Are you ready for summer?

I was looking into my closet recently while counting down the days to the official start of summer. I came to a clear conclusion: I am by no means ready.

I have a lot of work to do to get in shape because although I started the year off  by going to the gym diligently, I slacked off during the winter months.

So now I have to double up at the gym and at home to meet my goals. Somehow I don’t think I am alone with this reality. Time to work that body!––

Have a blessed Palm Sunday, Holy Week

Palm Sunday represents the beginning of Holy Week, the most sacred time on the Christian calendar. It’s a time of reflection, reconciliation and renewal, as Lent nears its end .

Palm Sunday is a time when Christians draw close to the very essence of their faith, in preparation for Good Friday and Christ making the ultimate sacrifice.

Have a blessed Palm Sunday and Holy Week––

MLK weekend: Time to reflect

It’s good to reflect this weekend, as we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and his rich legacy of activism.

Dr. King was stalked and wire-tapped by the FBI, beaten and brutalized by racists, during his quest for justice. But he persevered in advancing the rights of Blacks to be treated equally, with dignity and respect.

Dr. King’s courage, faith and resolve inspire us today, especially in the face of ugly, divisive and racist utterances and policies that seek to further marginalize citizens who are deemed to be less than, all because of their skin color and continent of birth.

Let’s pause to reflect, chart a new course and remain vigilant. While others try to bring back the heinous days of segregation, it’s important to stamp out every trace of bigotry, racism and discrimination. As we honor Dr King, let’s be active, wise and responsive. Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day and weekend!–– 

Want to boost sales? Try Yaadmarket/links/


By Carmen Glover

Canadian-based entrepreneur Steve McDonald has nurtured a keen interest in finding solutions since his high school days

Steve McDonald, Manning’s Alum & President of, and

at Jamaica’s elite Manning’s School in Westmoreland. So in 2015 he took quick action after hearing a farmer plead for help during a radio interview.

“He was saying that he had watermelon spoiling in the field but the host said there was a shortage in Kingston,” McDonald stated. “The interview gave birth to Yaadmarket, which provides that farmer with a medium to tell Jamaica, and the world, that he has watermelon for sale. was, in essence, developed to rectify the situation where there is a glut in the field and a shortage in the marketplace.”

As he traveled the country, McDonald spoke to small business owners and artisans. In August 2017, he debuted to promote other industries, with launching January 3, 2018 to spur cross-sectional networking. Integrating accurate market research with in-person observations, the savvy businessman provides a valuable service to all segments of society. With just one click, patrons can access any of the three portals that he designed for specific industries:, and

“ is designed for the agricultural industry to connect buyers and sellers of agricultural produce in a fast and efficient manner,” he said. “We also have a section to highlight and promote complimentary services, for instance, equipment rental. We also do a blog with best practices.”

Moreover, he explained, “ is designed to provide websites to small business owners and artisans, while is designed to connect people in the diaspora for social and business purposes by promoting and highlighting their businesses and services. It can also be used to review business and service providers in Jamaica.”

McDonald hopes that the trifecta of platforms will greatly enhance agricultural, trading and networking within the Jamaican community both home and abroad, for one simple reason:

“When we have a more affluent diaspora, the members are better able to help Jamaica develop,” he explained of his rationale.

Judging from the feedback, McDonald has created a winning strategy that has the potential to revolutionize the marketing landscape, much like Facebook, Linkedin and other social media outlets.

“Since I started to advertise my produce on the benefits are wonderful,” said Leroy Bruce. “I grow scotch bonnet pepper and other farmers have been calling me. Exporters….persons who do sauce have also been calling me, giving me an excellent opportunity to increase my income. Great job!”

Others concur as well, with feedback pouring in from far and wide.

“This website is beneficial and easy to manipulate. The response of a buyer was speedy and the medium by which the advertisement was displayed is advanced,” said Hibernia Farmers Group in Manchester.

Utilizing any of the three platforms is simple.

“On each platform, users only need to register and create an account,” McDonald said.

As Jamaicans make plans for the year ahead, feverishly vowing to keep resolutions for personal, professional and business growth,, and have the potential to become a routine part of that planning process and yield priceless returns as a result. Check them out and see.––

Tickets on Sale for Manning’s (MPSA-NY)’s Annual Ball, Honoree is Tower Isle Foods President Patrick Jolly, OD

Mr. Patrick Jolly, OD, President of Tower Isle Frozen Foods and a well-known Manning’s School alum, is this year’s honoree.  –Photo Courtesy of Facebook.

For a modest cost of $100, supporters of Manning’s School, the second oldest high school in Jamaica, WI, can purchase tickets to celebrate the school’s illustrious history. Proceeds from the ticket sales will help to construct additions to the school’s home economics building and renovate areas of the existing building that are in disrepair. The new construction and repairs are expected to further the educational options for the Manning’s School student body.

The New York Chapter of the Manning’s School Past Students’ Association (MPSA-NY) will host its 29th anniversary reunion ball on Saturday, October 14, at 7:00 PM, at Eastwood Manor in the Bronx. Tickets are still available for sale and the board members are eager to sell them all and welcome a broad alumni gathering to the event.

MPSA- New York President Dr. Paulette Porteous-Cole.

“Our main goal for this event is to raise funds and assist in current and ongoing programs at Manning’s. By assisting in the long run, we will continue to promote excellence in education,” said MPSA-NY President Dr. Paulette Porteous-Cole. “As president of the Manning’s Past Students’ Association’s New York Chapter, I feel honored to celebrate our 29th Anniversary Reunion Ball. Our Guest Speaker, Mr. Victor Lowe, has given many years of dedicated and commendable service as a member of our prestigious Board of Trustees.”

But this year there will be a new element to the festivities, by honoring an exceptional alum. “The core value of our organization is giving back, so this year we will honor Mr. Patrick Jolly, O.D., who has tirelessly and unselfishly contributed towards events and ongoing programs,” she said.

Victor Lowe, M.S., CEO of Global Capital Ltd., and member of Manning’s School’s Board of Trustees, will deliver the keynote address.

Honoree Mr. Jolly is the President and Co-Owner of Tower Isle Foods, which makes and distributes delicious frozen patties across the United States and the Caribbean, while Guest Speaker Mr. Lowe is CEO of Global Capital Ltd. and a member of the school’s board of trustees. Each year, MPSA-NY raises funds for the school and earmarks the funds for a special project. In recent years, the organization has allocated all funds raised to construct a state-of-the-art home economics building on the school premises and repair areas of the exiting structure . The project is being completed in phases, and members of the MPSA-NY board of directors make regular visits to Jamaica to view the pace of the progress and provide oversight.

Dedicated Manning’s alumni usually travel from the five boroughs and neighboring states to attend the annual ball as a way of showing pride in their school and reminisce about the fond memories that they created when they were students at a distinguished school which has been the foundation for scholars who have excelled in various careers.The ball will feature a cocktail hour with an open bar, entertainment, a sumptuous dinner, singing of the school song and dancing.

To purchase your tickets for the ball, please call 914-325-4064, 914-668- 1876, 718-322- 1929 or 718-515- 2098.

Jamaican Artist Displays Dazzling Masterpieces in New York

Artist Extraordinaire Mr. Paul Blackwood thanks longtime friend Mrs. Coleen Robinson-Cobblah for hosting a successful exhibition of his work in her home.

By Carmen Glover

Art usually evokes a myriad of emotions, ranging from awe to excitement and joy. The works created by self-taught Jamaican artist Paul Blackwood explode with vibrant colors and sceneries, often fueling lengthy discussions and intense concentration as patrons carefully study the pieces, trying to decipher subliminal themes. Recently, while exhibiting his artwork in Westchester County, New York and Alpharetta, Georgia, Blackwood joined his family, friends and patrons to discuss his hectic exhibition schedule and the range of emotions that his masterpieces elicit.

Some of Paul Blackwood’s breathtaking pieces of art.

“Since the year started I’ve been doing a lot of exhibitions across Jamaica and the United States,” Blackwood said during a lull in the Westchester County event, while explaining that he loved the Westchester location because “It has a nice vibe.”  But while art lovers were deep in thought trying to figure out multiple meanings and themes in his work, Blackwood laughed when he stated, “I don’t have a set theme for my art. I paint the way I feel. You can see abstract, semi-abstract or realism but I put my all into my work so when people purchase my work they are buying a piece of me.” Editorial Director Carmen Glover, M.S.Ed. enjoys the exhibition with Coleen Robinson-Cobblah, MSN, and her sister Dionne Robinson.

