Daily Archives: October 12, 2006

60 Percent Of Barbados Online – CBC Report

Yup… we think the report is accurate…

From the CBC…

Barbados information telecommunications sector is developing at a rapid rate compared to many other countries.

According to ICT consultant James Corbin the island has one of the highest penetration rates in the Caribbean with some of the most reasonable prices.

It’s now estimated at 60 per cent with 160 thousand users.

He’s been speaking ahead of the Information Society of Barbados Conference which comes off November 19 and 20 at the Sherbourne Conference Centre.

Read the entire article: link here

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Filed under Barbados, Island Life

Oh The Irony! – Gline Clarke Unhappy That Citizens Haven’t Yet Received Their NHC Lots In Lower Burney

Friends, the irony just doesn’t get any better than this…

Minister Gline Clarke as quoted in The Nation News – concerned that some citizens who were promised NHC building lots in Lower Burney 3 years ago haven’t yet received them.

Say… do you think Gline Clarke could pull some strings for any who agree to be his “special friend“?

You just couldn’t make up stuff like this, folks!

Some excerpts from a Nation News article Time To Move The Murphy, Folks!

MINISTER OF PUBLIC Works Gline Clarke says squatters at Murphy Pasture in the City need to be moved as soon as possible.

His comments came yesterday while touring flooded sections of the low-lying district which has been home for at least 14 households…

“We will have to make a determination to allow the people from Murphy Pasture to get the land that was provided for them three years ago so that they can be relocated from here as quickly as possible.”

And Where Is The NHC Land That Was To Be Provided To These Citizens? Minister Clarke’s Neighbourhood!

“I believe that the Ministry of Housing and Lands, the National Housing Corporation (NHC) and the Drainage Unit should work hand in hand to help these people to move from this low-lying area,” (Minister Clarke) said…

NHC deputy general manager George Edghill said residents of Murphy Pasture were among those from other St Michael districts who had been allocated lots at Lower Burney in the same parish.

“The Ministry of Housing and Lands is doing investigations and NHC would be the executing arm of this exercise. As soon as everything is in place, then we would allocate the lots at Lower Burney to the persons,” he added.

Previous Barbados Free Press posts on this subject…

Barbados Government Minister Gline Clarke – House and Mercedes On Expropriated Land

Barbados Government BLP Blog – Week Of Silence As Land Expropriation Scandal Heats Up

Gline Clarke Scandal Story Shatters More Barbados Free Press Records!

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NASA, University – Team Up To Study Barbados Coastal Ecology, Graeme Hall National Park Area and…Slavery

nasa-2.jpg

NASA Satellites To Be Used In US Government-Funded Study Of Barbados Coastal Ecological Health

Just two days before the big kick-off for the proposed Graeme Hall National Park in Barbados… the USA announces a federally-funded study of the ecological health of the Barbados coastal areas by Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland. The US$186,000 study will use NASA satellites to study the ecology of Barbados, Ghana and St. Kitts.

What’s the Slavery Connection?

Coppin State University was once called Douglass Colored School (as in Frederick Douglass, author of “Narrative of the Life of An American Slave as Written By Himself”), and the student population is still largely black from the inner city.

The students involved with the “Middle Passage Project” will be “using NASA satellites to study the ecological health of areas that played key roles in the slave trade.”

The Barbados coast is one of the areas up for study, and there is no doubt that the proposed Graeme Hall National Park will be a key focus as it is by far the largest remaining natural mangrove swamp on the island.

It wouldn’t surprise us at all if the folks doing the study contact those working to establish Graeme Hall National Park. Just seems like a natural fit to us.

NOTE: Don’t forget about the Public Meeting to Kickoff the Graeme Hall National Park Project.

Graeme Hall National Park Proposal - Public Meeting

Saturday, October 14, 2006
3:30pm

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary
Complimentary refreshments with cash bar until 7pm.

More information: (Link Here)

Previous BFP Story: Graeme Hall National Park Public Meeting

Coppin, NASA Team Up For Study of Slave Routes

Baltimore Examiner, October 12, 2006 (link here)
BALTIMORE -
U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings visited Coppin State University Wednesday to announce a federal grant using NASA satellites to study the ecological health of areas that played key roles in the slave trade.

Cummings lauded the program, called The Middle Passage Project, as an opportunity for students at the historically black college to explore their heritage.

“To set foot in Africa and explore the land of your ancestors is an incredible opportunity,” he told the assembly of students and faculty. “Take advantage of it.”

The $186,000 federal grant will allow six students in Coppin’s geography program to use satellite data provided by NASA to study the ecology of Ghana, St. Kitts and Barbados — key landfalls for slave traders. The students will use NASA satellite data to assess the ecological health of the coastlines and rain forest, as well as to assess carbon management policies. Participating students said the program was a good opportunity to improve their science skills while keeping important history alive.

“We’re using present technology to help us connect to the past,” said Micah Crump, a junior at Coppin and one of the program participants.

Douglass Reardon, project director, said that the program uses African American history as a guide to better understanding ecological systems. “We can use science to study how the environment influences human history,” he said. He also said that the data will be used to guide preservation efforts of key historical sites.

Stephen Janis
sjanis@baltimoreexaminer.com
Story link here

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Environment

Barbados Needs A New Offshore Patrol Vessel

Time To Start The Discussion – HMBS Trident Reaching The End

Her Majesty’s Barbadian Ship Trident – the primary offshore patrol vessel of the Barbados Coast Guard – is coming to the end of her useful life. At 27 years old, she is already well past her designed 15 year service life for patrol vessels. According to a BFP source, the engines, auxiliary equipment and most of the electronics are worn and unreliable – and more than a few times in the past year, the Trident has been unable to fulfill a tasking because of equipment deficiencies or outright failures.

The same source informed BFP that the Government of Barbados is negotiating with Communist China for a Trident replacement. (See previous BFP article Barbados Negotiating With Communist China For New Patrol Vessel.)

While have made our views known many times about dealing with China’s brutal communist dictatorship, this article is not about where or how Barbados should obtain a new offshore patrol vessel – it is about the necessity of such action.

So let’s take a look at why Barbados needs a serious offshore patrol vessel, and why a smaller vessel just won’t do the job…

Why Barbados Needs A Serious Offshore Patrol Vessel

Even a small coastal nation – and especially an island nation like Barbados – needs to venture upon it’s waters for a variety of reasons, including…

1/ Maintaining and protecting territorial sovereignty.
2/ Enforcement of laws.
3/ Safety, Rescue or Recovery Operations.
4/ Surveillance & Inspection Patrols.

Very near shore and in shallow coastal waters, all these tasks can be better performed by smaller craft. For near shore, Barbados has one 40-footer. In harbour, surf and beach areas, Barbados even uses hard-bottomed inflatables. They are safe, fast and cost-effective, but are not suitable for offshore work except as an auxiliary to a much larger vessel – and what we are talking about here is offshore work in dangerous conditions.

What are “Dangerous Conditions” & How Far Is “Offshore” ?

In a calm sea with little wind, even the smallest of our old wooden fishing boats venture far offshore, and most people would be very surprised at just how far below the horizon our fisherfolk will travel to put a long line over the stern. It is not uncommon to see small Bajan fishing vessels even seventy-five or a hundred nautical miles from home. (Doan worry old man – we won’t be ‘tell nobody exactly where your sweet spots are!)

On a calm night even a small open boat – sound, well-equipped and well-crewed – is safe enough miles offshore. But weather forecasts (and seafolk) are often a little too optimistic. Sometimes you get a fright and laugh later, but other times there is hell to pay.

The waters around Barbados are as dangerous and unforgiving as anywhere in the world. Whether along the shallow west coast, or a hundred miles into the Atlantic, the sea is totally intolerant of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.* There is not a man or woman who works the sea from this island who has not at one time or another felt their respect for the waters instantly turn to fear.

So many ways to be injured or worse at sea: A rogue wave coming just so. An unknown coral head. Misjudging the weather. A cracked engine bearing or fouled injector on a moonless night with an offshore current. And no fire is “small” on the water.

The Coast Guard Must Go Out – No Matter What The Weather

When trouble happens and the sea is doing it’s worst, the Barbados Coast Guard must go. No choice. Duty compels our friends so out they go – no matter what. You think they are not frightened to death sometimes like the rest of us? But they must respond and they do. No matter what.

To send the men and women of the Barbados Coast Guard to sea in anything but a reliable, properly equipped vessel that is large enough and strong enough for the worst sea states – is criminal.

In The Worst Sea, Size Matters

At 123 feet, Trident is three times longer than the Coast Guard’s second largest vessel, Endeavour. And while Trident might look massive while tied up alongside and a bit of overkill for Barbados, the truth is that in the middle of an Atlantic storm, she is probably just barely large enough to be effective as an offshore rescue and patrol vessel.

Trident also lacks the abilities of newer designs that have active stabilization systems and purpose-built launching sterns for rough water rescues. Have a look at what the world’s coastal forces are using these days, and you will find that Trident’s length and displacement is by no means an “overkill” for her duties. Check out World Navies Today and you’ll see what I mean. She’s a toy compared with many – and there is often no backup capable of coming to her rescue.

Trust me on this folks – there are no aetheists on board Trident in a Force 10 or better blow!

Barbados Must Buy A New Offshore Patrol Vessel – Or Scrap Any Pretense Of Having Sovereignty Over It’s Own Waters

Any nation that cannot, or will not, mount an effective patrol of it’s own waters and coast will soon find that smugglers, thieves and plunderers of fisheries will be happy to take advantage of the situation. There are also enough failed small states to provide example of what happens when nations rely exclusively upon the good graces of their neighbours to respect their sovereignty over offshore resources.

It is all about priorities, and unfortunately, this government has shown that it prefers to spend money on short-term high-profile “show off” projects rather than the longterm maintaining of the infrastructures that are foundational to our society. Whether we are talking water, sewers, environment, health care or safety and security resources like policing or the Coast Guard – these issues are just not sexy enough to take priority over, say, cricket or a nationalized hotel scheme.**

Of course, instead of buying a new offshore vessel, there is one other option available to the Barbados Government: invite the British, Americans or our new friends, Red China, to station their vessels and aircraft on our soil to perform our patrols and rescues. In the end, there’s little real difference between that and the current practice of selling off our sovereignty and our island one piece at a time.

Cliverton & Marcus

* I stole that phrase from somewhere – an aviation poster at the old West London Aero Club, I think. (Back when they still had two Super Cubs)

** Don’t kid yourself about the new Coast Guard base. The land of the old base was worth too much for “other purposes”. Can’t wait to see which politician’s friends will end up with it.

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Filed under Barbados, Island Life, Politics & Corruption