Daily Archives: August 20, 2007

Secret European Union Reports Slam Barbados Ethanol Plan

Barbados Government Ethanol Plan “Not Viable”

Three independent experts hired by the European Union and the Government of Barbados to assist Barbados with the restructuring of the sugar industry were fired when they each produced reports showing that Barbados government ethanol plans are technically and economically not viable.

A source tells Barbados Free Press that the Government of Barbados initially refused to accept the ethanol reports. One was sent back for “revisions” at least four times before the government “allowed” the EU report to be formally presented.

The EU sugar and ethanol experts were sent packing even though the original intent was to have them provide long-term assistance.

Apparently none of the experts were willing to compromise their integrity by fudging the truth throughout the entire project. As Bajans are well aware, such honesty is the death-knell for government employment in Barbados.

Which Ethanol Reports Were The Public Told About?

Our source states that the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister’s staff still have different versions of the various reports in their records, and that an examination would show that the reports were changed to better support government ethanol policies.

Barbados Free Press was shown three different versions of one of the Ministry of Agriculture’s internal reports. The original version mentions that a fleet of tanker trucks would be required to transport toxic and corrosive liquid waste from the proposed ethanol plant to the coast – for disposal offshore through a pipe and pumping station. The original report talks of the inadequate road system to support the thousands of tanker truck trips per month that would be necessary, and the obvious dangers to public safety, the environment – as well as the fact that the original government ethanol plan did not factor in the costs and risks associated with the disposal of this toxic waste.

Those facts are in the original report, but are watered down in the second version. All mention of tanker trucks is omitted from the final version of the report.

Accountability Avoided For Millions In EU Grants

Also according to our source, in late 2005 European Union Ambassador Amos Tincani received instructions from his superiors to “explain reality” to Prime Minister Owen Arthur about the EU’s determination to phase out sugar subsidies and also to require detailed accountability of a one-time 4 million dollar grant from the EU that was supposed to be used for re-development of our sugar industry.

The EU’s demands for accountability regarding the sugar grant millions caused a diplomatic face-off when Prime Minister Arthur and Minister of Agriculture Erskine Griffith went public in April and May of 2006 talking about callous “colonial” attitudes shown by the European Union.

Tincani’s Faux Pas

In fact, Prime Minister Arthur was incensed after Ambassador Tincani was overheard at a diplomatic function privately commenting that the EU was seeking to monitor how the 4 million dollar sugar grant would be spent because neither Tincani nor his superiors believed that the money would be used for it’s intended purpose. Tincani’s huge faux pas was that he was overheard joking that the sugar subsidy would end up “lining pockets” (of members of the Barbados government).

Our source states that Prime Minister Arthur was outraged when told about Tincani’s comments and the EU’s intent to attach accountability and monitoring structures as a condition of the 4 million dollar EU sugar grant. After Arthur ignored the EU Ambassador and went directly to big-ups in Europe, the EU reversed it’s position on accountability in order to avoid a diplomatic war over Tincani’s not-so-private comments.

Barbados Received The EU Funds… Where Are They Now?

In January of 2007, Barbados finally received $5.63 million in EU aid “to transform” the sugar industry, and the funds were provided without monitoring or accountability requirements – as reported by our source. (Nation News article here)

Perhaps Bajans will eventually learn how the funds were spent, but as our source says, “I wouldn’t bet on that pony.”

84 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Environment, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

CNN Website Search For “Barbados Dean” Returns Four Barbados Free Press Articles (!)

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No Wonder We Are Breaking All BFP Visitor Records

The hit-o-meter has been off the scale for the last week and then jumped again today when we started receiving all kinds of visitors from CNN.com. We’re not quite sure what’s up, but a search of “Barbados Dean” on CNN.com returns Barbados Free Press articles as the first two hits, and then two Global Voices articles that point to BFP articles. We’ll look at the stats tomorrow in a bit more detail.

(Oh… just for fun, you might be interested to know that over 1000 folks copied and downloaded the picture of Barbados Chief Justice Simmons as Madonna. We’ve heard tell that it has been posted in a couple of rum shops, but we have yet to see a copy ourselves.)

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

Hurricane Dean Images Hitting Flickr, YouTube And Other Internet Photo and Video Sites

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The damage at the airport in Martinique doesn’t appear to be too bad despite a few aircraft on their backs.

Click on the above photo to get to Flickr or head over to YouTube and search on Hurricane Dean.

(I’ve always been amazed at the pilots who don’t use metal tie-down hooks to attach tie-down ropes to their airplanes. Any fool knows that the movement of the aircraft in the wind will cause the tie down rings to saw right through the ropes unless metal hooks are used. You can get away with ropes-only on older high-wing Cessnas with the old-style fixed and smooth tie-down rings, but the newer retractable fittings on many aircraft are razor sharp. As usual, it’s the little things that cause disaster.)

Robert

7 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Blogging, Freedom Of The Press, News Media

Bridgetown Barbados Screw Lift Dock – History Worth Preserving… Or Bring On The Condos?

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Now that the Barbados Coast Guard has removed itself to new quarters near the Flour Mill, Spring Garden it has completely freed up the true Pierhead area many young Bajans have never trod, before now.

As a boy in the 1950’s that area was the Baggage Warehouse, where one went with parents to meet arriving-to-the-island people from abroad. There was no particular airport as such, in those days – travel to/from the UK was done by steamship.

Part of that Pierhead area was the screw dock owned and operated I believe by Central Foundry, Ltd. who had offices and a small hardware store in nearby Cavan’s Lane (who was Cavan??)

There are only two such historical dry docks in the world: the other one’s in Singapore, half a globe away. Maybe the Brits did it that way on purpose? Ours in dead/dying: I wonder what state the Singapore dock is in? Does anyone know?

Above is a photo of the screw dock taken today.

Can it be saved? Is it even worth trying to save?

Always remember that there are more planes in the sea than ships in the sky!

Thanks to BFP reader “D” for that trip down Memory Lane.

39 Comments

Filed under Barbados, History

Looking For Micheal Corbin – Living In The UK In The 1960s

My Son Needs To Know His Roots 

Please can someone help me. I am trying to find a Micheal Corbin who was living in the UK in the 1960s. He had 3 children here, one of whom has passed away. My reason for wanting to find him is I have a son who wants to know his grandfather. His dad has passed away and the rest of the family won’t help. Please contact me by email placaroli4@aol.com

Caroline

Editor’s Note: Caroline, is that Micheal Corbin or Michael Corbin? 

Good luck! 

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados

Jamaica Gleaner Has Hurricane Dean Blog Up And Running

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Check it out here.

 Special thanks to Angela from New York.

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Filed under Barbados