Monthly Archives: October 2010

Tropical Storm Tomas: Not too scary in Grape Hall, Barbados

UPDATE: Heard from Marcus. There are a couple of boats smashed up at Oistins. Lots of damage, roofs off. It looks like the south took a harder hit than we did.

It was a dark and stormy night…

Is it HURRICANE Tomas?

Okay, we back up on the internet after 30 minutes without power. It’s not too bad. Noisy. Wet. Water went off with the power, but it’s back. One of our friends has one of those little wind things on top of his house and it hit 87 mph just before a calm period maybe an hour and a half ago.

Aunty Moses is down south with Shona and Marcus. Robert is off the island. Can’t find George anywhere.

As for me, I made it home in time to put up most of the boards. I am glad I oiled and exercised the wing nuts about six months ago. Thanks to Robert for insisting about that.

Right now I’m feeling no pain and not lacking for friendly companionship. The harder it blows, the tighter she holds on.

I’ve had worse nights in my life. 🙂

Clive

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UK Foreign Office issues daylight crime alert advisory over Holetown Barbados

“A number of assaults on tourists have taken place in the Holetown area on the west coast of Barbados during October 2010.  Two particularly serious incidents happened during daylight hours.  You should exercise caution when walking alone off the busy main roads and on quiet beach access paths.”

UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office issues Travel Advisory for Barbados: October 27, 2010

Calling Barbados Police? Hello, police? Hello?

Two crimes do not make for this type of travel advisory unless the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office considers this to be the last straw.

Has the Boscobel Road Toll Gang moved into Holetown? We’ll check back at the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office for the latest news… because the Barbados news media doesn’t print the kind of stories that scare off the tourists.

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Australian boxer could join Barbados team over racial slur

“Blackie” slur touches off firestorm in Aussie amateur sport

When his senior coach called super heavyweight boxer Trent Rawlins a “blackie” last year, Rawlins decided he’d had enough and complained.

But the Australian Institute of Sport didn’t fire the coach, just gave him a fine, so Rawlins is considering offering his services to Barbados where one of his parents was born. Under the rules of the Olympics, Rawlins can represent the place of his birth, Australia, or either of the two countries where his parents were born: Barbados or South Africa. Continue reading

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One day’s work on Graeme Hall sluice gate proves 15 years of neglect by Barbados Government

UPDATED: January 20, 2012

We see The Nation carried the Barbados Government Information Service announcement that Worthing Beach was to be closed on January 19th “while the sluice gates at the beach are opened for routine maintenance.”

The last time this happened (on November 12, 2010 – see below) there was no real maintenance on the sluice gates – the government just moved the pile of sand blocking the channel. This is a big deal, my friends, because developer friends of the government want the wetlands killed so they can build on them. The long term abuse of leaving the sluice gate broken is designed to kill the last mangrove forest in Barbados so the friends of government can profit from developing the wetlands.

QUESTION: Was this “routine maintenance” of the Graeme Hall wetlands sluice gate merely removing the sand again… or did they repair the broken sluice gate so the mangrove swamp can be refreshed and “breathe” from the sea?

GRAEME HALL NATURE SANCTUARY: Let’s hear from you! What is the truth?

NOTE: See the comments for a reader reporting that the gate was NOT repaired on the 19th. The operation only involved moving sand – and the channel was damaged.

UPDATED: November 12, 2010

Government announcement was a Sham.

No repairs made to Graeme Hall sluice gate.

Last mangrove forest dying before our eyes.

The announced repairs to the sluice gate at the Graeme Hall wetlands never happened. Government workers arrived and did their usual digging out of the sand, then filled in the channel a day later after draining some water. The gates were not repaired or replaced.

The deliberate destruction of a precious natural heritage site continues. Government is obviously doing this out of vindictiveness in the ongoing legal dispute with Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary owner Peter Allard.

It just shows you that Government officials think the wetlands and green space are theirs to destroy and develop.

Those wetlands and green space belong to the people of Barbados. Peter Allard spent tens of millions of dollars cleaning up the wetlands and volunteered to look after them for us for a while. It was his generous gift to the people of Barbados, but the developer friends of government had other ideas. So Allard he shut down his Nature Sanctuary and Barbados lost big time: 100 jobs, green space, tourism and hope for the future – all gone.

Here’s our original story: Read it ‘an weep…

Repair on sluice gate a result of lawsuit or new-found environmental conscience?

Ian Bourne’s Bajan Reporter says that the Government of Barbados is finally displaying a conscience because the Drainage Division will be working on the forever-broken Graeme Hall sluice gate for 14 hours today, Friday October 29, 2010.

For over a decade two successive governments deliberately neglected the sluice gate in an attempt to destroy the Graeme Hall wetlands so they can be sold and developed for profit.

As a direct result of a sluice gate left broken for fifteen years…

– The last mangrove forest on the island is dying, perhaps irreversibly on its way out.

A premier tourist attraction, the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, closed with the loss of a hundred jobs.

– An international complaint was lodged against Barbados by nature sanctuary owner Peter Allard.

– International investors and philanthropists look upon Barbados with suspicion after Allard shut down his sanctuary and gave his millions elsewhere. Many observers believe that what happened to the Canadian philanthropist Peter Allard (and some other foreign investors) could happen to anyone. We’re not so sure they are wrong.

You think the world doesn’t know what happened in Barbados?

Now we’re told that a lousy 14 hours of work will solve the whole thing?

THAT IS DISGUSTING!

What an indictment of the BLP and DLP governments! Continue reading

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Shame on Rihanna! Barbados Ambassador for Culture and Youth – not coming to David Thompson’s funeral.

UPDATED: November 3, 2010, 11:47am from the funeral of PM David Thompson

Photo from TV feed at 11:47am: Rihanna watches as the funeral procession leaves Kensington Oval for St. Johns Parish where Prime Minister David Thompson will be buried.

Rihanna arrived in Barbados late Tuesday afternoon, and is currently at the funeral. What happened to change her mind from her publicist’s announcement that she was too busy to attend? Ian Bourne at The Bajan Reporter has some thoughts…

Barbadian Social Media influence Rihanna’s Mourning of Youngest Prime Minister of Barbados – Cultural Ambassador accepts responsibility and attends late PM Thompson’s funeral!

You can get the live link to the funeral where you can view the proceedings and see the audience here…

Funeral coverage of Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson & live TV link

Original article as published October 28, 2010…

“Our PM practically shut down our Island when she won that Grammy. Gave her a full concert, gave her a SUV, Land + a House at the super exclusive Apes Hill (Valued at Millions) plus made her a Cultural Ambassador and she seriously can’t take the day or two to fly home to show her respect for the man who did all that ??? I mean she’s flown home for two days to attend reggae concerts !!!

And then to have her “people” send that statement?! She couldn’t even make that personally??”

… found on the net by Ian Bourne as reported in comments below Kammie’s article.

Robyn Rihanna Fenty will be judged harshly by Bajans

by Kammie Holder

I am a Barbadian blogger and a social activist who takes my responsibility to readers seriously. Many of you may or may not know that the Prime Minister of Barbados David Thompson QC of Rihanna’s home country Barbados has died.

With his passing, I took the decision to curtail all blogging for a week as a mark of respect. However, upon reading the Barbados Nation Newspaper October 27th edition I have to break my silence.

I was brought to tears by an article titled “Rihanna Not Coming For Funeral”. It is quoted by her agent Amanda Silverman, “Rihanna would not be attending the state Funeral next Wednesday November 3rd because her schedule would not permit.”

As a Bajan (and I think I speak for the majority of Bajans) Ms Silverman please tell Miss Fenty that America has made her famous, but as a Cultural Ambassador with a diplomatic passport she also has a responsibility to her country. Continue reading

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State Funeral for Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson, Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Saying Goodbye to David in the rain

(The link to the CBC live coverage has been closed.)

Dark clouds and rain on one side of Kensington Oval, blue sky and sun on the other.

Continue reading

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Hero: Barbados-born police woman shoots it out with robber in Brooklyn, New York

Off-duty cop Feris Jones shoots robber, protects innocent victims.

Barbados-born New York City police officer Feris Jones was getting her hair done last Saturday at Sabine’s Hallway beauty salon in Brooklyn when a wild thug burst in with a .44 Magnum pistol and screamed at the four women in the shop to turn over money and jewellery.

“If the officer wasn’t there, things could have gone very differently”

“Thank God she was there, he was fully loaded. It all happened in a blur. We were on the ground, and the shop is not large at all. My ears are still ringing.”

…Beauty salon owner Sabine Bellevue

Officer Jones quickly reacted. She stood up from her chair, told the other women to get down, announced she was a police officer and ordered the thug to drop his weapon. Somewhere in there Jones took out her own pistol and when the thug opened fire she shot twice. “Jonesy”, as she likes to be called, actually shot the gun out of his hand like you’d see in the movies!!!

The injured robber, one Winston Cox, ran off and was later arrested hiding out at his mama’s place like the true coward he is.

Blood all over the place, screaming and deafening noise in the little shop and Feris Jones kept her cool and did her duty. Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced yesterday, Tuesday, that Officer Jones is now promoted to Detective. Continue reading

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Hartley Henry declares that he made David Thompson ‘King’

Former PM David Thompson & Hartley Henry

Well, that’s what Hartley Henry said…

With the death of Prime Minister David Thompson early last Saturday, Henry yesterday declared: “The kingmaker dies with the king”.

“My tenure ends with David Thompson, so I am not going to work with anyone else,” he said last night in an exclusive DAILY NATION interview.

Hartley Henry as quoted in The Nation article: Henry quits

Strange timing, strange wording of Henry’s announcement

Is anyone else as puzzled and astonished as we are about Hartley Henry’s comments and the timing of his resignation?

We know Henry played a role in the DLP and in advising David Thompson before the 2008 election and during his tenure as Prime Minister, but “kingmaker”? Henry’s comments seem impolitic at best during a week when people want to remember David Thompson and his accomplishments and life. It is strange to see Mr. Henry stand up now and take credit for David Thompson’s success.

Why talk now? Why resign now?

Why not wait until the Prime Minister is at least buried before focusing the public on yourself and your own career and agendas?

Oh well, it’s not like Hartley hasn’t been impolitic before.

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Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Politics

Adrian Loveridge: Chase higher revenue independent tourists, not cheapo all-inclusive mass tourism

Tourism MATTERS

by Adrian Loveridge

Two headlines quoted from the recently held Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s Leadership Strategy Conference leapt out and grabbed my attention. The first ‘You have to chase money not arrivals’, attributed to David Redekop of the Conference Board of Canada. The second from an unnamed ‘specialist’ who advised ‘the region should therefore focus shift marketing from the all-inclusive traveller to the higher revenue independent traveller’.

Both in my humble opinion make absolute sense from a Barbadian tourism perspective.

Just over ten years ago, I sat on a Ministry of Tourism convened committee made up of private and public sector persons looking at ways that the small hotel sector on Barbados could be improved. Continue reading

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Outlish Magazine: Karel McIntosh has a new gig!

Back in April our old friend Karel McIntosh started Outlish Magazine – a weekly online magazine aimed at young Trinis in their 20’s and 30’s. Well, we Bajans like it too so we thought we give it a plug at Barbados Free Press.

Outlish was named a Finalist for Magazine Launch of the Year in the 2010 Digital Magazine Awards – “a global awards to showcase the best digital magazines and recognise the most influential people in digital publishing today”, as well as “celebrate the publishing revolution of digital magazines”.

Besides being the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Outlish Magazine, Karel is also a Marketing Communications and Training Consultant who likes to do things with a twist. A real online junkie, when she isn’t surfing the Internet, she’s thinking about surfing the Internet.

Yup… that’s our Karel!

Outlish magazine has a good stable of writers and high standards of production and presentation. We encourage our readers to drop by and sample a few articles. There’s something for everyone.

See you there!

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Two ways of reporting Standard & Poors’ Barbados downgrade

Happy Face reporting continues to undermine credibility of Barbados news media

Nation News says Barbados S&P rating “Going down”

Wall Street Journal says “brink of junk”

Reading about the same subject in the Wall Street Journal and The Nation makes for an interesting comparison.

