Friday, January 14, 2011

Can the Guyana Police Force really justify making in front of Hotel Tower a No Parking Zone

Guyana has never established an institutional body that deals with parking. It seems that the Guyana Police Force is left to deal with most issues of parking in and around the city. Unfortunately with the consistently large influx of vehicles into Guyana over the years, there still are no established parking lots available for persons to park when in Georgetown. On-street parking remains unregulated. There is no underground parking or multi-storied car parking facilities in Georgetown or anywhere in the country.
The decision to disallow parking in front of one of Guyana’s oldest hotel is astounding as it is asinine. Where is the documented evidence that parking in front on Hotel Tower impedes the free flow of traffic when compared with other parts of the city? If one were to believe the words of Traffic Chief Neil Semple, then there should be the eager expectation that parking would be prohibited in front of a number of places. Some of these businesses are John Fernandes Ltd, Republic Bank, Fogarty’s, GBTI, and many other businesses on Water Street since to my knowledge and experience, the free flow of traffic on that street is reserved only for Sundays outside the Christmas season.
I empathise with Mr. James Manbahal proprietor of Hotel Tower who has invested millions of US Dollars in Guyana’s flagging tourism industry and is now being given the unfair treatment of the state. With this kind of treatment meted out to current investors, it will only adversely affect the way potential investors view the eco-political climate of Guyana.
Hotel Tower’s parking facility cannot have a greater impact on the free flow of traffic on Main Street than other businesses on that same street that allow parking in front their premises. The Guyana Police Force needs to commission a certified scientific time and motion study that highlights that the Hotel Tower ‘parking lot’ is affecting the free flow of traffic on Main Street more than other businesses on that street. Unless that study can also showcase the Hotel Tower ‘parking lot’ impedes the free flow of traffic more than other areas in front of other businesses in Georgetown, then the Police need to allow parking to continue in front of Hotel Tower or disallow parking in front of business places on Main Street altogether.
Like many Guyanese, I know that there is a greater obstruction to the free flow of traffic in other streets in Georgetown that should have attracted the attention of the Guyana Police Force.  

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dancehall reggae needs to regain its authenticity

I read with deep interest an article in the Wednesday January 12, 2011 edition of the Jamaica Observer entitled, Reggae sales slump in 2010: poor marketing sales to be root of global decline, in which a number of contributory factors were discussed attempting to plausibly explain the reason for this dilemma in reggae’s profitability.
The article mainly argued that a lack of robust global marketing strategies might be the contributory factor in the decline in reggae sales. While I agree that indeed more vigorous marketing can result in some degree on improved sales, there might also need to be an equally enthusiastic approach towards the quality of the music being produced.
This emphasis on quality of music applies more daringly to dancehall reggae which of late continues its morphology into a genre that is overloaded with hip hop influences. While I will agree that maybe this new generation might find their musical gratification in the new direction in which dancehall reggae is heading, I also feel that the genre is somewhat losing its authenticity.
During what I always refer to as the golden era of dancehall: the 90s, dancehall artistes did flirt with numerous cross over riddims as was evident in some of the recordings by Shabba Ranks, Super Cat, Cutty Ranks and a number  others. However, dancehall still managed to remain ‘pure’. I’m afraid that with a product not being what it ought to be, it would cause great difficulty to its marketers to convince customers to buy it.
The international market want dancehall reggae not convoluted synthesized keyboard chords being often overpowered by robotic drum loops. Dancehall reggae gained notoriety worldwide as a rhythmical genre that bore with it the authenticity of its place of birth: Jamaica.
A good point to note is that whenever there is a glut of any product existing in any marketplace sales will be severely affected. The proliferation of dancehall riddims that are churned out almost on a weekly basis cannot help the dancehall cause. Maybe the emphasis really needs to be shifted to the quality rather than the quantity of dancehall reggae being produced.  
Late last year Sean Paul performed to a huge maddening crowd on the beach in Abu Dhabi and the pieces he chose to perform are what I considered his dancehall standards. The crowd simply soaked it up. Mr. Paul might have himself been surprised to see that so many people in the Middle East turned out and knew all of songs. It was a very special moment for me to witness the effects of this powerful genre.
I sincerely hope that 2011 bring better prospects for dancehall reggae and reggae album sales as whole.