Daily Archives: February 24, 2008

How Much Armed Robbery Goes Unreported In Barbados?

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Keltruth Blog posted the following this morning, but so far I haven’t heard anything on the radio or TV about gunmen doing a robbery on Saturday afternoon…

Gunmen Strike Belle Warehouse!

Two men robbed employees of one of the warehouses in the Belle Estate Yard. They took the day’s takings from these employees at gunpoint. This happened around 3p.m. 2/23/08.

… from Keltruth Blog article Armed Robbery In Barbados – Saturday Afternoon

That got me thinking about a number of gun incidents that I’ve heard about while talking with friends and at work – but that have never been reported in the news media. A few weeks back when those folks from the cruise ship were held up by an armed gang while on Safari Tours, there was practically nothing in the media. Even to this day the Nation News never mentioned it.

This type of censored reporting in the Barbados media is nothing more or less than an attempt to sanitize the news so the tourists aren’t frightened off. While that makes sense from a short-term perspective, the danger is that the true extent of the problem also becomes hidden from the citizens and their elected representatives.

David over at Barbados Underground has coincidentally posted an article today Caribbean & Crime: Prosperity Under Threat. The title nails the issue.

Let’s get something straight folks: Unless tourists and foreign business people feel safe on Barbados, you can kiss goodbye not only tourism, but also offshore banking.

Dear Mr. Prime Minister

We know that the treasury was left bare, and that there is much to be done with our run-down hospital and water supply infrastructure, but if this government does not put public safety, policing and justice right up there as priorities – our foreign cashflow will soon tank.

Barbados needs many more better trained, better equipped police officers on the street NOW.

20 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Freedom Of The Press, Traveling and Tourism

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 Flying On Palm and Coconut Oil – Jet Fuel Mixture

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Richard Branson Tosses A Coconut For News Photographers

A Virgin Atlantic Airways Boeing 747 is flying from Heathrow to Amsterdam to test the feasibility of biofuel in airline service. While this is more of a publicity flight than a necessary technical test, one can’t fault Sir Richard Branson at all for leading the charge.

And… if by coincidence, the flight happily coincides with Virgin Fuel’s recently-announced joint venture into the American ethanol biofuels market with NTR plc – well, such are life’s coincidences. ;-)

In The News…

The Star.com – Virgin Makes Biofuel Flight

Bloomberg.com – Virgin Flies 747 on Babassu, Coconut-Derived Biofuel

7 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Energy, Environment

Shattering The Racial Stereotypes

Ingrid Persaud’s latest post at Notes From A Small Rock provides a delightful read on a Sunday morning. She went looking for a Mr. King who sells salt fish and discovered Martin’s Bay where some of Bim’s poor white families appear to be hiding from the rest of the world.

Here’s a sample…

The significance of this small community of poor whites on the rock might seem absurd until you remember that this is a society largely made up of the descendents of white masters and black slaves. The stereotype each must bear is the equation that white equals wealth and privilege and black the opposite…

We found Mr. King conveniently taking the sea air on his porch in the company of a gentleman who looks a lot like him, and a woman who turns out to be his wife, and who also looks a lot like him. The gene pool is shrinking. It is clear their peaceful afternoons are not usually shattered by strangers. I do my best not to fixate on the almost translucent paleness of their skins, their ruddy checks and the slightly wild eyed look common to all three. Leigh did the talking.

“Morning. We looking for Mr. King who sells salt fish pon ah Tuesday down here.”

Read the entire article at Notes From A Small Rock: The Last Kings Of Bim

12 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Race

A Must-Read Article For Barbados Minister Of Housing Michael Lashley

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“If there is a single builder in Barbados building structurally safe houses, then please contact me and I would happily publish the construction photos and promote your business free of cost.”

… Structural Engineer & Blogger Grenville Phillips II on Weighed In The Balance blog (link here)

Structural Engineer Grenville Phillips II Sounds The Alarm…

I have come to the unfortunate realization that we are doomed to experience the misery and economic setback that other Caribbean islands experienced after being examined by major hurricanes. These countries only paid attention to building standards after their buildings were weighed in the balance and found wanting.

I have given up hope that the Town Planning department will accept their responsibility to ensure that houses are both designed and built properly, until they actually see the devastation that they could have prevented. I have also given up hope that the Ministry of Housing will accept its responsibility to ensure that their proposed 2,500 “units” will be anything but sub-standard.

During the past 12 years, I have rarely seen a house built that confirms to the minimum structural requirements of our national building standard. It is very distressing to report that every one of those sub-standard houses could have been built properly at no additional cost. There seems to be a strange belief among builders and homeowners that they can somehow realize good quality construction by simply wishing it to be so.

I will use this final article on substandard building to inform home owners of what to look for and what to do if they find it. Most of the photos were taken within the past week…

… continue reading this article at Weighed In The Balance blog (link here)

8 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Disaster