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

For a guy who wants to make Barbados a republic without a referendum, PM Stuart sure calls the kettle, well, you know…

Hilary-Beckles Freundel Stuart

Stuart accuses Beckles of running alternative government

Anything to avoid mentioning that Stuart and his government lied about bringing Integrity Legislation to Barbados.

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

AirBNB an unstoppable Genie out of the Bottle – Barbados had better deal with it somehow

airbnb barbados

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Let me be among the first to congratulate a Minister of Tourism for embarking on a personal visit to all the hotels in his domain. He was quick to point out that this was not meant to be an inspection visit but rather a ‘familiarisation exercise’ to view ‘each and every tourism establishment first hand, to witness their successes and deficiencies and to meet with the hotel staff to find out about their challenges and working conditions’.

Personally I believe that this is absolutely critical if you are going to fully understand and guide an industry which dominates any country’s economy.

At this point I should make it clear that we are talking about the Seychelles, not Barbados.

Alain St. Ange, their Minister of Tourism was also accompanied by Anne Lafortune, the Principal Secretary for Tourism and Seychelles Tourism Board Chief Executive, Sherin Naiken and at the time of writing this column they had already visited 114 hotels. No mean achievement, when you think that the destination has various accommodation offerings spread across 16 of the 115 islands which make up the territory.

Over the last few months I have ‘discovered’ a whole range of tourism accommodation on Barbados that I never knew existed and am frankly pretty sure that many of our tourism planners are not aware of as well.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Solution to vote buying in Barbados – Pay a US$500 reward for proof

1-vote-independent.jpg

We can argue all day about what the average price of a bought vote is on this rock, but in an unofficial drunken poll on a Friday night at Oistins my friends say it’s a little lower than what many folks believe.

US$100 is what it is so they say. Yup. One hundred good old American will do the job.

And how big a problem is vote buying in Barbados?

Vote buying shapes elections, governments, national policies and the economy. It levers power elites into power and keeps them there.

Lately many folks have been talking that a reward would increase the risk of buying votes and drive the price into the stratosphere. I think that’s a good idea. It costs nothing to implement and it just might work.

So let’s do it. Let’s offer a goodly reward for reporting and proving vote buying. Let’s increase the risk so much for these bastards that they won’t dare and can’t afford to buy votes.

Let’s pay US$500 for proof of vote buying. Hidden cameras are so small and can be everywhere these days.

Yup. Let’s do it!

“The recent declaration that PM Froon intends to go republic has been met with almost universal disdain. How can a government which has made a mess of virtually every facet of Barbadian life expect to be entrusted with such a task? No republic without referendum. Let the people decide.”

“Say the going bribe rate for a vote is $300, Peter Wickham would pay $600 for a voter to testify against a briber. If the fellows play this right, they could end up getting $900 for their vote, $300 from one candidate and $600 to testify against the other. Since the cases will no doubt be thrown out, it’s win-win all around.”

THE LOWDOWN: Parpissitatory horizontality

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Filed under Barbados, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

How trustworthy are Barbados lawyers?

Lawyer with Briefcase Steals

Do Barbados lawyers habitually steal money from overseas clients?

Read this list of Barbados lawyers and judge for yourself…  Continue reading

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Barbados Speaker of the House Michael Carrington is a crooked lawyer – stole $250,000 from client – disobeyed court order to pay it back

Contrast the disbarring of lawyer Therold Fields yesterday with the “hands-off” protection given to Barbados Speaker of the House (and crooked lawyer) Michael Carrington.

Fields went down for stealing deposits from a real estate client. Carrington stole a whole lot more but was allowed to pay it back and continue as one of the elites.

That’s some penalty for a thief… if you don’t get caught, keep the money. If you do get caught, just pay it back and no worries!

How corrupt is this rock? Just contrast what happens when an ordinary lawyer thief and an elite lawyer thief get caught.

Barbados Free Press

Barbados speaker michael carrington

“A message to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart…

Michael Carrington is a crooked lawyer who stole a quarter million dollars from a vulnerable 78 year old pensioner. That simple truth means that Carrington is not fit to be a Member of Parliament let alone Speaker of the House.”

It is a simple matter, really, and one that is hardly unknown in Barbados. Over two years ago a lawyer was supposed to transfer about a quarter of a million dollars from his trust account to a Mr. John Griffiths, the beneficiary of his aunt’s estate. Instead, the crooked lawyer kept the money and made excuses to Mr. Griffiths.

Mr. Griffiths was forced to launch a lawsuit against the lawyer. Griffiths won and the court ordered the crooked lawyer to pay the money back and give an accounting within 28 days – but the lawyer failed to pay the money or provide an…

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Hotels and restaurants can improve their revenues through this one simple technique

re-discover-barbados-dining

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Over the years, airlines, most cruise ship and train operators together with many hotel brands have understood and in the main applied the concept of ‘revenue control’ very effectively.

It’s almost a given that when you board a plane, even when you are in the same designated seating class, that passengers have paid different levels of fares, for in many cases an identical level of service.

Hotels too, especially with 100 rooms or more, constantly battle with the dilemma of using more creating marketing ways to attract a higher percentage of direct rack rate paying guests or entrust tour operators to fill contracted allocations of rooms at heavily discounted prices.

Other options include online-websites like Expedia among the several others, but again these also attract a lower net rate.

A very simple equation is to fill 100 rooms at US$100 would bring you $70,000 through direct bookings, while the same number would probably realise only $49,000 per week through a wholesaler or tour operator.

The question then to ask is, by spending a proportion of the differential, could you drive more higher direct revenue income?

In many cases I believe the answer would be yes!    Continue reading

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Porn profiteer Minister Donville Inniss cautions Barbadians against websites that “deliberately spew filth”

Orgasm Barbados Inniss 2

“Inniss also voiced concern about people using social media to spread “the nastiest” and “most untrue” reports about fellow Barbadians, and warned that the state would do what was necessary to tackle the perpetrators.” (Nation News, April 8, 2015)

Above: One of the porn websites that made Inniss money

Donville Inniss made a fortune on Internet Porn, now he wants to censor political debate and truth

Pssst… Want to hear a good one?

Minister of Industry Donville Inniss and his government are preparing a law against what he calls “cyber-crime” – but protecting people against hacking is only part of the law. Censorship is what it is all about.

Lately the Minister has been speaking to all who will listen that social media, blogs, twitter and facebook is “out of control, running amuck, spewing filth”

Donville Inniss has a good reason to want to stop the truth… for years he made money as the Online Porn King of Barbados, and no – it wasn’t that he owned a website company and other people put porn up on his servers. That’s what he loves to tell people, but a little digging on the internet shows that Inniss registered porn trademarks in the USA and Canada. Barbados Free Press covered that and printed proof in a series of articles listed below.

cropped-donville-inniss-hospital-goat.jpg

How low can you go?

Barbados Government Minister Donville Inniss was part of the lucrative online sex business for years. He profited from websites where desperate pregnant women and teenagers performed sex acts for money.

Inniss also profited from websites showing humans committing sex acts with animals.

You know we couldn’t say this if it wasn’t true folks. Our WordPress hosting company would take us down faster than a rum disappears at Oistens on a Friday night.

Inniss and Orgasm.com profited from websites with pregnant women porn, teenaged porn and sex with animals. All the proof is in our articles and after all these years Inniss hasn’t been able to make Barbados Free Press remove these articles. Because they are for true!

Only one journalist on this rock had the integrity to ask Minister Inniss about his porn business, and Inniss responded by savaging Ian Bourne whenever and wherever he could.

Go ahead, Minister Inniss. Pass your internet censorship law.

Everybody knows why you want that law.

List of BFP posts with proof of Inniss porn connections…

July 16, 2012: Barbados Health Minister attacks journalist over questions about Minister’s porn business profiteering     Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics

David Ames running from the courts: Percival Stewart v Harlequin Properties

David Ames - Harlequin's Ponzi King

David Ames – Harlequin’s Ponzi King

Both Affidavits can’t be true!

Some interesting reading from a recent court case [March 2015] in St Vincent where Dave Ames is no stranger to litigation.

Percival Stewart v Harlequin Properties (Caribbean) Limited et al

In this case  on Page 4 the judge rules on the audacious delays by Ames in filing statements…

“Mr Commissiong deposes that Mr Ames lives in England and travels a lot globally making it difficult for him to be in Saint Vincent to testify. Implicit in Mr Commissiong’s averments is the notion that for those reasons, it was impossible or extremely difficult to contact Mr Ames, receive instructions from him, or arrange for him to sign a witness statement. I make the observation that the CPR permits a party to file and serve a witness summary if he is not able to provide a witness statement, and that a witness does not need to be in the jurisdiction to sign or attest either document.”

(download court document pdf here)

Now this is totally the opposite of what lawyers and Ames claimed last October 2014 (in the group of 33 investors failed case) when the judge was told that the company was NOT run from Essex. (See Judge rules against Harlequin investors in £1.8m court case)

“The case did not centre on whether or not the investors were owed money, a point which deputy judge Nicolas Strauss QC noted ‘does not appear to be in dispute’. Instead it focussed on whether a UK court could wind up Buccament Bay, given that the company was incorporated in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

While the investments were sold through Essex-based Harlequin Management Services (South East), which filed for administration in April 2013, Strauss ruled that Harlequin’s ventures including Buccament Bay were not run with ‘bird’s eye management from Essex’. He agreed that they were largely managed in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and therefore this was the correct jurisdiction to apply for a winding up petition.”

The fact that Mr Commissiong’s claim that Ames couldn’t possibly find the time to be in St Vincent for the Stewart case makes a complete nonsense of Ames’ submission to the UK court that the Harlequin business was entirely run from the Caribbean and therefore the UK court’s jurisdiction does not apply.

Quite obviously both Affidavits cannot be true and both evade bringing Harlequin and Ames to account.

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

The new Barbados – woman dead in home two years before discovery

old lady died Barbados

by Grape Hall Girl

I don’t know why I can’t stop thinking about Muriel Proverbs all this last week since I read the papers, but I can’t.

She was 90 years old – found dead in her home at Fairview, Christ Church when the police kicked in the door at the urging of some of her relatives.

Yes, she died in her bedroom as do many 90 year old people.

Only thing is Muriel Proverbs had been dead all these two years and more. Laid out on the floor where she fell or collapsed… slowly desiccating in the Bajan heat. Little more than a skeleton when found!

Two years of uncashed pension cheques and unpaid utility bills made a heap under the letter slot in the door.

This can’t be the Barbados I grew up in. This must be some New York City suburb where folks pay no attention to each other.

Surely this can’t be my Barbados?

Nation News: Gran dead in bed

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Bargain airfares offer hope for Barbados Tourism – but only if we act!

American-Airlines-Dallas-Barbados

“If anyone realistically thinks… that lower prices do not drive additional business, then think again.”

Atlanta to Barbados – Return from US$227!!!

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

I subscribe to a website called airfarewatchdog.com which for those of you are unfamiliar with, monitors airfares across the world.

When Delta Airlines resumed their flights from Atlanta to Barbados, I placed an alert which several times daily, automatically scans all available options on that route whether direct flights or through connecting cities. Last week a series of alerts advised that for certain days and months, subject to advance booking, return air fares were available as low as US$227 with the amalgamated American Airlines and US Air.

Delta flights are of course direct and non-stop twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays, while flying with the other carriers would involve a change in Charlotte or Miami, obviously resulting in a longer overall travel time.

But look at the fare, and if anyone realistically thinks for at least part of our target markets, that lower prices do not drive additional business, then think again.

I also monitor the very popular Trip Advisor Barbados Forum site and could not help notice that a lady had also spotted the bargain fares and had no hesitation in booking her family of five to Barbados, due to the lower cost travel opportunity.

How can we as a tourism driven country better take full advantage of these chances, especially as they cost us absolutely nothing in terms of marketing dollars?

Maybe by following other examples, both in terms of the tourism industry, but also other sectors, by including a ‘last minute’ portal on the national website with links. It could even be branded as a distinctive by separate product with catchy name like ‘spontaneous’.  Continue reading

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Australia shows why we need a Referendum over Barbados Republic

Australia RepublicBarbados Republic

“A proposed law: To alter the Constitution to establish the Commonwealth of Australia as a republic with the Queen and Governor-General being replaced by a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament.”

submitted by The Beach Doctor

Back in the mid 1990s there was a huge movement in Australia to dump Queen Elizabeth and become a republic with a President as head of state.

Aussies and the world saw a republic as a done deal for the Centenary of Australian Federation in 2001 – the same as Barbados Prime Minister Stuart’s plan to celebrate 50 years of Bajan nationhood by establishing a republic.

And who wouldn’t blame the Aussies for wanting to dump the Crown? The country was established first as a penal colony, slavery really, with all the usual brutality and racial and class divisions.

But many Australians didn’t want to leave the decision to their Parliament as had been proposed “based upon the jubilant mood of the time”. Australians insisted on a referendum, and in the end the people said ‘No’ and voted to retain the Queen as Head of State.

The divisions in the population looked like this, says Wikipedia… (Australian 1999 Referendum)   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, History, Politics