samedi 30 avril 2011

Valley to prepare 1M meals

Charity: Thirteen local churches aim to reach goal Sunday to feed those in impoverished nations More than 200,000 packages of rice and other dried food were delivered this week to Real Life Church in Valencia. The reason: a valleywide effort to package 1 million meals to send to impoverished nations like Haiti, Malawi, Sierra Leone and the Dominican Republic.

Scott Hanson, top, Keanan Marble, left, and Pastor Brandon Beard
hang a banner for the SCV Million Meal Marathon on the side
of one of four food storage trailers in preparation for the Sunday
 event in the parking lot of the Real Life Church in Valencia
on Friday. Santa Clarita Valley churches will be making 1 million meals
 for impoverished nations
This massive undertaking was first sparked by a similar effort on Labor Day 2010. Real Life Church organized the effort, partnering with Children of the Nations (www.cotni.org). This turned into a desire to help in an even larger way. On Sunday, Real Life Church and 12 other local churches will suspend Sunday morning church services to work together to reach the goal of packaging 1 million meals for starving children around the world. Why not 1 million?
Brandon Beard, executive pastor of Outreach at Real Life, said the idea for the Million Meals Marathon came after the church successfully completed the 100,000 meals.
“After we did 100,000, we knew we wanted to do more,” Beard said. “We thought, why not do 1 million?”
Real Life Church reached out to other churches across Santa Clarita and asked them to join the effort. Twelve churches responded, happy to be a part of it.
Real Life organized the event, planned for the supplies and the food with the help of Children of the Nations. Each church picked up its allotment of dried food from Real Life this past week and will package the meals at its own location.
The packages contain rice, lentils, chicken powder and spices. Thirty-six vacuum-sealed bags will be boxed together.
Children will be asked to decorate boxes, and draw pictures and write letters to the recipients.
The boxes are then loaded onto pallets and into one of four large shipping containers that will hold 250,000 meals each.
These containers will be taken to the shipping yard first thing Monday morning.
Saving lives
There will be more than 5,400 volunteers that will attend this event across the Santa Clarita Valley, said Bob Palocsay, a representative of Children of the Nations.
“Previously, 285,000 meals were packaged on one day,” Palocsay said. “The Million Meals Marathon is the largest food-packaging effort conducted all in one day that Children of the Nations has been involved with.”
Churches like Living Grace are thrilled to be a part of this global effort.
“This is a social issue that transcends our church,” said Rachel Edwards, the children’s pastor at Living Grace. “This is an opportunity for us to get out of our chairs and comfort zones and really do something.”
Brandon Beard is excited that the food will go to children he knows from those countries that are starving and living in poverty. Beard has taken several mission trips to countries like Haiti and Uganda with the church.
“It will go to kids like Mikeline in Haiti, who lost her arm and lives in a tent city with her mom,” Beard said. “To Sharon, in Uganda, or to Arnold, in Malawi.”
More than 925 million people in the world are malnourished or starving. The food that will be packaged and sent will feed 2,739 children every day for an entire year. It will help sustain families that may not have been able to survive otherwise.
“This is going to be an amazing day in Santa Clarita,” Beard said. “It will be something that people will never forget that they were a part of. All these churches and people are coming together to show God’s love in a practical way. This effort is really going to save lives.”
If you would like to volunteer and be a part of the Million Meals Marathon, you can either go to Real Life Church at 8:30, 10 or 11:30 a.m. Sunday morning or go to your nearest participating church Sunday morning to be a part of their effort.

Physician says helping Haiti is 'real, practical application of our faith'

By Karin Crompton
Publication: The Day
In the midst of describing a speech he will give on Sunday about Haiti, Dr. Anthony Alessi had to take a phone call. The Norwich neurologist and medical director of the William W. Backus Hospital was gone for several minutes before clicking back in to a telephone interview.
"That was a perfect example," he said.
Haiti, Alessi had been saying a few minutes earlier, has become "a real, practical application of our faith." His speech, scheduled for a post-Mass brunch at the Cathedral of St. Patrick and titled, "Haiti: Time for Change," will include anecdotes and slides on the change that Haiti has produced in the people who have been working there.
The call he received was from a volunteer who would be traveling to Haiti on Saturday. It represented the end of a series of emails and phone calls through which Alessi had sought the means to procure an expensive drug, unavailable in Haiti, that would treat a 15-month-old with a life-threatening inflammatory condition.
Through a network of volunteers, Alessi had found a wholesaler to supply the medicine, people who would pay for the drug and the volunteer who would take it to Haiti.
"We're gonna save a 15-month-old's life," Alessi said during a phone interview Friday. "Those are the things that happen among volunteers."
And despite accolades that they receive, he said, "I get much more out of every minute I spend there than I put in."
Although he has gained immeasurable perspective on his life, faith and career, Alessi nonetheless said one of the conclusions he has reached is that, "I don't think everyone should go to Haiti - but there are people throughout the world and even in the community who have become disconnected.
"We have people in downtown Norwich who need to be reconnected with. We have mentally ill patients and citizens, we have people who have become disenfranchised."
Haiti is simply Alessi's passion. And to those who question why some help Haiti when so much needs to be done here, Alessi has a question.
"What I say to those folks is, what have they done? … If they have reached out and done something good, then I would do whatever I can to support those people," he said. "By the same token, this (Haiti) has been an opportunity for me. Everyone has a different call to action. All I'm trying to say is, let's take some action."
Sunday's service is the annual White Mass, the Norwich Diocese's celebration of caregivers. It begins at 9 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Patrick at 213 Broadway in Norwich.
"This one is fascinating," diocesan communications director Michael Strammiello said of the White Mass. "There's something about seeing a church full of medical practitioners of all faiths, in prayer … recognizing that medicine has its limitations. Above those limitations, there are just other spiritual factors that play into making people well. It's fascinating to watch. … Then to gather together for lunch, to hear one of their own speak on a subject as important as Haiti, it's a very good day."
For more information, visit the diocese website at norwichdiocese.org or call (860) 887-3933.

Festivities planned for Haitian Heritage Month

The planning committee of the Palm Beach County Haitian Heritage Month celebration announced that the kick-off event will take place at Gilou Restaurant on Sunday.
It will be followed by a series of cultural and academic activities at different dates and locations throughout the county.
The celebration recognizes the contributions made by Haitians to the history of the United States and the world.
It is a celebration of Haitian history and culture and an opportunity to share this culture with the wider community.
The high point will be a Haitian flag-raising ceremony at the Belle Glade and Boynton Beach city halls on May 18.
Other highlights will include an art exhibit at the Clay, Glass, Metal and Stone Gallery in Lake Worth; cultural and educational events at Palm Beach County Library branches; a student essay contest; sports events; an art exhibit featuring Haitians in Palm Beach County at the Palm Beach International Airport.
Also, a day-long cultural festival in Belle Glade; a Haitian-American forum at Barton Elementary School; and an art exhibit of the works of the children of Jacmel, Ayiti Cheri, created from the debris of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010.
Haitian and Haitian-American students represent the largest ethnic minority group from a single country in the School District of Palm Beach County, numbering more than 14,000.
According to community activists, Palm Beach County is home to more than 90,000 Haitians.
Advisory Board members supporting the celebration include Marcia Andrews, School Board member; Mackenson Bernard, state representative, 84th district; Richard Champagne, president, Haitian Lawyers Association; Father Roland Desormeaux, Our Lady Of Perpetual Help Church; C. B. Hanif, Muslim activist.
Also, Jacques Lafontant, president, Haitian American Democratic Club; Sophia Lafontant, OXFAM; Woodie McDuffie, mayor of the City of Delray Beach; Dr. Immacula Michel, Support the Children and Families; Veronique F. Pluviose - Red Cross America.
Also, Rene Varela, mayor of Lake Worth; Jose Rodriguez, mayor of Boynton Beach: Maria L. Sachs, state senator, 30th district; and Rabbi Barry Silver, Temple L’Dor Va Dor.
Admission to all Haitian Heritage Month events is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.palmbeachschools.org/pao/creole/MwaEritajAyisyen2010.asp

Dominican Republic, Haiti join force against cholera 14:25, April 30, 2011

The Dominican Republic and Haiti have agreed to jointly fight the cholera epidemic, which has killed thousands of people in Haiti and spread to neighboring Dominican Republic. Among other agreements reached at a meeting of health officials from both countries here on Thursday, a permanent bilateral discussion mechanism will be set up to jointly monitor the situation of cholera, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and the dengue fever.
Bautista Rojas Gomez, health minister of the Dominican Republic, said the two sides also decided to articulate the important initiatives to be developed by non-governmental organizations.
Since its outbreak in mid-October, the cholera epidemic has killed some 5,000 people in Haiti, while leaving 12 dead and almost 1,000 infected in the Dominican Republic. Dominican authorities have stepped up border controls and health checks to stop the disease from spreading from Haiti.
Source: Xinhua

