Monthly Archives: October 2008

How Screwed Up Is This Place? Barbados Government Workers Accidentally Demolish Last Slave Hut – After Being Informed Not To By Member Of Parliament

Before Anthony Headley

Before Anthony Headley

Barbados’ First Freedom Village Now Ruble – And No One Will Be Held Accountable

What idiocy! At the same time that the government and citizens are putting more emphasis on our roots and bringing clarity to some of the misconceptions of our history, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) demolished that last bit of original history at Rock Hall Freedom Village.

EPD deputy director Anthony Headley was told personally by Member of Parliament Cynthia Forde that the mistake was about to be made. She saw a EPD demolition sign on the hut and called him up – for all the good it did.

Somebody Should Be Sacked

Anthony Headley would be a good place to start, seeing as he has proven himself to be an idiot and incapable of intelligent thought. Under Freedom of Information, it would also be good to examine the entire process – starting with the last government’s spending $1.3 million dollars for the Rock Hall Freedom Village project and accomplishing exactly nothing. Remember all that business about marking the slave route and promoting our heritage? Money is gone, where is the product?

But back to the issue at hand: Anthony Headley was told about the historical significance of the slave hut, and that a mistake was about to be made regarding demolition. He was told by a Member of Parliament that the government had acquired the land and that his records were wrong. He was told to stop the demolition. When that information was passed to him, Headley became a responsible person.

So, SACK HIM.

Then find out who else screwed up and issued the original order and SACK THEM TOO.

We’ll stop short of firing the workers who demolished a historical landmark – but they are unthinking stupid idiots at the very least.

And as far as Cynthia Forde goes, she was a big part of the Rock Hall preservation project and spending $1.3 million, so why wasn’t a sign and a fence put up to protect the hut? Why didn’t she follow up on such an important issue after her uneasy phone call with Mr. Anthony “poop-for-brains” Headley?

After Anthony Headley

After Anthony Headley

Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting For Someone To Be Held Accountable

This is Barbados folks. We don’t do accountability. We don’t even sack people when they steal or misuse their government position. Nope, we make them Senators.

And here is the best part: this is the second time that this has happened. In 2003 government workers knocked down the second-last slave hut “by accident”.

Will somebody please assign some accountability around this place? This slave hut travesty is a micro-example of what keeps Barbados from achieving greatness. Things “just happen” with no one being responsible or being held responsible. We tear down historical buildings, build a wall of condos on the west coast so we can’t even see the water and mismanage the last mangrove forest so badly that even philanthropists who want to give us millions are driven away.

… But no government official is ever held to account for their actions and mismanagement.

From The Nation…

Licks Over Slave Hut

BARBADOS’ FIRST FREE VILLAGE has lost a significant part of its history.

On Wednesday morning, workmen from the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) demolished the only slave hut which was still standing at the Rock Hall Freedom Village in Rock Hall, St Thomas.

A distraught Cynthia Forde, parliamentary representative for St Thomas, who was behind the development of the $1.37 million project last year, said she was shocked and heartbroken when she passed by the village on Wednesday morning and saw only a shell of the slave hut remaining.

She told the WEEKEND NATION that on Tuesday she noticed a demolition sign had been placed on the building and she immediately contacted the EPD and spoke to deputy director Anthony Headley.

“I explained to him that the structure was part of the Rock Hall Freedom Village and that it was going to be renovated and used as an Interpretation Centre. I told him that the hut was integral to the history of the project and I asked him for a stay of demolition so that I could speak to the authorities in the various ministries who were involved in the project.

“He told me that the sign was put there to communicate to the landowner, but I indicated to him that Government was the landowner and that the property had been acquired. He went on to tell me that it was legally entitled to be demolished but at the end of our conversation, I was satisfied that some time would be given to investigate the situation.”

… read the entire article at The Nation (link here)

77 Comments

Filed under Africa, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Ethics, History, Slavery, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Former Barbados PM Owen Arthur Press Conference In Maldives October 30, 2008

For those wondering about Owen Arthur’s mission as head of the Commonwealth Observer team during the recent Maldives election, the team (presumably with Mr. Arthur present – the online article is unclear on this point) gave a press conference in the Maldives on Thursday, October 30, 2008.

Some were wondering why the former Prime Minister didn’t attend the recent BLP annual conference and this is the reason.

Of course, there doesn’t seem to be any excuse for Mr. Arthur not sending a message to the conference – an oversight or slight that did not go unnoticed by all in attendance.

Perhaps Mr. Arthur was busy. We’ll have to speculate upon that as I can’t imagine any of the regular press daring to ask Owen about it.

Here’s an online article from the Maldives…

Election Credible: Commonwealth

The Commonwealth Observer Team who visited the country to observe the first multi-party presidential election has said the run-off election on 28 October was generally credible although there were minor clashes and some allegations of pressure on government servants and bribery and and other influences.

The Commonwealth Team headed by former Prime Minister of Barbados Owen Arthur was meeting the press yesterday at the Hulhule Island Hotel and revealed there was a high level of transparency and participation in the election noting a high turn out of 86 % which is higher than the first round. They also noted there some irregularies but they were less than in the first round. The team also pointed out there was improved organisation.

