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A Returning Diaspora’s Feedback

by Juliet Ceesay

I was invited to the Legislative Assembly for the first time to witness my friend Shirley sworn in as Speaker. I became the observer observing the display of HUGE EGO/MINDS competing with one another with campaign rhetoric.

As a Diaspora spending time in Montserrat, I wonder if the egos of these men/women will be put aside in order to rebuild the nation and move forward. Will these leaders come together for the common good of Montserrat? Is election over, or are we going to continue listening to leaders of this country continue to insult one another over ZJB radio and the rest of the world? People are listening.

Transparency — Reuben used it, Claude used it, but the words that followed the word “transparency” leaves a lot to be desired. Election is over ladies and gentlemen. It is time for the healing of the people on the island to take place and stop the intellectual talking and competition with one another. It starts at the top with you the leaders.

People are waiting to see how this new party is going to move the country forward, and the insults and rude behavior need to stop on both sides. Reuben and Romeo, can you two find a way to come together, put aside your differences, and help make the transition from one government to another. Just the two of you! It makes no sense to cancel everything that Reuben has built in 20 years and start all over again because you don’t like the way he ran the country. Use his experience to build upon what is already in place and then make any adjust you deem necessary along the way. Why replace everything? From an old woman’s perspective and wisdom, that makes absolutely no sense to me.

I am not choosing sides, but to be fair, Reuben thank you for your 20 years of service given to the island. I might not like your leadership style, but you helped to rebuild the nation. I would have loved to hear that in the Assembly yesterday. Thank you Reuben. It is better to praise than to criticize.

Namaste!

 

Posted in Feedbacks, Local, News4 Comments

Feedback: Montserrat anticipates possible ban for VOIP applications

Nort Edwards

On the blocking of VOIP by Digicel and LIME – C & W tried to do that with the “call back process in the mid to late 90’s. That was where a number in the USA was called which triggered a call back and the Caribbean could dial a number at a hugely reduced rate.

In Anguilla the government stood up to C&W when they tried to block the ‘callback “dodge”. C & W backed down.

For a couple of reasons. I do not think they can block the VOIP because it is internet service which they must provide. Also most also provide SMS which is not voice and if they block that then they can block the e-mail services.

Also what do they do about the cable tv companies that provide internet service and have been for years?

Before the Islands were scared to death of C & W but they could not take a fight and that is why they have essentially collapsed worldwide.

Posted in Feedbacks, Local6 Comments

Drill again – this time ‘directional’ ? “Geothermal Resource best news”

Colin Leslie Beadon
Comment:
Back in the 70’s, I drilled seven wells in St Lucia for steam. We met steam in four, but had to kick off ‘directionally in two, to find a fracture.
You can go down too deep and pass through a heat zone. I know, as I ran the Amarada wireline survey bombs myself.  The St  Lucian wells that produced, produced superheated steam from below 700 to 1200 or so feet,  and a great deal of noise.
They were tested at 3.5 megawatts, but it was never used, and later I went back with a crew and cemented them in.  The one good well the Americans drilled later, was said to be 12 megawatts, and was drilled to 9000ft, I’m told.
Anybody interested in the success of the 1975-77, St Lucia steam wells, can email me. I was in full charge of the drilling and the temperature surveys on those wells, two of which we dyna-drilled to get into a heat zone.  The two major wells blasted superheated steam and filled the area around with steam and shuddering noise. They were tested at 3.5 megawatts.
 E-mail : clbeadon@gmail.com (Colin L Beadon.)

Posted in Feedbacks, Local, News, Opinions3 Comments

Feedback: Power Outages: a money issue

 Power Outages: a money issueFitzroy Martin comments:

Governments all over the world are in place to work in the best interest of citizens but in Montserrat the opposite always seem to happen.

The merger of Monlec (Montserrat Electricity Services) and (Montserrat Water Authority) has resulted in financial ruin to a company that existed and profited for over 25 years. The people of Montserrat will suffer for this.

Anyone remember that 18 years ago Monlec was ready to build in Lime Field? How is it then that all now we cannot have definite word on a power station?

Look at nonsense. The manager of MUL (Montserrat Utilities Ltd.) is saying that “they” – legal team is saying that the company is responsible! So what does he say? Pension funds are deducted at source by MUL …. Employees cannot refuse to pay or they cannot remain employed by MUL …. Now the officials trying to remove themself. Government has created this situation because many years ago when merger was announced employees requested payouts and instead legislation was passed to prevent this. Where is the justice? After 10 years members of parliament have secure pensions. Why after 20 and 30 years MUL employees faced with this? How can anyone put faith in government?

Now the officials trying to remove themself. Government has created this situation because many years ago when merger was announced employees requested payouts and instead legislation was passed to prevent this. Where is the justice? After 10 years members of parliament have secure pensions. Why after 20 and 30 years MUL employees faced with this? How can anyone put faith in government?

Posted in Feedbacks, Local, News, OpinionsComments Off on Feedback: Power Outages: a money issue

Follow-up One Response to “Expat M’rat home-owner suggests cost saver alternative energy to geothermal” Chris Lynt says:

I have been told that the information I presented above was discussed with a member of the energy committee on Montserrat but was “discounted.”
Therefore, I would like to point out that it was based on information from a wind industry informational web site which states that the “costs for a utility scale wind turbine in 2012 ranged from about $1.3 million to $2.2 million per MW [mega watt] of nameplate capacity installed. This cost has come down dramatically from what it was just a few years ago. Most of the commercial-scale turbines installed today are 2 MW in size and cost roughly $3-$4 million installed.”
(see: http://www.windustry.org/resources/how-much-do-wind-turbines-cost)
Of course, an off-shore installation in the tropics might reasonably be expected to cost more than the average $1.3 to $2.2 million to install for numerous reasons.

Posted in Feedbacks, Letters, Local1 Comment

Feedback: New Generating Power plant – how will the ailing present last till mid 2015?

E-mail : hydrorescue@yahoo.com
Comment:
I am a former ship’s engineer who routinely produced electric power as one aspect of the job using both steam turbines and diesel units.   Presently I am sitting in a 500KW hydroelectric plant that I built in Vermont.   When I sell my home and business here I shall retire and live on Montserrat. So you might say, I have some expertise and an interest in Montserrat and her people.

First, I’d like to say Chris Lynt’s recommendation of solar and small wind is very viable and can be a personal solution to the power problem.  Solar panels have come way down in price from just a few years ago.   Wholesale I recently bought over 6KW of panels for 5200 US dollars.  That is 30 panels at 215 watt each. Larger quantities can be bought even cheaper.

Secondly I’d like to say there are always expensive options and cheaper options.  When people are allowed freedom to choose, cheaper and better options are usually found.   Inhibiting freedom to choose, or putting high taxes in place always makes for higher costs.

Thirdly there are many surplus diesel units available which could be bought for a small fraction of the price of this new 1.5MW unit being purchased.

Fourthly if asked I will assist in finding low cost solutions as long as long as the freedom to chose all options isn’t inhibited.

Chris Kruger
hydrorescue@yahoo.com

Posted in Columns, Feedbacks, Local0 Comments

Feedback: New Generating Power plant – how will the ailing present last till mid 2015

Follow-up: “New Generating Power plant – how will the ailing present last till mid 2015?”
by Christopher Lynt
E-mail : chlpatent@aol.com

Comment:

I was glad to read that, “…the new power station [will be] designed so that future potential of green energy can be easily integrated into the generated plant…” but I wonder if this means that so-called “net metering” will be available.

Net metering is where a consumer’s on-site generated electric energy, e.g., from roof solar photovoltaic  panels or from one or more small wind turbines, is connected to the electrical power grid at the consumer’s meter and used to offset electric energy provided by the utility to the consumer.  If everyone on Montserrat had electricity generating solar panels and/or small wind turbines on their properties connected to the grid, besides reducing the cost of electricity to the consumer, it would help with meeting peak demand for electricity.

It is a rare day on Montserrat when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. I calculated that I could generate all the electricity I normally use when visiting Montserrat, on average about 10 kWh per day, to power my refrigerator mostly, by installing about twelve 200 watt solar panels covering a roof area of about 182 sq. ft. (16.9 sq. meters).  The problem is without net metering, I’d also have to install enough storage batteries to store the energy for after dark usage.

If anyone is interested in my calculations, here they are:  solar insolation of  5 kWhm-2 per day is a typical value for tropical regions, like Montserrat.  For each Wp (peak watt) of rated power a solar panel will provide 0.85 watt hours of energy per kWhm-2 per day of “insolation” (available/useable energy from the sun).  So a 200 Watts peak solar panel should produce 200 x 0.85 x 5 = 850 Watt hours per day.  Twelve panels will provide 12 x 850 = 10.2 kilowatt hours of energy per day.

A typical 185Wp solar panel measures about 1.3 sq. meters.  Using 185Wp panels I’d need 13 to have 10.2 kWhr, so 13 x 1.3 = 16.9 sq. meters (181.9 sq. ft.) or a roof area facing south of about 13.5 x 13.5 feet.  (“kWhm-2” in the insolation value in the calculations is kilowatt hour per square meter.)

Solar energy is a mostly untapped resource on Montserrat, as are wind and tidal energy. If solar panels and small wind turbines could be given duty-free status, the payback time for the capital investment would make solar/wind competitive with other means of energy generation.

In some cases, the economics might make more sense for MUL to own and maintain the panels while leasing the space on a resident’s roof through a reduced electric rate.  This leasing is being done currently in the US in some areas as the cost per watt of solar energy has plummeted in recent years.  [I am an electrical engineer (MSCEE) and work as a patent attorney in the US and my family has owned property on Montserrat since the 1960’s.]

I should also mention that solar panels are designed to withstand hurricane force winds and a certain level of impact from flying debris, for example.  How they would hold up against volcanic ash is an open question.  However, I assume some of the remote monitoring the MVO does is powered by small solar panels and storage batteries so perhaps the MVO’s experience would be informative!  One can assume that any ash fall would require cleaning of solar panels or else their output would fall dramatically.

Let me mention also, for the interested,  this recent Op-Ed in The Caribbean Journal of Feb. 9, 2013 which discusses many of the issues Montserrat is facing regarding energy generation:  http://www.caribjournal.com/2013/02/09/op-ed-solar-energy-and-the-caribbeans-economic-future/

Posted in Feedbacks, General, Local0 Comments

Feedback: Beautifying the island

A Study of Isle’s Bay Beach – relating to Sand mining

Mr. Galloie
E-mail : mgallomont@yahoo.com

It’s ubsurd. I can’t believe there is sand mining at Isles Bay. Who are the idiots that have no clue?

What Montserrat needs attract tourisum, not the opposite. You have Jumby beach, the whole stretch of beach from Plymouth to Bransby Point to ream sand…don’t you!?

What the hell are you thinking of. Instead of repairing and beautifying the island, you’re just xxxx it up!

Nice work! Montserrat has a huge potential of becoming the jewel it once was. For this, you need bright ideas, ideas that attract interest. You need attractions, activities, order.

The other fact is you duty fees on everything including a Q-tip!

Why? What is it that the Gov. doesn’t understand? Make your money with tourisum, not by ripping people off with duty fees on top of fees and red tape.

Get A Clue, get real!

Posted in Feedbacks, News1 Comment

FEEDBACKS

Long live Murphy’s, I say

Comment:
I vehemently agree with Ms. Osborne’s article re: Murphy’s. As an individual who has also traveled to the four corners of the earth, I too relish the “off the beaten path” locales that any country has to offer. I also relish the new and upbeat thing of it all; however there is a certain je’ne se quois to be found in the former. I haven’t been to MNI post Soufrierre eruption but look forward to some semblance of home as I once knew at such time when I return. The familiar and nostalgic that gives so many that sense of comfort and security. Peace, Love and Blessings to all and a sincere hope that a decision (decisions) will be made for the greater good. Long live Murphy”s I say!

philapoet@hotmail.com

“Only a holistic plan and approach will work”
E-mail : siandthediggi@msn.com

Comment:
Seems to me that Capt. John has nailed the whole thing, the Carrs Bay / Little Bay development is not meant for Montserrations, locals will, in the main be excluded.

 

Posted in Feedbacks, Local, News1 Comment

TMR was asked, ‘why so little festival coverage?’

A comment posted on the website asked: “Why is there so little coverage in this newspaper about events taking place as Montserrat celebrates its 50th year of festival? Assuming that one or more reporters from the paper are attending the events and so would expect to see more coverage than this sole article. We are after all now into the second week of festival.”

Our brief response:

Thanks.

Did you notice that there has not been not one note of Festival ads/notices/info in the paper for the entire year?  The startling reality of this came to this crisis and the source of its perpetration only recently became evident.

However, who are the people that will bring the real wealth at Festival time even before the crisis? The working MNIs who can come for two weeks and the rest of the world, that The Montserrat Reporter (TMR) reaches via the internet, are in the tens of thousands.

www.themontserratreporter.com is accessed by people from over 170 countries around the world, with the most visits and hits out of the US, UK, Europe to the least Macau. There is also the Facebook page and amazing number read and download the online print pages.

The question is also appropriate and a response relevant, regarding the Little Bay, port and new town development. The story may be different but the ignorance is the same.

There is a direct effort to kill this newspaper and one way they do it is not to give any kind of business to it. Starve its progress and development, but deny Montserrat exposure.  Unfortunately, in the end, the big loser is Montserrat, and there are those who know that.

We still look for a responsible government who recognizes interest in the people to know that they have an obligation to reach all the people all the time. The majority are without computers or access. Strong emphasis on social media, but the informed knows its place.

It might explain in simpler terms that after TMR was told that its staff will be limited to two passes to cover festival committee event during festival. Should passes be necessary? To satisfy ignorance; and to avoid delay since the gate keepers are rarely knowledgeable how to deal with independent media personnel. Except that the level of ignorance does exist in other quarters, there is usually no difficulty with the private shows that insist on media coverage, but naturally need identities.

Posted in Columns, Feedbacks, News1 Comment

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