Group Title: Tribune. (Nassau, Bahamas).
Title: The Tribune
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: The Tribune
Uniform Title: Tribune (Nassau, Bahamas)
Alternate Title: Nassau tribune
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 58 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tribune
Place of Publication: Nassau Bahamas
Publication Date: August 19, 2005
Copyright Date: 2005
Frequency: daily, except sunday
normalized irregular
Genre: newspaper   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Bahamas
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 79, no. 210 (Aug. 3, 1983); title from caption.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00084249
Volume ID: VID00185
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 09994850

Full Text






I"ST YOt |

Volume: 101 No.219 FRIDAY, AUGUST 19, 2005 PRICE 500


US withdraws

2006 deadline

Tribune Staff Reporter
BAHAMIAN tourism offi-
cials yesterday breathed a sigh
of relief as the United States
withdrew the proposed Decem-
ber 31 2006 deadline for the
implementation of its new pass-
port rules, thus averting a pos-
sible multi-million revenue loss.
for the industry.
The US State Department on
Wednesday announced that the
deadline for the Western Hemi-
sphere Travel Initiative, which
requires all US citizens to pre-
sent a valid passport upon
returning from the Bahamas,
Caribbean countries, and Ceni-
tral and South America, is now
under review.
Speaking with The Tribune
yesterday, Minister of Tourism
Obie Wilchcombe said that this
development "will benefit the
entire Caribbean".
"The review of the timeline is
indicative of our desire to be
flexible, practical, and pragmatic
and to listen to public feed-
back," State Department
spokesman Steve Pike told the
US media.
In the Bahamas, Michael
Taylor, chief political, econom-
ic, and public relations officer at
the US Embassy, also con-
firmed that the implementation
deadline is now being revised.
"The deadline is being
revised. We do not have a new
deadline as yet, but expect that
information soon," he said.
The US Embassy in a press
release stated that the Depart-
ments of State and Homeland
Security recognised that imple-
menting the requirements of

the passport legislation would
have "potentially significant
"For this reason, we have
reviewed our initial proposed
timeline that had suggested a
three-phased schedule.
"The Administration is now
proposing a revised timeline for
implementation. This imple-
mentation schedule will be pub-
lished in the Federal Register
in the near future," the state-
ment said.
Mr Wilchcombe attributed
the withdrawal of the Decem-
ber 2006 deadline to the com-
bined efforts of all the
Caribbean countries and those
who fought the issue on their
"We are obliged to the CTO
(Caribbean Tourism Organisa-
tion) who became involved' in
June, as well as to Congress-
man Charles Rangel (of New
York), and especially to
Ambassador John Rood who
spoke on our behalf, so we are
sending him a big 'thank you',"
,he said.
Following the initial
announcement of the new pass-
port rules, Caribbean countries
raised the concern that the
December deadline would not
give travellers sufficient time to
apply for the necessary docu-
ments, thereby leading to a sig-'
nificant decrease in American
visitors to the region.
As travellers to Mexico and
Canada were given until 2008
to comply with the policy, the
Caribbean also felt discriminat-
ed against.
A study prepared for the
SEE page 11

* The Prince Brigades and Princess Guides outside the gate to their tabernacle, where church services are conducted daily.
(Photo: Mario Duncanson/ Tribune Staff)

Rasta fury after 'police raid'

Tribune Staff Reporter
THE local Rasta church is up in arms
about an early morning raid conducted
at their Fire Trail Road headquarters.
They claim that their priests and their
order of service were grossly disrespect-
ed by DEU agents.
They are calling on the Bahamas gov-
ernment and society to respect their

church, which is officially registered with
the United Nations. The Rastas say that
for too long, the police have violated
their human rights. They believe the
action of the police yesterday was "blas-
Priest Philip Gibson told The Tribune
yesterday that just after completing an
all-night church service in honour of
Marcus Mosiah Garvey, and just as the
morning roll call service had begun,

Answers soon on

petroleum leak

Tribune Staff Reporter
THE public should know by
the weekend whether an appar-
ent petroleum leak near a local
service station has contaminat-
ed nearby ground water and
Parliamentary Secretary in
the Ministry of Health Ron Pin-
der told The Tribune yesterday
that the Environmental Moni-
toring Risk Assessment Depart-

ment has completed its test of
soil and water samples taken
from the ground in front of the
Shell Service Station on East
Bay Street and given the
Department of Environmental
Health a report which he was
preparing to make public.
It was about two weeks ago
that what was believed to have
been a leak was discovered. At
that time, management at the
SEE page 11

more than a dozen officers bombarded
the premises.
"We had just carried up Psalms read-
ing after 8am when our service was rude-
ly interrupted by a force of officers," he
said yesterday.
"We told them to take off their shoes,
because they were standing on holy
ground. We told them that guns and
SEE page 11

Investigation into

missing American

POLICE are launching an
investigation into the disap-
pearance of an American
man who was last seen alive
on Andros more than 22
years ago.
In a remarkable series of
articles published in the Mia-
mi New Times, widow Donna
Weaver recounts the search
for her husband, Gary
Weaver, who she believes dis-
appeared during a botched
1983 FBI drug operation.
Mrs Weaver believes that

her husband was shot and
buried next to an Andros
airstrip during the operation
which is believed to have
involved crooked FBI agents.
Bahamas Royal Police
Force Superintendent Glen
Miller told The Tribune yes-
terday that while police are
still trying to "establish that
there was a death" they have
launched an active investiga-
tion into discovering what
SEE page 11

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Police seek
man for

POLICE are looking
to question an unidenti-
fied male in connection
with a rape incident
which occurred on
Thursday May 26.
He is considered
armed and extremely
He is of medium
brown complexion, slim
build and stands at 5
feet, 11 inches.
If you have any infor-
mation concerning this
person, please contact
the police at 919, 322-
3333, 502-9991 or crime
tipsters at 328-8477.

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SMITNTSTER of Trade and Industry Leslie Miller II minister listens to

vendors' concerns

MINISTER of Trade and Industry Leslie Miller, on an impromp-
tu walkabout of the Straw Market, made a personal inspection for sus-
pected illegal aliens and took time out to listen to the concerns of the
local vendors.
The vendors repeated their pleas for more fans and better ventila-
tion in the market and asked Mr Miller to do something about the
number of illegal immigrants who allegedly still permeate the market.
"You come in and move them out, and then they right back in. It's
ridiculous," one vendor said.
Mr Miller replied: "But now let us get this straight. Every illegal in
here was sent down by some Bahamian. They don't have a licence to
be here, but when we find out the Bahamian that is leasing out their
stall to these people, they will be gone as well," he said.

Many vendors also complained that better service training is des-
perately needed at the market, as some vendors curse around and even
at tourists.
"I was told by a young man just the other day," Mr Miller inter-
jected, "that he was in here with a white tourist woman. When the
woman didn't buy anything the vendor cursed them out.
"Now how can you have that? The customer is. supposed to be
supreme. But I can tell you one thing, actions like that will not be tol-
erated," the minister promised.
"These vendors need to get back to the Bahama Host training," one
vendor shouted, "but I doubt that will even make any difference," she
During the walk through, vendors approached the minister claim-
ing that every kind of drug is presently being sold in the market dai-
ly by "footmen" meandering throughout the tent.
"But Mr Miller can't do everything, he ain't God" one lady shout-
ed over the crowd. "He already put in all these fans. I think he's
done more than enough."
Mr Miller promised speedy action with regards to the problems
expressed by the vendors, and today, he along with other officials will
make another visit to the market to continue talks with vendors and
conduct further checks for possible illegal immigrants.

Miller using gas efficient car

till 'price of fuel decreases'

MINISTER of Trade and
Industry Leslie Miller says he
has been forced to drive his
daughter's Volkswagen Beetle
because of the skyrocketing
price of gasoline.
Yesterday, Mr Miller drove
to The Tribune in the small, gas
efficient vehicle that he said he
intended to drive until, "gas
gets all the way down to the
way it should be with Petro-
"I will continue to use this
car until the price of fuel
decreases. Because we tell the
Bahamian people to carpool,
drive smaller cars and get


officers are

back to work

Tribune Freeport Reporter
FREEPORT Immigration
officers on Grand Bahama are
back to work in full force after
staging a two-day sick-out
over the issue of overtime pay-
ments owed to them by govern-
Minister of Labour and
Immigration Vincent Peet said
he was very perturbed by the
About 95 per cent of the offi-
cers called in sick on Monday
and Tuesday when they had
not been received their over-
time cheques as previously
promised by the minister back
in April.
Bahamas Public Services
Union president John Pinder
said that the officers would
return to work only after a reso-
lution was reached ensuring
that their overtime cheques
would be paid no later than Fri-

He said that Immigration
officers in Freeport have been
having problems with overtime
payments for over a year.
He noted that the officers
became frustrated knowing that
their counterparts in Nassau
and Customs officers in Grand
Bahama were being paid.
Weston Saunders, assistant
director of Immigration in
Freeport, reported that all of
the officers returned back to
work on Wednesday.
He said the sick-out caused
no major interruptions of Immi-
gration services in Freeport.
"We had sufficient manpow-
er to man the ports of entry,
and clerical staff at the depart-
ment filled in. We are pleased
to report that everything is now
back to normal in Freeport," he

Minister driving daughter's Beetle

dropped off to work, I gotta
show them by leading by exam-
*ple man" he said.
Mr Miller said that he had to
leave the car designated to cab-
inet ministers in his garage
because he could not afford to
pay the high prices of fuel
"being inflicted upon the
Bahamian people".
"I hope in another couple of
months we can see thle virtue
of PetroCaribe. With this new
agreement the Bahamian peo-
ple will save between 65-80
cents on the gallon.
"We will cut the margins of
the retailers and lead with the

government cutting its tax by
16 cents.
"Plus,, there will be another
30 cents saved because Petro-
Caribe calls for direct ship-
ments" he said.

Mr Miller said that the gov-
ernment has organised a "first
class" fuel usage committee to
serve as a watchdog on gas pric-
ing. He said the committee
includes Pierre Dupuch, Vince
Coleby, Brenda Lockhart,
Deepak Battnagger, Jerry

Worth and two another consul-
"They are a good team that is
working hard. They are a group
of persons from all walks of life
and will make a valuable con-
tribution to bring these prices
down man."
He said: "I hope the oil com-
panies would work to help bring
about PetroCaribe. It will save
BEC and people money. BEC
will save $10 million per year
and reduce the surcharge that is
killing people right now.
Addressing the opposition to
the PetroCaribe agreement the
minister said:

Project Manager wanted for the construction and delivery of new
Headquarters and Commercial complex with responsibility for quality
control, design and construction coordination and contract management.
Project Manager will be expected to:

* Participate in the planning and formulation of design alternatives and solutions of
construction, plans and specifications from planning and design phase to completion
of construction documents, process to include full interpretation and review of
proposed designs, architectural drawings and building specifications, including
assessment of structural and electrical engineering;
Develop and administer project budgets, estimates and fiscal controls, monitor
contracts and quality and cost control provisions;
Oversee all aspects of the day-to-day management of construction, including
coordination and monitoring of work performed by architectural, engineering and
construction subcontractors to ensure quality and maximize meeting of deadlines
Liaise with institutional, government and local entities and initiate and coordinate
revisions where appropriate after review with client;
Ensure project operations comply with design specifications and government
regulatory policies and regulations;
* Establish performance and delivery criteria, ensuring that client and institutional
requirements are being met; coordinate procurements as appropriate;
Advise and make recommendations as they relate to contracts, purchase orders,
change orders and contractor payment invoices;
Research and prepare various reports as they relate to operations. equipment, policies.
Perform miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Bank of The Bahamas

To obtain a copy of the Project Plan, letters of request with credentials should be sent to
Laura Williams PO. Box N 7118 Nassau, Bahamas
Requests must be received no later than Friday, September 2, 2005.

"There's a group in the coun-
try today that is against any-
thing that uplifts the masses.
Isn't it that all the countries in
South America have signed
onto PetroAmerica?
"In fact more than 30 coun-
tries have so, why is it that
they see the benefits and critics
can't ever be assured with
accepting the benefits?" he
Mr Miller said that he read a
press release by the Nassau
Institute yesterday, "bashing

Cuba" and trying to discredit
the Bahamas' ties with that
"Why don't they go Over-
the-Hill and tell poor persons
there that they cant have cheap-
er fuel?" he asked.



'The O fVlCP-at-Mcarathon

RED EYE NEW 1:20 3:20 N/A 6:15 8:30 10:50
40 YEAR-OLD VIRGIN NEW 1:30 N/A 4:30 7:30 N/A 10:40
VALIANT NEW 1:00 2:50 4:50 6:30 8:20 10:30
SUPERCROSS NEW 1:15 3:20 N/A 6:05 8:30 10:55
FOUR BROTHERS C 1:00 3:40 N/A 6:10 8:40 N/A
FOUR BROTHERS C 2:00 N/A 4:40 7:40 N/A 10:50
DEUCE BIGALOW C 1:20 3:45 N/A 6:20 8:15 10:55
THE SKELETON KEY T 1:05 3:30 N/A 6:10 8:20 10:40
MUST LIKE DOGS B 1:30 3:50 N/A 6:15 N/A N/A
STEALTH T 1:00 3:0 NA T:00 8:25 10:45
SKYHIGH B 1:10 3:40 N/A 6:10 8:25 10:35

RED EYE NEW 1:30 3:50 :15 8:20 10:25
MARCH OF THE PENGUIN NEW 1:15 3:40 6:20 8:15 10:20
FOUR BROTHERS C 1:30 335 6:30 810:40
DEUCE BIGALOW C 1:15 3:20 6:00 8:35 10:15







The Tribune Limited
Being Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master

LEONE. H. DUPUCH, Publisher/Editor 1903-1914

(Hon.) LL.D., D.Litt.

Publisher/Editor 1919-1972
Contributing Editor 1972-1991

Publisher/Editor 1972-

Published Daily Monday to Saturday

Shirley Street, P.O. Box N-3207, Nassau, Bahamas
Insurance Management Building., P.O. F-485, Freeport, Grand Bahama

Switchboard (News, Circulation and Advertising) 322-1986
Advertising Manager (242) 502-2352
Circulation Department (242) 502-2387
Nassau Fax: (242) 328-2398
Freeport, Grand Bahama: 1-(242)-352-6608
Freeportfax: (242) 352-9348

Our Bahamian students' report card

THE TRIBUNE'S Back-to-School
Supplement, published this week, broke
from tradition by leading with a story
about the importance of students having
the right food to make it through the day.
Our editors thought this was an impor-
tant enough subject to highlight because
of the tremendous increase in obesity
among our youth.
But we also believe that the proper
nutrition not only provides fuel for the
body, but also stokes the brain. Numer-
ous studies have been done on this sub-
ject to show that a properly balanced
nutritious diet can add stamina, energy
and drive to all student activities.
Therefore it is interesting that just yes-
terday the Ministry of Education released
its report on the annual examination
results for the nation and noted that
"there has been a slight improvement in
the BJC results and a significant improve-
ment in the BGCSE" results.
*t-Seven thousand.and sixty-two students
from the private and public high schools
sat the BJC exams, each taking an aver-
age of five of the 10 subjects offered.
"Of the 10 subjects offered, only Reli-
gious Studies showed overall improve-
ment in student performance in compar-
ison to 2004", said a press release from
the Ministry of Education. The subjects
with the lowest performance ratings E
level- were mathematics and general
Said the Ministry: "The overall mean
BJC performance for the year is D. And
this mean grade of D has remained con-
sistent over the past six years."
Forty-two schools performed above the
average D level, meaning they achieved a
D+ or better. But only one school, NGM
Major High (Abaco) achieved a B result.
Several, including Aquinas College, For-
est Heights Academy (Abaco), Lucaya
International, Prince Williams High, St
Andrews High, St, Augustine's College,
Sunland Baptist all received C+ results
in their BJCs.
At the BGCSE level, 5,762 students
from 78 schools sat the national exam,
taking an average of six subjects each.
"The overall mean for the subjects in
the BGCSE this year has risen to D+",

said the Ministry. "This marks the sec-
ond time that the mean grade has reached
this pinnacle. The first was recorded in
From the years 2001-2004 the overall
national mean for this exam remained at
D. So it means that although the Min-
istry is patting itself on the back fr
achieving a D+ level, it is in fact just
ting back to the average that the sc ,
had already achieved in 2000. So rea
we are being realistic, it means we e
no further forward in our school system
than we were five years ago and that is
not very good news for the country.
Of the 78 schools entered, 29 recorded
improvements in students' performance
compared to last year. No school record-
ed better than a C average with just three
schools St Andrew's, St Augustine's and
NGM Major recording a C+ average.
The school recording the largest per-
centage of students taking five or more
subjects with a C level grade or higher
was St Augustine's, with 112 of 157 stu-
dents (71 per cent).
Speak with any employer in the coun-
try today and he or she will tell you'that
90 per cent of applicants are unable to
write proper English or do simple
However, there are still some brilliant
students in the country who have shown
that outstanding results are possible. Ken-
neth Scott, a Long Island student of
NGM Major High school, obtained seven
A's and one B level in his BJC exams,
and Sherrelle Ferguson of St Andrew's
School earned 11 A's in her BGCSE
exams. We wish her continued success at
Harvard University where she is an
Getting back to the question of proper
nutrition for students, yesterday's Mia-
mi Herald reported that the American
Beverage Association is recommending
limiting the availability of sodas in s
in a move to curb the epidemic of
hood obesity in the US. Perhaps them
istry might also look into this ques n
as there is no doubt that drinking so as
all day long to quench the thirst in this
summer heat can result in serious health


the hidden

issues of race

EDITOR, The Tribune
I would like to respond to
Nicki Kelly's column in the
August 11 edition of The Punch
where she asserts that "all
things considered, race relations
are probably better in The
Bahamas than they are in most
places in the world. And whites
and blacks are steadily joining
common causes to preserve
their environment, culture and
identity in the face of encroach-
ing globalization."
I would like to suggest that
she has unfortunately misun-
derstood the degree to which
race and class shape attitudes
and values in Bahamian society
To begin with, Ms. Kelly
apparently took issue with com-
ments I had made in an inter-
view with a Tribune reporter
the previous week. Ip the inter-
view given, I provided an analy-
sis of residential segregation
based on Colin Hughes' seminal
work Race and Politics in The
He noted that "although the
census had listed the white pop-
ulation at 15 percent of the total
reported as white, alarmingly
93 per cent of whites resided in
districts where more than 20 per
cent of the population was
He concluded from this data
that "residential segregation of
whites was far from complete,
being largely confined to a thin
line of housing along the north-
ern shore of the island and a
substantial, and growing pdcket
at Centreville on the eastern
edge of the old city of Nassau."
While it is true that his
research is largely dated and
confined to the pre-indepen-
dence period, it is worth noting
that more recent studies sup-
port the underlining conclusions
of this earlier work.
The extent to which race is
still a dominant feature in
Bahamian national identity in
the post independence period
is the central focus of a study
that I conducted in 2003.
Arguably, and in agreement
with Nicki Kelly's analysis, the
post-independence period has
revealed the development of a
healthy and burgeoning black
middle class that has certainly
made inroads into areas that
Colin Hughes might have dis-
tinguished as "white enclaves".
More to the point, since
Majority Rule and Indepen-
dence, black Bahamian entre-
preneurs have had some degree
of success in breaking the hege-
mony of Bay Street while mov-
ing out of traditional black
'Over the Hill' areas into sub-
divisions to the East and the
West that would be deemed
more respectable. Yet survey
data suggests that in attitudes
towards social interaction, resi-
dential preferences and in the
political arena race is still a
major issue.
The survey represented a
stratified modified model in that
it targeted specific Family Island
and New Providence commu-
nities with varied racial compo-

nents. As such, the all white
Family Island communities of
Spanish Wells and Hope Town
as well as the black community
of Bain Town in New Provi-
dence were targeted. Addition-
ally, biracial bifurcated com-
munities of Rock Sound, Marsh
Harbour and Harbour Island
were surveyed. For each com-
munity targeted, individuals
residing within the community
itself conducted a survey of 20
The level of social interac-
tion determined the response
to many of the questions in the
survey. For example, 92 per
cent of all respondents felt com-
fortable around people of
another race yet only 79 per
cent acknowledged that they
had friends of another race.
Business and work related inter-
action were evident where 84.7
per cent did business with per-
sons of another race, 88.8 per
cent would employ a person of
another race and 68 per cent
worked or went to classes with
persons of another race. Inter-
action declined with involve-
ment in recreational or sport-
ing activities where only 51 per
cent of respondents participated
with people of another race.
Declining interaction outside
of formal business and work
areas was evident where only
54.5 'per cent of respondents
would date someone of another
race. The persistence of resi-
dential segregation was also evi-
dent, in that only 58 per cent of
respondents lived in a residen-
tial area with persons of anoth-
er race and only 50 per cent of
persons living in an all white or
all black community would con-
sider living in a mixed residen-
tial area. In general terms, the
persistence of racism in the var-
ious communities was evident
where 64.6 per cent of respon-
dents agreed that there was
racism in their community and
62.2 per cent had experienced
personally some form of racism.
The opinionated questions
also verified the persistence of
racism in The Bahamas. As to
whether racism is a problem in
the Bahamas today, 42 per cent
strongly agreed, 36 per cent
agreed while on the other hand
only 14 per cent of respondents
disagreed and 8 per cent strong-
ly disagreed.
Perhaps more telling was the

). BOX

question of racial harmony in
the community. Only 33 per
cent strongly agreed that there
was racial harmony in their
community. In general, the sur-
vey results suggest that interac-
tion between individuals of dif-
ferent races takes place but that
less formal, social or intimate
relations are still unacceptable
for most Bahamians surveyed.
In essence, while Bahamians
were willing to do business and
employ persons of another race,
dating, playing sports or other
recreational activities was less
appealing. Additionally, it was
evident from newspaper reports
dating back to 1977 and more
current headlines, that in the
political arena the race card has
still not been flogged to death.
Even Ms Kelly herself in an
article entitled "Brent Bar from
Leadership Race Could Brand
FNM as Racist," cited byeS.
Wilson Bahama Journal, (April
7 2003), noted that because of
his colour and political
antecedents, Brent Symonette
should abandon the idea of
aspiring to the leadership of his
party. Kelly concluded that "it
would take another 50 years
before the black majority
accepts a white man whose fam-
ily was associated with white
minority rule in a leadership
In the final analysis, I would
like to point out to Ms. Kelly
the fact that race and class have
always been inextricably con-
nected in Bahamian society.
While it is true that in the post
independence period, overt aild
explicit fornis of racismnhave
waned and there has been grad-
ual improvement for blacks in
the socio-economic arena, there
are still latent forms of racism
and residual antagonisms that
In essence, while class issues
may seem on the surface to be
more relevant than race, the
survey suggests underneath this
smooth veneer are racial issues
that remain unresolved.
Of course this analysis has
not even touched on the grow-
ing antagonism that now exists
between Bahamians and those
of Haitian heritage. It is only
through open and frank discus-
sion of the present realities that
exist that we as a nation can
move forward, upward, onward,
History Lecturer
The College of The Bahamas
August 17 2005

issau, tiafamas

"It's a noble thing to give
7:00am, 9:00am, 11:00am & 7:00pm
Marriage Officer, Counsellor, Intercessor
Phone: 323-6452 393-5798
Fax: 326-4488/394-4819