A Prolific Father of Haitian Letters, Busier Than Ever


Published: April 29, 2011
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Allison Shelley for The New York Times
"I am not afraid of chaos because chaos is the womb of light and life. What I don't like is the mismanagement of chaos." Frankétienne, the man known as the father of Haitian letters.
Frankétienne has had prophecies of death (his own) and destruction (Haiti’s).
The earthquake that wrecked this country in January 2010? It was foreseen, said Frankétienne, the man known as the father of Haitian letters, in his play “The Trap.” It was written two months before the disaster and depicts two men in a postapocalyptic landscape, now a familiar sight in his Delmas neighborhood here.
“The voice of God spoke to me,” said Frankétienne, 75, later noting he had also long dwelt on the ecological ruin he believes the planet is hurtling toward. As for his death, that will come in nine years, in 2020, he says, at age 84. He is not sick, he says, but he has learned to “listen to the divine music in all of us.”
And so the prolific novelist, poet and painter — often all three in a single work — hears his coda. He is vowing to complete a multivolume memoir “before I leave, physically,” while keeping up an increasingly busy schedule of exhibitions and conferences.
“I am going to talk about everything I have seen from age 5 or 6,” he said recently at his house-cum-museum and gallery. “And stuff that hasn’t happened yet because I am a prophet.”
Eccentric. Abstract. A “spiralist,” who rejects realism and embraces disorder. Frankétienne — he combined his first and last names years ago — embraces chaos as a style he believes befits a country with a long, tumultuous history birthed in a slave revolt more than 200 years ago and scarred by a cascade of natural and man-made disasters.
In chaos he finds order.
“I am not afraid of chaos because chaos is the womb of light and life,” he said, his baritone voice rising as it does when he gets worked up over a point. “What I don’t like is nonmanagement of chaos. The reason why Haiti looks more chaotic is because of nonmanagement. In other countries it is managed better. Haiti, they should take as reference for what could happen in the rest of world.”
Scholars widely view Frankétienne as Haiti’s most important writer. He wrote what many consider the first modern novel entirely in Haitian Creole, “Dezafi,” in 1975, and a play well known here that challenged political oppression, “Pelin Tet.” It is a biting work from 1978 that is aimed, not so subtly, at Jean-Claude Duvalier, the son of the dictator François Duvalier and himself a former dictator known as Baby Doc, who returned here from exile in January.
Although not well known in the English-speaking world, Frankétienne has star status in French- and Creole-speaking countries and was rumored to be on the short list for a Nobel Prize in Literature in 2009.
After the quake, his works gained more international attention, particularly in Canada and France. “The Trap” debuted in March 2010 at a Unesco forum in Paris that named him an artist for peace; galleries in New York have organized shows featuring his artwork. Still, he also holds informal Sunday workshops with young artists in Haiti to talk about and critique their work.
“He is not only a major Haitian writer, he is probably the major Haitian writer, forever,” said Jean Jonassaint, a Haitian literature scholar at Syracuse University.
Frankétienne’s output, about 40 written works and, by his count, 2,000 paintings and sketches, comprises dense, baroque affairs. He invents new words, blending French and Haitian Creole. Long digressions are de rigueur. His paintings, which he says are selling particularly well these days, blur swirling blacks, blues and reds, often covered with poems.
He admires James Joyce, and it shows. “ ‘Finnegan’s Wake’ was like a crazy book, just like I write crazy books,” he said.
Still, the Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat said Frankétienne remained popular among Haitians, in part because some of his plays had been videotaped and passed around in Haiti and in immigrant communities in the United States.
“Pelin Tet,” in which the grim life of two Haitian immigrants in New York deliberately echoes the oppression of the Duvalier era on the island, is a touchstone for many Haitians, said Ms. Danticat, who grew up in the same neighborhood as Frankétienne and was, in part, inspired to write by his rise to the top.
“His work can speak to the most intellectual person in the society as well as the most humble,” she said. “It’s a very generous kind of genius he has, one I can’t imagine Haitian literature ever existing without.”
Frankétienne was born as Franck Étienne on April 12, 1936, and raised in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, the son of a Haitian farmworker and an American businessman, who later abandoned her.

Frankétienne’s mother worked as a street vendor — selling cigarettes, charcoal, candies, moonshine — while raising eight children.
“Since I was 5 or 6 I was smoking or drinking, but my mother never knew,” he recalled. He was the oldest, and she strove to send him to school (he, in turn, tutored his younger siblings, leading him to establish his own school).
The school he attended was French-speaking. Frankétienne initially did not know a word of French, but angered at being teased by other students, he set about mastering the language and developing an affinity for words and artistic expression.
His best-known works came in the 1960s and ’70s, and he ranks his novel “Dezafi” as one of his most cherished. Set in a rural Haitian village, it weaves cockfighting, zombification, the history of slavery and other themes into an allegory of the country’s pain and suffering.
“It is the challenge of finding the light to liberate everyone,” he said. He wrote it in Creole, he said, because that was the voice of the characters he imagined.
But Frankétienne also felt a need to assert his Haitian identity, as people often look at his fair skin, blue eyes and white hair and doubt he is from this predominantly black country.
“They might think I am white or mulatto or whatever, but I am not,” he said. “I have black features, Negro features. My mother was an illiterate peasant and she had me when she was 16. She was taken in by an American, a very rich American. The American was 63 and my mother was 16 at the time.”
Switching from Creole to English, which he is usually too timid to speak, he added, “You understand who I am now?”
After completing “Dezafi,” he was frustrated that so few of his compatriots could read it, with nearly half the adult population illiterate. He switched to plays, even if that meant irritating the dictatorship.
“Dictators are mean but not necessarily stupid, so they knew I didn’t have any readers,” Frankétienne said. “What really gave them a problem was when I started with plays.”
Other writers and artists left Haiti during the dictatorship, but he stayed as his reputation grew outside the country and human rights groups closely followed him, providing, he believes, some cover from Mr. Duvalier.
Later, he joined other intellectuals in denouncing Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the first democratically elected president after Jean-Claude Duvalier was overthrown. Mr. Aristide, he said, became fixated on power and tolerated corruption and thuggery in his administration.
“He is a ghost, too,” Frankétienne said of Mr. Aristide’s return in March after seven years in exile.
His only regret, he said, is that his work is not widely translated and better known. If he knew Chinese, Japanese, Italian or other languages, he said, he would put them in his works.
“Everything is interconnected,” he said. “We are connected to everything, everyone.”
Frankétienne added, “The only thing not chaotic is death.”

"I am not afraid of chaos because chaos is the womb of light and life. What I don't like is the mismanagement of chaos." Frankétienne, the man known as the father of Haitian letters.

Day 1 of New Orleans Jazz And Heritage Festival: We N.O.

Posted: 04/30/11 03:19 AM ET React Amazing Day One of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival kicked off with weather so beautiful, it was almost sarcastic. Between the mango freeze ice cream headaches and cochon de lait po-boys, there was wall to wall music. Jeff Beck, Mumford & Sons, the subdudes, Red Stick Ramblers, Germaine Bazzle, Justin Towes Earle, Robert Plant and dozens more rocked their respective stages.
Haiti - New Orleans ties are being highlighted at the festival this year, with everyone from Wyclef Jean to my new favorite band Ti-Cocoa and Wanga Neges. New Orleans benefits for Haiti have been offering relief since the Haitian earthquake, including photographers donating their work to Images Without Borders gallery shows.
Jazz Fest Contemporary Craft artist Jimmy Descant is also focused on international assistance. His "We N.O." piece for Japan in the shape of Louisiana has already sold, and he's giving away stencils of the piece as well as encouraging donations to Mercy Corps for its humanitarian aid in Japan.
For Saturday, Big Freeda and Sissy Nobby; Irma Thomas; and Bon Jovi sans Ritchie Sambora are in the lineup. It won't be dull.

Sean Penn says he'd welcome Sheen's help in Haiti

Sean Penn says he thinks Charlie Sheen could do a lot of good in Haiti, both for himself and the nation struggling to recover from a devastating earthquake.

"I think his energies, intelligence and passion could be both of service and servicing to him, as it is to all who are touched by the struggle of the Haitian people," Penn said in a statement Friday.
"Charlie is one of the very few public people who cannot be accused of using the media to his own benefit. I would very much like to show my old friend the world of needs on the ground in Haiti, and introduce him and his tremendous wit to our hard working Haitian staff."
Penn's message of support came hours after Sheen told "Access Hollywood" that he and Penn were planning a trip to the Caribbean nation, although no date for their travel has been announced.
"If he chooses to give support, I'll trust it," the Academy Award winner said.
Sheen, who has been on a media blitz since Monday, says he would like to bring the attention of the world back to Haiti, where Penn has been a fixture since a January 2010 earthquake destroyed more than 500,000 homes.

'Changing Haiti' hasn't forgotten distressed country's need

* The group will raise funds to deliver to Haitians in July as part of a mission trip.

Changing Haiti mission group members from the Franklin
Church in New Albany include (from left) Mary Eller, members
Published: Saturday, April 30, 2011 8:07 AM EDT Changing Haiti mission group members from the Franklin Church in New Albany include (from left) Mary Eller, members Amber Klotz, Emily Pittenger and the Rev. Mike Brown, pastor of Franklin Church. Not pictured: mission group members Steve and Jane Onspaugh.
Ohio State University junior Mary Eller hasn't forgotten the story of one young girl who was pulled from the rubble in Port-au-Prince nine days after the tragic January 2009 earthquake that rattled Haiti.
After her rescue, the girl told reporters she wanted to become a doctor like those who nursed her back to health.
"Everyone was interested in talking to her then," Eller said. "But no one is there talking to her now."
That girl's story represents one in a long list of broken promises to the Haitian people, and the children most of all, Eller said.
"Everyone in Haiti is hurting, but the children are the ones who truly cannot help themselves," she said.
Changing Haiti, an ongoing fundraising effort, has been her response. The multi-church project, spearheaded by Eller with help from her friends and pastor at Franklin Church in New Albany, aims to raise $10,000 for Lovelink, a residence for orphaned and abandoned children in Port-au-Prince.
The project will culminate in a mission trip July 13-19, when Eller, the Rev. Mike Brown and 10 other church members will personally deliver the money to Lovelink.
Proceeds will go to help repair dormitories and an activity center damaged during the earthquake.
Several other Central Ohio churches have joined in on the effort, including Northpointe Community Church in Lewis Center, Christ Fellowship Church in Westerville, and First Love Church in Reynoldsburg.
The churches will be keeping donation jars and working on their own fundraising efforts, Eller said. The jars also will go out to area businesses in the coming weeks.
Franklin Church members will do their part with a bake sale planned for May 3, and a spaghetti dinner May 6.
A summertime bash is in the works, tentatively planned for June 10, to raise money and celebrate the first day of summer vacation for New Albany students. The event is still in the planning stages, but likely will feature games and an outdoor movie.
The "Kids Helping Kids" student talent show rounds out current plans on June 18. Talented children from the community will show off their skills and all proceeds will go to Changing Haiti.
All churches involved also are accepting direct donations.
Questions can be directed to Franklin Church, 7171 Central College Road in New Albany.
Members of the mission trip also are working to raise money to cover their travel expenses -- an extra $10,000 cost.
More than a year after the disaster, the group just wants to do its part to help in the ongoing recovery, Brown said.
"All the news (on Haiti) has kind of gone away, but the need is greater than ever," he said.

New Orleans Jazz Fest find its Haitian roots as Emeline Michel ignites local improvisors