Commonwealth Observers’ final report will be published in two weeks. However the team in its press meeting yeaterday said ” the run-off election represented a pivotal moment in the country’s continuing drive for democratic reform, in building on many of the positives from the first round, and addressing some of the negatives.”

… read the rest of this article at Mia Dhu News

7 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Adrian Loveridge: Closure of Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary “Absolute Tragedy – We are in a defining moment in our tourism development”

Minister of Tourism
The Hon. Richard L. Sealy, M.P.

Dear Sir,

I believe it would be an absolute tragedy if we allow Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary to close with the loss of a quoted 85 jobs.

I also believe that we are in a defining moment in our tourism development.

We have witnessed the West Coast being turned into a seamless ribbon of concrete condominiums with only rare glimpses of our pristine coastline and sea.

The loss of 29 hotels over the last 15 years has already and will continue to have a profound detrimental effect and consequence on employment in the sector, and its long term sustainability.

As the going gets tougher (and it will) in a global financial meltdown, we as a largely tourism dependent country have to fiercely safeguard the areas of  destination attractiveness that are less likely to suffer in a highly price sensitive marketplace.

Eco tourism is one of those niche areas, where cost is not the paramount decision making factor in choosing (or returning) to a destination.

Once popular walks and hikes along the east coast have now become also impossible due to lack of any planned maintenance or frequent de-bushing.   Even the bridge over Joe’s River close to the Edgewater Hotel has been left unrepaired for months.

Barbados has demonstrated that it can compete globally in eco-tourism, becoming the second most popular destination for the world’s largest walking specialist tour operator, with only New Zealand attracting more clients.

I appeal to our new Government, to sit down with the founder of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and find some solution that will allow the facility to remain open.

Not just for the sake of overseas visitors, but for the generations of young Barbadians to come that Graeme Hall will inspire to adopt more a sustainable tourism development policy.

Adrian Loveridge

Written in my capacity as a private, concerned citizen!

Further Reading

BFP: Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Closing – World-Class Eco-Tourism Attraction, 85+ Jobs Gone – Canadian Philanthropist Gives Up On Barbados

Nation: Trail Ends

CBC: Nature Sanctuary Closing

51 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Offshore Investments, Politics, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism, Wildlife

Ethically-Challenged Barbados Chief Justice To New Lawyers: “Don’t Steal From Your Clients”

THIS YEAR has been one of tragedy and embarrassment for the legal profession, the island’s top judge said yesterday.

However, Chief Justice Sir David Simmons feels the legal profession can recover its good name and has called upon 22 new admissions to the Bar to do their part.

At a full sitting in a packed Court of Appeal yesterday, Sir David told the new lawyers:

“This year has been one of tragedy and embarrassment for the Bar.

“Nevertheless, I think that the Bar has the capacity and resilience to rise above temporary setbacks and reassert itself to a position of eminence and respect among members of this society.”

Sir David, who is also President of the Court of Appeal, warned the lawyers that an “overweening desire” to “get rich quick” could see them breaching the Legal Profession (Accounts) Rules…

… from the Nation article CJ: Help Repair The Image

Acting Prime Minister & Career Politician One Day – Chief Justice The Next Day

Chief Justice SIR David Simmons just doesn’t get it. Here he is admonishing new lawyers to mind the reputation of the profession and their own reputations – when SIR David himself proved that he valued the prestige and position of Chief Justice more than he respected the independence and reputation of the Office of Chief Justice.

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

How on earth could David Simmons believe that it was ethical for himself – a career politician, Attorney General of the then BLP Barbados Government and Acting Prime Minister – to assume the position of Chief Justice?

As Attorney General and a senior member of Cabinet, Simmons was responsible for government policies and for defending lawsuits against the government. He was also mixed up in various land deals and political backroom antics as any senior politician is.

How was he therefore to appear to be independent to people bringing lawsuits against the government or members of the government? How was he to appear to be independent when political opponents had lawsuits or charges before his courts?

When David Simmons accepted the position of Chief Justice in an engineered resignation and “cooling off” period of only a few months, he disgraced the Office of the Chief Justice.

For David Simmons to be telling new lawyers about ethics is a joke.

Further Reading

Signed Document In Land Fraud Comes Back To Haunt Barbados Chief Justice 18 Years Later – David Simmons And The Phony Company

Barbados Chief Justice Threatened Political Action Against National Park If Personal Lawsuit Against Him Was Not Dropped – Secret Meeting Not So Secret Anymore!


6 Comments

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

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Closing – World-Class Eco-Tourism Attraction, 85+ Jobs Gone – Canadian Philanthropist Gives Up On Barbados

Click On The Photo To See The New Graeme Hall Video

Click On The Photo To See The New Graeme Hall Video

Goodbye To The National Park & The Last Mangrove Wetlands In Barbados

We’ll have more to say about this tomorrow. We can hardly cope right now. Anger. Sorrow. Despair at what our country has become. There is so much corruption on this island that foreign philanthropists can’t even give it away without a dozen people wanting a piece of the action.

So much for the National Park. So much for all the fine words of two successive governments of Owen Arthur and David Thompson.

Oh well, don’t worry kiddies… they’ll be another sucker of a foreign philanthropist along shortly. Some other factory or joint venture will open and we’ll get those jobs back.

Kiss the National Park and all that green space goodbye though. Too much money to be made so the political elites will have it paved over soon. That is why both the DLP and the BLP just couldn’t let us have a national park on the south coast. Too much money to be made.

Here’s the press release from Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. Read it and weep…


GRAEME HALL NATURE SANCTUARY, INC.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bridgetown, Barbados
Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Contact:                Harry Roberts, General Manager
Telephone:            (246)  426-3610
Email:                    hroberts@graemehall.com
Backup Letters, Art and Archives:    http://www.graemehall.com/press.htm

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in Barbados to Close

[Vancouver, Canada]   Environmental philanthropist Peter Allard announced that the 35-acre Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in Barbados will close on December 15, 2008.

Saying that “no one individual can stand longer than a generation in the wilderness of environmental preservation,” Allard despaired that to preserve the environmental heritage at Graeme Hall for future generations of Barbadians would require “a government-led consciousness.”

“I thank the the citizens of Barbados who came to the Sanctuary to visit, and thank those who signed the petition with the Friends of Graeme Hall for a National Park,” said Allard.   “I believe the Sanctuary would not have been possible without the support of the many eco-visitors, school children and the hard-working employees who put their heart and soul into making the Sanctuary a first class visitor experience.”

Allard went on to say that the Sanctuary would not exist if it had not been for special individuals who helped make it happen  such as Dame Billie Miller and her kind and capable Permanent Secretary, the late Brie St. John, Dr. Lorna Inniss, Dr. Trevor Carmichael, Dr. Karl Watson and many, many others.

Approximately 85 employees and contractors will be negatively affected by the closing.   It is expected that tour companies, taxis and local businesses will lose bookings as well.

In 2007, over 6,000 Barbadians signed a Friends of Graeme Hall petition in favor of preserving the approximately 240 acre green area at Graeme Hall as a National Park.    As the largest green space on the South Coast between the Airport and Bridgetown, the proposed National Park would include the designated 91-acre RAMSAR wetland approved under the international Convention on Wetlands, the 35-acre Sanctuary, and recreational lands.

Saying that that the future of the Sanctuary and the National Park is in the hands of the people of Barbados, Allard believes that the Friends of Graeme Hall and the citizens of Barbados must decide what their priorities are.

“We have great affection and regard for the people of Barbados, and the Sanctuary effort has always been a philanthropic mission.   This has been an incredibly painful and saddening decision, but ultimately it is not for us to initiate or set national goals and long term legacies for the nation.”

More information about the Sanctuary and the proposed Graeme Hall National Park can be found at www.graemehall.com/press.htm and www.graemehallnationalpark.org .

64 Comments

Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Disaster, Environment, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism, Wildlife

Barbados Takes Out Yet Another Loan – US$ 35 Million From World Bank

Barbados Government Bragging About Borrowing More Money!

The latest loan is in the amount of US$ 35 million dollars to “fight AIDS”, but it really doesn’t matter what the loan is for because it goes on top of a heap of other loans all purportedly taken out for worthwhile projects by various Barbados governments over the years.

Lets look at what that US$35 million dollar loan really means to a small island like ours.

According to the CIA World Factbook about Barbados, our population as of July 2008 was an estimated 281,968. Accurate or not, that’s good enough for our purposes. For this little exercise we’re going to eliminate everyone under 15 or over 65 years of age…

Which leaves us with 202,040 people of “working age” even though many do not work full time. But we’ll take it that they all work full time and all pay taxes. Nonsense, I know. There’s no way everyone 15 or over and younger than 65 works full time and pays taxes.

But we’ll say they all do.

So divide US$35 million by the number of “taxpayers” on Barbados and that works out to US$172.23 per citizen. Let’s round it off and say BDS$350 per person.

That doesn’t sound like a whole lot now, does it?

Unless you have to pay it tomorrow.

What’s the interest on this loan? Who knows… because the government always celebrates a new loan for some worthy purpose but they never tell us what the interest rate is or when they intend to pay it back. No Sir… you won’t find that information in the “Aren’t we wonderful, we’re fighting AIDS” press release or Nation newspaper story.

And I’ve never seen a media release that says, “Just so you should know, we’ve paid off that US$100 million dollars we borrowed for Cricket World Cup.” Nope, we never see any press release about loans being paid off.

What is our national debt? Who knows! Do you? And even if they do tell us something, you can bet they are hiding operational expenses under capital costs and commiting a number of other sins.

So while the Nation News celebrates another loan from the World Bank, we’re wondering about when and how it will be paid back and whether it will be wisely spent.

You can ask all you want about how the government spends your money, but you’ll never get down to the real details about who received how much for doing what and how their work was evaluated.

