Daily Archives: June 27, 2007

Corruption Trial: VECO Paid Alaska Politician US$2,500 A Month For “Consulting”

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The corruption trial of disgraced Alaska politician Tom Anderson continued today with the judge being asked to admit evidence that VECO paid Anderson as a “consultant” to do nothing for $2,500 a month.

And THAT folks, is exactly why we need some answers in Barbados. VECO has shown that bribery and corruption are standard operating procedure. Why would it be any different in Barbados?

Excerpt from the Anchorage Daily News…

Tom Anderson was deep in debt and living beyond his means during the time that prosecutors say he took bribes to do the bidding of a private prison company, according to assertions in a new court filing.

Federal prosecutors Prosecutors Nick Marsh and Joe Bottini want to show jurors the former state legislator’s financial records, including tax returns, bank records and credit reports. Anderson is fighting to keep the material out of the trial, arguing that it is irrelevant.

As jury selection for the trial extends to a third day, the battle over financial records is one of several issues yet to be decided. Anderson, who served two terms in the state House but didn’t run last year, is being tried on seven felony charges, including bribery, extortion and money laundering.

Prosecutors say that Bill Bobrick, then a top lobbyist in Anchorage, set up a phony business and used it to funnel payments from Cornell Cos. to Anderson.

Among the issues before U.S. District Judge John Sedwick:

• Anderson’s work for Veco Corp. Anderson was a paid Veco consultant during the time he was in the Legislature, but he is not charged with any crime related to the Anchorage-based oil field services contractor. His defense lawyer, Paul Stockler, wants to prevent jurors from hearing a recording of a conversation in which Bobrick says Veco was paying Anderson $2,500 a month “to do nothing.”

… read the full story at Anchorage Daily News (Link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Tourism Minister – “Let’s Pour More Tax Money Down This GEMS Hole. NO… You Can’t See The Financial Statements You Stupid Bajans”

Theft In Progress – Somebody Call The Police! (oh, ya… nevermind)

Everybody knows that the best predictor of future performance – is past performance.

That’s why a store owner doesn’t hire a paroled thief just out of jail for the position of head cashier.

The Government of Barbados has poured millions and millions into the GEMS hotels and refuses to provide an accounting even though it is required by law. They can’t even say how much they have lost.

Nor will they provide any explanation for government purchases of run-down hotels that belong to “special friends” of the government.

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Now our Instant Millionaire Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch wants us to believe that everything can be solved with yet more tax money and the same management team – with, of course, absolutely no accounting for what has been spent thus far.

“Just give me one more chance” says the applicant for the Head Cashier’s job…

See our previous story Barbados Government Enters Time-Share Vacation Hucksterism – But Shuns The Words “Time Share”

We notice that in the original announcement as reported in the link above, Minister Lynch said that Hotels & Resorts would be the company that was given the land to build condos. The latest report (below) indicates that the land is being given to a company called “Sapphire Inc.”

I wonder who owns “Sapphire Inc.” and if any politicians or their family members have any shares?

Adrian Loveridge was thinking about the same thing when he sent this…

Who and what is Sapphire Inc?

‘Chance for Gems to bounce back says Lynch’

‘Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch hinted at this yesterday as the House of Assembly approved the grant of a lease of land owned by the Crown to the company Sapphire Inc., for the project’.

Where is this company registered?

Who are the directors?

What is its share capital?

What is its previous experience in operating Condominium hotels?

Let me see if I have this right!

‘Government hoped to sell most of the units on the international market to non-residents’.

So, non-nationals will purchase individual condominiums on Government (taxpayer) leased land?

What is the length of the lease and exactly how much is Sapphire Inc., paying to lease the land?

More questions than answers.

Adrian Loveridge

Here is the article in The Nation News…

Chance for Gems to bounce back, says Lynch
Published on: 6/27/07.

A new condominium project planned for St Lawrence Gap in Christ Church could well represent a new lease on life for the controversial Gems of Barbados hotel group.

Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch hinted at this yesterday as the House of Assembly approved the grant of a lease of land owned by the Crown to the company Sapphire Inc. for the project.

The development “gives the Gems an opportunity to really claw back”, he said.

The project “will move the Gems of Barbados – at least start the process of restructuring the portfolio of the Gems, which is so much needed”, he added.

For years Gems has been under attack by the political Opposition as a badly conceived project that squandered money while attempting to rescue troubled hotels.

‘Right way to go’

Lynch told Parliament the Gems project had suffered some “significant operating shocks”,
but getting involved in the new venture was “the right way to go”.

The new project will use the former location of the Dover Convention Centre to construct 54 condominium units.

Last year Lynch said Government hoped to sell most of the units on the international market to non-residents.

Under the contract, 80 per cent of the units will return to the rental pool for a minimum of nine months of the year. They will be marketed and managed in association with an upgraded Time Out At The Gap, one of the Gems hotels.

Part of the receipts from the initial sale of the units will be ploughed back into upgrading Time Out At the Gap and other Gems properties, according to Lynch.

The minister said the jury “is still out on this issue of condos versus traditional hotel rooms”, but Barbados had to find creative ways to help “under-performing” hotel rooms.

Most tourism developers were now involved in a mixture of accommodation, he reported.

… read the original lies as reported uncontested in the lapdog Nation News (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

UPDATED: Final Leg Of Round The World Solo – Barrington Irving Arrives Home In Miami

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UPDATED: June 27, 2007

Barrington arrived safely in Miami to a marching-band welcome.

I didn’t know it before… but he built the aircraft that he flew around the world in!

Story here

UPDATED: June 27, 2007 06:45am Miami Time

Position Update CLICK HERE

Barrington Irvine touched down at Orlando Executive Airport late last night and will be making his final leg from Orlando to Miami this morning. He is scheduled to arrive at Miami at 10am local time (14:00 hours GMT, June 27, 2007)

Word is that CNN may cover his landing live (like the Space Shuttle!)

Now that he is only a 30 minute flight from home, the world is paying attention. I see all kinds of stories on the newswires this morning.

“Kick the tires and light the fires”

Good luck Barrington!

June 27, 2007, 01:42hrs GMT – Watching Live Via GPS Satellite Tracking…

Altitude: 7411 feet / Ground speed: 169 knots / Heading: 92 degrees true

I love this kid. Only hours to go and he’s punching through thunderstorm alley on his way home. He must be facing a fierce headwind because his aircraft is capable of much more progress over the track made good.

Damn, I wish I could be there in Miami to tell Barrington how proud we are of him, but the best I can do is to stay up all night and follow his progress on his website.

If you don’t know what it is all about, check out our earlier story…

Jamaican-Born Barrington Irving: First Black Person, And The Youngest Pilot Ever To Fly Solo Around The World

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Filed under Aviation, Culture & Race Issues

Lennox Linton: My Deportation From Antigua and Barbuda

The Facts Of My Deportation From Antigua And Barbuda

By Lennox Linton

On Wednesday 13th, June 2007, sometime before 12 noon, six immigration officers showed up at my home in Upper Gambles and requested to see my passport.

I advised them that I entered the country in January of this year with a CARICOM Skilled Nationals Certificate from the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica and on February 5th, 2007, I was given six months ending August 5th, 2007 to stay in the country.

The officer in charge of the group of six examined my passport and then advised that their supervisor had directed that I be brought to his office immediately. I asked whether I could have an appointment with the supervisor sometime in the afternoon since I had to pick up my two 6 year old kids from school at 1.00 p.m. They refused the request. I then asked for time to take a bath. They agreed. They also allowed me time to make a phone call to my wife – a national of Dominica – who is employed with Port Services Limited at the V. C. Bird International Airport, so that she could make arrangements to pick up the kids from school.

I was driven from my home by an Immigration Officer accompanied by 5 of his colleagues in what I presumed to be a bus belonging to the Immigration Department to the Immigration Office in St. John’s and escorted to the office of the supervisor – a gentleman by the name of Melvin James.

He told me in the presence of four other officers that he was carrying out instructions from his superiors who had determined that I should be sent out of the country as soon as possible. I asked why. He simply repeated the statement that he was acting on the instructions of his superiors and that I would have to leave on the next available flight. He asked whether I needed to go home to pick up some things. I was told this was a courtesy that was being extended to me. I accepted the courtesy and was then driven back home by the same officer who led the mission to my home accompanied this time by three of his colleagues.

At home, I packed a few essentials in a travel bag, secured the house and left with the Immigration Officers for the Airport. They had advised that I would be required to purchase my ticket, failing which they would purchase it in which case the action against me would then become a deportation.

At the airport, I was accompanied to the LIAT ticket counter where I purchased a one-way ticket and checked in for flight #557 scheduled to depart for Dominica at 3.15 pm. I was then escorted to the counter where I paid the departure tax and then passed all the travel documents to the Immigration Officer at his request.

I was then taken to the Immigration Office at the airport and told that I would have to wait there until it was time to board the flight. At all material times, there was at least one Immigration Officer, watching my every move, no doubt to ensure that I did not attempt to escape. My passport was confiscated and held by the Immigration Officers throughout the entire episode until I passed the LIAT gate en route to boarding the plane. It took a while but the reality eventually sunk in that I was actually in law enforcement custody.

In the Immigration Office, an officer with the surname Emmanuel introduced himself to me as the Head of Immigration at the Airport. He asked whether anyone told me why I was being put out of the country. I said no. He then said it was because they “suspected” that I was working. There was no indication who my suspected employer was, in what capacity I was suspected to be employed or the location of my suspected place of employment.

I was not given any opportunity to confirm or deny the suspicions nor was there any attention paid to the legitimate expectation of being able to work in Antigua and Barbuda arising out the fact that the CARICOM Skilled Nationals Certificate issued to me by the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica provides me (as a CARICOM Treaty obligation) with work permit exempt status in the member territories of CARICOM.

While waiting for the LIAT flight, I received a call from the Prime Minister of Dominica Honorable Roosevelt Skerrit. He asked for an explanation of the difficulty he heard I was experiencing in Antigua and Barbuda. After relating to him what had transpired, he advised that he was going to get in touch with Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer to have the matter resolved. A few minutes later he called back to say that he had spoken to Mr. Spencer who had agreed to take up the matter with the Chief Immigration Officer.

Shortly thereafter, I advised the Immigration Officer in charge of the team assigned to hold me in custody, that since the matter was been addressed at the level of the Prime Ministers of both countries, it may be prudent to arrange for me to leave on a later flight to give the prime ministerial discussions some time to come to fruition.

He confirmed that the Chief Immigration Officer was in a meeting with the Prime Minister but advised that there was no later flight and if there was no word from the meeting by the time the flight was ready to depart then he would have no choice but to proceed as planned and ensure that I leave.

I assume that he heard nothing further since he hustled me through the LIAT gate and unto flight #557 at approximately 3.10. The flight left for Dominica at 3.20.

On arrival in Dominica I noticed two stamps from the Immigration Authority in Antigua and Barbuda which had been placed in my passport behind my back.

One stamp dated June 13, 2007 cancelled “without prejudice” my previously granted stay in the country until August 5th, 2007. The other stamp also bearing the date of June 13th, 2007, indicated “employment prohibited”.
I have been living in Antigua and Barbuda continuously from April 11th, 2004 when I accepted an offer of employment from Observer Radio Limited which came to an end on December 4th, 2004.

My wife and two children have been living with me in Antigua since July 2005. The children are completing their second year at St. John’s Catholic Primary.

Barbados Free Press received this article from a reader. It has been published online by many websites including The Dominican.net.

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Filed under Barbados, CARICOM, Crime & Law, News Media, Politics & Corruption

How Communist China Made Rupert Murdock And Owen Arthur Behave

As Auntie Moses likes to say, “Ain’t nothin be free!”

The first repayment to the Communist Chinese is that Prime Minister Owen Arthur will keep his mouth shut about the 100 illegal Chinese labourers who are working at the Four Seasons Resort in Black Rock, St. Michael.

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In 1993, shortly after Rupert Murdock purchased the satellite broadcaster Star TV in Hong Kong, he said that modern communications technology had “proved an unambiguous threat to totalitarian regimes everywhere.” Star could beam programming to every corner of China, and Murdoch had paid a big premium for the broadcaster for that reason.

Chinese Prime Minister Li Peng was enraged and promptly outlawed private ownership of satellite dishes, which had once proliferated on rooftops. Star TV faced a threat to its viability.

What did Rupert Murdock do?

He caved in and abandoned all thought of journalism as a duty or a tool for truth and freedom. Murdock cooperated with the communists and gave them whatever they wanted.

Star TV overhauled its programming to suit Chinese tastes. In 1994 it dropped BBC News, which had frequently angered Chinese officials with its reports on mainland affairs.

In particular, Murdock censored any coverage of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

When the “man with a briefcase” video outraged the Chinese leadership, Murdock pulled it from his satellite and has put dollars before courage and righteousness ever since. (see New York Times article here)

What Of Barbados?

Lately, the Government of Barbados has been cozying up to the communists who rule China with a closed fist.

Why? Money… pure and simple.

As Auntie Moses likes to say, “Ain’t nothin be free!”

The first repayment to the Communist Chinese is that Prime Minister Owen Arthur will keep his mouth shut about the 100 illegal Chinese labourers who are working at the Four Seasons Resort in Black Rock, St. Michael.

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Something Bothering The PM?

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Prime Minister Owen Arthur wasn’t his old self today. Whether you are a supporter or not, you have to admire his energy, his ability to put a smile on anywhere and his Machiavellian skill.

But today Owen was a little down. In a reversal of the usual, his wife was driving the Lexus 4×4 while the PM sat sad faced and glum in the passenger seat. Perhaps he was feeling unwell.

Or… perhaps the Prime Minister was thinking about the increasing calls for accountability for that $750,000 “campaign” cheque that he deposited to his personal bank account “accidentally”?

Chickens sometimes run away, Owen.

But sometimes they come home to roost.

Now, about that $750k, Mr. Prime Minister…

Who gave it to you? Why did you deposit it to your personal bank account? When were the funds transferred to the party coffers? Did you fill out the prescribed anti-money laundering forms?

… and what, Sir, did you promise in return?

At least tell us that it was not received directly or indirectly from a foreign government!

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