Monthly Archives: February 2012

Tropic Ice loses battle

contributed anonymously by ‘JG’

For all of you who do not know yet, Tropic Ice Unlimited Inc. of Salters in St. George, Barbados has lost its battle with the Landlord for outstanding rents for the property from which it operates or used to operate.

This has resulted in the Landlord re-entering the premises, taking possession of the property and changing the locks to prevent all and sundry from gaining access into the building or conducting business with Tropic Ice Unlimited Inc. from that location.

As many as twenty (20) employees who turned up for work this morning discovered the Landlord’s actions, which included the above together with the placing barricades around the entire premises and affixing signs (notices) all around the perimeter stating that the property was Private Property and that trespassers would be prosecuted.

This will mean that not only employees but creditors and customers of Tropic Ice Unlimited as well are going to be monitoring developments closely within the next few weeks to see where they stand. Not surprisingly, the customers while affected by this major business interruption can always look for other suppliers of ice and bottle water but it’s the employees and creditors who could and most likely will be be most affected.

The Landlord has been at loggerheads with Tropic Ice Unlimited Inc. for the last couple of years as it sought to collect reportedly hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid rent from the Tropic Ice Unlimited Inc. A confidential source has revealed that sometime during the course of this month, the High Court of Barbados granted permission to the Landlord by way of of an Order to re-enter and take possession of the property for the unpaid rents.

The two major beneficial shareholders of Tropic Ice Unlimited Inc., Michael St. John and Chris McHale have been embroiled in bitter litigation for the last several years. These disputes centred around the fact that Tropic Ice Unlimited Inc. was operating from property at Salters owned by Michael St. John et al and who for all intents and purposes was (past tense) the Landlord. Michael St. John resigned from the Tropic Ice Unlimited Inc. in 2009 and has formed his own company, Glacial Pure and which now has a majority market share of the bagged ice and bottle water business in Barbados.

Further Reading

Nation: 28 Jobless as Tropic Ice folds

Court case: http://www.lawcourts.gov.bb/Lawlibrary/events.asp?id=715

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Filed under Barbados

One thing Owen Arthur will NEVER say…

“I have never had an offshore bank account while a Member of Parliament.”

Good old Goin’ wid Owen is challenging the DLP to “hurry up and bring integrity legislation to the floor of Parliament.” I guess somebody finally told him that the DLP are four years late with their promise. Of course, four years late with Integrity Legislation is nothing compared with the BLP never doing anything about it themselves for the 14 years they were the government.

Former Prime Minister Arthur is also upset that David Thompson accused the BLP of corruption and diverting money to offshore accounts but never charged anybody with anything – it was all show and shouting for the election…

“The members of the Barbados Labour Party and I went through an election with harsh charges of corruption being levelled against us. And we had to endure a lot of nastiness about offshore accounts and a lot of foolishness.”

… Owen Arthur in The Nation article Bring it on!

Now you’ll notice that Owen doesn’t deny that he or any of his fellow BLP members had or have offshore bank accounts. Do you see what I’m talking about? Saying that talk about offshore bank accounts is ‘nastiness’ and ‘a lot of foolishness’ is not the same thing as saying “I have never had an offshore bank account while I was a Member of Parliament.”

So let’s hear from Owen $ Arthur. Let’s hear him clearly say to the press…

“I have never had an offshore bank account, whether in my name or another name, while I was a Member of Parliament.”

Go ahead Owen. Let’s hear you loud and clear…

7 Comments

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

Cable & Wireless CEO paycheque: up 45%. Service reliability? That’s something else…

Cable & Wireless paycheque alright for some!

Now is the time when BFP juxtaposes

1/ Letter from a Cable & Wireless business customer in Barbados…

Due to a Cable and Wireless problem we were unable to receive or send emails for the entire working day yesterday (Monday).

The customer services number rang and rang unanswered until after 2 hours we were able to get through, to be told they had no idea when it would be restored.

This is the second time in a month and it is costing businesses like us, thousands of Dollars.

No apology, no compensation.

Just take it or leave it.

2/ Cable & Wireless CEO gets 45% pay increase!!!

Cable & Wireless stock is down 17% – but some folks are doing just fine…

Cable & Wireless chief collects £2.7m
Tony Rice receives pay and bonus package under private-equity style incentive plan for top executives

The chief executive of Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) collected more than $4.3m (£2.7m) in pay and bonuses last year after the telecoms company’s highly controversial £30m private-equity style long-term incentive plan (LTIP) made its last payment.

Tony Rice collected basic pay of $1.08m, cash bonuses and benefits of $466,000, pension contributions of $270,000 and $2.6m from the five-year LTIP plan. Rice’s total payment was 50% higher than the previous year, while the shares lost 17% of their value.

Rice’s salary, cash bonuses and pension payment rose by 45% to $1.82m, while the amount he collected from the LTIP rose to $2.6m from $1.6m. The LTIP payment was larger this year because half of Rice’s payment for the previous year was deferred.

Other Cable & Wireless executives collecting bumper pay packages included…

Cable & Wireless CEO explains everything he thinks you need to know!

“The Caribbean region has suffered more due the economic downturn than anywhere else…”

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Filed under Barbados

Former St. Lucia Health Minister to speak at Caribbean Conference on Life and Family Values

Sarah Flood-Beaubrun a long-time defender of human rights and human dignity

Wifey and I were interested to see that lawyer and former St. Lucian Minister of Health Sarah Flood-Beaubrun is speaking at the 2012 Caribbean Conference on Life and Family Values being held in Trinidad & Tobago this April 27 and 28 – because if there is one thing about Flood-Beaubrun that stands out it is that she is a realist. It is a long story but we are aware of the fierce resistance she faced within her own party when she wanted to focus attention and spend big money to address the appalling neglect and abuse of the mentally ill that was the rule in St. Lucia when she was first elected as an MP in 1997. To make it happen she eventually had to put a little water in the wine, but Sarah achieved about 80% of what she wanted including a new institution that put the word ‘rehabilitation’ on the agenda in place of ‘warehousing without hope’. (I think Sarah Flood-Beaubrun was the speaker when I first heard that ‘warehousing without hope’ phrase.)

A look at the other speakers scheduled for the April conference reveals some other folks who are also ‘doers’ rather than ‘pray-ers’ when it comes to helping girls and women who find themselves preggers, used and abandoned by the fathers of their unborn children. You know it’s all fine to pray with somebody, but if prayer isn’t accompanied by a place to sleep, a meal and some real assistance for a woman in need – then STFU and don’t bother getting involved in the first place.

That should be the motto of ‘pro-life’ movement in my humble opinion: “Pro-Life? Then do something real or STFU.” You can tell I’m in a mood today. As far as the ‘Family Values’ side of this conference goes I’m not a fan of a lot of the baggage that usually goes along with that ‘code-phrase’, but that’s me and like Sarah Flood-Beaubrun I don’t mind a little water in the wine if young girls and women in trouble are looked after by somebody who doesn’t make a profit each time they talk some frightened soul into deciding to abort their child.

Here are some links for the upcoming Caribbean Conference on Life and Family Values

Programme Topics & Schedule

Speakers List

Host: The ELPIS Centre – Pregnancy & Family Resource Centre

submitted by passin thru

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Filed under Abortion, Barbados

Another cry for the Africa that could have been

How Robert Mugabe went from a man of the people to believing that he was God’s own gift to Zimbabwe, with a singular focus on maintaining his own power.

Quotes from the documentary, “Robert Mugabe… what happened?”

“Democracy in Africa is a difficult proposition because always the Opposition will want much more than it deserves…”

…Robert Mugabe

“The man’s hands are tied behind his back with wire.”

…Documentary film maker unearthing secret graves

“What do you do to a hero or to a father who has gone wayward? What do you do? Can you discipline your hero? Can you discipline your father?”

…Trevor Ncube

8 Comments

Filed under Africa, History, Human Rights

Tourists prefer small hotels – Barbados Tourism Authority ignores the entire sector

Small hotel or 100 people around the pool? Tourists love small!

Government concentrates on high volume tourism with thin profits. There is another way…

by Adrian Loveridge - small hotel owner

Operating a small hotel, clearly I have to declare a bias towards this sub-sector. But from a national point of view in terms of revenue and employment generation, have we ever analysed which type of our diverse lodging offerings proportionally delivers the highest net income to the country year after year?

What type of accommodation provides the most jobs per occupied room night and highest percentage turnover that remains in Barbados? And this should not include just the bed nights, but secondary spending in restaurants, attractions activities, car rental, shopping etc.

We should then ask which sub-sector consistently achieves the closest to published rack room rates, without having to dramatically discount to attract tour operators. Then question which properties solicit the highest levels of guest satisfaction and repeat guests.

If the world’s largest travel website, TripAdvisor, can be used as a barometer, does the fact that every one of the top ten rated hotels in Barbados are small have any significance?

This really goes back to ensuring our national marketing organisation, advertising agency and public relations company, all fully understand the product.

Perhaps many persons reading this column would be suprised to learn that there is no portion of the annual budget of the Barbados Tourism Authority dedicated to this niche. Nor is there a small hotels committee or product club and that the only trade body dedicated to this sub-sector, Intimate Hotels, has had it’s Government grant either severely pruned or eliminated altogether.

Add to this, that out of our total of almost 160 registered hotels, nearly 120 are defined as small. Most people, whether inside the industry or not, understand that Government is under severe fiscal pressure and due to this even previously approved budgets have not been able to be implemented, to allow the full allocated funds to be used.

I recently attended a general marketing meeting, where members were asked to put forward suggestions to combat, what at this time appear to be imminent softening flight loadings over the next couple of months.

Call it naivety if you wish, but I believe there is always something that can be done, even if the overall effect might not redress the total problem. The stumbling block was, that even if solutions were proffered, the monies to implement the ideas were not necessarily available, at least not from the public sector.

It’s a catch 22 situation for Goverment. If you don’t fill the rooms, you cannot collect the VAT payable, not only on the accommodation, but all the secondary spending. Add up all the other taxes the administration collects, like departure and income tax, NIS contributions and the benefits resulting from the redistribution of employee earnings into the economy. Without these, it makes it even more difficult for Government to pay the bills.

Virgin Atlantic: Two for One to Barbados!

Almost reconfirming the concerns about air lift, as this column was going to press, Virgin Atlantic launched a new Rewards offer for it’s Flying Club members called Two for One. For travel up to 31 May, two people can travel from Manchester or Gatwick to Barbados for 47,500 miles return. While taxes are still payable, it literally halves the normal cost of a ticket and I hope that our tourism planners make full use of this opportunity.

Editor’s note: This story was printed as received from Mr. Loveridge, with the exception of the title and sub-titles that have been created by BFP. Some of the paragraph breaks were changed and bold/italics were added. Photos from BFP files.

19 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Barbados Advocate publishes story on Ocean Two resort’s TripAdvisor five-star award.

click image for large

Congratulations to Ocean Two!

It has been a month since Adrian Loveridge published an article at BFP urging the Barbados Tourism Authority to pay attention to TripAdvisor – one of the top travel websites in the world. (See Barbados Tourism Authority ignores TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards).

Considering that almost 90% of tourists have some form of internet use when making travel plans, you’d think that the BTA would be big on capitalising on the Internet. Apparently not. It’s been a month and nothing from the BTA on the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards. If we’re wrong, somebody please let us know… but we don’t think we’re wrong.

It’s good to see though that the Barbados Advocate published a little news piece that Ocean Two made a five-star rating at TripAdvisor. Five Stars is a big deal and should boost their occupancy although Ocean Two is doing excellently already. Every little piece helps in this economy.

For the life of me, I don’t know what the Barbados Tourism Authority spends all their public money on. I see the results of the travel journalists’ free trips, but can someone please tell me where the BTA’s hundred million dollar a year budget goes? I might be wrong, but I just can’t see it.

Robert

Further Reading

Here’s the story from the Barbados Advocate. Please go to the paper to read it, but we have to publish the entire story here because the newspaper has a reputation for destroying or changing archived stories. A shame, but there it is. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados