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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00084249/01731
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Title: The Tribune.
Uniform Title: Tribune. (Nassau, Bahamas).
Alternate Title: Nassau tribune
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 58 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tribune
Publication Date: 02-22-2011
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Spatial Coverage: Bahamas
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General Note: Description based on: Vol. 79, no. 210 (Aug. 3, 1983); title from caption.
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 09994850
oclc - 9994850
System ID: UF00084249:01731

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N ASSA U AND BAHAMA ISLANDS LEADING NEWSPAPER V olume: 107 No.86FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2011 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 W EATHER SUNNY AND WINDY HIGH 78F LOW 69F B U S I N E S S SEESECTIONB S P O R T S Shocking c orruption costs Customs millions SEESECTIONE Scotiabank sponsors the BAAA high school track championships By PACO NUNEZ Tribune News Editor MINISTER of National Security Tommy Turnquest revealed that according to police, several violent criminals were among the crowd that protested outside Parliament last week. Speaking in the House of Assembly yesterday, Mr Turn quest said individuals known to police in connection with crimes as serious as murder, rape, armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and shop-breaking were clearly identifiable in the antiBTC sale demonstration in Rawson Square last Wednesday. Speaking to The Tri bune outside the House, Mr Turnquest said the majority of these persons are out on bail, but some of them are convicted criminals. We have the pic tures, we know who they are, he said. Mr Turnquest said he raised the issue after opposition PLP mem bers suggested that Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham ran out the back door, attempting to avoid the crowd after last weeks session of parliament. M cCOMBO O F THE DAY N E W The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST L ATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM THE incorrect Super Value advert ran in yesterdays Busi ness section on pages eight and nine. The corrected version of the advert is in todays Tribune on pages eight and nine in the main section. The Tribune apologises for any inconvenience caused. APOLOGY iolent criminals in BTC protest crowd BAHAMASBIGGEST CARSFORSALE, HELPWANTED ANDREALESTATE I N S I D E SEE page 10 By NOELLE NICOLLS Tribune Staff Reporter nnicolls@tribunemedia.net RESIDENTS of Sou Woch, the Haitian village destroyed by fire this week, are angry at what they believe to be a deliberate attempt to smoke Haitians out of the country. You cant find two people who feel it was an accident, said a Bahami an volunteer who was assisting victims of the fire. Some of the young men are really upset. They feel this is their plan to get rid of the yard, he said. There were unconfirmed reports of smaller fires in two other Haitian villages yesterday. One MP DENIES FIRE W AS STARTED DELIBERATELY BY GOVT FIREAFTERMATH: Brensil Rolle, Garden Hills Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Housing, stands yesterday at the scene of Wednesdays blaze. SEE page 10 By NATARIO McKENZIE Tribune Staff Reporter nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net MIDDLE managers at the Bahamas Electricity Corpo ration have decided on strike action effective immediately. The Bahamas Electrical Utility Managerial Union (BEUMU sents around 100 members, is at odds with the Corporation over an industrial agree BEC MIDDLE MANAGERS TO TAKE IMMEDIATE STRIKE ACTION S EE page 10 A WOMAN was pronounced dead at an apartment in Dundas Town, Aba co, with injuries to the back of her head on Monday afternoon. Police have classified her death as a murder. A team of officers from the Central Detective Unit is on the island to assist with the investigation. At the time of her death, the victim was wearing an orange shirt and short black pants. Police believe she got into an argument with a family member before her death. Meanwhile, the police have identified a number of victims in connection with other WOMANS DEATH CLASSIFIED AS A MURDER NINE Bahamian men were arrested in a drug bust in waters off Inagua on Wednesday evening by a joint team of police and defence force officers, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA The men were on board two vessels on which 852lbs of sus pected marijuana were found. The drugs have a street value of $852,000. The suspects were all flown to Nassau as police investigations continue. Police are also investigating an armed robbery that occurred NINE MEN ARRESTED IN $852,000 DRUG BUST SEE page 11 SEE page 11 By PACO NUNEZ Tribune News Editor EFFORTS to combat Haitian-Bahamian drug trafficking cartels are suffering because the Royal Bahamas Police Force does not have sufficient Creole speakers, the US government has con cluded. In its 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR State Department said Hait ian and Haitian-Bahamian drug gangs continue to play a major role in the movement of cocaine from HisL ACK OF CREOLE SPEAKING POLICE AFFECTING DRUG TRAFFICKING FIGHT SEE page 11 Individuals known to police were clearly identifiable says Tommy Turnquest MINISTER OF NATIONALSECURITY Tommy Turnquest PM CLAIMS PLP STANCE ON TAIWAN HALTED BAHA MAR PRIME Minister Hubert Ingraham said Baha Mar failed to materialise under the former Progressive Liberal Party government because of the PLPs decision to recognise Taiwan as an inde pendent nation and establish diplomatic relations. SEESTORYON PAGE11 T i m C l a r k e / T r i b u n e s t a f f

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LOCAL NEWS PAGE 2, FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2011 THE TRIBUNE By NOELLE NICOLLS Tribune Staff Reporter nnicolls@tribunemedia.net T HE government broke ground on its l atest partnership agreement with the Chinese government at the launch ceremony oft he John F Kennedy Gateway Project. N eko Grant, Minister of Public Works a nd Transport, said the new highway will s pan JFK Drive from the new US terminal building access road at the Lynden Pindling International Airport to Bethel Avenue. He said work is expected to be completed by October 30, 2012. It is expected that this project will cre ate opportunities for Bahamian sub-contractors in the areas of earth works and road surfacing works and will employ at least 130 Bahamians. It is also expected that the beautification of the highway will provide motorists with a sense of place through the design of landscaping and sculptures, and that these aspects of the project will also include B ahamian participation, said Mr Grant. These works along JFK Drive will not only facilitate the creation of more a posi-t ive visual impact along the entrance road system to the countrys main airport thatw elcomes millions of tourists every year, but will enhance traffic management as it relates to road safety, he said. T he China State Construction Engi neering Corporation (CSCECU S subsidiary secured the $67 million con tract to build the new roadway. The project will entail construction of a dual carriageway along JFK Drive, with a new westbound carriageway to the south of the existing road and a redevelopment east bound carriageway. There will be nine new roundabouts with several underground road installations for w ater, electrical and telecommunications works. Ning Yuan, chairman and president of t he China Construction America said C SCEC is one of the largest construction companies in the world with global experience. He said the company would bring allo f its expertise and management systems to bear on the project to ensure it was com pleted within the projected timeframe. Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, Minister o f Tourism and Aviation said the gateway project fit into the overall context of national infrastructure development that would benefit the tourism industry. Ambassador Hu Dingxian of the People's Republic of China said the highway project was the most important corridor, as it is the first gateway of the Bahamas. W ith tourism being a major pillar in the Bahamian economy, Ambassador Dingxian said the improved gateway was important for competitiveness. When you havei mproved infrastructure you have improved opportunity, he said. Highway project under way Ambassador Hu Dingxian of the Peoples Republic of China expressed his sincere thanks to the Bahamian people for their hospitality, kindness and friendship, which enabledhim to have a successful term as Ambassador over the past three years. Ambassador Dingxian said his term in the Bahamas made a big i mpression on him pers onally, and he plans to r eturn as a visitor. B ahamian government o fficials said there were three years of historic achievements in bilateral r elations under the ambass adorship of Mr Dingxian. Appointed A mbassador Hu was appointed on April 2, 2008. The Bahamas appointed its first resident Ambassador t o the People's Republic of China on July 14, 2008. S everal agreements deali ng with agricultural, eco nomic and technical cooperation have been signed, as was a visa abolition arrangement for holders of diplomatic, official and service passports. A n Investment Promot ion and Protection Agreement (IPPA Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA also concluded. By CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter cnixon@tribunemedia.net VOICES were raised in Parliament yesterday when MP for MICAL AlfredG ray said he was told by Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham that the wholet reasury would be u sed to expel the MP fromP arliament. Mr Gray t old the House of Assemblyt hat Mr Ingraham t old him in 2002 that the government would spend all the money in the trea-s ury to get him out of government. Untrue N ational Security Minister Tommy Turnquest, MP for Mount Moriah, immed iately took a stand for the Prime Minister and the government saying MrG rays statement was completely untrue and d emanded that he with draw it. Speaker Alvin Smith s aid anyone can make accusations and he said, she saids and that the statement should be expunged from the record. M r Gray responded that he would not withdraw the statement because it was said. At least 130 Bahamians expected to be employed DIGGINGIN: Officials break ground on the John F Kennedy Gateway Project. Ambassador Hu thanks Bahamians parliament REPORT INSIGHT For the stories behind t he news, read I nsight on Mondays FIREWORKS IN HOUSE OVER ALFRED GRAY STATEMENT J O HN F K E NNEDY G A TEWAY P R OJECT T i m C l a r k e / T r i b u n e s t a f f AGRIBUSINESS EXPO OPENS GREEN-MINDED: The third annual National Agribusiness Expo hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources opened yesterday at Gladstone Road Agricultural Centre. A wide vari ety of fruits, vegetables, meats, marine products, pastries, preserves, ornamentals, and handicrafts are featured and offered for sale. Fifty-one agricultural science students will compete in root crop, fruits and vegetables categories. There also will be cooking demonstrations and culinary competitions utilising native ingredients. The expo will close on Saturday at 2.15pm with an awards ceremony. PHOTOS: Tim Clarke /Tribune staff ALFRED GRAY

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By PAUL G TURNQUEST Tribune Staff Reporter pturnquest@tribunemedia.net AFTER the Fire Trail Road which left hundreds of Haitians homeless, the National Development Party (NDPt he Government to repatriate those without legal status assoon as possible. Speaking to The Tribune yesterday just one day following the massive blaze that con sumed the Haitian shanty town, NDP leader Renward Wells said that he knows this position m ay be considered harsh by some, but he feels it ought to be the de facto position of any government of the Bahamas. You cant have people in your country who are illegal, who are breaking laws, who were breaking laws by being in the communities that they were in. I know people think that is a harsh reality, but when you live in a society like the Bahamas where you have so many rules and regulations that just go unenforced, and we talk about our high level of crime and yet we still see all of these issues that take place, especially in the immigration arena where we do absolutely nothing. This is a clear case where the agree ment we have with Haiti to repatriate persons, we ought to be doing that, he said. Minister of State for Social Services Loretta Butler-Turn er said that the Department of Social Services through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA issue emergency food assistance to these Haitian nationals, but that is the limit of what they can do. She said: Unless they are Bahamian nationals we cannot extend all services that we do for Bahamians. Seconding the sentiments of Mrs Butler-Turner, Mr Wells said that if the NDP were in government, they likewise would consider whether persons have food and a place to stay. But the fact of the matter is the NDPs position has always been that we believe in having a national database of everybody who is in this coun try. We would have finger printed these persons, taken pictures of them, and like I said, they would be on the next flight out of the Bahamas. They are here illegally. Thats where it ends and thats where it begins. I think we need to start with the realities on theg round. They are here illegally. And so you begin there and you work yourself toward the solution and the solution is that if people are here illegally they need to be sent home, he said. Hitting out at both Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and PLP leader Perry Christie, Mr W ells said that both the FNM and the PLP have been too soft on the issue of illegal immigration. Mr Wells said that it boils down to one of two things: Either the leaders are incompetent or they are facilitating the situation by allowing it to take place. Those are the only two arguments you can give. They are either absolutely incompetent on the issue or facilitators. If you are not incompetent, and you are notf acilitators, then you would be doing your jobs. We know where these shanty towns are. This is nothing new. We have seen them. The Tribune was the paper that pointed out that there are 38 shanty towns in Nassau, to the dismay of many Bahamians. B ahamians thought it was only two or three. But to find you have 38, and thats just Nassau; we are not talking about Abaco, were not talking about Eleuthera, were not talking about the growing shanty town in Exuma, were not talking about Grand Bahama. And these things ought to be addressed. And it seems as if our leaders themselves are encouraging this by not enforcing the laws of this country. We use these peo p le for all matters of malfeasance, labour, and I shant say what other things. But the fact of the matter is this situation must be addressed and it must be addressed forthwith. The Bahamian people are calling for it to be addressed, he said. L OCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2011, PAGE 3 B y LAMECH JOHNSON F OLLOWING the huge fire that destroyed the Fire Trail Road shanty town the second clapboard community razed to the ground in three months aid agencies are doing what they can to assist the now homeless victims. C aroline Turnquest, director general of the B ahamas Red Cross Society, said the organisation is providing basic necessities. "We're a part of NEMA (the National Emergency Management Agency) and so right now we're assisting with bedding, sheets, water, food and other basic supplies that can be of help to the v ictims, she said. N EMA is headed by Stephen Russell, who was at the site of the fire and is continuing to co-ordinate help to the displaced community. Mrs Turnquest said the Red Cross, NEMA a nd the Ministry of Social Services will come t ogether after a full assessment of the situation has been conducted, to make a decision on how to proceed. M eanwhile, she said, the society is willingly accepting donations and help from members of the public. She said financial assistance can be dropped off at their headquarters on John F Kennedy Drive. Volunteers can register there as well. K im Sawyer, Assistant Director of Social Services, said her department is still not in a position to give an accurate estimate of how many people were displaced by the fire. At the moment, we have seen 125 persons, but we are going back to do more assessments, she said. M s Sawyer said the department has to wait u ntil the figures are confirmed before its aid mechanisms can kick into gear. Meanwhile, she said, "We are working with non-government agencies to assist with the identification of the victims and providing basic essentials along with hygiene kits. The Social Services official urged members of the public to also assist in whatever way they can. Some of the victims lost everything. Whatever the public can assist with, be it household items, food, water whatever they can provide will be much appreciated, she said. Anyone interested in helping the displaced pers ons can contact the Bahamas Red Cross on 3237370. NDP sa ys r epatriate fire victims without legal status A FTERMATH: T he scene at the Haitian Village yesterday following Wednesdays blaze. Aid agencies come to the assistance of fire victims T im Clarke / Tribune staff

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E DITOR, The Tribune. In Thursday 24th of Febr uary 2011 edition of The Tribune on page 10, appears a n article under the heading We the people to create a Police Athletic League to keep youths off the streets. I wish not only to salute Mr Fields and his organisation, but to take my hat off to t hem for coming forward w ith such an excellent project at this crucial point in t ime of escalating criminality in our society. Kudos also go out to Commissioner Greenslade for so readily a ccepting and embracing the opportunity to partner with s o excellent a project which can only spell success if managed properly. In 1952, as a young cons table, I started a similar project in the Catholic s chools in New Providence c alled the Catholic Youth O rganisation (CYO this organisation many ende d up in the police force and served this country well. T here were no Service C lubs in the nation at that t ime and I had to rely on the cooperation of the teachersa nd parents. There are a n umber of Service Clubs in our society at this time, many of which are makingt heir presence felt in our communities. It will bode well with the COP if he canp ersuade a number of Senior Officers of and above the ranks of Inspectors, to join a service Club of their choice. Such an exercise will increase public relationsb etween the entities and cre ate ready partners in any community initiatives p lanned by the Force. In the mid and late 1960s such partnerships between the F orce the Kiwanis Club of Nassau and the Rotary Club o f which I and Mr Albert M iller were respective members, worked wonders for joint sponsored initiatives b y those clubs and the force. We will do well to remember that there is nothing new u nder the sun and that what goes around will come around. This initiative, ifw ell organised, well supervised and well managed can d o wonders in rescuing hundreds of uncontrolled and u nsupervised youths roaming our streets between 3 a nd 8pm daily. I humbly and s incerely make the following suggestions for consideration by the committee responsible for the implementation of the prog ramme. That all divisions of the force excepting central division create a youth club for y ouths in their area, males and females. Programmes to include all aspects of sports, includ ing boxing and swimming. That all service clubs in New Providence be invited to be a part of this most i mportant drive. That basketball, volley ball and tennis courts be built at police facilities where they do not now exist. That Coaches from all existing sports organisations be lobbied for voluntary service. That sponsors from cor p orate citizens be sought by e ach area division to supp ort the initiatives. That all news media be invited to be a part of the p rogramme, That where necessary, government be petitioned to help. (Ministry of Sports That a National comm ittee of members from We the People, the police, t he media and all sport organisations be appointed for the drafting, implementation and supervision of p rogrammes Physical training and f oot ceremonial drills by police instructors for parades with regular friendly competition between divisions. This programme is a s ound one that can genera te positive results save for o ne aspect, and that is a demand for pay in order to be a part of the programme. Because of the constant ripo ffs by many supposedly charitable programmes in t his nation, including the One Bahamas programme, over the years, parents are sceptical when they hear of paying or making donations. This programme must be strictly charitable and voluntary. I will agree that it will take money to deal with such a venture; but the pittance that families coulda fford in these hard finan c ial times could and would n ot make a dent into the a mount required. This is why I am suggesting that corporate Bahamas, the ser vice clubs and the govern ment, sports ministry, be invited to be a part of this initiative. This is definitelya step in the right direction; l et us not abort it in its embryonic stage. ERRINGTON W I WATKINS Nassau, February 24, 2011. E DITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR P AGE 4, FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2011 THE TRIBUNE The Tribune Limited NULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI Being Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master LEON E. H. DUPUCH, Publisher/Editor 1903-1914 SIR ETIENNE DUPUCH, Kt., O.B.E., K.M., K.C.S.G., (Hon. Publisher/Editor 1919-1972 Contributing Editor 1972-1991 EILEEN DUPUCH CARRON, C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B. Publisher/Editor 1972Published Daily Monday to Saturday Shirley Street, P.O. Box N-3207, Nassau, Bahamas I nsurance Management Building., P.O. F-485, Freeport, Grand Bahama TELEPHONES Switchboard (News, Circulation and Advertising A dvertising Manager (242 Circulation Department (242 W EBSITE www.tribune242.com updated daily at 2pm PRIME MINISTER Ingraham in opening the third agri-business expo at BAICs Glad stone Road Agriculture Complex yesterday stressed the importance of Bahamians becoming more self sufficient in their food production. Earlier this year he noted that oil prices were rising with direct implications for the production, supply and cost of food internationally. Continued turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East suggests that these concerns may not abate for some time with the related effect of rising food prices for the foreseeable future. Increased attention continues to be paid to the impact on marine resources of rising global temperatures and sea levels. The specific impact on our marine resources remains unknown though there are estimates that are alarming, he said. On the export side, the marketing of agri cultural and fisheries products has become more complex. In addition to meeting con sumer expectations with respect to quality and presentation, ethical and environmental issues are also critical in determining whethera product will find favour in the marketplace. A well-formulated and articulated plan with specific and quantifiable targets is there fore a necessary step in addressing the chal lenges and realizing the opportunities in the global environment, he told his audience. With the Bahamas importing at least 80 per cent of its food from overseas at an annu al cost of more than $250 million it is important that Bahamians learn to feed themselves if only with a backyard garden. Students play an important part in this years agricultural programme, some man ning booths showing off their produce, others providing the entertainment. The islands of Eleuthera, Andros, Cat Island and Long Island are well represented at the expo. Mr Rai Budhu, who is in charge of gov ernments agricultural programme for schools, is there with his students and their produce from Andros. At todays event Mr Budhu will give a talk on governments agriculture programme for schools. Berlicia Saunders of Sunland Baptist Academy in Freeport opened yesterdays programme with the singing of the National Anthem, followed by selections by the RM Bailey Senior High School choir, a skit on agriculture by students of Old Bight High School, Cat Island, and a steel pan band from Uriah McPhee Primary school. All of the participants were under 14 years of age hopefully they will be the food producers of the future. Today there will be a culinary competition, touring of booths, the professional bartenders tropical drink competition, instructions in tree pruning, a demonstration in composting, and a high school chefs culinary compe tition. Mr Alphono Smith, a BAIC officer, will give a talk on BAICs plans to ensure agricultural sustainability in the Bahamas. And, of course, there will be plenty of music to provide a festive atmosphere. There is much to see and purchase from the various booths from fruit and vegetables, to jams, jellies, condiments, baked goods, all made from home grown produce. There is also straw work, and, of course, the livestock section with the poultry, pigs and goats. Children will be delighted with the huge sow and her seven suckling piglets. They also will be fascinated to see and compare the Bahamian sized native goat with her huge, oversized offspring, the result of governments recent in vitro fertilization programme to improve the local stock. Saturday the Governor Generals Day will be a day for buyers when visitors can tour the booths to make their purchases. During the morning student apprentices will participate in a bread baking competition and at noon Mr Basil Miller of BAIC will give a talk on planned propagation. At 2pm there will be a male master grill competition with the HM Prisons pop band playing for the crowd. The awards ceremony will be held at 2.30pm, followed by a performance by the National Youth Choir, and the National Dance School. There will be music all day until the close of the programme Saturday evening. At yesterdays opening, Mr Ingraham commended the Ministry's Backyard Gar dening Programme which encouraged New Providence households to produce some of their own food. This, he said, is a timely project, given projected rising food costs, but also important as we seek to promote and support healthier eating and lifestyles among our citizens as well as the production of organic crops. Moreover, the Backyard Gardening Programme is a part of a mini-revolution in agriculture in terms of our attitudes about farm ing as well as helping an increasingly urban Bahamas to reconnect to the land. Mr Ingraham said that Agriculture Minister Larry Cartwright, himself a farmer from Long Island, knows intimately the great benefits of small scale gardening and farming. Mr Ingraham applauded Mr Cartwright for his outstanding leadership, this time in relation to a programme that has issued more than 4,000 kits to Bahamians to garden in their own backyard. We recommend the Agri-Business expo as a worthwhile family outing for this weekend. A positive step in right direction LETTERS l etters@tribunemedia.net Weekend Agriculture Expo well worth visit EDITOR, The Tribune. The grand public viewing of NADS New Airport Terminal was on Saturday. The response by the public was very good, so good that when I went to park in the long term parking lot, it was full, and I was directed by a member of the Royal Bahamas Police to park in the short term lot. I was not attending the opening, but I was actually travelling. When I got back home a day later, I was charged $60 for parking for one day. Well I was very annoyed at this, since NAD could not accommodate me in the long term parking, and then had the nerve to charge me for their absurd short parking rates. I immediately asked to speak to the super visor of the parking lot, and he turned up a few minutes later. However to no avail, what I was saying fell on deaf ears, I repeatedly told him that the long term lot was full, etc...and he insisted that I pay the full $60. I did with regret and I also informed him that the public must know and will know, and be aware of these unscrupulous business practices. I am a Bahamian, I do hope that this report will reach the editors column. We can sit quietly when we are being ripped off. Its not about the small amount of money, but the principle of the matter. If one cannot accommodate the cars for parking in long term, why should the public pay the absurd short term parking fees? Lets stop this! Its not right. THEO Nassau, February 28, 2011. Public must know about these unscrupulous business practices EDITOR, The Tribune. I read with great interest and compassion the letter from Mr Jerome Thompson to the Edi tor on February 25th. I would like to make it very clear that, we, at the Bahamas Humane Society are in total support of passing the proposed Disability Rights Legislation to give equal rights and opportu nities to all Bahamians with or without disabilities, and to assist those with special needs. Many countries around the world have various programmes where dogs are trained to be companion animals that help people with var ious disabilities. The Potcake is a highly intelligent dog and could quite possibly lend itself to this kind of training. Many people think that the Potcake is inferior because they see so many scruffy examples on the streets of our towns. They are only scruffy because we have not learnt the value of these animals that are the prod ucts of crossbreeding of many extremely expensive and high ly pedigreed dogs brought into our country over the years. We, at the Bahamas Humane Society, would welcome any form of interaction between disabled citizens and our dogs. The bond and trust that can be built up between dog and his owner can help alleviate stress and help to build up self-confidence and selfesteem. These animals could be trained to help people do things that they are unable to do on their own. Dogs are used all over the world to help the blind see, the deaf hear, the epileptic know when a seizure is oncoming, the anxious when an anxiety attack is nearing, they are being used to detect cancer, and other ailments their sensitive noses can sniff out bombs, drugs, food, they are even used to detect bedbugs in hotels! Here we do not even explore these possibilities! It would make us very proud at the Bahamas Humane Society to be able to help provide assistance to people with a disabilityIf there is ever anything that we can do to help the cause and assist people we would be more than happy to play an active part in helping people have happier and easier lives. Mr. Saunders, I dont know if the Government cares more about animals than people with disabilities, its not my place to say, but I would like you to know that we, at the Bahamas Humane Society, are 100 per cent behind you. KIM ARANHA President, Bahamas Humane Society, March, 2011. Bahamas Humane Society backs passing proposed Disability Rights Legislation

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By CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter cnixon@tribunemedia.net ADDRESSING the House of Assembly yesterday morn in g, Min ist er of F in an ce a nd MP for Marco City Zhivargo Laing announced that the Eg ov er n m en t pr o gr a m m e w o ul d be launched by mid-summer. H e sai d: "By t he end of July of this year it will be possible t o e x e c u t e t h is p r o g r a m m e that will put the Bahamas in a pos it i on to adv ance f or war d i n a w a y s t h a t h a v e y e t t o b e seen". According to Mr Lai n g, $1 0 m i l l i o n w i l l b e s p e n t i n a n e f fo rt t o a d v a n c e E g o v e r n ment in the Bahamas allow in g a m o n g o th e r t h in g s f o r persons to apply for business l i c i e nc e s pa y r ea l p ro pe r t y t ax es, pay f ixed penalty fines and renew drivers liciences online from anywhere in the world. M r L a i n g s a i d c o n t r a c t s w o r t h a l m o s t $ 6 5 0 ,0 0 0 h a v e been signed with a Singapore consultancy group, which will b e s p e a r h e a d in g t h e E g o v ernment initiative, and agree m en ts wo r th m or e th a n $ 4. 6 million have been signed with I BM f o r th e h ar d wa r e s o ft ware and ongoing services for the programme. Addressing the "inefficien cy o f the go ve rnme nt's cu rr en t w eb s i t e Mr L a i ng s ai d t he g o v e r n m e n t h a s m a d e a n i nves t me nt t o r ef orm and r evi talise the platform. He said that "while beauti f ul ", the gove rnm ent s "v ir t ual fa ce to th e wo rld is no t u se r f r i e nd l y a nd do es n ot w o r k i n a way that an effective govern ment would want a website to work". Mr La ing s ai d a Can a d ian Co mpa ny h as b ee n co ntra cte d f o r $ 5 0 0 ,0 0 0 to c o mp le te t h e r e v i t a l i s a t i o n o f t he w e bs i t e s o th a t b o t h Ba h am ia n s an d f o r e ig n e r s wi ll f in d it u se f u l and informative. He also announced that the g o v e r n m e n t p l a n s t o s p e n d $800,000 on a "business intel l i g en ce s ol u t i on t ha t w i l l c om pi l e a l l gov er nm en t doc um ent s i n t o a c e n t r a l v i r t u a l d a t a warehouse". W h i l e n o t e v e r y o n e w i l l have access to the system, Mr L ai ng s ai d, i t wi l l i ncr eas e g overnment efficiency and make life easier for Bahamians. By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Staff Reporter aturnquest@tribunemedia.net T H E Wa ter a nd S ewe rag e Cor p or ati on yest erday deni ed t hat t her e w a s a ny i m pro pri e ty in its a ward ing an e xp an sion co n tra ct to th e Con so lida ted Water C ompany. Th e W S C h i t ti n g b a c k a t t h e P L P w h i c h e a r l i e r t h i s w e e k r a i s e d c o n c e r n s a b o u t th e rela tion sh ip be twee n th e g ov er nm en t co rp or atio n a nd t h e w a t e r c o m p a n y a l s o d e n i e d t h a t C o n s o l i d a t e d W a t e r n o w h a s a m o n o p o l y o v e r w a t e r d e l i v e r y i n N e w Providence. T he P L P ha d e xp r es s ed co ncern that a contract to expand WSC s B l ue Hi l l s f ac il i t ie s w as award ed to the C o nsolidated W ate r Co mpa ny witho u t th e c o r r e c t p u b l i c t e n d e r i n g process. T h e p a r t y a l s o d e s c r i b e d WS C' s decision to e nter in t o a new c ontract w ith C o nso l idat e d Wat er as a "hi gh ly ques tionable" development. Resp on ding to the o pp osit i o n p a r t y W S C c h a i r m a n Anton Saunders said that the co rpora ti o n's e xecu ti v e ma na g e m e n t a n d t h e b o a r d o f d i r e c t o r s a r e s a t i s f i e d t h a t t h e re wa s n o i mp r o p r ie t y in the bidding process, and that t he de ci s i on s a nd ac t i on s t a ke n w e re tr a n s p a r e n t a n d in th e best interest of the Bahamian people." He explained that competi ti ve b i dd i ng n orm ally t ak es 1 8 to 24 months, "but this timef ra m e wo u l d h a v e i n cr e a se d the risk to the Bahamian pub l i c of s us t a i ne d w a t er s ho r t ag es during the transition period." H e s a i d t h e c o r p o r a t i o n kne w t ha t t he y ha d t o i mpr ov e water production on an accel e r a t e d s c h e d u l e d u e t o t h e relocation of the WSC's con t a i n e r t e r m i n a l f a c i l i t i e s t o Arawak Cay. M r S a u n d e r s s a i d : T h e downtow n redevelopment i nitiative dictated that container t e r m i n a l f a c i l i t i e s w o u l d b e re lo cat ed to A ra wak Ca y b y mid2 011 and al l of the co r p ora tion 's fa cilities wo uld h av e to be relocate d to the sou the r n s i d e o f A r a w a k C a y t o accommodate." According to Mr Saunders, t h e c o r p o r a ti o n w o u l d h a v e n eed ed an ad dition al $ 3 millio n fro m t he g ov er nm en t in order to f inance barging and a n ew po r t f a c i l i t y I n s t e ad f u n ds all ocated f or relocati on w o ul d b e u s e d t o c o n s t r u c t a n e w f i v em i l l i on g a l l on s t or ag e t an k at t he B l ue Hi l l s l ow l e vel s t or a ge co mp ou n d an d, as fun d s a l l o w o t h e r p i p e w o r k improvements. Mr S au nd ers said th at th is mov e w ould ne gat e cos ts as sociated with maintaining barg ing beyond 2011. It was estimated that water barged from Andros accounts for three million imperial gal lons daily (MIGD) or 30 per cent of the total water provid ed in New Providence. M r S a u n d e r s s a i d t h a t despite its efficiency, the orig inal water supply strategy for New Providenc e c all ed for t he eventual replacement of bargi n g a s i t i s m or e co s t l y l e ss r e l i able, and the water is of poor e r q u a l i t y T h e c o r p o r a t i o n expects to eliminate shipping in eight months. The WSC, he sai d, s o l i cit ed a nd r ec eiv e d pr op o sa ls f ro m t h r e e f i r m s : C o n s o l i d a t e d W at e r N e w Pr o v i d en c e D ev e l o p m e n t C o m p a n y ( N P D C ) a n d R e i s s E n g i n e e r i n g t o i nc r ea s e p r odu ct i o n c ap ac i t y at Bl ue H ill s an d construct new f a c i l i t i e s a t W i n d s o r o n a n accel erat ed s ched ul e. C on s o lid a te d wa s ch o s en fo r o bv iou s r ea son s as it ha s f a c i l i t i e s a t b o t h l o c a t i o n s N PD C w as c ho s en b ec a us e t h e c o rp o r at io n h a s b e en in d is cu ss i ons ove r t he yea rs re gar di n g the corporat ion supplyi ng N P D C and f orm ali s ing it s p resent operat ions i n the wes t. "Reis s Engi neeri n g i s a wel l r e s p e c t e d i n t e r n a t i o n a l a n d lo ca l fi rm, who i t wa s d e ter mi ned had t he neces sary techni c al c a pab i l i ty t o e xe cu te s uc h a pr oje ct Tho se a pp ro a ch ed we re sp e ci fica lly r eq u ire d to m e e t a s t r i n g e n t p r i c e ( $ 6 6 .5 0 / 1 ,0 0 0 g a ll o n s ) a n d t i me (s i x-ni ne m onths ) c ri te ri a. T he pr i c e c r i t er i a w a s re l at e d t o t h e cost of sh i p ping where direct cos ts for char te r hi re, f uel and lu be oil alo ne ar e $ 6.5 0, a nd ove ral l cos ts excl udi ng s ta ff i ng t otal $7. 60 per thous and i mperi al gal lons and the t i me c ri teri a wa s rel ated t o the schedul e for full relocation o f the corporat ion's f aci li ti es at Araw ak C ay w it hou t incurr ing si gnif icant addit ional capit al expendit ure, he sai d. Mr Saun der s added that t he potent ial s it es wer e c h os en t o m i n i m i s e a d d i t i o n a l c a p i t a l e x p e n d i t u r e d u e t o e x i s t i n g i n f r a s t r u c t u r e a n d p l a n n e d i mprovement p r oject s such as t h e n e w JFK Gate way and t he R obi n so n R oa d i m pr ov em ent s u n d e r t h e N e w P r o v i d e n c e Road Impr o vem ent project "Tw o of the t hree fi rm s met t he cr it er ia. As a r esul t, ex ecut iv e m anage me nt r ec omm ended and t he b oar d a ppr ov ed t h e aw ard of a c o nt ract to C on s oli d at e d t o e xp an d t h e B l ue H i l l s f a c i l i t y a n d a n a w a r d t o N PD C fol low ing f urther negoti ati o ns a nd d i sc us s i ons on i t s fr a nc hi s e ar ea A bi nd in g ag re eme nt has bee n signed w ith Consolidate d W a te r ( Ba h a ma s) L td to i n c r e a s e w a t e r p ur c h a s e d at t h e B lue H il ls plant by 3. 5 MIGD at a cost of $6.20 per t housand im p eri a l g al lon s and co ntractual term s h av e al so been subs t a n t i a l l y a g r e e d w i t h N e w P r o v i d e n c e D e v e l o p m e n t C o m p a n y fo r t w o M I G D a t $ 6 .3 0 p e r th o u s a n d i mp e ri a l gal lons, h e sai d. C o n s o l i d a t e d W a t e r w i l l not be i n a monopoli sti c po s it i on i n N e w Pr ov i de nc e i n l i g ht of i mmi nent aw ard of a cont r a c t w i t h N e w P r o v i d e n c e D e v e l o p m e n t C o m p an y t o s up pl y a furt her tw o MIG D." M r S a u n d e r s a d d e d : Th e a d d it i o n a l s u p p l ie s wi l l a ls o p o s it i o n t h e Co r p o r a t io n t o meet the ant ici pated dem an ds fr o m B a h a M a r in t h e s h o r t a n d l o n g t e r m P r o d u c t i o n ca p ac ity o n Ne w P ro v ide n ce w i l l i m pr ov e f ro m ba r el y m e et i ng pr esent demand of 10. 5 t o 1 1 M I GD, to fu ll y s a tisf yi ng t h a t d e m a n d i n a dd i t i o n t o ha v i ng t he capacit y to serve B aha M a r a n d a l l o w i n g e x i s t i n g gr ou n dwa ter re so urc es to be r e s t e d LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE FRIDA Y MARCH 4, 201 1, P AGE 5 W a t e r a n d S e w e r a g e d e n i e s e x p a n s i o n c o n t r a c t i m p r o p r i e t y M i n i s t e r o f F i n a n c e a n n o u n c e s E g o v e r n m e n t p r o g r a m m e l a u n c h A R O Y A L B a h a m a s Defence Force (RBDF) ves se l in t e rc e p t e d a g o -f a st v e s se l a n d a n u m b e r o f p a c k a g e s be l ie v e d to c o n ta in m a ri ju an a o f f G r e a t I n a g u a d u r i n g a jo int oper at ion wi th Op era t i o n s B a h a m a s T u r k s a n d C a i c o s ( O P B A T) o n W e d n e sday. The go-fast vessel was ini tially sighted by an OPBAT h e l ic o p t er o p e r a t i n g o u t o f Gre a t Ina g ua As a re sul t, t he De fe nc e Fo rc e ve ssel HMB S P 130 was d is p at ch ed fr o m t h e D e f e n c e F o r c e B a s e i n Inagua just before noon. R BD F o ffic ers sta tion ed at t h e O P B A T c e n t r e a l s o a c c o m p a n i e d t h e D e f e n c e Force vessel. T h e g o f a s t v e s s e l w a s e v e n tu a l l y i n te r c e p te d a ro un d 2pm that afternoon approxi ma te l y 30 mi le s we st o f G re at Inagua with the assistance of the OPBAT helicopter. Five Bah am ian men wer e s ubs e quently arrested and a num be r o f pack ages beli eved t o be marijuana were retrieved from the water. W h i l e e n r o u t e t o G r e a t I n a g u a P 1 3 0 i n t e r c e p t e d anot her gofast ve s s el; howe v e r n o c o n t r a b a n d w a s f oun d. T he fou r Ba hami ans f o u n d o n b o a r d t h i s s e co n d v es s el w er e a ls o t a k en i n t o cus tody by P-130 and tr ans p o r t e d t o I n a g u a l a t e r t h a t night. T h e n i n e B ah a m i an s a n d s u s p e c t e d d r u g s we r e l a t e r turned over to local police at M a t t h e w T o wn I n a g u a f o r processing. O P B A T i s a t r i p a r t i t e ag ree me nt be tw ee n the U nited St ates the Bahamas and the United Kingdom (Turks a n d C a i c o s I s l a n d s ) t o e n h a n c e d r u g i n t e r d i c t i o n e f f o r t s b e t w e e n t h e t h r e e cou nt ri es P130 is an i nt er ceptor vessel that was donat e d t o t h e D e f e n c e F o r c e u n d e r t h e U S E n d u r i n g F r i e n d s h i p p r o g r a m m e t o e n h a n c e m a r i t i m e s e c u r i t y a s s i s t a n c e a m o n g r e g i o n a l partners. A 3 9-year -old P inew oo d Gardens man has been sentenced to a year in jail after pl e ad i ng gu i lt y to a ma ri j ua na possession charge. B r i a n R i c a r d o B u l l a r d p l e a d e d n o t g u i l t y o n W edne sda y t o th e cha rge of p os s e s si o n o f m a r i j u a n a w i t h t h e i n t e n t t o s up p l y A cc o rd i n g t o t h e p r o s e c u t i o n B u llar d w a s fo u n d in po s s essio n of thr ee p ou nds of m ari j uan a on Monda y, Fe bruary 28. Th e d r u g s a c c o r d i n g t o t h e pr o s e c u tio n we r e d is covered inside a Pinewood Gardens residence during a s e a r c h b y p o l i c e o f f i c e r s De puty Mag istra te Ca roli ta B et h el l se n te n c e d B u lla r d to one year in jail. THE Central Detective Unit is seeking the public's assistance in locating a Bimini man who is wanted for question ing in connection with a robbery. Police are searching for 25-year-old Wansal Ricardo Rolle, alias "Chedder". According to the all-points bulletin issued for Rolle, the suspect has a light brown complexion and weighs approximately 200lbs at a height of 6'2". His last known addresses are Davis Street, Fox Hill and Bailey Town, Bimini. Rolle is considered armed and extremely dangerous. If the suspect is seen approach with caution and contact the police at 5029910 502-9991 or Crime Tipsters at 3521919 or 328-8474, and in Bimini at 3473144 or 919. B i m i n i m a n w a n t e d f o r q u e s ti o n in g in c o n n e c t i o n w it h r o b b e r y Wansal Ricardo Rolle Defence Force vessel inter cepts boat believed to contain marijuana Pinewood man sentenced for marijuana possession cour t NEWS WSC hits bac k at PLP concer ns r aised this w eek Anton Saunders Zhivargo Laing

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LOCAL NEWS P AGE 6, FRIDA Y MARCH 4, 201 1 THE TRIBUNE M I N I S T R Y o f Work s a nd T ra ns p ort o fficia ls h av e s et u p a n Info rma tion d es k in th e M all a t Ma ra tho n w he re me mb e rs o f th e p ub lic c an g o to le a rn m ore a bo ut th e on g oin g ro a d w ork s in th e Ro bin s on R oa d a nd Ma rath o n R oa d a re a. A lfre d Ma rs ha ll (s ta nd in g ) is b e ing b rou gh t u p to d a te o n the p r o g res s of th e ro a d p roje c t. Se a te d, fro m rig h t, are : Sg t 1 23 5 G a rlan d R ol le, R BP F Tra ffic D e pa rtm en t; Ch a rlen e Co llie -Ha rris p ro jec t e ng in ee r, Min is try o f W ork s; A n dre a Bu tle r e x e cu tiv e offic e r, Min istry o f Work s ; L a toy a Wa lke r, p ub lic rela tio n s o ffic er, J o se C arte llo ne C o ns truc c ion e s ; an d Fra n cis C la rke p roje c t en g ine e r, Min is try of Wo rk s. T H E A ngl i ca n D io cese of the Ba ha m as a nd t he Tu rks a nd Cai cos Isl a nds, i n cel e bra ti o n an d th an ksgi v i ng of i t s 1 50 th ann iv e rsa ry a s a D io cese wi l l hol d a f a mi l y fun run/ w al k on S a t u r d a y T h e ev e nt w i l l b e gi n a t Ch ri s t Ch ur ch C a t he dr al at 6 am an d i s e x pe ct e d t o a tt r ac t h un dr e ds of A ng l i ca ns f ro m al l 1 8 Ne w Pr ov i de n ce pa ri s he s a s w e l l a s m e m be rs of t he p ub l i c w ho wi s h to pa r ti c i pa t e i n t h i s he a l t hy l i f e st y l e ac ti v i t y THE ROUTE IS AS FOLLOWS: Christ Church Cathedral, south on George Street to Princess Street West on Princess Street to Baillou Hill Road South to Baillou Hill Road to Wulff Road East on Wulff Road to Collins Avenue North on Collins Avenue to Shirley Street West on Shirley Street to Elizabeth Avenue South on Elizabeth Avenue to Sands Road West on Sands Road to Addington House (The Angli can Diocesan Office) Chairperson for the 150th Anniversary, Idris Reid, said the event is timely, as more and more Bahamians are paying attention to their health. "More and more Bahamians are becoming health conscious and realising the importance of exercise, and so this family fun/run walk will provide an opportunity for us as Anglicans to come together as a church family in a healthier church as we fel lowship together and cele brate our 150th anniversary," said Mr Reid. The fun run/walk has several competitive elements, and prizes will be awarded to the church with the largest number of registrants, as well as individual prizes for the top three win ners in various age categories. The registration fee is $15 which includes a Tshirt. Persons may register at any New Providence Anglican church. T HE l at e Bah ami an p ot cak e s t ar Am ig o' i s stil l ha rd a t wo rk th rou gh a s pe cia l fun d w hic h a s sists w ith anima l protection initiatives. T h e l a t e s t m i s s i o n o f t h e A m i go Fund along with the Humane Society Int e rn a ti o na l h a s b ee n to h e l p sp on so r th e re c e n tl y h e l d sp a y / n e u t e r f i e ld c l i n ic i n E i g h t Mi l e R oc k Gr a n d B a h a m a The issue of spaying and neutering c a t s a n d d o g s i s o n e A m i g o w a s strong ly assoc i ate d w ith i n his li fet ime a s t h e o f f i c i a l p o s t e r d o g o f t h e H u m a n e S o c i e t y o f t h e G r a n d Bahama Spay/Neuter Campaign. He was f eatu red on it s po st ers as well as in full page adverts in tourist m a gazines, r a i sing aw ar eness of this important method of controlling pet overpopulation. Amig o's Fu nd i s a Ba ham ian ch arita b l e tr u st ( a m i g o sf u n d. o r g ) w h i c h w a s s et u p a f t er t h e p o t ca k e' s d e a t h t o ho no ur hi s le g ac y an d m issi on a n d ha s helped HSGB to sponsor prior spay/ neuter initiatives and puppy lifts'. Am ig o th rou g h hi s ass oc i at io n w it h t h e H um a n e S o ci e t y o f t h e U n i t ed S t a t e s ( H S U S ) a s t h e s t a r o f t h e B e k i nd C am p a ig n a n d m os t no ta b l y a lo n g w i t h H S U S C E O W a y n e Pa c e l le and hip hop impresario Russell Sim mons, was featured in public service a n n o un c e m e n t s i n t he U S d e a l in g w i th th e is s ue s o f d og f i ght in g an d cr ue l anim al t ra ppi ng. Bot h P SA s can b e s e e n i n t h e w a t c h s e c t i o n o f bekind.org. A m i g o w a s a l s o t h e i n s p i r a t i o n behind the potcake series of Bahami an commemorative stamps featuring paintings by famed local artist Alton Lowe. Amigo's Fund founder and HSGB honorary chair Frances SingerHay w ar d, who r escued A migo fr om t he bush as a starving and diseased stray p o tc a k e sa i d: I c a n n ot p o ssi bl y im a g ine a more appropriate endeavor for Amigo t o be ass ociated with t hen a spa y/ neute r i nitia tiv e, pa r t nering with h i s o l d a n d d e a r f r i e n d s b o t h a t HSUS/HSI and the Humane Society of Grand Bahama. We can only pray that everyone will become more sup portive of initiatives such as this and t h at p e t o w n er s t he m s e l ve s wi l l b e respon s ib le enoug h to ha ve their own animals ster ilis ed if th ey ar e free t o wander and mate, adding to the trag ic homeless animal problem resulting in u nt h i n ka b le an i ma l s uf f e r i ng s o prevalen t on Gr and B ah ama i sland W e th an k a ll t ho se w h o w e re i nv ol v ed and fe rv ent l y ho pe t hat t his i s o nl y the beginning." Amigo Fund, Humane Society sponsors GB spay/neuter field clinic BEST FRIEND: Film star Alec Baldwin presents Amigo with the Ambassador of Good will Award for his work promoting spay/neuter programmes. Pictured with him are Amigo's friend and trainer, William Grimmer and owner Frances Singer-Hayward. Anglican Diocese fun/r un walk set for Saturday M I N I ST R Y O F W O R K S A N D T R A N S P O RT S E T S U P N E W I N F O R M A T I O N D E S K I N T H E M A L L A T M A R A T H O N Share your news The Tribune wants to hear from people who are making news in their neighbourhoods. Perhaps you are raising funds for a good cause, campaigning for improvements in the area or have won an award. If so, call us on 322-1986 and share your story. Raymond A Bethel/ BIS Photos Tim Aylen /Photo

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GEORGE TOWN, Exum a Minister of State for t he Environment Phenton Neymour announced that the government will install a reverse osmosis (RO in Williams Town to meet the present and future needs of the Little Exuma settlem ent. Williams Town is a sett lement of approximately 70 homes who receive water through typical groundwa-ter wells, Mr Neymour said d uring a tour of the settlem ent on February 27. We g ave approval to the Water a nd Sewerage Corporation ( WSC) last week to install a reverse osmosis plant at this site, with six 5,000-gallon storage tanks. M r Neymour was a member of a delegation to the island led by Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham. They v isited other sites for infrastructural development, such as the old naval base site, t he dock in George Town and the Ferry Bridge that c onnects Great and Little Exuma. Also in the delegation w ere: Minister of State for Land and Local Governm ent Byran Woodside, senior government officials, outgoing Ambassador of the P eoples Republic of China Hu Dingxian and represent atives of the China Harbour Engineering Company. Minister Neymour noted t hat WSC had already started the preliminary groundw ork on the RO project and t hat two of the tanks are a lready on site. There will be four more tanks delivered to this site t o provide reverse osmosis to the residents who have b een plagued as some of you who are here today can witness with the smell ofh ydrogen sulphide problems due to the pond nearby, he s aid. Mr Neymour said the m ains have already been installed and run directly to all homes in the community. A ll that remains is for the system to be connected to t he RO plant once it is up a nd running. H e added that the WSC will have to install two deep disposal wells to remove the b rine created at the plant, as well as a seawater well f or extracting water. We anticipate to award the contract within the nextm onth and the construction will take three to five m onths before completion; so we expect the project to t ake about six months for the residents to receive the water, he said. B y LAMECH JOHNSON JUST days after the unofficial opening of the Harry CM oore Library and Information Centre at the College of the Bahamas, some students have already spoken out about the shortage of books in the new facility. Jillian Russell, a secondary education major specialisingin language and literature, shared her concerns with The Tribune on the matter. "They need to hurry up and get new books," Ms Rus sell said, adding that while she likes the new library, it will continue to feel incom plete until the shelves are more full. Ashley Thompson, a biochemistry major, agrees that there are not enough books. She described the new library as impressive, but said this could be a good or abad thing. It's a step up from the old library but it might be too extravagant. It looks like a mall, she said. Nursing major Shaniqua Roberts said the new facility is cool and has ample space and many study rooms. It also has a wide variety of sit ting areas where one can occupy their time. I like it, she said. Ms Roberts said that unlike her fellow students, she is not affected by the lack of books because she does not use them. She explained that most of her research is conducted on EbscoHost, one of the many online databases that students of COB have access to. Some of the lecturers took time to tour their new library. Hugo Zarate of the School of Journalism and Communications said he was impressedby what he saw. Media students will reall y benefit from the new spaces a nd facilities, he said. As one of the teachers working on introducing aB achelor's Programme for Media Journalism, he says the new library couldn't have c ome at a better time. T he Tribune a ttempted to contact senior library staff about the sparse collection ofb ooks, but messages were not returned up to press time last night. L OCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2011, PAGE 7 SOME S TUDENTS CLAIM SHORTAGE OF BOOKS AT NEW COB LIBRARY Water plant to be built in Williams Town, Exuma T HE TWO 5 ,000gallon water tanks that are already on site. There will be a total of six tanksw hen the RO plant i s complete. Eric Rose /BIS M INISTER OF STATE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT P henton Neymour ( left) speaks in front of the groundwater well that currently provides p otable water to Williams Town, Exuma, as Prime Minister Ingraham looks on. BOOKSHELVES in the new COBlibrary pictured in January. The facility opened unofficially on Monday.

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L OCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2011, PAGE 9 THIRTY representatives from the Bahamas j oined the US Marines and 22 partner nation c oast guard branches, law enforcement and g round forces in Antigua and Barbuda on W ednesday to participate in exercise Tradewinds 2011. Tradewinds is a joint-combined, inter-agency exercise and will involve US personnel from the Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Army, Navy,A ir Force, National Guard, Joint-interagency Task Force-South, Naval Criminal Investigat ive Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation along with forces from: Antigua-Barbuda (Host nation Belize, Canada, Colombia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, G uatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, Suriname, Trinidad-Tobago. T radewinds is a annual US Southern Command sponsored exercise conducted in cooperation with Caribbean Basin, Central and S outh American Partner Nations with the goal o f improving cooperation between partner nations when responding to regional security t hreats. T he 2011 exercise will focus on regional d efence, peace keeping operations and counter i llicit trafficking operations through law enforcement, basic infantry and maritime operations training tracks. The goal of Tradewinds 2011 is to increase cooperation among CARICOM, RegionalS ecurity Service (RSS nations. This exercise will improve operational centre management, basic infantry skills, law enforcement tactics, techniques and procedures, search and rescue, maritime interdiction operations and maritime operating proced ures, said Major Eric Dominijanni of the US Marine Corps Forces, South, exercise coordinator. The US and the Caribbean share common interests, and regional challenges require cooperative solutions. We are committed to buildi ng lasting partnerships that will enhance our a bility to work effectively together, he said. Bahamas, US, Canada, Caribbean and Latin American nations in Tradewinds exercise Coast guard, law enforcement and ground forces to take part A WOMAN is seen through the barbed wire of an adjacent United Nations watchtower, soon after secur ity forces fired to disperse women protesting for a peaceful solution to the nation's ongoing political crisis, in the Attecoube neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast Thursday, March 3, 2011. Security forces loyal to the man clinging to power in Ivory Coast fatally shot six women protesting his refusal to leave office Thursday, as the U.N. said more than 200,000 people have fled the intensified fighting.The demonstrators were cut down by machine gunfire in Abobo, the suburb that has been the scene of the bloodiest clashes in the three-month-long-crisis. (AP ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast Associated Press SOLDIERSbacking Ivory Coast's defiant leader mowed down women protesting his refusal to leave power in a hail of gunfire on Thursday, killing at least six and shocking a nation where women's marches have historically been used as a last resort against an unre strained army. Because the president's secu rity force has shown almost no reserve in opening fire on unarmed civilians, the women decided this week to organize the march in the nation's com mercial capital, assuming soldiers would be too ashamed to open fire. But at least six of the thou sands of women demonstrating Thursday were killed on the spot, said Mohamed Dosso, an assistant to the mayor of Abobo who said he saw the bodies. The three-month old conflict in Ivory Coast has entered a new level of intensity. With each passing day, the regime of Laurent Gbagbo is proving it is willing to go to any length to stay in office following an elec tion that international observers say he lost. Sirah Drane, 41, who helped organize the march, said she was holding the megaphone and preparing to address the large crowd that had gathered at a traffic circle in Abobo. "That's when we saw the tanks," she said. "There were thousands of women. And we said to ourselves, 'They won't shoot at women.' ... I heard a boom. They started spraying us. ... I tried to run and fell down. The others trampled me. Opening fire on unarmed women? It's inconceivable." The attack prompted an immediate rebuke from the U.S., which like most govern ments has urged Gbagbo to step down and has recognized his rival as the country's legitimate president. "The moral bankruptcy of Laurent Gbagbo is evident as his security forces killed women protesters," said U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley in a Twitter message. In New York, the U.N. Secu rity Council said it is "deeply concerned" about the escalation of violence in Ivory Coast and that it could lead to a resurgence of civil war there. Nearly 400 people have been killed in the west African country, including 32 in the last 24 hours, almost all of them men who had voted for opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, according to U.N. figures and combined with deaths confirmed by The Associated Press. Last week, Gbagbo's security forces entered the Abobo neighborhood and began shelling it with mortars, a shocking escalation indicating the army is willing to use wargrade weapons on its citizens. Before that, the bodies seen by reporters had bullet wounds where the point of impact was marked by a single stain of blood. Since the escalation, the bodies seen by reporters have arrived at the morgue in body bags dripping with blood. A 14-year-old's corpse had hundreds of shrapnel wounds across the chest, and the doctor who attempted to save him last week said the wounds were the result of a fragmentation grenade, similar to those used in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Abobo, the official in the mayor's office said that one of the women had been 'torn to pieces' by the barrage of gun fire. "A woman," Dosso said in disbelief. For days, families carrying suitcases streamed out of the district in a massive exodus. At least 200,000 people have fled the suburb, said Guillaume Nguefa of the human rights division of the U.N. mission in Ivory Coast. "In Abobo district, the government is using heavy artillery weapons against people," he said. Multiple delegations of African leaders have come through Abidjan, Ivory Coast's commercial hub, to try to persuade Gbagbo to leave office. Gbagbo has rejected all their proposals and offers of amnesty, including the United State's offer of a professorship at a Boston university. Gbagbo, a former history teacher, has refused to cede power, even though U.N.-certified results showed he had lost the race by half-a-million votes to Ouattara. Instead, he demanded the U.N. leave the country and accused them of meddling in state affairs. For months, his security forces led near-daily raids in places such as Abobo, and the morgues began filling up with young men shot at point-blank range. Last week, one of the morgues ran out of space, forc ing workers to stack bodies on the floor. In January, the odor from the morgue could be smelled from the parking lot. Now, it projects itself across the street. SOLDIERS OPEN FIRE ON WOMEN PROTEST IN IVORY COAST

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L OCAL NEWS PAGE 10, FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2011 THE TRIBUNE Speaking in the House, the National Security Minister said: If someone asks me, what do I do in terms of ensuring the safety of the chief executive of the country, it is surely not to walk toward that crowd. He added that Mr Ingraham is the sort of man who would never ask another person to do something the Prime Minister would not do himself. Immediately after Mr Turnquest made his comments, PLP MP for West End and Bimini Obie Wilchcombe told the House his party was not responsible for any unsavoury characters turning up in RawsonSquare. Mr Wilchcombe said: At no time was it our intention to put the PMs life in jeopardy. We believe in freedom of speech and the right to assembly, but at no time would we put life in jeopardy. T he protest, organised by a group known as Save BTC for Bahamians, was also joined by BTC union representatives and a large group of PLP supporters. In the aftermath of the p rotest, which turned violent at certain points, PLP leader P erry Christie denied reports that he had paid protesters to turn up in Rawson Square. Last week, Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell also commented in the House of Assembly o n claims that protesters were paid by the party to d emonstrate. Aside from that being untrue, so what if they were paid? he asked, referring to the practice during the PLPs early protests in the 1960s. To mobilise people takes resources: food, buses, and communication, emergency care to a name a few of the possible expenses. So lets not get distracted by that fact, Mr Mitchell said. resident said there were too many coincidences surrounding the recent spate of fires at Mackey Yard and Sou Woch, and the governments transformation efforts. People are feeling betrayed. They have lost trust in the process. That is the general feeling of the people. I am somewhat concerned that the people might not be so cooperative anymore. I am somewhat concerned about it, said a translator, who has been assisting Haitian residents through the governments process. Brensil Rolle, Garden Hills Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Housing, denied claims that the massive fire was some form of state strategy to advance its shanty town transformation programme. He said it was extraordinarily regrettable that the fire had to take place. I am sure with the persons who live in the area there is no thought that it was a deliberate act by the government. That is ludicrous, said Mr Rolle. He said the government made its position clear and evident to residents long before the fire destroyed Sou Woch or Mackey Yard, and its position still stands. Our plan to regularise the area is continuing. The Ministry of Housing will clear the site; the surveyors will work to mark out the land consistent with the ongoing plan to reclaim government land and regularise squatters. We will be talking to contractors today, said Mr Rolle, speaking at the site of the fire yesterday. Although fire officials denied intentionally delaying their response to the blaze, residents continued their criticism of the fire department on Wednesday. They also said bulldozers pushed houses that were not on fire into the blaze. Some residents also claimed police officers used weapons to prevent individuals from helping to remove items from houses that were not on fire. Police officers were not able to confirm these reports. However, Tribune sources said police officers had to manage several confrontations caused over possible looting, and an attempted attack on an officer. Sou Woch was one of the largest Haitian villages in New Providence. Its name means under the rock. Today, only the bare rock that provided a foundation to hundreds of homes is left as evidence of the community. One resident who lost his home said he was saddened by a comment made by a Bahamian onlooker, who reportedly said: Thank you God (for the fire). Bahamians did a good job today. According to some estimates, Mr Rolle met with about 150 residents in the area on Tuesday night at Good Samaritan Church. Mr Rolle confirmed he met with constituents and some squatters. Those attending said the church venue was filled to capacity with dozens of people overflowing to the outside. Residents claim they were informed that in eight to nine months, the entire area covering all of the major Carmichael shanty towns would look like Pride Estates. This has been a consistent message of the government. One resident said they were told to prepare from now because they could come any minute now. Mr Rolle said he was absolutely not concerned about losing the support of the residents in the transformation process. Up to Tuesday night, Mr Rolle said discussion with the community was reasonable and open. As for reports of a change in mood, he said he could not force them to accept the process, but the plans are continuing. While some residents blamed the government for the fire, some observers have suggested residents of the yard might have set light to the fire as a last ditch effort to get help from the government. Yesterday, the anger of residents spilled over to the neighbouring Government Yard. A resident of the village said they chased away a tractor when it came to clear land and bulldoze trees. One resident said he told the driver: If yall dont get off here yall gonna get chap. He said residents were fuming from the fire and thought it was insensitive that with 1,000 displaced people, the government had private contractors bulldozing in the neighbouring yard one day later. SEEPAGETHREE ment. Ervin Dean, union president, said: We have resorted to strike action effective immediately. We have been meeting over the past several weeks and basically accomplished nothing. We have asked them repeatedly to comply with the industrial agreement, they have refused. They have refused to budge. Mr Dean said his union is trying to get BECs executive management to go back to the original agreement. According to Mr Dean, BEUMU's last industrial agreement with the utility company expired on October 1, 2007. He said a clause in this agreement, arti cle 47, dictates that the old agreement will stand until a new contract is signed. If you cant get a new one in place, roll the old one forward. They dont want to do that. They dont want to honour the money clause, Mr Dean said. The managers are overwhelmingly in favour of strike action. According to Mr Dean, the BEUMU will hold a strategic meeting with its members this evening. Three weeks ago, the union members voted in favour of striking against BEC, 78 to 1. BEC general manager Kevin Basden was reportedly not in office yesterday and could not be reached up to press time. However, BEC executive chairman Michael Moss told The Tribune : I understand that the unions have claimed the negotiations have not progressed as they had hoped and that they would be initiating immediate work to rule. Our objective is to have them come back to the bargaining table and get a resolution to this matter. Negotiations should be a give and take. People should not have hard and fast positions but should be flexible. Mr Moss said he could not say what affect the unions action would have on the operations at the corporation, but he noted that its system is built to function for a period of time unless interfered with. Mr Moss said that while the old agreement with the union expired three and a half years ago, managers continue to receive annual salary increases. Mr Moss also noted that the corporation had proposed two, back-to-back, threeyear agreements; one agreement in respect of 2007 to 2010, consisting of a lump sum payment and an agreement with respect of 2010 to 2013. iolent criminals in B TC protest crowd F ROM page one FROM page one BEC MIDDLE MANAGERS TO TAKE STRIKE ACTION THEFIRE devastated the Haitian Village on Wednesday. MP denies fire was started deliberately FROM page one

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L OCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2011, PAGE 11 shortly before 3am on Wednesday at Haven SubR oad, off Soldier Road. P olice received information that two masked men, both of whom were alleged-ly armed with handguns, entered a residence demanding cash. The thugs took cash, cell p hone cards and cell phones and fled the area on foot in an unknown direction. Police are investigating. p aniola through the Bahamas. However, it added, investiga tions of these organisations have been h indered by an insufficient number of Creole speakers within the DEU. T hese efforts were further stalled b y the January 12 earthquake in Porta u-Prince, which limited the ability of the Haitian National Police to expand co-operative efforts with their B ahamian law enforcement counterparts, the State Department added. This years report again listed the B ahamas as a Major Illicit Drug T ransit country, noting that the arch ipelago contains several major transit points for South American cocainea nd Jamaican marijuana bound for the US. It also emphasised however, that t he Bahamas is a steady ally in the fight against drug trafficking and the t wo countries work closely together i n this regard. S peaking with T he Tribune y esterd ay, Assistant Commissioner of Police Hulan Hanna reaffirmed the forces commitment to its partnership with US law enforcement officials. He said that if the INCSR suggests a reas where officers can improve their skills, including in terms of learning t he languages of the region, this police administration is willing to do it. Mr Hanna said the police are aware that Haiti poses a problem in terms of t he international drug trade, and has done so for quite some time. Through co-operation, we contin ue to intercept any number of vessels c ontaining narcotics that might have been bound for the Bahamas or ultimately the US, he said. So we are a ware of that and we are addressing it. We are working to shut down the f eeder systems of this trade, whatever t he destination. T he INCSR report noted that d espite the obstacles, over the last year Bahamian law enforcement officers were able to intercept shipments of drugs in Haitian sloops and coastal freighters, and have learned that drugt raffickers are now using air drops and remote airfields to deliver large c ocaine shipments to the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas from Venezuela and Colombia. During 2010, the DEU, working c losely with US and other foreign law enforcement agencies, seized 269 kilograms (kg destroyed more than 42 metric tonso f marijuana, arrested more than 1,000 persons on drug-related charges and seized more than $821,000. N evertheless, the report said, drug gangs continue to capitalise on the c ountrys vast geography, by using s mall commercial and private vessels a nd aircraft, making detection and a pprehension difficult. It identified the use of commercial cargo containers for smuggling contraband on larger ships through government seaports, particularly theF reeport Container Port, as a particular concern. T he report said the vessels used by police and Defence Force officers for drug interdiction a significant number of which were donated by the US g overnment are generally wellmaintained by properly trained crews; however the effectiveness of their maritime interdiction and securitye fforts is limited by the few resources they have to cover the large expanse of Bahamian territorial waters. recent deaths. In reference to a homic ide at Domingo Heights o n February 26, 2011, the victim has been identif ied as 28-year-old Charles Christome. A man found unresponsive in a dark-c oloured Honda at H omestead Street on February 22, 2011, has been identified as Jason Brown, also 28. And a man who was e lectrocuted in Eleuthera has been identified as 71-year-old F ranklyn Durham of Hatchet Bay. F ROM page one Lack of Creole speaking police affecting drug trafficking fight NINE MEN ARRESTED IN $852,000 DRUG BUST WOMANS DEATH CLASSIFIED AS A MURDER F ROM page one FROM page one P RIME Minister Hubert I ngraham said Baha Mar failed to materialise under the former Progressive Liberal Party government b ecause of the PLPs decis ion to recognise Taiwan a s an independent nation and establish diplomatic relations. H e said it was funding from China that enabled Baha Mar to materialise and the Free National M ovement led government recognised the need to maintain a strong relations hip with the Peoples R epublic of China. We are old friends, Mr Ingraham said, speaking of the FNM and the Peoples Republic of China. O pposition members of p arliament walked out of t he House of Assembly last night just before the Prime Minister took thef loor. They protested a dispute over the order of speakers on the debate about the g overnments mid-term budget. Brave Davis, member o f parliament for Cat I sland and Rum Cay, was s eeking to be acknowledged by the Speaker of the House when the argument broke out. S peaker Alvin Smith a cknowledged Prime Mini ster Hubert Ingraham, North Abaco member of parliament, who closed thed ebate. PLP members then gathered their papers and walked out of the House w ith Mr Ingraham noting that Opposition Leader Perry Christie was the last t o leave. PM claims PLPs stance on Taiwan halted Baha Mar PRIMEMINISTER Hubert Ingraham

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SECTIONB business@tribunemedia.net FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2011 THETRIBUNE $4. 68 $4. 51 $4. 69T he information contained is from a third party and The Tribune can not be held r esponsible for errors and/or omission from the daily report.$ $4.72 $4.72 $4.72 affordable terms swift response down payment as low as 5%*all of the above*with mortgage indemnity insuranceown the home of your dreams A MB ESTA-ExcellentFinancialStrengthRating call our morgage department today at (242396-4040 (Nassau242Freeport A SUBSIDIARY OFNASSAU I FREEPORT I ABACO I ELEUTHERA I EXUMA I FINANCIAL CENTRE I CORPORATE CENTRE I www.famguardbahamas.com By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor The Government has extended a US consultants contract in order to overhaul the Civil Aviation Departments structure, separating the regulatory and opera tional functions, and provide oversight throughout the Bahamas of aviation and this nations airports. Vincent Vanderpool-Wal lace, minister of tourism and aviation, told Tribune Business yesterday that the con tract extension with Tim Neel & Associates was fundamental to the development of civil aviation in the Bahamas, addressing weaknesses identified in an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO this nation into compliance with global standards and best practices. Tim Neel & Associates was initially brought into work with the Government around a decade ago, when the thenNassau International Airport was downgraded by the Fed eral Aviation Administration (FAA status for non-compliance with ICAO standards. Fundamental to Civil A viation s development Consultant contract extended to restructure department, separating regulation from operations* New aviation hub eyed for south Bahamas Airport certification initiative included in plan VINCENT VANDERPOOL-WALLACE SEE page 5B By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor The Bahamas reliance on tourism for its economic wellbeing is set to increase further over the next decade, despite the hotel sectors current employment woes, with the industrys total GDP contribu tion forecast to grow by 3 per cent per annum and hit $4.83 billion by 2021. Unveiling its research find ings on the contribution tourism will make to the Bahamian economy in 2011 and over the next decade, the World Travel & Tourism Coun cil (WTTC sector will directly employ 48,000 persons or 29.4 per cent of the total workforce in 2011. And, notwithstanding the hotel industrys current woes, as emphasised by the impending 200 lay-offs at Our Lucaya, the WTTC study said total Bahamian tourism industry employment was set to grow ata rate of 2.1 per cent per year over the next decade, hitting 60,000 jobs or 30.3 per cent of the workforce by 2021. The WTTC study reinforces the notion that while economic diversification is welcome and more than necessary, tourism will remain the Bahamas bread and butter, its number one industry, for decades to come. The industrys direct GDP contribution was forecast to hit $1.648 billion or 21.7 per cent of the Bahamas total economic output in 2011, increasing by 3.1 per cent per annum to hit $2.226 billion (growth of almost $580 million) in 2021, accounting for 22.6 per cent of GDP. The total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP, including its wider economic impacts, is forecast to rise by 3 per cent per annum from $3.598 billion (47.4 per cent of GDP in 2011 to $4.83 billion (49.1 per cent) by 2021, the WTTC study on the Bahamas said. The total contribution of travel and tourism to employment, including jobs indirectly supported by the industry, is forecast to rise by 2.2 per cent per annum from 91,000 jobs (55.1 per cent of total employ ment) to 113,000 jobs (57.2 per cent) by 2021. The WTTC study estimated that the Bahamas would attract 1.478 million stopover (landbased, higher spending) arrivals in 2011, and this figure was set to grow at a rate of 2.8 per cent per annum over the next 3% PER ANNUM TOURISM GR OW TH IN NEXT DEC ADE Industrys total Bahamian GDP contribution to grow almost $1.3bn over next 10 years* Set to generate over 57% of Bahamas jobs by 2021* Total stopover visitors predicted to hit 1.478m this year and grow at 2.8% per year to reach 1.941m in 2021 SEE page 5B By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor The Obama administration yesterday said the Bahamas was not fully compliant with key United Nations (UN targeting the financing of terrorist organisations, particularly al Qaida and the Taliban, and needed to tighten regulation of cross-border currency movements. The US governments International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR this nation to further strengthen its anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing defences, noting that the National Strategy on the Prevention of Money Laundering had yet to be fully implemented. The Bahamas should continue to enhance its anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing regime by implementing the National Strategy on the Prevention of Money Laundering; US: Bahamas not meeting UN anti-terror finance decrees Obama administration tells nation to tighten scrutiny of cross-border currency transportation* Concern about drug smuggling through Freeport Container Port SEE page 4B B y ALISON LOWE B usiness Reporter alowe@tribunemedia.net The Customs Department expects to prosecute two companies this year following the discovery of what a ppears to be a shocking l evel of corruption involvi ng the evasion of millions o f dollars in import duty a nd Stamp Tax payments, it w as revealed yesterday. Comptroller of Customs, Glenn Gomez, said the evasion of Stamp tax and import duty, which may add up to millions of dollars, by two companies he d eclined to name, is being investigated currently. While Mr Gomez recently e xplained to Tribune Busin ess some of the challenges the Department has faced in the past in bringing tax evading companies and individuals to justice, the Comptroller yesterday said he f eels confident that the i nformation his department has gathered in connection w ith the two big cases will carry us into the courts. We are working two big o nes now. I dont want to let anything out of the bag because it may hamper what we are doing. But we are looking forward to, sometime this year, going to the courts with a couple of peop le, he said. Weve been working on i t probably a little over a m onth. Weve got some d ata, but we will probably h ave to do some more work, so it maybe a couple more months, may be less. We want to make sure we tie this up right. The Comptroller declined to go into specifics about the s ector/s in which the companies being investigated are Shocking corruption costs Customs millions n Department gearing to take two big cases before Bahamian courts for massive tax evasion n Comptroller almost shocked, and says: Once we started to gather data, we said: Wo G LENN GOMEZ SEE page 4B By ALISON LOWE Business Reporter alowe@tribunemedia.net Both the Minister for Labour and the head of the Bahamas Hotel Managerial Association confirmed yesterday that theymet with executives from the Our Lucaya Golf and Beach Resort in separate meetings on Tuesday, ahead of todays anticipated announcement that around 200 workers will be terminated from the hotel property. Dion Foulkes said he was told there would be adjustments at the hotel, but declined to go into details, ashe said it was agreed in the meeting that resort management and top executives from Hutchison Whampoa, the hotels owners, would meet with staff before any public announcements were made. Minister affirms adjustments at Our Lucaya hotel Discussed economic situation at hotel with Hutchison and management earlier this week SEE page 5B D ION F OULKES By ALISON LOWE Business Reporter alowe@tribunemedia.net The total value of new buildings on which construction got underway during the 2010 sec ond half declined when compared to the same period in 2009, it was revealed yesterday, with an 85 per cent fall suffered during the July 1-September 30 period. Minister of Public Works, Neko Grant, revealed this trend in the House of Assembly yes terday when he spoke in the mid-year Budget debate, say ing the figures reflect existing economic conditions. According to the Minister, construction start values dur ing the first quarter of the 20102011 fiscal year July to Sep tember 2010 totalled $31.789 millionas compared to the previous fiscal years first quarter total of $207.27 million. This was an 85 per cent decline. The second quarters construction starts October to December amounted to $28.467 million, compared to SEE page 7B BIG CONSTRUCTION START DECLINE IN 20 10 2ND HALF

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B USINESS P AGE 2B, FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2011 THE TRIBUNE 0DFKLQHU\t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t(/LPLWHG 1DVVDX%DKDPDV $WWHQWLRQIFH$GPLQLVWUDWRURUHPDLO PH#PHOWGFRP 127(QO\SHUVRQVEHLQJLQWHUYLHZHGIRUWKLV SRVLWLRQZLOOEHFRQWDFWHG 326,7,21$9$,/$%/( BY SIMON COOPER R ES SOCIUS T h at great English philosopher, poet and dramatist, William Shakespeare, wrote: There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood,l eads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures. N o doubt the Bard was thinking of a fragile sailing ship waiting at the entrance to a harbourf or the tide to turn and draw it out t o sea. If it failed to take the moment at t he exact time it arrived, William S hakespeares audiences knew the wooden ship would be smashed on r ocks, and that all its crew could d ie. The Bahamas economy seems s imilarly adrift these days, and s ometimes without a rudder that works. A re we as nation going to grasp the opportunity that Baha Mar o ffers to get back on the interna tional map, or receive the criticism that we will so richly then d eserve? W ithout taking the analogy furt her, businesses are relatively fragile entities, too. More often than not they go ahead in leaps and bounds when happy fortune s trikes, only to sink back again into t he doldrums when they fail to c atch the next opportunity. B aha Mar will undoubtedly b ring happy fortune for some B ahamian businesses, while others will equally undoubtedly fail to catch the wave, and may evenl ose their competitive advantage as rivals suddenly become more dominant. The rest will presumably continue to drift along B ahamas-style, perhaps buoyed up a little by improving business confidence. Which kind of business owner are you, and how are you going to gain or lose from the Baha Mar project? Have you completed your S WOT analysis and put expansion p lans in place to capitalise on what could become your greatest business break, or are you still head-insand and waiting for the project t o go away? I find it strange that, while so m any Bahamian businesspeople take medical advice readily, so few of them seek outside opinion on the health of their own businesses. A s a result, they remain trapped in t heir own paradigms, while wond ering why their sales no longer g row. Business coaching is e xtremely popular in Europe and M ainland America these days. Its like mentoring in a sense, except that in this instance money changesh ands in exchange for proven benefits. Most times the service provided is a reflective sounding board that creates an environment cond ucive to informed decisions. At other times the assistance is more down to earth. What Bahamian businesses should be doing about Baha Mar is creatively identifying the opportunities that it presents, perhaps in the light of professional advice such as I mentioned. It does not require a crystal ball to figure out that those in charge of that great p roject will buy the cheapest resources that meet their quality standards. If they do not procure t hese in the Bahamas, they will h ave to ship them in at higher cost. S urely with our international netw orks, local experience and established infrastructure, this is a good t ide to catch? N B: Res Socius was founded by Simon Cooper in 2009, and is a business brokerage authorised by the Bahamas Investment Authority. He has extensive private and p ublic SME experience, and was f ormerly chief executive of a publ icly-traded investment company. H e was awarded an MBA with distinction by Liverpool University in 2005. Contact him on 636-8831 or write to simon.cooper@ressocius.com. Bahamian companies must catch rising Baha Mar tide R oyal Bank of Canada (RBC its 2011 Employee Volunteer Programmes, giving an estimated 79,000 staff around the world, including staff in the Bahamas, opportunities to win grants for their charities of c hoice. The programmes have been launched in a nticipation of Volunteer Week, which is being o bserved from April 10-16 in all of Royal Banks global businesses. Its employees are eligible for grants in support of their charity of choice through the RBC Community Spirit A wards, the Employee Volunteer Grant Programme and the Day of Service Grant Award Programme. RBC developed these programmes to sup port employee volunteerism as part of our greater commitment to community involvem ent and corporate citizenship, said Nathaniel Beneby, RBCs president and coun try head for the Bahamas. These programmes accommodate our e mployee lifestyles, and support employees w ho are already active volunteers or seeking to get involved in individual volunteer work, or as part of a team. Employees who demonstrate outstanding leadership and dedication to their communities m ay be eligible for the Community Spirit Awards, while the Employee Volunteer Grant P rogramme rewards staff who volunteer more t han 40 hours per year in community work. The RBC Day of Service Grant supports teams who volunteer outside of work hours on any day during the month of April. T he programmes are open to RBC employees around the world, including employees in any of the 19 RBC/RBTT jurisdictions in theC aribbean, such as the Bahamas. Awards will be announced globally during Volunteer Week, with awardees receiving certificates of p articipation and a grant for the organisation of their choice. Royal Bank first established operations in the Bahamas during 1908, andn ow has 24 retail branches and 45 automated b anking machines in this nation. B LOOD DRIVE: R oyal Bank employees donating blood at one of RBCs many employee and community service initiatives. ROYAL BANK LAUNCHES VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME S IMON C OOPER

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By ALISON LOWE Business Reporter alowe@tribunemedia.net A 10 per cent gap where expenditure exceeds output has emerged in the New Providence Road Improvement Project, the Government revealed yesterday, noting that it is hoping an increase in labour and future accelerated output will narrow this discrepancy. Providing an update on a number of ongoing infrastructure projects yesterday, minister of public works, Neko Grant, said the New Providence Road Improvement Project (NPRI has experienced several setbacks since its re-launch which h ave contributed to a 10 per cent gap where expenditure exceeds output. The ministry anticipates that with an increase in labour resources by the contractor (Jose Cartellone Construcciones Civiles C.A.) and futurea cceleration of output, that the pace of this project would be e nhanced with a view to narrowing the expenditure/output differential.The ministry is still attempting to meet its completion deadline during the first quarter of 2012, said Mr Grant. The Minister noted that the project is continuing in the a reas of Baillou Hill Road, Market Street, Robinson Road, East Street, Marathon Road and the western corridors from Tonique Williams Darling Highway to Saunders Beach. B USINESS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2011, PAGE 3B Have you heard the good news? You CAN save money!If you need a lower premium,low deductibles,generous benefits and a fast claims service,pick up the phone and ask NIBA for a great insurance deal.Its time to pay less for insuring your car! Tel.677-6422 or visit www.nibaquote.com NASSAU INSURANCE BROKERS AND AGENTS LIMITED Atlantic House,2nd Terrace & Collins Avenue P.O.Box N-7764 Nassau Tel.677-6422 www.nibaquote.com Open Saturdays10.00am2.00pm /(*$/7 ) 2856($6216+2/',1*6/,0,7(' 9ROXQWDU\/LTXLGDWLRQf 1 RWLFHLVKHUHE\JLYHQWKDWLQDFFRUGDQFHZLWK 6HFWLRQRIWKH&RPSDQLHVWKDW )2856($6216+2/',1*6/,0,7('KDV EHHQGLVVROYHGDQGVWUXFNIURPWKH5HJLVWHU RI&RPSDQLHVLQDFFRUGDQFHZLWKWKHOHWWHU SURYLGHGWKH5HJLVWUDU*HQHUDODVRI 'DWHGWKLVUG *(25*(&/,))25'&8/0(5 /LTXLGDWRU /(*$/7 670,&+(/632576:($5/,0,7(' 9ROXQWDU\/LTXLGDWLRQf 1RWLFHLVKHUHE\JLYHQWKDWLQDFFRUGDQFHZLWK 6HFWLRQRIWKH&RPSDQLHVWKDW 670,&+(/632576:($5/,0,7('KDV EHHQGLVVROYHGDQGVWUXFNIURPWKH5HJLVWHU RI&RPSDQLHVLQDFFRUGDQFHZLWKWKHOHWWHU SURYLGHGWKH5HJLVWUDU*HQHUDODVRI 'DWHGWKLVUG *(25*(&/,))25'&8/0(5 /LTXLGDWRU By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor B ahamasair still requires $6 million more i n taxpayer subsidies than it received in the 2010-2011 Budget, it was revealed yesterday, with net losses for the half-year to end December 2010 having risen by over 2 per cent to $9.5 million. Disclosing that losses for that six-month p eriod had expanded from 2009s $9.3 mill ion, Neko Grant, minister of public works and transport, said: The Government approved a subvention of $16 million for Bahamasair for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, which was $6 million less than that requested a t that time. The reforecast at the half-year p oint indicates no reduction in net loss, and B ahamasairs mid-term report indicates that a total of $22 million is still needed. Outlining the airlines current financial state, Mr Grant said passenger and charter revenue decreasedm but staffing costs also feel due to attrition. M r Grant added: Other revenue increased due to revamping of the excess baggage fee structure and increase in commission percentage from car and hotel packages, and passenger penalty fees for flight schedule changes. On-time performance for this same period i s 69 per cent as compared to 75 per cent duri ng the same period last year. This has been attributed to an increase in reactionary delays. Despite these challenges of decreased revenue and on-time performance, Bahamasair has sought to become more competitive and in this regard, implemented several marketingi nitiatives over the past year. Cost containm ent measures have been implemented with regard to fuel where an agreement was negotiated with a view to reducing fuel cost. Furthermore, in-house C checks for Dash 8 aircraft have continued, which has reduced maintenance costs. M r Grant added that as at December 2010, B ahamasair had no long-term debt, the only outstanding loan being one from Bank of the Bahamas International with a $242,845 balance. Bahamasair still needs $6m more from taxpayer By ALISON LOWE B usiness Reporter a lowe@tribunemedia.net E xpecting a tremendous reduction to have been a chieved in the Bahamas food import bill in the past year d ue to increases in the farming of fruits and vegetables, the Minister of Agriculture yesterday said he hopes thisn ation will become an exporter of onions in 2011. Based on what we have seen from the packing houses, the produce exchange, along the roadsides and at PottersCay and other areas with small markets, it certainly looks to me that there is much more being produced, Larry Cartwright said of general agricultural output, during the first day of the Agri-Business Expo on G ladstone Road. S tatistics were not available yesterday documenting the expected growth in agriculture output in recent years,b ut Mr Cartwright said enhanced access to land, credit and other support from the Ministry and Depart ment of Agriculture, plus the Bahamas A gricultural and Industrial Corporat ion (BAIC grow greater amounts of fresh pro d uce this year. H owever, Mr Cartwright noted that given economic con ditions, any figures showing the amount of money flowing out of the country to buy foreign food will have to take into consideration the likely reduction in spending by con-s umers overall. The most recent figure of almost $500 mil lion spent on food imports was documented in 2009, and the next statistics are set to be released this year. Speaking of recent achievements in agriculture, Mr Cartwright said that having for the first time introduced onions to its list of agriculture outputs this year, Andros now has far more acreage being used for onion cultivationt han any island in the history of Bahamian agriculture. T he amount of onions being produced exceeds Bahamian demand, and therefore creates the possibility of an export market, with Canada being targeted. Pineapples are alsob eing grown in quantities that could legitimise an export market. Whereas Eleuthera was once the only island on which large scale pineapple farming was underway, Mr Cartwright said production has been introduced in recent years in Long Island, Cat Island and Andros as well. There are different things you have to look at when exporting to the EU, Canada and the US. You have to make sure you document how much fertiliser you use and the regularity. This year, for the first year, we are monitor ing that on a daily basis, so when we look to export we will have that information available, so it will be much easier getting an importing country to take our exports, said Mr Cartwright, referring to evolving international standards regarding trade in agricultural produce. Vegetables and fruit, which are now being grown in sig nificant quantities in The Bahamas other than onions and pineapples, also include persian limes, bananas, mangos and avocados. Cucumbers, sweet peppers, eggplants and tomatoes are also under cultivation, as are cabbages and cassava. Mr Cartwright said incentives are being offered so that almost any item required for agriculture can be imported into the country duty free, and at the Fish and Farm Store where Bahamian farmers go to buy agricultural equip ment, credit is available to allow farmers to finance their purchases until they can pay them off. I think you are now seeing more farmers making use of that privilege, and based on the number of applications I see being made for duty exemptions for trucks for farming, farm equipment and other items, I think we are well on our way, said Mr Cartwright. Nonetheless the Minister noted that given that the Bahamas labour costs remain high higher than any other country in the Caribbean and fertiliser prices are much too high, until the Bahamas can achieve higher levels of pro tected agriculture, that is produce grown in greenhouses and other protective structures, the price of locally grown goods will continue to be generally higher than that of imported produce, which often comes from countries with significantly lower labour costs. Until we dont need that amount of labour, because we have more protected agriculture our prices are always goingto be higher than the imports, but we are working feverishly to try to introduce more greenhouses, more modern ways of farming to cut down on imports, said Mr Cartwright. In his speech at the opening of the Agri Business Expo, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said it is timely that local produce should be on the rise, given that oil prices are likely to cause food prices to increase for the foreseeable future. The Agri Business Expo runs until Saturday at the Glad stone Road Agricultural Centre. It showcases and offers for sale agricultural and handicraft products from throughout the Bahamas, as well as food processing presentations and produce competitions. Bid reduction in food imports Onions eyed for exports % output gap hits road project N EKO GRANT Share your news The Tribune wants to hear from people who are making news in their neighbourhoods. Perhaps you are raising funds for a good cause, campaigning for improvements in the area or have won an award. If so, call us on 322-1986 and share your story. M ORESUBSIDIESNEEDED: B ahama s air. LARRY CARTWRIGHT

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Neither Zhivargo Laing, minister of state for finance, nor John Delaney, the attorney general, could be contacted by Tribune Business for comment prior to press time yesterday. It was unclear whether the US State Departments INCSR report was drawing on dated information for its Bahamas analysis, given that it attached as an annex the last Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF nation, carried out in 2007, but Washingt0ns documents usually draw upon updated information supplied by the US Embassy in the relevant nation, plus other established sources. Tribune Businesss review of that CFATF report reveals that the Bahamas failure to be in full compliance with thet wo UN resolutions identified in yesterdays report was raised as an issue back in 2007. It is unclear, though, given the lack of government response to Tribune Business yesterday, whether the problem has been adequately addressed, but if not it would be somewhat embarrassing to have these weaknesses highlighted again almost four years after they were first raised. The CFATF report noted that the penalties for breaching both these UN resolutions were of a low level, namely a $10,000 fine and/or a one-year prison terms, and recommended tightening these sanctions because they were not in keeping with the requirements of either Security Council demand. The Bahamas, the CFATF added, had used the International Obligations (Economic and Ancillary measures) (Afghanistan t o implement UN resolution 1267, but this does not implement UN resolution 1373 in so far as the powers of the authorities to take action under that statute are not directly referable to terrorism nor the financing of terrorism. In conclusion, the CFATF found: The Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA implement UN resolution 1267 in so far as the Bahamian authorities may not designate an entity as a terrorist entity, or freeze its assets, solely upon the designation being issued by the relevant UN Security Council Committee. The ATA should be amended to effect full compliance. The ATA does not fully implement UN resolution 1373, as the Bahamian authorities may not in all cases effect the freezing of terrorist funds without delay as required by UN resolution 1373, because of the separate procedural requirements of the ATA in respect to listing and freezing applications. Reciprocity The Bahamas demand for reciprocity, the CFATF said, did not meet the UN resolutions requirement, and it added: The ATA does not fully implement the requirements of UN resolutions, particularly as they relate to the freezing of the funds or assets of terrorists. The CFATF report also picked up on another area identified yesterday by the Obama administration, namely the absence of a system to collect and analyse the crossborder transportation of currency. There is no requirement to declare or disclose the cross-border transportation of cash or negotiable instruments. Therefore, no statistics or information is obtained in this area, the CFATF said. Consequently, no information, based on declarations, is available for forwarding and analysis by the Financial Intelligence Unit....... The lack of a declaration or disclosure system prevents an analysis of cross-border movements to determine or detect any particular trends in this area. Detection methods used by the Bahamian authorities appeared to be outdated, the CFATF report said, adding that the legal framework dealing with the crossborder transportation of cash needed to be updated. Meanwhile, yesterdays INCSR report identified the transhipment of cocaine in shipping containers, via the Freeport Container Port, as a major concern to US and Bahamian authorities. The majority of cocaine seized in recent years has been concealed in containerized cargo transiting the Freeport Container Port on the island of Grand Bahama. The DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration] believes Colombian traffickers are utilizing containerized cargo as a means to thwart the efforts of law enforcement officials in the Bahamas. Approximately three metric tons of cocaine have been seized at the Freeport Container Port since 2007, the US State Department report read. Freeport Harbour has the closest offshore port to the United States and the entire country is relatively accessible by medium sized boats. This makes smuggling and bulk cash money laundering relatively easy. The Obama administration repeated previous US proddings for the Bahamas to provide adequate resources to its law enforcement, judicial, and prosecutorial bodies in order to enforce existing legislation and safeguard the financial system from possible abuses. It also demanded that this nation maintain a list of beneficial owners of all licensed entities domiciled in the Bahamas. Stating that the proceeds of drug trafficking were moved through Bahamian banks and companies, the INCSR report said: Money laundering trends include the purchase of real estate, large vehicles and jewellery, as well as the processing of money through a complex web of legitimate businesses and international business companies registered in the offshore financial sector. Drug traffickers and other criminal organisations take advantage of the large number of international business companies and offshore banks registered in the Bahamas to launder significant sums of money despite strict Know Your Customer (KYC ments. And the report added: Additional gaps in the countrys legislation include a failure to criminalise participation in an organised criminal group, and to tighten the currency transaction reporting system to track people arriving and leaving to all destinations. U S: Bahamas not meeting UN anti-terror finance decrees F ROM page 1B involved. However, he did say he was almost shocked by what he had seen so far coming out of the investigation. We are looking at hundreds of thousands, maybe even into the millions (that has not been paid to Customs lot, and I am almost shocked at whats been going on. I heard about it first probably a couple of months ago, but we had to gather data and once we started to gather it we said: It is unclear whether this is one of the entities referred to, but Tribune Business understands that one well-known b usiness has recently lost its Customs bond and is being required to pay the Department upfront via bankers drafts before its imports are cleared. T his newspaper has been told the firm involved is under i nvestigation by Customs for the practice of transfer pricing or phony invoicing, where it either sets up a dummy comp any and reinvoices itself for all imported supplies, or uses u ndervalued invoices supplied by a foreign supplier. Either w ay, due duties and taxes are evaded. Mr Gomez told Tribune Business in December that under t he current legislative regime, "98 per cent" of cases in w hich businesses are believed to have sought to evade paying funds owed to the Customs Department are dealt with "in house" to avoid the time and expense involved in going to court, and the level of investigation required. Businesses are asked to pay up to a maximum $5,000 fine and are able to "walk out without anyone knowing". However, the Customs Chief expressed his disappointm ent with this system, which gives companies the benefit of n ever seeing their transgression brought into the public a rena. He said that under a new Customs Management Act i t is intended that firms which are found liable for customs e vasion will be named and shamed. Corruption costs Customs millions FROM page 1B INSIGHT For the stories behind the news, r ead I nsight o n Mondays

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Those days are long past, and Mr Vanderpool-Wallace told Tribune Business: What wered oing is really moving beyond that in terms of developing a structure for Civil Aviation, separating operations from regulation, putting manuals in place, and engaging people for the kind of regulatory oversight we need throughout the Bahamas. The minister explained that the Government had effectively extended the existing contract with Tim Neel & Associates, believing it had done a very good job and had tremendous experience in what was needed, especially given its familiarity with FAA requirements. The extended contract, he added, was set to last for just over a year, and was very specific in what it required of Tim Neel & Associates, especially in terms of training Bahamians, transferring knowledge, and ensuring training and maintenance is in place before they depart. They will be training the people to be able to manage it, and operate it, once they depart, Mr Vanderpool-Wallace said of the likely impact on Civil Aviation. The work they will be doing is vital, because one of the things, as you will know, is that in any organisation those persons operating the organisation should not be regulating themselves. Its a fundamental part of what needs to get done, and fundamental to the development of civil aviation. The International Civil Avi ation Organisation's (ICAO audit of the Bahamian civil aviation system's safety oversight regime, conducted early in 2009 but only published in 2010, found that the Civil Aviation Department's organizational structure "does not reflect in sufficient detail and does notc learly define the regulatory and safety oversight functions and responsibilities" in a number of key areas. It added: "Furthermore, the Bahamas has not established a distinct separation between the regulatory/safety oversight enti ties and the service providersi n the areas of air navigation s ervices (ANS (AGA "While the Flight Standards Inspectorate (FSI an impress fund to cover the cost for training, travel expenses and investigation of aircraft accidents and incidents, the Civil Aviation Department d epends entirely on State budget allocations to fund its operations, and its financial resources are not sufficient to enable it to fulfil the state's responsibility for safety oversight." Mr Vanderpool-Wallace yesterday described the developm ent of the Bahamian private and civil aviation sector as akin to expanding a nations road infrastructure, explaining that the industry played such a role in inter-island transportation here. If you live in an archipelago, theres nothing more i mportant than the interconnection between islands via air and sea, the minister explained. It is critical. You have to ensure you have good roads between land, and the air and sea are critical to our development. Tourism is critically important, because that is the path t o high-spending visitors, but this [air transport] is critical to GDP in terms of the overall development and growth of the country. Mr Vanderpool-Wallace said this would not happen withouta sustainable private and civil aviation sector, and the accomp anying regulatory oversight that was necessary. He explained that the Government was pursuing twin tracks to achieve its civil aviation objectives, with Tim Neel & Associates working on the f ine details, and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB looking at the bigger picture. Pledging that inter-island air and sea transportation in the Bahamas would be developed together, as part of a comprehensive overall strategy, rather than in isolation, Mr Vander pool-Wallace said the IDB would study the creation of s uch a system. Indicating that some of the Bahamas airports would become fully fledged, but others not so complete, the minister said the IDB would set out the rationale for this and the creation of multiple hubs and major aviation ports of e ntry in this nation. Its study will look at creating another hub for aviation in the southern Bahamas, and where to place it. Mr Vanderpool-Wallace added that the consultants would also develop an airport certification programme and o verseeing framework, something the Bahamas currently lacks. That is very much included, he said. We have a whole variety of airports throughout the Bahamas. That is part of the structure we are putting in place. Weve made some good p rogress. We like that. The ICAO found that the Bahamas had not certified any of the airports in this nation, leaving it in non-compliance with Annex 14 to the Chicago Convention. "At the time of the audit, the Bahamas has 19 aerodromes for international operations, 39 aerodromes for domestic operations and no heliports," the ICAO audit found. "Some aerodromes are in the process of developing an aerodrome manual. However, the Civil Aviation Department has so far not yet received any aerodrome manual for its acceptance or approval. "While most of the aerodrome operators have drawn up an airport emergency plan (AEP include all of the provisions of Annex 14 to the Chicago Convention. Additionally, the Civil Aviation Department has not ensured AEPs have been tested in compliance with Annex 14 of the provisions to the Chicago Convention. To remedy this state of affairs, the Bahamas pledged to draft an Aerodrome Certification and Operations Regulation to comply with the Chicago Convention, with all the necessary steps to achieve this supposed to be taken by September 30, 2010. An aerodrome certification process was supposed to begin by July 2010, the Bahamas agreeing with ICAO's findings, but it has clearly not been completed yet. B USINESS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2011, PAGE 5B COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS 2010 IN THE SUPREME COURT Common Law & Equity Division CLE/qui/00775 IN THE MATTER OF the Quieting Titles Act, 1959 AND IN THE MATTER OF the Petition of BRENETTA MAE JOHNSON AND IN THE MATTEROF ALLTHATTract of land containing Five Thousand Three hundred and twenty-four square feet (5,324ing Lot Number 542 and situate on the North-Eastern junction of Moonshine Drive and Windward Isle Way In Golden Gates No. 2 Subdivision the Western District of the Island of New Providence, The Bahamas NOTICE The Petition of BRENETTAMAE JOHNSON of the Western District of the Island of New Providence one of the Islands of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas in respect of:ALLTHATTract of land containing Five Thousand Three Hundred and twenty-four square feet (5,324Lot Number 542 and situate on the North-Eastern junction of Moonshine Drive and Windward Isle Way In Golden Gates No. 2 Subdivision the Western District of the Island of New Providence, The Bahamas and bounded North by lot Number 541 and running thereon One Hundred (100.00South by a road reservation Moonshine Drive Thirty-six (36.00 the Petitioner and running thereon Fifty and Sixty-two (50.62 feet West by a road reservation, Windward Isle Way, Forty feet wide (40.00Mae Johnson claims to be the owner of the fee simple estate in possession of the said piece or parcel of land free from incumbrances. And the Petitioner has made application to the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas under Section 3 of the Quieting Titles Act, 1999 to have titleto the said piece parcel or tract of land investigated and the nature and extent thereof determined and declared in a provisions of the said Act. NOTICE is hereby given that any person having a dower or right to Dower or an Adverse Claim or a claim not recognized in the Petition shall on before the expiration of Thirty (30 Court and serve on the Petitioner or the undersigned a Statement Adverse Claim on or before the expiration of Thirty (30days to such claim. inspected at: 1. The Registry of the Supreme Court, Nassau 2. The Chambers of Messrs Mangra & Co., No. 20 Parliament Street. Dated the 12th day of April, A.D. 2010 Mangra & Co. No. 20 Parliament Street Nassau, N.P. The Bahamas 52%(57:$6+,1*721 : ,//,$06RI3%R[*UHHQZRRG3DOP 6DQGLODQGV9LOODJH%DKDPDV 0 $5-25,(-26(3+RI 0 F&2//28*+&251(51$66$8%$+$0$6 23$/$116,021()(5*8621 RI366.LVVNDGHH'ULYH:HVW%D\1$66$8 %$+$0$6 127,&(0,1(5$/6$1'(7$/6(6285&(6 /,0,7(' 1RWLFHLVKHUHE\JLYHQWKDW 0,1(5$/6$1' 0(7$/65(6285&(6/,0,7(' D&RPSDQ\ UHJLVWHUHGXQGHU7KH,QWHUQDWLRQDO%XVLQHVV&RPSDQLHV $FWKDVEHHQGLVVROYHGDQGVWUXFNRIIWKH5HJLVWHU DVRIWKHWKGD\RI)HEUXDU\ 6DOLP.LZLUUD /LTXLGDWRU FROM page 1B Fundamental to Civil Aviations development decade, hitting 1.941 million stopovers in 2021. Predicting the impact of these visitors total spending, the WTTC said: The Bahamas is expected to attract 1.478 million international tourist (overnight visitor billion in visitor exports (foreign visitor spending, including spendi ng on transportation). By 2021, international tourist arrivals are forecast to total 1.941 million, an increase of 2.8 per cent per annum, generating expenditure of $3.038 billion. And, on the investment front, the Bahamian tourism sector was forecast to attract capital investment of $388 million during 2011, and is set to rise by 3.2 per cent per annum over the next decade to $529.6 million. This means that travel and tourisms share of total national i nvestment will rise from 16.5 per cent in 2011 to 17.4 per cent in 2021, the WTTC added. In relative terms, the Bahamas is the second most reliant nation in the world on tourism to provide direct employment, and the eighth most reliant on it for total jobs. Elsewhere, the Bahamas is the worlds sixth most reliant country on tourist spending for export earnings, as these account for 64.93 per cent of such inflows. And this nation is the 21st most reliant on travel and tourism investment as a percentage of total capital investment, since this accounts for 16.52 per cent of the total. A nd, when it comes to the tourism sectors direct and total contribution to GDP, the Bahamas was the worlds sixth and ninth most reliant, respectively, on the industry. 3% per annum tourism growth in next decade FROM page 1B M r Foulkes confirmed the meeting involved a discussion of the economic situation at the hotel, and it was agreed that executives would address staff today to advise them about the future direction and plans for the hotel. On Wednesday, The Tribune revealed that sources close to the matter had disclosed around 50 managerial and 150 line staff could be terminated from Our Lucaya in light of continually depressed business conditions at the property. The source said that tens of millions of dollars in losses were incurred in 2010, but a dded that the terminations come ahead of plans to rebrand and turn around the resorts fortunes. They are committed to making it work, said the source. Yesterday, attorney Obie Ferguson, also BHMA president, said he, too, met with the hotel and company executives on Tues-day and was told that there would be terminations, which he believed would take place in a phased manner. He said he would be surprised if word is given tomorrow about exactly which persons will be let go, as the BHMA had beenp romised by executives that the union would receive the list prior to any action being taken. They had undertaken they would get back to me as to the areas that would be affected. Once we are in receipt of that I indicated to them that we would wish to have a meeting with them about what is the best approach to take, Mr Ferguson said. He is hoping that based on the information about which individuals may be set for termination, he may push for voluntary disengagement to be offered to some instead. I have not yet received that information, so it makes it difficult for me to meet with them or meet with the 135 members, said Mr Ferguson. He added that he had not been made aware at the meeting that any announcements were to be made today, as The Tribunes sources maintain. Attempts to obtain a comment from Our Lucaya executives yesterday regarding the impending staff reductions were unsuccessful, as messages went unreturned. A message left forpresi-d ent of the Bahamas Hotel, Catering and Allied Workers Union, Nicole Martin, which represents line staff at Our Lucaya, was also not returned. Minister affirms adjustments at Our Lucaya hotel FROM page 1B

PAGE 16

GABRIELE STEINHAUSER, AP Business Writer BRUSSELS The next three weeks will be crucial for Europe to finally get a grip on the debt crisis that has crippled its currency union and to set up stronger foundations for when it is past the storm. A series of EU summits this month kicks off Friday in Helsinki, where the eurozone's conservative leaders will wrestle over how much of their sovereign economic decision-making they are willing to sacrifice for the sake of a more stable euro. The debate will culminate on March 25, when heads of state and government hope to seal the "comprehensive solution" to the crisis they have promised to the markets. At the center of the debate are demands for stricter budget rules and economic reforms from strong economies like Germany and the Netherlands pitched against pleas for more help and leniency from the currency union's weaker members. But as the meetings get under way, divisions are growing about what to do and how quickly. In particular, Germany is reluctant to spend on direct support for weaker countries' bond markets, which the European Union's executive Commission and the European Central Bank are pushing for. In the middle of all that, European regulators are studying how to design new stress tests for banks, whose troubles are central not only to the problems in Ireland but also to any action on sovereign debt. "There are so many balls in the air right now," said Carsten B rzeski, senior economist at ING in Brussels, adding that the wealth of issues might make it difficult for governments make ambitious decisions. The clashing positions among eurozone countries will be obvious in Helsinki, even though all attendees are members of the same European People's Part y, the center-right bloc in the European Parliament. There is Germany's Angela Merkel, who is reluctant to put up more money to help less disciplined countries; Enda Kenny, Ireland's prime minister in waiting, who is not only demanding lower interest rates on the c ountry's bailout but has also raised the idea of making senior bank bondholders take losses; European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who has called for broader powers and more money for the region's bailout fund; and Yves Leterme, the caretaker leader of Belgium who is in no position to give up on his country's treasured system of inflationlinked wage increases, as demanded by Germany. And that cast of characters does not even include the center-left leaders of Spain, Portugal and Greece each struggling with their own crises. Faced with such division, analysts increasingly expect a watered-down deal by the end of the month that falls well short off the overhaul of the eurozone's crisis strategy that had seemed tangible just weeks ago. Despite sustained high borrowing costs for Portugal, seen as the most likely candidate to follow Greece and Ireland in seeking an international bailout, the sense of urgency appears to have eased in markets and therefore some governments at least for the moment. "The Europeans are doing big things always under big market pressure and right now there is no big market pressure," said Zsolt Darvas, a research fellow at Brusselsbased think tank Bruegel. The decisive player over the next three weeks will be Germany. Merkel, struggling at home, has set her hopes on a so-called "pact for competitiveness," which could give her something in return for extending more help to the eurozone's stragglers. Originally, Berlin had demanded that eurozone countries improve their economic performance through unpopular measures like getting rid of automatic inflation-linked wage increases and agreeing on a common base for corporate taxation. However, over the past month those measures have been softened by separate proposals from the Commission and EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy, which would leave governments with vague commitments to create limits to national deficits and make pension systems more sustainable. On the pact, "we will get some nice statement, agreeing on the common goals," said Brzeski. Firm targets or even sanctions for breaking rules are unlikely, he said. B USINESS T HE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2011, PAGE 7B 52wk-Hi52wk-LowSecurit y Previous CloseToday's CloseChangeDaily Vol.EPS $Div $P/EYield 1.130.95AML Foods Limited1.041.040.000.1230.0408.53.85% 1 0.639.05Bahamas Property Fund10.6310.630.000.0130.200817.71.88% 5.754.40Bank of Bahamas4.404.500.103,5000.1530.10029.42.22% 0 .530.17Benchmark0.180.180.00-0.8770.000N/M0.00% 2.842.70Bahamas Waste2.702.700.000.1680.09016.13.33% 2 .201.96Fidelity Bank1.961.960.000.0160.040122.52.04% 12.409.44Cable Bahamas10.2110.210.001.0500.3109.73.04% 2.852.35Colina Holdings2.402.400.006800.7810.0403.11.67%7 .005.80Commonwealth Bank (S1)6.806.800.000.4880.26013.93.82% 2.861.90Consolidated Water BDRs2.132.200.070.1110.04519.82.05% 2 .541.40Doctor's Hospital1.401.400.000.1070.11013.17.86% 6.505.25Famguard5.255.250.000.3570.24014.74.57% 9.275.88Finco6.255.88-0.372,0000.6820.0008.60.00% 11.408.77FirstCaribbean Bank9.399.390.000.4940.35019.03.73% 6.004.57Focol (S)5.485.480.000.4520.16012.12.92%1 .001.00Focol Class B Preference1.001.000.000.0000.000N/M0.00% 5.595.50ICD Utilities7.407.400.000.0120.240616.73.24% 10.509.80J. S. Johnson9.829.820.000.8590.64011.46.52% 10.0010.00Premier Real Estate10.0010.000.001.2070.2008.32.00% 5 2wk-Hi52wk-LowSecuritySymbolLast SaleChangeDaily Vol. 9 9.4699.46Bahamas Note 6.95 (2029BAH2999.460.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 17 (Series A) +FBB17100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 22 (Series B) +FBB22100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 13 (Series C) +FBB13100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 15 (Series D) +FBB15100.000.00 5 2wk-Hi 5 2wk-Low S ymbol B id$ A sk$ L astPrice D ailyVol E PS$ D iv$ P /E Y ield BISX LISTED & TRADED SECURITIES AS OF:7% I nterest 7%RoyalFidelity Merchant Bank & Trust Ltd. (Over-The-Counter Securities)29 May 2015 W WW.BISXBAHAMAS.COM | TELEPHONE:242-323-2330 | FACSIMILE: 242-323-232019 October 2022 Prime + 1.75% Prime + 1.75% 6 .95%20 November 2029THURSDAY, 3 MARCH 2011B ISX ALL SHARE INDEX: CLOSE 1,457.67 | CHG -4.22 | %CHG -0.29 | YTD -41.84 | YTD % -2.79BISX LISTED DEBT SECURITIES (Bonds trade on a Percentage Pricing basis)M aturity 19 October 2017F INDEX: YEAR END 2008 -12.31%30 May 2013 52wk Hi 52wk Low Symbol Bid $ Ask $ Last Price Daily Vol EPS $ Div $ P/E Yield 10.065.01Bahamas SupermarketsN/AN/A14.00-2.9450.000N/M0.00% 0.550.40RND Holdings0.350.400.550.0010.000256.60.00% 41.0029.00ABDAB30.1331.5929.004.5400.0009.030.00% 0.550.40RND Holdings0.450.550.550.0020.000261.900.00% 52wk-Hi52wk-LowFund NameNAVYTD%Last 12 Months %NAV 3MTH 1.51221.4076CFAL Bond Fund1.51795.51%6.90%1.498004 2.95272.8300CFAL MSI Preferred Fund2.95270.18%1.61%2.918697 1.58371.5141CFAL Money Market Fund1.58370.61%4.59%1.564030 3.20252.8522Royal Fidelity Bahamas G & I Fund2.7049-0.56%-15.54% 13.638813.0484Royal Fidelity Prime Income Fund13.41640.44%-0.10% 114.3684101.6693CFAL Global Bond Fund114.36849.98%12.49%109.392860 106.552899.4177CFAL Global Equity Fund106.55284.75%7.18%100.779540 1.14651.0000FG Financial Preferred Income Fund1.14655.20%5.20% 1.11851.0000FG Financial Growth Fund1.11854.73%4.73% 1.14911.0000FG Financial Diversified Fund1.14915.35%5.35% 9.74859.1005Royal Fidelity Bah Int'l Investment Fund Principal Protected TIGRS, Series 19.79504.85%5.45% 11.236110.0000Royal Fidelity Bah Int'l Investment Fund Principal Protected TIGRS, Series 210.6417-1.20%0.50% 10.12669.1708Royal Fidelity Bah Int'l Investment Fund Principal Protected TIGRS, Series 310.12661.27%1.27% 8.45104.8105Royal Fidelity Int'l Fund Equities Sub Fund8.45100.72%9.95% BISX ALL SHARE INDEX 19 Dec 02 = 1,000.00YIELD last 12 month dividends divided by closing price 52wk-Hi Highest closing price in last 52 weeksBid $ Buying price of Colina and Fidelity 52wk-Low Lowest closing price in last 52 weeksAsk $ Selling price of Colina and fidelity Previous Close Previous day's weighted price for daily volumeLast Price Last traded over-the-counter price Today's Close Current day's weighted price for daily volumeWeekly Vol. Trading volume of the prior week Change Change in closing price from day to dayEPS $ A company's reported earnings per share for the last 12 mths Daily Vol. Number of total shares traded todayNAV Net Asset Value DIV $ Dividends per share paid in the last 12 monthsN/MNot Meaningful P/E Closing price divided by the last 12 month earningsFINDEX The Fidelity Bahamas Stock Index. January 1, 1994 = 100 (S) 4-for-1 Stock Split Effective Date 8/8/2007 (S1) 3-for-1 Stock Split Effective Date 7/11/200731-Jan-11BISX Listed Mutual FundsNAV Date 30-Nov-10 31-Dec-10 31-Jan-11CFAL Securities Ltd. (Over-The-Counter Securities)TO TRADE CALL: CFAL 242-502-7010 | ROYALFIDELITY 242-356-7764 | FG CAPITAL MARKETS 242-396-4000 | COLONIAL 242-502-752530-Nov-10 30-Sep-10 31-Jan-11 11-Feb-11 31-Jan-11MARKET TERMS31-Dec-10 NAV 6MTH 1.475244 2.910084 1.545071 107.570619 105.776543 30-Jun-10 31-Dec-10 30-Nov-10 31-Jan-11 DAVID K. RANDALL, AP Business Writers MATTHEW CRAFT,AP Business Writers NEW YORK Stocks jumped higher Thursday after an unexpected drop in new applications for unemployment benefits and higher February sales reports from retailers. The Labor Department said first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell to 368,000. That's the lowest level for claims since May 2008. Economists had expected them to rise. Separately, the Institute for Supply Management reported that its measure of hiring by service companies rose to the highest level since April 2006. The index covers a broad range of industries including retail, health care and financial services. The signs of job growth followed a report Wednesday from payroll processor ADP that said that private employers are added more jobs than expected last month. Those gains are helping to raise expectations that Friday's jobs report will show that theu nemployment rate fell from its current level of 9 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 207 points, or 1.7 percent, to 12,273 in afternoon trading. It was the biggest rise in the Dow since Dec. 1. The Dow is still below where it was trading on Feb. 18, before a three-day plunge caused by a surge in oil prices as the unrest in Libya deepened. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 22, or 1.7 percent, to 1,330. All 10 company groups that make up the S&P index rose. Industrial companies had the largest gain, with 2.6 percent. Caterpillar Inc. gained 3 percent, the largest i ncrease among the 30 stocks that make up the Dow average. The Nasdaq composite index gained 53, or 1.9 percent, to 2,801. The drop in unemployment claims pushed Treasury prices low er, raising their yields. The yield on the 10-year note rose to 3.57 percent, up from 3.48 percent late Wednesday. Retailers Limited Brands Inc., Macy's Inc. and Nordstrom Inc. all reported gains over the same time last year. Wendy's/Arby's Group Inc. trimmed its losses in the fourth-quarter and beat analysts' revenue estimates. The stock rose 5 percent. Oil prices eased slightly, but remained just above $100 a barrel. Concerns over the impact of high oil prices on the U.S. economy have rattled markets over the past two weeks. Crude settled above $102 on Wednesday for the first time since September 2008. A look at economic developments and activity in major stock markets around the world Thursday: ___ LONDON The European Central Bank's chief shocked markets by saying interest rates could be raised as soon as the next policy meeting in April far earlier than expected to fight inflation across the 17-nation eurozone. Speaking after the bank left its main interest rate unchanged at the record low of 1 percent, President Jean-Claude Trichet said "strong vigilance" was warranted and that an interest rate increase next month was "possible" though "not certain." ___ LONDON Stocks regained their composure thanks to a drop in oil prices and hopes that U.S. employment is picking up. In Europe, the FTSE 100 closed up 1.5 percent at 6,005 while Germany's DAX rose 0.6 percent to 7,226. The CAC-4o in Paris ended 0.7 percent higher at 4,060. ___ LONDON Retail sales in the 17 countries that use the euro rose in January for the first time in six months, official figures showed, in a tentative sign that consumers are finally confident enough to pick up spending. ___ TOKYO In Asia, South Korea's Kospi Composite Index, rose a hefty 2.2 percent to 1,970.66 after the government said industrial output grew for the 19th straight month in January, while Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average climbed 0.9 percent to 10,586.02. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was 0.3 percent higher to 23,122.42 but mainland Chinese shares fell as profit taking in the afternoon offset morning gains. The benchmark Shanghai Comp osite Index lost 0.4 percent to 2,902.98, while the Shenzhen Composite Index lost 1.6 percent to 1,272.00. __ PARIS France's state statistics office says unemployment fell slightly in the fourth quarter of 2010 to 9.6 percent. The figure was below the 9.8 percent joblessness rate in the third quarter, but remains above pre-financial crisis levels. ___ MADRID Spain raised euro3.8 billion ($5.25 billion o versubscribed auction of 3and 5-year bonds but at higher interest rates that reflected investor worries over public finances in Europe. G LOBAL E CONOMIC N EWS A SSOCIATED P RESS Eurozone at critical juncture in debt crisis ( AP Photo/Michael Sohn) CRITICALTIME: German Chanc ellor Angela Merkel arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting att he chancellery in Berlin, Germ any, Wednesday. Stocks leap higher as hope builds for job recovery n n WALLSTREET the 2009-2010 fiscal second quarter total of $40.761 million. This equated to a 30 per cent decline. Over the two quarters from July to December, there was an over all 75 per cent decline when compared with the value of construction starts in the same period in 2009. The number of building permit approvals (117 mit values ($114.432 million ter declined by 27 per cent and 32 cent respectively, as compared to the same period last years. The second quarter reported increases in both categories (368 a 42.6 per cent increase, and $119,974 million a 7.7 per cent increase respectively) over the last fiscal years second quarter statistics. Mr Grant noted that there were increases of 2.3 and 6.2 per cent in the number of buildings completed during the two quarters over the previous year. Building completion values totaled $111.147 million for the first quarter and $119.171 million, with significant increases of 83 per cent and 58.5 per cent respectively over the same period during the previous year, said Mr Grant. He said that despite the decline in construction starts at the end of last year, the Government is confident that this trend will be reversed during the course of this year, with the anticipated boost to the economy created by new large scale construction projects Foremost among new projects launched during the first half of the 2010-2011 fiscal year, that should have significant positive economic impact when construction commences this year, are the JFK Airport Gateway Project and the Baha Mar Redevelopment Project, he said. BIG C ONS TR UCTION START DECLINE IN 2010 2ND HALF FROM page 1B

PAGE 17

B USINESS P AGE 8B, FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2011 THE TRIBUNE ANNE D'INNOCENZIO, AP Retail Writer NEW YORK Strong February sales at stores up and down the prices pectrum, from J.C. Penney to Saks, show that a broad range of shoppers are feeling more comfortable about the economy. The question is whether rising gas, food and clothing prices will reverse the trend this spring. Retailers on Thursday reported surprisingly strong revenue gains for February. The International Council of Shopping Centers' index of 28 retailers rose 4.2 percent compared with the same month last year. That was well above the trade group's projections for a 2.5 percent to 3 percent increase. The gain follows a 4.7 percent increase in January and the best holiday season since 2006. The figures are based on revenue at stores open at least a year, a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes the effects of stores that open or close during the year. February started slowly for merchants because snowstorms kept some shoppers home. As the month went on, weather improved, perking up sales of spring clothing. "The underlying (spending trend is quite good," said Scott Hoyt, senior director of consumer economics for Moody's Analytics. "But increasing costs on basic necessities (are growing constraint on household budgets. The question we don't know is: By how much?" Thursday's results show a broader range of shoppers is benefiting from the economic r ecovery, said Michael P. Niemira, chief economist at the I nternational Shopping Centers. Among retailers beating forecasts were Victoria's Secret parent Limited Brands Inc.; moderate-priced department stores J.C. Penney Co., Macy's I nc. and Kohl's Corp.; teen clothing seller Wet Seal Inc; a nd warehouse club operator Costco Wholesale Corp. Luxury retailers including Saks Inc. saw surging sales as the affluent kept spending, encouraged by a rallying stock market. T here were only a few stragglers. Discounter Target Corp. and clothing chain Gap Inc. both missed expectations, with Target reporting a small increase and Gap a decline. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, no longer reports monthly sales. Consumer spending outside retail has shown signs of s trength as well. On Tuesday, automakers reported doubledigit sales gains for February, extending a recovery that started late last year. The improving economy is fueling the growth. Consumer confidence in February rose to its highest point in more than three years, according to the Conference Board. B ut the positive economic news isn't dispelling worries about rising prices. Analysts say more price shocks could scare c onsumers, especially lowand middle-income people, into pulling back on spending. Clothing makers are raising prices on everything from underwear to jeans. Supermar-k ets are beginning to pass along rising costs for dairy, meat and other items. But gasoline is most worrisome. The turmoil in Libya and the oil markets have pushed the national average for gasoline to $3.427 per gallon, up 30 cents since Feb. 15. Prices will reach $3.50 to $3.75 by spring, some analysts say. If they hit $4, shoppers will c hange their habits, said Ken Perkins, president of RetailMetrics. They'll cut back on discretionary purchases and make fewer trips to the mall. Another challenge for retailers in March will be a late Easter. It doesn't fall until April 24, three weeks later than last year. That calendar quirk is expected to shift sales of holiday items such as candy and children's dresses from March to April, d epressing business this month. Analysts look at the two months combined to judge spring selling. Meanwhile, many retailers, including Macy's, Kohl's and J.C. Penney, say they're raising prices on clothing as costs rise, especially for cotton, and demand improves. J.C. Penney officials said Frid ay that the company tested price increases last year to find out what shoppers were willing to pay. The company said it was m ore successful with price increases on more expensive brands. "Our strategy is to walk prices up thoughtfully at rates we believe will be supported by consumers," said MichaelC asey, CEO of Carter's Inc. in an address to analysts Wednesday. The maker of Carter's and OshKosh B'gosh children's clothing said it increased prices at its stores by 5 percent this spring. It's still unclear how the rising clothing prices will affect shoppers' willingness to spend. "We have not had a sufficient read on consumers' react ion to our higher prices," Casey said, "particularly the more significant increases planned for fall." Shoppers show strength in February; gas hikes loom ALESSANDRA RIZZO, Associated Press ROME Global food prices have reached their highest point in 20 years and could increase further because of rising oil prices stemming from the unrest in Libya and the Mideast, a U.N. agency warned Thursday. Skyrocketing food prices have been among the triggers for protests in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere, and raised fears of a repeat of the food price crises in 2007 and 2008. Some experts point to key differences compared to those years: for one, the price of rice, an important food security commodity, is much lower today. Still, Oxfam called the hike "deeply worrying." The Food and Agriculture Organization said in a statement that its food price index was up 2.2 percent last month, the highest record in both real, inflation-corrected terms and nominal terms since the agency started monitoring prices two decades ago. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, file NEWHIGH: In this June 11, 2010 file photo, wheat stands against a setting sun near Isabel, Kan. A U.N. food agency said Thursday, March 3, 2011, that global food prices reached new highs in Februa ry and warns that oil price spikes could provoke further increases. UN: FOOD PRICES HIT A RECORD HIGH IN FEBRUARY INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS


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