By AVA TURNQUEST and KARIN HERIG Tribune Staff Reporters email@example.com AFTER struggling with harrowing health and financial challenges over the past year, Consuela Thurston and her children who have been featured several times by The Tribune in recent months were yesterday dealt a tremendous blow. Mrs Thurstons husband and the father of five of her seven children died yesterday morning in hospital from cancer related complications. At this time, Tribune readers are asked to send their prayers, kind words, and any financial or emotional support they can, to assist the N ASSA U AND BAHAMA ISLANDS LEADING NEWSPAPER Sewage crisis hits Pinewood V olume: 107 No.75MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 W EATHER SUNNY AND BREEZY HIGH 77F LOW 68F I N S I G H T SEEPAGE12B S P O R T S What can we learn from Haiti and Egypt? SEESECTIONE Four-peat glory By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org MORE than one million gal lons of untreated waste fromr esidences in Pinewood Gar dens and its outlying areas is estimated to be overflowing daily. Pinewood MP Byron Woodside explained the spillage was a chronic problem for the Waste and Water Treatment Plant at Pigeon Plum Street, as it had become inundated by the load from both Pinewood Gardens and Lynden Pindling Estates. Water and Sewerage employees worked throughout the weekend to cap a spewing valve, unclog waste reservoirs and stem the flow of raw sewage into the community; which some residents fear has contaminated their water sup ply. Mr Woodside said: This has been going on from time to time for years, prior to my being elected to Pinewood, and I will seek within every means to have the matter dealt with with a degree of finality so it will not occur in the future. One million gallons of untr eated w aste o v erf lo wing dail y M cCOMBO O F THE DAY N E W The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST L ATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM BAHAMASBIGGEST CARSFORSALE, HELPWANTED ANDREALESTATE I N S I D E THURSTON F AMILYOPENTHEIRHOMETOTHETRIBUNE STRUGGLING FAMILYS DARKEST HOUR AFTER DEATH OF FATHER FAMILYSSTRUGGLE: The youngest Thurston child, Brianna, two, points to a photo of her parents as her sisters Sarah, eight, and Brittiny, 10, and her mother Consuela look on. This weekend after church, the Thurston family opened up their home to Tribune readers. But later that day, the family would learn that Mr Thurston, 42-year-old husband and father, had died. Despite personal health challenges, Mrs Thurstons staunch faith, boundless optimism and positivity remains to be the source of strength for her family. Tribune readers are asked to send their prayers and support to the family during their darkest hour. SEESTORYABOVERIGHT T i m C l a r k e / T r i b u n e s t a f f S EE page two By PAUL G TURNQUEST Tribune Staff Reporter pturnquest@ tribunemedia.net THE PLP leadership is reportedly examining its options as to if or where they can run party newcomer Dr Andre Rollins in the next general election. Originally exploding on the political scene last year as a candidate in the Elizabeth by-election as the then leader of the National Development Party (NDP Rollins was heralded by some as a new powerful young politician who could go far if aligned with the proper party. Having now decid ed to launch his polit ical future with the PLP, par ty insiders said that they are GROUNDBREAKING on the $2.6 billion Baha Mar resort will begin today with construction expected to start immediately on the luxury resort. Today's ceremony signals the long-awaited start of a project which overcame many hurdles, including the loss of its first partner, Harrah's Entertainment, before signing a $2.5 billion financing arrangement with the Exportimport Bank of China and China State Construction and Engineering Corporation in March, 2010. Yesterday the opposition Progressive Liberal Party said it expects Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham to thank PLP Leader Perry Christie for his early negotiations on Baha Mar, a project expected to revitalise the tourism product, during this morning's ceremony. "We hope that the Prime Minister has the decency and the respectfulness to acknowl edge tomorrow that his hostil ity to this project was wrong and that he ought to pay credSEE page 13 SEE page 12 PLP EXAMINING OPTIONS F OR DR ANDRE ROLLINS IN ELECTION PARTY NEWCOMER: Dr Andre Rollins By GENA GIBBS Bahamas Information Services IN a press release issued by Bahamas Information Services, the erroneous misquotes attributed to Environment Minister Earl Deveaux wrongly concluded that he has confirmed the source of the Betty K dock fire and the future use of the waterfront property. Minister Deveaux did not make any statement which said the Fire Marshall had concluded his investigations regarding the cause of the fire. Bahamas Information Services apology over fire press release SEE page 12 SEE page 12 BAHA MAR GROUNDBREAKING TO GET $2.6BN PROJECT UNDER WAY
Thurston family during their darkest hour. Overwhelmed by grief, Mrs Thurston, who herself is a stage-four cancer patient, is now questioning how she and her children will be able to cope with this latest in what seems to be a never ending series of terrible hardships. Mrs Thurston, 38, was diagnosed with breast cancer, already in its advanced stage, in 2009. In November, her husband Peter, 42, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, another form of cancer that affects the immune system. The Thurstons have two boys and three girls, ages 10, nine, eight, six and two. Mrs Thurston had two daughters before her marriage. They are now 16 and 19 years old. Up until the emergence of their health challenges, the Thurstons were always able to care for their children. Only this weekend, Mrs Thurston told The Tribune that her family is now facing a new medical challenge; her nine-year-old son, Peter Jr, has just been diagnosed with scoliosis, a condition in which a persons spine is curved from side to side. Nurse Charlene McPhee, co-founder of the Sister Sister Breast Cancer support group, told The Tribune she first met Consuela two years ago through the groups treasurer. In an interview before Mr Thurstons death, Nurse McPhee said: Consuelas case is really such a difficult one. She has so many things coming at her at one time, besides her and her husband, there are the children. Shes carrying a load for everyone, but whos helping her to carry her load? Shes not checking for herself, and in spite of all of that you have to take some time out and think about yourself and what youre going to do for you. At this point, Mrs Thurston not only has to struggle with her husbands death and taking care of her children, but she is also facing some serious decisions about her own health. Mrs Thurston, whose kidneys are only working at 32 per cent capacity, will soon have to decide whether she wants to continue a painful course of chemotherapy. In an interview before her husbands death, Mrs Thurston, in a rare incidence of flagging optimism, broke down as she related her current health status. When you keep hearing bad news after bad news it really gets you discouraged. I dont care how much faith you have it really discourages you. It tries to break your faith, butI just have my faith and Im holding on to that because Im not giving up on that, Ill forever praise the Lord, she said. As it concerns the continuance of her chemotherapy, the mother of seven said she has not made up her mind yet. Its just a waiting period right now for me. Im not even sure if I even want to do this chemo. I really have to pray hard for this one. I need an answer. My liver is infected with the cancer. The cancer is just all over my body right now. It went to my bones to my head they told me they cant count all the tumours. As for what happens to her children when she can no longer be there to care for them, Mrs Thurston said she will let her younger daughters live with their 19-year-old sister and the boys with their aunt in Freeport. Nurse McPhee said: Right now this is not a money thing for her, its a time for hope and reassurance and just to know that people care, that there are people around her who care. Wouldnt it be won derful to know that the Bahamas is praying for her? Anyone who can provide any type of assistance to the Thurstons can contact Consuela at 544-3444 or donate to the Scotiabank branch on East Street and Soldier Road, account number 19303. L OCAL NEWS P AGE 2, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 THE TRIBUNE T O DISCUSS ST ORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Struggling familys darkest hour after death of father F ROM page one T HE THURSTON FAMILY p osed for a family shot outside of their church, Miracle Revival Fellowship, o n Sunday morning. From left:Sasha, 16; Justin, 6; Brianna, 2; Sarah, 8; Peter, 9; and Brittiny, 10. T HE CHILDREN a re pictured above with their parents wedding photo. CONSUELA THURSTON holds up an X-ray of her eldest sons spine. Doctors have diagnosed 10-year-old Peter Jr with scoliosis.
LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011, PAGE 3 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM By TANEKA THOMPSON Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com FIREFIGHTERS were called to the scene of two fires yesterday, with crews working into the night to extinguish smouldering rubble at the fireravaged Betty K Agencies and a grocery store blaze on Min nie Street. According to an officer in the control room at Police Fire Services, firemen were called to the destroyed Bay Street block yesterday evening to put out smouldering debris. The hot spot was extinguished around 6.22 pm the officer said. Firemen also worked to put out a fire at J D Food Store on Minnie Street but were unable to save the top floor of the two-story building and two adjacent wooden structures. When The Tribune arrived on scene around 6.30 pm, two trucks were on site as firemen directed water at the burning building. Officers were called to the scene shortly before 5 pm, The Tribune was told. It is believed that the fire began in an abandoned wood en building behind the grocery store and quickly spread to the adjacent shop and an unused shanty. Occupants The Tribune was told the occupants living on the destroyed second floor of the grocery store were not inside the building at the time of the fire and the food store was closed. "When we arrived we met a single-story wooden structure at the eastern side of the rear of the building fully involved, we attacked this fire aggressively however the fire was able to spread to a nearbyt wo-story stone structure w hich has a grocery store at the bottom and residence at the top floor. The top floor was extensively damaged, the fire was able to spread to another abandoned structure on the southern side and that was extensively damaged. "The fire fighters did a valiant effort to extinguish the fire however we were unable to and both abandoned structures were destroyed," said a firefighter on the scene. While The Tribune was on s ite, firefighters were in the "mop up stage" trying to extinguish remaining fires and smouldering areas. Firefighters were not wor ried that the blaze would spread to neighbouring build ings explaining that the fire had been contained. Grocery store damaged in fire POLICE are investigating the discovery of skeletal remains found on the shoreline of Dick's Point yesterday afternoon. At this stage, the Royal Bahamas Police F orce could not say if t he deceased was a vict im of foul play or died of natural causes. Up to press time, the victim's gender could not be determined. "At 3.30 pm (Sunday) the police control room received a call of skeletal remains found on the beach at the eastern end of Dicks Point. Officers responded and found the remains. .clad only in blue jeans," said Superintendent Ismella Davis, officer-in-charge of the eastern division, from the scene yesterday. Up to press time investigators could not say how long the remains were on the shoreline and were working to determine a timeline and cause of death. I nvestigations continue. B y DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter d firstname.lastname@example.org FREEPORT Haitian Ambassador to the Bahamas Antonio Rodrigue heard r eports of mistreatment and abuse of Haitians at the handso f the islands immigration officials as well as claims of w ork permit approval refusals during his visit to Grand Bahama on Saturday. The ambassador paid a courtesy call on local immig ration officials and met with members of the Haitian comm unity on the island. Grand Bahama has one of t he largest Haitian popula tions in the Bahamas, outside of New Providence. It was the ambassadors first visit to the island since taking up his a ppointment in October at the Embassy of the Republic o f Haiti in Nassau. Mr Rodrigue was sched u led to visit the Haitian communities in the Pinders Point and Eight Mile Rock settlements yesterday. I want to visit everywhere where there are Haitians. I need to see them; the way they are living, the place they are living and how things are going for them here. I have been doing that in Nassau (and because I feel when I know the situation I would be in a position to better assist them, Mr Rodrigue said. The ambassador spoke with The Tribune on Saturday evening at Mary Star of the Sea auditorium, where he Ambassador hears claims of immigration of ficials mistr eating Haitians POLICE are investigating a weekend armed robbery at McCartneys Pharmacy on Mount Royal Avenue. Early Saturday morning, two men one of whom was armed witha handgun entered the store and demanded cash. The gun-m an was said to have worn a green shirt, and his accomp lice a white shirt. The culprits fled east on foot with an undetermined amount of cash around 8.30am. Armed robbers target pharmacy POLICE are investigating two incidents of violent crime occurring at the Lodge Club o n Lewis and East Streets. One man was shot in both legs while another man was stabbed in his neck as a result of an argument that broke oute arly Saturday morning. The shooting victim was approached by a man, armed with a handgun, who was d ressed in a white shirt and black trousers, and who started to shoot at him. The stabbing victim, a 25year-old man from MontroseA venue, suffered his injuries after he got into an argument with a group of people. Both men were taken to h ospital by private vehicle and were said to be in stable condition as police investigations continue. Police probe club violence Tim Clarke /Tribune Staff GRIMFIND: Funeral home workers yesterday evening removed unidentified skeletal remains from Dicks Point. news BRIEFS Firefighters also put out smouldering rubble at Betty K Agencies SKELETAL REMAINS FOUND SEE page 13 FIREFIGHT: Firemen fight to put out a fire at J D Food Store on Minnie Street. They were unable to save the top floor of the two-story building and two adjacent wooden structures. TAKENAWAY: The remains are carried away.
E ditor, The Tribune. W hy should the ticktack-toe building on Bay Street survive? Easy! Its part of the historic f abric that makes up the character of Bay Street. Its where Austin T. Levys Harrisville Compa-n y operated one of a chain of Hatchet Bay Farm milk stands. T he stand, with its wooden planked floor, sold local l y produced milk, eggs, ice cream and chicken. The icecream served in little cardboard containers with wooden paddle spoons played P ied Piper to many a child. H arrisville also owned charming tourist cottages, a food store and a yacht club in Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera. It had its owni nter-island mail boat sys t em. It was the only compa n y to successfully run such an operation in the B ahamas. Mr. Levy put food on the Bahamas table a nd helped create full employment in Eleuthera, but he couldnt join theC hamber of Commerce because he was an Americ an Jew. My father, Theodore Damianos, the general manager of HatchetB ay Farms, couldnt join the Chamber because he was t he son of Greek sponge brokers. A second generation Bahamian, he too feltt he sting of ethnic discrimination. Many years later, when the PLP government bought Hatchet Bay Farms from theL evy Estate, they fired all the white Bahamians and expats, including my father. Hatchet Bay Farms, Prime Minister Pindlings triumph of the human spirit, subsequently collapsed because the new kids on the block were completely out of their depth. So theres a lot of history in that littleb uilding. Its a lovely cut stone b uilding. To get an idea of i ts potential, look at the beautifully preserved Dawson E Roberts chambers on t he corner of Shirley and Parliament Streets. The poor, bedraggled tick-tack-toe building tells a s tory, as do so many historic buildings. It should be incorporated in the plan to revitalize the old city of Nassau. H ello? Does anyone travel? Monuments to history, properly preserved and managed, are huge tourist m agnets. Athena Damianos N assau, February 16, 2011. EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR PAGE 4, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 THE TRIBUNE The Tribune Limited N ULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI B eing 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. P ublisher/Editor 1919-1972 Contributing Editor 1972-1991 E ILEEN DUPUCH CARRON, C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B. Publisher/Editor 1972P ublished Daily Monday to Saturday S hirley Street, P.O. Box N-3207, Nassau, Bahamas Insurance Management Building., P.O. F-485, Freeport, Grand Bahama W EBSITE www.tribune242.com updated daily at 2pm OXFORD, Miss. Fast-moving world events remind us again how secrecy harms s ocieties and how critical the free flow of i nformation is to protecting citizens' rights. As Egypt descended into anarchy, revol utions were being spawned in other countries. Efforts to impose secrecy on unfolding events by shutting down the Internet anda ttempting to prevent news media from r eporting the story have failed and instead fueled the people's revolution. By closing off access to information, governments obscure the truth and avoid a ccountability to the public. But hiding behind a wall of secrecy to maintain power and preventing people from having a voice in matters affecting their livesc an cook up a volatile, toxic brew of frustrat ion escalating into violence. We don't have to pay the high price of risking lives and economic hardship as people in the Middle East who are fighting to force g overnment accountability and gain a voice in decisions and policies. B ut we must remain vigilant to challenge lack of transparency and work to improve a ccess to information. A growing number of Americans realize how essential it is to assume responsibility for keeping tabs on local and state govern ment within their communities. T hey understand that they have a real stake in decisions made by mayors, boards ofs upervisors, city councils, schools boards and other decision-makers who set policies and s pend taxpayer funds. But Americans trying to stay informed face considerable frustration despite the open meetings and public records laws. You go to a meeting, and members of the p ublic body zip through an agenda without deliberation or explanation. Or they immed iately adjourn for an executive session to discuss public matters privately. You ask to s ee minutes of meetings and are told they're not ready even months after the meeting. You're left in the dark and uninformed. But bills pending in the Mississippi Legisla ture could punish individuals who violate theo pen meetings law with fines from $500 to $1,000 and declare actions in illegal executive s essions null and void. Depending on what part of the state you live in, you could be s ocked with excessive search and copy fees for public records. Mississippi has no standard policy on how much can be charged, although the law states "actual cost." Bills have been introduced in the Legisla ture to address these problems, but indications are they are unlikely to pass this year. O ne solution would be to make public records available online in user-friendly, eas ily searchable databases. Online government transparency, in fact, is the new frontier attracting the interest of a v ariety of citizen groups around the U.S. who a re pushing for online databases on government spending at the state and local level. R esearch by the U.S. Public Integrity Research Group (PIRG that have responded to the accountability and accessibility challenge with electronicr ecords made available in user-friendly s earchable databases report positive outcomes. A PIRG 2010 report said states with this type of website "are saving money, restoring public confidence in government, and p reventing wasteful or pay-to-play contracts." These states have set up websites without much upfront cost according to the report, and PIRG explains how to do it. I n a time of economic hardship and major b udget cuts, the investment in online records of government expenditures could pay great dividends by reducing waste, deterring cor ruption and saving taxpayer money. M ississippi government is moving in the right direction in utilizing the Internet buth as a long way to go to catch up with other states. T he Mississippi Accountability and Transparency Act of 2008 was a good step in providing information, requiring the state Department of Finance and Administration to put state expenditures online. A bill to amend the 2008 law introduced in the Legislature would strengthen this law ins everal ways, including expanding the data on expenditures online in searchable databases a nd making it available in a more timely manner without charge to the public. But much more information than spending could be put on the Internet to inform citi zens. Notices of upcoming meetings with a gendas, copies of minutes of meetings, bud gets, salaries and many other types of inform ation are routinely put online in other states. There are government officials in Miss issippi who are taking seriously their responsibility to be transparent in conducting public business. They have been pro-active in broadcasting public meetings, putting records, agendas, minutes and videos online, blogging a bout public business, utilizing Facebook and Twitter, opening up the budget decision-maki ng process and inviting citizens to share their ideas. The Internet has revolutionized the w orld. It's a powerful tool to inform citizens about government. Posting information online is efficient and saves time and money. Technology improves transparency and government accountability, and steps taken by Mississippi government to harness this tool are encouraging. ( This article was written by Jeanni Atkins, Mississippi Centre for Freedom of Informa tion). Historical importance of tick-tack-toe building LETTERS l email@example.com Fighting govt secrecy an ongoing battle EDITOR, The Tribune. On hearing of the sudden passing of ACP Basil Dean a few days ago, I was deeply saddened. I retreated to my favourite spot under a shade tree in my garden and quietly recalled the many moments I spent with him as a young policeman during the late 1960s. 1958 was the last year in which the govern ment of The Bahamas sought recruits for the F orce from other countries in the Caribbean and South America. From 1960 onwards all Islands in the archipelago were canvassed for recruits to complement the ranks of the force. During the early and mid-60s the major por tion of the men recruited were from Cat Island. It was during this period that a massive campaign in public relations in all secondary schools in New Providence and the Family Islands was being conducted by the RBPF and the Kiwanis Club of Nassau. It was also during this period that many of the senior echelon of the Force during the 80s and upward were recruited, a number of whom served under my command in various sections of the force. These men were indeed, a breed, that are fast vanishing from the front lines of the security forces in this nation. Three from that era became Commissioners, B K Bonaby, Paul Farquharson and Reginald Ferguson, and in my humble opinion if it had not been for political insensitivity and inter ference, there was nothing to stop Basil Dean from achieving that feat. Like so many a good officer before him who, like him, were forced to take that path and like them, he is now being given the roses; but, alas, he is unable to smell them. Nathaniel Rolle, Ashton Miller and Basil Dean were Assistant Commissioners. T hese officers of whom I write were dedicated, hard working, loyal to the brand and incorruptible. With Basils sudden and inhumane depar ture from CDU and the force, a void was left that is still felt to this present time. The personal tragedy and indignities experienced by this fearless advocate of law and order did nothing to deter him from his goal of r idding our social system of the scourge of criminality. It is sad but true, that men of his quality and ilk are fast becoming extinct in our security forces of today. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family. ERRINGTON W I WATKINS Nassau. February 16, 2011. ACP Basil Dean, one of a vanishing breed
AFTER its launch in New Providence last November, the citizens action group We The People is now gearing up to start its work in Grand Bahama. The group the brainchild of Ed Fields, radio personality and Kerzner Internationals vice-president of public affairs has as its aim to galvanise public interest and involvement in the Bahamas devel opment. This coming Saturday, WTP will take its message to Grand Bahama. Grand Bahamians will have an opportunity to share in the vision of this community based organisation during its launch at the Regency Theatre starting at 7.30pm sharp. WTP promotes the empowerment of the masses, by encouraging and inspiring individuals to come togetherto find solutions to the myriad of problems affecting this nation, as opposed to waiting on the government or others to offer solutions, the group said in a press statement. According to the groups founders, WTP crosses political, racial and religious boundaries and brings together a diverse group of Bahamians, called the First Thirty the initial members of the organisation, among them Bishop Neil Ellis; businessmen Fred Hazelwood and Franklyn Wil-son; former Central Bank Gov ernor Julian Francis; former Director of Culture Dr. Nico lette Bethel and many others. WTP was officially launched in the Nassau on November 16, 2010.Since its formation, membership has increased from 30 to over 600. The association is a regis tered non-profit organisation whose membership is open to the general public, students, academia, business professionals, retired public officials, other institutions and associations and anyone who loves the Bahamas, the group said. Speaking at the WTP launch in New Providence, Mr Fields said: Are we a third party? Absolutely not. We might be called the Bahamian tea party. Our answer will be the tea party is about ideology, 'We the People' is about ideas. Some will classify us a think tank. That's okay too, except that in addition to thinking, we will be about doing. "Others will say we are an advocacy group, our response will be that we will advocate civility and constructive means of arriving at solutions, and then there are those that will define us as a pressure group. "Our mission will be to pressure our people to engage for the national good, rather than to depend on others for the quality of our collective welfare. "Call us any of these things, but most of all call us con cerned citizens Bahamians." LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011, PAGE 5 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM DEPUTY Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Brent Symonette will lead a delegation to t he Twenty-Second Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Headsof Government of the Caribbean Community in St George, Grenada from February 25-26. He will represent the Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham. Prior to the Heads meeting, Mr Symonette will also participate in the F oreign Ministers meeting from February 23-24. He will be accompanied by Eugene Newry, First Assistant Secretary,Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Sidney Collie, newly-appointed High Commissioner to CARICOM. Matters up for discussion include a report on the developments in relat ion to Haiti one year later since the devastating earthquake; the establishment of a Permanent Committee of CARICOM Ambassadors within a structure of the Caribbean Community; matters relating to the Caribbean Court of Justice; Financial stability relating to the British American and CICO issue as requested by St Vincent and the Grenadines; and the constitutional issue regarding the T urks and Caicos Islands. Major issues and recommendations from the Prime Ministerial and Sub Committee on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy; critical issues in the area of health and human development, towards the establishment of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA c limate change are also up for discussion. The Bahamas will specifically exchange views with Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma about sharing facilities in Geneva where The Bahamas is setting up office towards its accession into the World Trade Organisation. T here also will be recommendations as to who will succeed CARICOM Secretary General Edwin Carrington, who resigned in December 2010 after 18 years at the helm. Mr Symonette and his delegation will return to The Bahamas on Monday, February 28. Citizens action group We The People prepares for launch in Grand Bahama ED FIELDS speaks at the official launch of We The People in Nassau on N ovember 16. Deputy PM to lead delegation to CARICOM Inter-Sessional Meetings DELEGATION: Brent Symonette
GRAND Bahama Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham p raised the work and investment of the principals of the Deep Water Cay Club in East Grand Bahama this weekend, as he officially opened the new and expanded development that provides employment for more than 40 Bahamians in the eastern part of the island. P rime Minister Ingraham said: I came to say to the people of East Grand Bahama, McLeans Town in particular, that youve got some wonderful people here who have invested substantial sums of money, who did what nobody else I know has done before a nd that is they paid your wages for a long period of time while they did not own the place they had no obligation to do so; they wanted to demonstrate that they were people with a heart and that they were interested in your welfare and your best interest. About two years ago, the Deep Water Cay Club considered a fixture in the highend bone fishing industry on Grand Bahama came under new ownership and management. Since then, approximately $10 million have been invested in the refurbishment, expansion and modernisation of the development. After meeting with the Government, the new investors undertook to upgrade the facility. Mr Ingraham also expressed his pleasure that the new investors are conservationists, persons who he said would work to ensure that the development provides no threat to the areas fish and marine life. There are many places in the Bahamas that would be envious of having this facility near them, he said. As a small place, this place is employing and providing income for 40 or 45 people these are the sort of things that we would like to encourage in our Family Islands. Prime Minister Ingraham affirmed his Governments support for the Deep Water Cay Club and pledged its commitment to enabling the devel opment to operate efficiently and successfully. Paul Vahldiek, co-owner of Deep Water Cay resort, said: We are thrilled to have the prime minister here to see the work we have done. We met two years ago to discuss our goals and I am very pleased to be able to show him the investment we have made on this beautiful cay. Some of the improvements made on Deep Water Cay include accommodation upgrades to seven oceanfront cottages, cell and internet service at the lodge and welcome centre and the addition of AJs dockside bar. Several guest homes have been added to the rental pool, thereby increasing the resorts occupancy capacity to 38 guests. As a convenience for guests and as a protection for the environment, a desalinisation and waste water treatment plant has been completed, management said. L OCAL NEWS P AGE 6, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 THE TRIBUNE T O DISCUSS ST ORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM C C a a r r e e e e r r o o p p p p o o r r t t u u n n i i t t y y f f o o r r a a n n a a m m b b i i t t i i o o u u s s c c a a r r e e e e r r o o r r i i e e n n t t e e d d i i n n d d i i v v i i d d u u a a l l F F U U T T U U R R E E L L E E A A D D E E R R S S D D E E V V E E L L O O P P M M E E N N T T P P R R O O G G R R A A M M M M E E T T h h e e B B a a h h a a m m a a s s F F i i r r s s t t G G r r o o u u p p o o f f C C o o m m p p a a n n i i e e s s i i s s r r e e c c r r u u i i t t i i n n g g p p o o t t e e n n t t i i a a l l c c a a n n d d i i d d a a t t e e s s f f o o r r i i t t s s t t w w o o y y e e a a r r D D e e v v e e l l o o p p m m e e n n t t P P r r o o g g r r a a m m m m e e s s c c h h e e d d u u l l e e d d t t o o b b e e g g i i n n S S e e p p t t e e m m b b e e r r , 2 2 0 0 1 1 1 1 . O O b b j j e e c c t t i i v v e e : : To prepare candidates for opportunities to function in supervisory/ management positions within the Bahamas First Group and to satisfy personal and professional goals. R R o o l l e e s s & & R R e e s s p p o o n n s s i i b b i i l l i i t t i i e e s s : : Will be assigned/rotated to various areas in the Group Will attend in-house classroom training & other developmental activities Will complete assignments, book reports, case studies, simulations, projects W ill participate in rotations, mentoring and coaching Q Q u u a a l l i i f f i i c c a a t t i i o o n n s s : : B.A. or B.Sc. Deg r ee in Business, Administration, Finance, Economics, or Accounting preferred. Please send most recent transcript. Alter nativ el y ACII or AIIC qualified I.T liter acy Str ong comm unication and interpersonal skills Ability to w ork in teams Compensation commensurate with relevant experience and qualifications. T T h h e e B B a a h h a a m m a a s s F F i i r r s s t t G G r r o o u u p p i i s s t t h h e e l l a a r r g g e e s s t t p p r r o o p p e e r r t t y y a a n n d d c c a a s s u u a a l l t t y y i i n n s s u u r r a a n n c c e e c c o o m m p p a a n n y y i i n n t t h h e e B B a a h h a a m m a a s s a a n n d d h h a a s s a a n n A A ( ( E E x x c c e e l l l l e e n n t t ) ) R R a a t t i i n n g g f f r r o o m m A A . M M . B B e e s s t t , r r e e f f l l e e c c t t i i n n g g t t h h e e c c o o m m p p a a n n y y s s f f i i n n a a n n c c i i a a l l s s t t a a b b i i l l i i t t y y a a n n d d s s o o u u n n d d r r i i s s k k m m a a n n a a g g e e m m e e n n t t p p r r a a c c t t i i c c e e s s . P P l l e e a a s s e e a a p p p p l l y y b b e e f f o o r r e e 2 2 8 8 t t h h F F e e b b r r u u a a r r y y , 2 2 0 0 1 1 1 1 t t o o : : G G r r o o u u p p H H R R & & T T r r a a i i n n i i n n g g M M a a n n a a g g e e r r B B a a h h a a m m a a s s F F i i r r s s t t C C o o r r p p o o r r a a t t e e S S e e r r v v i i c c e e s s 3 3 2 2 C C o o l l l l i i n n s s A A v v e e n n u u e e P P . O O . B B o o x x S S S S 6 6 2 2 6 6 8 8 N N a a s s s s a a u u , B B a a h h a a m m a a s s O O r r e e m m a a i i l l t t o o : : c c a a r r e e e e r r s s @ @ b b a a h h a a m m a a s s f f i i r r s s t t . c c o o m m PRIME MINISTER ATTENDS GRAND OPENING OF DEEP WATER CAY CLUB PRIME MINISTER Hubert Ingraham is welcomed by project owner Sonja Engelhorn as he and members of Parliament on Grand Bahama arrive for the grand opening of the Deep Water Cay Club, East Grand Bahama. PRIME MINISTER Hubert Ingraham is taken on a golf cart tour of the Deep Water Cay Club by project owners Sonja Engelhorn and Paul R Vahldiek, Jr. DEEP WATER CAY CLUB owner Paul R Vahldiek, Jr, shows Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham the facility's new infinity pool. S h a r o n T u r n e r / B I S
UNDER the theme, Saving little hearts for 50 years, one beat at a time, the Heart Ball Committee celebrated the 47th annual Heart Ball and the 50th anniversary of the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas Heart Foundation at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort on Saturday. One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of The Lady Sassoon Golden Heart Award to Lady Camille Barnett. Lady Barnett is an associate professor at the College of the Bahamas in the School of Social Sciences. In 1989, she became a member of the Zonta Club of Nassau. It was through Zonta that she began her work of public charity. As a Zontian she helped establish the Gold-en Z Club at COB and the Z Club at St Johns College. Through Zonta, Lady Barnett helped in the establishment of the PACE Foundation, which is dedicated to helping teen mothers. She was a charter director of the National Art Gallery Board and served as a directorof the Gallery Board, during the period when Villa Doyle was refurbished and established as the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas. Winner D espite these undertakings, she is best known for her work with the Bahamas AIDS Foundation. Again through Zonta, this years winner was a signatory to the documents establishing the Foundation in 1992. She has been a directorof the AIDS Foundation from i ts inception. For the past nine years she has also served asthe president of the AIDS Foundation and has in many ways been the face of that organisation to the communi-ty. Through her stewardship, the AIDS Foundation has w orked tirelessly to educate people, encourage prevention, overcome prejudices, provide support, and fund treatment and care to persons living with HIV/AIDS, the Heart Ball Committee said. Lady Barnett has been married to Sir Michael Bar n ett, Chief Justice of the Bahamas for more than 30 years, and is the mother of two daughters and the grandmoth er of one. In her acceptance speech Lady Barnett applauded her predecessors whose work she w as able to build upon. She also thanked her family for their support. R E Barnes, chairman of the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas said in his presentation of the Golden Heart Award: When Lady Barnett took up thec ause of HIV and AIDS, she quickly realised that ignorance and bias were stopping us from doing our best to lessen the impact of this disease in the Bahamas. Through her commitment she has helped raise awareness which in turn has assisted dramatically inr educing the impact of HIV/AIDS on members of our community for almost two decades. He noted that there had once again been many worthy nominees, but this years winner stood out as a wonderful example of what a person can do when they set their mind to it. In addition to the Golden Heart Award presentation, the evenings other events were also deemed a success by organisers. According to Committee member Ingrid Sears, It was a fabulous evening. The patrons of the ball truly had a great time. Old friends and new friends all came out to show their support for the Heart Foundation, as we continue to raise funds to repair childrens hearts. My colleagues and I are very grateful and thankful t o all who have helped to make this event a great suc cess. We encourage you to c ontinue to lend your support as we move forward. I was most impressed with the new logo that I saw, said Health Minister Dr Hubert Minnis. The heart and the adult hand reaching out to help uplift a child. Not only does it extend to the heart, but the populous at large. The adult reaches down and pulls up. Children represent the future of the country. It is our responsibility to help to prepare them and protect them for the future. Dr Jerome Lightbourne, paediatric cardiologist, said there has been an evolution in heart care in the Bahamas. Senator Dr Duane Sands, cardiologist, further expanded and said that things have continued to evolve, and continue to get better. Professionals I can only imagine that the next generation of Bahamian professionals will take this to an even higher level, he added. M r Barnes, who is also the nephew of the late Lady Sassoon, said, Im very proud to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Foundation. We are also cognisant that it is because of the Bahamian public, that their support has made this all possible to help these children who need heart care. We thank the Bahamian public and the Bahamian business community for their support over the past 50 years. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011, PAGE 7 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Heart Ball top award goes to Lady Camille Barnett R E BARNES chairman of the Heart Foundation, presents Lady Camille Barnett the 2010 Golden Heart Award.
