Monthly Archives: May 2006

Never Mind Cricket – Barbados Must Win The Caribbean Scrabble Championship!


The Face Of The Destroyer! – T & T Captain Edward Metinier

The Trinidad and Tobago Scrabble Team appears to be unstoppable. Under Captain Edward Metinier, T & T are destroying the competition – leaving mayhem in their wake and empty rum bottles under the table as they slaughter team after team at the Second Caribbean Scrabble Championships being held in Guyana.

Can Barbados Stop Them?

Tune in later today, folks. We'll see whether the Bajans have what it takes!

Highest scoring Scrabble word ever …. OXYPHENBUTAZONE*

* So says Cliverton – who, much to his chagrin, appears to be an expert at such trivial pieces of information.

Read the full story in the Stabroek News. (Must be a slow news day.)


Filed under Barbados, Island Life

Barbados Labour Party Blog Reviewed – Linked To


UPDATE: June 2, 2006

Also see our new story "BLP Blog Announces Live Online Chat With Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur" 

BLP Blog Reviewed

Dr. William Duguid, the General Secretary of the Barbados Labour Party, has started a blog for the Barbados Labour Party (BLP). At least, we assume that Dr. Duguid has started the "Official" BLP Blog – because he is the General Secretary of the party.

And this leads to our first observation – that the Barbados Labour Party Blog appears to have been started in a bit of a rush on a Sunday afternoon, but it will probably improve dramatically in just a short time.

Titilayo over at Gallimaufry beat us to press with a review of the BLP Blog, and we couldn't do any better, so we will just steal borrow parts of her review. (By the way – as well as running her own blog, Titilayo has also been posting some excellent work over at The Pan Collective. You won't be disappointed if you drop by and have a read.)

Here is what Titilayo has to say about the Barbados Labour Party Blog…

The Barbados Labour Party has started a blog. It could do with a bit of work right now (grammar is important, people! and so is presentation!), but I think that the blog has the potential to be a good way for the BLP to present its views, and to open itself up to dialogue with the public, both their supporters and their detractors. In that regard, it certainly puts them a step ahead of the other political parties, the Democratic Labour Party and the People's Empowerment Party, neither of which even has a functioning website. It will be interesting to see how the blog develops, particularly as it comes to more people's attention and visitor traffic increases.

I do tend to wonder how much of the impetus to set up this blog came from the establishment and growing popularity of Barbados Free Press (which is presently the only site on the BLP's blogroll). If nothing else, I think that existence of the Barbados Free Press, and its increasingly high profile, alerted the BLP that there was a new medium available for them to "communicate with the people". And, despite my overall cynicism about politics, I think it's commendable that the BLP is attempting to make use of that medium. Good on them.

Quite right, Titilayo! It is commendable that the BLP has established a blog – because there is a risk in doing so and the party has obviously decided that it was a risk it had to take.

What Are The Risks In Establishing a Political Party Blog?

We'll try to keep the answer below 1000 words… 😉 but the two main risks can be shortened to this…

1/ Risk of Public Failure – Successful Blogging Takes New Skills & Commitment

2/ Risk of Exposure – Political Blogging Favours Opposition, Not Government

1/ Risk of Public Failure – Successful Blogging Takes New Skills & Commitment

When an organization establishes a blog, it enters into a new arena where there is a true "level playing field". Money no longer counts like it does for television or newspaper advertising or other traditional marketing campaigns… because "anyone" can put up a blog on the internet for nothing. So if money no longer counts, it means that good ideas, writing, presentation (and a little magic) are the currency for success in this new media.

Merely "having" a blog is not the same as operating a vibrant blog with an ever-expanding audience that trades ideas and focuses attention on common issues. Successful blogging takes new skills – and even many professional journalists and website developers have been unable to create a successful online blog. Just "having" a blog does not develop reader loyalty, create excitement and influence in a community, provide an international search-engine presence or penetrate larger online communities.

All this takes new skills – and the skill set for blogging is very different than for operating a traditional website.

Will the Barbados Labour Party Blog eventually be a hit with readers? We hope so, but there are no guarantees.

And that is the risk that any organization takes in establishing a blog… It isn't easy to be successful, and any failure is in public. While failure of a political party's new blog might not be such a big deal – if the failure is in an election year, that could be something else…

2/ Risk of Exposure – Political Blogging Favours Opposition, Not Government

As much as governing political parties say they want to "communicate with the people" when they speak about blogging, what they often mean is that they simply want to use the internet as a one-way communication tool to present their message to online visitors – much like a television commercial.

But that is not the reality of blogging. Unlike a television commercial where the viewer is limited to shouting at the screen when a "cow pasture" odour is detected, the reader of a blog has several options – from leaving a public comment, to thoroughly researching an issue and posting devastating counter-evidence on another blog – or in the political blog's comments section and daring the party to erase it. Bloggers also tend to "gang up" when a major story breaks.

Bloggers have caused major embarrassments to governments around the world because the bloggers can react, organize research and post evidence and articles much faster than larger organizations can respond. As well, the risks for governments increase when they enter into direct public debate with an uncontrolled audience… and that is what blogging is all about.

In short – the Barbados Labour Party has decided to enter a new media where their posted ideas and words will be instantly analyzed in minute detail by people in Barbados and around the world. Should any of the blog posts have that "cow pasture" aroma that we sometimes see in politics, the BLP will not only be told about it – they might find those words broadcast around the world to the embarrassment of the party or a candidate.

Of course, a governing party can decide to not participate in blogging, but then they surrender the new media to other political parties and ad hoc citizen opposition.

As A Tool, Political Blogging Favours Opposition Over Government

As a tool, political blogging tends to favour the opposition for a few reasons…

– Attack is always easier than reactive defense (which is traditionally where an incumbent multi-term government finds itself during an election campaign.)

– While the governing party has to be careful to control it's outgoing policy messages, opposition bloggers do not have to worry about presenting a unified message if they are simply attacking the government (as opposed to presenting policy).

– There is never a shortage of stories or targets for opposition bloggers. After a decade in power, any government has made mistakes, had scandals and budget disasters. Bloggers from the governing party have a much tougher time finding such stories about the opposition.

– Opposition bloggers can react, research and post evidence and articles much faster than governing party organizations can respond.

– A blogging campaign is a superb budget equalizer and force multiplier for the Opposition. It provides a cost-effective method of mass-communication for smaller organizations and budgets, and when well done can significantly impact traditional election campaigns.

– Traditional media outlets tend to follow breaking blogger stories during election campaigns. Once again, this acts as a force multiplier for the opposition. Past federal elections in both the United States and Canada are proof enough of the influence of blogging upon the traditional media and the voting public.

Barbados Labour Party Blog Added To Our Links

Dr. William Duguid, the General Secretary of the Barbados Labour Party, contacted the Barbados Free Press and asked that the BLP Blog be included in our sidebar links.

We have, of course, added the link – and we wish Dr. Duguid and the BLP success with their party's new blog. And we do applaud the establishment of the Barbados Labour Party Blog as it could possibly lead to more transparency and accountability by the Government.

post by Clive with Marcus


Filed under Barbados, Island Life, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Government Agency Promoting Tourism By Selling Below Cost… Really

Sometimes I think I'm living on the planet Zontar instead of in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Our old friend and hotel owner Adrian Loveridge is at it again – pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes…

This time, Mr. Loveridge dares to mention that the Barbados Tourism Authority is promoting vacation packages to American visitors that will result in a loss with each one sold. The more Americans visit Barbados, the more money will be lost.


A sample from Mr. Loveridge's letter to Caribbean Net News…

It was with absolute incredulity that we recently received notification that the Barbados Tourism Authority has yet again resurrected the highly discounted Best of Barbados programme in our second largest market (United States) for this summer…

And perhaps most worrying of all, considering the use of taxpayers monies, and that this is the only national initiative, it should be noted that in order to participate in the programme you will need to have a rate of at least US$80 per night …

Forget the daily free full breakfasts, the free night�s accommodation, the two (2) three course dinners at a variety of restaurants and various other offerings substantially diluting revenue, just ask yourself one question!

How many of 160 plus registered hotels, guest houses and apartments, including the over 100 small properties on Barbados, can command a tour operator rate of US$80 per room per night in the summer months?

Based on a net room rate of US$80 per night with two sharing lets compare the revenue produced.

(see letter for calculations)…

So even if we attracted 20,000 Best of Barbados visitors, there would be an overall loss of US$1.3 million.

As opposed to a net gain of US$7.7 million, if the same number booked directly at normal prices!

Yet five years after 9/11, with all the combined creativity of our industry policymakers the only thing that they come up with is selling our product below its actual cost.

…read the entire letter at Caribbean Net News


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Island Life, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados Hosts Cricket Championship for the Blind

May God bless our blind friends. I don't know that I would have the courage to be blind…

VISUALLY challenged players from across the region are stepping up preparations for the West Indies Cricket Championship for the Blind in Barbados in July.

Five teams, hosts Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Jamaica and the Windward Islands will contest the one-week tournament from July 4 and organisers are encouraged by the teams’ build-up to their tournament.

Read the entire article at Trinidad & Tobago's Newsday.

post by Robert

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Island Life, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados Seasonal Farm Labour In Canada – A Crisis Of Character?

Trevor Yearwood at The Nation News is reporting that Bajans of bad character have virtually destroyed the market in Canada for seasonal workers from Barbados.

We are truly in shock… more so because Trevor is a very down to earth journalist not given to hyperbole. Terribly sad. Read it and weep…

BAD HABITS, including quarrelling with bosses, refusing to work and turning up late, are threatening to push Bajans out of Canada's seasonal farm labour programme.

And, Barbados' hopes of getting more locals employed in the Canadian hospitality industry have not been helped by reports of a few Bajan hotel workers moonlighting as striptease dancers.

These comments were made by head of the Barbados Liaison Office in Canada, George Brome, in a telephone interview from Canada with the DAILY NATION on Monday…

Read the entire article at The Nation News.

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Culture & Race Issues

Barbados Political Party Websites Reviewed – A Choice Between BLP Racism and Nothing Else


"It doesn't matter what you say your values are. It is what you do that shows what you truly believe in."

Shona's Auntie Moses (paraphrased)

The official website of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) – the party that has formed the Government of Barbados for 12 years as led by Prime Minister Owen Arthur – displays photos of Barbados citizens who are only of one specific race. Despite the fact that Barbados citizens hail from virtually every race and cultural heritage, only citizens of the majority race are shown on the BLP website.

And – it apparently is not even enough to be of african heritage – one must have a darker skin tone to be shown on the BLP website. No lighter-skinned persons of african heritage or mixed race persons are shown on the website. And certainly no mixed-race couples like some of the folks who bring you the Barbados Free Press.

That pretty well sums up our tour and review of all available Political Party websites in Barbados. But for those who want a more in-depth report, read on…

Reviewing Political Party Websites In Barbados

Political parties and activists all over the world have long embraced the internet as the most effective and cost-effective means of delivering their message directly to listeners – without having the meaning mangled or misrepresented by the traditional media.

It is therefore surprising to learn that of Barbados' three political parties, only the BLP has an operating website and/or blog. Here is our look at the individual party efforts and the effective message communicated by each website (or non-website)…

PEP – People's Empowerment Party of Barbados

Message Displayed: No website – no message

Effective Website Message: "We Don't Exist"

The PEP has no party website. For those wanting to know about PEP online, has one sentence…

"People's Empowerment Party (PEP) is a leftist political party in Barbados, founded in 2006. It is led by David Comissiong and is the electoral wing of the Clement Payne Movement. PEP, an opposition party, advocates public ownership of the means of production."

DLP – Democratic Labour Party

DLP Website3.jpg

Message Displayed: "A Brighter Future For All" – "Under Construction"

Effective Website Message: "We Are In Chaos – And Don't Know Where We Are Going"

The DLP – Democratic Labour Party of Barbados – website has been "Under Construction" for longer than anyone can remember. As we mentioned in our January 20, 2006 article, "Where is the Barbados DLP Website?"

What happened to the Barbados Democratic Labour Party – DLP – website? It has been “under construction” for so long that it seems obvious that the DLP leadership has no concept of the power of the internet. Perhaps with a little work, they can bring the party into the mid-1990’s!

“Under Construction”… just like the DLP itself.

If the DLP cannot get itself together enough to even put up a website, how on earth are the people of Barbados supposed to view them at a viable government-in-waiting?

BLP – Barbados Labour Party


Message Displayed: "A better life for our people"

Effective Website Message: We Are The Government, What Race Are You?

The BLP Barbados Labour Party website is well done technically. Both the programming and visual design are top drawer, and a visitor can't help but receive the impression from the website that the BLP is a sophisticated, professionally-run and well-funded organization. Such professionalism should be expected from any political party anywhere that has been in power for 12 years…

… But it is the fact that the BLP is politically sophisticated that causes concern about the party's official website and the overall message that it presents to Barbadians and to the world.

BLP_FM1.jpg BLP_Child.jpg BLP_2Ladies.jpg BLP_man.jpg

The photos, images and graphics on the website have all been carefully selected to convey a positive image of real progress happening in Barbados under the BLP Government – and to reinforce the party slogan of "A Better Life For Our People". The presentation is sophisticated, smooth and deliberately understated – showing new housing, successful businesses, clean newly-constructed public developments and happy, optimistic Barbadians with family and friends.

It is a powerful feel-good message of progress – until you realize that the images only show Barbadians of African heritage who have darker skin tones. No lighter-skinned persons of African heritage are shown. No Barbadians of Indian heritage. No Oriental races. No Asians. No whites. No Barbadians of mixed race. No mixed race couples.

Only persons of African heritage who have dark skin tones.

My friends, that is a powerful, powerful message. It is also a disturbing message in light of past racially-charged comments by both Prime Minister Owen Arthur and Environment Minister Liz Thompson.

If the Barbados Labour Party truly believes that it wants to represent the interests of all Barbadians – no matter the colour of their skin or their racial heritage – then the BLP should change it's website to reflect all our citizens.

But if the website fairly represents how the BLP views Barbados and their vision for this nation, then they should leave the website the way it is. Don't change a thing BLP, unless you really mean it.

post by Clive with Marcus

Tomorrow: A Review of the Barbados Labour Party blog 


Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Island Life, Politics & Corruption

Call For More Secure Barbados Hotels

The Nation Newspaper is reporting on a new initiative in the Barbados tourist industry to educate tourists about how to better protect themselves from crime when on vacation.

In our view, this is an excellent strategy – and it highlights what we previously stated about the security of tourists being one of the greatest strengths of the Barbados "tourism brand".

As we mentioned in our previous post "Best Wishes To Barbados Tourism Minister Noel Lynch"…

Why Is Barbados A Better Tourist Destination Than Other Carib Islands?

One of the conference discussions of great importance to Barbados will be about how to distinguish our "Barbados Brand" and product from so many other small Caribbean islands. Think about it… to the tourists, all the islands and all the beaches generally look the same. What can Barbados offer that others cannot?

Tourist Safety – Security

Think "Tourist Safety – Security" and then compare Jamaica with Barbados. No contest. Barbados is a very safe country. Even our few "bad" areas aren't really so bad. Jamaica has some of the most beautiful natural sights in the world – in truth, even prettier than Barbados – but many tourists won't set foot on the island because, as they see it, Jamaica is just not worth the risk…

We in Barbados shouldn't forget about that when the issue of policing comes up. The Royal Barbados Police Force should be the highest paid, best trained and best equipped policing organization in the Caribbean. The police are the true guardians and promoters of the most important segment of our economy. If the tourists don't feel safe in Barbados, you can kiss goodbye to about 80% of our gross national revenue.

No doubt about it. The Royal Barbados Police Force should be the highest paid, best trained and best equipped policing organization in the Caribbean.


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Island Life, Traveling and Tourism

Cricket World Cup in Barbados – 20,000 Cruise Passengers In One Day!

Linda Thompkins over at My Barbados Blog is a very practical person – so she points out that on April 28, 2007, eleven cruise ships will bring 20,000 visitors to Barbados on a single day. Linda also asks THE question…

…While this will obviously provide taxi drivers, shops, island vendors and restaurants with an considerable increase in business, one also has to wonder if 20,000+ cruise passengers arriving on the same day can actually be serviced. And this does not include World Cup visitors staying in hotels, apartments, resorts and villas.

Fire up the BBQ's folks! Grill dem fish and cool down those beer and sodas, drive them taxis and rent out those hotel rooms 'cause we all gonna make a killing at Cricket World Cup 2007!

After that, well…. that will be another story.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Island Life, Traveling and Tourism

New Sony Documentary: Who Killed The Electric Car?


"100 Years ago there were more electric cars on the road than gas cars…"

At lunch, I stumbled across this Sony movie trailer on the net. Go to the website and click "trailer" at the bottom center of the page…

Who Killed The Electric Car?

It was among the fastest, most efficient production cars ever built. It ran on electricity, produced no emissions and catapulted American technology to the forefornt of the automotive industry. The lucky few who drove it never wanted to give it up. So why did General Motors crush its fleet of EV1 electric vehicles in the Arizona desert?

WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR? chronicles the life and mysterious death of the GM EV1, examining its cultural and economic ripple effects and how they reverberated throught the halls of government and big business.

Barbados Well Suited For Electric Vehicles

Barbados is a tiny island country where our small land area and high population density makes waste disposal difficult. But our smallness could also be a strength – allowing us to make large changes in lifestyle and energy use far more quickly than would be possible with a larger population base.

Watch the movie. Think… then, let's talk.

All of us.


Filed under Barbados, Environment, Politics & Corruption

Wise Words From Dame Billie Miller in Barbados

"Once sugar ceased to be king, tourism became our major foreign exchange earner. Although we will remember sugar and we are lifting up certain monuments in Barbados, which have become parts of our history, the City will now reflect post-modern Barbados, more and more."

Dame Billie Miller – Bridgetown, Barbados

In The Nation Newspaper article "City Facelift" – commenting upon the major upgrading going on in and around Bridgetown.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Island Life, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

Florida Sheriff Scandal Has Barbados Police Connection – Questions Need Answering By Barbados Police

Corrupt Florida Sheriff & Associates Trained Barbados Anti-Terror and Drug Police

A top U.S. federal prosecutor is leading a joint investigation of Chief Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne and his hand-picked deputies on corruption charges that include Jenne's activities in providing training for the Royal Barbados Police Force anti-terror and drug sections.

While there is no allegation of intentional wrong-doing on the part of any Barbados Police personnel at this time, Barbados Free Press has uncovered serious questions that need answering by senior RBPF management.

Corrupt Sheriff Gave Speech At Barbados Police Graduation Ceremony

It is disturbing to learn that the senior Florida Sheriff who helped train RBPF officers and even gave a Spring 2005 speech at a RBPF Graduating Ceremony is now under investigation for extensive corrupt practices over a long period. It is also disturbing that the Royal Barbados Police Force utilized the services of an outside training agency that made improper payments to senior American police management. ("Improper payments" is a polite term for "illegal bribes")

The Miami Herald details the Barbados connection in a story "Top Feds On Jenne's Case"

…In one job, Jenne was paid $4,000 by a Broward Sheriff's Office vendor, Innovative Surveillance Technologies, to develop training services for the Barbados police force. Top BSO commanders, Tom Carney and Tom Brennan — Jenne's partners in his consulting firm, Havloc LLC — oversaw the development of the training courses and provided a list of deputies qualified to conduct the classes.

Sources familiar with the deal have told investigators that the anti-terrorism and drug-training lesson plans were written up by three deputies at BSO headquarters while on duty. At least seven deputies — including those three — took BSO computers, training tapes, satellite phones and radios to the Barbados sessions.

In addition to paying Jenne, Innovative paid the BSO deputies about $1,000 each to train the Barbados police officers.

Jenne's consulting firm also did work for a New York-based security company, T&M Protection Resources of New York, that advised the Seminole Indian tribe and paid the sheriff $60,000…

There is much more to the story and it can be seen that Sheriff Jenne and the companies he is associated with have a track record of arranging and/or accepting improper kickbacks for serving police personnel with everybody involved taking a little piece of the action.

Why Did The Barbados Police Use A Private Training Agency?

According to media accounts, the Royal Barbados Police Force contracted with a U.S. company called Innovative Surveillance Technologies (IST) to provide anti-terrorism, drug squad and other training to RBPF officers. IST then made illegal payments to Senior US police officers and their hand-picked deputies to design courses, manuals and provide training to RBPF anti-terror and drug units.

One source states that the courses and manuals provided to the RBPF were basically just copied from the Broward Florida Sheriff's Department – which makes sense. The question then arises as to why the Royal Barbados Police Force chose to hire a private company to train its personnel and provide reference materials – rather than utilizing the many international government-sponsored training resources available to accredited policing organizations.

What About Commissioner Dottin's Contacts With International Policing Organizations?

If the RBPF needed anti-terror and drug squad manuals, why wouldn't Commissioner Dottin just pick up the phone and speak with one of his comrades from the International Association of Chiefs of Police? Why wouldn't he contact one of his classmates from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Senior Officers' Course – or from the Police Staff College in Bramshill, England? Both England and the United States have extensive international police training programmes. Even the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are involved in international police training.

With all the training and resources available to Barbados through accredited policing organizations, why did we pay a private agency? And… how much did we pay… and to whom and for what exactly?

Barbados Police Hired Corrupt People & Companies – So Now The Public Trust Demands Some After-The-Fact Accountability & Transparency

Barbados Free Press assumes that the RBPF was acting in good faith when it hired the corrupt company Innovative Surveillance Technologies (IST) to provide training to our officers. But now that IST has been found to have provided improper payments to corrupt serving U.S. police officers, it is necessary for the RBPF to explain it's actions to the public and to provide an accounting.

The public trust demands nothing less than transparency and accountability – especially when the RBPF (unitentionally) associated itself with a corrupt private company and corrupt policing officials from another jurisdiction.

We Call Upon RBPF Commissioner Dottin To Do The Following…

We Call Upon RBPF Commissioner Dottin To Do The Following…

– Explain to the public why a private company was hired to train RBPF officers when so much training and management consulting is available to Barbados through accredited international policing organizations.

– Explain to the public why a private company was hired to provide the RBPF officers with training manuals and reference materials that were basically just copied from another policing organization.

– Explain what, if any steps, were taken by senior RBPF management to obtain appropriate training and resource materials from accredited international policing organizations rather than a private company.

– Detail what payments were made to IST or other private companies for training, resources or equipment.

– Reveal any monies or gifts received by any RBPF personnel from private companies or persons associated with the providing of training, resources or equipment to the RBPF.

Reference Links

Miami Herald April 11, 2006 "Top Feds On Jenne's Case"

Miami Herald April 16, 2006 "The Time To Go Has Come For BSO's Jenne"

Neil Rogers Show "Inquiry Widens Into Broward Sheriff's Moonlighting"

Miami Herald (Google Cache) "Jenne's Business Is Under Federal Scrutiny"


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

Toronto Canada – 10th Anniversary Of Barbados On The Water

Toronto Canada

If you are a Bajan living in Toronto Canada – or, if you live in Toronto and have ever heard of Barbados, then you must attend the 10th Anniversary of "Barbados On The Water" set for Friday June 16th through Sunday June 18th.

Headliners of the show include The Mighty Gabby, Red Plastic Bag, Adrian Clarke, and the Plantation Band.

Tickets… get 'em while the best seats are still available at Harbourfront online.

Media release here.


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Island Life, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados Light and Power Director “Sugar Cane Ethanol Still At Feasibility Stage”


It is good to hear someone speak the truth about Barbados sugar cane ethanol – without political spin.

Barbados Light and Power Co. Managing Director Andrew Gittens may find himself being dragged onto the carpet for daring to say what everyone knows to be true, but we need more like him.

For months now, we have heard from the Government of Barbados that sugar cane ethanol is basically a "done deal" that will rescue and restructure the sugar industry and bring the country to the cutting edge of sustainable energy generation technology. By any standard, the government's message has been that cane-ethanol is technically and economically viable in Barbados – that it is the future, and a solid part of a National Energy Strategy. A done deal.

Cane Ethanol May Not Be Feasible For Barbados

But the government's statements have been short on technical details and long on environmental catch-phrases and hype. Proponents of cane-ethanol for Barbados love to point to Brazil's success without mentioning that Brazil has achieved economies of scale that are impossible for Barbados due to our topography and small population base. Also forgotten are the serious environmental concerns surrounding the disposal of the huge quantity of deadly toxic slurry that is a by-product of the process. Brazil's story is not all happy happy, you know.

Not to mention that even the best case scenarios for cane-ethanol show only a small net energy gain from the whole process. In other words, once we add up all the energy that goes into making and transporting the ethanol, the net gain is only 5 to 15 percent – depending upon efficiencies and who you want to believe. Cane-ethanol is not voodoo-science, but neither is it a sure thing or a panacea for Barbados' energy needs. In fact, sugar cane ethanol may not work in Barbados for any number of reasons.

Barbados Sugar Cane Ethanol Not A "Done Deal"

And into all this steps an honest man named Andrew Gittens, who tells the Barbados Advocate the simple truth… the feasibility of cane-ethanol Barbados is still being studied. It is not a done-deal. From the Barbados Advocate

The wind farm is part of the BL&P plans to diversify its energy sources and is coupled with the company's plans to utilise fuel cane. Gittens, however, said he believed the fuel cane project with Government was still at the feasibility stage.

The wind farm that Mr. Gittens mentions is the major subject of the Barbados Advocate article – but his candor about cane-ethanol is the real news.

photo by Shona: Cut Sugar Cane Being Hauled In Barbados

It takes large amounts of energy to plant, grow, harvest, transport and process sugar cane into ethanol. Making ethanol from sugar cane is not an efficient process, and may not be viable in smaller countries.


