Photo caption:Continental Airlines Area Sales Managers were recently guests at the Grand Lido, Negril. They were hosted to a cocktail party held in their honour. Joining them (L-R standing) are Grand Lido Resident Manager Mr. Joey Issa; Judith Hill (Assistant Manager) and Michelle Hacker (Social Director).
Science and wellness advocate Joe Issa is awed by the work of scientists which has shared light on what is referred to as one of the central mysteries of human life: why we need sleep, and how it happens, as he urges citizens to sleep right for a better and healthier life.
“I think we all know that sleep is important to the proper functioning of the body, and we feel it the next day if we have not had enough sleep. Some of us take it seriously and ensure we have sufficient sleep; but some don’t, and they pay for it in the end.
“So I’m urging everyone to develop a regular sleep pattern and ensure that you get enough sleep,” said Issa, noting, “This discovery is remarkable and far reaching in terms of building awareness and understanding of the existence of our biological clock.
Issa was hailing the work of Jeffrey C Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W Young, who received the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for Medicine for understanding the mysteries of how life tracks time and changes itself according to the movement of the sun, which explains what is called the biological clock.
According to The Independent, the Nobel Prize in medicine was given to the three scientists “for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm”, or the biological clock. Their work helped illuminate one of the central mysteries of human life: why we need sleep, and how it happens.
The Circadian rhythms are the ways that the body keeps itself regulated with the passing of the day, and that the process can affect sleep, behavior, hormone levels, body temperature and metabolism. They show why disturbed sleep – like in the case of jet lag, or people with insomnia – can have terrifying knock-on consequences, like an increased risk of various diseases, the article said.
The researchers reportedly discovered that all types of life on Earth – from plants to humans – regulate their body clock using the sun, with special technologies inside the body. They showed how the body clock can disrupt the central ways the body works, including things like metabolism, and explained how if it is thrown off it can cause huge problems for people and other parts of life.
Catastrophic’ lack of sleep is killing us, scientist warns
The researchers “were able to peek inside our biological clock and elucidate its inner workings”, according to the Nobel committee’s citation for the more than $1m (£750m) prize. The discoveries “explain how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronized with the Earth’s revolutions”, it said.
The work didn’t reveal any tips for regulating our own circadian rhythm or improving sleep, said experts. But it was a reminder of the importance of doing so – and of keeping good sleep hygiene, by ensuring that people maintain good sleep patterns and keep themselves in sync with the sun, they said during the press conference.
It said the win comes soon after one of the world’s leading sleep scientist argued that a “catastrophic” lack of sleep is slowly killing us and spreading damage throughout society.
The laureates reportedly used fruit flies to isolate a gene that controls the normal daily biological rhythm and showed how this gene encoded a protein that accumulates in the cell during the night and degrades during the day.
Thomas Perlmann, secretary at the Karolinska Institute Nobel Committee, described the reaction of Rosbash when first informed of the award: “He was silent and then he said ‘you are kidding me?’.”
Medicine is said to be the first of the Nobel Prizes awarded each year. The prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were created in accordance with the will of dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel and have been awarded since 1901.
Nobel medicine laureates have included scientific greats such as Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin, and Karl Landsteiner, whose identification of separate blood types opened the way to carrying out safe transfusions.
According to the article the prize has not been without controversy, especially with the benefit of hindsight, such as with 1948 award for the discovery of DDT, a chemical that helped battle epidemics but was later banned due to its harmful environmental impact.
North coast hotelier, Mr. Joe Issa, of the SuperClubs group of resorts, is the recipient of the first annual L.B. Creary Memorial Quality of Life Award for exemplary humanitarian and philanthropical public service, in the parish of St. Mary.
The award is given to the person, who, in the judgement of the awards committee, does the most during the past year, to uplift the standard of living for the less privileged in St. Mary, particularly through the Kiwanis Club, of that parish.
The award was presented to Mr. Issa jointly by Mrs. Norma Creary, widow of Mr. Luneville B. Creary, after whom it is named; and Mr. and Mrs. Creary’s son, Mr. Richard Creary, secretary of the St. Mary Kiwanis Club.
Introducing Mr. Issa at the awards ceremony, another of the Creary’s sons, First Life Insurance executive, Mr. Don Creary, praised Mr. Issa for his “unselfish, caring and extraordinary interest in helping the less fortunate of the parish”. Mr Creary added, “Mr. Joey Issa richly deserves this honour, award and distinction today!”
Mr. Issa was humble in his acceptance speech. He said, in part, “Assistance in this endeavor is necessary. The less privileged among us must always be at the forefront of our thoughts. I am thankful and grateful I am in a position to be of assistance, in this manner.”
Mr. Issa went on to encourage others in a similar position as his, to help the less fortunate. He congratulated the St. Mary Kiwanis Club for what he described as its “sterling example of humanitarian assistance to the community,” and pledged his continued personal assistance to the club.
Mr. L.B. Creary was a civil servant, returning officer and philanthropist. He died four years ago.
Mr. Issa, 27, was, until recently, the general manager for SuperClubs’ Couples Hotel, St. Mary. He took up the position of general manger of SuperClubs’ newest resort, Sans Souci Hotel and Spa – renamed the Sans Souci Lido – on November 1.
Mr. Don Creary was named St. Mary Kiwanian Of The Year, 1992/93, at the awards function.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Joe Issa has come out in support of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) recently signed between the Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ), stating it creates an appropriate forum for tax reform in Jamaica.
“Talk reform and you are on the right track. The operative word is to reform; that means doing the right things better for yourself and those who are impacted. In other words, the more you do the right things, and the better you do them, the more benefits that will accrue to those who are impacted by what you do.
“But for that to happen things have to change both in what we do and how we do it, to create greater effectiveness and efficiency, respectively. They are equally important; for it’s no point doing the right thing only to find out you are not doing it right; or, even when you think you are doing the thing right, it turns out you are doing the wrong thing.
It’s like doing what the people want but not how they want you to do it. This has broad application, including how we do business. Such as importing and exporting and investing and creating jobs,” said Issa, who has not only spoken of the need for local corporations to pay tax but thinks that instituting a rate that is above what obtains in Jamaica’s trading partners is putting domestic firms at a disadvantage relative to their foreign counterparts.
He explains further: “The TAJ is doing the right thing by ensuring tax compliance, but like most similar cases they need guidance and assurance that they are going about it the right way; that’s where I see value in the MoU.
Issa was commenting on a recent MoU signed between TAJ and ICAJ to strengthen longstanding collaboration on matters related to the country’s tax system.
“The concept, which has been adapted from the Canadian Revenue Authority’s model, underpins the establishment of a Consultative Committee that will provide a forum for dialogue between senior officials and members of the TAJ and ICAJ on a wide range of issues,” according to the Observer.
These reportedly include the sharing of information on existing and proposed compliance programs to identify improvements; the identification of opportunities for collaboration with taxpayers; and revisions to protocols facilitating taxpayers, based on legislative amendments, among other things.
The committee is to be co-chaired by TAJ Technical Specialist, Bevon Sinclair, and Head of the ICAJ’s Tax Committee, Allison Peart. They were among the four representatives who co-signed the MoU at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston recently.
The signing also included TAJ Commissioner General, Ainsley Powell and ICAJ President, Raymond Campbell and was witnessed by Finance and Public Service State Minister, Fayval Williams. The signing occurred during the TAJ’s ‘Let’s Talk Tax’ forum, which was held under the theme: ‘Tax Compliance in Jamaica’.
Powell was quoted say the MoU provided “an excellent opportunity to strengthen the TAJ’s strategic relationship with the accounting fraternity in ongoing efforts to further improve the administrative procedures and processes driving Jamaica’s tax system.”
He also anticipated that “both organisations collaborating to identify the necessary changes that result in improvements in the overall system will redound to the benefit of taxpayers thereby engendering greater voluntary compliance,” according to the newspaper.
Executive Chairman of Cool Corporation Joe Issa has described as responsible and reassuring the move by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) to secure Jamaica’s number available for the next 25 years.
“It is a responsible move on the part of the OUR, to ensure that sufficient telephone numbers are available to satisfy the needs of individuals and businesses for the next 25 years.
“It is also reassuring for people and the business community, regarding their long-term growth plans, as it could be quite disconcerting not knowing what will happen when we use up the 876 quotas of telephone numbers.
“Now that we are assured that enough numbers are available to accommodate planned expansions over the long term, this will act as a big incentive for businesses to implement present plans for long-term growth and that of the economy.
“The move could also make Jamaica more attractive to foreign investments which have a high demand for telephone numbers, such as the emerging BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry,” said Issa.
Issa was commenting on the announcement by the OUR, that Jamaica now has another area code – 658 – in addition to the existing 876 and that the new code, which takes effect on May 31, 2018, mandates ten-digit dialling – the 3-digit code plus the 7-digit number – for all local calls.
OUR explained, however, that there will be an adjustment period – the permissive dialling period – lasting at least five months, during which a recording will remind clients to dial the current 3-digit code if they forget and dial only the 7-digit number. After the permissive dialling period is ended, all local calls will require ten-digit dialling to be completed.
The new code is to be used in addition to, and not as a replacement for, the existing 876 area code; and the introduction of ten-digit dialling will not increase telephone charges, nor require current telephone numbers to be changed.
However, clients, especially businesses and government agencies are being encouraged to start adding the current 876 area code on all their printed materials and signage.
Users of alarm services and solutions with automatic diallers, and operators of PBX systems are also advised “to contact their respective service providers to ensure that their systems will be compatible with the new numbering and dialling arrangements,” OUR said.
“It became necessary for Jamaica to get an additional Numbering Plan Area (NPA) code…to ensure that there are sufficient numbers available to satisfy growth in demand for these resources over the next 25 years,” the agency was quoted explaining.
Under the Telecommunications Act, the OURis fully responsible for the allocation, assignment (to service providers) and usage of telecommunication numbers in Jamaica.
After much sensitisation of stakeholders, visitor harassment in resort areas is said to be declining, an era longed-for by one of Jamaica’s most passionate tourism advocates Joe Issa.
Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism
Joseph “Joey” Issa
“I have always longed for the day when tourists can walk the streets especially in resort areas without being harassed, can drink coconut and talk to vendors, can enter our craft markets and boutiques, and can buy what they want when they want without being posted to open their wallets and purses.
“No one deserves to be harassed; it is a frightening experience even for us as locals let alone visitors. The downside of this is they may immediately return to the comfort of their hotel, and we would have lost on that spend. An even bigger problem is they may not return and discourage others from coming to Jamaica.
“Unlike any other business, tourism is our business, whether or not we participate in it and at whatever level because our collective responsibility – which is considered our most critical role – is to be friendly to our visitors, which proudly is largely the case.
“The few who try to spoil our tourism product – which is underpinned by our friendliness – must reconcile their critical role in the survival and expansion of tourism in Jamaica, on which so many people depend, including, quite likely, their relatives.
“But it is refreshing that the minister’s measures are working. He has initiated a sensitisation programme to include even judges, which I thought was a pretty good idea since they are the ones who hear cases of harassment in their courts and dispense justice,” said Issa, member of the St Ann Chamber of Commerce Past Presidents Advisory Committee.
Issa was responding to JIS News that anti-visitor harassment measures being implemented in resort areas are bearing fruit, quoting Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.
Bartlett reportedly gave credit to the training programmes and sensitisation workshops for frontline industry representatives interacting directly with visitors; and heightened vigilance and patrols by resort security officers.
Bartlett was cited saying that the positive outcomes are evidenced in Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) visitor opinion surveys which show that 60 percent of the tourists visiting Jamaica recently were satisfied with their experience.
“Also noteworthy is the fact that 42 percent of our visitors are repeat guests. Our intention is for those numbers to be even higher as the visit should resonate so well with those who land on our soil, that they will unhesitatingly and consistently give us an A+ rating,” he was quoted as saying.
The anti-visitor harassment measures are enabling guests to move around more freely, which contributed to Jamaica being recently voted the number one Caribbean destination and among the top 20 globally, by the highly respected American travel and restaurant website company, TripAdvisor, Inc., a feat on which Issa commented recently.
These developments are welcomed news for the Administration, in light of industry stakeholders’ concerns that unless visitor harassment is decisively addressed, it could potentially erode brand Jamaica’s reputation as a highly sought-after destination of choice for tourists, and overshadow the sector’s record visitor arrivals and foreign exchange earnings, said JIS News.
It said while acknowledging the favourable outturns emanating from the interventions; sector interests also urge that these be sustained, and others introduced, to avoid the onset of complacency that could give rise to the resurgence in the prevalence of visitor harassment.
It is a point which Prime Minister Andrew Holness, reportedly emphasised while speaking with stakeholders during a recent tour of Falmouth, Trelawny.
“A guest who does not feel pressure is more likely to spend and interact. That guest is also more likely to come back with his or her family for a longer stay, which is a win-win (situation) for all of us,” he was quoted as arguing.
It cited him further emphasising the importance of training, noting that those who interact daily with visitors should be cognizant that “what we deem as normal” is not necessarily something that visitors are comfortable with.
Training and certification are being facilitated by the Government through the newly established Jamaica Centre of Tourism.
Additionally, the Falmouth Tour Guide Programme reportedly provides training designed to equip persons, deemed simple guides, with the skills and inputs that reposition them as official industry ambassadors.
“It all boils down to the knowledge that the guest must at all times feel free to walk the streets without feeling pressured to buy anything. A happy guest will always be willing to spend and, most importantly, will go back and spread the good word (about their experience),” Holness was quoted as saying.