Monthly Archives: February 2007

Temas Blog Publishes Major Article: A Sustainable Energy Plan For Barbados?

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Keith Ripley is a rare find: an expert who can actually communicate his knowledge and ideas in a manner that is easily understood by non-technical people in leadership and the general population.

A Balanced, Easily Understood Critique Of Barbados’ Draft National Energy Plan

The Temas Blog has published an excellent summary and analysis of the recently presented Barbados Draft National Energy Plan. We urge all our readers to head over to Keith Ripley’s blog and take the time to read his report.

And for our BFP readers who are elected or appointed government officials, that advice goes double.

The world is in big trouble with energy and the environmental trade offs that were made in the last 50 years, but in some respects Barbados is much more fortunate than countries further north. As UWI’s Professor Oliver Headley said many times and in many different ways “The sun will still shine when the oil runs out.”

Here is an excerpt from Keith Ripley’s report, taken almost at random…

The draft Energy Plan hits all the right environmental notes and themes that international institutions, lenders and investors applaud these days — market liberalization, source diversification, GHG cuts, energy conservation, energy efficiency, biofuels and other renewable sources, fuel efficiency and emission standards for vehicles, etc. Probably it should be praised for at least being mindful of such things — lord knows I have read many energy plans in LAC that ignored the environmental impacts of their proposals.

Perhaps too many “smooth” and “sounds good” notes: there is too little feel of the tough trade-offs such policies usually entail, of calculating cost-benefits, of considering where the different items on the laundry list of policy measures might work at cross-purposes or even undermine one another. No firm sense of priority-setting, and everything is spoken of in terms of near- (2010) or long- (2026) term — nothing in the medium-term, as if it does not exist and transitions will take care of themselves.

The paucity of current, hard data in the Plan certainly does not inspire confidence…

… read the entire report at The Temas Blog: A Sustainable Energy Plan For Barbados?

11 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Environment

When Rich Folks Don’t Like To See Barbados Chattel Houses…

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February 27, 2007

The Editor,
The Advocate,
Fontabelle, Bridgetown

Dear Sir,

Barbados history

At a recent political meeting in St Andrew, the newspaper reported that the Prime Minister, Owen Arthur, was against poor people being made to move to accommodate rich people building up-market housing in their area. It was dealing with the developments at Apes Hill and Waterhall by Sir Charles Williams, whom he described as “silly”.

The public record will show that about 6 years ago a number of persons living in chattel houses in Speightstown, on lands owned by government, where most of the families had lived for over 50 years, were forced to re-locate against their will, to a development at Mount Brevitor, near Mile-and-a-Quarter, St Peter, in the Prime Minister’s constituency. These residents were not happy to be moved as most were old, and it was a settled community. This land was part of the old Sanitation Services truck depot. However, when Schooner Bay was built, it was decided that this up-market development did not wish to look out on chattel houses.

I recall that in about 1995, when government announced that the new garbage dump would be sited at Greenland in the Scotland District National Park, Penny Hynam, CEO of the Barbados National Trust, wrote to the press objecting, as it is the Trust’s mandate to protect places of historical significance and beauty for the people of Barbados. The President of the National Trust, Mr Paul Altman, received a telephone call from the Prime Minister that the Barbados National Trust must not object publicly to his plan, and the President of the National Trust ordered the CEO of the National Trust to write a letter withdrawing this objection. This was done.

The Minister of Health of the day made a public statement that her government would listen to responsible agencies like the Barbados National Trust, in making a policy decision on the site of the garbage dump at Greenland, and the National Trust had not objected.

Basic investigative journalism would show that the President of the National Trust at that time is also one of the major developers of Schooner Bay. It is a classic case of you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours. I love to watch politicians ballet dancing and fooling the Barbados public. Perhaps history will show who are the real Barbados heroes.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Goddard

photo courtesy of Barbados Photo Gallery.Com (link here

38 Comments

Filed under Barbados, History, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Government Solution To Police Recruitment Problem: LOWER STANDARDS

New Lower Standards Show That Government Doesn’t Really Value Policing

No Matter What The Governments Says – Look At What They Do!

Maybe we should forget about those shiny new flyovers and pay the police enough to attract and keep our brightest, most dedicated, career-oriented young men and women? Don’t we want to hire the best people we can to protect our families and enforce the laws of our society?

Nah… let’s just lower the standards so we can hire lower-qualified people. The kind of people that we never would have trusted before with a police officer’s authority. Yes, let’s hire people who aren’t educated enough to compete in the real world employment market.

Now that’s a plan!

More Police Needed

Government has taken steps to shore up the numbers in the Royal Barbados Police Force as it copes with a negative response to its ongoing recruitment drive.

Attorney General Dale Marshall went to Parliament today with a bill to change the qualification requirements for special constables who don’t meet the minimum qualifications to enter the force.

It’s called the Police Amendment Bill 2007.

… read the original article online at CBC (link here)

Also see BFP’s Barbados Police Officers Heading Elsewhere

34 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

Government Supporter Critical Of Barbados Free Press Is Posting Under Different Names

BLP Government Spin Master Makes A Mistake – Deception Revealed

Defends Corrupt Government Minister Gline Clarke – Uses 3 Identities!

It is amazing how those accusing Barbados Free Press of hiding an agenda, often themselves stoop to posting false support for their own position – posting again and again under different names to give the appearance of strength in numbers!

We’ve seen government supporters do this many times before, so we thought we’d share this latest deception with our readers.

While we were not able to see exactly where our government supporter was located, he or she used the same internet access point each time – not knowing that simply changing their internet name would not conceal that all the comments were coming from the same person.

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Identity #1 “Kelly”

It started yesterday (26th) with a “Kelly” posting a comment on our article Former Barbados Tourism Authority Chairman Arranges Security Breach For Strangers At Cricket World Cup.

We had mistakenly indicated that Hudson Husbands was still Chairman of the BTA and “Kelly” alerted us to this – but in a most critical manner. You can look at “Kelly’s” comment here.

Our moderator corrected the article and left a thank you for “Kelly” for pointing out our error.

“Kelly” then posted another comment on our article Nation News Article About Political Blogging And Websites Ignores Barbados’ Most Popular Political Blog

“Kelly’s” comments were a backhanded slap at Barbados Free Press, accusing us of using our blog to “to spew untruths, deceptions, lies and propaganda.” You can read “Kelly’s” comment here.

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Identity #2 “Sharon”

Earlier today (27th), our government supporter surfaced again, this time using the name “Sharon” to comment on our article WINNER ANNOUNCED: Barbados Piggies At The Trough Award 2006.

“Sharon” launched into a lengthy comment supporting the BLP government and Prime Minister Owen Arthur, who had won the 2006 Barbados Piggies At The Trough Award. “Sharon” called Barbados Free Press a “DLP Propaganda Website” and generally tore into us – taking a misinformed or deceptive position that we at BFP are not critical of wrongdoing by the opposition DLP and their leader David Thompson.

Not realizing at the time that “Sharon” was posting under multiple names, a BFP moderator once again left a respectful response for “Sharon”. You can read “Sharon’s” comment and BFP’s response here.

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Identity #3 “Rufus”

Less than an hour after posting as a female “Sharon”, our government supporter returned to the same Piggies At The Trough story and posted under another name – this time using the male name of “Rufus”.

“Rufus” addressed his comment to “Sharon” and said he agreed with what “she” had said. “Rufus” further added some political comments directed at Opposition Leader David Thompson.

Our government supporter had quite the conversation with herself / himself! You can read the comment here.

Then the fun starts when “Rufus” engages another BFP reader in conversation and accuses that reader of being a “David Thompson DLP operative”. You have to appreciate the irony, folks!

“Rufus” then launches into a smoke and mirrors defense of our corrupt Minister of Public Works, Gline Clarke – saying that Minister Clarke lives on his father’s land in St. George and not with his defacto spouse on expropriated land. (For background see Barbados Government Minister Gline Clarke – House and Mercedes On Expropriated Land)

You can read the second comment by “Rufus” here.

The Truth Is Discovered

These government operatives whose job is to do damage control at Barbados Free Press by posting in the comments section often attempt to have conversations with themselves under multiple names, but our readers seem to sniff them out after a day or two. It is usual for our readers to become aware of multiple identities before the editors do because our attention is focused on spam control and writing new articles – thus our moderators politely thanked “Kelly” and engaged “Sharon” in conversation without realizing they were the same person.

After two BFP readers became suspicious and sent us an email, Cliverton looked at the IP data and discovered that “Kelly”, “Sharon” and “Rufus” were the same person.

Just Another Day At Barbados Free Press

We thought our readers would be interested in some of the intrigue that goes on behind the scenes.

Is it past noon yet? Good!

Darlin’ – grab me a Banks please!

🙂

Marcus

33 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Politics & Corruption

St. Andrew MP George Payne Highlights Land Slippage In Area Of Greenland Dump

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George Payne’s Speech Heavily Criticized Own Government’s Failures

MP George Payne apparently pulled no punches at a recent BLP meeting – even though the Prime Minister was sitting right beside him.

The article in the Nation News is worth reading just to see a sitting MP listing the unfulfilled promises made by his own government – which are promptly answered by more promises from Attorney-General Dale Marshall. Same old, same old.

One of the unintended highlights of Mr. Payne’s talk was the mention of land slippage in St. Andrew – the area of the Greenland Dump where his government says that land slippage is not an issue.

I guess the land slippage that Payne is talking about magically stops at the Greenland dump’s property lines!

Story link: The Nation News – Payne: St. Andrew Left Out 

28 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Environment, Politics & Corruption

A Tale Of Two Barbados Fete Promoters – One Good, One Evil

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Elite Entertainment Should Be Ashamed!

The Barbados Sanitation Service Authority blog has posted an article about two recently held fetes – one by the local organising committee of the Cricket World Cup, and another by the irresponsible, uncaring idiots who call themselves Elite Entertainment.

The above photos show the streets after both functions. You can guess which is which.

IF the government was on the ball, they would make clean-up of the area as much a part of receiving permission to hold a public event as is crowd safety and traffic control.

Head over to Ian Bourne’s Barbados Sanitation Service Authority blog for the full story and many more photos that show the disgusting result of Elite Entertainment’s lack of concern for the community and their fellow citizens.

Story link: Bajan Health Protectors

UPDATE

We received this unconfirmed comment by BFP reader “Michael” …

Dear Sirs,

We just want it known, that ELITE SOUND SYSTEMS LTD, a locally registered sound company in Barbados , is in NO way associated with the Elite Entertainment Inc .

**************

George Replies:

Dear Micheal,

Thank you for letting us know. That is the wonderful thing about blogs. If anyone disagrees with a story or wants to clarify or add information, they can get your message out to the same readers right away. If there has been an error in a story or the clarification is important (as your information is), then it is highlighted in the original story and remains for all to see.

Our stories are audited for accuracy by thousands of readers each day.

Thanks for helping to make Barbados Free Press one of the most accurate sources for Barbados news!

George

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Environment

Celebrity Cruise Cricket Advert Warns Against Inter-Island Flying “Tiny airplanes, long lines, delays, lost luggage, cancelled flights”

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The Cricket World Cup Series is just around the corner in April 2007. It is being held in the beautiful Caribbean. But getting between islands to watch your team will be a challenge. The big jets don’t do the inter-island hops. Can you imagine flying from island to island in tiny little planes to get from one stadium to the next. Can you imagine the long lines, the delays, the cancelled flights the lost luggage?

… from a Celebrity Cruise Line’s Press Release (link here)

Will the tiny airplanes be able to pull it off, or will it be the disaster predicted in the Celebrity Cruise Line advert?

We’re still hearing about passengers being stranded without baggage, so if I were a betting man (and I am!) I wouldn’t look at a shuttle airline ticket to or from Grantley Adams International as anything more than a lottery ticket with extremely good odds.

And remember – to hedge your bet, make that carry-on luggage only!

robert

Previous BFP Story: Caribbean Star Airlines Still Not Telling Passengers That Luggage Will Follow In Several Days

12 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cricket, Traveling and Tourism

Former Bahamian Immigration Minister Suing Media For His Own Stupidity Over Anna Nicole Smith Photos… And Rolex “Gift”

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The disgraced former Bahamian Immigration Minister Shane Gibson has hired an attorney to “clear his name” over the published photos showing the Minister and everyone’s “yes” girl, Anna Nicole Smith, in bed together. (see BFP’s article link here)

Mr. Gibson has a little problem though. Amid allegations that he fast-tracked Anna Nicole Smith’s residency application, he told the House of Assembly that Smith qualified because she bought a million dollar home in the Bahamas. Oops… looks like Smith never purchased the home!

There is also the matter of a Rolex watch that was purportedly given to the Minister by Anna Nicole Smith. Although the Minister denies that he accepted any gifts from Smith in return for fast-tracking her application, he hasn’t denied accepting the Rolex – just that he never did anything in return for the gift!

Hmmmm… I wonder if Bahamas has any Conflict of Interest legislation or ethics rules in place for public officials?

What Rules Does Barbados Have Respecting Government Ministers Accepting “Gifts” ?

That’s easy!

None.

Story Links

Bahama Journal – Gibson Hires Prominent Attorney To Clear Name

Barbados Free Press – Bahamas Immigration Minister Does Honourable Thing Over Anna Nicole Smith Photos: Resigns

Barbados Free Press – Newspaper Publishes Photos: Anna Nicole Smith In Bed With Bahamas Immigration Minister!

13 Comments

Filed under Celebrities, Politics & Corruption

Oh Oh! Barbados Tourism Authority President In Middle East – Trying To Sell Empty Cruise Ship Berths That We Have To Pay For!

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With Only Weeks To Go, Isn’t This Too Little Too Late?

IF IT SEEMS STRANGE that the President of the Barbados Tourism Authority is abroad making last minute travel arrangements for a major event scheduled years ago instead of working at home with everything going according to plan…. read on!

Stuart Layne is currently in Dubai – working with a travel company to lay on special flights for Middle East cricket fans and flogging empty berths on the Carnival Destiny cruise ship. The ship has promised a prayer room, Indian chefs and Bollywood entertainment to cater to Middle East clients, and Air India is doing special direct flights from the Middle East direct to Bridgetown where passengers will embark on Destiny.

What’s with the last minute arrangements? Why the big push?

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Sources Indicate Carnival Destiny Is Only 40% Booked – And Barbados Pays US$50 Extra For All Empty Berths – Per Day!

Barbados Free Press has been contacted by three different sources – each of whom state that the Carnival Destiny is running 40% to 48% capacity (depending upon the source) and that “something had to be done”. Thus Stuart Lane and former West Indies bowler Joel Garner are doing the media rounds in the Middle East in a last minute desperate push to try and market for Carnival Cruise Lines!

And why should the Government of Barbados care if Carnival’s ships are full or not? Haven’t we already paid millions for them to come to Barbados during Cricket World Cup? Well, apparently there’s this little detail in our contract: we pay US$50 extra per day for each empty berth.

1,000 empty berths equal US$50,000 PER DAY in surcharges.

Oops!

And that US$50 empty berth charge applies whether the cruise ship is anchored off Bridgetown or Trinidad or cruising between Cricket World Cup venues. That’s right, folks: we’re paying Barbados tax dollars to transport and accommodate cricket fans in other countries.

We’re also hearing that our local hotels and B&Bs are nowhere near full – and now the government BTA President is abroad selling cruise ship berths and not island accommodations!

We’ve also heard from one source that the Government of Barbados has promised to subsidize the Air India flights if they are less than capacity!

How Many Cruise Ships? How Many Cricket World Cup Visitors?

Take your pick, folks… Weren’t we hearing “100,000 visitors” last year? Weren’t we hearing “19 cruise ships” taking the overflow from our hotels?

Then “18” cruise ships… then “14” and now… the BTA President says “11” cruise ships and “Over 30,000 people will be coming to the island for the World Cup during the two-week period in addition to our regular visitors.”

Was it the cricket visa fiasco? Did everyone just over-estimate and become victims of wishful thinking?

Maybe things will be OK

Maybe there will be a last minute flood of visitors who will fill our hotel rooms and dine in our restaurants and not on cruise ships. Maybe our children won’t still be paying for this party 20 years from now.

Maybe.

Article Link: Gulf News – Special Facilities for UAE Cricket Fans To Watch Final 

22 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cricket, Traveling and Tourism

BTA President: 11 Cruise Ships and 700 Yachts In Barbados For Cricket World Cup

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Stuart Layne In Dubai: Interviewed By Gulf Times – United Arab Emirates

The President of the Barbados Tourism Authority told The Gulf Times that the Government of Barbados has authorized 11 Cruise Ships and 700 Yachts to be anchored off Barbados to provide accomodation for cricket fans.

What Arrangements Have Been Made For Yachts’ Sewerage & Garbage Disposal?

I have no idea how the government intends to police 700 yachts anchored off our shores – with I presume hundreds anchored along Carlisle Bay. Security and safety has to be the first concern, but the environmental impact could be significant if the yacht crews and passengers aren’t conscientious about waste disposal.

Are we going to have garbage scows going from yacht to yacht? What about blackwater (sewerage) pumpouts? Where will the yachts go? How many yachts can the pumpout facilities handle each day? Is there a schedule or appointment times?

We already know that Health Minister Jerome Walcott hit the roof when he heard that the cruise ships will be dumping thousands of gallons of not-so-clean sewerage every day into Carlisle Bay. (see BREAKING NEWS: Nets To Be Placed To Hold Feces Off Carlisle Bay Beaches – Cruise Ships Will Dump In Carlisle Bay!)

Anyone For A Swim In The Surf? (Just Kidding!)

As for me and my family, we’ll be avoiding the sea on the west and south coasts for some time. Were not big fans of Bathsheba either with the raw sewerage that flows into the sea there. Shona and I love to dive for crab and lobster at a few “secret” spots along South Point, but I wish the ordinary person had a method of testing the sea water on any given day.

As we keep reminding our readers – Ain’t nothin be free. Everything has a price, and I hope the price Barbados ends up paying for Cricket World Cup isn’t too onerous.

Story Link: Gulf Times Interviews BTA President Stuart Layne

Photo: Unknown mega-yacht plucked from the web at random. Its humble, but its home! 

6 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cricket, Environment, Traveling and Tourism

Google Alerts – A Valuable Tool That Allows Barbados Free Press To Break Some Stories Well Ahead Of Traditional Media

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How We Discover Many Stories: Google Alerts

ONCE AGAIN, it is always amazing what Google Alerts sends our way. If a newspaper in the Middle East mentions “Barbados” or one of the dozens of other words we have programmed – wham! We have the story on our desks five minutes later. Similarly, folks around the world who are interested in, for instance, “offshore investments” or “Barbados politics” or other subjects we cover use Google Alerts to receive instant notification when Barbados Free Press or other media publish a relevant article.

These folks may have never heard of us before, but if they set an alert and we cover their subject, they receive BFP’s article without us doing a thing.

Think of Google Alerts as a standing internet search on any word or topic – being made on your behalf 24/7 – with the results instantly emailed to you.

Working Together: BFP’s Readers Set Their Own Alerts And Then Inform Us About Stories

When we broke the story of the Barbados Tourism Authority Chairman arranging to break security at Cricket World Cup, it was because we received a Google Alert for “Barbados” within minutes of the Financial Express publishing their story. If one of us is actually at our computer when the alert comes in, Barbados Free Press can break news hours or even days ahead of the traditional Barbados media and newspapers.

We see it all the time: we cover a story first and then the Barbados newspapers pick it up only after they read about it at Barbados Free Press. (The Nation News has even sent out a photographer to shoot the same photo that we first published. It’s ok Nation News – you can use photos we shot any time. No need to send out another photographer. If you’re going to steal our story idea without credit, hey, you might as well steal Shona’s photos too!)

Many of our readers set their own alerts and then notify us when they find something noteworthy on the net. While there is much duplication as you would expect, the differences in wording and interests means that we receive many new stories each day from our readers – stories that we would never have come across without our readers’ assistance.

You Can Join Our Research Team

So this is a big Thank You to all our readers who send us dozens of interesting pieces every day. By creating their own Google Alerts about topics that interest them, BFP’s readers become additional eyes and ears for us all.

We don’t have the staff or time to cover even 10% of the tips we receive – we wish we could cover them all – but please keep them coming because there are some real GEMS in there every day! (That’s the best I can do at humour after working all night. 🙂 )

This is from the Google Alerts webpage

Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:

* monitoring a developing news story
* keeping current on a competitor or industry
* getting the latest on a celebrity or event
* keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams

You can check out Google Alerts and start your own notifications here)

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Filed under Barbados, Blogging, News Media

Buying Land In Barbados? Welcome To The Crap Shoot!

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Foreign Buyers Should Beware Lack Of Rules, No Oversight And A Chaotic & Corrupt Land Titles System

Your Land Might Not Be Yours

The stories are legion in Barbados…

– The same lands are sold to two or more different buyers, each holding title documents in their name.

– An archaic land titles system that is fertile ground for abuse and theft.

– Lawyers selling estate lands without informing beneficiaries.

– No conflict of interest rules for the legal profession, and an “old boy” club atmosphere in the courts.

– Documents missing at the Land Registry Office that surface only when certain parties need them and then disappear again into the void.

– Foreign landowners who return to Barbados after a few years to find a house built upon “their” land. Then after an expensive legal battle, a court that blames the landowner and will not return the land – instead ordering the interloper to pay a modest amount to “purchase” the land – with the crooked lawyer who arranged everything protected by the court and walking away free and unnamed. (Can’t take down one of “the club” don’t ya know?)

– Government officials use the law to expropriate privately held land for “the public good” – a few years later the land is sold to private interests and a Minister of Government ends up living on expropriated land. Barbados has no conflict of interest or integrity laws to prevent such abuse. It is actually legal for government officials to expropriate private land and then sell it to friends, relatives or even themselves! (Nice trick, eh? See Barbados Government Minister Gline Clarke – House and Mercedes On Expropriated Land)

Good Luck and May God Bless – Suckers!

Thinking of buying land in Barbados? It is not as risky as purchasing land in Nigeria – but neither is it the same as buying land in New York or Leeds.

Land Order

A CIVIL SUIT dealing with the sale of nearly 10 000 square feet of disputed land has ended with a High Court judge criticising attorneys who handle both ends of the deal.

In addition, Justice Christopher Blackman wants overseas owners of local land to pay greater interest in their affairs here.

His comments came as he handed down a judgement in No. 6 Supreme Court to determine who was the
rightful owner of a parcel of land at Clapham Heights, Christ Church.

“In determining the matter,” said Justice Blackman, “it has become apparent that unfortunate consequences may occur when the same attorney-at-law acts for the vendor and the purchaser on a sale or purchase, or the parties to a loan transaction.

Lack of vigilance

“This is particularly so,” he added, “in the context of this case, as the firm of attorneys for the plaintiff at the time of the purchase of the land, the subject of this action, also act in these proceedings.”

The judge said a lack of vigilance by absentee landowners made it difficult for a court to “fashion a remedy providing the minimum equity to do justice” to either party.

“This action also indicates that resolute vigilance must be exercised on the part of absentee land owners to actively protect their interest and so avoid the dismissive appellation and the consequences of being classified ‘a paper title owner’.”

The lot in question was sub-divided into two lots – 2 (19 155 sq. ft) and 2A (9 730 sq. ft) in May 1973.

Maria De Los Angeles Arambarri Nicholls claimed she purchased the entire lot of land at Lot 2, Clapham Heights, by conveyance, which was dated November 3, 1999, from Antoinette Denna Chen, who acquired the land on May 15, 1987.

However, Fitzgerald Ramsay claimed he was the owner of a portion of that land, called Lot 2A (9 730 sq. ft), after he bought it by conveyance dated August 12, 1975. He wanted to sell his portion.

However, Nicholls brought an action, claiming she owned all of the land and received an interim injunction restraining Ramsay from transferring, encumbering or trespassing on the property.

The judge ordered Chen to pay Nicholls $195 000, which was the assessed value of Lot 2A (9 730 sq. ft).

He further ordered Chen to indemnify Nicholls but ordered Nicholls to pay her own costs.

Justice Blackman added: “The issue of rectification of the November 3, 1999 conveyance to [Nicholls] to reflect the correct area of land to which she is entitled must be addressed.”

He, however, granted a six-week stay of execution.

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

50 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption

Former Barbados Tourism Authority Chairman Arranges Security Breach For Strangers At Cricket World Cup – Financial Express Reports Everything – Says Barbados Ill-Prepared For Cricket World Cup

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UPDATED – Scroll to Bottom

Hudson Husbands Arranges To Smuggle Unknown Indian Journalists Past Security!

Indian Journalists Had No Accreditations – Could Have Been Jihadist Terrorists!

Barbados Tourism Authority Employee Gregory Armstrong Also Involved

HAVE NO DOUBT: the police and security officials at CWC will be livid when they hear of this breach. The Muslim terrorists only have to get lucky once – whereas the good guys have to be perfect all the time.

But what good is even the most well-executed layered security system if some big shot politician or official foolishly uses his knowledge and authority to violate security procedures for strangers?

This is the best thing that could have happened.

Folks, despair not. This is the best thing that could have happened to us in the public run-up to the Cricket World Cup. Heads may roll, and there will be public worldwide embarrassment – but you can bet that senior police and security leaders will now assert their authority and kick the behinds of any politician or official who tries anything like this again.

Muslim terrorists will also be aware that an embarrassed and alerted security force will now be unlikely to sidestep procedures for anyone.

This is the best thing that could have happened.

From the Financial Express…

Three Weeks To Go, Barbados Seems Ill-Prepared For The Big Day

by Boria Majumdar

Our reasons for coming to Barbados last week (there were three of us in all) was to watch and be part of the opening ceremony of the Kensington Oval, the venue for the World Cup final. In fact, central to travelling half the world to be in the Caribbean was yet another opportunity to see the great Sir Vivian Richards in action. And when he was to be preceded by the legendary Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes and followed by Carl Hooper and Richie Richardson, the occasion had to be special. Add to the privilege of watching these greats the opportunity to interview

Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Everton Weekes and Reverend Wes Hall and the trip seemed more than justified.

However, it is not always that things go according to plan. In fact, on most occasions they don’t. At the press briefing on the eve of the match it suddenly transpired that our accreditations had been goofed up and there was a possibility that we might not make it to the game despite reaching Barbados a couple of days early. We had had enough to press the panic button. Efforts in making our way seemed to come to nothing when on the morning of the match we were left stranded at my hotel, The Accra, without accreditations or even match tickets…

It was time to put our aggressive Indian caps on.

On reaching the accreditation room at the venue, we were greeted by a long queue of more than a hundred journalists waiting to collect their passes. When we finally made our way to the counter and met the media coordinator of the local World Cup organising committee, it was less than an hour for the match to start. Members of my team had almost given up by then and the tripods and lenses were being folded back to shoot some other local sights.

Repeated explanations that we were journalists who had come specifically for the game did finally register and we were told that something would indeed be arranged before the match started. Finally, about a quarter of an hour before the start, our local Barbados tourism authority guide, Gregory Armstrong, landed up with four complimentary tickets. That was the best under the circumstances he said and we were to watch the game from the stands and not from the media centre.

While this was indeed a step forward, it was hardly enough. We couldn’t film the game, nor could we attend the post-match press conference, things Gregory fully understood. And when Hudson Husbands, yet another influential member of the local media, took up our cause we were once again in with a chance.

The final fifteen minutes leading up to the match were individual capsules of hectic activity. Failing to make headway, Hudson finally came up to me and suggested that the best he could do was to escort me once to the media box. It was then on me to get something out of it. In an event billed as the final dry run leading up to the World Cup, this wasn’t a route we wanted to take. On the other hand, prospects of watching the match from the stands and finishing up with no work done seemed even worse.

And so we were forced to go down the unscrupulous path. It was a classic Bollywood case of the system forcing you to turn corrupt! Hudson took me into the media box, I met some of my colleagues from the British press, explained to them our plight and asked for their media passes to smuggle my team in. This wasn’t something I hadn’t done before. Rather, as a child we had repeatedly done this to watch Mohun Bagan’s matches in the local Calcutta football league, when most of us did not have the required membership.

And once we had all made our way into the media box and had settled into writing the opening lines in our laptop, we were all stunned by the nature of the act. So much for the tight security before the World Cup! Even more bizarre was the claim from the media coordinator that he had taken personal initiative in getting us in. “I could not sleep a wink last night”, he said on seeing us in the press box. “It was acutely embarrassing that members of the media, after having travelled half the world were being treated like this. But please understand that we were determined to get you in.” Indeed we did.

The moral of this incident is that Barbados is still not fully prepared to host the tournament, the biggest cricketing extravaganza in Caribbean history. If people can break the security cordon this easily, the World Cup might easily turn into a field day for the Mukesh Kochars, men who will surely relish the idea of making a fast buck. With three weeks still to go before the start of the tournament, here’s wishing the World Cup organising committee and the thousands of volunteers all the luck in the world. They will need every bit of it just like we did while in Barbados.

… read the entire article at The Financial Express (link here)

Updated

We originally incorrectly identified Hudson Husbands as still being Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Authority. He stepped down in July of 2006 to pursue his business with Tourism Global Inc.

Tourism Global Inc. is a professional services and consulting firm specializing in the hospitality and tourism industry throughout the Caribbean. Tourism Global Inc. currently provides consulting services to various Barbados Government agencies including Barbados Tourism Investment Inc.

It is unclear from the news report whether Hudson Husbands was acting at the time as an official media representative for Cricket World Cup or a government agency or whether Cricket World Cup security is so bad that it was bamboozled by an ordinary person with absolutely no official position.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cricket, Crime & Law, Traveling and Tourism

Nation News Article About Political Blogging And Websites Ignores Barbados’ Most Popular Political Blog

With over 100,000 visitors a month and still growing strong, Barbados Free Press is the most popular politically-focused website in the country – maybe even in the entire Caribbean. Our readers include the Prime Minister, Members of Government and politicians of all stripes. Dr. Duguid, Member of Parliament and Secretary General of the governing BLP, credits Barbados Free Press with being the catalyst that caused his party to start the BLP Blog.

Barbados Free Press is in the Top 100 most popular blogs out of over 700,000 WordPress blogs worldwide, and we are consistently featured in the first and second page of Google Search Engine returns on pretty well any subject involving Barbados… usually ahead of The Nation News and the Barbados Advocate newspapers and the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation’s news website.

Despite all this, the country’s largest newspaper has never seen fit to remark about BFP – the website that has taken Barbados politics on the internet to an entirely new level and inspired both major political parties to ramp-up their internet offerings.

The Nation News has just published an article by Carol Martindale exploring the internet political activities of the two major parties. A Political Web They Weave features interviews with BLP’s Dr. William Duguid and DLP’s Ronald Jones, and is actually a well written and interesting article…

…Even if it totally ignores Barbados’ most popular politically-focused website. Just not newsworthy, I guess! 😉

Here’s a few excerpts from The Nation News…

A Political Web They Weave!

POLITICS IN BARBADOS has gone hi-tech.

From blogs to live videos of mass meetings, web cams and digital manifestos, the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) plan to rev up their electioneering with the help of the Internet.

With speculation rife that elections are set for this year, both political parties will be taking their messages, party news and events online given the widespread access to computers in Barbados.

General secretary of the BLP, Dr William Duguid, and DLP Member of Parliament Ronald Jones said they wouldn’t be relying solely on traditional media, the political platforms or mass meetings to reach voters.

Already both parties have revamped interactive websites up and running, maximising the mass reach offered by the Net, as well as the cheap costs.

Duguid, who also manages the party’s website, told the SUNDAY SUN one of the attractions of online politics was that it was cheap.

“When you have to get your message out to the masses in the broadcast or print media, for example, like if you have to print leaflets, it is expensive.

“Whereas you can have things on a blog, you can change it daily, and get your information out to people, and it is very, very cheap.

“There is a lot of information technology and the use of information technology will continue to improve how people canvass, get their message out to constituents,” he said.

Meantine, Jones, who is responsible for coordinating the DLP website… said with more people having access to the Internet, they would be using that medium to help spread their message.

Both politicians also said they got to deal with issues on their websites which the mainstream media did not highlight.

Jones, MP for Christ Church East Central… said very shortly all 30 DLP candidates would be online with their profiles. In the BLP camp four candidates already have theirs posted.

Both parties also disclosed plans to place their respective manifestos online, which would supplement the hard copies to be circulated.

Duguid said no effort would be spared next elections to use the technology.

“The Internet is going to play a greater and greater part in politics all over the world and Barbados is no exception. There is a lot of potential in information technology and electioneering in the modern day,” he said.

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

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Filed under Barbados, Blogging, News Media, Politics & Corruption

Best Of Barbados Travel Programme Brings In The Least Desirable Tourists And Minimal Profits

Discount Travelers Least Likely To Return To Barbados

For the sixth consecutive year, despite the hype regarding just how well tourism is doing in Barbados, the discounted Best of Barbados programme has been resurrected for 2007.

