Daily Archives: October 12, 2007

John Whittingham and Ralph Williams Argue About Flyovers

Hello Friends,

We received the following from John Whittingham, which we print without change. Take it away, Mr. Whittingham…

MR. RALPH WILLIAMS WROTE:

QUOTE. “I was appalled yesterday to discover that senior members of BAPE designed the aspects of the expansion to the ABC highway that other members have criticized on the internet and in press advertisements in Barbados without first seeking to discover the details of the designs done from their fellow members of BARL. It is true that a house divided against itself cannot stand. BAPE is a divided house so there is little wonder that the Government and Ministry treat us with such contempt. In the mad rush of some of our members to incite public condemnation of a major public project for reasons best known to themselves, they seek to discredit fellow members of BAPE without so much as a meeting of minds to try to understand the designs done. A sad day for BAPE to be sure. I will choose to live in hope that there will be more unity among the members of our profession.” UNQUOTE

I must confess to a mixture of amusement and sorrow when I view the twists and turns the flyover saga has taken. Mr. Williams now says he is appalled at the apparent disunity among the members of BAPE and another organisation called BARL, which I do not know. (Barbados Association of Repetitive Liars?) Actually, it is incumbent on engineers who value their professional integrity to criticise bad or dangerous work. BAPE is doing its job.

Anyway, there are a lot of reasons why the public ought to be very concerned about the flyover project. The public image Mr. Williams is trying to project is that he doesn’t know what they are, but this is nothing if not disingenuous, so perhaps he would appreciate a helping hand.

First off, the flyovers are the most expensive and extravagant “solution” to the problems of the ABC Highway. They have not been tried on this scale before and therefore the actual results of the work can only be conjectural. Also, I hear about traffic studies but the studies I would have done (in my ignorance) have clearly not been done, and this leaves me with an uneasy feeling about the outcome of this “major public project.”

Secondly, while Glyne Clarke is not an intellect to be reckoned with in traffic terms the Prime Minister has an advanced degree in Economics and in his capacity of Prime Minister he owes the public a duty to manage the financial affairs of the country prudently and with a proper regard for value received. Moreover, he is the Prime or No.1 Minister and his duties extend beyond economic and financial management to include evaluations of the impact of the policies of his Ministers and the Government in general on the country at large. This includes impacts on the environment, both physical and visual, and evaluations of the opportunity costs/benefits of any project on, say, the provision of low-income housing and improved medical care. The flyovers are a huge waste of money, better spent improving the lot of the poor black Barbadian.

On the technical issues that have rightly attracted the attention of the BAPE let this be said. Those sections of highway I have looked at in depth suggest a lack of awareness of the operational dangers that may affect this design of highway. I do not know who Mr. Williams and his fellows hired to do the design of the highway cross sections, medians and drainage, but they should re-examine their design criteria.

When highway expansion is contemplated, for example, as in our case, from two lanes to four, the standard procedure is to add lanes: first two, to make four, and if this does not suffice, then two more and so on up to a suggested maximum of eight. This is clearly spelt out in” Fundamentals of Traffic Engineering” by Homburger, Hall, Reilly and Sullivan, 15th Edition, put out by the Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California at Berkeley. I mention this because Ms. Cheryl Bennett-Inniss claims to have a Masters degree in Traffic or Transportation Engineering from Berkeley. Evidently she places no value on the instruction she may have received there. I would have thought that the Minister would have been guided by her presumed expertise. Or was he?

On the merits and demerits of the flyovers let me conjure up a hypothetical but likely situation. The flyovers basically take two fast lanes right along the existing highway. There are two outside lanes (presumably lower speed lanes) at ground level, which work together with the overhead lanes. In the year 2012 it is found that the traffic on one of the flyovers has exceeded the design capacity. What do we do? Cantilever off an extra lane or lanes? Are the foundations for the piers carrying the flyovers designed to accept such a load increase? What about the merge/diverge manoeuvres at the entry and exit lanes, now two and two instead of one and one?

The standard design criteria for this class of “highway” call for level grades, and where not possible, easy grades. Specifically, switchback or roller-coaster type configurations are to be avoided. Yet this is precisely the configuration Mr. Williams is recommending. I am not going to try and educate either Mr. Williams or his colleagues in this enterprise, and heaven forfend I should attempt to change the minds of any Government Minister or engineer. But poor black Barbadians will pay the price in wear and tear, gasoline taxes, accidents and delays.

The great virtue of simply widening the highway at ground level is that it confers great flexibility on the design. It is easy to add lanes or otherwise modify intersection layout, whereas the flyovers are basically fixed by design and impossible to modify except at great cost.

On the topic of price, the Government seems to have really goofed. The contract has risen in cost from a ludicrous quoted (in the press) price of US$60 million to US$180 million. Didn’t the Government negotiators read the contract before they signed it? This is a disgrace, but who will take on the Government? The BAPE is trying manfully to do so but Mr. Williams is doing his best to deflect the criticism. Has Mr. Williams a financial stake in the contract?

Mr. Williams theme song is that traffic lights do not work. Let me state the case. They were badly planned, poorly installed and the maintenance was execrable. What was wanted was proper design, installation to high standards and vigilant maintenance. This is the story of Barbados. If it is dialysis machines, X-ray equipment or electrocardiographs the Government does not seem able to cope. To give you an example, in the City of Metropolitan Toronto there were, when I left, about 3000 traffic lights. If any one malfunctions there is a crew on to it within less than an hour. Now that is a responsible Government and decent maintenance. Barbados can only dream.

It is curious that the political opposition, the Democratic Labour Party, has not uttered a single word of criticism of this project. So Barbadians have a choice, at the next election, between the infelicities of the BLP and the astonishing indifference of the DLP. Talk about a rock and a hard place!

I am sure Mr. Williams will try as hard as he can to denigrate me. Let me just say that there is no foreseeable circumstance under which this or any Government would deal with me, so I have nothing to lose or gain by focussing objective criticism on this project. So Mr. Williams can forget suggesting that I seek gain from this. But I consider it a sad day for Barbados when a foreign born white engineer is the one willing to carry the fight against the ethical and budgetary infelicities of the Government.

But this is Barbados.

John W. Whittingham, P. Eng
Christchurch
Barbados

42 Comments

Filed under Barbados

Barbados Police Given Blank, Pre-Signed Search Warrants By Corrupt, Lazy Judiciary

Folks – this is a long and detailed article, but it is worth your time to read it all. For the sake of our country and our children’s future, you must clearly understand the great danger that confronts our freedom when the legal system is corrupted and subverted by the very Judges, public officials and police who have a duty to uphold the law.

We urge you to carefully consider everything that is revealed in this article, because the abuses we document could occur at your home next.

barbados-search-warrant-top.jpg

Barbados Police, Judiciary & Government Officials Spit On The Rule Of Law When Convenient

In the early hours Tuesday, December 19, 2006 – a few days before Christmas – officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force descended like a gang of wild thugs upon the sleeping family of Mrs. Ronja Juman. * (Mrs. Juman’s first name is spelled two ways in various court documents “Ronya” and “Ronja”)

Her offense was not having paid back-rent to her landlord – who happens to be Charles Leacock, Queens Counsel, and the Director of Public Prosecutions for the sovereign nation of Barbados. One of the most powerful men on the island, Mr. Leacock arranged to have officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force collect his back rent from Mrs. Juman.

When these thugs (and we include the Director of Public Prosecutions with the police in that term) were unsuccessful over some weeks with mere talk, threats, visiting her son’s school and blocking her car in her driveway – they decided that a full police raid on a sleeping family would be the next proper step in extorting the rent money from Mrs. Juman.

The Barbados police thugs pounded and kicked the door, pried open a window and forced their way into Mrs. Juman’s home to the screams of her six year old son. She was then dragged off to the police station where she was stripped naked and a female police thug examined the inside of her vagina for no reason other than to terrorize and shame.

Then they took her for interrogation – about the back rent owed to Charles Leacock, QC, Director of Public Prosecutions.

After a few hours of terror, Juman was released without charge and given a while longer to come up with the back rent. When she couldn’t come up with the money, she was charged with some trumped up offense and given a kangaroo trial without a lawyer – where the Director of Public Prosecutions acted as both a witness and in his official capacity!

barbados-blank-warrant.jpg

Welcome to Barbados – Rapidly Becoming Zimbabwe West

When the police raided the sleeping family of Ronja Juman, they attempted to give their actions a veneer of legitimacy through the use of a blank search warrant – pre-signed by Justice of the Peace Douglas N. Burgess.

We have often heard of these blank pre-signed search warrants in Barbados, but this is the first time that we have had tangible proof – including a copy of the search warrant. Thanks to our usual source on the RBPF we now have an understanding as to when and how these blank search warrants are issued and used.

Before we get to the details though, let’s remind ourselves as to why search warrants exist in the first place and how they are supposed to be used.

Why The Police Must Use A Search Warrant

According to the British tradition in law (which Barbados pretends to follow) we as a society don’t allow the police to enter into homes and businesses to search for drugs, stolen goods or anything else without written authorization of a Judicial official. This is to prevent a police state – where the police go around entering homes and terrorizing people on mere suspicion or even worse – for reasons unrelated to law enforcement.

We as a society must have limits and rules for the police, both to guide them and also to prevent the abuses of power that otherwise happen. (You know… abuses of power like public officials using the police to collect back rent.)

It is ILLEGAL for police to search a home without a Warrant to Search

Before the police can legally kick in the door of a home and search for drugs, stolen goods or other evidence, they must apply to a Judge or an authorized Justice of the Peace for permission. The police must give reasons for wanting to enter a home, which the Judge considers. If the Judge determines that the reason is valid, and that there is no easier way for the police to obtain the evidence they want, the Judge will issue them with a Warrant To Search.

This Warrant To Search is a piece of paper that lists the police officer, where he or she can search, when they can search and what they can look for. A search warrant is not a Carte Blanche for the police to do as they wish. Properly issued search warrants are a tremendous protection for the ordinary citizen in a free and democratic society.

BUT… when search warrant procedures are abused, they become a tool for corruption, oppression and the worst kind of thuggery.

Welcome to Barbados, comrade.

ACFA0E.jpg

Blank Pre-Signed Search Warrants Let The Police Break The Law Without Fear

According to our usual RBPF source, pre-signed blank search warrants are not an every day event, but neither are they uncommon. Mostly they are given to drug squad officers to facilitate late-night situations where the police believe that drugs are in a home, but they believe that by the time they call a justice, write out a warrant, travel to get it signed and then return to the drug dealer’s home the drugs might be gone.

This is very illegal – so the Judges sign blank search warrants only for certain trusted police officers. The officer keeps the signed, blank warrant in their pocket or even at their home but never at the police station where it might be found. When they want to search a person’s house in the middle of the night, they fill in all the spaces and there you go… they have a “properly signed” search warrant authorizing them to do what they want.

Some Judges and Justices insist that the trusted police officer call them before using a signed blank search warrant, but like all such arrangements (according to our police source) it soon turns into a situation where the officer uses the warrant and tells the judge about it in the morning. Some judges will only issue one pre-signed blank search warrant to a trusted police officer – but officers get around that by obtaining blank warrants from other judges so they have two or three blank warrants in their possession.

The Judges are required to sign every copy of the Warrant to Search, so when a “blank” warrant is issued, every page has an original signature.

Why do the Judges who are trusted to give the police such power issue signed, blank search warrants? According to our police source they do it for two reasons – to be “friendly” with the police and because they don’t want a call at 3am to get out of bed and consider a police officer’s request for a search warrant.

Abuse Of Blank Search Warrants

The power to go into anyone’s home at any time using a pre-signed blank search warrant is too tempting for some police officers and it is well known that one drug squad officer is no longer issued blank warrants because of abuse.

According to our police source, early last year a situation occurred where drug officers used a pre-signed blank search warrant to raid the home of a suspected drug dealer in the middle of the night. Only a small amount of herb was found, and the suspected drug dealer claimed that the drug squad stole thousands of dollars in cash from his home and planted the herb.

Naturally, no “formal” complaint was made by the drug dealer (who didn’t want to be found floating off North Point one day) but the word around the RBPF was that the drug squad raided the dealer because they knew he had money in the house. They did not know he had drugs. Naturally, the “official” story is that a small amount of herb was found, but no money.

barbados-blank-search-warrant-sig.jpg

The Blank Search Warrant Used To Terrorize The Sleeping Juman Family

Some members of the Judiciary are known for issuing blank pre-signed search warrants. According to our usual police source, Justice of the Peace Douglas Burgess is known as one of the “friendly” types who look after the police in this manner.

If you read Ronja Juman’s statement of what happened on the night the police raided her home, you will see that upon her insistence, the police gave her a “copy” of the search warrant… that happened to be blank. (See BFP article: New Blog Alleges: Barbados Director Of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock – Ordered Police Thuggery Over His Tenant’s Unpaid Rent – Night Raid, Woman Strip Searched Over Unpaid Rent!)

barbados-blank-search-warrant.jpg

That blank Warrant to Search is shown above, and if you click on the image, you will see a large size that you can examine closely.

According to our police source it is an obvious “pre-signed blank search warrant”. The officer made a mistake in that when he filled in the blanks, he did not press hard enough to create clear copies all the way through. You can see only a few faint images on this page…

Yet, the signature of Justice of the Peace Burgess is an original on the blank page…

Proof that the Justice signed the last page when the entire warrant to search was blank. No surprise, of course, as Justice Burgess is known to be “friendly” to police.

charles-leacock-barbados.jpg

Director Of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock, Police and Justice Of The Peace Burgess SHOULD RESIGN IN DISGRACE

Friends, a corrupt police officer who cared nothing for his public duty used a blank pre-signed search warrant signed by a corrupt Justice of the Peace to terrorize a family in order to collect back rent for a corrupt Director of Public Prosecutions.

Do you owe any monies to a government official? Your home, your wife, your child could be next on the list for a raid by the Royal Barbados Police Force And Debt Collection Agency.

As you will see if you read our original article on Juman, the Prime Minister, Chief Justice and Attorney General are all engaged in a cover-up of what happened. The trial of Ronja Juman was a farce with Charles Leacock, QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, acting as both a private citizen and in his official capacity!

The judge even fraudulently modified the court records during the trial. Read our original article for the details. (link here)

What a kangaroo court farce.

Welcome To Your New Country: Zimbabwe West

85 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption