Sunday, August 29, 2010


Vote Welectricity

Welectricity, an innovative, award-winning tool for delivering energy efficiency via social networking is in contention in the GE Ecomagination Challenge, a global search by one of the world’s largest companies for the best ideas in the world that will help power the 21st century ‘smart grid’.

The Ecomagination Challenge, backed by a US$200 million fund and launched by GE earlier this month in collaboration with leading venture capital firms RockPort Capital, KPCB , Foundation Capital, and Emerald Technology Ventures, is a global commitment to build an innovative clean energy future.

The first round of the challenge is based on open voting – and Welectricity, the brainchild of Vincentian energy consultant Herbert A (Haz) Samuel, is now ranked in the top ten of over 530 ideas submitted to GE from all corners of the globe.

Subsequent rounds of the challenge will be adjudicated by GE’s panel of experts and several ideas will be selected for cash prizes and for the development of commercial working relationships with GE

Continue here

Thursday, August 26, 2010


15 or 17 seats?

On November 25th, the national referendum on Constitutional reform was defeated. That defeat was a body blow to the ruling United Labour Party who anticipated a much better showing than the 43+% it received. On the other hand, the Opposition New Democratic Party buoyed by the results and sensing blood have been relentless in their attacks on the ruling party. Although the referendum was supposedly non political I believe many used it to vent against what they perceived as shortcomings by the ULP. With elections due by March 2011,the atmosphere in little st Vincent is highly charged.

Very recently a damning report( leaked to the Opposition) by the Audit office on the mishandling of funds at the Ministry of Health has been all over the media. It's publicity the ruling party could do with out as they have been forced to do damage control on a civil service matter. Then on Tuesday, the High court upheld an opposition injunction to prevent the publication of the Constituencies Boundaries report. This after parliament had approved an amendment to increase the parliamentary seats from 15 to 17. However, the NDP felt that the increase in seats amounted to gerrymandering especially as the Opposition Leader stood to lose a portion of his constituency that is a stronghold. While I am not certain what this ruling means I believe that 17 seats are too many for this small country. If I had my way, for sure the Grenadines seat would be one instead of two as we have a situation where subject to correction the Southern Grenadines has a voting population of less 3000. But then again politicians usually act in a manner that is expedient to them with little or no thought to what is best for the country. Can we really afford two more ministers and more senators? I think not, to borrow a phrase from the Republicans we need smaller government. If people have to tighten their belts in harsh economic times then government can't be getting bigger.

Most times, I just wish the Prime Minister would call elections and let the country get back some normalcy as I'm convinced this limbo state does nothing for us. Ring the bell PM,ring it,

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Wyclef denied

For weeks I've been following with interest Wyclef Jean's bid for the presidency of Haiti. As a fan of the Fugees, I always knew he was Haitian but had left the country at a young age. So, I was rather surprised that he had thrown his hat in the ring given that there was a stipulation that prospective candidates had to have been resident in the country for 5 consecutive years prior to election day. Apart from that hiccup, Wyclef and his Yele foundation have been under fire for the alleged misappropriation of funds. Yet his candidacy was met with such exuberance especially by the youth that you dared to dream he could do the impossible. After all,Schwarzenegger who had never held public office and whose political views were unknown to most californians had won the Californian gubernatorial race.

However, following the ruling of Haiti's electoral council it appears that there is no fairy tale end for Wyclef. Still the problems that plague the Haitians,chief amongst them lack of leadership are ever present.I believe it's this desperate need for leadership that made Wyclef and his superstar persona so attractive despite him not having a manifesto that detailed how he intended to take Haiti forward. Apart from the hope his candidacy bid ignited there is no doubt it also brought the attention of the international media right back to Haiti. As was to be expected after the at times indecent coverage Haiti slowly slipped off the radar, almost forgotten by all as we slipped back into our comfortable routines. With the media 's renewed interest we learnt that conditions in Haiti remained dire and many of the international donors had reneged on their promises.

Now that Wyclef's candidacy has been stalled it will be interesting to see how the media responds. I do suspect that their focus will point elsewhere especially if Wyclef's legal challenge fails. Maybe, Wyclef's next bid should be ensuring that the media continues to shine a light on the Haitian situation. That might just be more rewarding than any presidential office.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


Remembering LI 319

Twenty four years ago the nation was plunged into mourning when LI 319 disappeared off Cane Garden point taking 13 souls to a watery grave. If ever there was a case when thirteen was an unlucky number then this was it. Not only were there thirteen persons on board but if you were to add the flight number it takes you right back to thirteen.

Over the years, we have been jolted by plane accidents a little too often for my liking. From my memory in 1997 or 95 after a cricket match between the West Indies and Sri Lanka a private plane filled with Trinidadian cricket lovers lost their lives shortly after takeoff. In 2006 an SVG airliner en route to the ET Joshua airport from Canouan disappeared taking two to their deaths. In the early 90's(subject to correction) a plane heading to Bequia crashed in the Ashburton area killing all on board.Lastly, In 2007 as the Australians were engaged in a CWC07 practice match a light aircraft crashed in the Arnos vale river. Thankfully, no lives were lost.

However, none of those crashes shook the nation like that of August 3rd 1986. On board that ill fated plane, amongst others was the popular and beloved beauty queen Donna Young, former government minister Hudson Tannis, his wife and young son. As far as I know there has never been any official reason given as to why LI 319 dropped from the skies but like most things rumours abound. Whatever the reason,on what I was told was a very stormy night the lives of several persons were changed forever on this dark day in Vincentian history. May their souls rest in peace

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