Daily Archives: November 23, 2006

Broad Street Journal In Decline?

On October 9th, we published Barbados Media: Broad Street Journal Back After Month’s Hiatus – celebrating three new articles by prolific Bajan economic and political pundit, Patrick Hoyos.

That was then.

It is now November 23, 2006, and Patrick hasn’t published a thing in the interim. We hope everything is alright with Patrick. You are missed, friend!

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking

President Of Barbados Hotel and Tourism Blames Cricket World Cup For Low Winter Bookings… Is He Correct?

Also: World Golf Cup Bookings “Not Doing As Well As Expected”

Hey… maybe all the tourists are going to arrive all at once for the Cricket World Cup. Better hope so…

With the winter tourist season just three weeks away, slow bookings are causing concern for hoteliers and other tourism officials.

President of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, Alvin Jemmott, is reporting that advanced bookings are down compared to the same period last year.

This is forcing some hoteliers to offer discount rates at Christmas to try and attract business.

Mr. Jemmott says the situation has developed because of misunderstandings surrounding ICC World Cup Cricket 2007.

The BHTA president says the month of March is the critical period and if they can get business up to expectations then the winter will be as good or even better than last winter.

As far as world cup cricket is concerned, Mr. Jemmott says it is creating peaks and valleys for the local tourist industry.

The BHTA is also reporting that the industry is not doing as well as expected for World Cup Golf…

… Read the entire story at the CBC (link here).

Wave a dead fish at BFP reader Hants for the tip. Thanks, Hants!

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Traveling and Tourism

A Possible Answer To Plastic Garbage On Bajan Beaches

plastic-garbage-barbados-beach-2.jpg

Biodegradable Plastics – Can We Legislate The Solution?

The tourists at the Hilton and Accra Hotels stroll out onto pristine beaches every morning – dragging kids, sunblock and the latest John Grisham novel onto the clean sand where they plunk themselves down for another day in paradise. The Brits and Canadians always politely start their drink requests with something like “May I trouble you for…” while the friendly Yanks mostly yell a version of “Hey there, little lady. Howse about one of them there pineapple rum drinks with the little umbrellas?”

According to our friend Clive, the Germans have a very different style.

But they all share the same misperception that our tourist beaches are somehow representative of beaches throughout the island. They don’t realize that the clean up crew has been out at 5am to make everything just so – which is just good business as we want those folks to return home with memories of beautiful Barbados.

A walk on a “real” Barbados beach can be a different experience, especially after a bit of wind. In a word: Plastic. Plastic from all over the world floats onto our beaches – bottles, lines, nets, flipflops, shopping bags, Barbie dolls without heads, food containers, footballs and just about anything else made of plastic can be found at the high-water mark.

And it is not just the beaches where the plastic garbage is a problem. Even miles out to sea, it sometimes seems that we are fishing in the middle of a floating garbage dump. Last May, one of our friends lost an engine when some floating plastic line got sucked into the water impeller. Before he realized it, the cooling intake became blocked and the engine cooked. (Never mind that he should have been looking once in a while at those funny little round dials that say “engine temp”!)

Landfills Full Of Plastic Garbage

Barbados and other Caribbean countries bury tonnes and tonnes of plastic garbage at landfills, but new biodegradable plastics could take off some of the pressure. Some jurisdictions have mandated the use of biodegradable plastics, and we say that it is about time Barbados did so as well.

On Tuesday evening, the ACP/EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly at the Hilton heard from a manufacturer of biodegradable plastics. The Barbados Advocate carried the story Biodegradable Plastics A Solution To Overflowing Landfills, and we also found an excellent article at Wired Magazine: Two Words: Biodegradable Plastic.

How About It, Environment Minister Thompson?

Do you have the leadership necessary for Barbados to mandate biodegradable plastics in appropriate applications?

BFP Photo by Shona – Accra Beach after a storm.

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Filed under Barbados, Environment

American Living In Cambodia Makes Good Point About Corruption In USA And Barbados

We love what the internet has done for the international communication of ideas – not just information.

People from all over the world visit Barbados Free Press every day. Some stumble onto BFP through a chance hit on a search engine like Google or Yahoo, while others include us in their daily rounds for some unknown reason. (Hello US Air Force at Kadena Airbase, Japan! Maybe you’re a Bajan in the USAF? We don’t know why you visit us every few days, but we loved the air-to-air photos. Thanks.)

We have a standing Google search out there for “Barbados + Corruption” and last night it returned an article from Arie Goes To Cambodia – a blog by a New Yorker who moved to Cambodia of all places.

Arie talks about different kinds and levels of corruption and chides his home country – the USA – for being “barely above Barbados and Estonia” on the Transparency International Perception of Corruption scale. He also makes a good point that corruption is the natural enemy of foreign investment in developing countries.

Will The DLP Follow Through With Promised Anti-Corruption Legislation?

The article is a good read, and Arie has me wondering if the DLP will follow through with their promised Integrity and Conflict Of Interest Legislation. We know that Prime Minister Arthur has announced that the BLP doesn’t think anti-corruption legislation is necessary in Barbados because every BLP member and politician is honest. (Hey… that’s pretty well what he said, ya know! But did you really expect anything different?)

Here’s a small sample from Arie Goes To Cambodia blog…

… In the U.S., corruption just means the government wastes half a trillion dollars a year or so on unnecessary projects, taxes are higher, schools aren’t as good, crime is a little higher, and a lot of undeserving people get rich. Here in the developing world, corruption means people are starving to death, or dying because they can’t get medical care, or that innocent people are serving life sentences in prisons.

I guess it took a long time for us to realize how serious the problem of corruption is, and now maybe we can start to do something about it.

Incidentally, shout out to a certain party that recently won a major victory in an election where voters identified government corruption as one of their top concerns, and then immediately watered down their anti-corruption bill. Most parties would have waited until they were at least actually in control of the government before selling out their supporters, but not these guys. You know who you are. Well done.

Read the full article at Arie Goes To Cambodia.

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption

Shona And The Ladies Have A Thing For Magnet Man…

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Sean-One and Magnet Man Together On “BARBADIAN”

Ok, Ok… We promised Shona that BFP would try to mention Magnet Man once a month. Shona and her lady friends seem to have a thing for the Bajan artist. (Maybe its a girl thing because Clive, Robert and I just don’t get the same, uh, “feeling” when watching Magnet Man perform. We like his music, but we be talkin’ “thing” here, me ken dooa?)

BFP mentioned MM in August and September, but missed in October – for which we all paid dearly.

Like I said, its a girl thing. So for our ladies, here’s the latest on Magnet Man. (Can we have our tools back now, girls?)

Sean-One Video “BARBADIAN” To Premier At HIP HOP STARS INDEPENDENCE SHOW – November 30th

Sean – One , already well known and respected as a ‘real’ Bajan Hip Hop artist from off ‘the block’ and one of Barbados hottest young rappers, is launching his first Music Video via the Magnetic Image Records Label.

The track called ‘BARBADIAN’ , which has already been described by Radio DJ’s as a ‘Real Big Tune” is a colaboration with Magnet Man, who also produced the track.

‘BARBADIAN’ the music video is aptly premiering in Barbados on the 40th Anniversary of Barbados Independence, Nov 30th, at the ‘HIP HOP STARS INDEPENDENCE SHOW at The Jam Rock Cafe, St Lawrence Gap, Christ Church.

The show will also feature performances from the very best of Bajan Hip Hop Stars including Billy Kincaid, The Poundas, Da Maniacs, plus RnB favourite Ronnie Morris and the very talented Kimberley Innis. The headliner will be international artist Magnet Man, the versatile ‘man of many genres’ who will perform his own new rap song “Bajan Bad Man” that will feature on his 2nd album due out early 2007.

Sean-One who hails from the Silver Hill area of Barbados, is due to tour internationaly again in 2007 after his very successful European debut earlier this year.

Thanks to Tropicalfete.com for the photo and copy. Check them out for all your favourite Caribbean entertainers and styles – Reggae, Soca, Calypso, Dance Hall, Zouk, Reggaeton and Konpa.

Tropical Fete also has a MySpace spot where it posts some good tunes as background music. (link here)

****** Apparently we forgot to mention Magnet Man’s website (again). Here you go, folks…

MagnetManOnline.com 

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Filed under Barbados, Island Life

Prime Minister Owen Arthur Declares He Will Send Barbados Citizens’ Tax Money To Less-Developed CARICOM Nations

UPDATED: Yup… Looks Like Bajan Tax Dollars Are In The Pot – Scroll To Bottom

Original Posting…

Read the PM’s entire address to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly as given last Monday, and you will never come across the phrase “Barbados will transfer some of its tax revenues to other lesser developed CARICOM nations”

Then, read it again.

Ain’t nothin be free, friends…

PRIME Minister Owen Arthur says Barbados will not take part in any integration effort that is “a permanent coalition of unequals”.

He gave the commitment yesterday while delivering the feature address at the formal opening of the 12th session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly at Sherbourne Conference Centre.

Arthur said the Caribbean admired the model of economic integration Europe had undertaken “and we also acknowledge that it has many positive elements which can serve as a very useful benchmark in our own regional integration exercise”.

He noted that the elements aimed at ensuring social cohesion within Europe and the perspective that had been followed there were especially attractive.

“Consequently, in the Caribbean, in seeking to structure our own economic model, we have recognised the need for social and economic cohesion within our regional integration movement,” Arthur said, “and have committed ourselves to paying further attention to addressing this special need.”

He said the most tangible expression of this was the recent creation of the Regional Development Fund (RDF) to enable lesser developed members to offset any disadvantage they might face on having to become part of a single Caribbean economic space….

Read the rest of the article at The Nation News (link here).

Updated: Bajan Tax Dollars To Be Distributed To Poorer CARICOM Nations Through Regional Development Fund

Some of our readers took issue with our headline – BLP supporter “Anonymous” said…

“I was shocked at how stupid the suggestion was and was worried what Owen was doing, but I realized I’ve been baited by the sensationalism that this gossip rag (Barbados Free Press)thrives upon.”

Un-Ominous said BFP was “…spinning out of control” with our headline.

Maybe “Anonymous” will be as shocked, and Un-Ominious will reconsider who is “spinning out of control” by this

Regional Development Fund to be set up
Web Posted – Fri Dec 16 2005
By Dorian Bryan

CARICOM leaders have agreed on the finances which will be necessary to make the Regional Development Fund a reality, prior to the formal launch of the CARICOM Single Market on January 1, 2006.

That announcement came after the First Special Meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP) which took place earlier this week as efforts heightens ahead of January 1, to ensure that all of the measures are put in place, ahead of that date. The meeting follows another a week earlier which stressed that the Single Market will be implemented by January 1, 2006. It was revealed that Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago will be Single Market ready by December 31 2005.

That decision was announced at the conclusion of the Eleventh Special Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government on the status of the CSME, which was held at the Sherbourne Conference Centre. The decision of the CARICOM Heads came after they received a report on the state of readiness of the region from Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Owen Arthur, the Lead Head of Government with responsibility for the CSME.

In the Report, Prime Minister Arthur spoke of the visits to member states of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to discuss issues and measures which relate to implementation of the special and differential treatment provisions under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and which also related to their ability to meet the December 2005 deadline for the
establishment of the Single Market. These visits were extended to Belize, Guyana and Suriname who face particular challenges. The visits were mandated by the Conference of Heads of Government at their last Regular Meeting in Saint Lucia in July.

The meeting was mandated to determine ways of secure the financing, structure and operation of the Development Fund a critical instrument to facilitate the successful implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

The Fund is provided for in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas establishing the Caribbean Community including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.

Significantly, the Ministers agreed that Governments will not fit the bill alone for the Fund. It was agreed that in addition to Member States contributions, the regional private sector, international financial institutions and foreign governments would be approached to contribute to the Development Fund. The Fund will be managed by the Caribbean Development Bank.

Prime Minister Owen Arthur, stated that the establishment of the Fund was critical moving forward in the process. “We leave this meeting with the regional development fund now, not just being an abstract concept in a treaty; but it will receive resources beginning on January 1 and there will be in excess of 10 million to start it off, and we hope that we can quickly
build it once we agree on the way in which it will be funded, who will benefit from it and the criteria by which money shall be disbursed,” he stated.

It was also stated that a technical team would continue to evaluate all options to ensure the fund would be affordable and sustainable. A report from the technical team, the Prime Minister stressed, had suggested that the fund should be 250 million, of which member countries would contribute 100 million and with another 150 million coming from international donors.

“That was not the only proposal. We have had a large number of proposals. We have even had one by Professor Havelock Brewster [a member of the technical team] that we are hearing for the first time that was worthy of consideration” the Prime Minister observed.


			

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption