New local sports site!

Check out Bermuda Sports Network, featuring video coverage and interview about women's volleyball. You'll need QuickTime player installed to view the clips, however.

Props to whoever built this website. It looks like it was built using Joomla and seems like it's only a couple of months old. It deserves some publicity solely on the basis that it offers lots of video clips. Where else are you going to find coverage of lacrosse on the island, for example?

While I think the site can improve by providing either forum or commentary features like TalkSport, it's already guaranteed to be in my browser Favourites. Looking forward to more good stuff here.


Don't people think when making slogans?

Can you believe that a New Zealand group got together to come up with a slogan to promote an upcoming match against the West Indies, and thought that the slogan "It's all white here" would be in any way appropriate?

Who's in charge of that committee, David Duke?


Disgusting education statements

I agree that this has gotten out of hand.
"I don't give a damn that the unions are aggrieved."
This authoritarian outlook expressed by the head of the education Committee towards the head of the Bermuda Union of Teachers tells me that he's never cared for the opinions of those directly responsible for teaching students.

The BUT is right to ask for a resignation or dismissal, since they've gotten no respect from him. He's so focused on assembling tiers of management and having the 'employees' simply obey orders from high above. Teachers' input seems to be unneeded and undesired. Meanwhile we can only hope that students can get through a school year without being another political football.


Let's solve this Bermuda ID card issue now

A whole big ol' can of ranting has taken place after it was announced that Government wants to issue guest workers with ID cards to be used in lieu of their work permits.

Let's put this issue to bed right now. Government, give every resident an ID card. Bermudian, Spouse of Bermudian, guest worker. Senior citizen. Anybody living here over 16 years of age. Want to have the id numbers trackable to a database of employer information? Go ahead. Use them to help when you expand 'free transport' to all? Extra bonus, there. There are people living here who don't have a drivers' licence and may not want to lug around their passport as a form of ID. Plus it can serve as a voters' ID for the next election in 11 months' time to decide independence.

So if the budget for an expat ID scheme is 3 million dollars, up it to a generous 10 million and get it over with.


More abuse of 'literally'

Dear Peter Cottell of VSB News,
If you are quoting Bob Richards as putting his money where his mouth is, you CAN NOT add the term "literally" unless the guy is actually eating a wad of cash or something.

Thank you,


Bumper Gazette LttEs

There was so much in the Gazette's Letters column today that I had to post my thoughts on some of them...

A letter by "Uncommon Sense" captioned as "Deal with road baddies" highlights the fact that one driver managed to accumulate thousands of dollars' worth of fines before his case came before the courts. Was the driver notified of his fault and continued to drive anyway, or was there some delay in issuing the notification? The whole EVR situation may need to be reviewed at any rate.

Then we have a Canadian visitor lamenting that the Dolphin Quest business has penned their dolphins in a small swimming tank. This issue generally is out of my range, but I can see each side of the issue. Zoos and related facilities are there to showcase animals and provide living habitats while allowing for research into conservation and the like, but I would tend to agree that large social animals like dophins probably don't benefit from being restricted to a small area and being there to amuse wealthy visitors (and the occasional school trip).

Later on there's another (and it's played to death) letter about the Arizona sheriff who has inmates working on chain gangs and so forth. If this wasn't true, it would be a chain letter. Not gonna happen here in "the iiiiiiisland (tm Beyonce)".

We now come to one of my favourite topics, free public transport. Someone under the name "Ferry Rider" writes essentially the same thing that I've said for ages. They go on to add that it could become eventually a service to suffer from a budget cut as it generates less and less income. Which would be a travesty, considering that public transportation has to be considered a neccessity in Bermuda.

Focus has to be on availability and convenience rather than cost, but everybody in Government seems to think otherwise. Or doesn't care.

The next letter starts off parroting the "free transport saves money/oil/reduce traffic" spiel (that has not proven to work) notion but it gets better. Foreigners getting off scot free? The author raises concern that Government believes that all non-Bermudians don't pay taxes. Keep an eye on that.

There's some worthy praise for organisations such as the Sea Cadets and Raleigh International that comes next. Good to see this stuff.

