Monthly Archives: July 2011

Some Queries about the ongoing CLICO Debacle

Who are the CLICO receivers… really?

submitted by BFP reader “H”

Who are the CLICO receivers anyway … and who, working for what company, were appointed foot soldiers? And by whom? And who is paying the cost of the receivership proceedings? CLICO customers and investors, directors or the taxpayer? Surely not the latter.

What about the many CLICO subsidiaries like BAICO and Angostura? Are they liquid and still in operation or have they been shut down? And those overseas? Has a comprehensive list been published yet in the T&T press?

Should Lawrence Duprey be arrested and charged in Trinidad for Ponzi Scheming or embezzlement, like Allen Stanford was for the very same reasons in the US? Or are Trinidadians scared of touching corrupt billionaires like certain as yet uncharged and unconvicted ex-government ministers, past and current state enterprise directors, Calder Hart, Lawrence Duprey and his affiliated cronies …

I think that the entire CLICO debacle is deliberately being made complex and confusing to enable old criminals to manipulate or destroy incriminating evidence and get off scot-free and to lure newly emerging robbers to deliberately get a piece of the unsavory action in the prevailing mayhem …

7 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Trinidad and Tobago

When Barbadians emigrated to Guyana…

Some Bajans choose to forget our shared roots and history…

The period between 1863 and 1886 was the most intense period of Barbadian emigration to Guyana, but even as late as the 1920s and 1930s there were still Barbadians leaving for Guyana.  The majority of Barbadians who migrated to Guyana were cane-cutters.  The then British Guiana was a safety valve for a densely populated island such as Barbados that had limited job prospects for the mass of working class people, and little available and affordable land for the development of an independent peasantry.  The genealogies of Guyanese and Barbadians are so intertwined that it is not uncommon to learn of Guyanese who have grandparents from Barbados, and vice versa.  There are deep families ties in which, in one family, half of the children could be born in Guyana and the other half in Barbados.  My own extended family embodied this split national profile.  The familial ties are enduring, but the vicissitudes of development have been more favorable to Barbados, while the fortunes of Guyana have rendered the country less attractive by comparison in the contemporary period…

From the excellent Sunday Stabroek story Mudheads in Barbados: A Lived Experience

14 Comments

Filed under Barbados, History, Immigration

Miracle in Guyana: Caribbean Airlines crash could have been so bad

No fatalities, few injuries as 737-800 overshoots in rain.

Egos and macho fools in the cockpit.

by BFP’s Robert

Thank God there was no fire because according to the reports nothing else went right just after midnight when a Caribbean Airlines 737-800 slid off the end of the runway in the rain and broke up while landing in Guyana.

Cheddi Jagan International Airport is not a bad airport as the region goes. With over 7,000 feet of runway in pretty fair condition, the CAL Boeing 737 should have been able to land safely no matter the weather. The runway has an excellent friction coefficient (the surface is rough and grips the tyres), great drainage during rain and the approach is easy compared with many major airports (Try Newark for a thrill!). The newish 737 was light at the end of a flight from New York and should have been able to come in slow and easy, but…

but… all it takes is a combination of factors all coming together. I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that the weather was a little rough so the pilot added ten or fifteen knots because it felt good on approach. Then maybe he was a little high – it happens in the rain because rain changes the optics especially at night – then the wind backed and all of a sudden he’s floating down the runway and the sucker isn’t touching down. Go around or no? Yes? No? Might be okay?

Cockpit Culture is a Killer

Co-pilot starts sitting up, sweat starts, but he doesn’t want to say “Recommend abort” because some senior Captains get real touchy about some wet-behind-the-ears punk telling them they are a little high, long and fast. So the co-pilot said nothing until it didn’t matter anyway. The cockpit culture prevented him from saying something to save the day when they were floating down the runway eating up what little safety margin they had with only 7,000 feet.

I’ll guess again and say that they probably had auto-deployment set on the spoilers. This is a little killer that is supposed to make for smoother touch-downs and no-bounce landings. The moment the wheels take a little weight, out pop the spoilers to kill the lift on the wing and start to slow the aircraft. The problem is that auto-deployment removes control from the pilots and commits the aircraft to a ground roll and landing when someone in the cockpit might have changed their mind. Five seconds is a lifetime to retract the spoilers and get some lift going again.

So the Boeing floated for a bit – a little fast and a little high and then it touched down way too late.

And all of a sudden the aircraft is down and both pilots know it’s going to be close. Now that tyre on the starboard side that everybody decided was okay for a couple of more landings isn’t performing so well in the rain. The grooves are gone and with little tread it’s hydroplaning even when its mate is okay. Full reverse thrust – brakes doing their best and spoilers deployed to put the weight on the wheels – but reverse thrust is only a small part of what stops an aircraft. Any pilot will tell you it’s really all about the brakes and tires and pavement condition. Reverse thrust doesn’t count when the pucker factor is operating.

And momentum. It’s all about inertia and momentum and they lost. Truth be known, it was probably a done deal before the wheels kissed the wet pavement and both jocks were thinking “It’s probably going to be okay.” They didn’t want to be embarrassed by going around again, so they gambled and they lost. Fools. How embarrassed are they now? Macho fools.

Did they try and go around too late or not at all? I don’t know – but Thank God there was no fire because the smoke eaters didn’t arrive until ten minutes after the aircraft ran off the end of the runway and broke up.

Some of the passengers paid to take taxis back to the terminal after the crash. CAN YOU F**KING IMAGINE THAT?

Our friend “Tom” sent us a little message and he makes a major point about 250 hour co-pilots sitting in the right seat. Do you really think a 250 hour wonder will inform a 15,000 hour Captain that he’s a little high and fast? Shut your mouth! Not going to happen.

by BFP’s Robert

REDjet looking good!

by BFP reader “Tom”

Looks like some people might start flying REDjet after the big bully next door ‘scraped his knee’ … thankfully all are well on CAL708.

All of you who have any skepticisms i’m a Captain for a small airline in the Caribbean and have been working as an expat for 6 years. Put your misconceptions and pre-notions aside no matter how good the machinery and how great a reputation, we are all human.

I’m more than sure REDjet is fully capable of servicing their destinations with ontime performance and giving their customers a great service. Regardless even those with numerous aircraft will try and stretch schedules thinner and thinner to accommodate more destinations… money doesn’t grow on trees and fuel is costly, and a plane sitting on the ground isn’t making any money. Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation

Barbados Police again fail to answer “gun robbery in progress” call: Email from reader

“Incidents of Barbados Police being a bit shy or late to respond to gun calls are also becoming more common.”

Another case of unanswered 211 Police Emergency call!

Police didn’t show up until the next morning for “Robbery with Gun” call

Several folks sent us this story that is circulating on the internet via email and Facebook. WE CAUTION readers to take this story with a grain of salt until we receive some independent confirmation, but stories of Emergency 211 calls not being answered are becoming a weekly event. Incidents of Barbados Police being a bit shy or late to respond to gun calls are also becoming more common. Commissioner Dottin remains silent about this life-critical failing. We’ve written about that here and here but that’s only a small sample of what people are hearing and talking about.

Commissioner Dottin: Why isn’t the 211 Police Emergency number being answered?

Here is the current email with the names, email addresses and other details of the victim removed. The full version circulating has many personal details that we’re not about to publish here…

Last night around 12:30am former Fort George resident “H” was robbed at gunpoint outside his current residence at Rendezvous Ridge where he resides with his mum and grandmother. I spoke with “J” this morning and she advised that “H” parked on the curb outside the house (being the last in and the yard was full) and immediately as he opened the car door a gun was placed on his cheek and he was ordered out of the car. He was ordered to hand over his wallet, cell phone and jewelry and then the two assailants got into a green sedan parked nearby and drove away. A combination of youth and _ _ _ _ _ then ensured that he started his own car and gave chase and followed the car into Sergeants Village where the car was parked. At that point “H” drove to the nearest pay phone and dialed 211 and got no answer so he was forced to leave and head home to use the home phone and call other police numbers. The police arrived this morning to investigate and were taken to where the green car was last seen (of course it was gone) and take statements etc. “H” confirmed that the man who did the talking did NOT have a foreign accent.

