Article on Yarrowkabra was based on lies and deception

Dear Editor,

There is an article on Yarrowkabra in the last Sunday Stabroek that causes me much heartache. There are other words to describe how I feel about such dishonesty in reporting but the one that I will state for now is hurt. Howard will be upset with me for writing this letter because he is a very humble person, but you owe it to your readership to correct the lies you published.

The paragraph that says “The charcoal industry according to villagers, is one of the most vibrant businesses in the area. While the glass factory is no longer in operation, the charcoal business which is run mostly by women has now filled the vacuum and quite a lot of the women seek work there” is the most blatant piece of lies I have ever read in your newspaper. I do not believe in euphemisms. A lie is a lie.

Let me state the facts: my brother Howard Bulkan leased the glass factory from the Government of Guyana many years ago and has put up a world class factory there to kiln dry lumber for the local market and export and he also has a shingle factory. Did Miss Roxanne Clarke seek an interview with Howard? Did the factory escape the lens of Miss Anjuli Persaud and all she could photograph was a picture of remnants of a decrepit glass factory? Shame on you S.N. for perpetuating these lies.

Did Miss Althea Peters tell you that Howard gives them the wood to make the charcoal free of cost? Let me repeat that — free of cost. When other saw millers charge for sawdust and remnants Howard gives it away free.

We were not brought up to trumpet our own horns but I do not believe in writing anonymous letters and I want your readers to know that you engage in deceptive reporting. I honestly expected higher standards from you S.N. If Mr. de Caires were alive I would have called him immediately I read this article but alas, he is no longer with us.

Miss Peters is quoted as saying “there are no job opportunities in the area or on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway”. Really? Howard employs more than 300 people, 80 of whom are from the area. There is also Splashmin’s Resort, you have a photograph of a sawmill there, you mentioned the Big T Resort – is this a case where this article made it to press with no fact checking      whatsoever?

This article is based on lies and deception. Shame on you Stabroek News.

Yours truly,
Jennifer Bulkan

Editor’s note:

We  disagree completely with Ms Bulkan’s description of the article as based on “lies and deception”. The World Beyond Georgetown is a community feature in which residents are given an opportunity to speak about their lives and experiences and to highlight special features of the community. It is not intended to be a definitive description of the area boundary to boundary or business to business but merely a snapshot. This instalment on Yarrowkabra fell well within that framework.

Ms Bulkan first describes as lies a paragraph in the feature that said that the charcoal industry is one of the most vibrant businesses in the area and that the glass factory is no longer in operation. It may well be that the charcoal industry is not one of the most vibrant businesses in the area but the residents who posited this surely have a right to their views on this subject and given that they live in the community their view might be considered to be more valid and credible than Ms Bulkan’s. It is a fact that the glass factory is no longer in operation so that is clearly not a lie.

The reporter in question was not directed to Mr Bulkan’s establishment and therefore did not try to speak to him or his representatives. However, it might be of some interest to Ms Bulkan that an interview was carried with Mr Bulkan in the Stabroek Business of July 29, 2011 about his pre-fab business at Yarrowkabra.

Ms Althea Peters did indeed tell the reporter that she had received wood free of cost but this was unfortunately omitted by the reporter. Ms Peters however did not say that the wood had been supplied by Mr Bulkan.

Ms Bulkan also takes issue with Ms Peters’ description of the area as lacking job opportunities. Ms Peters was likely stating that there were no jobs for her and others like her in the charcoal industry and this is not incongruous with the fact that there are establishments in the community offering jobs to persons resident there.

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