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PMH receives donation from Darrel Toulon and Friends

Darrel Toulon and Friends

The Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) received a donation of about €31,000, equivalent to XCD $99,000.00 from Darrel Toulon, a prominent Dominican based in Austria.

The accomplished ballet dancer in December 2017, organised a Charity Gala, “Darrel Toulon and Friends Benefit Gala for Dominica”, in Graz, Austria which raised the funds for the Hurricane Maria ravaged country.

Darrel with over forty International Artistes performing various genre from Classical to Gospel and Rock Music, Song and Dance presented over two hours of solid performance to a huge gathering Graz.

In a letter to the Ministry of Health and Environment, Toulon stated, “There were fellow Caribbean artistes: Melba Ramos from Puerto Rico, Miguel Rodriguez from Cuba, and our very own Dominican Sade Bully. Also on stage were Marialena Fernandes from India, Xianghui Zeng from China, Jessica Moretto from Brasil. All coming together to perform without pay on Tuesday the 12th of December, 2017. These Artistes all work in Austria, and who have made a connection to Dominica through working with me.”

Darrel Toulon
Darrel Toulon is a world-renowned dancer who was born in Dominica in 1964. He is based in Austria.

He specified further, “With some effort on my part, all these Artistes met in Graz specifically for the Gala, and gave performances of highest quality. The involvement of the Business Sector, Private Donations, Politicians and the Gastronomy- and Hotel-Industry of the City of Graz, for one night our Country was in the spotlight.”

The money will be used for the procurement of equipment for the Blood Bank which was destroyed by Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Items for procurement for the Blood bank include, Couches, refrigerator, shaker, Cold centrifuge, Freezer ID, centrifuge Platelet, agitator and a Reverse Osmosis System.

In a response letter to Toulon, PMH Hospital Services Coordinator, Clayton Bryan, expressed thanks and gratitude on behalf of the Government of Dominica, the Ministry of Health and Environment, the management team of the Princess Margaret Hospital, together with the staff and patients.

“I do hereby extend our deepest appreciation for the hard work and team effort that was expended by Darrel Toulon and friends in hosting the “Darrel Toulon and Friends Benefit Gala for Dominica, after Hurricane Maria” in December 2017,” he said.

The funds were deposited in a special account at the National Bank of Dominica.


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Government of Dominica earmarks $15m investment into geothermal project

Geothermal plant in Dominica
Drilling rig on project site, Dominica (Source: Enorca)

The Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica has earmarked $15 million as investment in 2018 for the development of a geothermal power plant.

Earlier this month representatives of the World Bank visited the Caribbean island state of Dominica to assess the damage done to the plant by Hurricane Maria and to strategize the way forward for the project. Part of that World Bank delegation, Chairman of the Geothermal Negotiating Team, His Excellency Dr Vince Henderson revealed that the Geothermal Development Programme is progressing satisfactorily despite the impact of the hurricane.

He noted that the partners who have come on board with this project have recommitted their support for its advancement.

“The UK DFID continues to provide support to the geothermal power plant to the tune of GBP8.5 million (US$12 million); SIDS DOCK funds have already been confirmed and approved and are with the World Bank; our partners from New Zealand continue to provide technical support and financing for technical support which allows us to develop the actual design of the plant and have provided us with a Project Manager from New Zealand…,” he said.

Work on the plant should commence by the end of this year into early 2019 he said and should be completed by the 2020.

“Unfortunately, Maria intervened, and it has pushed us four to six months down the road but still in light of the circumstances, that is amazing. Being able to deliver a plant by mid-2020 would be a great achievement for the government and people of Dominica,” H.E. Henderson said.

He reaffirmed government’s commitment that the plant would provide a source of energy that is a lot more affordable for Dominicans.

Representative of the World Bank says the bank is proud to support this project and is also pleased to work with the Government of Dominica.

In this financial year government allocated $40.5 million (US$15 m) for the commencement of the geothermal plant.


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LIAT implements new security measures for passengers to US and territories


PRESS RELEASE (Roseau, Dominica) – As of 27 March 2018, passengers using LIAT flights to the USA and its territories will experience added security measures. These measures are in line with updated Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations.

Passengers traveling to the US territory of Puerto Rico (and St. Thomas as of July 1st) on LIAT will encounter new and enhanced security measures for checked bags, hand luggage and personal electronic devices (PEDs) such as laptops, iPads, and tablets at check-in and boarding gate. A short security interview is also a part of the new security measures.