Even after the new Freedom of Information law is passed it will take a serious change of culture before those government servants acknowledge that it is our money and our information. Meanwhile, there is no law in place to prohibit government officials from hiring relatives or companies they own to perform the work for this AIDS project. Thompson and his gang could have declared a “no contracts to relatives” policy from day one, but they refused.

Ever wonder why?

Further Reading

The Nation: Multi-million dollar loan

18 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Health, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Blocking UN Efforts To End Child Execution – Human Rights Watch

Barbados Rejects Proposal To End Death Penalty For Children

Last week, the group of Latin American and Caribbean states rejected a proposal from the European Union to call for an immediate suspension of all juvenile executions, pending abolition through legal reform, even though none of the countries in the region has carried out such executions since at least 1990. The group also rejected a proposal for a report from the UN secretary-general on compliance with the absolute ban on the juvenile death penalty in international law. Barbados was one of the most vocal opponents of the proposals.

“It’s simply baffling that Latin American and Caribbean states would block efforts to end the execution of children,” said Jo Becker, children’s rights advocate at Human Rights Watch. “None of these countries have executed juvenile offenders for years. Why would they possibly defend this practice?”

… the above is from a Human Rights Watch press release available at the end of this BFP article.

Barbados Once Again Sides With Iran Against Human Rights!

In December of 2006, Barbados abstained from a UN Resolution citing Iran for human rights violations against women.

We were disgusted and said so in our article…

Gutless Barbados “Abstains” From UN Vote Citing Iran For Human Rights Abuses, Torture, Discrimination and Violence Against Women – AND THEN VOTES TO PROTECT IRAN!

At the time in 2006, Barbados abstained from voting to cite Iran for torture, floggings, amputations as punishment, discrimination and violence against women – and executions of children like Ateqeh Rajabi. THEN… after the vote against Iranian Human Rights Violations passed… Barbados voted to protect Iran from sanctions over human rights violations!

Same Old, Same Old – Thompson & Arthur/Mottley Government Vote For Iranian Torture Of Women & Children

It looks like the change of government in Barbados didn’t make a difference to how we vote at the United Nations. We again sided with some of the most brutal regimes on the planet over their practice of executing children. We just had a big deal in the Barbados papers about “Stopping Violence Against Women” but judging by our latest moves at the United Nations and in staying rape charges – Barbados is all phony talk.

For the love of our country and our women and children, will Prime Minister David Thompson please explain why we once again sided with Iran and refused to say that hanging a 16 year old girl for having sex outside of marriage is a bad thing?

Barbados Supports Child Execution

Barbados Supports Child Execution

Here is 16 year old Ateqeh Rajabi being executed in Iran for having sex outside of marriage.

Owen Arthur & Mia Mottley voted for it.

David Thompson voted for it.

Welcome to Barbados – give us oil and then hang all the children you want. Just give us oil…

Further Reading…

BFP: Peter Laurie’s Plea For Human Dignity, Compassion – We Say Start By Firing Barbados’ United Nations Diplomats

Human Rights Watch: UN Urged To Ban Executions Of Juvenille Offenders

Human Rights Watch media release about Barbados follows…

For Immediate ReleaseContinue reading

39 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Ethics, Human Rights

How About President Obama and Vice-President Palin?

We all laughed pretty hard when we saw the above photoshop of Barack Obama and Sarah Palin on Dancing With The Stars – but then I thought “An Obama/Palin ticket would have been pretty good!”

Barbados Free Press came out early for Obama and on February 26, 2008, we predicted he’d be the next President of the United States. (See Hillary Clinton Fading Away – Get Ready For President Obama)

Sarah Palin revived a dead campaign for McCain, who is probably not a bad fellow himself but with Obama running there is no way we could support McCain. (Note: We can’t vote in the US, but we hope for Obama even though he has two great flaws in policy that we can’t stand. More on that towards the end of this article.)

Palin is nothing if not feisty. She went from leading the Parent-Teacher association to mayor to Governor of Alaska in a fairly short time and she didn’t flinch when she kicked VECO’s rear end all the way to jail. She would make a fine Vice-President to provide some balance to Obama’s left wing leanings and it would have been fun to see a black AND a woman sitting in the White House.

Whew… Obama and Palin. That would make those good ‘ol boys from Georgia and Tennessee cringe! Mark my words children… even when Obama alone hits the White House, sales of Jim Beam and Jack Daniels Whiskey gonna peak for a month as the good ‘ol boys try to figure out what the hell happened.

President Obama Will Be No Friend To Barbados

But Obama is not without his flaws, and it is only by holding our noses that we can support him.

First, he has long ago shown that he does not intend to be a friend to Barbados and our offshore banking and corporations industry. (See BFP’s President Barack Obama Would Destroy Barbados Offshore Banking Industry – He Said So!)

Dame Billie can say all she wants that our offshore sector is going to overtake tourism, but an Obama US government will be targetting Barbados and that is not good. If the naive want to believe that Obama will favour the black nations of the world over the interests of the USA because he shares a skin colour, people are in for a rude surprise.

President Obama Will Be No Friend To Black Babies

The second issue for me is Obama’s support of partial-birth abortion. Otherwise known as plunging a knife into the baby’s skull as the little one is being born almost full term. You may not like that told so directly. If you find it upsetting, then you better think about why it upsets you and also consider that Barack Obama supports partial birth abortion.

I wasn’t aware of that until one of our readers sent me over to Weighed In The Balance blog to look at the article Obama-mania In Barbados.

As for me, if I could vote, I would still reluctantly support Obama for President because I like most of his policies and to be honest, I believe that a black man in the White House will change American society for the good and forever even if he turned out to be the worst president the USA has ever had. (Obama would have to work hard to earn that title!)

The sad truth is that these two policies of an Obama Presidency would harm Barbados and harm blacks – who continue to be aborted at something like three times the national average.

I’ll still support Obama, but after reading Weighed in the Balance blog, the joy is gone.

Written mostly by Robert with a bit by Marcus

—– and Clive adds his little bit…

Palin? I would! 😉

53 Comments

Filed under Abortion, Barack Obama, Barbados, Business & Banking, Culture & Race Issues, John McCain, Offshore Investments, Politics, Race, VECO Corporation

Festival Of Barbados Travel Articles Continues Around The World

Chris Breedy Enchants The Lady Travel Journalists At Mount Gay. Good Work Chris!

Chris Breedy Enchants The Lady Travel Journalists At Mount Gay. Good Work Chris!

Look folks, there is something BIG happening with Barbados in the travel journalism business. The international press is publishing positive travel articles about Barbados at a rate that is four or five times above the norm that we’ve seen in the past few years.

We’ve been running Barbados Free Press for almost three years and we’ve had the same “Google alerts” in place to automatically tell us whenever articles are posted anywhere that mention Barbados. So we know how many articles about Barbados typically get published every week. We can see the trends in the international media when an election is coming or when some important treaty or world happening touches our country. Most of the larger Barbados blogs have the same alerts in place and can probably confirm our observations.

The past two months have seen a tsunami of Barbados travel articles in the international press. Although the stories primarily originate from North American and British papers, we’ve seen Barbados travel articles in the english-language press of Singapore, India, Japan, South Africa, Philippines and Indonesia. Who knows what we’re missing in the non-English language media.

To our tourism officials who organised these trips for travel journalists, WELL DONE!

This week we have a spate of articles all mentioning the John Moore bar, and it is obvious that the various writers were taken on the same tour – maybe at the same time as a group.

No matter, for they have produced another week’s worth of positive articles about Barbados – raving about the people, the beauty of our island and the variety of things to see and do.

Not one mention of an abandoned appliance or oil drum on the side of the road. Nothing said about the floods or the traffic – and that’s fair because a tourist operates outside of the rush to and from Bridgetown every morning and they look at our island with a tourist’s eyes, not as we do when we’re late for work.

Here’s a few of this week’s articles – one even claiming that Barbados can be done on a budget too. Articles like the following are worth a hundred advertisements (IMHO) and there are dozens that have been published in the last week…

Oct 26, 2008 – Chicago Tribune – J. Olivera – Barbados and Budget Travel Go Together

Oct 26, 2008 – Reading Eagle – Warmth, Pride Prevail On Island Where Rum Began

Oct 26, 2008 – New York Times – W. Curtis – The Sweet Essence of Barbados

Oct 26, 2008 – Chicago Tribune – If You Go To Barbados

Oct 25, 2008 – CanWest News Service – Barbados: Take in an authentic Caribbean experience (syndicated published in 27 Canadian media outlets)

Oct 24, 2008 – Fresno Bee – J. Kurash – If You’re A Rum Drinker, Barbados Is The Promised Land

Oct 24, 2008 – IMG – E. Barone – Yo Ho Ho And A Bottle Of…

Oct 23, 2008 – Taiwan News – Barbados Rum Punch

Oct 19, 2008 – Boston Globe – Measured By The Foot

Oct 18, 2008 – Sue Carroll – Sue Carroll Samples The Simple Pleasures Of Barbados

Oct 14, 2008 – The Telegraph – Barbados: Best of the West Indies

17 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Traveling and Tourism

Twenty Major Canadian Newspapers Quote “Auntie Moses” of “Barbados Free Press”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper also visited Barbados last year, with Canadian media in tow. As one Bajan, “Auntie Moses,” said at the time on the Barbados Free Press website: “Keep smiling and get them cold tourists down here!”

… from the CanWest News – Ottawa Citizen syndicated newspaper story: Barbados: Take in an authentic Caribbean experience

Story Appears In Major Cities Across Canada

The travel sections of the Saturday newspapers in major Canadian cities like Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Windsor, Regina, Toronto and Montreal feature a quote from our own Auntie Moses and mention Barbados Free Press.

And, most surprisingly, the quote by Auntie Moses comes from a July 2007 Barbados Free Press story about whether we should tell the Canadian Prime Minister about corruption in the Barbados government.

The internet has truly empowered ordinary Bajans – who no longer have to rely upon the local Barbados news media who are still fearful and under the thumb of government. We can communicate with the rest of the world very effectively without the local gatekeepers, thank you very much.

Where the BFP quote was taken from: Canadian Prime Minister Visits Barbados July 18, 19 – With The Canadian News Media… What News Stories Do We Want To Tell Canadians?

24 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Traveling and Tourism

Poll: Only 25% Support Mia Mottley As BLP Leader

Click To Vote - Poll Still Open

Click To Vote - Poll Still Open

Will Santia Bradshaw Challenge Mottley’s Leadership Before Next Election?

Only 25% of first one hundred Barbados Free Press readers who voted in our leadership poll support Mia Mottley as BLP leader. Surprisingly, 26% support Santia Bradshaw!

With all this recent talk by the BLP and Mia Mottley about “reinventing” or “rebranding” the Barbados Labour Party, the obvious question becomes whether voters would view Mottley’s continued leadership as “old” or “new”.

While our poll is a very unscientific indication, we did watch the voting closely and confirm that the final results mirror the trends from the start. That, plus the limitation of one vote per reader (managed by cookies & IP restrictions) means that our poll reflects the opinions of hundreds of people and not just a few multiple voters.

So on the day of the BLP Annual Conference, here’s what our poll says…

Who Should Lead A New BLP?

Mia Mottley – 25%

Anyone But Mia Mottley – 40%

Santia Bradshaw -26%

Other – 9%

You can still vote in the poll and check the ongoing tally in our story A Party Leader With A Weak Mandate From The Membership Prepares For BLP Annual Conference

38 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics

TODAY! Environmental Education Day At Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary – Saturday, October 25th

I think it is important to demonstrate how environmental awareness can be integrated with sound business and behavioral choices…”

Harry Roberts, General Manager of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

Free Admission To Age 17 & Free Nature Guidebook To First 1000 Visitors

On Saturday, October 25, 2008, Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary will host an Environmental Education Day.  The cost will be free to children age 17 and under, and admission for adults will be only one dollar.

Guided and self-guided tours will be available, and a free Nature Guidebook will be handed out to the first 1,000 visitors.

The Sanctuary has provided community-based environmental education programmes for students, teachers and the general public for over 10 years.

“We have been supporting year-round environmental workshops and educational programs at the Sanctuary and throughout Barbados,” said Harry Roberts, General Manager of the Sanctuary.   “Our main goal has been to provide a living outdoor classroom for teachers, and provide an enhanced eco-tourism facility that can support educational programming.”

According to Roberts, there are many professional educators, environmentalists and others who have a keen interest in the future of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary as a natural heritage site.

Existing, environmental and natural history education materials already in use in Barbadian schools, coupled with the natural setting of the Sanctuary, will help students and the public appreciate the “working” mangrove ecosystem at Graeme Hall.

“Our nature guidebook which will be handed out during our Education Day contains educational material for our teachers at all grade levels,” said Roberts.   “We did this in response to requests by many teachers who needed field science materials for their existing curriculum.   Evonda Hurley, a teacher at Westbury Primary, was one of the teachers who suggested we do this, and she has also encouraged us in the past to keep groups small to  maximize the bird watching experience.”

According to environmentalists, the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary illustrates the fragile balance of a native, natural Barbadian estuarine ecosystem and how human occupation has affected it over the course of 300 years. Continue reading

20 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Ethics, Tourism, Traveling and Tourism, Wildlife

Thank Barbados Newest Diplomat For “Bitches”, “Niggers” and “Hoes” – OH… Not To Forget More Gambling Coming Soon To Our Island

Destroyer Of Black Culture & Founder Of Black Entertainment Television

Robert L Johnson: Destroyer Of Black Culture & Founder Of Black Entertainment Television

(Pinned to top. Scroll down for newer content.)

UPDATED: June 12, 2011

It has been two and a half years since this article first appeared in the BFP and now the proliferation of these machines is actually here under the name Island Treasure. What a way to rob the citizens of Barbados of their money and worse yet breed ‘false hope’ for people who have to deal with an ‘extremely high cost of living’ and increase in ‘Tax’ on almost everything under the DLP government. Is this just not another indirect tax on the poor and middle class of this country? (Thanks to BFP reader “We Want to Know”)

UPDATED: March 7, 2010

We ran this story back on October 25, 2008 and were disgusted with how quickly the Thompson DLP government jumped right into bed with B.E.T.’s Robert L Johnson to continue the BLP program of increased gambling in Barbados.

Here we are a year and a half later. Still no answers as to how much money goes into the public accounts from this gambling. Still no answers as to what “commissions” are paid for “consulting” to offshore corporations owned by elected or appointed public officials.

If you were expecting the DLP to be any different than the BLP in that regard, you’re a fool. Millions of dollars are still flowing without accountability or transparency… but the hidden juice is flowing to the DLP instead of the BLP. That’s the only difference.

Let’s hear if any of our readers can share developments or insights into this story that the regular Bajan news media continues to ignore…

Original story as published October 25, 2008…

Robert L. Johnson Created B.E.T. – Black Enslavement Television

Only one day after proclaiming that Barbados television should be projecting Bajan images, values and culture if it wants to receive government funding, Prime Minister David Thompson appointed Robert L. Johnson as Barbados’ honorary consul to the Carolinas, United States.

Yes… that Robert Johnson of Black Entertainment Television. As one of our readers said about him back in June of 2007 when we learned that he was partnering with the Owen Arthur government to bring more gambling machines to Barbados…

“Robert Johnson has created the most destructive and insidious mechanism to perpetuate the oppression of Black people since slavery. BET glamourises violence misogyny, misanthropy, greed, gluttony and sloth. it is a pox and a virus, and the minister responsible for communications in Barbados should remove it from our cable roster if he cares about our young people. Little surprise that Johnson is now involved in enterprise that will further marginalise and deprive Caribbean people of all races.”

… BFP reader “bling” commenting on BFP’s Gambling King Robert Johnson “Gave” BET To Barbados And The World

Say It Isn’t So, David! Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Politics & Corruption

How Much Is The Graeme Hall Wetland Worth To Barbados? … Over Half A Billion US$

School Children Learning At The Last Mangrove Wetlands On The Island - The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

School Children Learning At The Last Mangrove Wetlands On The Island - The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

Graeme Hall National Park or… Condos & Quick Cash

For about the last ten years there has been a serious movement by Barbadians to preserve the last mangrove wetlands on the island. The Graeme Hall Wetlands are a national treasure and vital to the environmental health of the south coast, but selfish interests want to build on these wetlands for profit.

These evil people would have ordinary Bajans see tall concrete towers instead of trees. They would rather have gated enclaves for the rich where our children now learn about their connection to the natural world around them. Pavement instead of a quiet sanctuary where ordinary folks can enjoy a respite. Commercial and residential developments like the rest of the South and West coasts.

In a cash grab that put their own pockets ahead of the common good, the last bunch of greedy pigs known as the BLP Owen Arthur Government approved the construction of the Caribbean Splash Water Park/Theme Park on the Graeme Hall Wetlands. Only when thousands of Bajans rose up and signed petitions, wrote letters and stopped Members of Parliament on the street to give them “a piece of wat-for” did the BLP government back down.

Preserving The Graeme Hall Wetlands Isn’t Just About Natural Beauty… Beauty Is Only A Small Part Of The Value That Belongs To All Bajans

If preserving the Graeme Hall Wetlands was only about preserving some green space on the south coast for beauty – preservation would still be a wise decision. But beauty is only a starting point because natural areas contribute so much to Barbados in very tangible ways.

A few months ago the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary published a report by Dr. Allan N. Williams that assessed the value of the wetlands to Barbados.

I didn’t read the study. I didn’t pay attention.

I should have.

I watched the new Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary video (really excellent – you must watch it… link here) but I didn’t read the report of the valuation of the wetlands or I would have immediately written about it.

You see, after reading the report I am convinced that the Graeme Hall Wetlands area is worth every bit of the half a billion US dollars as concluded by Dr. Williams.

More than ever, I am convinced that the wetlands must be permanently protected for the future and that the only sure way of doing that is to create a Graeme Hall National Park.

Prime Minister Thompson Says He Wants To Preserve Graeme Hall Wetlands - Time For Action, Sir!

Prime Minister Thompson Says He Wants To Preserve Graeme Hall Wetlands - Time For Action, Sir!

Unlike the past government, Prime Minister Thompson has made positive statements about the necessity of preserving the Graeme Hall Wetlands. Various ministers have also made statements that sound like they are sincere in their desire to preserve the natural environment of Barbados.

But as we said a few months ago…

From what I saw in that Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary video,…

If we want this last bit of green on the south coast to be around in five years, the government had better do something besides talk and it better happen soon.

Excerpts From The Graeme Hall Wetlands Valuation

“Our analysis identifies 12 valuable functions of the wetlands at Graeme Hall. These include, Habitat, Refuge; Regulating Hydrological Flows; Storage and retention of water; Hosting unique biological material; Capacitance and absorption of pollutants; Removal or breakdown of excess compounds; Maintaining ecological characteristics of the landscape; Monitoring coastal zone changes; Impacting local community quality of life; Providing cultural attraction and Being a repository of scientific information.”

“The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary (GHNS) is a privately owned property whose primary mission is the conservation of the Wetlands of Graeme Hall.  There are many features of this Wetlands that are worthy of conserving. These include being the last remaining mangrove forest of its kind in Barbados, a major roosting area for migratory and native water-birds, a “living laboratory” for researchers and scientists to examine native Barbados ecosystems and an opportunity to understand how changes in human population and the built environment in Barbados have influenced issues relating to aquifer and surface water management, drained wetlands, wetland recreation, coastal zone management, urban sprawl and agriculture.

Of more importance are the under-valued linkages between the ecological characteristic of the Graeme Hall Wetlands and its multiple roles in sustaining tourism activities in the south west coast; supporting the quality of life and maintaining open green spaces and lower population density in the Parish of Christ Church; and avoiding a major catastrophe of sewage contamination of the beaches and coastal zone of the most important location of stay-over accommodations in Barbados. To achieve such an understanding, this study has pursued a goal of assessing the value of this nature asset that the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary seeks to conserve.”

Will Barbados Sacrifice The Last Remaining South Coast Green Space & A Vital Environmental Asset For Private Interests’ Greed?

Read the Graeme Hall Wetlands Valuation Report…

download PDF report here

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary press section link here

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Traveling and Tourism

Happy 2nd Birthday To Amillia Taylor!

AmilliaTaylor - Born October 24, 2006

AmilliaTaylor - Born October 24, 2006

Miracle Little Girl Growing Up

Way back in February of 2007, we told you about Amillia in our story Cute Little Baby Girl Is About The Size Of A Pen. The story still receives twenty or thirty hits a day and for some reason often spikes on a Sunday at over a hundred hits.

Today is Amillia’s birthday and we wish her and mum and dad Sonja and Eddie all the best in life.

Here is a story of how Amillia’s mother loved her so much that she just had to try to save her…

iParenting – Sonja Taylor

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Filed under Abortion, Barbados, Ethics, Health

Quote of the Day by Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson

“CBC has benefited for aeons from public funding; it is a national station. Its job is not to take the culture of other countries off of satellites and transmit them into our homes on a nightly basis and then ask us to pay for it; it’s job is to project images of our society, our culture and our values,”

… Prime Minister David Thompson gives a well-deserved kick to the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (Nation story here)

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Filed under Freedom Of The Press

Fabulous Barbados Jazz At The Naniki Restaurant This Sunday Brunch!

Great Food + Beautiful Views + Kellie Cadogan & Roger Gittens – What More Could You Want?

Auntie Moses says that God gives each one of us different gifts when we’re born, but he must have loved Kellie Cadogan in a big way because he sure gave her something special. (She really did say that about Kellie.)

Look At That View!

Look At That View!

Never mind partying too hard this Saturday night. Save yourself for Sunday brunch at the Naniki Restaurant and enjoy the entire experience of the view, the music and the food. (Oh… the food at Naniki is like heaven!)

Take your main squeeze for brunch at the Naniki Restaurant this Sunday and you’ll be loved for the rest of the day. Really.

Jazz Brunch At The Naniki Restaurant

Sunday October 26, 2008 11am – 3pm

Brunch with one complimentary Mimosa, Rum, Banks or soft drinks – $70

Only 20 minutes from Bussa Roundabout

From Bussa roundabout, go north on the ABC highway to the Clyde Walcott roundabout and go east. Make a right at Kelsi’s Supermarket and continue on the main road to the roundabout. Continue east and pass the Texaco Market Hill gas station on your right. Proceed bearing right and make the next left to Bathsheba.

Past Andrews Sugar Factory and bearing right at the Mural, continue to the Police Station at the top of Horse Hill. Go down the hill for 75 meters and make the first Left. Follow the Naniki Signs to the cul de cac.

Reservations: naniki@lushlife.bb or tel: 433-1300

Our thanks to our friends at LINC Enterprises for telling us about this special brunch.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Music, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

A Party Leader With A Weak Mandate From The Membership Prepares For BLP Annual Conference

Is Mia Mottley Next To Be Fried?

Is Mia Mottley Next To Be Fried?

UPDATE: This article originally published October 22, 2008 and it mentioned two now current topics in June of 2009 – Dr. Duguid leaving politics and Mia Mottley’s “leadership by divine intervention of her father.”

The article also says the following…

“As the former Deputy Prime Minister, former Attorney General and a senior Cabinet member, Mia Mottley was so entwined with the corrupt Owen Arthur administration that the stench of corruption and abuses of power will never leave her. Never.”

Original Article Published October 22, 2008…

The annual conference of the Barbados Labour Party will take place this weekend at Queen’s College School hall, Husbands, St James. General Secretary Dr. Duguid is stepping down (rumour has it he won’t stay as a sitting MP for long) and lots of new young blood is being injected into the party.

As Dame Billie Miller says the party would be looking to renew the way it did business and to promote younger members for the 21st century.

“We will not do business in the 21st century the way we used to in the 20th,” says Billie.

Sure… whatever you say, Billie…

With the notable exception of the BLP’s leader Mia Mottley – who is the last of a Mottley political dynasty that began three generations ago. As the former Deputy Prime Minister, former Attorney General and a senior Cabinet member, Mia Mottley was so entwined with the corrupt Owen Arthur administration that the stench of corruption and abuses of power will never leave her. Never.

Mia Mottley Is A Liability To A New BLP

While the new blood and potential BLP replacement leaders jockey for position, Mia serves as an interim leader whose mandate to lead has never been ratified by the BLP membership.

Could Mia win a new leadership contest? Unless she places herself in a real contest before the membership in 2009, her “leadership by divine intervention of her father” will lose all credibility and she will become even more of an albatross around the neck of a BLP that is searching for new energy.

Further Reading

The Nation: BLP Prepares For Annual Conference

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Filed under Barbados, Politics, Politics & Corruption