Daily Archives: July 16, 2006

Down To Brass Tacks Talks Barbados Water Park – Live Blogging Prime Minister On Show

PROGRAM NOW OVER – Will be repeated tonight at Midnight 

Live on air 11am FM92.9 and on the web now http://www.vob929.com/

Appearing in the studio…

David Ellis – Moderator

Peter Simmons

Alan Marshall

Lawrence Loughlin (sp?) financier 60 years old – resident & Uncle of Mathew Kerins.

Handy Forde – lives in UK – Director of Splash – accountant

Where Is Mr. Kerins?

(hey folks… I’m holding the baby with one hand and typing with the other… Does that mean I’m “baby-dextrous”?) 🙂

Approaching The Government

– Handy Forde says they first approached the Chief Town Planner, who provided information that caused them to believe that Graeme Hall was the only suitable site ? !

– The 2000 space car park was mandated by the government! Town and Country Planning Department.

Dr Carl Watson joins via phone…

– Has knowledge of Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. GHNS have met with Splash personnel.

– Is not opposed generally to a water park, just not at Graeme Hall. Graeme Hall is the greatest area of bio-diversity on the island.

– The wells that will be drilled and the salt brine waste might cause a massive die-off of wildlife and plant life downstream.

– Has serious concerns about the economic viability of the project.

– Barbados has signed the RAMSAR treaty – so the waterpark may be in violation of the treaty.

Moderator states that Caribbean Splash has not worked out the details of the project. Handy Forde states they want assistance to ensure the environment is not damaged,

– Dr. Watson replies that there are many unknowns and (surprises) that cannot be predicted. (sounds like Caribbean Splash wants everyone to sign off on the project – ha ha ha)

Forde talks about the economic viability of the project. Projected visitors are… 40% Tourists, 25% Bajans, 35% Caribbean Visitors

Somebody points out that the Caribbean Splash wants to proceed without the coastal study having been completed!!!!!!!!!!!

Ministry of Agriculture objects to the project, but Forde says officials told him they have no objections.

Forde says “There is no study we have done that says we will or will not damage the water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (Yet they want to go ahead with the project before any study is done)

Park revenues 16 million per year with 380,000 visitors per year.

Somebody points out that one study released by Splash don’t add up 2000 visitors per day (bad day) equals 730,000 not 380,000!

Dr. Watson talks about working with Mr. Allard to bring about the GH Nature Sancutary. Watson signs off.

Callers Now About To Start

Our question… Did the Prime Minister meet with Mr. Kerins and Mr. Nurse?

Does a written agreement exist between Government and Splash?

Caller 1 – re Exits & bowling.

Forde… no bowling and many road scenarios. We don’t know what road plan the govt will approve.

Caller 2 – talks about bad attitude by gated communities. Says that the water park will be good for the swamp! Ha Ha Ha! How much did they pay this guy?

Some panel discussion about who Splash spoke with in the Ministry of Agriculture. Ministry of Agriculture & Environment also say NO to the water park.

Panel member calls caller #2 as “silly” …. we agree.

Still typing with one hand re baby 😉

Caller Harry Roberts

– opposed to water park in Graeme Hall…madness. What about accidents like last year that 3 million gallons of raw sewage was dumped into the swamp?

– chlorine – Forde says park will not use chlorine. Aha…caller says he spoke to splash rep who said that chlorine is still the best and most cost effective.

NEWS BREAK

(Shona… can you please come from the shop and take the baby?)

12:42pm Coming back online now.

Prime Minister Owen Arthur On The Air!!!!

– PM says he is the Minister… he will be making the decision but will not prejudice the process by his statements now.

– Speaking to the process.

– Environmental Impact Study has been done, Social study has been done. Many complications re the land.

– No decisions have been made. He will let the process work its way out.

– HE SAYS THE (FLAWED) Caribbean Splash survey is part of the decision process.

MODERATOR>>>> Developers say that they were told (basically that a change of use would be forthcoming)

PM…. tap dancing… not addressing the point as to whether they were told…

PM talking about how the Bird Sanctuary is a tourist development… and was approved.

Now taking question regarding flawed survey… but someone else (Forde) chimes in and saves the PM.

Simmons – “deeply encouraged by your intervention…” Speaks of Duguid and Walcott and other members of the government being against the water park.

PM replies – process will continue as with every major project. PM refusing to commit one way or the other. It will be a long process.

(No one asked if the PM met with the developer.)

President of the Senate and Dr. Storie are the closest to the park.

PM – Nothing in the law prevents the application. The government has given no directions to the agency about the land.

Commercial Break

Moderator… If the government does not give in…

PM – Not a matter of giving in or not… let the process proceed.

Speaking of no copies allowed to make copies of impact study in the library. Why didn’t the Town Planner cause it to be published on the internet?

PM “I can’t see that as a hinderance at all” !!!!!!!!!!!! (The fact that no one could copy the study!!!!)

(Our Comment…

The Prime Minister just doesn’t get it… the report was concealed from general distribution… but he obviously thinks that is just fine. Shows a real attitude that the people don’t need that knowledge.)

PM says 32,000 off the top of his head is the land set aside for agriculture.

Ultimately the decision about the water park will be in the hands of the Prime Minister.

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

Royal Barbados Police Force – Recruits Graduate, But How Long Will They Stay?

barbados-police-training.jpg

Attorney-General Dale Marshall recently addressed 46 graduating police recruits at the Regional Police Training Centre, Seawell, Christ Church and advised them to “resist the temptation of seduction and of attractive blandishments which lead to corruption.”

From the account in the Nation News (link here), the AG’s speech was actually pretty darn good.

But as we pointed out in previous articles, Barbados police officers are only paid about half of what other regional policing organizations pay – a policy that is very short sighted. If the Government of Barbados doesn’t get it’s priorities in order, only about a third of this week’s recruit class will be serving in five years. Oh… they will still be in policing, just not in Barbados.

Cabinet To Consider Additional Funding

An article in the Barbados Advocate (link here) goes into some depth about the AG’s comments regarding the current shortage of new recruits and the attrition of experienced officers. It all boils down to money.

Let’s hope that the Cabinet pays attention to Mr. Marshall’s big-picture message.

BFP photo of the security gate at the Regional Police Training Centre – taken by Shona just before she ran off. (She said, “I doan like de place!”)

Links to other BFP articles on policing here.

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption