Daily Archives: January 20, 2007

Fabulous Photos From Barbados Photographer Andrew Hulsmeier

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SHONA STUMBLED onto the work of Bajan photographer Andrew Hulsmeier at The British Journal Of Photography where some of his portfolio is on display (link here) – and was really taken with his approach and lighting. When she read that he hasn’t shot film in a year since he went to a Nikon Digital SLR – well, I still haven’t heard the end of it…

… Which is my way of saying, “Yes, my love … we will buy you an SLR for your birthday” (but you might have to make do with a single lens for a while.)

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I can’t find a website for Mr. Hulsmeier, but we’d both love to see more of his work here at BFP. (Send us your website and we’ll publish it Mr. Hulmeier, along with any photographs you’d like to share.)

Here’s Shona’s favourite from the magazine site, and the biography posted there as well…

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My name is Andrew Hulsmeier and I was born in Venezuela from English Parents. My interest in photography started in the late sixties as an art student at Sir John Cass College in London. From there I worked for Michael Joseph Studios in London offering to work for free in order to be around with a top photographer and learn. I would recommend that those young future keen photographers who are still being sposored by their parents find some studio, offer to work for free keep your mouth shut observe and learn. I have been living in Barbados for 30 yrs and I love it.

At my company Video & Photo Images we produce TV Commercials, documentaries, commercial and stock photography, and Audio. I have not shot one roll of film since I bought a Nikon Kodak 660 digital camera a year ago. With Photoshop 6 and Marin Evening’s book Photoshop 6 for Photographers there is no limit to what you can do. I do not specialise in any specific category as I have to indulge in a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

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Barbados Environment Minister Liz Thompson Wants A Green Economy Policy – But Does US$4 Million Stand In The Way?

Fine Words – Finer Still If There Is Follow-Through

Barbados Minister of Energy and the Environment Liz Thompson was talking the other day about “… launching a Green Economy Policy to take Barbados into the 21st century as a green country.”

“…There is a set of incentives and packages we need to put in place in order to ensure that individuals and businesses are able to develop a green national ethic”

… Environment Minister Liz Thompson in The Nation News (link here)

What About The Caribbean Splash Water Park?

That’s all very well, and we hope that Liz has the necessary political clout within her government to pull it off – but we are not optimistic. Perhaps we will be pleasantly surprised, but how can Liz announce this, this, “green” whatever it is (policy? initiative? dream? idea? fantasy?) when her government is still apparently undecided about whether or not to allow the building of a water park on the environmentally-sensitive Graeme Hall lands.

How much was it that Caribbean Splash Waterpark Developer Matthew Kerins said that he had already paid to certain Bajan citizens for “consulting” ?

Oh yeah – I remember now…

Four Million US$ Dollars

I wonder who he paid that to?

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Citizens Of Norway “Not Allowed” To Send Passports Abroad For Cricket Visas – But There Is No CARICOM Facility In Norway, So…

A poorly written article at The Barbados Advocate seems to be unedited journalist’s notes of a meeting in Aruba where Deputy Prime Minister Mottley spoke a few words about the cricket visa debacle.

In the middle of the article though, we discover that citizens of Norway have to send their passports to London to obtain a cricket visa – but that citizens of Norway are prohibited from sending their passports outside of the country…

… and there isn’t a CARICOM visa office in Norway.

I guess we won’t be seeing many Scandinavians at CWC.

Excerpt from The Barbados Advocate article CARICOM Seeks To Allay Visa Fears

The tour operator also expressed disgust at the way in which, in his estimation, his clients were being asked for visas, when they would not even be coming to the region to see cricket. “For Scandinavian countries which boast of the best economies in the world, it has never been a requirement for a visa to Tobago or the wider Caribbean … The introduction of the visa was done without proper correspondence being sent out to overseas missions, travel operators, airlines and diplomatic counterparts … If there was a solution to simplify the visa process, this would have helped also, but the only way is to send passports to the Barbados High Commission in London.

