Daily Archives: October 23, 2007

Water and Sea Near Sandy Lane, Holetown, Speightstown Being Contaminated By Poisonous Leachate

Barbados West Coast is being contaminated by leachate from the Mangrove Pond/Vaucluse garbage dump

Leachate is that poisonous liquid that drains from garbage and is destructive to life: human, animal and marine life.

In 2006 Solid Waste Management of the Ministry of Health said 1,000 tons of solid waste was received at the Vauclus/Mangrove Pond Landfill daily. It was 650 tons in 1995.

Garbage has been dumped at Mangrove Pond, St Thomas from about 1982. In 1992 it caught fire and burnt for about 1 year. The residents of Arch Hall, Bennetts and the expensive houses of Sandy Lane Estate, including the 7 star hotel, were affected by smell and smoke.

Greenland Dump Fiasco

The construction of the Greenland garbage dump site, 1996, and its failure before 1 lb. of garbage was received, has cost us over $30 million. A retro-fit is being carried out at a cost of over $50 million, and will end up costing over $100 million including the transfer station at Vaucluse, new trucks, and flat beds to transport, and the composting.

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No contract has been signed for leachate at the new retro-fitted Greenland garbage dump site. No engineer would risk his professional integrity and possibly a civil and criminal suit in designing the footage to hold the leachate tank, because the area has a long history of landslips and storm washouts.

Until Greenland is ready to receive garbage and treat leachate, new cells at Vaucluse have been dug and correctly lined to prevent leachate leaking into the underground water table. However, no leachate treatment has been provided, so the leachate liquid, which is collected at the impervious seal layer, is then pumped into the old Mangrove Pond landfill (Mt. Stinkeroo), which is NOT lined. This then leaks into the underground and flows by gravity to the west coast, where it enters the sea at the Hole in Holetown, plus other natural underground springs. The sea is contaminated with untreated leachate from Sandy Lane north, where luxury hotels are located.

At Lonesome Hill, blood and grease dumpsite, St Peter (near Indian Ground) has been used since 1990. Blood and grease, including engine oil, is dumped by tankers into open ponds which are not lined. Again above and below ground seepage puts the contents into the watercourse, 50 yds. away, which drains through the Whim gully to the sandpit in Speightstown, and then into the sea.

Since 1982 Barbados has had a series of problems in the disposal of solid waste, which at that time was 350 tons daily. A solid waste study by Landis paid for by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), recommended incineration as Barbados was too small for a landfill, with a dense population and a tourist industry.

Contaminated Water Will Kill Tourism, And Eventually Our Entire Economy

Tourism is the main employer on the island and brings in needed foreign exchange.

Barbados international financial institutions (a politically correct name for money laundering) provide 62% of government revenue and are lucrative for local lawyers and accountants. There are over 20,000 registered companies and it is impossible to police the millions of dollars that flow through these accounts on a daily basis.

Millions of dollars have been wasted by government in recent years on several white elephant projects. Hotels and resorts (GEMS) – $150 million, Kensington Crickel Oval – $150 million and road widenings and flyovers – $360 million and rising, but our government never seems to have enough money to correctly deal with the basics that ensure a healthy society, environment and economy.*

The only growth industry in Barbados is corruption.

Richard Goddard

(* with BFP editor’s comment in italics. Also some paragraphs were moved around.)

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Environment, Offshore Investments

Barbados Chief Justice Simmons Tries To Forget His Own Past As He Chides New Lawyers To Be Ethical

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Warns New Attorneys “Do Nothing To Tarnish Your Good Reputations” (Looks Like David Simmons Learned The Hard Way!)

Last Friday, Chief Justice SIR David Simmons delivered the address to 22 new Barbados attorneys at a ceremony in front of their parents and colleagues. While the words that the Chief Justice spoke expressed the most noble concepts, standards and values of the legal profession, his own actions have long betrayed the legal community, the justice system and all Bajans.

David Simmons Provides The Wrong Kind Of Leadership And Example

When David Simmons accepted the post of Chief Justice of Barbados, he knew, or should have known, that his controversial appointment would weaken the image of the Office of the Chief Justice, and in fact, weaken the image of our entire justice system.

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At the time of his appointment, even the average person on the street knew that there was something fundamentally wrong with having the government’s Attorney General transition within a matter of weeks into the position of Chief Justice.

All of a sudden a longtime friend of the Prime Minister – a top member of Cabinet who was involved in prosecutions and defending the government – was now supposed to be an IMPARTIAL judge and also defend the rights of citizens against government excesses. To the average citizen, it looked like the Owen Arthur Government now controlled the courts through a political and personal connection.

By Accepting The New Job, David Simmons Tainted The Office Of The Chief Justice

David Simmons wanted the new job and all it’s prestige more than he valued the appearance of justice. His acceptance of the position of Chief Justice showed the entire legal community that it is all about getting what you want and to hell with ethics and a higher calling. To hell with the concept of the appearance of justice.

At the time, only the government’s control of the local media kept the issue from serious discussion in the public forum. Thanks to the blogs, the government can no longer control the discussion about this important issue.

What Do You Think Folks?

Should Attorney General David Simmons have refused the position of Chief Justice?

Should David Simmons resign from the office of Chief Justice of Barbados? 

From the Barbados Advocate…

Chief Justice advises new attorneys to uphold the tradition

Uphold the distinguished tradition of excellence and do nothing to tarnish your good reputations!

That’s the advice of this country’s top lawyer, Chief Justice, Sir David Simmons, to 22 new attorneys whom he admitted yesterday to practise law in Barbados. At a ceremony attended by parents, relatives and friends in the Supreme Court, Sir David told the attorneys that it must be their firm resolve to always seek to uphold the tradition.

He said, “The practice of law can provide you all with intellectual excitement, career satisfaction and a comfortable standard of living, but always remember that you can only attain those desirable objectives if you keep uppermost in your minds the imperatives contained in the Code of Ethics and the fact that you are members of a great profession with a distinguished tradition of excellence.”

The Chief Justice also reminded the new attorneys of two rules, which he advised must always be pre-eminent in your consciousness. They are Rule 87 and 88 of the Legal Profession Code of Ethics.

Rule 87 states, In pecuniary matters an attorney-at-law shall be most punctual and diligent. He shall never mingle funds of others with his own and he shall at all times be able to refund money he holds for others.

Rule 88: An attorney-at-law shall keep such accounts as clearly and accurately distinguish the financial position between himself and his clients as and when required.

Sir David further told the attorneys, The requirement for segregation of accounts implies that your client’s account must not be used as your personal bank account. You must not use your client’s money to fund your own personal needs. Your clients’ funds are not yours.

In congratulating the groups which included four Trinidadians, three Guyanese, one Jamaican, one Irishman and 13 Barbadians, Sir David also said “You are joining a profession with a long and noble tradition. The Bar is one of the great professions and those who are admitted to practise are colleagues in a great fraternity.”

He, however, warned them not to rest on their laurels nor relax their attitude and approach to their professional career and therefore urged the same dedication and resourcefulness that you brought to bear on your studies during the past five years must now continue in this new phase of your life.

Attorney-General, Dale Marshall introduced 21 of the new attorneys, while Queen’s Counsel, Anthony Reece introduced his daughter, Joia.

The complement included Career banker, Hilford Murrell; Police Constable, Pearson Leacock; and Merlene Holder, acting senior legal assistant in the Land Adjudication Unit.

From the Barbados Advocate (link here)

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

Sampling Some Barbados Blogs: Pull! Push! (Amit For Our New Finance Minister?), Keltruth Blog (QE Hospital Horror Stories), Cheese-On-Bread! (Rihanna) And Others…

Stories From New & Old Barbados Blogs

Amit of Pull! Push! should be our new Finance Minister… or is that Transportation Minister?

“And no, I am not crazy. The long commute to the office does, on occasion, give me plenty of time to think about all sorts of things. In this case, identifying the similarities between economic systems (open, closed and mixed), traffic lights, junctions and roundabouts.”

Pull! Push! The similarities between economic systems, traffic lights, junctions and roundabouts

A new startup – Keltruth Blog (KTB) talks about how low a priority that health care seems to be for the current BLP government: when compared with government spending on Cricket World Cup, flyovers and new prisons. But Keltruth Blog has the solution for the situation that the BLP has left us with (an old hospital, but a new prison)…

“If the DLP is elected next time, we hope that they will do a better job at maintaining the hospital. One CBC viewer reported that the new prison looked “beautiful” – maybe the QEH patients and the prisoners could swap quarters!

No doubt there are many patients in the QEH right now who would agree with Keltruth Blog! KTB also relates some horror stories and tells of the reaction of one Bajan visitor to a hospital in the USA.

A must read at Keltruth Blog… Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woes

Thoughts On Sidebar Links

Hmmmm…. we notice that Barbados Underground has already put Keltruth Blog on the sidebar links. We want to see a bit more from KTB first as we have a few “dead” links on our sidebar now and must clean them up. The Bystander turned out to be disappointing because after a good start, nothing has been posted in months.

Living In Barbados has given up working for a living and is trying to make it as a Day Trader! Depending on your take, our friend is now a brilliant entrepreneur or scum of the earth. We are on the brilliant entrepreneur side!

Interesting reading and reflection in two articles…

Making it happen: Looking back over nine months and more

Feverspreading? Get rich quick and the foreign exchange trading craze

Doan Mind Me deals with the “Blacks Less Intelligent” statements made by a racist Nobel Prize winner

“I seriously think that the civil rights movements gains are being eroded and alot of it is because black folk have gotten too complacent and lackadaisical. We’ve always had to work harder to prove ourselves don’t forget that. Now the closet racists are jumping out the woodwork because we’re getting sloppy and we haven’t built on what we gained. We take alot of stuff for granted. Go talk to your parents or grandparents if you don’t believe me.”

Jdid is in his usual fine form and there’s lots of discussion about the recent statements by James Watson – who by the sound of his utterances would have been happy serving on any jury in the Deep South back in the day.

We can’t have a chip on our shoulders folks, but neither can we let our guards down for a minute. And just in case you wonder who I am talking to, I’m talking to all Bajans doan matter how light or dark your skin be.

Doan Mind Me Blog: Less Intelligent

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Shona (and Auntie Moses – ha!) turned us on to Cheese-On-Bread! (COB!) and it just keeps getting better. The romance fiction, the car trips around the island and (of course) all the latest on our sweetheart Rihanna.

COB! takes a look at The Evolution Of Rihanna.

Really well done. Really worth reading – complete with some rather interesting photos of the umbrella girl gone bad. Click on the above photo for the works.

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Blogging, Business, Celebrities, Culture & Race Issues, Health, Music

Adrian Loveridge Tackles Hardwood Housing

This was the first column intended for the Nation this Thursday…

Few sensible Barbadians could question the need and desirability of forming a company that could manufacture more affordable housing by prefabricating the component parts.

But what followed seemed to be a litany of misjudgements, poor public relations and decision making at best.

By now, perhaps those high profile persons that have become associated with Hardwood Housing Factory Inc, would have wished the controversial issues had simply faded away.

The trouble is, at least in my mind, there are still a number of outstanding questions that have not yet received satisfactory answers.

First the forming of and capital injection into the company!

My impression is that the vast majority of Barbadian taxpayers initially had no idea that Government, through the Enterprise Growth Fund Limited, owned a 90 per cent stake in Hardwood Housing Factory Inc.

Then the question of the $1.8 or $2 million ‘invested’ into the company.

From the EGFL own website there appears to be two funds which they manage that could be accessed by HHF Inc.

The Industrial, Investment and Employment Fund ‘provides financing to limited liability manufacturing companies with 51% of their share capital, owned by Barbadian residents. Such enterprises must demonstrate the potential to add significant value to the Barbadian economy by: 1) Being a net earner/saver of foreign exchange; and/or 2) Generating employment.

Under this fund ‘Loan financing of up to $2 million is provided to help local manufacturers create growth-oriented companies’.

The only other fund that HHF Inc, appears to be able to access is one called Loans and Equity for small and medium sized businesses.

The types of fund provided are: 1) Venture Capital ranging from $100,000 to $1.5 million and 2) Loan financing ranging from $100,000 to $1.5 million at an interest rate of 6%.

I personally, find it a major bone of contention that the public have to repeatedly remind this Government that it is not their money they are spending. It is ours, the taxpayers, and much of the speculation, suspicion and innuendo could be reduced if they better explained things.

Even at this late stage, the Chairman of EGFL should tell the public exactly which fund was applied and which board members agreed to make this financing available.

There still also remain a number of grey areas. In a story carried in this newspaper on 9th July 2007, the CEO of HHF Inc, categorically stated that ‘the company had acquired several acres of land in Christ Church and St. Peter’.

Later the Chairman, contradicted this statement and as late as 16th October 2007, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Clyde Mascoll, ‘explained that the Government has land it hopes to make available’.

In the interest of the much quoted words, transparency and accountability, this land issue has to be properly explained.

It was also clearly obvious that within a very short period following the start-up that HHF Inc, ran into cash flow problems. Surely there was a business plan and with so many experienced directors sitting on the board why wasn’t this addressed sooner?

There are also some deeply disturbing comments in Mr Mascoll’s printed ‘Response to Opposition Leader’s letter’ including ‘I was informed that Mr. Anthony Murrell is the owner of Vehicles and Equipment which are leased to the company, resulting in a savings of approximately $44,000 per month in expenditure to the company’.

‘A savings of approximately $44,000 per month’!

What could these vehicles and equipment possibly consist of to

make savings of this magnitude and was this arrangement approved by the board?

Finally, in the same response, Mr Mascoll, stated ‘What better track record could the company want than someone who supervised the building of 500 houses in six months in Grenada in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.?

Yet just days later he tells the media ‘the evidence was clear that the Managing Director of the company, Anthony Murrell, was competent to build houses and the issue of whether he built 500 in Grenada or not was neither here or there’?

Like me perhaps, the question of demonstrated experience and proven ability would have a fundamental bearing on whether or not I extended a financial facility of nearly $2 million of taxpayers monies.

Adrian Loveridge
18th October 2007

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