Let us just compare the differential in net yield for bookings with this programme and direct bookings based on a typical US$100 per night per room (two persons) accommodation cost for a 7 night stay.

All figures shown in US$.

Example ONE (Best of Barbados)

7 nights accommodation (one free) at $100 = $600

less taxpayer airline subsidy of $200 per person

Daily free breakfast and 50% discount on activities etc.

Net revenue to the country = $100 per person

Example TWO (direct booking)

7 nights accommodation at $100 = $700

Daily paid breakfast (average cost) for two persons $210

No airline subsidy (best to attract some of the 200 million people who have acquired Air MILES) and no discount of activities etc.

Net revenue to the country = $455 per person

To grasp the financial implications of the above, multiply the examples by 50,000 visitors.

Example ONE – net revenue to the country = $5 million

Example TWO – net revenue to the country = $22.75 million

In addition to the simple economics, it is widely accepted that the discount market is the least destination loyal and less likely to return.

They are looking for a bargain and wherever that bargain is to be had, that’s where they will travel.

Adrian Loveridge
24 February 2007

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados Town Planner Announces National Park From Consett Bay to Archer’s Bay

The Chief Town Planner, Mark Cummins, has apparently announced a huge National Park that runs from Consett Bay, St. John on the midway east coast all the way around north point to Archer’s Bay, St. Lucy.

We’re a little confused right now because this would apparently include the Greenland dump and various towns including Bathsheba.

In any event, we predict there will be much discussion and clarification happening next week, but for now let’s hope that this announcement heralds a true change of heart by the current administration. Barbados needs a National Park system to preserve the natural beauty that is the foundation of our tourism and our childrens’ future.

Here’s today’s release from Caribbean Press Releases.Com…

Bridgetown, Barbados — Feb. 24, 2007 — It is tourism development for Cove Bay in St. Lucy; but only in the form of a national park covering an expanse of the scenic north and east coast Barbados that includes “unique and wild landscapes”.

This disclosure has come from Chief Town Planner, Mark Cummins, who explained that the specified area falls within the boundary of the Barbados National Park stretching from Consett Bay, St. John, to Archer’s Bay, St. Lucy.

He was at the time seeking to clear the air on any planned development at Cove Bay.
Recognised by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources – World Conservation Union as a Category Five Protected Landscape/Seascape, the Barbados National Park encompasses a wide range of land use activities; from forestry and conservation to tourism, resource extraction and village settlements.

Furthermore, the area of Gay’s Cove, Pico Tenerife and a part of the Cove form part of Natural Heritage Conservation Area (NHCA) (Land), encompassing environmentally sensitive terrestrial environments.

“And,” declared the Chief Town Planner, “a development of the magnitude outlined earlier within the Natural Heritage Conservation Area requires an environmental impact assessment as part of the supporting documentation for an application”.

The application will only be considered for approval if the assessment demonstrates that the proposal will have minimal impact on the environmental or landscape qualities of the Natural Heritage Conservation Area, or that expected impacts can be adequately mitigated by appropriate site design or other means.

Mr. Cummins explained that: “In cases where a proposal may negatively impact the environmental or landscape qualities of the Natural Heritage Conservation Area, approval will be granted only if the proposal is of overriding national need and no alternative site is available outside of the NHCA.”

He pointed out, however, that “informal recreation will be encouraged in the Natural Heritage Conservation Area provided that it is of a sustainable nature and does not conflict with the overriding objective of conserving and enhancing the special qualities of the area.”

“In this regard,” cautioned Mr. Cummins, “a network of well- designed, managed and signed trails should be established to provide access routes through the Natural Heritage Conservation Areas for walkers, cyclists and horseback riders.”

Source: barbados.gov.bb

Caribbean Press Releases.Com (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Environment

Moderation List Adjusted

Hello Friends

As most of you know, we went through quite a period of comment chaos caused by a very few people who were deliberately attempting to destroy BFP through inappropriate postings. In response we turned up the moderation criteria which calmed things down but also increased the chance that innocent comments were put in line for moderation.

We think we have the filters better adjusted now, but it you find your comments are still being moderated more than you think they should, please email us at barbadosfreepress@yahoo.com and we’ll modify the filter for you and your IP if we can.

Thanks!

George

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Martha Munizzi and Canton Jones Headline Barbados Gospelfest – Will Cliverton Keep His Promise To Shona?

martha-munizzi-barbados.jpg

Barbados Gospelfest May 19 – 27, 2007

Shona has been trying to drag Cliverton to church forever, and last year just when she thought Cliverton was going to come to Gospelfest the whole thing fell apart when Clive had a family situation that had to come first.

Cliverton promised Shona that he would faithfully accompany her to Gospelfest “next year” – and here we are at “next year”.

Will Cliverton keep his promise? Can he be saved? Stay tuned folks!

Christian Today: Martha Munizzi and Canton Jones to Headline Barbados Gospelfest 

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Religion, Traveling and Tourism