Phone: 323-3460
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Humane Society

seeks improved

animal welfare

Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Bahamas Human Society is helping to resurrect pro-
posed legislation for improved animal welfare and control in
the Bahamas.
"We want better laws to regulate pet shops, breeding and
boarding kennels and on the commercial use of horses, said
Kevin Degenhard executive director of the Bahamas Human
The Humane Society said it is pushing for this legislation as
a result of regular complaints about pet shops being over-
crowded and providing poor accommodation for animals.
Also, numerous complaints have been received aboutstray
and nuisance animals. /
Mr Degenhard said that part of the problem with control-
ling dogs in particular is that the current laws are noi ade-
quate. 1
He said that they do not put enough responsibility on dog
owners and in any case, are not often applied fully.
"What we want is a more robust law that is going to be
applied." he said.
Mr Degenhard said that he is pleased with the Ministry of
Agriculture for showing its initiative in recognising the need
for improved animal control and for making owners more
Speaking about the problem of stray dogs in the Bahamas,
Mr Degenhard said: "If anyone thinks that the problem will
be resolved by sending people out just to catch and kill the
dogs, that is a very naive view that is not going to resolve the
He explained that the issue has to be approached in a
"dynamic" manner and in conjunction with thorough new
education programmes.

OAS donates trade reference centres

Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Organisation of Ameri-
can States has donated two trade
reference centres to the Bahamas
to assist the public in receiving up
to date information on trade nego-
tiations, their benefits and oppor-
In a press release yesterday, the
OAS noted that one centre will
be situated in the main library of
the College of the Bahamas and
the other at the Bahamas Cham-
ber of Commerce.
Each site will have a computer
containing the trade information
database, customised especially

for the Bahamas.
The OAS said in a statement
yesterday that the organisation
feels the gift will prove valuable to
the academic community, business
persons, entrepreneurs, indepen-
dent researchers and other inter-
ested members of civil society.

It added that the centres will
serve as an important tool as the
Bahamas seeks to define its role in
international trade communities
such as Caricom and the FTAA.
The statement went on to
explain that the idea of the

research centres arose at the
FTAA donor co-ordination meet-
ing held in Washington DC in
October, 2003 when representa-
tives from Caricom countries artic-
ulated their trade capacity building
This included the desire for
countries to participate fully in
trade negotiations.
Among the needs identified
were access to relevant and up to
date trade information, and a
method of facilitating participa-
tion of civil society groups by dis-
seminating information on trade
Pamela Coke Hamilton, the co-
ordinator of the Caricom Seperate

Capacity Building Project, noted
that stemming from that the meet-
ing, it was decided to customise
trade information databases for
each Caricom country.

These datebases, she said, will
include full texts of trade agree-
ments, bilateral investment
treaties, national legislation in
trade-related disciplines, trade and
tariff data and relevant articles
and studies.
The official presentation to
COB is scheduled for August 23,

Extension on duty exemptions in Grand Bahama

GOVERNMENT has announced that it will
grant another extension on the duty exemptions
granted in Grand Bahama after hurricanes Fran-
cis and Jeanne.
According to NEMA co-ordinator Canard
Bethel, exigency orders seven, eight, and nine,
which allowed for the duty-free importation of
certain materials, expired March 31 2005, but
the government originally extended this time to
June 30.
"At this time quite a number of persons have
not yet brought in all of their items; some people
in fact have not brought in anything yet due to a
number of reasons, ie late insurance settlement,
late processing of loans, unavailability of sup-
plies in Florida and elsewhere, and so the public
is being given another chance," Mr Bethel said.

He said any person who is continuing to bring
in merchandise, or.who is now bringing in mer-
chandise for the first time, "must get a letter to
the desk of the undersecretary in the office of the
prime minister, (Mr Bethel, 4th floor of the gov-
ernment complex on the Mall), explaining why
they are late.

"This letter must refer to all those approvals for
merchandise, other than vehicles, that was done
as at the end of March 31, 2005," he said.
Mr Bethel said that if a person got an approval
for a car, "if that approval was obtained before
the 31 December or on the 31 of December 2004,

then a letter explaining why the vehicle or vehi-
cles were not brought in will be entertained.
"Again, if approval was not achieved as at the
end of December 31,2004, then consideration for
late bring-in will not be given.
"I am asking the public to expedite those let-
ters to me by the close of work on Monday,
August 22, 2005, because government in Nas-
sau has agreed to give a 30-day extension, pro-
vided approval had been achieved, for vehicles
December 31, 2004, or for merchandise other
than vehicles, March 31, 2005."
Mr Bethel said the public, "should not expect
another extension as there has been a long time
of this, and one would have thought that the
extra work involved with this would have gone

Ministry hosts senior citizens luncheon

FRI., AUG. 19
6:30 Bahamas @ Sunrise
11:00 Immediate Response
Noon ZNS News Update live
12:03 Car. Today News Update
12:05 Immediate Response
.1:00 Health For The Nation
1:30 Sports Ufestyles
2:00 CMJ Club Zone
2:30 Treasure Attic
3:00 Fellowship of Christians
& Jews
3:30 Lobias Murray
4:00 Video Gospel
4:30 Gospel Grooves
4:58 ZNS.News Update
5:00 Caribbean Newslirn
5:30 Cybernet
6:00 One Cubed
6:30 News Night 13
7:00 Bahamas Toniglt
8:00 Cinema, Cinen-,
8:30 Inside Hollywood
9:00 3 D'Funk Studio
9:30 The Lounge
10:30 News Night13
11:00 Bahamas night
11:30 Immediate Response



Community Page
Bahamas @ Sunrise
Treasure Attic
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Kids On The Move
This Generation

NOE N-V13rsre h
*mae at int
proram e cangs!-

Bahamas Information
FREEPORT Continuing a
programme of providing care
and cheer for seniors, the Min-
istry of Social Services and
Community Development host-
ed a luncheon for senior citi-
zens from West End at the
Bahamas Public Service Union
Hall in Freeport.
The luncheon, hosted in con-
junction with the Urban
Renewal Project, was the sec-
ond such event this year.
Patrice Johnson, community
affairs officer with the Ministry
of Social Services, described
Wednesday's activity as a senior
citizens' field trip.
M1s Johnson said she and her
colleagues were mandated by
Social Services Minister
Melanie Griffin, "to implement
programmes in the community
of Grand Bahama, and the lun-
cheon on Wednesday was just
one of the programmes, taking
senior citizens from their con-
stituency on a tour, and provid-
ing them with lunch, entertain-
ment and a commemorative gift
bag to take back home. Just giv-
ing them a fun-filled day," she
"We are working along with


Second event of the year

Urban Renewal, and today it is
Urban Renewal for the West
Grand Bahama area Eight
Mile Rock and West End.
"Last week we did one for
the High Rock sector. And it
really turned out.

"For the Western area we got
confirmation for 31 persons,
however only 25 of them par-
ticipated. The persons who are
unable to walk or to get on or
off the bus, we'are receiving
bags sent to them compliments
of Ministry of Social Services
and Community Development."
What's in the gift bags?
"All types of goodies,". said

t'M',Johnson. "We have got
their own personal face cloth
and bathing cloth; a back scrub;
the men have neck ties, hand-
kerchiefs, their own shoe pol-
ish kit, a bag of candy and a
men's toiletry bag with cologne
"The women have a pill box,
handkerchiefs, bedroom slip-
pers, a fan and a fingernail clip-
Ms Johnson's area of respon-
sibility covers the community
development side-of social ser-
vices for the ,Northern,
Bahamas. ..
For the West End field trip
and luncheon she was able to
work with Linda Moxey, the
ministry's office manager in

West, End, who supplied the
names of persons and the drop-
off and pickup points that facil-
itated a smooth operation.
"We did the same thing with
the East End area where we
also worked with Urban
Renewal. And it works, it
works," declared Ms Johnson,
"because they have the hands-
on and they know who, what or
where. And that's what makes it
easier for us out of the con-
Ms Johnson had high praise
for Urban Renewal.
"Urban Renewal plays a real-
ly big part in Grand Bahama;
if people could only stop and
see what they are really doing,"
she said.
N MS JOHNSON said she
and her colleagues were man-
dated by Social Services Min-
ister Melanie Griffin (right)

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Bahamas looks on helplessly

as Haiti sinks into turmoil

Our country suffers directly from the tribulations of

Haiti yet it seems there is nothing we can do as it

falls into chaos before the November elections.

AROUND 170,000 small
arms are being used by-former
military personnel and criminal
gangs to commit grave human
rights abuses as Haiti prepares
for elections, Amnesty Interna-
tional says in a newly-released
Amnesty has called on the
interim government and the UN
Stabilisation Mission in Haiti
(MINUSTAH) to implement
without delay a comprehensive
disarmament, demobilisation
and reintegration programme.
"Small arms are being used
by illegal armed groups and for-
mer military to kidnap, sexual-
ly abuse and kill Haitians with
absolute impunity. Without dis-
armament and effective justice
for the victims, Haiti will sink
further into crisis," said the
human rights group.

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The report "Haiti: Disarma-
ment delayed, justice denied",
shows how in several parts of
the country, where state author-
ity remains frail, armed groups
and individuals continue to ille-
gally control territory and pop-
ulation and commit criminal
acts without being challenged
by national authorities, includ-
ing the National police, or by
MINUSTAH officials.
Attempts to disarm illegal
armed groups have been insuf-
ficient, showing the Haitian
authorities' unwillingness to
implement an effective disar-
mament plan.
In March 2005, 325 former
military personnel symbolically
turned in seven weapons in
Cap-Haitien, marking their
return to civilian life. Since then,
no serious attempts have been
made to disarm the former mil-
itary and rebel groups.
The lack of political will from
the interim government to put
in place urgently needed
reforms of the National Hait-
ian Police (HNP) or to imple-
ment a disarmament pro-
gramme is hampering the
efforts of MINUSTAH to solve
the crisis.
"Lack of accountability of
HNP officers and widespread
impunity for human rights abus-
es by armed groups cannot lead
to durable peace in Haiti. The
interim government is failing in
its international and funda-
mental responsibilities to pro-
tect Haitians' amd tl'eii )9t'
basic rights."
Amid increased violence and
insecurity, MINUSTAH should

take more decisive actions, to
fulfil its objectives of protect-
ing civilians, promoting human
rights and fighting impunity.
"Durable peace in Haiti will
never be achieved unless those
responsible for human rights
crimes are held to account and
the victims obtain redress."
Amnesty International is call-
ing on the Haitian interim gov-
ernment to:
Implement without delay a
comprehensive disarmament,
demobilisation and reintegra-
tion programme.
Investigate all reports of
human rights violations and
bring those responsible to jus-
Provide reparation for vic-
tims of human rights violations.
Reform the judicial system
in accordance with internation-"
al human rights legislation and
end illegal arrests and'long-term
detentions for those awaiting
In addition, Amnesty is call-

ing on the UN Stabilisation Mis-
sion in Haiti to:
Work together with the
interim government for the
establishment of a disarmament,
demobilisation and reintegra-
tion programme and the inves-
tigation of human rights abuses.
Issue frequent, public
reports on the human rights sit-
Vet police officers for
human rights abuses and train
all HNP personnel on human
rights standards and interna-
tional standards for law enforce-
ment officials.
Lastly, the organisation calls
on the governments of neigh-
bouring countries such as the
Dominican Republic, The
Bahamas and the United States
of America to:'
Allow due process to deter-
mine the possibility that some
Haitian migrants are indeed
fleeing political persecution in
light of the current climate of
political instability in Haiti and
cease automatic repatriation
without claims of political asy-
lum being examined.
Ensure that those migrants
detained and repatriated are
treated humanely and in accor-
dance with International Stan-

For a full copy of the
report: "Haiti: Disarmament
delayed, Justice denied" and
AIl's recommendations to Haiti 's:
interim government, MINUS -,
TAH and the irnteinl national
comILmunity, please s s e..

'The Bahamas must

tackle crime now'

CRIME is the single
biggest threat to the Bahamas,
Chamber of Commerce crime
prevention committee chair-
man Branville McCartney
said yesterday.
He vowed to unite the
Bahamian business commu-
nity in the fight against crim-
inal activity.
"Perception becomes real-
ity. It may not be crime at all
but fear of crime that could
impact travel to the region
and thus to the Bahamas,"
said McCartney.
"The first thing people look
for when they travel is secu-
rity. We all have a certain lev-
el of security and -omfort in
our own homes and in famil-
iar territory.
"But add fear of crime to
the uncertainty associated
with traveling to a breign
country and you hive a
recipe for disaster. Ncohing
could kill tourism the
engine that drives this econ-
omy faster than foreign-
Mr McCartney admitted
that crime "will happen", bit
said if Bahamians are seen tc
act quickly, "we will be ahead
of the competition".
The real issue, McCartney
said, "is to focus attention on
it before the problem gets to
crisis level, to act now, rather
than react later."
McCartney applauded the
Ministry of Tourism, the
Bahamas Hotel Association
and the Royal Bahamas
Police Force for their joint
task force on touffist crime
and said some of the options
that committee is exploring


have great potential.
McCartney congratulated
the Royal Bahamas Police
Force for apprehending sus-
pects in the early morning
robbery of two tourists on
Paradise Island over the
veekend and said keeping
tie lines of communication
olen to the media and enlist-
inm public help in providing
information would be essen-
tial ools in the battle to build
"a comfort level that protects
our guests and thus, our num-
ber dOe industry, tourism."



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