Monday, January 5, 2009

Letters to the Editors

Below are two letters I wrote (yesterday and today) to the editors (of the three daily newspapers). I'm not quite sure about the spelling of Jizelle Salandy's name. Some of the articles on her spell it as Giselle, but I'm going with the spelling that was in the article I'm referring to in the letter below.

Letter written and sent today:

The Editor:

First of all condolences to the loved ones of Jizelle Salandy.

The day after her fatal car accident, a question in one of the daily newspapers asks: "How do you think champion boxer Jizelle Salandy should be remembered?" A few pages on, a reprinted article on Jizelle (entitled "The Feminine Touch") mentions that "in years to come she hopes to open a home for abandoned and underprivileged children". She is quoted as saying: "I love children and I want to give them the pleasures I never had as a child."

The end of the article states that a degree in Child Psychology is on the agenda for Jizelle and ends with her saying: "I want to be a shining light for the youth ..."

I think she can be remembered through:
(a) the establishment of The Jizelle Salandy Home for Abandoned and Underprivileged Children
(b) the establishment of an ongoing Jizelle Salandy scholarship fund which enables young people to pursue degrees and training in Child Psychology.

Well trained, professional, accessible, open-minded and committed child psychologists and peer counselors are needed in today's society. Many young people are largely misguided, lack trust in elders and often have nowhere to turn. The 'shining light' that Jizelle Salandy wanted to be can, in part, be passed on as a torch to the hands of those who, through the scholarship, will strive to be great child psychologists and offer ongoing guidance to the youth. Investing money in initiatives like this will support and encourage a much needed culture of national healing.

Elspeth Duncan,
St. Augustine

Letter written and sent yesterday:

The Editor:

On Friday morning I stopped off to buy a phone card at the corner of El Dorado Road and the Eastern Main Road, Tunapuna. From where my car was, I couldn't see the sidewalk properly as I drove onto it to get to the parking space outside the store. Normally I would have just driven forward, but something inside told me to be careful and angle my car, which I did as I mounted the sidewalk. All was well until I heard a loud 'braddaaaps!' and felt my back right wheel go down. I pressed hard on my accelerator and was fortunate to get out without sticking. Because I had angled the car in the way I did, only part of my wheel (not the entire thing) had gone in and the car was seemingly undamaged. I got out to see what I had escaped: a huge, gaping manhole without a cover on the sidewalk.

I went into the store and told the two men at the door that something had to be done about the manhole. They wearily told me that they had put a stick in it to warn people and a vagrant had removed the stick. They had also made several reports to the relevant authorities and nothing has been done to date.

Will the relevant authorities please move swiftly to cover this manhole and the many others that are gaping open on our national sidewalks? They are extremely dangerous. Using the above-mentioned hole as an example: not only do cars drive up onto that sidewalk to get to the parking spaces, but hundreds of school children and other pedestrians pass there daily. If any car or pedestrian falls victim to a manhole, the potentially extensive damage and resulting personal expense will be extremely unfortunate.

What is even more unfortunate is that fixing these holes to ensure our citizens' safety is not as urgent as spending vast sums of money to hurriedly prepare the old airport for the arrival of American Presidential jets in April.

Elspeth Duncan,
St. Augustine


Lynn Cohen said...

I hope your well written words are heard on both fronts. Good luck with this. More voices need to be heard. Glad your letters will be published in the local newspapers should help as well. I hope you sent copies to the offices/officials in charge of such things as the manhole issue.

Wuzdescene said...


Your letter (about building a home in Jizelle's honour) was published in today's Express - Page 14

Elspeth said...

Thanks, Wuz. I didn't see it. I saw the one in the Guardian

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