There’s always an agenda in the news, but can you always see it? Continue reading

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

Mia Mottley’s father Justice Elliot Mottley quits Belize Court of Appeal under controversy

Will Justice Elliot Mottley return to haunt backroom Barbados politics?

Belize news media and blogs are reporting that President of the Belize Court of Appeal, Justice Elliot Mottley, tendered his resignation in a constitutional showdown with Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

“It was in August of this year that the former Chief Justice Conteh brought to my attention the amendment to the Constitution. It was then that I discovered that the terms and condition of my appointment as President of the Court of Appeal of Belize had been unilaterally altered. And this was done without my knowledge and consent. Once I became aware of this, I determined that I would resign my position as President of this court. I will say no more on that.”

Justice Elliott Mottley quoted in The Reporter article Appeal Court President admits resignation is because of Constitutional amendment

(Tip of the hat to an old friend for that link)

We at Barbados Free Press can’t pretend to understand the background to the political and legal controversy over this move in Belize, but judging by the internet traffic and citizens’ comments, it’s important to the people of Belize. There is speculation that Prime Minister Barrow is consolidating power and that he will appoint a family member or friend and political supporter to succeed Justice Mottley. Whether true or not, even the talk about this is disturbing and…

That’s serious business when it comes to democracy.

We in Barbados know the problem when the judiciary is politicized and we urge our friends in Belize to fight the politicization of the courts in any way they can.

Let’s make one thing clear: based upon what we are reading on the internet, we don’t believe that Mia’s daddy is the bad guy here. Maybe he’s a victim. Maybe he’s a principled person who won’t stand to see his judicial office corrupted or overridden by politicians.

We don’t know and we’re not knowledgeable to comment one way or the other on this specific situation in Belize… but we do know one thing from Barbados’ recent political history…

Judicial office be damned: Justice Elliot Mottley is not afraid to insert himself into Bajan politics. Continue reading

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Musical tribute to Prime Minister David Thompson

“The whole nation praying for you.”

Tribute to Rt. Hon. Prime Minister David Thompson of Barbados

Song written by: Shawn Barrow
Musical Arrangement: Anderson Ward, 
Vocals: Shawnie + Mr Impact
Recorded at Uprising Studio

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Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson dead of cancer at 48

Father, Husband, Son, Prime Minister: David Thompson passes at home, surrounded by family

“Know for sure that this experience has brought me much closer to God, whose compassionate love and grace I commend to you based particularly on my personal experience these past six months.

I invite you to continue to uphold my family and me in prayer at home and at church; in communities and in neighbourhoods wherever you meet. May God comfort everyone who may have lost relatives in recent times; may He bless all who are faced with personal and health challenges; indeed, may He bless each and every family of St John; each and every child.”

… from the Prime Minister’s last letter to his St. John constituents (full text below)

David John Howard Thompson went to be with the Lord on Saturday, October 23, 2010 at about 2:10am. He fought hard, with courage and with the dignity that was always part of his character in public and in private – but in the end the best medicine and doctors could not defeat the pancreatic cancer that claimed him.

Still, it is a mercy that he had time to prepare himself, his loved ones, his friends and his beloved Barbados for his passing.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Mara, and his three daughters Misha, Oya  and Osa and David’s mum, Margaret Knight.

Here is David Thompson’s final letter to the people of St. John, as released ten days ago… Continue reading

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When Owen Arthur praised Leroy Parris and CLICO

“Listening to Mia Mottley and Owen Arthur, one would think that the CLICO affair is entirely a DLP problem. The BLP want the populace to forget about the 14 years they were responsible for letting Parris and CLICO run wild and roughshod over the interests of Barbados…”

by Nevermind Kurt

The close family and business relationship between our current Prime Minister David Thompson and former CLICO mis-director Leroy Parris is well known and the subject of numerous BFP articles and cartoons.

Leroy Parris is Godfather to one of Thompson’s daughters and Thompson is Godfather to Leroy’s son. Leroy Parris is a longtime financial and political supporter of David Thompson and the DLP. David Thompson also did lawyering for Parris and CLICO for years and years.

It was and still is a cosy relationship where Parris looked after Thompson during the Opposition years, supplying money to grease the DLP political wheels and lucrative jobs to Thompson’s law firm. He provided Thompson with connections, other clients and perks like the use of the CL Financial corporate jet and I’m not only talking about the trips that are publicly known and covered in BFP’s articles.

In return when elected Prime Minister, Thompson provided millions in bailout bucks when CLICO collapsed and made sure there was no independent judicial oversight once the trouble became known. When things went all to hell for Parris, Thompson gave him a cushy job as head of the CBC – Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation. Once in charge of the CBC, Parris worked with Thompson’s former campaign communications director (now a CBC employee), Reudon Eversley, to make the news organization effectively an arm of the DLP government.

As an example of what they can accomplish when they put their minds to it, the CBC covered the Sam Lord’s Castle fire on the night it burned, but haven’t mentioned it since! Neither have they performed anything but perfunctory reporting on the CLICO – CL Financial collapse. One doesn’t have to be clairvoyant to see the DLP and Leroy Parris agenda in CBC’s reporting. Thanks to Parris and Thompson, the organisation’s credibility is at an all-time low.

Naturally, the BLP are upset that Parris was put in charge of the CBC and BLP spokespersons rightfully remind the voters of this fact whenever they can. But the BLP conveniently forget that they were great friends with Parris too. Listening to Mia Mottley and Owen Arthur, one would think that the CLICO affair is entirely a DLP problem.

The BLP want the populace to forget about the 14 years they were responsible for the non-oversight of CLICO – when the BLP let Parris and CLICO run wild and roughshod over the interests of Barbados. Continue reading

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CheapFlights.co.uk reports searches for Barbados vacations down 23% !

Increases to UK’s Air Passenger Duty to blame

No other single statistic we’ve seen comes close to illustrating what devastation has been wrought by the UK Government against Barbados. This new report from CheapFlights says it all.

We are especially troubled that Barbados appears to be twice as hard hit as other Caribbean destinations. Why is that? Could it be that our upscale reputation is costing us ordinary tourists in an economic slowdown… or could there be something else happening too? Are people less satisfied with a Barbados vacation than some other Caribbean destinations?

THAT is something to think about. Perhaps our resident tourism expert Adrian Loveridge could sound off on that question?

Our thanks to CheapFlights for their comprehensive press release, and for standing up for us ordinary folks in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean who depend upon tourism to feed our families. Here is their press release in full…

CheapFlights UK notes 11+% reduction in Caribbean Search Traffic, post 2009 increase in UK Air Passenger Duty.

Popular destinations hit hardest – Searches fall up to 23% Continue reading

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Please visit our friends at… Little Good Harbour villas

Click the banner to visit Little Good Harbour: a charming cluster of cottages, nestled around a central swimming pool and lush tropical gardens, that epitomises the best of Caribbean architecture and hospitality.

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The theft of two Barbados National Parks by friends of government.

Barbados National Trust President Dr. Karl Watson seeks government promise to comfort him.

Publicly surrenders to lying politicians and their developer friends.

Dr. Karl Watson, the President of the Barbados National Trust, was in the paper recently saying he “eagerly awaited the day when the formal Cabinet decision to legally establish the National Park of Barbados would become reality.”

He urged the government to withstand pressure from “real estate barons” and to save the Scotland District from the urban sprawl creeping across Barbados. He wanted a “guarantee” from politicians that we will have some green space left.

But then in the next breath, Dr. Watson predicted that stopping the urbanisation of the island is a lost cause. I had to read his quotes three times to convince myself that he said it, but it’s there. Unless we hear that he was somehow grossly misquoted, the Doctor surrendered.

What Dr. Watson must realize and didn’t want to say, is that the “real estate barons” and those in government who control the land use are as one.

This island’s two promised National Parks and other green space may be doomed, but it is not because those in government cannot “withstand the pressure” from the real estate barons. Our green space is doomed because our political elites ARE the “real estate barons” who directly and indirectly profit from land speculation and development. Continue reading

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Environment, Offshore Investments, Politics, Wildlife