Monthly Archives: April 2015

Barbados In 2025: More Cars, More Roads – Or Light Rail Transit, Fewer Private Vehicles?

For all the money wasted by our glorious leaders in the past ten years, we could have had a light-rail solution half way around the island. Instead, we’ve had ten years of more roads, more buses, more cars every morning – all heading to the city. Most of the private vehicles have only the driver.

This article was as true as the day it was written almost six years ago, probably more true…

Barbados Free Press

Our Current Failed Vision Of Barbados Transportation, Society and Daily Life

barbados trafficIf you think our roads are crowded now, if you think that your time spent getting to and from work or school is unreasonable, if you think our quality of life and environment in Barbados is heading for the suckwell – just close your eyes and picture how Barbados will look after another ten or fifteen years of continuing to implement the same transportation “solution” of more cars, more roads, wider roads and ever more cars.

Is that where you want to see Barbados in the year 2025?

Unless we get some vision and leadership around this place, that is exactly where Barbados is headed.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados History, Barbados Light Rail Transportation, Barbados Transportation, Puffing Billy Train

Welcome to Barbados! Oh… you wanted to be in Rochester, New York?

jetblue barbados

“When she got off in Barbados, she thought that she was in Rochester,”

“And she was like, what happened to Rochester? This looks a lot different.”

And you thought your day was interesting?

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados

BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Boyceterous Catamaran crew member says Barbados Coast Guard caused capsize by pulling too fast, too hard

Barbados Catamaran CruisesBarbados Disaster

In the small hours of Sunday morning, the Boyceterous Catamaran Cruises vessel capsized and sank while under tow by the Barbados Coast Guard. Fortunately none of the 45 to 50 passengers and crew drowned, although we hear that some were injured. One of the tour boat’s engines failed and the boat had been drifting for an hour off the harbour until the arrival of the Coast Guard.

Today a person associated with Boyceterous is telling BFP and anyone who will listen that the boat was not taking on water or sinking until the Coast Guard vessel HMBS Excellence started to tow the boat to the harbour. Our source says the boat was towed too fast and too hard for the sea condition, and that the crew tried to tell the rescue boat to slow down but it was too late. It happened quickly, but not suddenly. The crew and passengers could see what was about to happen. (Bear in mind that BFP is an anonymous blog, getting information from someone who won’t give their name to print.)

50 people on this small boat is too many!

50 people on this small boat is too many!

News accounts and the Barbados Coast Guard are directing the attention and responsibility for the sinking to the crew, and not mentioning that the cause was the faulty towing procedure by the Coast Guard.

Seeing as nobody died there probably won’t be any public inquest or public inquiry, but Barbados should learn what it can and take all steps to prevent it happening again. Because if five or twenty tourists drown next time, that will be a national economic disaster.

We’ve said before (and so did Prime Minister Arthur) that we are not an “enforcement society”. That’s all fine when we are talking about nitpicking folks to death with government regulations – but not so good when we’re talking about having no Building Code, no enforcement of vehicle insurance regulations, and training, standards and equipment for emergency personnel that falls way short of international standards.

Here’s a list of factors that any real inquiry should look at. (MORE SINKING PHOTOS BELOW)  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Disaster

Barbados Government’s unrealistic taxes & inability to pay tax refunds is causing dumping, ruining the environment and our tourism economy

“Clearly the commercial banks will not extend interest free overdrafts to companies like ours to allow for Government’s inability to meet their obligations, so the financial challenges are further compounded as time goes by.”

“Many businesses have been forced to wait more than two years for submitted VAT refunds without any interest being paid.”

Indiscriminate garbage dumping linked to unrealistic tax structure

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

While at first this week’s column may seem to stray from the subject ‘matter’ and purpose, the consequence of certain actions has a direct negative effect on our tourism performance.

As a business we get absolutely no ‘free’ state collection of garbage.

We sort and separate everything we can with the wonderful assistance of B’s Recycling and virtually everything else we pay private contractors to collect and dispose of at a considerable cost.

Therefore when the Municipal Solid Waste Tax was imposed, almost without warning, the additional (in our case) $8,000 a year in further unbudgeted taxation was especially irksome as we have been asked to pay for something we do not in any way benefit from directly.

Compounding this already unfair situation is the announced tipping fee which the waste disposal companies will be forced to pass on to their customers like us.

This at a time when we are among many businesses who have been forced to wait more than two years for submitted VAT refunds without any interest being paid.

Clearly the commercial banks will not extend interest free overdrafts to companies like ours to allow for Government’s inability to meet their obligations, so the financial challenges are further compounded as time goes by.

From a tourism perspective, I also really also wonder if our policymakers have truly thought this through. While you cannot condemn any Government for indiscriminate dumping, clearly there has been a marked increase in this unfortunate practice, especially in some of our outstanding natural beauty spots.  Does anyone think for a single second that our visitors do not notice these blights on our amazing landscape?  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy, Environment

Acting Commissioner of Police confirms Barbados crime up 14% first quarter of 2015

barbados-police.jpg

Recipe for Social Disaster

Combine a broken court system with understaffed, under-trained & underfunded police force. Throw in some crook politicians, a general rise in societal violence, and mass unemployment.

Bake for a year in the hot Bajan sun. Top with some drug profits and rum.

It’s a wonder that the Royal Barbados Police Force was able to hold the serious crimes rise to only 14% over 2014.

Lord, we better get some mass job creation ’bout this place and soon.

Nation: Police chief confirms rise in crime against Bajans

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

Ping Yark: Michael Carrington should resign, but the Prime Minister is protecting his friend

Barbados Freundel Stuart

(click cartoon to enlarge)

Michael Carrington: Lawyer. Member of Parliament. Speaker of the House.

This guy has got more front more front than Harrods!

It was not until he was ordered by the High Court to return $250k to a client that he did so. Recently though the man has had the audacity to imply it is he who is the victim … and has publicly stated he paid the money back so can’t understand what all the fuss is about!

Really, Mr. Carrington?

Mr. Joe Public or any of his relatives would’ve been incarcerated long ago for theft – another lawyer was recently disbarred for very similar breaches …but this guy seems to have escaped punishment, sanction or even investigation by either the government or the Bar Association. Carrington remains an MP, a lawyer and Speaker of the House despite local and international demands for his resignation.

We can only speculate why Michael Carrington still in post – so here goes – maybe he excels so spectacularly but quietly behind the scenes that he is rendered absolutely irreplaceable …or maybe he has really important and powerful friends… or maybe he knows where the cupboards are that hides lots and lots and lots of skeletons …or maybe… it’s all the above!

Michael Carrington should resign – common decency demands it – but what would he do then? Punters wanting legal services, in property matters especially, will learn that it would be the height of folly to trust Michael with a cocoa bean let alone a red cent – so lawyering is out. Google or any half decent search engine will help see to that – all that’s left for him is politics, for now. Hopefully though the electorate will remember when that time comes around again.

So Michael: Do the reputation of the DLP, the country and yourself a massive favour … and sod off!

The new issue of Ping Yark has hit the streets. Always irreverent, always interesting to Bajans at home and over and away.

Download the PDF right here…  Ping Yark 4 megabytes

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

Will Barbados hang Police Constable Everton Gittens?

Shot in the back. Just another day with the Barbados Police.

Unarmed and shot in the back. Just another day with the Barbados Police.

For the first time that anyone can remember, we have a police constable charged with murder. Everton Gittens was arrested and charged and appeared in court yesterday for the murder of Selwyn Knight at Dash Gap, Bank Hall.

Rumours are that Selwyn Knight and his father were shot in the back as they pursued Gittens’ homosexual lover Jamal Skeete who had broken into their home. Folks who read this blog know that I Robert don’t care who anybody sleeps with, or how many people they sleep with, or how many people they sleep with all at once. You want to be friends with Cliverton, you have to accept that the man will sleep with anything that breathes and I’m not even sure to draw the line that close.

But, the moment you bring emotions into the equation when somebody has their finger on a trigger, well mister, as they say that is serious business. And if the man holding the gun is a cop, that’s another layer, or perhaps another lawyer.

Rumours are that there is a video of the shooting made by a security camera, but that Gittens himself destroyed the recording. (So says Sheri Veronica an she’s plugged in everywhere)

As Sheri Veronica made note, Gittens is the same police constable involved in the Shanique Myrie case, and the court rejected his evidence as not the truth.

For too long ’bout this place police have done what they want to do and gotten away with it. That’s one of the problems when you have a little rock like this with 275,000 people on it and call it a country. Cabals take over everything including justice and policing.

We’ve had other police officers shoot people in the back before with no charges. It’s even dangerous in Barbados to run away from police if you’re unarmed on your bicycle.

But here’s the big deal… this is the Caribbean and some folks want to hang Gittens because he supposedly had a man for a lover.

If Barbados is going to hang Gittens, it should be for murder and nothing else.

But this is the Caribbean and there’s nothing you can do ’bout that.

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Human Rights, Police