul healing, transformation, and rehabilitation. It will not help with creating a place of refuge for the kind of amnesty to happen.

Amnesty doesn’t just happen.

In fact, AMNESTY WILL NEVER HAPPEN IN A COUNTRY WHERE VICTIMS AND OFFENDERS DON’T FEEL LIKE THEY CAN BE PROTECTED BY THE SYSTEMS THAT ARE DESIGNED TO PROTECT THEM.

We can call for it all we want.

We can even pray for it; it will not come.

If there is corruption in the systems that are designed for our protection, there will be no amnesty – there will only be more outrage and more young men externalizing their pain by taking it out on the society that never protected them.

When we learn how to create safe places for our children, our young men, to take our wounds to, only then can we create and encourage systems of amnesty.

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SheLeads launches global hiring App from the Turks and Caicos Islands

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, September 18, 2022 – An app that does your hiring for you; it’s every hiring manager’s dream and it’s real. Even better? It’s home grown and born in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Hiring app SheLEAD HR Solutions was created in a collaboration between Turks and Caicos Islanders: Sheba Wilson and Roger Harvey.

Harvey, who is the founder of Go to Web Solutions, a new startup software company, explained that they brainstormed the system when they realized how TCI islanders were applying for jobs.

“The whole idea came about when we noticed applications in the TCI typically applied for a job by email— and that’s been a very inconvenient process.”

It meant printing out applications for all the applicants which might then get lost and keeping meticulous track of email addresses, phone numbers etc. In an effort to make recruitment better for the organization and the candidates SheLead was created. It is a powerhouse of an app, what the system offers is a tailor made and user friendly interface specific to each company that employers can manipulate easily.

Sheba Wilson, expert HR Manager with over a decade of experience explained the process.

“The hiring system is basically an HR solution that is geared towards streamlining the hiring process as well facilitating onboarding.”

Wilson explained this made the a fully functioning electronic process with communication in real time.

“Candidates are able to receive updates as soon as they input information and as soon as the hiring manager uploads them–– it cuts down a lot of the time that human resource departments have to spend with regard to making telephone calls or sending emails with follow up questions— because all of that functionality is included in the software,” she explained

The actual process of using the app is extremely easy.

Applicants upload their application and documents to the app and receive an automated response after which the HR manager can see that application, determine whether there are documents missing and or whether the applicant should be shortlisted for an interview.

When the decision is made, the HR manager or hiring manager updates the app and the applicant receives a text and email advising them of the updates.

Wilson explained that not only would this system make communication more effective between companies and potential employees it would make that communication faster as well. She said poor communication was a repeated issue which potential employees had with companies.

“We know that it is a very rigorous process but this particular software helps to take away all of the heavy lifting and creates a very streamlined process for the candidate and the company.”

There are additional features like personality compatibility tests to see whether applicants are a right fit. Applicants can also upload videos, get reminders about documents and use countless other features.

The app takes the hiring process from start to finish with minimal input from the applicant and the HR manager. The applicant can even receive their offer letters through the app.

“The feedback has been phenomenal. We have tried it out in quite a few markets and The feedback has been positive so far,” said Harvey.

Employers who use the app get a branded portal and can add QR codes to advertisements for positions which when scanned send applicants directly to the portal where they can upload their applications.

The app is already getting recognized for its brilliance and is picking up customers left and right. Grace Bay Resorts is a bonafide client and the developers are currently courting the TCIG. International clients are knocking on the door as well.

The TCI grown app is an ingenious idea and seems poised for success. To her fellow Turks and Caicos islanders Wilson said, “Don’t downplay yourself. Don’t ever believe that you are less than.  You have the innate talents and abilities that God has given you. What you need is the confidence to step forward and do what you have to do. Sometimes we allow fear to stop us, we think ‘oh I am just a small town Island girl who is going to take me seriously?’ It starts with confidence and there’s power in collaboration. Don’t be afraid to partner with other Turks and Caicos islanders,” she urged.

The app is available on the App Store and Google play   and comes at no cost to applicants; only employers pay and employers are eligible for a free demo.

For small companies the two executives explained the starting price for the most basic package would be under $250 a month.

You can learn more here.

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