For countries like Norway, it is not permitted for citizens to send their passports abroad, as it is their only means of national identification. For Sweden and Denmark, the travel operators there explained they will just shift business to Asia because it is not worth the hassle and increased cost to try to get their clients to send the passports to London, pay an additional US$100 non-refundable fee and a courier service fee that can costs up to US$75, he added.

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BLP Candidate In Charge Of Government Programme Handing Out Free Home Renovations!

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Never Mind The “Coincidence” That The Government Put The Area BLP Candidate In Charge – Pick My House Please!!!!

Now let me see…

IF my house that is near a Cricket World Cup venue is chosen for a free government “beautification” programme by Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic – the man who will be the local BLP candidate next election – and an army of painters, carpenters and masons arrive at my door to fix up my home for free – led by that same man who will be the BLP candidate in the next election…

… Shouldn’t I then vote for that BLP candidate who picked my home to receive thousands of dollars of free work? Wouldn’t I feel obligated – especially if I was poor or old?

Isn’t that how things work around here? The party in power gets to use tax dollars to buy votes with impunity because there are no rules against such unethical behaviour. Yup – sounds like Owen Arthur’s Barbados alright!

From The Nation News…

House Proud

MASSIVE BEAUTIFICATION PROGRAMME involving more than 100 homes around Kensington Oval has begun in preparation for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup event.

Painters, carpenters and masons swung into action over the past few days, sprucing up several houses that dot the gateway to the world famous cricketing ground.

Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, manager for the Kensington Environs Beautification Project, said an inventory had been created for homes to be repaired, and it was hoped the project would be completed by the first week in March.
“Originally we had identified about 100 houses, but we have since found out the numbers could even be higher,” Bostic told the WEEKEND NATION yesterday, noting that in some cases there were homes overlooked for repairs.

“After a second visit to the area, we decided there were a few that would be added to the programme,” he said.
The area includes Kensington New Road, New Orleans, Westbury Road, Pickwick Gap and President Kennedy Drive…

… read the rest of the article at The Nation News (link here)

Nation News article showing Bostic is a first-time BLP Candidate (link here)

A big thanks to all our friends over at Barbados Forum who are starting to use the term Conflict Of Interest more than ever. The words haven’t been spoken much over the last decade or so on this island – but that’s changing!

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Friends Of Graeme Hall – Petition For National Park Hits 4,500 Signatures So Far

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The Broad Street Journal Covers Graeme Hall National Park Story

We were cruising around the links today and discovered that Peter Hoyos wasn’t kidding when he said that The Broad Street Journal was back better than ever. The website is totally reorganized with lots of new features and feature articles.

Good to see Patrick back and at ’em.

Today’s lead story is about the proposed National Park at Graeme Hall and the fact that over 4,500 supporters have signed the petition up to now. I’ll wager that could double or triple in a very short time if the Friends of Graeme Hall could mount a door-to-door campaign. What’s not to like about a National Park at Graeme Hall? (Unless you’ve got your heart set on more condos, of course!)

Check it out at The Broad Street Journal (link here)

photo: Aerial view of part of undeveloped Graeme Hall. Do we really want to pave this over and build condos?

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Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital Deputy Director Blames Anybody But Management Or Government

Hospital Deputy Director Says Staff “Turned A Blind Eye” To “Large Scale Pilfering”

The Nation News is carrying an account of a recent Brass Tacks call-in radio show where QEH Deputy Director George Griffith apparently did everything he could to blame ABMOG (That’s “Anybody But Management Or Government”) for the continuing train wreck that is the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. I didn’t listen to the show, so please, Mr. Griffith – if anything we write is incorrect, please let us know and we’ll publish your side of it right away.

Meanwhile, here’s what The Nation News says about Mr. Griffith’s comments…

“There is large-scale pilfering at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. We know that and we’re seeking to put systems in place to stop that… and for the minority that engage in that nasty practice it is a big issue.”

Responding to charges that there were severe shortages at the hospital in numerous areas, Griffith said: “Some of that is happening. We know that they are (pilfering), and some of us would turn a blind eye to it, but some of it is happening.” … QEH DD George Griffith in The Nation News

Some Questions For Mr. Griffith…

There must have been a heck of a lot of pilfering going on for a long time for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to get into the state it is in now. One would have to steal whole truckloads of toilet paper, drugs and lightbulbs every day for years to destroy the budget.

How long has the pilfering been going on? Ten years? Fifteen? Two?

Is there any large expenditure equipment missing? Any drugs missing?

When did the hospital board first become aware of the “large scale” pilfering?

What was done to stop it? Were police called? Were there any audits?

Besides “turning a blind eye” just what has management been doing for the last few years? Who in management “turned a blind eye” ? For how long? Are they still employed by the hospital? Why?

I could go on and on, but why bother…

Claims Political Forces “Orchestrated Attempts To Nullify Positive Publicity”

This one is good – if Mr. Griffith is correct, “political forces in the country” apparently control the media so that “positive publicity” about the hospital was “nullified”.

Wow – that’s a pretty heavy allegation by Mr. Griffith and it deserves some attention… and some questions. So here are a few questions for Mr. Griffith…

– What “positive publicity” for the Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital was “nullified”?

– Who “nullified” this “positive publicity” – when and how?

Such trash, Mr. Griffith. Why not tell the truth? Something like…

“For years, government has not provided anywhere near enough funding for QEH to even provide basic standards of patient care…. and, the system has broken down over the years. Management and staff are simply unable to cope anymore… and the management team isn’t that good anyways. If they were, they would have been off to someplace else a long time ago.”

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Islamist Terrorists Never Take Cruise Ships To Cricket World Cup – Only Airplanes

Muslim Terrorists Fearful Of Sea Travel – Therefore Visas Are Not Necessary For Cruise Ship Passengers

IF THE TITLE of this article seems rather absurd, it is no more so than the Cricket World Cup visa policies laid down by “Mama Mia” Mottley and the CARICOM Security Committee that she chairs. For the last while, Mottley, the Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados, has been hitting the stumps telling all who will listen that “It’s all about security” and the ever-useful put-off, “It’s secret. You just don’t understand.”

If it were it only so.

Swiss Catholics Aren’t The Only Threat… Gotta watch New Zealanders as well. Those Killer Kiwis can’t be trusted!

According to Mottley’s CARICOM Security Committee, Catholic citizens of Luxembourg and Switzerland pose a far greater risk to Barbados than, say, identified Muslim terror cell members in Canada, America and the UK who are able to attend the Cricket World Cup without a visa.

The “security” aspect of the CWC visa policy is an absolute farce, but Mia and her peers can’t bring themselves to admit it.

Here are a few words about Cricket World Cup visas from two no-nothings: Barbados hotelier Adrian Loveridge, and ex-Caribbean diplomat, Sir Ronald Sanders.

Take it away, Adrian and Ronny…

It was explained to us that the reason why a Caricom visa was required and belatedly implemented for certain nationalities including citizens from Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and even neutral Switzerland was due to ‘security concerns’.

We are asked to believe that citizens from these particular countries pose a greater threat that others.

Of course, without the information the authorities have, it’s a difficult point to argue.

But wait a minute! If these nationals are a higher risk, why is it that they can arrive on and be accommodated on one of the ‘up to 18 cruise ships’ moored in Bridgetown harbour and not require that same ‘security’ Caricom visa?

This according to a query I made to the Caricom IMPACS team who eventually responded stating ‘Cruise ship passengers on ships in port for less than 24 hours are not required to have the Caricom visa, despite their nationality’.

Is the rationale that those people contemplating terrorism acts only arrive by plane?

That should make it considerable easier for our security services!

Adrian Loveridge
20 January 2007

And Now From Sir Ronny…

To visa or not to visa: The challenge of tourism and terrorism

Anyone who has marketed or promoted tourism to the Caribbean knows that it is a tough business. Caribbean countries are competing amongst themselves and against many other countries around the world, and the slightest inconvenience imposed by one destination sends the potential tourist seeking a more accommodating location.