B ySIR RONALD S ANDERS (The writer is a Consultant and former Caribbean diplomat) SINCE the late 1970s a nd until recently, the economy of Guyana has been the sick man of the Caribbean falling second only to Haiti as the poorest country in the region. Much of that has changed, a nd the economy looks set to change for the better even more. T he improvement in Guyanas economic circumstances will have seve ral beneficial effects. A mong them will be a r eversal of the migration o f people from Guyana to o thers parts of the C aribbean and, indeed, the world. This trend has already begun to happen, particularly from Caribbean countries. More than 80 per cent of G uyanas tertiary educate d people live outside of Guyana; a return of a fract ion of them would help to a ccelerate economic activi ty and the rate of growth. Apart from the remigration of Guyanese toG uyana, if the economy continues on its upward trajectory, the country could also become a magnet for nationals of other Caribbean countries, fulfilling its promise as the l and of the future for the C aribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM). A richer Guyana would be good for CARICOM asa whole in other ways. Already, the share of Guyanas imports from CARICOM countries has increased and, as the econ-o my expands and advances creating a better-off population, that share willi ncrease still further helping to sustain employmenta nd revenues throughout t he regional grouping. Between 2006 and 2010, Guyana enjoyed average economic growth of 4 per c ent an enviable achievement among CARICOM countries, the majority of w hose economies have c ontracted especially since t he global financial crisis t hat started in late 2008. Economy T he Guyana Finance Minister, Ashni Singh, a ttributes the growth in the e conomy to several factors, among them being the d iversification of the prod uctive sector; studied gove rnment policy decisions to generate activities that have a mutliplyer effect int he economy; and the creation of a stable environment for doing business. In terms of the business environment, Singh emphasizes that Guyana enjoys exchange rate stability, low and decliningi nterest rates, and a low r ate of inflation. These factors give exist i ng and new investors a p latform of predictability for planning their businesses. In his January budget, Singh also lowered corpo-r ate taxes by 5 per cent to 40 per cent for commercial companies and 30 per centf or manufacturing firms. There is certainly clear e vidence of investment in t he economy. The construction industry is booming across the country in housing, factor ies and office buildings. In turn, construction is spinning-off other growth a reas in the supply of m aterials, transportation, a nd also in the spending by t he work force on cons umption food, rent, c lothing and so on. Guyanas debt to GDP ratio is now around 60 per cent, considerably lower than many CARICOMc ountries whose ratios are more than 100 per cent, a nd its foreign reserves represent five months of its import requirements. T his is remarkable not only because many CARIC OM countries are seeing their foreign reserves dwindling, but also because of t he years of cutting back on imports that Guyana s uffered because of insufficient foreign earnings. A striking development in social terms is the steady increase in governmente xpenditure directed at old age pensioners and other vulnerable communities. US$20 million is now ded i cated to these communities, again with a mutiplyer effect in the economy since these funds are spent on consumption. In the current budget, the government has also a llocated US$300 million t o building roads, bridges, s chools and hospitals; a s um twice as large as it was f ive years ago and which p rovides much needed pubic goods as well as employment, consumer spending and workers savings in banks. Infrastructure A significant developm ent in Guyana has been t he use of Information Technology. More than 2 ,000 computer literate G uyanese young people, m ostly women, are employed in call centres providing services to com-p anies located in countries a s distant as Australia. Experts suggest that the sector could employ asm any as 6,000 people by 2013 given the fact that Guyana is English-speaking and its telecommunica t ions infrastructure is improving to provide faster broadband service. The salvation of Guyana h as been in its natural resources, and the diversi fication of its productive base to exploit these resources more effectively. Twenty years ago, G uyana depended almost e ntirely on export earnings from sugar, rice and bauxite. T oday, while these three c ommodities remain i mportant, the agricultural sector has been diversified and Guyana is now a net e xporter of agricultural products. B ut, it is its other resources, especially gold, that has made a differencei n recent years, and will catapult the countrys econ omic growth in the future. For instance, last year the country earned U S$346.4 million from g old, almost three times t he sum it earned from bauxite (US$114.6 m ar (US$104 m (US$154.6 m Singh is confident that as early as this year the countrys gold sector is set for catalytic investment on an unprecedented scale that will earn the countrye ven greater revenues w hile introducing new technology that conforms to the high environmental standards that Guyana has set as part of its policy to employ a low carbon development strategy. A nd then there is oil. Studies done by the United States indicate that the basin off-shore Guyanac ontains rich reserves of oil. This possibility is now being explored by several oil companies, large and s mall, and there is even on s hore exploration. It is almost a creed amongst Guyanese that it is only a m atter of time before oil s tarts to flow. M easured by its rich natural resources, its recent economic performance, a nd the investments set to be made in gold and oil, G uyanas economic prospects and the contribution it can make toC ARICOM look healthy and heartening. 2 011 is an election year in Guyana. So far, there is no sign of anything but a p eaceful process. T he political parties are e ach engaged in trying to identify a candidate for the nations Presidency. There are five known candidates in the ruling Peoples Progressive Party and a similar number in the main opposition Peoples National Congress. By mid-March both part ies would have chosen t heir candidate in process es which have been inter nally rancorous but have shown no sign of erupting into national strife. There are smaller political parties, including the Alliancef or Change which has a set tled candidate. Elections have to be held by November, and thec ampaigning season will start in earnest by April. Whichever party wins t he Presidency and forms t he government, it will inherit an economy that is stronger than it has ever been with every indicatorf or greater growth. For Guyana the fabled land of El Dorado may b e in sight at last if this election is conducted by mature democratic stan dards and the new govern ment uses the countrys resources for the benefit of all, especially its disadvantaged. Responses and previous commentaries at: www.sirronaldsanders.com P AGE 8, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 THE TRIBUNE T O DISCUSS ST ORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM El Dorado may be in sight at last WORLDVIEW A A s s i i g g n n i i f f i i c c a a n n t t d d e e v v e e l l o o p p m m e e n n t t i i n n G G u u y y a a n n a a h h a a s s b b e e e e n n t t h h e e u u s s e e o o f f I I n n f f o o r r m m a a t t i i o o n n T T e e c c h h n n o o l l o o g g y y . M M o o r r e e t t h h a a n n 2 2 , 0 0 0 0 0 0 c c o o m m p p u u t t e e r r l l i i t t e e r r a a t t e e G G u u y y a a n n e e s s e e y y o o u u n n g g p p e e o o p p l l e e , m m o o s s t t l l y y w w o o m m e e n n , a a r r e e e e m m p p l l o o y y e e d d i i n n c c a a l l l l c c e e n n t t r r e e s s p p r r o o v v i i d d i i n n g g s s e e r r v v i i c c e e s s t t o o c c o o m m p p a a n n i i e e s s l l o o c c a a t t e e d d i i n n c c o o u u n n t t r r i i e e s s a a s s d d i i s s t t a a n n t t a a s s A A u u s s t t r r a a l l i i a a . SIRRONALDSANDERS
T HE Bahamian featurelength family film Wind Jammers was screened for the first time in Grand Bahama on February 12 at the new C anal House conference cent re of the Pelican Bay Hotel t o a sold-out audience. Families enjoyed complimentary popcorn provided by Pelican Bay and had a chancet o meet and get autographs from the star of Wind Jammers, Justice von Maur. B oth co-directors, Kareem M ortimer and Ric von Maur, were in attendance along with actors Moya Thompson andC laudette Cookie Allens. I am so glad we were invited to show the movie in G rand Bahama, and everyo ne was so nice. I really enjoyed sailing with the kids at the Grand Bahama Sailing C lub the day following the screening, said 15-year-old Justice von Maur, who l earned to sail when she was t en. Methice Rigby sang the national anthem and guests w ere welcomed by Pelican Bays general manager, Magnus Alnebeck. Pelican Bay is happy to h ave sponsored this event, and the Grand Bahama Sailing Club in extension. We are looking forward to seeing more young Grand Bahami ans being introduced to the s port of sailing, said Mr Alnebeck. Donna Mackey spoke on behalf of the Ministry of T ourisms Film Commission a nd shared her delight to have h ad the opportunity to work with director Kareem Mort imer on various occasions over the years as he has made his way up the ladder to nowb eing a director with several movies under his belt, in particular his multi-award winning film Children of God which is set to be out on DVD later this year Mr Mortimer shared his t houghts on the screening by saying, It was great playing the movie to another Bahamia n audience. We were very pleased to see how the community sup p orted this event and it was wonderful to have such a great turnout. A brief question and a nswer session with the cast t ook place after the film and t hen David Valentine of the Grand Bahama Sailing Club i nvited everyone out for the following days Sunday Sailing while also providing informa t ion on the sailing programmes they have available on the island. Chris Paine, co-founder of the Sailing Club, said: It was great to meet the cast and directors of Wind Jammersw hich added much to the actual showing of the movie. The GBSC is enormously g rateful to the Bahamas W eekly team who put together the entire event and have b een extremely generous in donating most of the proceeds to the Club which in turn will support the Junior Sailingp rogramme. Wind Jammers is an i ndependent film about a girls coming of age experie nce while learning to sail in the Bahamas. It was shot almost entirely in Nassau andw as written by Ric von Maur, Elliot Lowenstien and Michael Ray Brown; producers were Nick Huston, Paul Jarrett and Kareem Mortimer. We all worked long and h ard on this movie and it is all worth it when we hear the great responses. Many thanks to Pelican B ay for hosting the event at their conference center; the G rand Bahama Ministry of Tourism for their support; and the Bahamas Weekly for organising it all, said co-d irector Ric von Maur. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011, PAGE 9 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM The Mercedes-Benz C-ClassYour most enjoyable drive ever.The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a pleasure tobehold offering a new interpretation of driving pleasure. Its taut lines lend it an air of effortless superiority while the wide radiator grille and distinctive rear section announce a vehicle with a real presence and dynamic personality. Few cars can compete with its ability to adjust so many facets of its character from the interior to the drive technology so quickly and precisely in response toexternal conditions and your own particular needs. The key to this flexible response is the standard-fit Agility Control Package which includes selective damping. The interior offers noticeably more space and a more distinctive atmosphere tosuit your taste. As you will see, the C-Class is the perfect embodiment of the Mercedes-Benz philosophy.Tyreflex Star MotorsWulff Road, P. O. Box N 9123, Nassau, The Bahamas, Tel 242.325.4961 Fax 242.323.4667OUR PARTS DEPARTMENT IS FULLY STOCKED WITH EVERY COMPONENT NECESSARY TO ENSURE THAT YOUR MERCEDES RUNS TROUBLE FREE. TRAINED TECHNICIANS ON DUTY. Bahamian movie Wind Jammers screens in Grand Bahama to a sold-out audience WIND JAMMERS screened in Grand Bahama on February 12 in aid of the Grand Bahama Sailing Club (GBSCl-rv on Maur, lead actor; David Valentine of the GBSC; Claudette Cookie Allens, actress; and Kareem Mortimer, co-director. STAR of Wind Jammers, Justice von Maur, took in some sailing at the Grand Bahama Sailing Club the day after the screening. The local sailors challenged her to a race, and she was able to come in fourth. P h o t o / T h e B a h a m a s W e e k l y
L OCAL NEWS P AGE 10, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 THE TRIBUNE T O DISCUSS ST ORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM CUSTOMER NOTICEScotiabank (Bahamas that with recent enhancements to our service network all Merchant Customers have been upgraded to the Scotiabank VX510 POS terminals for credit card processing services. These new terminals provide enhanced levels of security and ensure easy upload of the newest operation features offered by Credit Card Companies and facilitate ongoing upgrades for the processing of transactions. All new features being rolled out by the Credit Card Companies will be fully functional on these new terminals. Some of Scotiabanks card services are available exclusively on these new terminals (ie.Debit/Credit cards). These services on the Scotia Network are no longer available through the Tripoint Terminals. Your current Merchant Services Agreement with Scotiabank remains unchanged. Should you have any questions/concerns regarding the new terminals and the features we invite you to contact us at 242-356-1647 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. THE Grand Bahama c ompany Paint Fair has introduced several new prog rammes to encourage persons to preserve and protect their homes, businesses a nd communal areas. Since the inception of the K eep Grand Bahama Clean (KGBC F air has been a staunch s upporter helping to spread the message of reduce, r euse and recycle, campaign officials said. Keeping our island clean is in our best interests it protects all of our liveli-h oods and the future of our children and their child ren, said Paint Fair general manager Lesley Baptista. What we think is important is for everyone to realise that small steps can add up to make a big diff erence, the key is to start. Initial steps the company has taken include reducingw aste by eliminating it in the first place. Ms Baptista said they offer customers the best information possi-b le at the outset regarding not buying more paint or accessories than is really needed. A dditionally, Paint Fair s aid it is committed to providing environmentally friendly, durable products. K GBC chairperson Nakira Wilchcombe praised Paint Fairs commitment to the campaign. We are thrilled to have such concerned green citizens as Paint Fair as a KGBC partner. They havea lways demonstrated a keen desire to positively i mpact the community and this is evident in the expert a dvice and quality products that they offer when it comes to protecting thee nvironment, she said. Of particular note is the c ompanys Reuse Paint Depot where individuals c an drop off excess or lefto ver paint. Launched in late 2009, t his partner programme with KGBC provides a place for persons to bring in used or excess paint to be passed on to those inn eed or to be properly disposed of. A ccording to Ms Baptista, after passing proper inspection, the donatedp aint is then given to various beneficiaries such as schools, churches and vari ous organisations. We never re-blend the d onated paint with our new stock, nor do we recycle it, b ut it is given to those in need to support community projects, she said. S tudent entrants in the KGBC Downtown Mural C ompetition were recently on the receiving end of this i nitiative. P aint Fairs Reuse Paint Depot made donations to s chool art departments and young artists used the paint to produce award-winning pieces for the contest. Ms Wilchcombe further n oted that Paint Fair has also been a major supporter o f the Downtown Turnaround Project which the Grand Bahama PortA uthority launched in 2009. Ms Baptista offered sev eral eco-friendly tips for local paint consumers: Use i t try to use up any leftover paint by adding an e xtra coat for richer colour and extra protection, or use paint to give new life to fur-n iture and accessories that could use a facelift; share i t as long as paint is in good condition, swap it w ith a friend or neighbour; c lean up water-based paint, brushes and access ories can be cleaned with water, and solvent cleaners (for oil paints strained and reused after cleaning brushes, rollerse tc; dry it out latex (water-based d ried up with paint hardener, sand, newspaper or cat litter and then safelyt hrown away; deliver to your local paint depot if you cant use it up, bring it in to be passed on. PAINT FAIRS REUSE PAINT DEPOT Persons wishing to support o n-island community projects can donate left-over or excess paint to t he Reuse Paint Depot. Inspecting containers of donated paint before passing them on are (l-r B aptista, store manager and sales representative of Paint Fair. Firm launches initiatives to keep Grand Bahama clean PAINT FAIRS sales associate Bridgette Storr (left e ral manager Lesley Baptista arrange assorted displays. K K e e e e p p i i n n g g o o u u r r i i s s l l a a n n d d c c l l e e a a n n i i s s i i n n o o u u r r b b e e s s t t i i n n t t e e r r e e s s t t s s i i t t p p r r o o t t e e c c t t s s a a l l l l o o f f o o u u r r l l i i v v e e l l i i h h o o o o d d s s a a n n d d t t h h e e f f u u t t u u r r e e o o f f o o u u r r c c h h i i l l d d r r e e n n a a n n d d t t h h e e i i r r c c h h i i l l d d r r e e n n . P aint Fair general manager Lesley Baptista
