Monthly Archives: May 2006

Barbados DLP Website Back From The Dead – Sort Of…

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The website of the Barbados Democratic Labour Party appears to be alive. For the first time in 2006, visitors to the DLP website see activity other than the "Under Construction" logo that had been displayed for almost a year.

Now, DLP website visitors are greeted with a fairly nice looking template that has obviously been created with the Joomia content management system. (This program used to be called "Mambo" for the old hands.)

Keep working ladies and gentlemen… those folks from the BLP are cranking up their internet activities and some say they can smell an election in the wind. Ever notice how the summer storms tend to strike when people are not yet prepared?

Now, where is the PEP website…?

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Barbados Big Snake Hunt

We have this little problem on Barbados… well, maybe not so little…

Over the years, people illegally imported baby snakes as pets, and then when they became too big to feed – or too dangerous to keep in the house – they just let them go wild. The website of the Caribbean Herpetological Society says that about 10 very large snakes are loose in various places on the island, with the largest being at least 18 feet long.

The website just tells it like it is and provides further reason for concern. Here is what it has to say about our little friend shown above… the Reticulated Python…

An aggressive temperament, and a proven hunter & killer of human beings on land in its South East Asia natural range. Babies are suspected of having been smuggled into Barbados from the USA or Canada since 1993.

Our friends from the Caribbean Herpetological Society have been conducting public awareness campaigns and snake hunts, and will respond to calls. You can read their latest Public Report here.

And just in case you see one of the little crawly fellas, here are the phone numbers of the members who might come to your aid. No calls except for the real thing, please.

Damon (231-2975), Geoffrey (262-9984) & Corey (233-8740)

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Jamaican Author Geoffrey Philp: “Blogging Bypasses Gatekeepers, Challenges Pervasive Elitism In Caribbean”

It looks like our week of blogging about blogging is being continued by Jamaican Author Geoffrey Philp at Geoffrey Philp's Blog Spot.

Well worth reading the whole thing, but here are some excerpts from Philp's article Liming In Cyberspace…

…Blogging alaso challenges the elitism that pervades the Caribbean and is a great experiment in the democratization of data. To be sure, a digital divide exists, but anyone with access to a computer and an email address can set up an account at Blogger and become a blogger. It’s that easy. This is very disturbing to some people, who as Bob Marley once said, “Still want to divide the people. But how can they divide the people when them don’t have four foot?”

It should be noted that early in his career, Bob faced similar problems with exposure from the gatekeepers of the record industry. He couldn’t get any airplay on the radio stations and a highly respected Caribbean bandleader once said that he would never play reggae because it was ghetto music. Of course, when Chris Blackwell began producing Bob Marley and the Wailers, then everybody was convinced that it had to be great because the music was being produced in England. Similarly, the careers of Lamming, Brathwaite, Walcott, and Naipaul (who are great writers by any standard), would have taken different paths had it not been for Caribbean Voices which gave them the exposure with the authority of the BBC behind them.

To be honest, Caribbean Voices was produced by the BBC because of their commitment to Commonwealth culture that continues to this day, but the level of attention during the fifties was also due to colonial guilt. That guilt has now disappeared and many of us now have to depend upon the “kindness of strangers” because our own governments/ countries cannot (will not?) support activities in the arts. This is not only because of limited budgets, but limited minds. Blogging provides the kind of freedom that is anathema to many gatekeepers who want to control the flow of information throughout the Caribbean.

Well said, Geoffrey!

To make it easier for Barbados Free Press readers to enjoy more of Geoffrey's excellent work, we've added a permanent link to his blog under "Blogroll" on our sidebar links.

For the tip, a glass of rum-punch to Nicholas Laughlin at Global Voices Online 

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Singer Joss Stone – That’s Who… Says “New Look” A Result of Barbados Food

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Singer Joss Stone is back in Barbados and has been seen visiting a friend at a local address. Our Shona (who may have a few friends in the music industry) says that Joss has been working up some songs for her next album that will have a distinctly island flavour.

As to Stone's new and thinner look, the Daily Mail is reporting that she is crediting our healthy island foods for her weight loss.

Hey… Joss always looked OK to me, but now… nice!

Cliverton

photo courtesy of Splash! and The Daily Mail

AN SHONA SAY TO CLIVE – you betta watch out cause you be in BIG trouble you get home. doan go put up de photo like that no more! 

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Caribbean Blogging Seminar May 31 – National Library – Port Of Spain

Prolific blogger Nicholas Laughlin will be hosting a Caribbean Blogging Seminar on Wednesday, May 31, 2006 at the National Library in Port Of Spain, Trinidad.

Here is an excerpt from his blog…

–This is the "abstract" I wrote a few months back for an event called "Global Voices, Caribbean Accents: A Roundtable on Blogging in the Caribbean", which is part of the programme of the Caribbean Studies Association's annual conference, currently ongoing in Port of Spain. The theme of this year's conference is "The Caribbean in the Age of Modernity", and Alice Backer, the Francophonia editor for Global Voices, had the bright idea that a panel on blogging would fit in very neatly.

So tomorrow morning at 11.15 in the first-floor seminar room at the National Library in Port of Spain–a couple of blocks from the CSA conference headquarters at the Crowne Plaza Hotel–Georgia, Attillah, and I will have a decidedly unscholarly, free-form public dialogue about the current and potential roles of blogging and other forms of participative web media in the Caribbean.

A special-edition Caribbean Free Radio podcast–incorporating interviews with various CSA members which we recorded this morning–will debut, we'll talk about our personal experiences with blogging and about the Caribbean blogs we think most interesting, and if the library's wi-fi and audio-visual equipment are as spiffy as we've been told, we'll stage a fully multi-media event, including live access of webpages on a big screen and who knows what other marvels. (It would be super if a member of the audience came equipped with laptop and decided to liveblog the proceedings.)

We'll post detailed reports afterwards, including selections from our notes and links to all the blogs and other sites we refer to during the roundtable. There was talk of a Skypecast, but we may have quite enough on our hands already….

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Who Was Seen Yesterday At Green Ham Barbados?

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Shona just had a call. YOU-KNOW-WHO was seen yesterday evening visiting an old friend at Green Ham. We didn't even know that this person was back on the island.

There may be a photo!

Oh My… So Exciting!

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Blogging Around: Socialism vs. Capitalism at Booker Rising

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Detroit Blogger Akindele Akinyemi puts forward this idea…

"We should reject socialism because it is a form of psychological slavery that keep us dependent on a larger system to take care of us."

Answers Roderick in the Comments at Booker Rising

"And pure capitalism is physical and financial enslavement. Neither pure capitalism nor pure socialism is the answer. I like the balance that America has achieved."

Open for Discussion in The Comments Section of Barbados Free Press…

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This Week In The Barbados Free Press…

During last week's heavy editorial meeting, (which we documented in "Mello Sunday: Another BFP Staff Meeting…") we set some goals about doing the following stories…

Part II of our Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary series.

– A look at the PEP, BLP & DLP websites.

– Part I on a series about Bajan money.

– Florida Police Corruption Scandal Touches Royal Barbados Police Force

– Commentary on Gay Marriage in Barbados

While we managed to bring you a few of these stories, our publishing schedule was taken over by events. (See "The Power Of The Internet – In Barbados Politics" below)

We feel most badly about having missed the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary story – which we will try to complete this week.

Graeme Hall Wetlands In Danger

There is a community meeting on (I think) June 7th to discuss the impact of a proposal by Caribbean Splash Inc. to put a tourist water park in Graeme Hall wetland area. As a runup to the meeting, we will continue with our series on this important issue. For details, see our earlier story "Barbados Water Park Battle On The Horizon – Graeme Hall Wetlands In Danger"

The Power Of The Internet – In Barbados Politics

One story emerged to dominate the Barbados Free Press for the past week – the new influence and power of the internet in Barbados politics. On May 25th, we published "Barbados Political Party Websites Reviewed – A Choice Between BLP Racism and Nothing Else"… and saw the number of visitors and people leaving comments go off the scale.

Two days later, we reviewed the new Barbados Labour Party Blog in our story "Barbados Labour Party Blog Reviewed – Linked To" and again the visitor log went off the scale.

We also provided permanent links to the BLP Blog at the written request of Dr. William Duguid: MP and General Secretary of the Barbados Labour Party. Dr. Duguid has been a frequent visitor and commentor at the Barbados Free Press since we published "Standup Comedians Supreme!" on April 26th.

The Barbados Labour Party Blog was established by Dr. Duguid about May 7, 2006, and several bloggers started talking about the importance of this event – including Titilayo from the Bajan blog Gallimaufry, who also received a visits and comments from Dr. Duguid.

On May 29th, former lawyer/chief counsel turned full-time journalist & editor Karen Walrond said of the establishment of the Barbados Labour Party Blog…

"In my opinion, this is huge."

Today, Barbados Free Press received enquiries from two major media organizations – in the United Kingdom and the USA – who are apparently developing stories concerning the BLP Blog and the rising impact of blogging in Caribbean politics.

We also saw major media stories this week concerning a United States Appeal Court ruling that bloggers are protected by law the same as journalists are – and a story that internet advertising revenues will exceed newspaper advertising revenues by 2007.

Power and media structures are shifting. Barbados Free Press will continue to cover the story surrounding the new importance and influence of political blogging.

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Barbados Death Boat – Senegal Connection – Global Voices Photos

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Barbados Free Press previously covered the story of the eleven dead men found in a boat floating off Barbados. This week, Global Voices picks up on the Senegal connection – and connects with a heart-wrenching multi-media presentation at Seneweb.com.

WARNING – GRAPHIC

Here is the link to the Seneweb photo presentation about the plight of migrants who flee Senegal by the thousands – and then die trying to reach a better life.

God bless them all…. and I am so grateful that I was born on Barbados.

Seneweb invites us to the harshness of these images which show the reality of the suffering of our brothers plopped like cattle in makeshift rafts, decided, determined to flee poverty for Europe and its enlightenment. The images presented to us by the online newssite Seneweb are living testimony of the tragedy unfolding before our eyes. Let’s hope that they contribute to the awakening of consciences, to populations demanding better governance, better management of public affairs, so that our politicians work for the peoples who’ve elected them.

Translated from Senegalese blogger Seckasystemeblog

Story Links

Global Voices: Senegal: Conversations on Drowned Migrants

Seneweb: Senegal Migrant Photo Presentation (WARNING GRAPHIC)

Seckasystemeblog (Story In French)

UPDATE: Excellent New (May 30, 2006) BBC article here. According to the article, authorities believe there were 50 people on board the boat and that it was deliberately cast adrift by a Spaniard who is now being sought by Interpol. 

Barbados Free Press – Death Boat Previous Stories…

May 2, 2006 – Death Boat Arrives In Barbados

May 8, 2006 – Barbados Death Boat Was Headed Senegal To Cape Verde Islands

May 15, 2006 – Barbados Death Boat May Have Held 37 People

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The Nation Newspaper Picks Up On Barbados Free Press Story?

It looks like Tony Best of The Nation Newspaper was detailed to do a follow-up on our May 24, 2006 story "Florida Sheriff Scandal Has Barbados Police Connection – Questions Need Answering By Barbados Police".

On May 28, 2006, the Nation Newspaper also published a story "US Probe" about the scandals involving Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne. Reporter Tony Best has done some additional digging into this still-breaking story, and even tried to call Sheriff Jenne – who for some reason is reluctant to talk to the media.

Have a look at the Nation News story here. We will be publishing more on this story tomorrow – including some original investigative reporting that is sure to cause some upset in certain offices of the Royal Barbados Police Force.

So… it looks like the Nation News and the Barbados Free Press are in a bit of a competition over this story – just like the good old days. "EXTRA! EXTRA! – Read All About It!"

Let's see who can further break the news on the Barbados links to this story.