Blackwood says his work has wide appeal. “My paintings are for everyone. People will say that they see a lot of houses and cottages in my work. That’s because I try to bring out a lot of my upbringing in my work,” he said. “I grew up in a little board house in Long Hill, Westmoreland, where you get the best bammy and fried fish in the world,” he said, laughing. Blackwood said that he caters to every taste and budget. “I do coasters, prints and originals so that there is something for everyone. My dream is to let as many persons as possible have a piece of my work,” he said. “If everyone across the globe could have a Blackwood painting, that would be nice.”

Happy patron shows off her outfit next to the artistic display.

Coleen Robinson-Cobblah, who hosted the Westchester event, said she is committed to showcasing his work as much as possible.

“I met Paul about five years ago, selling his work at Golden Krust in White Plains,” she said. “I loved his work and bought a few pieces. I found them inspirational. We ended our conversation like we knew each other for a long time.” She said that she and Blackwood’s friendship grew. “I see him as a big brother. I don’t see him as a friend. He’s family. When I go to Jamaica he treats my family well and I want to expose his work as much as I can. Last year, he hosted a show at my mother’s and this year I decided to host the exhibition here and invite my friends.”

Robinson-Cobblah was pleased with her guests’ feedback at the exhibition she hosted in her home. “The guests all love his work. They bought coasters and paintings. Some took his card to visit his website and purchase more of his work,” she said.

To view and purchase his work, visit

Rally, Press Conference, 7/26, to Urge Funding for BQGreen in S. Williamsburg


South Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s Public Health Emergency Prompts Friends of BQGreen to Hold Rally, Press Conference, July 26 Urging Funding for BQGreen

WHO: Friends of BQGreen 

  • Leaders of Friends of BQGreen and community members
  • Edward Fishkin, MD, Medical Director, Woodhull Medical Center
  • State Assembly Member Maritza Davila
  • Brooklyn Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna
  • Council Member Antonio Reynoso

WHAT: Rally and press conference calling for Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo to address the dangerously high rates of asthma and other illnesses in South Williamsburg caused by the BQE and the on/off ramp to the Williamsburg Bridge. Community members and electeds will call on the Mayor and Governor to help remediate the situation by funding the construction of BQGreen, a park to be built over the BQE in South Williamsburg where it runs below the street level.

Members of the community will put up crime tape around Rodney Park North and wear gas masks at the event to help call attention to the emergency.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 26, at 4:00 p.m.

WHERE: Rodney Park North (Basketball Courts), Rodney and S. 4th Streets, Brooklyn, NY 11211.

Media Contact:

Carmen Glover,; Virginia Ribot,


We are grateful for Pentecost

Thank God for the ability to worship, love, praise, serve and celebrate this special, spiritually meaningful day of Pentecost.

Sometimes the troubles and burdens of life weigh us down, but it is important to keep our faith in the forefront of our minds and give God praise for his love, mercy, grace and presence

Be blessed and comforted on this day of–

Happy Memorial Day Weekend


Veterans honor the lives of fallen heroes in celebration of Memorial Day Weekend.

Let us pause to reflect on those who gave their lives, the ultimate sacrifice, in service to this country.

As we take a break from the hustle and bustle of work to spend this Memorial Day weekend with friends and family we must never forget the pain that some families feel as they confront the loss of their loved ones.

So as we celebrate the time off and extend Happy Memorial Day weekend wishes to all of our readers and supporters, we also send our support and condolences to those who mourn on this very significant–




Have a relaxing, loving and happy Mother’s Day

Being a mother is one of the most fulfilling roles of my life and it is a sentiment shared by many mothers across the globe.

After listening to an inspiring sermon at church, I look forward to relaxing with my daughter and my mother for the rest of the day. 

Thank you for all the Mother’s Day greetings!

To every mother, everywhere, my prayer for you is that your day will be filled with love, joy and happiness. Happy Mother’s Day!––