Published: Friday, April 29, 2011, 8:24 PM Updated: Saturday, April 30, 2011, 8:22 AM By Chris Waddington NOLA.com
At the New Orleans Jazz Fest, the measure of a great closing act is if you never want the performance to end. That's what happened at the Economy Hall Tent on Friday as Haitian vocal star Emeline Michel joined clarinetist Dr. Michael White, his well-drilled traditional jazz band, and a string orchestra hand-picked by Loyola University professor Jean Montes.
To judge by Michel's incandescent performance, her next appearance (3:35 p.m. Saturday at Congo Square) should be one of the highlights of the festival.
Tomorrow's show will feature Michel's own band from Haiti, but she hardly sounded out of place among so many New Orleanians on Friday. In fact, this smartly programmed concert of rhumba-inflected jazz, Haitian rah-rah and folk material gave tangible, often danceable evidence of the profound connections between the Caribbean nation and the Crescent City.
You heard those connections when the crowd -- and the regal Michel -- joined trumpeter Wendell Brunious in a lively account of "Eh La Bas." You also heard it when Loyola vocal student Riva Precil wrapped her classically trained mezzo voice around Michel's soaring contralto. Their arching unison lines and haunting harmonies unlocked the deep emotion in a series of Haitian songs.
This fertile cultural interchange got a further boost from the brilliant arrangements crafted by alto saxophonist Godwin Louis -- a Haitian native who has lived here for two years as a student at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance. His Institute colleague, drummer Nicholas Falk, offered sensitive support -- a tough job when the music ranges from roaring brass to passages that set a banjo amid a mass of plucked string instruments.
White's band had many strong soloists, including trombonist Ronell Johnson, and Brunious on trumpet. White himself showed why he's a first-call sideman with stars like Wynton Marsalis. In his solos, he ranged across the full range of the clarinet, dipping into it's burbling depths and rising to stars. It was a night of triumphs.

Un euro par Belge pour les victimes du séisme en Haïti

Projet original en collaboration avec Caritas International ROME, Vendredi 29 avril 2011 (ZENIT.org) - « Un euro par Belge pour Haïti » : tel est le nom d'un projet/collecte de fonds lancé par un couple belge pour sensibiliser les citoyens à venir en aide aux victimes du tremblement de terre meurtrier qui, en janvier 2010, a ravagé une grande partie du territoire Haïtien.
Le week-end du 30 avril/1er mai, Caritas International et « Un euro par Belge pour Haïti » seront présents au Festival Dranouter sur Mer, petit village de Flandre, situé entre Lille et Tournai, au cours duquel ils tenteront de récolter des fonds.
« Si chaque Belge offre un euro à cette cause, les 10 millions d'euros seront rapidement atteints », souligne Caritas International qui a décidé d'appuyer l'initiative de ce couple, Steven Vanriest et Leen Dommecent, de simples citoyens, enseignants, vivant en Flandre-occidentale, qui, après avoir vu des images poignantes sur les conséquences dramatiques du séisme, ont décidé, il y a six mois, « de mettre les Belges au défi » en montant ce projet.
Dans un premier temps, celui-ci a utilisé uniquement les réseaux sociaux en ligne pour sensibiliser les citoyens. Aujourd'hui, il s'agit d'une grande offensive au cours de la saison des festivals en Belgique.
Avec l'argent récolté, et en collaboration avec Caritas International, le couple veut reconstruire des maisons et redonner à la population haïtienne un toit pour vivre. Plus d'un an après le séisme, la situation reste toujours catastrophique.
« Prouvons que les habitants d'un petit pays sont en mesure de changer le monde. L'union fait la force! » est le slogan d'« un euro par Belge pour Haïti ».
Pour plus d'informations : www.10000000.be

Haïti-Musique : Un documentaire sur les 60 ans de parcours du Septentrional

En tournée au Etats-Unis l’orchestre prépare un nouvel album
P-au-P, 29 avril 2011 [AlterPresse] --- Le célèbre orchestre haïtien de musique compas Septentrional, poursuit actuellement une tournée aux Etats-Unis, marquée par la première d’un documentaire retraçant son histoire, intitulé « When the drum is beating ».
La première de ce film a eu lieu le 25 avril écoulé à New York, dans le cadre du Tribeca Film Festival, créé en 2002 par l’acteur Robert de Niro. Ce festival se déroule en 2011 du 20 avril au 1er mai.
« When the drum is beating » est un documentaire réalisé par Whitney Dow en collaboration avec la journaliste américaine Jane Regan et le photojournaliste haïtien Daniel Morel.
Le film fait un aller-retour entre le parcours du Septentrional, qui a 63 ans, et l’histoire d’Haïti. Il entremêle passé et présent et offre une image du groupe a travers les principaux événements ayant marqué l’existence de la nation haïtienne.
« When the drum is beating » permet au spectateur de voir, de sentir et d’entendre la passion, l’engagement et la joie des musiciens du Septentrional, et à travers eux, l’âme unique de l’haïtien », affirment les producteurs.
Le documentaire sera aussi présenté en compétition au festival « Hot Docs » au Canada.
En attendant l’orchestre prépare son prochain album avec 13 titres et qui devrait être disponible en juin.[kft gp apr 29/04/2011 06:00]

Patrick Leahy réclame l'annulation des visas des officiels haïtiens

Un influent sénateur américain, Patrick Leahy, exhorte le département d'Etat adopté des sanctions contre les officiels haïtiens impliqués dans les fraudes électorales. M. Leahy, président de la sous commissions des opérations étrangères et du département d'état, estime que le gouvernement américain doit annuler les visas et le statut de résident permanent aux Etats-Unis pour plusieurs membres du gouvernement et du Conseil Electoral Provisoire (CEP) auteurs des revirements d'élection en faveur du parti au pouvoir lors des législatives. Selon M. Leahy ces revirements inexpliqués apportés par les conseillers électoraux dans les résultats préliminaires sont alarmants. Si les Etats-Unis doivent effectivement aider Haïti à se reconstruire, nous devons avoir confiance que le gouvernement haïtien jouit de la confiance et du support de son peuple, insiste le sénateur du Vermont dans une correspondance à la secrétaire d'Etat Hillary Clinton.
Le gouvernement haïtien est l'un des plus importants bailleurs de fonds pour l'organisation des élections présidentielles et législatives. Il est essentiel que l'issue du processus électoral soit reconnu libre et juste par la communauté internationale et, plus particulièrement, par le peuple haïtien conclu le sénateur Leahy.
LLM / radio Métropole Haïti
Il faut croire que la green card et le permis d'entrée en territoire américain est un très précieux sesame pour une grande partie des fonctionnaires haïtiens. La première des sanctions brandies par l'administration américaine contre un fonctionnaire haïtien coupable d'un méfait quelconque reste l'annulation de son visa.
C'est d'un côté ridicule pouisque l'onpeut bien vivre sans les USA. Ils sont des millions qui voudraient y rentrer et qui n'y arrivent pas.

Haiti's president-elect vows to work with opposition lawmakers

 14:28, April 30, 2011 Email

Haiti's president-elect Michel Martelly on Friday said he is ready to collaborate with the lawmakers of the ruling party in congress and outgoing President Rene Preval's Unity Party (Inite) which won a majority of seats in both chambers according to preliminary legislative results.
"The lawmakers of Inite and my government must be united in order to face the many challenges we have," Martelly said, according to reports reached here.
Martelly, who will be inaugurated on May 14, said this collaboration will start with a round of bi-party talks and consultations with the presidents of the Senate and of the Chamber of Deputies in order to reach a joint decision on the appointment of Haitian prime minister.
"The next chief of government must be conciliatory and a good manager,"
Martelly told the local Metropole Radio station.
Earlier this month Preval offered to collaborate with Martelly to ensure an "efficient cooperation" between the different powers of the state.
Based on the preliminary results released by Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) earlier this month the Unity Party won a majority 17 seats in the Senate out of the total of 26, while in the Chamber of Deputies (Congress) the party won 46 while only 3 seats went to Martelly's Farmers' Response Party.
The CEP earlier this week, however, announced it will postpone the release of the final results in the vote of 19 members to parliament pending investigations of allegations of irregularities, while the election observer team of the Organization of American States has called on the CEP to cancel the results in 17 districts.
Source: Xinhua

Haiti's new leader taking the job seriously

By Lee Hockstader Published 12:00 a.m., Saturday, April 30, 2011
Haiti's president-elect, Michel Martelly, known to his countrymen as "Sweet Micky," is -- let's be delicate about this -- a new kind of political figure.
Wildly popular during his two-decade career as a singer, he was notorious for wearing a diaper during performances, for mooning his audiences and for gleefully leading his fans in obscene chants and taunts. Given that stage persona, Haitians barely batted an eye at revelations during this year's presidential campaign that Martelly used to snort cocaine and that several homes he owned in Florida were foreclosed on.
But the "Sweet Micky" of yore was gone last week when he arrived in Washington for meetings with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and international aid organizations. In his place was a spruced up president-elect, escorted by an entourage of thin-skinned advisers who bristled at questions about his past.
Martelly wants to be taken seriously. And thank goodness.
"Sometimes I feel like people don't give me credit -- I didn't win the Lotto. There were 19 candidates, and I debated them and I beat them all," he said during a visit to The Washington Post.
If ever a country needed no-nonsense leadership, it's Haiti right now. And if ever a country has suffered from an onslaught of political calamity combined with cataclysmic disasters, it's Haiti for the last, well, pick your time period.
The earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince in January 2010, on the heels of devastating back-to-back hurricanes, crippled the hemisphere's poorest nation. No amount of media marveling at the resilience of the Haitian people or the full-court press of international relief efforts could change the facts: hundreds of thousands of kids orphaned and out of school, a million people left homeless, a capital city carpeted in rubble and an economy on life support.
Haiti was further ravaged last fall by one of the world's worst recent outbreaks of cholera, an epidemic that has killed 5,000 people, infected a quarter-million and is still not finished claiming victims.
Haiti's already weak government, which lost at least a third of its senior civil servants when the ministry buildings collapsed, was rendered almost irrelevant. The listless President Rene Preval all but disappeared.
That sets the bar low for Martelly, who promises a new start when he is inaugurated next month. He is busy fleshing out his mostly vague campaign promises, stressing the rule of law, free public education, jobs and new homes for the throngs still living in tent cities, and help for poor farmers.
"I must admit that my popularity {as an entertainer} has helped me," he said. "But the election was not about my popularity. It was about my character traits -- honesty, determination, combativeness and preparation."
It was also about being a fresh, vital force on the political scene, bringing with him energy and a new (mostly untested) crop of advisers, unbeholden to any recent political establishment.
The president-elect has a troubling reputation for having pals that include some of the worst thugs and coup-plotters from Haiti's dark recent decades. But in person, many of his instincts seem spot-on.
Martelly was quizzed about his plans to resurrect the army, an infamously cruel, corrupt and repressive institution abolished by former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1994. At that, his advisers got their backs up, especially at the suggestion that a reconstituted army would be used, as in the past, as muscle to enforce the president's personal will. They insisted that this time around, the army would fight smugglers and stay clear of politics -- with the added benefit of providing jobs. But it is not clear that money exists for an army, and foreign donors are not likely to pay for one.
Questioned about his future as an entertainer, or his one-time pledge to perform naked on the palace roof if he were elected president, Martelly demurred, presidentially. "After three or four years, if I see everyone in school and people with jobs and progress," he said, "I'll be happy enough to sing a song."
Fully dressed, one suspects.
Lee Hockstader writes for The Washington Post.
Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/Haiti-s-new-leader-taking-the-job-seriously-1359510.php#ixzz1KzvRDeYQ

Experts want Haiti vote results annuled

2011-04-30 09:44 Port-au-Prince - An international experts mission recommended on Friday that Haitian authorities annul the victories of 19 ruling party candidates in recent legislative elections for suspected fraud.
The experts from the Organisation of American States and the Caribbean Common Market (Caricom) made the recommendations in a report to Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council.
"...The JEOM [Joint OAS-CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission] recommends a return to the preliminary results in each of the eighteen cases examined.
"One of the 18 decisions concerned the two posts of senator in the department of the centre," the mission said. That brought the number of candidates involved to 19.
In 19 voting districts, the outcome of the March 20 elections changed from the initial returns to the final count, each time favouring candidates close to outgoing president Rene Preval and his Unity Party.
The OAS-Caricom mission blasted Haiti's national electoral complaints and challenges bureau, saying its judges "did not display the necessary serenity and patience to draft their decisions with the thoroughness required".
Improperly drafted
"For the most part," the report continued, "the decisions are improperly drafted and it is often difficult to follow the thinking".
"We have sent the report this morning to Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive who will deliver it to the provisional electoral council," Colin Granderson, chief of the international mission, told AFP. "It will be up to the Haitian authorities to speak about it."
According to a parliamentary source, the electoral council is not inclined to follow the report's recommendations and wants to stick with the final results favourable to Unity.
That position has been denounced by president-elect Michel Martelly who had called for the review by the international mission.
Martelly also wanted the Haitian justice system to investigate allegations that council members received bribes to favour candidates of the ruling party.
A member of the council resigned on Monday to protest the changes from the preliminary results.
The supposedly definitive legislative results released a week ago showed Unity expanded its presence in the chamber of deputies, taking 46 of the 99 positions, and gained an absolute majority in the upper senate with 17 of the 30 seats.
The legislative results were greeted by outbreaks of violence in parts of Haiti that left at least one person dead.
Martelly's fledgling Reypons Peysan party won only three parliamentary seats, and to enact the reforms Haiti needs he will have to forge deals with Unity.