This incident follows another one at the same residence last Saturday night where a man was spotted on the pool deck of the said residence and was chased by “H” and his sister’s boyfriend up the road. During the chase they failed to flag down a passing police car and again on that occasion 211 also failed to provide an answer.

Here’s another story of unanswered 211 Emergency Calls from The Barbados Advocate. You should read it at the Advocate’s website, but as usual we have to reprint the whole story here because that newspaper regularly changes or deletes stories for political and other agendas… Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

I have a problem with fellow CLICO policyholders

Time to join Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA)

by J. Payne

I have a severe problem with fellow CLICO policyholders in Barbados. What are you waiting for? Are you aware that the Judicial Manager has not filed a defence against Parris’s claim for $10 million from CLICO? Are you aware that, in the absence of that defence, Parris has already applied for a judgement from the Court? What is the matter with you? Do you feel that by staying silent and doing nothing that all will sort itself out in end? Without direct action by CLICO policyholders, nothing will be done. Worried about victimisation? This is YOUR money! So haven’t you been victimised already?

I urge all policyholders and those who know policyholders to join those of us already members of the Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA). We can and will take action to recover what is rightly ours, and nobody – not Parris, not the Judicial Manager, nor government will be allowed to conspire to keep us from a just end to this fiasco.

9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments

Without fear of punishment CL Financial – CLICO Executives had no limits

“If you let people get the idea that they can never be punished, there is virtually no limit to the rules they will break.  Asset-stripping, Bribery and Corruption can become the new norms of a governing class and that is what has happened in our country.”

This is an edited version of Afra Raymond’s address to the 4th Biennial Business Banking and Finance Conference (BBF4) held at the Trinidad Hilton from 22nd to 24th June, 2011.

The session he participated in was devoted to ‘Lessons from the Financial Crisis: The Resolution of Failed Entities’.

by Afra Raymond

Thanks for the invitation to speak at this forum, it was last-minute, but welcome, since our local Institutions of Higher Learning have not spent the necessary time to explain and analyse this financial fiasco.  I have been very critical of the Institute of Business, the Institute of Social and Economic Research, the Faculties of Economics and Management and the Caribbean Centre for Money & Finance, so it is great to see you making a start on this overdue work.  It is my pleasure to participate in these proceedings.

I want to start by shifting focus to the arena of the mind and the existence of elements such as moral and ethical values, as well as social standards.  In 1971 there was a famous series of psychological experiments in which selected students entered a two-week role-play as prison-guards in control of other people who were playing the role of prisoners.

That experiment was conducted at Stanford University in California and the results were that most of the prison guards adopted cruel behaviour with most of them being upset when the experiment was stopped after only six days.  The entire experiment was filmed and the prisoners suffered from regular acts of wickedness, abuse and sheer perversity – one-third of the guards acted sadistically.

The Stanford Prison Experiment as it is now known, was heavily criticised as being unethical and unprofessional.  Of course the other aspect is that it re-opened the perennial discussion into the nature of things.  The nature of our nature, as it were – ‘Are we humans naturally evil and cruel?’  The learning seems to be that well-adjusted and reasonable people can very quickly lose their moral compass in a situation with a lack of the conventional controls such as disapproval and laws.

The New Norms of the Governing Class…

No surprise to those familiar with history and politics, but the lesson for us in T&T is that…

If you let people get the idea that they can never be punished, there is virtually no limit to the rules they will break.  Asset-stripping, Bribery and Corruption can become the new norms of a governing class and that is what has happened in our country.

We have never had a strong tradition of detecting and punishing White-Collar Criminals, so if we are to make a start in terms of the resolution of failed entities, that has to be the starting-point.  We cannot reconstruct or resolve the failed entities if we do not change that aspect of our culture – the absence of consequence has to be abolished. Continue reading

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

Why does Barbados have a “low risk of liability” for doctors?

click photo for large

What does “low risk of liability” for doctors mean for medical patients?

Dear Barbados Free Press,

I saw in the news the other day that the Barbados government is partnering with an American company to build new medical tourism facilities on the site of the St. Joseph Hospital. The news story and the press release sound like this could be an opportunity for Barbados but only if enough investors and medical professionals come on board.

The American World Clinics website is straightforward saying that Barbados is the company’s first project, and lists many reasons why Barbados would be a good place for medical professionals and to build a medical tourism industry. One of the listed reasons puzzles me though…

The American World Clinics press release and the website say that Barbados is a good place for medical professionals because “Barbados is friendly for medical practice and features low risk of liability…”

What does this “low risk of liability” mean, exactly?

We know it takes ten and fifteen years for civil lawsuits to be heard in our court system. What about medical malpractice lawsuits? Would a medical malpractice lawsuit take ten or fifteen years to resolve in the Barbados courts? If the Barbados government is a partner with American World Clinics, can a patient rely upon the Barbados government and the courts in a dispute?

The question that really needs answering is “If Barbados features ‘low risk of liability’ for physicians, does that mean it features a higher risk for international medical tourism patients?”

Also I would like to know about the medical certification procedures in Barbados and what body will oversee the clinics to ensure that compliance with medical standards is acceptable? What are the medical standards in Barbados?

Yours truly,

(name withheld by BFP) Continue reading

13 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues, Health

How one policy change will cause a worldwide explosion of Caribbean culture and commerce

The Proposal: All Cable Networks must Carry all Caribbean Television Stations as part of its Basic Package.

by Baba Elombe

“The ultimate goal of this proposal is to prepare us for entry into the lucrative world markets with our distinctive culture.”

In recent months there has been a growing spate of negativism across the region emanating in a large part from our lack of knowledge about the others that we share this Caribbean space with. Most of the time hear-say dominates public opinion and the rapidity with which it takes place makes it impossible to have reasonable conversations.

We are therefore asking heads of Governments to commit to the involvement of Caribbean people in the conversation by making it mandatory for all cable networks to carry all CARICOM television stations as part of the basic package that is offered to Caribbean households.

It will cost governments nothing to implement this policy.

It is purely an administrative decision for the Broadcast Commissions to implement this policy as a priority. If stations do not wish to participate it is up to them but the networks must make room for them as a matter of our policy of regional development. Stations in each territory must have the same rights as citizens to travel where ever they desire within the region. Journalists are free to work in any of the CARICOM member states, yet their abilities and strengths are hidden and is only available to the local market.

More importantly, our intellectual and mental space is dominated by USA, Canadian, British, German, French, Chinese, Indian, Latin American, and Mid- Eastern perspectives. For example, when a number of university educated and professional young people visited Jamaica and was taken around various neighborhoods in Kingston, they expressed surprise at the quality of the housing they saw. When asked why they were surprised, they pointed out that their knowledge of Jamaica was based on music videos. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Caribbean Media, CARICOM, Culture & Race Issues, Freedom Of The Press

Frankenstein: British scientists create 150 human/animal embryos

You just know that Josef Mengele must be proud as hell that British scientists have adopted his values…

“UK SCIENTISTS have created more than 150 human-animal hybrid embryos in British laboratories.

The hybrids have been produced in secret over the past three years by researchers looking into possible cures for a wide range of diseases.

The revelation comes a day after a committee of scientists warned of a nightmare Planet of the Apes scenario in which work on human-animal creations goes too far…”

… from the Herald Sun article: Labs grow human-animal hybrids

Barbados must remember…

When Owen Arthur announced that our country would be the “stem cell center of the world”, it ended very badly with the cells of murdered Ukrainian babies being shipped here for research and cosmetic use.

Science and medicine without controls, ethics or morality always degenerates into evil.

Further Reading from BFP’s past articles…

The Thriving Fetal Body Parts Industry In Barbados

“The Government of Barbados has some serious explaining to do about how it climbed into bed with an organization that is now accused of murdering newborn infants for their body organs.”

from the BFP article The Nation Newspaper Tackles Barbados Clinic – Baby Murder Story

Not pretty, but a compelling read for any who have doubts about whether Barbados should be allowing medical companies to do what they wish in our country – simply because they bring in foreign exchange funds…

BFP: BREAKING – BBC Has Video: Healthy Ukrainian Newborns Murdered For Body Parts – Destination Barbados Clinic

BFP: The Nation Newspaper Tackles Barbados Clinic – Baby Murder Story

BFP: How Much Money Did Barbados Labour Party Receive From Stem Cell Clinic?

BFP: Barbados Clinic Baby Murder Scandal

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Filed under Ethics, Health

Inter-American Development Bank funding destruction of East Coast.

Get your photos while you can, folks!

by Mullins Bay Blog with BFP’s Cliverton

Visitors to our West Coast are often surprised to find that many coastal vistas have no relation at all to what they have seen in the travel brochures. The vast expanses of fine beach sand shown in the 20 year old travel brochure photos are largely gone. All that remains is a narrow band – in some cases not even that. Except, of course, where privileged and politically connected land-holders have installed groynes to capture the beach sand for their own use. All at the expense of their neighbours, but why worry about such small details when you have the support and approval of a government that you made political contributions to?

In late February the director of the CZMU made cryptic remarks on CBC TV about using a portion of the $60M they just borrowed from the IDB (to tackle beach erosion on the island) to support projects in the Scotland District. Now we are learning where those projects really are.

It is obvious that in order to create swimming areas for these East Coast condo projects they are going to have to re-engineer the beaches at Cove Bay, Boscobelle, and the other areas in the Scotland District from where the “many requests“ are coming.

That means they will be exporting the rock revetments, groynes and offshore breakwaters that have destroyed the beaches on the west coast to the east coast.

The fix is already in, folks, get your pictures of the picturesque east coast now.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment

Jane Shattuck Hoyos produces fabulous Peach & Quiet video


Our friend Jane Shattuck runs Planet Barbados Blog and can be seen at all the usual places including Facebook and YouTube. She’s just done up a promotional video for Peach & Quiet Hotel and it is stunning in its presentation and message. Have a look for yourself above.

Both Jane and Peach & Quiet co-owner Adrian Loveridge are masters of leveraging the internet to get out their message and keep their tourist venues at near capacity.

If you own a tourism business you’d do well to watch their efforts carefully. Both Jane and Adrian work hard at promoting Barbados and their businesses on and off the net and it pays off with occupancy rates at the top of the scale. In the case of Peach & Quiet Hotel, over 80% of visitors are repeat customers!

But there is something else happening besides promotion. Could it be that Peach and Quiet Hotel does so well because owners Adrian and Margaret religiously maintain and refresh their product offerings? The video mentions that P&Q gets a facelift every year to the tune of 500 gallons of paint. What the video doesn’t mention is that we’ve seen Adrian himself covered in paint himself on a July afternoon.

There is a lesson there somewhere.

The other lesson concerns how many business owners are waiting for the Barbados Tourism Authority to promote their businesses with tax dollars and how many just forge ahead themselves being careful to get the best bang for the buck. Which ones do you think are most successful?

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Barbados Government Minister finally admits Land Approvals process is corrupt!

“Nice little field you have here. Too bad you’ll never receive development permission. Maybe we can help…”

Prevention of Corruption Bill, 2010: Will it pass before the election?

We all know how it works on this little rock. It is not the land that is valuable – it is the approval for developing the land that turns scrub into gold. The little farmer or widow owning land and paying taxes for decades will never get approval for development, so a couple of heavies visit the nothing little citizen and explain the rules ’bout hey.

“You’ll never get approval, but if you sell to us for a fraction of what the land would be worth with approvals, we’ll give you a little extra and you’ll have retirement money. You can continue to live in your little home for a dollar a year until the Lord calls you.”

So the land owner sells under duress and a few weeks later a major developer is given approvals for that same piece of land. Approvals denied for twenty years until some of the elites decided they could profit from it. “Hey… thanks for paying taxes and holding our land for us for twenty years… sucker!”

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate

Where is Barbados going?

We can once again be a crossroads for the world

by Baba Elombe Mottley

I have been following with fascination a debate on the internet about what direction Barbados’ budget should take.  I am taken by the wide range of people who are involved in the debate passively as adjunct recipients and actively (like myself) as commentators. What comes across are the various traditional alternatives on how government should divide up a shrinking pie in what appears to be crisis oriented with no consensus as to where we are going.  I am not an economist but I would like to raise one or two points which I think should be considered, valued and included in a budget to start the process of change.

WiFi-ing Bridgetown is one, but here is the problem – the level of awareness of politicians and civil servants and their unwillingness to seek advice on suggestions etc. The developer of the London Eye visited Barbados about ten years ago and when he found out that Barbados did not have Wi-Fi, he offered to construct the system.  The Barbados government – the politicians and their civil servants – refused.

Reassessing who, where and what we are… and can be

About a hundred years ago, Barbados was at the crossroads between Europe and South America and as a result it was able to develop its nascent tourism with stop-over visitors from both of those continents.  The Panama Canal construction relieved us of a large portion of our population and in turn pumped considerable funds into the economy to raise the standard of living of thousands of Bajans. The sugar industry was still able to generate most of our foreign exchange.

In the mid-fifties, migration again played a major role, the sugar industry persisted and English and American big-wigs discovered our West Coast and established the up-market tourism that still presently exist.

The building of the deep water harbor and the expansion of Seawell Airport led to the flirtation with “industrial development” in the form of screw-driver industries where we built massive factory spaces to employ Bajans that totally disemboweled our skilled trades – tailoring, dress-making, joinery, etc.  I am aware that there were areas where technological changes made other skills obsolete.

Make the egret our National bird Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados

Brooklyn Judge wants to be a Barbados judge right now!

“They (Barbados Judges) live a pretty supreme life.”

A group of fifteen Barbadian students touring a Brooklyn, New York court to learn about the differences between the American and Bajan justice systems came away with a bit of culture shock.

You see, in the United States while there are daily failures to reach the lofty goals expressed in the American Declaration of Independence and Constitution – it is recognized in law and societal attitudes that every person, no matter high born or low born, has equal rights and status before the law. There are “ruling classes” in the USA, but to be judged by “a jury of one’s peers” is to be judged by other citizens no matter their income, class or education.

As we know, that’s not so in Barbados.

Former Chief Justice (and Acting PM) SIR David Simmons

In Barbados, to find oneself standing before a court is to be judged not by your peers, but to be judged by a select member of the pampered elites. In the case of the last Chief Justice, that also meant to be judged by a former Acting Prime Minister and political backroom plotter.

That’s hardly justice being seen to be done, especially if you were a DLP member!

Class consciousness and status is ingrained into our Bajan psyches from the day we’re born. That was true hundreds of years ago under the British Empire and it’s true now. We’ve retained all the colonial attitudes and trappings except instead of having race-based elitism, we substitute class-based elitism.

In the United States, Judges are seen to be trusted servants of the people, who are still required to obey the laws themselves. Yes, they have status, but everyone knows they still put on their pants one leg at a time.

Contrast the US attitudes with the pomp and primping in our Bajan courts – where justice for the ordinary person is secondary to the primary goal of intimidating the lower classes and keeping them in their places. Ten and fifteen year trials are nothing in Barbados because it’s all about the court system’s pleasure and convenience and nothing to do with the poor sod who’s waiting for justice.

How does the Brooklyn USA judge view the lot of Barbados judges? Her reaction says everything…

But is was (US Judge) Dowling who was the shocked one, when the students told her how the judges in Barbados are treated.

They are addressed as “Milord” and “Milady,” they don’t pay taxes, they have personal chauffeurs and body guards, get lifelong salaries for pensions, and are even allowed to bypass traffic jams. “I’m going to Barbados! … Today!,” Dowling joked.

“They live a pretty supreme life,” a student summarized.

… from the Brooklyn Eagle story: From Barbados to Brooklyn – The Caribbean’s Future Lawyers Visit America for a Dose of ‘Mom, God and Apple Pie’

7 Comments

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

The sad tale of a lost friend of Barbados

UPDATED: September 23, 2011

Watch Live webcast of Allard Hall Opening Ceremony Today

(Friday, Sept 23/11: 10am British Columbia time, 1pm Barbados time)

>>> Watch the live web broadcast here <<<

Chief Justice of Canada, other dignitaries to open UBC’s Allard Hall

Peter Allard to speak live on webcast

We see that the British Columbia University law school has moved into their new building, Allard Hall. The official opening is Friday, September 23, 2011 10am British Columbia, 1pm Barbados time.

“The building was named Allard Hall in honour of UBC graduate Peter Allard, a Vancouver businessman, former lawyer, and principal at Peterco Holdings Ltd., who in July contributed $11.86 million to the faculty — one of the largest donations to a law school in Canadian history. Of the donation, $9.83 million will go towards the new building.”  … from Canadian Lawyer Mag

UBC website: About Allard Hall

“Our profession has more impact on our society than any other. When we do our job well, we see that the Rule of Law is upheld and we protect our clients, our neighbors and fellow citizens against the vagaries of unchecked abuses of power and corruption.”

… taken from Peter Allard’s remarks to be delivered live today via webcast. (PDF of Allard’s speech here.)

Our original story below tells the of Canadian Philanthropist Peter Allard and his history with Barbados.

If anyone out there has any updates on the situation with the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and the Graeme Hall Wetlands, we’d love to hear about it.

A sad, sad tale for ordinary Barbadians as our government ‘leaders’ sell off and develop the last major green space between the airport and the city. Why don’t we just pave over the whole damn island and be done with it?

Original story below…

Philanthropist Peter Allard donates CDN$12 million to Canadian university

Why not to Barbados?

We haven’t heard much lately about Canadian businessman and philanthropist Peter Allard. The owner of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary was last in the news in Barbados when he penned an open letter to Bajans explaining why he had to close one of the island’s premier tourist attractions and why he is suing the Barbados government for dumping raw sewerage into the Graeme Hall wetlands and other violations of various treaties and agreements.

As Allard said in a May 6, 2010 press release:

“The investment in the Sanctuary was supposed to be part of a sustainable environmental initiative, dependent on government leadership. As the largest private environmental stakeholder in Barbados, we continue to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to maintain the Sanctuary, but we all have to face the fact that it’s Government who is killing the wetland.   The study shows that our environmental commitment and investment cannot withstand this assault.”

… Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary owner Peter Allard in a May 6, 2010 press release.

We at BFP don’t understand why there has been such hostility by some in government towards Peter Allard – or maybe we do understand. Let us explain… Continue reading

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

Let’s eat those Giant African land snails!

“It’s only a matter of marketing”

They are everywhere and they eat everything. They are ugly, slimy and breed prodigiously. Could anybody – even its own mother – view the Giant African Land Snail as beautiful? How about “tasty”?

As a New York Times article on invasive species points out, it’s only a matter of marketing: Answer for Invasive Species: Put It on a Plate and Eat It.

And as a major researcher stated, ‘those countries where the snail has become part of the food chain suffer the least’.

Did we tell Bajans that we had a new species which had already successfully invaded 100+ countries but that this ‘escargot’ provided an excellent high protein food source as well?

No. We said “Don’t even touch them let alone think of eating them. They carry ‘rat lung disease’ which is akin to encephalitis” but we didn’t say that the rat lung ailment is akin to a mild flu and that there were no recorded deaths. We didn’t say that Giant African Land Snails are already being eaten and are rather tasty at that.

We’ll have to give the snails a go one of these weekends and BFP’s Robert says he’ll do the honours of finding and preparation. Robert has eaten all kind of strange things around the world but he hasn’t yet tried Giant African Land Snails.  He raves about fried chinicuiles (agave worms) with Mexican hot sauce so he shouldn’t have too much trouble with a giant plate of escargot heavy on the garlic and butter.

New challenges sometimes require old ways of thinking. If you have too much of anything: find a way to use it, package it attractively and sell it. The snail bait program is obviously a failure, so it’s time to try something else.

Thanks to Lee Bortolotti

14 Comments

Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Environment

Barbados welcomes “bullied” UK Hospital Director Gulzar Mufti

Will Doctor Mufti’s insistence on performance monitoring cause difficulties in Barbados?

When the Director of Medway Maritime Hospital resigned, it was because medical staff came after him “like seven or eighteen hyenas getting together to kill a lion.” So says our newest medical professional on the island: Doctor Gulzar Mufti.

According to a UK newspaper account, the bullying was in response to Doctor Mufti’s introduction of staff performance monitoring.

Monitoring staff performance? Wuhloss!

If Doctor Mufti is the kind of professional who recognizes that there must be standards and that normal monitoring is necessary to encourage folks to comply with standards – well, he’s just the type of person we need more of.

We welcome Doctor Mufti to Bim and hope that everything works out so fine fine fine for him. The only question we have is whether our medical personnel will be any more accepting of performance monitoring than the staff at Medway Maritime Hospital. After all, we’re not so good at all that monitoring and standards an such ’bout hey.

If he’s successful bringing performance monitoring to Barbados medicine, perhaps we could put him in charge of implementing the promised Environmental or Integrity legislation.

Good luck to Doctor Mufti! Something tells me he might need it if he stands fast to his standards.

Further Reading

Medway Messenger:  Hospital ‘attempts to silence’ surgeon over bullying report

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Filed under Barbados, Health

Prince of Barbados: Save our East Coast from development!

Government promises are empty: National Catastrophe instead of a National Park

Bajan Prince here once again to inform you that yet another nail has been put in the coffin on the East Coast of Barbados, as yet another developer plans to develop 95 acres of beachfront in Boscobelle into some “massive upscale residential development.”

This news is heart wrenching to me. Like most Bajans who are not part of the government, I have always been against the destruction of our beautiful country by indiscriminate development. Although the developer, Candelisa Resorts, boasts that this project will be “environmentally friendly” we all know that this development will surely begin the “condo-zation” of the whole Eastern coastline, one of Barbados’ last unspoiled stretches of  coast.

A call to action for all Bajans!

Fortunately, with immediate and relentless civil action, this development will not go down! We as a people NOW need to wake up and realize that government promises are empty and that our MPs who  represent us in Parliament are willing to go through with, NOT a national park, but actually a national catastrophe, that being the destruction of our beautiful isle. This island is too precious to be robbed of her captivating natural assets.

From east to west our island Barbados is de best and we MUST, ABSOLUTELY MUST safeguard her until the end of time.

Barbados has lived long and she will continue to live long even after we are gone. Let’s respect her and show her our undying love by treasuring her. I see Barbados as my island mother, one that I look to for comfort, one that I turn to for confidence and one that I rely on for joy. I will FIGHT long and hard to protect her, my mother, my island, my Barbados!

LONG LIVE BARBADOS!

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Nature, Wildlife