Disrespecting the Disabled

Submitted by Anthony Davis
Senator Kerryann Ifill

Senator Kerryann Ifill, president of the Council For The Disabled

It is simple theft; the stealing of precious space –– parking spots reserved for the handicapped or disabled of our community. And the more we talk about it, the worse it seems to get.

Advocates for the disabled –– not least among them the president of the Council For The Disabled, Senator Kerryann Ifill herself –– say fines for the able-bodied who illegally park in the spots for the handicapped should be twice or triple what they are now. A few have recommended instead a mandatory seven days in jailBarbados Today

First of all let me congratulate “Barbados Today” for a well-written editorial. It is despicable for hard-backed men and women to park in spots reserved for the handicapped. I have noticed that mainly males park in such spots. Females tend to desist from breaking this law, as they do with most of our laws!

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Need to Maximize Tourism Budget in the US

Adrian Loveridge - Hotelier

Adrian Loveridge – Hotelier

Frankly I have never understood the seemingly illogical apportionment of the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) annual budget and the ways it has been spent across our principal tourism markets. The United States stands out as a vivid example. In the five years 2003-2007, we welcomed 654,281 American long stay visitors. For the same duration 2008-2012, that number (661,646) grew by a minuscule 7,365 persons or an increase of just 1.1 per cent, which barely represents an incremental annual average of 0.2 per cent.

During that same second period, our neighbour, St. Lucia, recorded a 4.6 per cent improvement of US arrivals. Hardly spectacular, but with all those throwing their hands up in the air, while shouting APD (Advanced Passenger Duty), recession, global economic meltdown and all the other possible excuses, is nothing to be ashamed of.

What continues to be puzzling is why ‘we’ continue to spend the lion’s share of the BTA budget in the US market, without being able to achieve a meaningful return on ‘our’ investment. More overseas offices, staff, airline subsidies, the legendary per diem and other expenses, than any other major source, but little or nothing to show for it! For instance compare the exact same period with Canada, which grew by 35 per cent (87,339 extra arrivals) or an average of 7 per cent per annum. The imminent withdrawal of American Airlines on the New York route is just one part of the problem. Yes! Our policymakers are scrabbling around trying to find alternative carriers to meet the loss of seats, but what exactly is the plan to fill them?

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A Message to Judges, Deliver Timely Decisions or We Withhold Your Pay

NewsdayWhen mention is made of layoffs in the public sector no thought is ever given to extending the treatment to our referred Judges. BU has been relentless in the effort to expose the inefficiency of the Judiciary – see Tales from the Courts. Chief Justice Marston Gibson of whom much was expected has resigned himself to communicating about the thousands of cases in backlog which has our courts in gridlock.

There is the saying that if there is to be a different result one cannot continue to do the same thing. The news which appears in today’s Trinidad Newsday newspaper seems relevant to Barbados. These are tough times for all citizens as we grapple with austere conditions, it is time for our Judges to suck it up.

The recommendation coming from a Chief Justice and a sitting Judge in Trinidad is to “WITHHOLD the pay of tardy judges as a penalty for failing to deliver judgments within six months of the conclusion of a case”.

Read the full article – NO PAY FOR TARDY JUDGES

Christmas Will Not Be Merry for Public Servants About to be Sent Home

Henderson Bovell

Henderson Bovell

Imagine! The house engulfed in flames, but the DLP assures: “don’t worry, we have the key to the front door!” The Government is now making the wild allegation that its ability to access a US$225M bridging loan in these tough economic times, is an indication that Barbados can still borrow on the International markets at reasonable rates.’. How can a “rolling-basis-interest-rate,” ‘EVER’ be a good thing?

Owen Arthur would describe this as: ‘a man jumping off the 80th floor of a building, without a parachute and when passing the 50th floor, is heard to say: “so far so good.” Let’s put this discussion in context. You will recall that the DLP was forced to withdraw its $500 million bond offer on the International Capital Market because (given the “JUNK BOND” status the DLP has earned for Barbados) respected and credible International Investors now find Jamaica’s debt more attractive than Barbados.’

Remember also, that the Central Bank of Barbados took-up US$375 million and essentially bought “JUNK:” with it, that is to say –  “DLP-JUNK-Bonds.” Then consider that since June, the DLP caused this country to lose over $400m in foreign reserves. With the foreign exchange cover causing panic, the DLP is “desperate” but it finds itself in a position of absolute weakness – having had four downgrade, including one to “JUNK,” as well as a negative credit rating.  Investors like Barbados but they have simply lost confidence in the DLP and with this much uncertainty (where all indicators are showing that things are deteriorating “fast”) a capital flight is inevitable!

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Rihanna, We do NOT Want Our Daughter to be Like YOU

Rihanna receiving her AMA Icon Award from her mother.

Rihanna receiving her AMA Icon Award from her mother.

We have had a couple of interesting news items in recent days which served to piqued the curiosity of members of the BU household. Sir Hilary Beckles is of the view Barbados must capitalize on the success of Rihanna and her one billion dollar enterprise. To support his view he referred to Jamaica having built an industry around Bob Marley and reggae.  BU is unsure how Beckles is able to make the comparison to Marley riding the crest of an indigenous genre of music anchored in the DNA of a nation. Rihanna maybe Barbadian – with Guyanese lineage -but her success has been manufactured on the back of a US-international genre of music. How Barbados can bottle and leverage for success the way Jamaica did for Marley remains highly sceptical but BU is optimistic.

Then we heard from Canon Frank Marshall on the need for Barbadians to embrace values which represented the core of what drove our success of yesteryear. Many will query though whether these values have to be embodied in a religious dogma to qualify.  There is a strong view held by some Barbadians that when the Church played a leading role in our society the nation appeared to be in a better place morally, socially and economically.

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Politics in the Civil Service of Barbados

Walter Blackman

Walter Blackman

The civil service of Barbados accounts for more than 25% of the country’s GDP. One dollar paid as salary to a civil servant is assumed to be one dollar worth of national output. Indifference, poor work habits, and political interference through the years have conspired to make this assumption spurious.

This article attempts to help readers understand the nature and depth of the civil service problem in Barbados by revisiting some historical signposts.

1954: The system of ministerial government was introduced in Barbados. The BLP held 16 out of 24 seats at the time so Grantley Adams became the first premier of the island and local control of the civil service began in earnest.

1974: Apparently angry and frustrated over attitudes aimed at blocking the implementation of his governmental policies, Errol Barrow as Prime Minister (PM) of Barbados, denounced the civil service as an ‘army of occupation’. He also amended the constitution to base the appointment of all judges on the recommendation of the PM after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition.

1976: Tom Adams became PM and political interference within the civil service reached unprecedented levels.

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UWI Guild Treasurer: Ital Spencer Removed

Submitted by Guild Watchdog
Mr. Italcla "Ital" Spencer

Mr. Italcla “Ital” Spencer

Some students described it as deja-vu. Others exclaimed their disapproval, that Ital Spencer was allowed to become Treasurer a second time after being removed by students from tenure on the 2012-13 Guild Council in November 2012.

History was created on his initial removal and it repeated itself on Thursday, 28th November, 2013 when Mr. Italcla “Ital” Spencer was twice removed via ‘Vote of Recall’ by the students of the Cave Hill Campus as the Guild’s Treasurer.

Spencer, who was recently suspended from the University for misconduct regarding the assault of another student, and was barred from representing the University in any official capacity after his suspension concluded, was subject to recall on the grounds of:

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