Therefore when hotels, tourist boards and tour operators have spent years of time and lots of money cultivating a market, they are rightfully seriously disturbed when events take place that adversely affect it.

Such is the case with the special visa now required by ten Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries for visitors between February 1st and 15th May except for certain designated states.

The ostensible purpose of this special visa was to create into a single space those ten countries that are hosting the 2007 Cricket World Cup (CWC) tournament. Persons in possession of the visa would not need to get 10 separate visas.

In other words, the visa was meant to facilitate ease of travel between the countries.

Logically, the special visa should have applied to those countries whose nationals previously required visas to enter any or all of the ten CARICOM host countries.

Thus, nationals of India and Pakistan, for instance, who always needed a visa to enter certain CARICOM countries should have been able to get one visa for travel to all the countries where the CWC games are to be played.

And, nationals of those countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, who did not need visas in the past, should continue not to require visas and should be able to travel freely to these countries to see the games.

Further, nationals of non-cricket playing countries, who have not needed visas in the past to come to the Caribbean on holiday, should continue not to require visas.

Curiously, the idea of one visa for all ten countries in order to facilitate the tens of thousands expected to attend the CWC games got turned on its head.

The special visa is no longer a document to facilitate the travel of people coming to more than one country for cricket; it has been transformed into an instrument to combat terrorism.

In this connection, people from countries that never required a visa now have to have the special visa. Thus, Australians and New Zealanders (two cricket playing countries) have joined Indians and Pakistanis in the requirement to have a special visa. But, nationals of South Africa and the United Kingdom (two other cricket playing nations) don’t need visas even though both Britain and South Africa require nationals of some Caribbean countries to have visas to enter their countries.

Others requiring visas are nationals of Sweden, Denmark and Austria who are among those tourists who come to the Caribbean during this time of year. But, Japanese are exempt even though they constitute a smaller number of tourists to the Caribbean than the Scandinavian countries and Austria.

The criteria used for deciding which countries should require visas and which are exempt is, of course, unknown to us. However, all the official statements point to a necessity to ensure the security of the host countries from terrorism.

Logically, if one were to strictly apply this criteria, nationals of Britain and Canada should require a visa. For the British police have confirmed that there are approximately 200 terrorist cells in the United Kingdom that are under surveillance, and there have been two terrorist incidents there since 9/11. Similarly, Canada has had warnings of terrorism from militant groups.

There have been no reports of terrorist cells in Denmark and Sweden and, indeed, none in New Zealand.

The further curious thing about this Special Visa is that the application form requires no information that could reasonably help to identify a terrorist. In fact, it is less investigative than visa application forms used by some CARICOM consulates abroad. For example, it requires no evidence of a return ticket or a list of the hotels (or other places) where the visitor intends to stay, or proof that the accommodation has been paid for.

It does ask if the applicant has been convicted of a criminal offence – a box which any terrorist would be most unlikely to tick in the affirmative.

At the bottom line of all this, those officials charged with the security of the 10 countries that are hosting the World Cup Cricket tournament have a tough job.

If something happens, they will be criticised heavily for not doing enough and for not adequately vetting visitors during this important period when tens of thousands of persons are expected to pour into the area. Their extreme caution is, therefore, understandable.

But, instead of requiring visas from countries that did not previously require one, and which will revert to not requiring one when World Cup Cricket is over, would it not have been a better way to vet potential terrorists by getting the cooperation of the authorities in the US, UK and other countries to provide a list of people on their watch list and to compare passengers entering the country against such a list?

Such lists do exist. After 9/11, US authorities sent governments all over the world a long list of people suspected of financing terrorism with a request that their assets be seized. What is more airlines are required to send passenger lists with detailed information prior to landing at US airports so that immigration and security officials are prepared for doubtful persons.

As it is, after World Cup Cricket, hotels and tourist officials will have an enormous task wooing back those visitors who have been turned off, and explaining to them that a visa will no longer be required. And, then, of course, the Caribbean still has to find an effective way of dealing with any potential terrorist threat long after the games are over.

… Sir Ronald Sanders at Caribbean360.COM (link here)

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