Daily Archives: December 28, 2006

God, How I Love Barbados…


Only two days ago, we asked our readers for help in finding a new title photo (see Help Barbados Free Press Find A New Title Photo). In those two days, we have received 127 photos (!) from our readers, including almost 80 from one good BFP friend.

We are truly overwhelmed.

Some folks read the article, grabbed their digital camera and stepped outside for a couple of shots. Others scanned old photographs or found photos on the web and forwarded the images or the URLs.

One of our readers sent us the above photo that they took while out for a walk. It is titled simply “Barbados Beach”. Just have a look at that photo – the sky, the colours of the sea. We were sent dozens of photos like that one.

God, I truly do love Barbados, and I give thanks for every day you give me in this place with family and friends.


As well as photos, we also received the above PhotoShop creation from our friends* who run the Classimax Advertising portal. We’ll let our friend* describe it…

“… from the left is Shona… hahahah… then your fishing boat that wanna always talking bout, a printing press, a watermark of Bussa to show freedom of the press and then a beautiful beach of Barbados…”

Thanks Classimax! We love it, and we love the thought and the elements that you’ve put into it – so we’re going to use it as our “home” title bar. (Shona says the face is bang on, but the hair is a little off! 😉 )

BFP’s Title Photo Will Change From Time To Time

Last night all the folks who make up Barbados Free Press decided that we will cycle through various photos in our header for the next little while. We don’t know if this will happen with any regularity, or if our readers will just be surprised every so often when they visit. If variety is the spice of life (except when it comes to women of course, my love) then we intend to spice this place up a bit.

Hope you like it!

Marcus with Shona, Robert, Cliverton & Auntie Moses

* Regarding our Classimax “Friends*”

Just a note in case someone in the government gets a bit in their teeth… we use the term “friend” in the most general sense as in “online friend”. To our knowledge nobody from BFP has ever met anyone from Classimax, and, other than what we see online, we haven’t a clue who they are. They certainly don’t know anything about who forms Barbados Free Press.

A shame that we have to put that on the record, but that’s life in Barbados.

Special Note To Classimax

We love what you’ve done and we’re going to run with it. Thanks so much. And…

… any chance of modifying the header to remove the cartoon character and maybe putting in a few real smiling Bajan faces? I know when we get into displaying faces on the header, we enter a whole new arena, but maybe you have a way around that?

Thanks, and if it is not possible, no problem. We appreciate what you’ve already done for us.



Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Island Life

Developing… Gate At Porters Taken Down – Possible Assault Of Reporter


Comment just posted by a BFP reader Out Dey In Bim regarding situation described in our previous article Foreign Land Developer Blocks Public Road, Nation Newspaper Prints Excellent Story – Now What Will The Barbados Government Do?

Just heard on VOB Brasstacks,that the gate in Porters has been taken down.It is also alleged that a reporter might have been assaulted.

Mr Larry tatem is on the air discussing it now.

Taken together with the post on B’dos in the UK Daily Mail,and the quote that there are over 27,000 brits living here I think that it is time someone address the right of bajans citizens in their own land.

We welcome visitors and others who have legal standing in this country,but we bajans are not prepared to allow owen arthur or any non national british,guyanese or trinis to treat us as second class citizens in our own home.


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

CARICOM – Sir Ronald Sanders Says “Damn The Torpedos – Full Speed Ahead!”


UPDATED by Cliverton. Scroll to Bottom.

Original Post by Marcus…

“Doan Worry ‘Bout Nothin” Says A Man Who Wants No Questions From Barbados

Nope. We stupid ordinary citizens have no reason to hold up the full implementation CARICOM – so says Sir Ronald Sanders in the Barbados Advocate article The Caribbean At The End Of 2006 And Beyond (link here).

According to one of the other articles I found about Sir Ronald Sanders, he is a true elite believer in CARICOM …

In the book entitled “Crumble Small”, Sir Ronald who worked at the Caribbean Development Bank and served as consultant to the OECS and chairman of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force stated that the small states of the Commonwealth Caribbean are in crisis and that there is need for urgent action at the domestic, regional and international levels to spare them from sinking into widespread poverty and becoming client-states of larger nations upon whom they could become economically reliant.

The man might have a point, but still I get very nervous when people start pushing with the “Just do it, everything gonna be OK” arguments for instituting CARICOM.

What’s Holding Up CARICOM?

According to Sir Ronald, two things are holding up the full implementation of CARICOM …

1/ Politicians Playing On People’s Fear Of Being Swamped With Immigrants (Notice he doesn’t say “unreasonable fear of being swamped with immigrants”)

2/ Ordinary People Don’t Understand What CARICOM Means

In an article in the Barbados Advocate, Sir Ronald lays out why he thinks CARICOM is stalling…

… At the root of this lack of progress in deepening CARICOM’s integration arrangements are two things: political pandering to, if not exploitation of, the fears by groups within national communities that they will be swamped by an influx of other Caribbean nationals into their territory; and a failure to explain effectively that CARICOM should be a single space, like the United States, where people, production, and capital of each state move freely just as, for example, the people, production and capital of Texas move to New York…

… from the Barbados Advocate article The Caribbean At The End Of 2006 And Beyond (link here).

