Monthly Archives: January 2014

Peter Binose: Harlequin shows ignorance of Flood Plain disasters – or they are not being forthright

Ricky Small cries for his dear wife Joselle, who was taken by the raging waters at Buccament Bay Resort.

Ricky Small cries for his dear wife Joselle, who was taken by the raging waters at Buccament Bay Resort.

How often does a ‘Hundred Year Event’ happen?

by Peter Binose

According to Harlequin’s Solicitors, it only happens once in a hundred years.

They said that the World Bank are sending a report in which Christmas floods will be described as a hundred year flood.

Obviously Harlequin do not know what a ‘100 year flood’ actually means.

We need to be aware of a 1 in 100 year event does not mean the probabilities will only happen once in every hundred years. It actually means that it is an event that will happen once in every 100 big cloud bursts or storms. If you had a hundred of those in a day, there are probabilities that such flooding will occur. If it happens in a week, then once a week, if it happens in a year once a year etc. In fact what it means there is a 1% probability of it happening. See here.

There is approximately a 63.4% chance of one or more 100-year floods occurring in any 100-year period.

That means folks, 63 floods in a hundred years, more than one every two years.

“That Buccament Bay Resort is built in a flood plain is a physical fact. There can be no debate.”

Flood years for Buccament   Continue reading

949 Comments

Filed under Consumer Issues, Disaster

Bloggers can make a difference – Sandals now serving Bajan rum… but value delivery eludes our tourism industry

“Value-for-money is probably the most discussed subject amongst our cherished guests. Many simply cannot understand why a piece of locally available fish cannot be cooked, garnished and served in moderate surroundings for around BDS$25-30.”

Killing the messenger – or listening!

Adrian Loveridge, tourism expert

Adrian Loveridge, tourism expert

The blogs can of course be a double edged sword. The anonymity allows, if the contributor wishes, comments to be made without risk of targeted personal attacks and political labeling, while still being able to express an opinion whether constructive or not.

Sadly, if you chose not to hide behind the veil of ‘anonymous’ it holds the risk of the messenger being castigated, rather than evaluating any merit in the message itself.

For those of us who hold democracy dear and have personally experienced alternative regimes, it goes with the territory and if it helps maintain responsible freedom of speech then personally I have no problem.

A recent blogger, writing under the name of ‘Fisheye’ put forward 16 points to improve our tourism offerings.

Online Immigration Forms… Why not?

To me, one suggestion especially stood out and that was to allow our visitors to complete the required immigration form online.

Bearing in mind the rapid trend in online transactions, whether for banking, bill payment, shopping, airline or hotel check-in, car rental registration or whatever, it seems a very simple but effective way to capture important marketing information.

It may also speed up the collection of this information to allow the Barbados Statistical Service (BSS) to make it publicly available in a timelier manner. It can often take the BSS ages to post arrival information on their website and even then, months like August 2013 are not available at all.

Compounding the difficulty in accessing up-to-date information is the fact that the Ministry of Tourism does not currently have a functioning website.

Other ‘Fisheye’ suggestions included the issuing of local driver’s licenses at the Barbados Tourism Authority’s (BTA) airport office and ensuring widespread availability of lower priced SIM cards to save our visitors from expensive roaming charges. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Survey says Barbados top spot for eloping Brits!

Barbados wedding elope

Okay… how do we turn this information into more visitors?

Barbados is the preferred spot for eloping (24 per cent)”

Our thanks for the photo to Sue Morris and SoulMates Barbados wedding services

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados

Bajan Roots: Looking for historical information about the Byram family in Barbados

history-of-barbados-hilary-beckles.jpg

Dear Barbados Free Press,

I would like to learn about the history or origin of the Surname BYRAM in Barbados.

My ancestor, Nicholas Byram was born in Kent, England about 1610. He was in Barbados sometime during the period 1620 – 1635.

I have found in Facebook two persons with the surname Byram who have family roots in Barbados but one, a lifeguard named Selena Byram, worked at a beach in Barbados and was killed by a shark. The other person’s grandparents lived in Barbados but had no knowledge of the history of their Byram surname.

Jerry Byram

2 Comments

Filed under Barbados, History, Slavery

Nation News ‘Dear Christine’ advises woman to commit paternity fraud

paternity fraud barbados

“it will not be in your best interest, >>> for you to bring this matter to the fore at this stage.”

A married woman is preggers and doesn’t know if her husband or some bloke at the office is the father. “Dear Christine” in The Nation advises the woman to keep her yob shut because it is not in her best interest to tell her husband.

It’s called PATERNITY FRAUD and women do it to men all the time. Once the man starts paying for the child it is usually too late to reverse the responsibility even if the man was tricked into believing it was his child.

Paternity Fraud has been called ‘The Perfect Crime

Do you love your wife? Good. Is she having a baby? Good.

At the first opportunity make sure you quietly take a DNA swab when no one is looking and send it away for testing to see if the child is really yours. Better to know right away for a whole lot of reasons.

Just do it.

Further Reading

Wikipedia: Paternity Fraud

Daily Mail: Another paternity fraud victim reveals how he was deceived.

PaternityFraud.com

31 Comments

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

Gunmen ambush patrolling Barbados police – one officer slightly shot

Barbados Murder Gun Revolver 3

“One officer slightly shot” sounds a bit strange, but it’s just about what the police and papers are saying happened on Tuesday night. The story only deserves four sentences in the Nation and Barbados Today because that is all the information released by the police.

Think about that folks: Gunmen saw patrolling police officers, then started shooting in an ambush. If that doesn’t sound like Kingston, Jamaica I don’t know what does.

But the police and the news media are playing down the incident, I suppose because the injured officer was only ‘slightly’ shot.

Strange times ’bout this place. Sometimes I swear somebody stole my country and put this new one under my feet. It looks like the same old place, but it isn’t.

A police detective was “slightly injured” when gunmen opened fire on a group of officers last night.

Police public relations officer Inspector David Welch says members of the Criminal Investigations Department were on patrol in Chapman Lane, the City around 11 pm when unknown assailants shot at them several times before running away.

He said police returned fire.

The incident is being investigated.

… from Barbados Today Men Shoot at Police

25 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

Peter Binose: Politicians, political bullies and other cowards

Racist_Ralph_Gonsalves

Rubbish Caribbean Politicians and Marxist Pretenders!

by Peter Binose

Politicians who are haters, political bullies and distributors of malice and spite are always cowards.

They like to pick on small sections of society, little groups and little people. They know that little and disorganised people can be no threat to them so they are able to administer hatred, spite and malice without it affecting very much their support during the election process.

And in any case they can always re-buy them with a few trinkets at a later date, even on the very morning of an election.

Now I actually believe that the current leadership and the people who they insult and treat with absolute scorn and disdain fall into those very categories. What we can be sure of is that all our silences in the face of assault are acts of complicity. Its the very kind of acceptance that brought about the slavery of our forefathers.

Politicians who think with their epidermis or their genitalia, or their ruling class ancestry or clan and family, entitle them to be our masters – are the problem we should not tolerate.

One does not banish this spectre of bad behaviour by invoking it ourselves. If we would not vote against someone on the grounds of ‘race’ or ‘gender’ alone, then by the exact same token we would not cast a vote in their favour for the identical reason.

Yet see how this obvious question makes fairly intelligent Vincentian people say the most alarmingly stupid things and act in the most ignorant ways. If we are willing to accept scum behaviour from scum politicians perhaps we deserve to be ground under the boot of these political bullies. Continue reading

6 Comments

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

Top-Heavy death traps: 18 casualties as another minibus overturns – “5 critical, 4 severe”

Barbados Bus Accidents

Barbados Bus Accident Injury

(Photos courtesy of Nation News & Barbados Today)

“Our minibuses are badly designed. They are difficult to control and are far too unstable for a vehicle transporting our loved ones.”

Another minibus driver loses control – “5 critical, 4 severe”

Can the Barbados government deny the truth any longer? Our minibuses are poorly engineered, top-heavy death traps that are inherently unstable even when only half full.

How many more similar accidents do we need to see before we do something to correct the problem? How many more dead and injured will it require?

37 injured in Minibus tip-over in 2012

37 injured in Minibus tip-over in 2012

“Another day, another horrific traffic accident with lives, faces and families ruined.

You’re looking at an overturned minibus on Pinders Bottom Main Road in St. George. Thirty seven people hurt with 5 critically injured.”

From the March 15, 2012 BFP story Another mass casualty bus accident: 37 injured, 5 critical

The minibuses are involved in way too many tip-overs, but even when they stay on their wheels they sway badly and the drivers often struggle to maintain control. You see it happening! How often have you seen minibuses veer over the road center? It’s an everyday happening and so common that drivers know to keep an eye on an oncoming minibus and move over a little bit just in case something happens.

How many minibus accidents are caused by the poor handling, even if the bus doesn’t tip over? I’d bet there are plenty. Yes, speed and recklessness are factors as is poor maintenance – but speed and maintenance alone cannot account for the slaughter. There is something wrong with the buses.

In aviation, there comes a time when you have to stop blaming the pilots and start blaming a bad airplane. Continue reading

35 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Disaster

UK’s Serious Fraud Squad investigating Harlequin: Any information welcome!

Harlequin's The Merricks in Barbados. The reality does not match the sales pitch!

Harlequin’s The Merricks in Barbados. The reality does not match the sales pitch!

by Peter Binose

Investors in Buccament Bay Resort are the closest to luck as one can get when wishing for luck for their investment from a company that promised everything and gave very little to very few.  But as luck goes it may be running out even for the Buccament investors.

Those that have invested in Harlequins different projects through like sounding Harlequin companies around the world, have only had bad luck.  They have put their money in to what they thought were rosy investments.  Many were encouraged by island politicians and governments, many of which had been warned of impending problems with Harlequin, yet went ahead and promoted them in such a way that now brings  disgrace to those small and even large nations. People have lost life savings and retirement pensions with help from these government ministers and governments. Continue reading

37 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Offshore Investments

Universal Rights Group publishes rubbish about The Maldives

Marc Limon - He did what? !

URG Executive Director Marc Limon – He did what??? !!!

Maldives… a liberal democracy with strong human rights safeguards?

Such SHITE.

Check out this statement by Universal Rights Group about their Executive Director, Marc Limon…

“Marc Limon worked as a diplomat (rank of Counsellor) at the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council from the body’s establishment in 2006 until the end of 2012. This included participating in the negotiations on the institution-building package (which determined how the Council would operate), on the Council’s mid-term review, and on a wide-range of thematic and country-specific issues over the course of twenty-one regular sessions and nineteen special sessions.

From 2003 onwards, Marc worked as a Senior Advisor to the Government of the Maldives, providing counsel to support the country’s democratic and human rights reform agenda. This agenda oversaw the Maldives’ peaceful transition from an Islamic autocracy to a liberal democracy with strong human rights safeguards. As part of this agenda, Marc was responsible for strengthening the Maldives’ engagement with the international human rights system. This included establishing a Permanent Mission in Geneva, coordinating the country’s accession to almost all international human rights conventions and the fulfilment of its reporting obligations, extending a Standing Invitation to all human rights Special Procedures, coordinating reporting under the Universal Periodic Review and, in 2010, working on the Maldives’ successful campaign for election to the Human Rights Council (the first time the country had ever been elected to a UN body)…”

… more at Universal Rights Group

Maldives jail Christian for possessing bible

Maldives jail Christian for possessing bible

Alright. Let’s get some things square from the start: I believe that the Universal Rights Group has a place, if only to try and convince the practitioners of barbaric religious and cultural traditions to stop killing folks who don’t believe the same thing they do, and also to stop mutilating women’s genitals in order to control them by depriving them of sexual pleasure and personhood.

So good for Marc Limon and his compatriots.

But when Universal Rights Group calls The Maldives a “liberal democracy”, well… they might as well just take more LSD or whatever drug they are doing because they have lost all fucking touch with reality.

Check out these past BFP articles, do a little independent research about The Maldives and then see if you can agree with URG’s statement that The Maldives are a “liberal democracy with strong human rights safeguards”.

Good Lord!

Passin thru

Further Reading at BFP

January 18, 2014: Marriage problems? Try a Maldives vacation where it’s lawful to beat and rape your wife!

March 28, 2013: 1.3 million signatures on petition to Stop Flogging Rape Victims in The Maldives! Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Human Rights, Religion

LIAT Statement On Barbados Free Press Blog Post

DHC-8-300 Dash 8 LIAT V2-LGI

LIAT Statement On Barbados Free Press Blog Post

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Jan 21 2014 – LIAT (1974) Ltd. has taken note of the post, dated 17th January 2014, in the Barbados Free Press online blog of an Article entitled “Report of Conflict of Interest: Saint Vincent PM Ralph Gonsalves said to own 2 LIAT aircraft”.

The anonymous author concludes that “The conflict of interest arises because SVG is one of the major shareholders in LIAT. Government funds are involved and Prime Minister Gonsalves is heavily involved in decision making about the airline”.

The two aircraft mentioned in the article are owned by a publicly listed US based Leasing Company trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). LIAT has always had arms length negotiations with this Lessor and its relationship with this Lessor is firmly set on a commercial basis. LIAT has no Aircraft Leases with Prime Minister Gonsalves or any shareholder of the Company and categorically denies the suggestion that the Prime Minister has anything to do with the leasing of aircraft to LIAT. LIAT views conflict of interest very seriously and abides by principles of good corporate governance.   Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Politics

Barbados government pretends to start billion dollar waste to energy plant with not a dollar to pay for it.

Courtesy of The Nation

Courtesy of The Nation

Environment Minister Lowe’s ground breaking ceremony nothing to do with reality

by passin thru

Let me get this straight: Bajans are supposed to believe that the Sanitation Service Authority is forging ahead with a billion dollar project list including a new office building ($32 million), waste to energy plant ($680 million), a leachate treatment plant ($42 million), landfill gas to energy plant ($10 million), solar power field ($120 million), wind power field ($24 million) and a mechanical workshop ($11 million).

All of this on borrowed money on the heads of our children and Lord knows how many other future generations.

This, at the same time that we don’t have money to replace/repair 84 buses that sit idle stripped for parts. We don’t have money to pave roads that are falling apart for ten years. No money to hire 100 ‘missing’ police officers. No money to fix a hundred water main leaks.

And we’re making 3,000 government workers redundant and taking the social unrest because there is nothing else to be done. Our tourism industry is shrinking when other countries are growing and building new resorts. Our hotels ‘feature’ a million empty beds a year, an average age approaching 30 years and I’d hate to hear the stats on the average age of the furnishing and mattresses.

No money for a sick, falling down hospital, no money to pay the hospital suppliers and employees on time – a big crisis every payday. Other government projects sit half finished, no work going on. Layoffs coming at the UWI too.

We had to withdraw our international bond issue because there aren’t any more fools left to ‘invest’ in a national retirement scheme that has as 80% of its ‘assets’ – the debt to itself. The government is so desperate for revenue that tax people are warning defaulters that they are coming to seize 10 year old vehicles and worker’s tools if they don’t pay up – and the people have nothing except their trucks and their tools.

And we’re supposed to seriously believe that the government is in ‘final negotiations with investors’ who are prepared to ‘loan’ a billion dollars to a country is on the verge of a currency devaluation that will shake its societal foundations to the core?

What a sick cruel joke.

Madness.

Read the lies for yourselves…

New Home for SSA

A WIND, gas and solar energy programme earmarked for Vaucluse, St Thomas, could involve investments of nearly $1 billion. Continue reading

30 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Disaster, Economy

We need to embrace airline loyalty programmes to fill almost a million empty hotel rooms

American-Airlines-Dallas-Barbados

“One of the reasons why I am so passionate about airline loyalty programmes is because existing marketing initiatives in the USA simply have not worked.”

Barbados is losing ground in our second largest tourist market

Adrian Loveridge, tourism expert

Adrian Loveridge, tourism expert

The merger of American Airlines and US Airways has now pushed the combined frequent flyer membership above the 100 million mark.

Put another way, that’s almost 33 per cent of the world’s third most populous country, the United States.

In any market it would be difficult to persistently ignore a huge segment of our second largest source of long stay visitors, but that is what Barbados has done. It defies belief, especially during times of economic challenges when holiday budgets can be among the first to suffer. It may also partially explain why some of our Caribbean neighbours have overtaken us in American long-stay visitors.

Sadly, the loss of the American Airlines direct service out of New York will further restrict the potential, previously having lost Dallas/Fort Worth and San Juan, plus Philadelphia with US Airways.

But with the miles now totally interchangeable between the two carriers, we still have daily service from Miami and currently once a week from Charlotte. Whether the re-organisation will result in a downsizing of the North Carolina hub and curtailment of this flight remains to be seen.

Route changes have yet to be announced, so ‘we’ are not fully aware of any new opportunities that it may present, but that should not stop us from exploiting what already exists.

One of the reasons why I am so passionate about airline loyalty programmes is because existing marketing initiatives in the USA simply have not worked. There has been no overall long stay visitor arrival increase from this market for six years, so surely it’s long overdue that alternative strategies are at least tried.  Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Barbados Labour Party organising protests against government

A train called CIVIL UNREST

A train called CIVIL UNREST

“Dear Barbados Free Press,

You should have been at the BLP meeting at St. George Secondary School. The Nation is soft selling the talk about marching in the streets. More nuff than talk is happening when former cabinet ministers telling people to organise marches.”

Received from an anonymous reader

‘Unrest’ word spoken again

Crime is already rising in proportion to the closed businesses and potholed roads. The Royal Barbados Police Force and the Defense forces recently increased crowd control training and joint practices.

The government hears it coming. Law enforcement and defense hear it coming. Private security patrol companies hear it coming.

Now you listen… Hear that train in the distance? It’s not so faint anymore, you can really hear it now. It’s coming…

Marching ‘may be only way’

Some prominent members of the Barbados Labour Party have come out in support of civil protest against the Government, despite recommendations to the contrary from the trade union movement.

During one of the party’s The People’s Assembly meetings at St George Secondary School last night, various speakers said taking to the streets in protest might be the only way for Barbadians to get their message across to the Freundel Stuart administration.

One such speaker was former Cabinet minister Anthony Wood, who said the imposition of university fees and the planned layoff of thousands of public servants were reason enough.  Continue reading

16 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics

Drugs, the Drug Trade and Us

HMCS Ottawa Barbados Drugs

Special to BFP by Phillip Alexander

Following on the almost billion dollar drug bust found a few years ago in the hull of a yacht bound for Spain outfitted in T&T, the six hundred million dollars worth of cocaine intercepted at Monos down the islands for which a handful of small fries are spending life in prison, and the soft drink that killed a foreign national ‘accidentally’ in the branded bottle of a Company now in the international spotlight once again as another of its brands are found to contain seven hundred and thirty pounds of narcotics, I turn my attention to the drug trade in Trinidad & Tobago.

At a local car dealership in San Juan a shipping container was opened and millions of dollars worth of drugs literally fell out onto the floor. A container full of chicken was opened on the port and found to contain again millions of dollars worth of drugs for which no one has been arrested, and, on the heels of both of those discoveries I ask, why has it not become mandatory that all shipping containers be unstuffed on the port?

A surgeon in east Trinidad has removed drugs from the stomach of a drug mule without reporting the matter to the police, and from what can be gleaned from the sanitized media stories, both surgeon and mule are still free to continue plying their trade. What is to become of this?  Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police, Politics, Trinidad and Tobago

Mottley – Arthur internal fight will kill any hope of a BLP victory next time around

Owen Arthur BLP Zombie 2

Owen Arthur: The Zombie who would not Die!

by Zackery Thumble

It is all rather simple.

Owen Arthur has not been able to take down Mia Mottley. He has been too smart by half: sucking and blowing, saying he supported her as Deputy Prime Minister but not as leader of the party because of her, well, her particular situation.

Then Owen tried a comeback that didn’t work out so well. Then he resigned as leader after badly blowing the election. Now he wants back… or wants Mascoll to be PM and BLP leader.

Or something…

But Mia hasn’t been able to rally enough support to shut down the torture. BLP stalwarts are being tortured to death by the drip drip drip drip of the Owen Arthur leaking faucet.

“Like a migraine headache lurking just below the threshold in the brain: threatening to return but never really surfacing.

Ruining everything without making a real appearance: that’s Owen Arthur.”

Owen Arthur doesn’t love Bim any more than he loves the BLP – which is not at all. Arthur is a political zombie, but he just doesn’t know it…

Yet.

Albert Brandford has his opinion too.

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics

Caribbean Court of Justice judgements cannot be enforced in Barbados!

CCJ can't make Barbados pay Shanique Myrie judgement

CCJ can’t make Barbados pay Shanique Myrie judgement

As an old friend used to say “IANAL” – “I am not a lawyer”

But if a judgement from the CCJ cannot be enforced, what’s the use? Isn’t the whole justice system a farce then? Why bother taking anything to the CCJ?

How does this impact foreign investors who might be interested in doing business in Barbados or other Caribbean nations?

Can someone please explain this to me. Why bother having a CCJ if the judges have no power?

CCJ lacks mechanism to enforce Shanique Myrie judgement, says judge

ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) – A judge with the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Friday said there was no mechanism to enforce the judgement following the recent ruling in the case involving the Jamaican national Shanique Myrie.

Myrie successfully sued the Barbados Government after she was refused entry into the island in 2011. Continue reading

13 Comments

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

Model airplanes master builder discovered!

Battle of Britain Bf109E

The Art! The Art!

Okay, okay, so I’ve gone overboard on the title, but the fellow who runs the Amateur Airplanes blog does some fine fine work.

Look at that battle weary Bf109 Emile above and the detail on the F100 Super Sabre cockpit below.

You know I love airplanes – big, small, real, homebuilts, warbirds and models – so when I stumbled onto Amateur Airplanes I lost a half an hour just flipping through the projects and comments. There’s no word on who this chap is, but you can see the dedication and talent – and he has over 1,500 followers.

I don’t see a DC-3 like the old one I learned to taxi with at Druxford, but this modeller could duplicate every ding and oil streak. All I’d need would be the smell of air petrol, oil and metal – and to hear the tinks as the big old P&Ws cooled. The only additions I’d like to see on his blog would be a search function in the menu, and perhaps a tag list of aircraft types and model kits.

If you enjoy airplanes, you’ll enjoy a tour of Amateur Airplanes.

10/10

Robert

F100 Super Sabre Cockpit

click photos for larger

5 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Island Life, Military