Monthly Archives: January 2010

Does Environment Minister Lowe Pee in the Shower? He should… and so should you!

Leadership by Example!

The Caribbean Drought and Precipitation Monitoring Network (CDPMN) says that Barbados will be hit by a severe drought for the next three months. Newspaper editorials and the government are urging Bajans not to waste water, and further to do everything they can to reduce the amount they normally use. (Nation News editorial: Wasting of water has to stop.)

There is one thing that all of us can do right now that saves thousands of gallons of water a year in each home where this water saving technique is used.

We can pee in the shower every morning instead of using a gallon of water to flush a tiny bit of urine down the toilet.

How much water can be saved? Lots and Lots!

Walk to your front door right now, stick your head out and take a look at all the homes around yours. Let’s see – there’s three people in that home, two in that one, four in that one – and each morning most every person flushes the toilet and then heads for the shower. Add it up just on your street: number of people X 1 gallon of water X 365 days. Now think of the entire country and say that only 10% of the homes were “pee in the shower” members. That’s still a huge amount of water saved.

Brazil did the numbers and realized just how effective this simple technique could be. Here’s the television advertisement they ran to convince their people to pee in the shower…

Here are a few articles about how important this initiative can be to saving water:

Bohemian Revolution: Pee in the shower to save water.

The Guardian: Peeing in the shower – The Rules

Huffington Post: Brazil wants its residents to pee in the shower

How About Some Leadership from the Thompson Government?

The stakes are high, the drought is coming and this one simple step has the potential to save millions of gallons a year in Barbados.

Yup, peeing in the shower sounds icky and it probably offends the Victorian sensibilities of some politicians in the DLP government – but it is a simple step that could be very effective nationally if folks were convinced of the need.

Will Environment Minister Denis Lowe now come out publicly with a statement that he pees in the shower? Will he encourage everyone to do the same?

Over to you, Minister Lowe!

Further Reading at BFP

April 9, 2006: Can Barbados Pee It’s Way To More Water?

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Filed under Barbados, Environment

Takin’ it So Slow on a Saturday night in Bridgetown

Cliverton is Surfin’ the web on a lonely Saturday night

Woe is me! Alone on a Saturday night with no plans to party and a dead phone.

That’s no problem because I have the internet and I’m not feeling 100% anyway. Sniffles, feel something coming on. If it turns into a bad time I hope I’m able to go to work by Tuesday because it’s going to be a special day. 😉

I’ll share a few things I’ve come across lately. I love the spontaneity and unpredictable pathways of the internet, don’t you? One moment you’re reading the news headlines at Drudge or BBC and you see something in the sidebar. Three clicks later you’re watching a YouTube video posted by some Filipino kids out of San Diego, California and they are so fine and real and talented that you go through about five of their videos and hope they make it big someday.

Then a click or two later and you’re reading about how if everyone peed while showering in the morning it could cut a town’s water consumption by 20%. Someone did a study on that.

Here are a few of my recent surfing stops on the ‘net. Have a look and if you feel like posting a few of your own, well, that’s what the comments are for.

Enjoy!

Stop #1: Zandi & Justin – Two Filipino kids out of California recording songs in mom’s kitchen etc.

Zandi De Jesus, Justin Crisostomo and sometimes guitarist Mu Hua are ZSOS Music. Everybody has multiple gigs going and you can do some searches to find each of them on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and the rest of the standard places.

Have a listen to this for raw talent and beautiful guitar and voice. I musta played it a dozen times…

Stop #2: Essex County Cricket Club touring Barbados in March

Chief Executive David East said: “Having seen the excellent facilities in Barbados, we’re delighted to be going to the Caribbean this year.” He added: “The club pre-season tour is becoming an increasingly important part of our preparation for the new domestic season.”

Essex fly out to Barbados on 12 March and will return on 25 March, in time for a two-day friendly against Worcestershire in Chelmsford six days later.

BBC has the full story Essex County Cricket Club Barbados tour

Clive’s editorial comment: “Excellent facilities”… well I guess so! We paid over 200 million dollars for a little fix up for the Oval. Good to see the lights work now. Thanks Mia!  😉

Stop #3: Barbados Sea Turtle Project needs volunteers!

Hey all you students in North America and the UK (or anywhere if you speak English), here’s your chance to spend some time in Barbados working as a field volunteer with other like-minded people trying to preserve and document the Caribbean sea turtle population. The job pays only a stipend but shared accommodations with cooking facilities are provided. You’ll have to tap out mum and dad for the airline ticket to Bim, but you’ll find some pretty low airfares for the summer season.

Best of all you’ll be doing something really worthwhile. Here’s an excerpt from the job information sheet…

The Barbados Sea Turtle Project is based at the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill Campus). For the last 20 years, we have been involved in conservation of the critically endangered marine turtle species that forage around and nest on Barbados, through monitoring and conservation of nesting females and hatchlings, research, education and public outreach. Barbados is currently home to the second-largest hawksbill turtle nesting population in the Wider Caribbean, with up to 500 females nesting per year.  Turtle nesting occurs on most of the beaches around the island, many of which are heavily developed with tourism infrastructure. The Barbados Sea Turtle Project monitors an index nesting beach nightly and operates two mobile patrol groups that monitor up to 15 other nesting beaches per night. The mobile groups also respond to public reports of turtle activity made through the 24-hour Sea Turtle Hotline. Professor Julia Horrocks, the director of the Barbados Sea Turtle Project, is the Country Coordinator for the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) in Barbados, and coordinator of the regional WIDECAST Marine Turtle Tagging Centre.

Duties:

Night Patrol:

You will be required to patrol beaches along the south and west coasts of Barbados from 7:30 pm to 4:00 am, six nights per week (i.e. one night off) for the duration of your time as a volunteer. During beach patrols, you will be required to record nesting/hatching events, tag nesting females, and to collect morphometric data and environmental data with a high degree of accuracy and reliability. You may also be required to rescue disoriented hatchlings and adult turtles, undertake relocations of nests laid in unsuitable locations and educate the public and tourists about marine turtles. Sea turtles often nest in front of hotels, and therefore are highly visible to the public. Ensuring the safety of the nesting female, collecting data, and answering questions are all aspects of a BSTP patrol.

Yes, the volunteers patrol in the daytime too and always in groups for safety and fun.

Further information and applications can be had at the Barbados Sea Turtle Project website and the job posting at the StopDodo environmental job website: Field volunteers required for nesting beach monitoring programme for hawksbill turtles.

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Environment, Music, Nature, Wildlife

You’ll come a Washing Matilda at the Barbados Future Centre

Washing your car? Here’s an Interesting Fact on Water Use

Nicole decided to count the number of buckets used to wash Matilda (that’s her photo above – ah, Matilda not Nicole) and counted the number of buckets of collected Rainwater used. It came to 9.5 5 gallon buckets. (She was well washed!) Thats 177 litres to wash one car if potable water was used. Think about that one a country wide level!

… from the website of Counterpart Caribbean at the Future Centre

What’s Happening at the Future Centre in February?

A little birdie told us that the Future Centre is running a workshop next month with funding from the Global Environment Facility – Small Grants Programme implemented locally by the United Nations Development Programme. We’d love to know more about the workshop, so if someone from the Future Centre could send us the information or a press release we’d be happy to run a story. (barbadosfreepress (AT) yahoo.com)

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Filed under Barbados, Environment

Barbados Corporation implicated in US$200 million Ponzi scheme. How will our government deal with David Krywenky?

Kingz Capital Management Corp. Barbados – Hundreds of Millions vanish

According to the Star Tribune of Minneapolis USA, Kingz Capital Management Corp. is a registered commodities trading adviser and commodities pool operator in Barbados. A simple Google search reveals numerous articles talking about Kingz involvement in several “gone wrong” investment schemes that took in hundreds of millions of dollars – that apparently vanished.

At Barbados Free Press our questions are: 1/ What is Barbados going to do about it? 2/ What laws does Barbados have at its disposal to prevent or to deal after the fact with occurrences like this?

Here are a few stories of the many online…

Trevor Cook’s ally won’t be trading for 3 years

By Dan Browning, Star Tribune, Minneapolis

Jan. 28–A Canadian-based commodities trader affiliated with embattled Minneapolis money manager Trevor Cook has agreed to give up his trading rights for three years in response to a complaint that accused him of letting Cook — who is not a registered trader — take control of an offshore currency investment pool.

The trader, David Krywenky of Toronto, has run Kingz Capital Management Corp., a registered commodities trading adviser and commodities pool operator in Barbados, for two years. The National Futures Association (NFA), a self-regulatory body that oversees the futures markets, filed a complaint against Krywenky and Kingz Capital in September accusing them of failing to uphold ethical standards, cheating customers, and failure to supervise business activities properly…

… continue reading the full story at American Chronicle’s article Trevor Cook’s ally won’t be trading for 3 years

Click image for Patrick Pretty's take on this story

$300 million Oxford trail leads into Canada

By DAN BROWNING, Star Tribune
November 4, 2009

Investors looking to recover their money from a suspect currency investment program have a new, $300 million trail to follow into Canada.

Regulators are quietly pursuing a complaint against a Toronto commodities firm and one of its executives, alleging they helped Minneapolis money manager Trevor Cook facilitate the currency trading program.

The $300 million that passed through the Toronto firm — KINGZ Capital Management Corp. — is the largest chunk of money found so far in the still-unfolding case, which drew investors from across the United States and several other countries. They have been unable to withdraw their money from what many were told was a Swiss-based currency trader since at least early July.

continue reading this story at the Star Tribune.com article $300 million Oxford trail leads into Canada

Further Reading

PatrickPretty.com – KA-BOOM! Offshore Firm To Which AdViewGlobal Claimed Wire Tie Booted From National Futures Association After Investigators Discover Ponzi Figure Trevor Cook Was Managing Its Investor Pool

Thanks to BFP readers A & R for tipping us to the story!

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments

Needham Point = Opportunity!

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner, tourism visionary

Tourism Potential

While I fully understand all the fiscal restraints Government currently has and the historical and possibly political desire to complete the recently re-named Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Conference Centre, I would like to propose a second option.

There is no doubt that Trinidad and Tobago stole a march on the Southern Caribbean by constructing a new conference facility and an adjacent first class hotel.

It’s no secret that most people attending conferences, for all sorts of reasons, want to stay close to where the event is taking place. The very last thing is they wish to endure is to spend indeterminate amounts of time fighting with rush hour traffic to reach where the function is taking place.

For whatever reason, ‘we’ missed a golden opportunity with the construction of the Hilton. 354 rooms, but not one large enough space to host major exhibitors and trade or consumer shows.

In hindsight it would have been so easy to have incorporated a single meeting area on one level of at least 10,000 square feet. Whether it was rooftop, basement or even formed part of the car park!

It’s not too late!

Needham Point still offers one of the most desirable locations for further development and if we seriously want to maintain and attract further airlift year round, this is our chance, even during a recession.

The former refinery land could be used and the barracks together with other buildings currently used by the Royal Barbados Defence Force be tastefully incorporated while protecting their architectural heritage.

Even the derelict pier could be transformed to provide a spectacular waters edge restaurant.

Much discussion has taken place over the years about the proposed Pierhead development, and I am still in full support of this project to help revitalise historic Bridgetown. Not only would it to attractive to long stay visitors but also within easy walking distance of the quoted 700,000 cruise ship passengers entering the port each year.

I believe that the development of Needham Point into a major conference and event centre would provide the catalyst to ensure that Pierhead becomes a viable project. Restaurants, shops and other facilities generating valuable foreign currency!

The chairman of one of our major construction and development companies recently stated that it was time to put back.

Could his company together with others in partnership with Government make a world class conference facility a reality?

Very few of the above are new ideas. Many have been voiced before. But now is perhaps the time to turn the concept into reinforcing the viability of our entire tourism industry.

Adrian Loveridge
28th January 2010

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

C.L. Financial Bailout – Turmoil, Instability and Unanswered Questions

CL Financial bailout – The Governor speaks

by Afra Raymond

My last column on this important matter was published on 31st December, almost a month ago, with several major developments since then.  The main development in my view is that we had some truly remarkable statements from the Governor of the Central Bank.

The messages on the CL Financial group are now so confused that the most charitable phrase possible, is that the public is getting ‘mixed messages’.

The Top-level resignations – The group CEO, Steve Bideshi – a former senior manager at Citigroup – was reported on 12th January to have tendered his resignation, effective 31st January.  (See – Bideshi quits CL after 6 months or Trinidad Express article here)

We are told that his reason for resigning is the breakdown of negotiations for his compensation package.  Our governments have a serious track-record of agreeing and then secreting the terms of compensation for its high-fliers.  Just think of Caribbean Airlines, PetroTrin and UdeCOTT.  It is unbelievable that government was unable to agree terms with this one CEO.  Arguably, Mr. Bideshi was heading the largest and most complex group within the State’s control.

On 19th January, we were told that Michael Carballo, the group Finance Director, was resigning, also effective 31st January.  (See – Guardian’s Another executive leaves CL Financial or Trinidad Express article here)

Carballo had the unique position of being the only senior executive to survive the crisis at the group and keep his position.  We were not given any reason for his departure, but we were told that Carballo is to continue acting as a Director on CL Financial’s Board.

Bideshi and Carballo were the two top executives at CL Financial.  What is going on?

To date there has been no proper explanation as to the causes of these major resignations or clear statement on the way forward.  To have both the group CEO and Finance Director resign within a week of each other, effective within less than a month, speaks of turmoil and jostling.  That kind of thing would not happen if the situation was stable.  The purpose of this bailout was said to be the avoidance of systemic risk and the maintenance of confidence in our financial system.  The official silence on this startling development only adds to the impression of ‘more in the mortar than just the pestle’.

… continue reading the full article at Afra Raymond’s blog article CL Financial Bailout – The Governor Speaks

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues

Newsday Disaster: The future of Barbados internet news?

Newsday, the 10th ranking newspaper in the USA in terms of circulation, spent US$4 million revamping its website last October before going to a pay format of $5 a week for full access. (Newsday.com)

So after three months, how many paid subscribers does Newsday’s website enjoy?

35

That’s right: “Thirty-five” – as in about a bus-load of people heading into the city – producing gross revenues of US$175 per week on an investment of US$4 million. (New York Observer – After 3 months only 35 subscriptions for Newsday’s website)

I’m not sure what that means when the kind of talent you can hire for $4 million dollars produces that kind of results. They probably thought they had it all figured out. Undoubtedly they produced the projected growth charts with the little circles, lines and arrows to convince the bosses to invest big money – but how could they blow it so badly?

Perhaps it means that the internet is still a crap shoot for news organisations.

What does it mean for newspapers in Barbados? I guess it means that in a small market like this island, newspapers can’t expect any direct revenue generation from their web presence – at least nothing worth talking about.

Maybe that’s why The Nation’s web presence has shrunk to a fraction of what it was only two years ago with the paper’s website displaying only a handful of articles compared to the printed dead tree edition. Maybe they don’t see the internet as being worth it. Google searches seldom if ever return Nation online articles anymore because the newspaper’s website is set up to block search engines.

Similarly the Barbados Advocate publishes only a few articles online. The .jpg photos of the entire newspaper don’t really count because they are structured to prevent indexing by search engines. This means that the two largest newspapers have for the most part abandoned representing our country to the world on the internet. They leave this task and responsibility to other websites and the blogs.

Once again, I don’t know what it all means, but it’s something to think about as we hear rumours of another newspaper being born in Barbados.

Further Reading

Talk about synchronicity… as I finished writing this article I was Googling “freedom of the press” and I came across an old BFP article about the media by Sungoddess… Sungoddess Says “Let The Traditional Media Die… No Longer Serves The Interests Of The Common Man…”

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Freedom Of The Press, News Media