Filed under Barbados, Business, Environment, Island Life

Barbados Tourism: Planning Beyond Sun, Sea and Sand

We were reading the Antigua Sun website this morning and stumbled across a letter from none other than our very own Adrian Loveridge of Peach and Quiet Resort, Christ Church Barbados.

As always, Mr. Loveridge makes some good points. Here are his closing paragraphs, but you really should read the whole thing at the Antigua Sun.

I still feel it’s not too late, but greater emphasis has to be placed on our environment, protecting our architectural heritage and truly understanding the meaning of community tourism.

One thing for absolute certainty, anyone who believes that we can plot our long term tourism destiny purely on sun, sea and sand, will eventually join a long list of extinct species which includes the flightless Dodo bird.

Adrian Loveridge.


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Island Life, Traveling and Tourism

NOAA National Hurricane Center Predicts Above Normal Year – But Better Than 2005


Watching CNN right now and the National Hurricane Center boffins are predicting a higher than normal number of hurricanes for the 2006 season – which starts in 10 days.

Nothing on the NOAA website as yet, but I guess the prediction will be posted after the news conference ends.

Pray harder and more often.

UPDATE: AP News Article Now Posted

MIAMI – A hectic, above-normal tropical storm season could produce between four and six major hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico this year, but conditions don't appear ripe for a repeat of 2005's record activity, the National Hurricane Center predicted Monday.

There will be up to 16 named storms, the center predicted, which would be significantly less than last year's record 27. Still, people in coastal regions should prepare for the possibility of major storms, said Max Mayfield, the National Hurricane Center director…

Full article continues here.

photo – overhead of Floyd, September 13, 1999 from Storm Survival website.

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Island Life

Barbados Rock Group Kite


Good things happening to the home-grown Bajan rock group KITE. Linda Tompkins has the story over at My Barbados Blog – along with links to the group's website and online music samples.

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Filed under Barbados, Island Life

Mello Sunday: Another BFP Staff Meeting, Another Barbados Dead Soldier

Barbados Dead Soldier2.jpg

Hey there folks…

Sunday night, 'an I know we shoulda been ta church today, but we just didn't make it. Hope Auntie Moses will forgive us. Clive came over and brought a pretty full bottle of Extra Old Mount Gay Rum. The bottle is not so full now. 'Matter a fact, de bottle appear to have de hole in it 'cause it be empty now.

My oh my, is that a smooth libation! When Clive goes back to school in September, maybe all our kidneys and livers will have a rest. Clive is a bad boy, but he sure can write.


Listening on internet radio to Bandit Blues Radio and Electric Blues Radio. Blind Boy Fuller, BB King, Robert Johnson and Stevie Ray Vaughan playing Jimi's Voodoo Child. My oh my!

But we did accomplish something… we think. This coming week we have a few articles of note… Part II of our Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary series, a look at the PEP, BLP & DLP websites, Part I of a series on Bajan money, Florida Police Corruption Scandal Touches Royal Barbados Police Force – and a commentary on Gay Marriage in Barbados (if Clive ever wakes up!).

See you on Monday, folks… but it might be late afternoon or evening… 😉

Meanwhile, here's Stevie Ray Vaughan playing Hendrix better than Hendrix…



Filed under Barbados, Island Life

Negrocrat and Uncle Tom In Barbados – A New Perspective…


We came across this at Booker Rising Blog. Were we too harsh on Prime Minister Owen Arthur when he called a newspaper editor a "Negrocrat" ?

From Booker Rising Blog

Quote Of The Day

"To be called an Uncle Tom is an honor. Like our foundational black thinkers, Uncle Tom is often invoked but rarely read. He is not who the Politburo says he is. He was a moral, religious man of dignity and duty who accepted his lot as a slave because he had no choice yet by his behavior transcended it. He was an ancestor of whom to be proud; how has it been overlooked that he chose torture and death rather than inform on two sexually abused female runaways?"

Debra Dickerson, liberal commentator and author of The End Of Blackness: Returning The Souls Of Black Folk To Their Rightful Owners

Selected BFP Negrocrat Articles…

Of "Negrocrats", "Oreos", "Iggas" and Other Racial Slurs In Barbados

Barbados Owen Arthur "Negrocrat" Controversy Will Not Die

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Politics & Corruption