Daily Archives: June 12, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Up For Sale !

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Maybe The Sanctuary Didn’t Pay Enough “Consulting Fees” ?

We heard news this morning that is both frightening and sad. Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary is up for sale.

For those of you who have never been there Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary is one of the most magical places in Barbados. It is a world class conservatory dedicated to preserving the indigenous flora and fauna of our country while at the same time working to preserve endangered species of Caribbean birds and fish.

Ecotourists from all over the world consider it the major attraction in Barbados. Our schoolchildren have all been there (so have we) and have marveled at the various exhibits while learning about conservation and nature. It has been the backdrop for many romantic moments and countless weddings and special events.

It will be sad if Barbados loses this wonderful treasure. Because of where it is and what it is if it is lost it is irreplaceable. We shudder to think that it might soon be just another location where a condo developer has his way.

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Why Is Barbados Losing This Precious Natural Asset?

The frightening part of this story is the reason this is all happening. The Nature Sanctuary was financed and built entirely our of the pocket of a Canadian philanthropist, Peter Allard. Reports are that he donated $32 million dollars of his own money and years of his own time to provide Barbados with this jewel and asked nothing in return except maybe a vote of thanks from all of us and a promise to treat this gift to the country with the respect it deserves so that it will last even after Mr. Allard is no longer with us.

Lately Mr. Allard was gracious enough to offer a further gift to the country by donating adjacent land, some twenty acres, to the creation of a National Park in the Graeme Hall area. We are told he has now sat by for 9 months while he waited a response, or even an acknowledgement, that the government of our country was giving this offer and possibly the fate of the Nature Sanctuary itself the consideration it deserves.

Government Didn’t Even Reply To Mr. Allard’s Offer Of Free Land For A National Park !!!

Instead the government is going ahead with a plan to allow another developer to build a waterpark upstream from the nature sanctuary. In other words a noisy, polluting (lots and lots of chlorine flowing downhill will kill fish and other creatures) business that will generate lots of ‘consulting fees’ – $2,000,000 so far – and other advantages for our politicians and their friends is being installed where it is almost sure to ruin everything Mr. Allard has built.

We Weep Today For Barbados

Losing an asset like Mr. Allard is bad enough (he never asked for anything in return except the satisfaction of knowing he was helping our country). Losing a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something good for future generations by creating a park and preserving the nature sanctuary is shameful.

As we learn more we will keep you informed.

Nothing has appeared yet on the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary’s website (link here)

153 Comments

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

UWI Professor Michael Howard Warns That CARICOM – CSME Is Leading To “Recolonisation”

We agree 100% and remind everyone of Auntie Moses’ saying… “Ain’t nothin be for free”

Barbados Underground has the story and comments.

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, CARICOM, Politics & Corruption

New Hampshire School Children Taken On Field Trip To Abortion Clinic – Barbados Abortion Director Must Think “What’s The Big Deal?”

MANCHESTER – The city school board early this morning voted for an investigation into last week’s field trip that brought middle school students to a Planned Parenthood office in Manchester. The school board instructed school administrators to investigate the matter, recommend any changes needed to school policies and decide if any disciplinary action needs to be taken.
“It needs to happen immediately,” Mayor Frank Guinta said about the investigation. He said it shouldn’t take more than a few days…From the New Hampshire Union Leader (link here)

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As BLP Candidate And Abortions Manager George Griffith Would Say, “So What? We Have Students Visit Our Abortion Clinic All The Time!”

The folks in Manchester, New Hampshire are all upset because their children were taken to visit a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic without their knowledge or consent. What’s the problem with that? Here on the rock, the Barbados Family Planning Association even gets together with the police and other agencies to hold information sessions.

No big deal. Just a natural thing.

Why, in case anyone has forgotten, BLP candidate George Griffith and his team even provide abortions to 12 year old girls without the knowledge or consent of the parents.

So what’s the big deal about a school trip anyway?

BFP Article: Source: Barbados Family Planning Association Provided Abortion To 12-Year-Old Girl – Parents Not Told

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Filed under Abortion, Barbados, Health

Jamaican Senator Resigned Over Receiving “Campaign Donation” To Personal Bank Account

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“The matter of campaign financing has been a sensitive issue between the ruling People’s National Party (PNP) and the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) for some time now with both sides daring each other to open their books to the public…” From the Jamaica Gleaner Campaign Financing Report Ready By July

At the JLP- Jamaican Labour Party’s annual conference in 2003, then opposition party leader Edward Seaga accused a faction of the party of accepting “tainted money” to run its internal campaign.

In October of 2006, it was revealed that Dutch oil company Trafigura Beheer transferred $31 million dollars to three bank accounts associated with Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller’s ruling PNP – People’s National Party of Jamaica.

As it turned out, one of the accounts was the personal bank account of Senator Colin Campbell, who subsequently resigned as the party’s general secretary and information and development minister. The PNP promised to, and subsequently said, it had returned the funds.

Now children, do you think that things are any different here in Barbados?

Do you think that one political party in Barbados will act more honestly than the other in the absence of any standards or rules? Or is it like Jamaica where both the government and the opposition secretly receive tainted funds that undermine democracy?

We, the people of Barbados, must take the leadership on the Integrity and Conflict of Interest issue because it is obvious that neither of the two major parties really intends to do anything other than issue “studies” and say fine words.

Both the DLP and the BLP are thieving piggies at the trough until they openly implement conflict of interest standards for their own candidates and members.

No doubt Opposition Leader David Thompson has received campaign donations that he hopes no one will hear about. Same goes for Prime Minister Owen Arthur.

Two Questions For The DLP & BLP Party Leaders

Dear Prime Minister Arthur

As mentioned in Parliament and seen on television by thousands of Bajans who also saw your stunned, guilty reaction – you received a $750,000 “campaign donation” into your personal bank account.

Tell us all about it. Everything.

Dear Opposition Leader Thompson

It is reported that you met in Miami with billionaire casino owner Donald Trump.

Tell us all about it. Everything.

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

A Message For Piggy At The Trough Nominator: “Purchasing Some Land To Build…”

OK, we’re listening.

Will you please provide some more details? The name of the relative, the location of the land?

Thanks,

Robert

Hi Folks

These little messages come and go at Barbados Free Press. As our regular readers know, we often communicate to our sources in public so that we don’t have to send emails.

Sometimes it gets pretty exciting around here!

-)

Robert

Comments Off on A Message For Piggy At The Trough Nominator: “Purchasing Some Land To Build…”

Filed under Barbados

GEMS Hotels TripAdvisor Ratings Tells Barbadians Everything They Need To Know About Their Tax Dollar “Investment” Into This Money-Pit

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‘Setting the standards on the South Coast’

This was the bold mission statement and stated justification behind the formation and operation of Hotels and Resorts Ltd or commonly known at GEMS.

Recently at the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association’s annual general meeting, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace urged hoteliers to use the worlds’ most travel reference website, TripAdvisor, to monitor how their guests rated the individual property’s performance.

82 hotels on Barbados are rated by TripAdvisor. 55 on the South and east coast and 27 on the west coast!

The remaining three GEMS hotels are rated as follows:

Savannah (the flagship) No.49

Blue Horizon No. 62

Time Out at the Gap No. 75

The ratings are entirely based on actual guests that have stayed at the hotels and responded online, following a strict uniform criteria of grading comments.

It would appear, even after the near decade of operation, that GEMS have not reached their stated mission objective.

Would this be allowed to happen in a normal commercial environment?

Somehow I think not!

The Chairman, Board of Directors and other policymakers would have been replaced with more competent ones.

And here we are the poor taxpayer, still not knowing the extent of the losses and accumulated debt.

We know of the $37 million yet unpaid interest to Government.

We know of the sale of Eastry House and Silver Rock.

But we don’t know where the proceeds of these sales went.

When challenged during what became a notorious call-in programme, the Barbados Minister of Tourism steadfastly refused to ask the moderators questions regarding GEMS.

It’s our money, we have to keep asking.

Adrian Loveridge
11 June 2007

11 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Cartoons, Politics & Corruption

Save Electricity – But There Are Dangers With Compact Florescent Lamps

“When a CFL breaks, the EPA cautions consumers to open a window and leave the room immediately for at least 15 minutes because of the mercury threat. The agency suggests removing all materials by scooping fragments and powder using cardboard or stiff paper. Sticky tape is suggested as a way to get smaller particles. The EPA says vacuum cleaners and bare hands should never be used in such cleanups.” (From WND.com Light-bulb ban craze exceeds disposal plans)

Compact Florescent Lamps Contain Highly Toxic Mercury

Environment Minister Liz Thompson counseled Bajans to reduce power consumption during her press conference last Saturday. Liz made many good points about how we can’t afford the waste anymore as a society – even if individuals can pay for their irresponsibility.

That’s all well and good, but the big move to CFL’s – Compact Florescent Lamps – is being pushed by government without any regard for the real danger that exists when these lamps break or are improperly disposed of.

The problem is mercury – a toxic element with a long history of causing death, insanity and incurable health problems. Ever hear the term Mad as a Hatter ? Look up the origin and you’ll see how long we have known that mercury is highly dangerous.

Where will the mercury-laced CFLs be disposed of in Barbados?

The answer is… anywhere… Because we have no laws that govern the use or disposal of this toxin.

Once again we have to point out the folly of running a country where there are few laws that even pretend to regulate some of the worst environmental abuses. It’s a small rock we live on and one would think that keeping our home clean and safe would be a major priority.

If the government is going to push these CFLs, the least they could do would be to educate and warn buyers about the significant danger these fixtures bring into our homes.

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Health