Next is a rant about Government spending money on the National Sports Centre swimming facility. The author seems familiar and I think that he's simply an anti-sports crusader (if I recall he was against funding the cricket programme a couple of years ago). He seems to believe that nothing should be spent on sports and the like when there's a housing crisis.

I definitely believe that the housing crisis takes precedence over sports facilities, and Government should endeavour to get their housing projects completed with utmost priority. However, funds should always be invested in programmes that benefit the youth, and the swimming associations have suffered for years, limited by lack of a international-standard facility. To indict "the PLP" negatively for this venture is in poor taste. Luckily this guy lives in Arizona and probably has both a house and a community pool to enjoy. Okay, low blow, sorry.

Finally, Barack Obama gets more recognition for being a uniter of people rather than a divider and if there's one positive thing that the U.S. elections gave, it's that people were more motivated to vote and feel like their country was coming together instead of being torn apart.

Deprivation of income

I'm sorry, but the judge who let this guy off with a suspended sentence for stealing crops from somebody else needs to be slapped. This guy deliberately and without remorse, attempted to deprive somebody else from income, in the field of agriculture, which we don't have much of here anyway.

The opportunity was there to make a statement to would-be thieves that there's a serious penalty for theft in this country and they blew it. It disgusts me.


Lane marker busted up again

There's a two-foot high lane marker on Burnaby Street where it intersects with Church Street and Cedar Avenue. When it was decided to make that part of Burnaby a two-lane road, they erected it so that traffic would take the left lane when turning into it from Church Street and not the right lane.

However, every now and then somebody fails to negotiate their way around the lane marker and end up striking it. Luckily for them, the marker is made from plastic and not something less forgiving such as steel or concrete. Friday night, this fella drove his car right over the marker, shattering it and spreading debris all over the place. Later on, the mangled marker was back in its original position but the evidence of the smash was all over the road.

Since the lane marker appears to be a necessary fixture on this road (people love to cut corners), perhaps they should have a concrete one instead. Again, drivers would be more cautious if the obstacle in their path is more likely to damage their vehicle rather than serve as a minor hinderance...


False start for BNN

I take it back, Bermuda Network Whatchamacallit didn't work out too much, eh. No new content since the so-called 'launch'. If I was one of the advertisers I'd be all 'wtf?'.

Throne Speech observations

Nothing too exciting, I found, and some of the items that I was curious about were brought up in the speech today.

Education and our young people, as it should, was a top issue in this speech. Highlighting the opportunity for kids to get a tertiary education was good, but we really need to up the bar where secondary education is concerned. Graduation rates don't tell me much if we don't know how these students are faring in GCSEs or SATs or equivalent. Other items in this vein include apprentice contracts and a career centre (which can be useful).

Glad to see healthcare mentioned. Not just the hospital situation, but programmes dealing with fitness.

This one raised my eyebrow:
We must grow trained, exposed Bermudian journalists and the Government intends to cultivate the latent interest in these careers through its own relationships with overseas news and broadcasting agencies.
What does that mean? Government wants to handle training journalists? Is that a swipe at the existing media organisations (excluding of course Bermuda Network News)? That whole paragraph was a completely open slash at the Gazette, Sun, VSB and Berm Broadcastin'.

Road safety got a mention, yet it looks like they're focusing not on the current state of poor driving but hoping the next generation miraculously becomes safer drivers. Graduated licenses. Wish they would review the Motor Vehicles Act or Road Traffic Act or whatever it was called.

With regards to crime, it's good that Government is keeping focus on the issue. Witness protection looks like a good idea.

They've committed to getting the swimming complex up. Wow. Good stuff.

The mention of additions to the National Parks system conveniently left out the Southlands area. (*Vexed noticed this first. Actually, shoot, go read his post and leave me alone, heh)

I liked that water conservation was brought up as with a continuing influx of workers and less resources to sustain them, having enough water for drinking and other purposes will be important. Of course they probably shouldn't cut down more trees and burn more electricity in their promotion campaigns, but what can you do. If the reverse osmosis plant is successful that will be great.

I'm not sure what a Cultural Legacy Fund is, but can understand the value it could have to the population if applied correctly and not having things decreed to us without first providing the necessary backstory and chance for sharing opinions.

Well again, go to Vexed for a better study. And to the other blogs and forums in due course once commentary is raised there.

If I had a big rock

We have some seriously inconsiderate drivers on our roads. Last night I was leaving town late (had volleyball matches) and was riding the bike near the Tennis Stadium. It was pouring. As usual, that section of road gets really flooded. As I slowed down and inched along, near the centre of the road, tredging through at least two inches of water, a car approached. I'm figuring that the driver *must* see me, and slow down so as not to drench me.


This twat flies through, coating myself with nice muddy water.

If you're reading this, inconsiderate driver, consider yourself lucky that it was late, dark and pouring too hard for me to have caught your licence plate number after that maneuvre. If I had something at hand I would have seriously considered following you and flinging a rock at your windshield, to see how you like being coated with crap.


What I'd like to see from Parliament

It's been a long break for Parliament, but the Throne Speech is tomorrow and our elected officials will be back to debate and vote and hopefully not puff their chests and measure their dicks too much this session.

With a new U.S. President just being elected (no I'm all Baracked-out right now, go elsewhere for the praise and plaudits, heh) and the issues with the global economy affecting us, it's critical for our elected leaders to make the correct decisions to ensure this small country maintains stability and doesn't risk serious losses (financial, social, educational, etc.)

Some of the things I'd like to see discussed and or put into immediate progress are:
  • KEMH - so it was decided to rebuild on existing site. There's a eastern Urgent Care Centre slated to open next year, but meanwhile this building, decades old, remains in part a decrepit facility in need of replacement.
  • Retailers are struggling on the island. Costs are high, consumers aren't happy with the lack of choice and profits are dwindling. Look at all the "out of business" sales going on on Front St. Yes, the EEZ is there and there's opportunities for new start-up ventures, but it seems that there's a sizeable about of people about to lose their jobs and livelihood.
  • Housing for poor and lower middle class remains difficult. Sure, a piece-of-the-rock isn't a birthright, but people shouldn't have to go into huge debt to live here. More initiatives should be encouraged. Like when I suggested duty breaks for businesses that add residential components to their large office complexes. If Government can help to seriously boost the supply of housing, for both purchase and rent, it'll help those trying to get off the ground.
  • Injuries on the road continue to pile up at a high rate. At the last sitting of Parliament the Road Safety Council's proposals were already known, but they did F*-all about it. Will they bring it up this time? Could they actually enact policies such as cameras at traffic stops, frequent 'accident' points and known places where people act lawlessly on the roads? Will they propose a ban on using a mobile phone while driving? And no, EVR does not fit into this discussion.
  • Where sports is concerned, well the performance of the senior men's cricket team next year will determine a lot when it comes to allocating future funds, but the swimming pool complex needs to be sorted out. Not shifted aside to build an ICC-approved facility at White Hill.

Things that I don't want to hear instead:

  • Parliamentary salaries review. Good freaking you know what. Can't get the Police pay sorted out, the teachers had to deal with mishaps and now this b.s.? Wish we could give them an employee review and demote their pay package.
  • This whole casino/lottery/internet gaming study as proposed by the Premier. It's not the time. Even though I would support a national lottery with proceeds benefitting sports, arts and community programmes, this stuff doesn't pack the importance of the above-mentioned items.


More speed bumps, not a problem

There's a great article on Nation News by Robert Best that discusses the habits of drivers when speed bumps are in the road, and why it may be a good idea to have them wherever there is a school pedestrian crossing.

The fact in Bermuda is that signs are ineffective in getting drivers to slow down when approaching a crossing, especially when there is a pedestrian looking to cross the street. Since the law is not enforced on such drivers, pedestrians on the street are completely at the mercy of drivers.

So, despite the obvious objections from the motoring public that would arise, Government should immediately erect raised pedestrian crossings, starting with those in school zones. People will definitely show care and concern if the state of their vehicle is at risk.

This is why the idea of constructing speed bumps does not appeal to many among us. They are more concerned about the bumps becoming a humbug, forcing them to drive slowly when they want to be speeding, and worse yet, they do not take kindly to the idea that they might damage their vehicles if they should unwittingly hit one of these bumps.
If Government will get out of election mode and trying to win votes, and instead works on bettering the island, in this case, make the streets safer, they'll implement it as soon as possible.