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Internet Advertising Revenues Will Exceed Newspaper Advertising Revenues in 2007

And while we at the Barbados Free Press are on blogging and internet news today, here is another indication of how the internet is growing and traditional newspapers are fading…

Net Ad Spending Poised To Overtake National Press

Monday May 29 2006 16:55

The internet will this year overtake national newspapers to become the third biggest advertising medium by spend, according to authoritative forecasts.

By the end of 2007, internet advertising will close the gap on regional newspapers, the number two medium, but will still be well short of television, the biggest outlet in the £12bn-a-year media advertising market.

The projection, seen exclusively by the FT, underlines the pace of growth in internet advertising and the challenge to businesses reliant on traditional advertising revenue.

Financial Times article here.

 

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US Court Rules Online Reporters (Bloggers) To Be Protected Journalists

Welcome to the New World, folks (at least in the USA)…

SAN JOSE, Calif. – A state appeals court on Friday rejected Apple Computer Inc.'s bid to identify the sources of leaked product information that appeared on Web sites, ruling that online reporters and bloggers are entitled to the same protections as traditional journalists.

"In no relevant respect do they appear to differ from a reporter or editor for a traditional business-oriented periodical who solicits or otherwise comes into possession of confidential internal information about a company," Justice Conrad Rushing of the 6th District Court of Appeal wrote in a unanimous 69-page ruling.

"We decline the implicit invitation to embroil ourselves in questions of what constitutes 'legitimate journalism," he wrote. "The shield law is intended to protect the gathering and dissemination of news, and that is what petitioners did here."

The online journalists are thus entitled to the protections provided under California's shield law as well as the privacy protections for e-mails allowed under federal law, the court ruled.

…The Electronic Frontier Foundation called the ruling "a huge win."

"Today's decision is a victory for the rights of journalists, whether online or offline, and for the public at large," said the group's staff attorney Kurt Opsahl, who argued the case before the appeals court last month.

Read the rest of the article here.

This was all done under the "whistle blower" shield law in the USA, but the Government of Barbados has not instituted any "whistle blower" or integrity legislation. 

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Kimberly Guilfoyle and Eric Villency Married In Barbados – Baby On The Way

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From our "It Must Have Been Quite The Blind Date" files…

Fox's Kimberly Guilfoyle (The Lineup), 37, and Fine Living's Eric Villency (Idesign), 31, were married on Saturday (May 27, 2006) in Barbados and are said to be five months pregnant with their first child, a boy.

The couple met on a blind date last October and were engaged by Christmas, but kept the romance a secret until February, when Kimberly's divorce from San Francisco major Gavin Newsom was finalized. However, a friend of the couple remarks that "The wedding was planned long before she learned she was with child." However, another source scoffs, "[The baby] was the worst-kept secret in town." Ouch.

…from Celebrity Baby Blog here.

Nope… our Shona wasn't invited to the Sandy Lane wedding, nor does she have anything to match Guilfolye's 5.2 carat Asscher-cut diamond engagement ring.

…but she does have a good man who comes home every night and a family that loves her. And that will have to do!

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Scrabble Championship: Barbados Thumps Guyana, But Trinidad-Tobago Triumphs

As we reported last Saturday, the Trinidad and Tobago team were the ones to beat for the second Caribbean Scrabble Championship being held in Guyana – but Barbados was unable to stand up to the onslaught.

We did however thoroughly thump Guyana.

The Caribbean scrabble tournament is a bi-annual event that started two years ago in Trinidad. The next championship will be held in 2008.

Hey… it isn't cricket or football – but it is actually quite entertaining to watch the Scrabble matches as these folks are really serious about the game.

Stabroek News article here.

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Smoke, Mirrors and Oil Prices – Barbados Government Magic Show Ending

Minister of Energy and Environment Elizabeth Thompson told the Nation News over the weekend that "Government has shielded Barbadians from the full impact of crude oil price increases to prevent a hike in the cost of living, and a slide in the quality of life here."

Said Thompson…

"That is why Government has not passed on the full price increase to the public, because of the impact on inflation and the impact on society, quality of life, prices, everything.

"That is the rationale for the policy which the Government is using,"

The Minister and the Government have a difficult balancing act – trying to keep the price of gas and diesel low enough that the economy and daily lives of Bajans are not severely impacted… while not forgetting that "somebody" (all of us) will have to pay the piper in the end.

Whether the Government keeps the street price of vehicle fuel low through reducing taxes, direct subsidies to users (as with diesel) or some other slight of hand, it can't go on forever and it is not free…

… and there is not much the Government can further do to protect Bajans from happenings on the world markets.

And that was Part 2 of the Minister's message… Get ready, folks… because gas and diesel prices are about to skyrocket. Here is what she said…

The minister added that her ministry will be putting a pricing mechanism in place soon that would help determine the level of price increases here based on the hike on the international market.

Yes, it sounds like it is going to be an expensive year.

UPDATE

One of our readers directed us to an article written by Simpson Oil Ltd. Director Stewart Gill. The Nation News article "Living A Lie At State's Expense" states in part…

IT IS THE VIEW of Simpson Oil Limited that the true costs of petroleum products should be passed through to consumers on a timely basis.

Government has been heavily subsidising petroleum products in the last few years as prices escalate and, in doing so, has placed a heavy burden on itself…

…That really is inevitable because in the commodity market, you cannot beat the market over the long run. So my advice is: when prices on the world market increase, prices to consumers should be increased; likewise, when prices on the world market decrease, the price to the consumer should decrease….

…We have certainly seen that the consumption of fuel in Barbados has rateably increased over the last five years despite substantial increases, so I think it's fair to say that the price has not had a major impact on consumption and therefore I think people are living in a false sense of economy at the expense of Government tax revenue.

Stewart Gill is executive director of Simpson Oil Ltd.

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Bit Of Humour On A Sunday Night

Sent to us by a friend, and it made us laugh.

We will probably take it down tomorrow, but for now…

Click here.

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Establishment Of Barbados Labour Party Blog “Huge” – Journalist/Editor Karen Walrond

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Former lawyer/chief counsel turned full-time journalist & editor Karen Walrond says of the establishment of the Barbados Labour Party Blog

"In my opinion, this is huge."

Referring to an earlier article by writer Titilayo, Walrond goes on to say…

Interestingly, Titilayo muses that the move by the BLP to start their own blog might have been motivated by the presence of another blog, the Barbardos Free Press, an alternative, controversial, high-profile blog written by three individuals who aren't afraid to tell it like it is.

If Titilayo is correct, and the BLP started their weblog in response to the Barbado Free Press? Then I say that this is a great day for citizen journalism — for anything that forces any political party to listen to the people (or at least make motions to do so) is a good thing.

(Read Walrond's entire article at BlogHer.org)

Karen Walrond's articles and photos can be found online at…

BlogHer.org (Women's Issues & Writers)

Chookooloonks.com (Walrond's Journal)

Gadling (The Traveler's Weblog)

Blogging Baby (Magazine about pregnancy, baby care & parenting)

Mommy Bloggers (Online community of parents)

Indigo Leaf Magazine (Arts Magazine featuring new & emerging artists)

The Pan Collective (Caribbean women writers)

Karen Walrond Photography

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Words Of Wisdom For A Barbados Sunday

Barbados_Windmill.jpg

An article stolen borrowed from Christian Business Blog

Bywords On Creativity

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
– Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)

"Creativity, it has been said, consists largely of re-arranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know."
– George Keller

"The man who invented fire was probably burned at the stake."
– Ayn Rand

"I don't want you to think of art as a little frill or whipped cream on the cake of life. It's more like steak and potatoes."
– Dallas Willard

"The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a creative mind to spot wrong questions."
– Anthony Jay

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
– Pablo Picasso

"We are told never to cross a bridge until we come to it, but this world is owned by men who have crossed bridges in their imagination far ahead of the crowd."
– Unknown

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few."
– Shunryu Suzuki

"Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man."
– American Proverb

For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether such a great thing as this has ever happened or was ever heard of.
– Deuteronomy 4:32 (ESV)

Any others that come to mind?

photo by Shona – Barbados National Trust Restored Sugar Windmill

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