These new security measures affect all airlines operating direct commercial services to the USA and its territories.

LIAT, therefore, advises all passengers traveling to the USA and its territories to arrive at the airport two hours prior to departure to ensure they have sufficient time to satisfy all other airport and airline formalities.


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Clearing Segment 1 post Hurricane Maria


The Waitukubuli National Trail Management Unit extends warmest gratitude to Mr. Ibrahim Brohim (Sign Man) and Mr. Simon Walsh, the organizers of the trail-clearing crew who completed the clearing of Segment One on Saturday, March 17, 2018!

Thank you to the entire crew for your vibrant energy & community spirit applied in successfully clearing the entire segment!!

Using chainsaws, cutlasses and other hand tools, the team set out to clear tough areas covered with fallen trees and forest, including the danger of rock slides in November 2017.

On November 25th, the group completed the section from Gallion Road to Bois Cotlette Road.

On March 9-10th, they were able to complete the section from Scott’s Head reaching the point where Tropical Storm Erika had caused previous damage to the trail.

On the final day, March 17th, the group completed trail clearance from the diverted section up the mountain, where ropes had been placed, all the way up to the French Quarters.

Additional days were utilized in between for assessing trail works prior to continuation. The group consisted of members of the Dwivayez Hiking Club, community members and the organizers.

According to Mr. Brohim, “what we did is because we love and care for the trails hoping that as a hiking club who has benefited tremendously from the trails, we can give back to getting the trails to what they were pre-Maria.

Besides myself, Simon Walsh played a big part as we both went together on trips to assess the trail to see how much damage was done and what we would need to prepare ourselves for the clearing.”

While Segment One may be accessible, it is still not officially opened by the Trail Management Unit as there are extremely difficult sections due to the danger of rock slides.

It is intended that additional ropes be placed in unstable areas to assist hikers in their safety. The general public will be officially informed on this and any future segment openings. We appreciate your patience as we continue working on opening the trails.


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Government announces extension of the waiver of Import Duty on Building Materials


PRESS RELEASE (Roseau, Dominica) – The Government of Dominica hereby informs the general public that Cabinet has approved an extension of the waiver of import duty on the following building materials, imported privately and commercially, for the period March 20, 2018 to June 19, 2018:

Blocks Cement Lumber
Plywood Tiles (floor, wall, ceiling) Galvanize, capping, guttering
Steel rods Pipes and fittings Sanitary ware (bath sinks, lavatories, wash basins, bidets, etc.)
Doors and frames (steel frame and sheet rock) Windows and frames Water tanks
Nails Screws Electric lamps and lighting fittings
Locks Hinges Water heaters
Paint Varnish Solar panels (and accessories)

*The standard process from clearing of all items at the Port will continue to be observed.


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PERSONAL PROFILE – Lynton Scotland

Lynton Scotland, Dominica
(l-r) Ron Parker-Lynton Scotland-Dmitri Stockton-Ron Busby and Jeff Webster at the Gathering of Pan African Leaders. (Photo credit: Clark Bailey Photography)

During his career, Lynton Scotland has held several senior positions with major US corporations, including Hercules, DuPont and NRG Energy Incorporated, and was co-founder of Sustainable Star, an energy company.

He is a member of the University of Dayton board of trustees and was named one of Savoy Magazine’s Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America, an annual list recognizing leading African-Americans in business and industry.

As the Procurement and Logistics Leader at W.L. Gore, he is responsible for Sourcing strategy and execution of the company’s global spend. Scotland holds a BSCHE in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton, MS in Statistics from Rutgers University and MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. Lynton was born in the Commonwealth of Dominica and grew up in St. Croix, USVI.

The following interview was found on the Savoy Network, a cultural catalyst for the African-American community—a magazine that showcases and drives positive dialogue on and about black culture.

What is your greatest impact on the University of Dayton?

Something I’ve been very passionate about is increasing diversity on campus in five areas: student, faculty, staff, board and spend, encouraging the University to do more and create the environment and opportunities for all students, faculty and staff to benefit from a diverse and inclusive campus. I am also very passionate about cultural immersion through the University’s ETHOS (Engineers in Technical Humanitarian Opportunities of Service-Learning) program. We send engineering students to Africa, Costa Rica, India, etc. to help in projects, such as bringing water or solar light to a village or community.

How has the program impacted these engineering students?

Lynton Scotland
Lynton Scotland, Chief Procurement Officer, W.L. Gore & Associates (Photo source: Dominica News Online)

This program enables students to live and work in a different culture and learn as an engineer, not only to make money, but really contributing to humanity. Four years ago, we launched the ETHOS program in the Caribbean Island of Dominica, where I was born. For one project, the students used their engineering skills to help a community Co-op improve the yield of coconut oil by 30%. With the recent hurricanes, which significantly impacted Dominica, families of the engineering students were calling me to ask what they could do to help the families who hosted their children. That was nice to see the impact of the relationships they developed with the community.

What is your vision for moving the ELC forward via the Community Impact Initiative?

The ELC is an organization of senior-level African-Americans who have the capacity and responsibility to do a lot to help our community. I view it as our responsibility because “to whom much is given, much is required.” It’s about what we can do to help the less fortunate, to lift up the community, to identify academically gifted, economically disadvantaged students who would not have such opportunities. That’s what Community Impact is all about – making a difference in our community. In order to grow the number of African-Americans in corporate America, we have to increase the pipeline. So, we partner with organizations like LEAD (leadprogram.org), ABC (abetterchance.org), INROADS (inroads. org), NSBE (nsbe.org) and HBCUs and help fund programs to expand the pipeline.What is your vision for moving the ELC forward via the Community Impact initiative?

How did you get involved with Urban- Promise?

When I was working at Hercules, I met Rob Prestowitz, a white male business leader. While living in Brazil, he was struck by the aspect of poverty and came back with a burning passion to help inner-city youth. With a highly promising career, a wife and three kids, he left his corporate life to start UrbanPromise Wilmington. People thought he was crazy. Reflecting on the success of UrbanPromise Wilmington the past 20 years, he had it right all along. UrbanPromise partners with churches and volunteers to build safe places for kids to go after school. Interns (mostly white) from around the world come to work in this program and must live in the community in the “intern house” so they see firsthand what life is like there. High schoolers, called “StreetLeaders”, serve as role models for the younger kids. This cadre of leaders can tell the next generation, “I know what you’re going through, but I made it. So, you can too.”

Can you share a success story?

Ronald Jones was one of the “StreetLeaders” in UrbanPromise whom I had the privilege of tutoring and mentoring. He was not only smart, but also very respectful. An only child being raised by a single mother and grandmother, he came from one of the toughest neighborhoods in Wilmington, Delaware. Through the ELC grant to LEAD, he got the opportunity to attend the University of Pennsylvania Wharton summer program during his junior year. Ronald earned a full scholarship to the University of Delaware and interned at DuPont and Morgan Stanley. He graduated with honors last year and currently works in New York for Morgan Stanley. The mission of the ELC Community Impact initiative is to quadruple the number of “Ronald Joneses” in the pipeline. When you see a Ronald Jones, the return on that investment is priceless.


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Dominicans collaborate to Publish Children’s Book ‘Once Upon a Time in Dominica’


Dominicans, Dr. Dale Dangleben and Zenita Lee, have collaborated on a project which resulted in the publication of a book called ‘Once Upon a Time in Dominica,’ which is also accompanied by a coloring book. The book is meant to capture the activities of their childhood in Dominica.

Zenita Lee from Grand Bay
Zenita Lee is hospice nurse and occupational therapist assistant in Florida. (Photo source: Dominica News Online)

Zenita Lee was born and raised in Grand Bay. She spent nineteen years there before migrating to the United States. She attended Wesley High School and became a teacher at the Tete Morne Primary School for two years. She has a firm belief in imparting knowledge on the young minds. Currently, Zenita works as a hospice nurse and occupational therapist assistant in Florida. Her faith in God has been her rock and life.

Dr. Dale Dangleben was born and raised in Pointe Michel where he attended the St. Luke’s Primary SchooI. He then went on to the St Mary’s Academy (SMA) and then Sixth Form College (SIFOCOL). After a few years of teaching at SMA he migrated to the U.S and attended Hunter College in NYC. Subsequently, he went on to medical school at Penn State University College of Medicine. Currently, Dr. Dangleben is the trauma medical director at a trauma center in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Dale Dangleben is the trauma medical director at a trauma center in Pennsylvania. (Photo source: Dominica News Online)

Zenita Lee and Dale Dangleben met while on a medical mission to Dominica two weeks after hurricane Maria. They came down to deliver medical care where needed. The devastation to Dominica was heartbreaking and overall emotionally taxing on both of them. Upon return to the States, they decided to collaborate on this project as they reflected on their childhood growing up in Dominica.