You Have My Attention, Sir Ronald – But Do We Have Your Attention?

Can Sir Ronald or anyone assure Bajans that the full implementation of CARICOM will NOT result in Barbados being “…swamped by an influx of other Caribbean nationals…” ? We have enough immigration concerns and problems right now even without CARICOM, thank you.

Sir Ronald also says that we just don’t understand “… that CARICOM should be a single space, like the United States, where people, production, and capital of each state move freely just as, for example, the people, production and capital of Texas move to New York.”

Has Sir Ronald and the other CARICOM pushers ever considered that maybe we stupid Bajans DO UNDERSTAND what CARICOM is all about?

If Sir Ronald and other CARICOM pushers want to see progress, then they had better stop whining that we stupid ordinary people just don’t understand – and start to directly answer the valid concerns that we have.

UPDATED – by Cliverton

Just found an article by Sir Ronald Sanders on the web – seemingly at odds with his CARICOM position…

Multiculturalism Endangering British Society

It would appear that Sir Ronald has no problems with hordes of Jamaicans being able to bring their violent culture to Barbados, but damns multiculturalism in Britain. Does he see CARICOM only as a financial arrangement? Can he not see that CARICOM’s cultural implications are probably much more significant than the economic impact?

Or is it that we Caribbean island darkies are all the same to Mr. Sanders?

(Update & this offensive comment by Cliverton)


Filed under Barbados, Business, CARICOM, Culture & Race Issues, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption

Celebrities Choose Barbados Because It Is Safe, Beautiful, Magical – Daily Mail


“Tell All” Article By Music Insider Jonathan Shalit Gushes Praise For Entire Island

Barbados can spend millions of dollars advertising tourism, but nothing is as effective as a foreigner praising our country and our people in the media like this just-published Daily Mail article I’m A Celebrity, Get Me To Barbados!

Johathan Shalit’s article is sprinkled with the names of the rich and famous who we all occasionally encounter in our daily lives on Barbados. Bajans really do meet people like Jemima Khan and Hugh Grant strolling on the beach (photo above) and others in the article like Simon Cowell, Philip Green, Michael Winner, the Beckhams, David Frost, Lulu, Andrew Lloyd Weber, Michael Bolton, and Joan Collins.

(And yes, Auntie Moses, we haven’t forgotten that Frank Sinatra gave you a kiss one time in the yacht club kitchen.)

While the hook of the article is that celebrities love Barbados, the central theme that comes through loud and clear is that Barbados is a great place to vacation because of the country and the people.

We knew that!


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

BFP’s Email Spam Filter Goes Bananas – Kills Many Letters To The Editors

Awwwww Shoot!

We just discovered that for the last three or four weeks, our email spam filter has been trashing many of the submissions from our readers and even from some of our more regular contributors. (Adrian Loveridge, Ben, K, J and others)

Our sincere apologies… some of you must have thought that we were ignoring your emails.

We now have taken the spam filter off automatic and will be manually vetting each email. There seems to be no other reliable way.

Between real and spam emails we receive about 100 per day – and sometimes way more. Between the comments and the emails, spam is turning into a full time job…

George… please say yes to coming on board. We really really need you!

(We’ve been trying to convince our friend George that nothing bad will happen if he just looks after spam for the editorial team.)

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Filed under Barbados, Blogging

Connections: Seafood, Fiber Optics, Political “Donations” and Barbados National Policy

Looking At The Barbados Company “Columbus Communications”

Some time ago, I read a piece that claimed that the world is all connected in ways that are not immediately evident, and that these unseen connections have great influence over the daily lives of people everywhere. If we could just see these hidden connections, the author argued, our understanding of how the world works would receive an enormous boost.

The author’s premise seemed to make sense, so now I watch for connections. And even if I don’t understand the implications for every connection I make, there’s always somebody out there who does.

Here’s a connection. Let’s see what Barbados Free Press readers can make of it…


– Halifax-based John Risley is a Canadian fish industry gazillionaire with a contrary position on the environmental impact of bottom trawling. Surprise, surprise – this industry giant who made his gazillions bottom trawling says that “there is no proof” that bottom trawling damages the ocean and even if it does, so what… we can’t do anything about it. (That’s a pretty accurate picture of his position – If Mr. Risley disagrees, we’d love to publish his response.)

– John Risley is a key investor in the Clearwater Seafood Income fund, as well as Fishery Products International – FPL Inc. in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

– John Risley is also heavily into Barbados-based Columbus Communications – Jamaican-born Canadian billionaire Michael Lee-Chin’s little baby that is stringing fiber-optic cable throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. According to a press release, Columbus Communications has a capital expenditure budget for 2007 of $US200 million. Hey… that’s some serious coin.

– Columbus Communications is a competitor to the communications giant Cable and Wireless.

– The Government of Barbados has given Cable and Wireless pretty well exclusive rights to pick the pockets of Bajans until (I think) 2011 or so. (PDF here) There are a couple of lawsuits a-brewing over this.

– Lee-Chin and Risley are no fools, and they think ahead – way ahead.

– 2011 – the year when Cable and Wireless’ exclusive contract ends – is rapidly approaching, and before that is the next Barbados national election.

– There are no controls or transparency over election funding in Barbados.

Bearing in mind all of the above, Barbados should be asking the following questions…

1/ How much of a “campaign donation” will the Barbados Labour Party “suggest” that Columbus Communications make prior to the next election?

2/ Will a telecommunications deal with Columbus Communications – under or over the table – involve our fisheries in any way?

3/ Shouldn’t all Barbadians have a right to know how much money their political parties receive, and from whom?


Filed under Barbados, Business, Environment, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Police Officers Heading Elsewhere


The latest graduating class of New York City Police contains recruits and former police officers from 60 nations – including Barbados.

A New York Times article states that, contrary to the old days, not one new recruit was from Ireland.

The death today of Barbados police officer Richard Joseph in a New York City construction accident again highlights the fact that Barbados is losing trained and experienced police officers at an outrageous rate due to low wages.

Everybody can understand why a Barbados Police Officer would try to find a better life for self and family – even if they didn’t really want to leave either the police force or Barbados.

Story Links

New York Times – Many Origins But One Pledge

Barbados Free Press

Richard Joseph, Barbados Police Officer Dies In New York Building Collapse

More Barbados Cops Leaving

Will The Last Barbados Police Officer Please Turn Off The Lights

Bermuda To Hire 30 Barbados Police Officers

Bermuda Police In Barbados To Steal Our Best And Brightest Officers

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

Barbados Police Recruitment Plan – Half The Pay Found Elsewhere

Barbados Police Paying Pauper’s Wages – Government Wonders Why Not Enough Recruits

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

Richard Joseph – Barbados Police Officer Dies In New York Building Collapse

richard-joseph-barbados-police.jpgUPDATED: We Understand That Richard Joseph Was Still A Barbados Police Officer At The Time Of His Death

See The Nation News…

A BARBADIAN POLICEMAN was crushed to death by a collapsing building in New York on Tuesday.

Constable Richard Joseph, 33, who was attached to the Black Rock Police Station, was reportedly involved in the renovation of a five-storey building in the Harlem section of Upper Manhattan when the incident occurred.

Two other people were injured, including Joseph’s uncle who was listed in critical condition at a New York hospital.

Joseph, of Licorish Village, My Lord’s Hill, St Michael, was expected to return home for police duties tomorrow after a three-month period of special leave.

… continue reading this article at The Nation News (link here)

Original BFP article…

Left Barbados Police For NYC Job As Construction Worker

We are saddened to learn of the death of former Barbados Police Officer Richard Joseph 33 in a building collapse in New York City today – December 27, 2006.

We pray for Mr. Joseph’s family and friends.

Some excerpts from a New York Times article…

Roof Collapses Killing A Worker, Injuring Two

A construction laborer working on the ground floor of a five-story apartment building in Harlem was killed yesterday when the roof of the building collapsed, the authorities said. The building had a history of construction violations and complaints by neighbors, according to city records.

Officials halted construction after debris fell five floors to the street.
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Richard Joseph was going to quit his job by Friday, relatives said.

The dead laborer, identified by the authorities as Richard Joseph, 33, of Brooklyn, died in a torrent of brick and plaster that cascaded through the empty shell of the building at 280 West 113th Street, near Frederick Douglass Boulevard, around 12:30 p.m.

Mr. Joseph had spoken a number of times about safety concerns at the work site, most recently at a family gathering on Sunday, relatives said.

“On Christmas Eve, he told me, ‘I don’t like this job; I feel like I’m going to die in this job,’ ” said a cousin, Octavia Felix, who was mourning with dozens of family members in Brooklyn last night. “He felt a sense of risk. He felt it was very precarious.”

Mr. Joseph, the oldest of three children, was born in St. Lucia but moved to Barbados when he was 6, relatives said. In Barbados, he became a police officer, but was coaxed to the United States by family members in October

Despite his worries, he had continued to work at the site because he was trying to save enough money to go back to Barbados to visit his 2-year-old son, Joshua, relatives said.

“He felt that if he worked one or two more days, he could make enough money to go back to Barbados to visit his son,” Ms. Felix said. “He was going on Friday. Then he was going to get all his business in order to move here permanently. He never made it.”

… read the entire New York Times article (link here).


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law