“We did this work for the children of Dominica and the Caribbean as a whole,” the authors said in a statement. “This is meant to remind us of who we are and where we came from. No matter where we go these traditions and culture should always be a part of who and what we are. The world is forever changing before us and that’s ok and its fine to accept and embrace change as long as it’s for the better. However, don’t lose yourself in the journey and forget the roots.

We want the children of the current generation to understand and appreciate the foundation that has been set and should not be lost. The technology around us may have changed but the discipline at the core should not be compromised. Take this trip with Zenita and Dale back in time in the Caribbean to the timeline of their childhood. God Bless Dominica.”

The collection also has a coloring book with educational activities.

Buy the book on Amazon

Buy the coloring book on Amazon


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Le Petit Paris – Open for Business!

Le Petit Paris in Roseau, Dominica

Le Petit Paris is a French bakery and restaurant that was located on the Alliance Francais compound near Bath Estate.

Now located on the Bayfront (on the corner of Kennedy Avenue and the Dame Eugenia Boulevard, in what was once Cocorico Cafe), the restaurant re-opened for business this week!

They’re open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM from Mondays to Thursdays, and on Fridays they open from 9:00 AM and close at 5:00 PM. The restaurant does not open on the weekends.

Go enjoy their homemade quiches, croque monsieurs, saussage rolls and pizza slices. They offer a variety of other meals as well, including assorted styles of burgers and salads. Or call for details: (767) 317-3333.

Check out these photos below to see their new menus and sample dishes from Le Petit Paris!


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Dominica Observes World Water Day 2018

World Water Day 2018

Once again Dominica joins the rest of the world in the observance of World Water Day.

Every year on March 22nd, the international community pause to focus attention on this important, life-giving but finite commodity called water. This year the theme chosen by the United Nations for the observance of WWD is “Nature for Water”.

The intention therefore is to bring into focus the many challenges mankind faces in sourcing water. The research also states that “damaged eco-systems affect the quantity and quality of water that is available for human consumption”.

It is estimated that 2.1 billion people live without safe drinking water at home. Thus the impact on human life is significant. The impact of water scarcity on health, education and livelihoods are just a few of the issues that world governments have to address in the interest of safeguarding the well-being of their citizens.

As the observance takes place on that day (March 22nd) and the days ahead, here are a few facts about world’s water supply.

  1. 844 million people are living without access to safe water, while 2.3 billion people are living without access to improved sanitation
  2. Each year 1 million people are killed by water, sanitation and hygiene related diseases
  3. Ninety-five percent of water used daily is wasted
  4. The world’s total water supply equates to 332.5 million cubic miles
  5. In 2015, the United Nations agreed to a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030 for the improvement of water

Quotable Quotes

“Thousands have lived without love, not without water” – W.H Auden

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water’. – Loren Eisley

“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” Lao Tzu

“Water is the driving force of all nature.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“For many of us, clean water is so plentiful and readily available that we rarely, if ever, pause to consider what life would be like without it.” Marcus Samuelsson

Here in the Dominica the impact of water scarcity was felt in the days, weeks and even months following the passage of Hurricane Maria on September 18th 2017. Even as Dominica joins the rest of the world in this observance, there are a few more communities without that essential resource delivered at their home.

Water in Dominica
A natural spring on the Trafalgar Falls trail. (Photo credit: Yuri A. Jones)

The cost of restoring the service up to 96% costed the utility in excess of $12,000,000.00. Even then the service is still very susceptible to the vagaries of inclement weather patterns. It will require in excess of $40,000,000.00 to build the type of resilience for the sector that can mitigate the impact of these destructive storms.

Another major consideration for the optimal management of our resources is the existing, denuded landscapes. As a consequent, the water courses (rivers) are exposed to the sun’s rays, resulting in accelerated transpiration and so we lose hundreds of thousands of gallons of water every day to the atmosphere.

Notice too the prolific growth of algae in many of our rivers. This s as a direct result of the increased exposure to the sunlight. This massive growth of algae has the effect of lowering the oxygen levels in the water and its attendant impact on the aquatic life as well as a lowering of the quality of water for human use. We need therefore, to bring back the lost forest cover for all the benefits it provides, not least the reduction of evapo-transpiration.

So the lesson for the observation of WWD in Dominica is clear for all of us.

  • We must act collectively to safeguard the well-being of our rivers.
  • We must resist the temptation to waste water and to use this important natural resource in a judicious way for the benefit of mankind.
  • We must all remember that this is a finite resource. Meaning? It can he exhausted. Once lost it will cost us the hundreds of millions of scarce resources, we do not have, or that we need for other development purposes, to produce potable water in the quality and quantity that is needed.

Water is life. Let us therefore cherish it.


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DHTA and NY Donor Team up to Provide Equipment for Combine Taxi Association and Wesley High School

Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA)

ROSEAU, Dominica (March 21, 2018) – The Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA) has donated office equipment to the Wesley High School (WHS) and the Combined Taxi Association to assist with rehabilitation efforts post Hurricane Maria. Over the past six months DHTA has lobbied on behalf of private sector organizations for the procurement of resources to support institutions with the restoration of business operations.

Ivy Raff in Dominica
Ivy Raff, hiking enthusiast, friend of Dominica and now proud donor. (Photo source: PRAG Dominica)

Soon after Maria, the DHTA was contacted by a teacher at the WHS to help the institution recover from the vandalism that ensued after the Hurricane’s passage.

On Monday, 19 March, DHTA Executive Vice President, Kevin A. Francis presented the Wesley High School with two projectors donated by backpacker, hiker and longtime friend of Dominica, New York Native, Ivy Raff.

Acting Principal of the Wesley High School, Hilarion Akpa said: “We didn’t expect DHTA and support us after Maria. We are really, really delighted. Mr. Francis is concerned with the education of our children and we are very, very happy to have them [DHTA] with us.”

“This is a great step along the road to resiliency,” Francis commented. “There is a high emphasis placed on the investment in our youth and to create developmental opportunities for them to create positive change. The DHTA and myself would like to thank Ms. Raff for her support. It is through kind gestures such as these that go a long way in the minds and hearts of our members and people.

Tourism still remains a vital sector in our economy and the DHTA is committed to delivering that message to its members and the country.”

The association also presented computers to the Combine Taxi Association, also donated by Ms. Raff, as well as Jolly’s Pharmacy to resume business after major damage to their work offices caused by Maria forced the association to stop operations and lay off staff.

Kevin Francis
Kevin Francis, Executive Vice President of DHTA (Photo source: LinkedIn)

Francis said: “Combine taxi association plays a vital role in the delivery of our tourism product. There is not doubt that their continued operation is for the benefit of the entire industry. We have also extended our offices as a temporary work space while they reassemble their membership strength. This is a win for the tourism industry.”

DHTA understands and appreciates the value of each stakeholder to Dominica’s tourism product. More so, the development of youth, their contribution to the tourism industry and DHTA’s level of member representation. Mr. Francis added that “although we may not be able to tangibly assist all industry participants, we are aggressively pursuing their interests and checking in with them and their issues on a regular basis to spot opportunities to help and connect businesses to solutions.”


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Major upgrade to Peebles Park part of Tourism Ministry’s short term plans

Peebles Park, Dominica
Peeples Park two days after Hurricane Maria (September 20, 2018)(Photo credit: Yuri A. Jones)

Project Officer in the Ministry of Tourism and Urban Renewal, Daryl Titre, has revealed that an upgrade to the Peebles Park forms part of the ministry’s short term plan for Roseau.

Titre who on Tuesday 20 March 2018, was a guest on Vibes Radio as part of a panel discussion, said Roseau is one of the leading in the world in terms of green spaces. He added that as the country moves into urbanization, green spaces should form an integral part.

Therefore, the Ministry of Tourism he said is making preparations to upgrade the Peebles Park into an urban green space.

Peebles Park, Dominica
Peeples Park two days after Hurricane Maria, September 20, 2018. (Photo credit: Yuri A. Jones)

This upgrade will see improvements to fencing, the gazebo and the general landscape and they are working alongside the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The upgrade of the Peebles Park should include the upgrade of the Cenotaph area, he said.

Titre noted that landscaping the Peebles Park is one important aspect of the upgrade.

“You’re looking at planting new species of trees, creating sitting spaces, lighting and… better fencing. So it gives the Peebles Park a better feel, so people can go there and relax; not just a place because it has some grass and a few trees…We want to create a more relaxed area in the Peebles Park; not only for the tourists but our locals as well,” Titre explained.

Upgrades to other green spaces within the Roseau area such as the Botanic Gardens, Morne Bruce and Jack’s Walk, also form part of the ministry’s short to long term plans he added.


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DOMLEC Update on Restoration Activities – March 23, 2018

Dominica Electricity Services Limited (DOMLEC)

Latest areas energized

  • Cochrane
  • Stockfarm
  • Sections of Point Michel
  • Loubiere Main road
  • Sections of St. Joseph including the Highway
  • Sections of Leopoldville
  • Sections of Fortune
  • Vieille case
  • A section from Melville Hall to the North End
  • Weirs, Marigot and other sections of Marigot
  • Thibaud
  • Sections of Teplat

Ongoing work

  • Marigot
  • Savanne Paille
  • Ambas
  • Belluve Chopin
  • Completing Stockfarm, Point Michel, Castle Comfort, Kingshill, Canefield East, Leopoldville
  • Continuing work at River Estate, 12th Street Canefield, RBC Housing Scheme, Loubiere, Paix Bouche, Mero, Mahaut, Tete Morne, St. Joseph


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PERSONAL PROFILE – Shenell Edmonds

Shenell Edmonds' mother hails from Dominica
Source: IMDb

Shenell Edmonds, a 24-year-old actress, whose mother hails from Dominica, is set to light up the screen today, March 23rd, as part of the cast of Netflix’s new movie, ‘Roxanne Roxanne.’

Shennell Edmonds was born in New Haven, Connecticut and has been acting since the age of 6, appearing in a national radio commercial at the tender age of 8.

Her mother and her family hail from Goodwill and Loubiere in Dominica, and her dad’s family is from Bridgeport, CT.

Edmonds went on to score a major role in the ABC soap opera, One Life To Live, where she originated the role of Destiny Evans from February 27, 2009, until January 13, 2012.

She did not return to the role in 2013 after producers were unable to accommodate her school schedule. Edmonds has received several nominations, including in 2011 for the BET YoungStars Award and in 2012 for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series.

Edmonds also appeared in the BET made for television movie, “Gun Hill,” a New York City cop drama produced by Reggie “Rock” Bythewood as well as in “Couples Only” and “Torchwood.”

Shenell Edmonds' mother hails from Dominica
Shenell Edmonds, formerly on ‘Gun Hill’ and ‘One Life to Live’ as Destiny Loretta Evans. (Source: Married Biography)

She is also passionate about music and dance. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Edmonds currently lives, works and attends school in NYC and has said she loves all things Dominican, and by extension, all things with a Caribbean flavor.

She and her family are also big supporters of the various Dominican organizations in the tri-state area and her mission in life is to bring continued awareness the beautiful island of Dominica and its unique culture.

The young actress has visited Dominica numerous times and on one occasion attended the Convent High School for a week in order to experience school life on the island.

She describes herself as “Dominican to the bone” and has attended Dominica-related cultural events around the tri-state area.

Roxanne Roxanne is a 2017 American drama film written and directed by Michael Larnell. It stars Chanté Adams, Mahershala Ali, Trinidad-roots Nia Long, Elvis Nolasco, Kevin Phillips and Edmonds. The film revolves around the life of rapper Roxanne Shanté, the most feared battle MC in early-’80s in NYC. It was screened in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.


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Dominican-born Erwin T Raphael

Erwin Raphael, a 25-year veteran of the automotive industry, is the General Manager for the Genesis brand in the U.S. market. He is responsible for the strategic direction and management of all Genesis operations in the United States.

Prior to his current appointment, Erwin Raphael was the Western Region Director and General Manager for Hyundai Motor America, overseeing operations of more than 165 Hyundai dealerships in the 12 Western-most states. Raphael has also served as the Director of Engineering and Quality at Hyundai, where he was responsible for new vehicle engineering, quality improvement of production vehicles, technical training and support, as well as warranty planning and operations.

Dominican-born Erwin Raphael
Erwin T. Raphael, U.S. Head of Genesis, Genesis Motor America (Photo source: Savoy Network)

Prior to joining Hyundai, Raphael held a number of key leadership positions in vehicle development, engineering, manufacturing, sales and marketing with Chrysler LLC, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, and the International Truck and Engine Company.

Raphael holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Ohio State University, where he also studied applied mathematics and completed graduate studies in economics. Raphael served eight years in the United States Army, most recently in the 364th Engineers Group in the 83rd ARCOM. He currently serves on the Army Advisory Council.

Raphael was born on the Island of Dominica in the Eastern Caribbean and completed his early education on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. He currently resides in Orange County, California, where he enjoys surfing, skiing, running and a number of other sports. He is married with one son and a daughter.


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CDB Funds Project to assist with Restoration of Electricity in Dominica

Damage boats, Dominica, post-Hurricane Maria
Damaged boats, floating logs and debris following the passage of Hurricane Maria in Dominica (Source: Caribbean News Service)

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has announced that it will provide US $16 million in funding to Dominica Electricity Services Limited (DOMLEC), to assist with the restoration of electricity generation services.

On March 22, 2018, the bank’s board of directors approved the provision of a loan of US $15.8 million and a grant of US $200,000 to restore DOMLEC’s transmission and distribution system, and improve the company’s resilience to climate change.

Daniel Best, Director of Projects, CDB
Direct of Projects at the Caribbean Development Bank, Daniel Best

Dominica’s electricity sector was severely affected by the passage of Hurricane Maria in September 2017, with approximately 75 per cent of the network being destroyed or damaged. As at January 2018, less than 20 per cent of electricity services had been restored.

“In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Dominica was completely without electricity services. We know that the provision of electricity is critical to the social and economic well-being of citizens and residents of the island. DOMLEC has been working diligently to restore service to the island and this project aims to support those efforts, and accelerate the pace of reconstruction,” said Daniel Best, Director of Projects, CDB.

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Republic of Finland appoints New Ambassador to Dominica

Republic of Finland Ambassador to Dominica
(Photo Credit: Dominica Media and Communications Association)

Press Release (March 22, 2018) – His Excellency, Jukka Pietikainen has been appointed non resident Ambassador to Dominica for the Republic of Finland.

He was officially appointed at a ceremony held on Wednesday 21 March 2018, at the State House where he was introduced to President of Dominica, His Excellency Charles Savarin.

Pietikainen presented his credentials to President Savarin, stating that he is honored to have been chosen for the position.

“I have the honor to Your Excellency the letter of credence accrediting me to the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica as Ambassador as well as the letter of greetings and my pleasure sir. I would like to extend to Your Excellency, warm greetings and best wishes of the President of Finland, Mr. Sauli Niinistö,” Pietikainen stated.

Republic of Finland Ambassador to Dominica
His Excellency, Jukka Pietikainen (photo credit: Dominica Media and Communications Association)

He went to express Finland’s support to Dominica as the country continues to rebuild after the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

“I want to start by expressing the solidarity of Finland to the Government, communities and people of Dominica, for the devastation left by Hurricane Maria. It caused even greater destruction than Tropical Storm Erika which struck Dominica two years earlier. My country has supported and continues to support the goal of building climate resilient Caribbean countries,” he noted.

Pietikainen stated that they responded directly after the passage of the hurricane deploying a team and relief supplies to Dominica.

“Finland deployed rapidly a technical support team to Dominica to build up the communication system for the emergency teams immediately after the storm. As one of the leading donors, our core funding to the UN, in particular to the UN Central Emergency Relief Fund, Finish funds were injected from the beginning to help the Caribbean countries in need after the two category five hurricanes,” he went on to state.

Pietikainen noted further that while the two countries may be geographically distant, their ties have been close, adding that he will be traveling frequently to Dominica to further improve the countries diplomatic relations.

“Your Excellency, it’s a privilege and joy for me to visit your country, which is of extraordinary natural beauty. While resident in Helsinki, I am determined to visit Dominica as often as needed to help build the relations between our two countries. Our countries may be geographically be distant from each other, but it has not prevented us form creating warm relations based on mutual respect and sovereign equality of nations,” Pietikainen added.

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Gharan Burton paintings
Inspired by the aftermath of hurricane Maria in Dominica. (Source: Gharan Burton)

Gharan Burton is an academically trained artist who resides in the US most of the year but spends winter months in the Caribbean. Born and raised in Dominica, Gharan attended college in the US where his studies focused mostly on painting and sculpture.

He enjoys painting the figure, still lives, landscapes and abstract experimental works. Vibrant colors inspired by his island upbringing, dominate Gharan’s paintings. He also employs various techniques of pigment application and layering in order to create texture in his work.

Gharan’s work has been featured in various shows and galleries (including solo showcases) in the Caribbean and the United States. These include the Strand Center Gallery (2016), Outdoor Art Club (2017) and Elfs Farm Winery (2017). Most recently, his artwork was shown at the Caribbean Fine Art Fair in Barbados. The gallery below shows some of Gharan’s recent paintings:


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Positive Notes from Positive People #41

Leandra Lander pen pals

Its always my aim to make learning varied and meaningful. My class never had pen pals. And so I found them some; 5I of the St Vincent Girls High School.

Their task was to write a letter to firstly get them writing!They had to write to a young girl out there in the region , going through the same experiences as a teenager, doing the same exam in a few months as they are preparing for. Moreover, write to thank her for assisting her school to raise $18,000 for Dominica, post Maria.

They had to write a letter of support to their new friend and include an item from Dominica! Here goes!

By Leandra Lander

Leandra is the head of the Geography Department at Convent High School and was recently featured in our article A Few Notable Dominican Women on Int’l Women’s Day. Click the link to read about her achievements and that of more than a dozen other young Dominican ladies.


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[VIDEO] Sultan Falls – Dominicans Exploring Dominica


DeD (Dominicans Exploring Dominica). This episode takes us to Salton Waterfalls 3 months after Hurricane Maria.

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Dominican Artists headline Caribbean Fine Art Fair 2018


Press Release (March 21, 2018) – Dominican brothers Gharan and Shadrach Burton represented Dominica at the 8th Caribbean Fine Art Fair held from March 7-11, 2018 at the Courtney Blackman Grand Salle Gallery & Annex, Tom Adams Financial Center, Spry Street, Bridgetown, Barbados.

This year the exhibition examined Caribbean expressions of loss, hope and restoration, exploring the value of reminiscence.

The fair exhibited art from 40 of the Caribbean’s most prodigious artists.

Gharan Burton is an academically trained artist who resides in the US most of the year but spends winter months in the Caribbean. Born and raised in Dominica, Gharan attended college in the US where his studies focused mostly on painting and sculpture. He enjoys painting the figure, still lives, landscapes and abstract experimental works. Vibrant colors inspired by his island upbringing, dominate Gharan’s paintings.

He also employs various techniques of pigment application and layering in order to create texture in his work. A true renaissance man at heart, Gharan is also currently a landscaper, in the upstate NY region of Plattsburgh.

Shadrach Burton is a visual artist from Wotten Waven, Dominica and his art collection currently dates back to 1994. After being introduced to Earl Etienne and Ellingsworth Moses in the year 2000, he was participating in exhibitions at the age of 13 and has since stacked up over 50 exhibitions including 6 solo art shows.

He recently graduated with a master’s degree in fine art after studying for seven years in Hangzhou, China. Before going to pursue studies in China, in 2007, Shadrach majored in Biology and Physics and even taught high school biology for 3 years. He currently produces art using a style that is influenced by nature, music, pop culture, social commentary and his odd sense of humor.

This year, was the brothers third time representing Dominica and although he could not attend, the work of Dominican Artist Earl Etienne was also brought to display. Dominican photographer Kervin George also attended the event.

The work of Shadrach Burton headlined the event and was also chosen to be used on the flyers, posters, brochures, banners and other visual displays.

Executive Director of CaFA, Anderson Pilgrim, maintained that the Caribbean should not forget the fortitude that avails as a result of the devastating effects of climate change on small island systems. He also reflected that Burton’s pieces are characteristic of what the region has been through.

The art fair boasts a tradition of introducing new elements each year and 2018 is not an exception; CaFA exhibited works from Barbados’ secondary schools, giving young artists a taste of the limelight.

CaFA Fair is planned and produced by a team whose aggregated experience in fine art totals over 100 years and is supported by business such as Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. COT Media Group, The National Cultural Foundation, Intimate Hotels of Barbados, Onomatopoeia and McEnearney Quality Inc.

The Dominican artists paid their own airline tickets and accommodations but are always looking for sponsorship as they represent Dominica’s artistic talent through this event.


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