By LLONELLA GILBERT B ahamas Information Services WOMEN have proven over the years that they have the stamina to withstand challenges and the perseverance to stay the course to achieve desired goals and unite for a common cause, M inister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Development Loretta Butler-Turner said. However, there is a need for wider participation and commitment from women who are in a position to help others still facing social and economic challenges, Mrs Butler-Turner explained d uring her keynote address at the Positioning Women for Promotion and Prosperity seminar organised by the Bahamas Public Services Union Womens Association on Thursday. For women to prepare for promotions and prosperity, they must take advantage of opportunities to get a more formal education, through such institu tions as the College of the Bahamas and the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute, she said. While on the job experience is a valuable asset for upward mobility, the possession of educational qualifications will certainly place one at a distinct advantage, Mrs Butler-Turner said. This sometimes involves sacrifices, which include time and money, she added. This will have to be balanced with your other responsibilities, especially those of your family. Then there is a cost involved and many may not want to expend the money or may have to forgo something else, but in the long run it will be money well spent, Mrs Butler-Turner said. Living above their means is another thing standing in the way of many female public ser vants achieving promotions and prosperity, she stressed. Too many of our people including public officers, have chosen the easy path of salary deductions to obtain almost everything. Far too many of us are spending more than we makeand this is creating untold strain in our homes and even on the job, Mrs Butler-Turner said. Similarly, too few Bahami ans have chosen the path of saving money, showing financial prudence and plain common sense, which though difficult leads to peace of mind. The Minister of State noted that promotions require hard work. If you wish to be promoted you have to work harder and smarter than those around you. Preparing for a promotion involves a change in thinking and attitude, which means going the extra mile, paying attention to details, performing additional duties when necessary even though they may not be part of your job description without having to be asked or told, she said. When it comes to becoming prosperous, Mrs Butler-Turner told the women participating in the seminar that it is important to be industrious, control expenses and save a portion of earnings. Finding new ways to spend money is always easy, but finding ways to save is hard. It takes effort to manage ones moneyw isely, and my advice to you is to be honest and realistic in respect to your needs versus your wants. Take care of your needs rather than your wants, Mrs ButlerTurner said. Women from throughout the public service and some private firms heard from such diverses peakers as former Permanent Secretary and diplomat Missouri Sherman-Peter speak on Preparing Women for Public Life; co-founder of the GEMS Radio Station Debbie Bartlett on Climbing the Corporate Ladder; Rev Anna Russell on Working Women Pursuing aP urpose and Dr Ismae Whyms from the Public Hospital Authority on Quality Assur ance on Work Ethics. LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011, PAGE 11 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Women have proven they can unite and withstand challenges MINISTER OF STATE in the Ministry of Labour and Social Development Loretta Butler-Turner delivers the keynote a ddress at the one-day Public Services Union Womens Association Seminar on Positioning our Women for Promotion and Prosperity at the BCPOU Hall WOMEN from the Public Service as well as some private firms attended a one-day Public Services Union Womens Association Seminar on Positioning our Women for Promotion and Prosperity. Patrick Hanna /BIS
Excess water and waste exploded from the overworked plant on Friday, bringing increased urgency to scheduled corrective actions planned by WSC. Mr Woodside told The Tribune that residents started to contact him concerning the nauseating odour that emanated from the area in December. After consulting Minister of State for Public Works Phenton Neymour, and also penning a follow-up letter, Mr Woodside said he was contacted by the WSC on January 31. Mr Woodside said: The letter said that last year both wells failed, which led to spillage onto the site causing the odour. Both wells were cleared on December 26 and put back into service. It was said that the odour would have receded over time. In response to increased concerns by residents, Mr Woodside said he also contacted the Department of Environmental Health, after which a public analyst was dispatched to assess the matter. He (public analyst to the fact that it was clear that there was a nuisance to the residents because of the unsightly appearance of the plant, Mr Woodside said, the hydrogen sulfide smell, water accumulation, overgrown vegetation and signs of indiscriminate dumping. The public analyst recommended consistent odour treatment of the area by DEH; no dumping signs; land elevation and for the valves at the plant to be raised; and a new deep injection well for the expansion and improvement of the facility, which should be enclosed by a concrete wall. The official also advised that the property should be cleaned on a regular basis, to remove solid waste and keep vegetation under control. Mr Woodside said: The matter was brought to my attention and I sought to have it dealt with by the appropriate agencies. At my monthly meeting, I outlined to residents the reports by the Department of Environmental Health and the statement from the Water and Sewage Corporation towards corrective action. The Water and Sewage Corporation was said to be in the tender process for the construction of a new disposable well. Contracts for the well, which will be 10 inches in diameter and 600ft deep, are expected to be awarded at the end of March. Mr Woodside also explained that the corporation planned to erect security fencing as it prepared a proposal to build, own and operate a new facility at the location. As the various agencies work to improve and restore operations at the plant, Mr Woodside said he planned to investigate why the site property was never turned over to the Bahamas government. Mr Woodside added: The Water and Sewage Corporation has charge of the plant, but the property is owned by Arawak Homes Limited. Im concerned with the fact that on the site, and also the surrounding area, the property owned by Arawak Homes is being used for indiscriminate dumping. In response to the health concerns expressed by some residents, Mr Woodside said that he has also alerted the Ministry of Health. L OCAL NEWS P AGE 12, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 THE TRIBUNE T O DISCUSS ST ORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Nor did Minister Deveaux announce that the site of the fire would become a public greenspace. We regret any misunder standing that resulted from the claims in a BIS release that was published in Friday's Tribune Yesterday Fire Marshall Supt Jeffrey Deleveaux reas sured fire victims, the public, and the Government that inves tigations into the cause of the Kellys Dock fire are inconclusive.He stated it would take months before a complete report will be available to the public. The investigations are ongoing now and we have not put a cause to it, that is what may have caused or may not have caused the fire, said Supt Deleveaux, Director of Fire Services. Presently the investigations are ongoing and basically thats it. We do not have a cause at this time.The point of origin of the fire, we do not know as yet. Supt Deleveaux said that investigators would probably take months to be certain they have covered all areas of the investigation before publishinga comprehensive report. He added that they cannot come up with a conclusion until after investigations have been completed. We have taken a number of statements, but the employees from Betty K have not presented themselves to us to give a statement.We would welcome those persons definitely, said Superintendent Deleveaux. Let them come and do a statement for us.We would like to know.We would like to clear it up. As it is now, we are just searching for information. Fire Marshall Deleveaux was at the Kellys Dock fire from the beginning of the fire. FROM page one Bahamas Information Services apology over fire press release it to the leader of the PLP for the visionary leadership in approving this project during the time he was prime minister," said the statement. The $2.5 billion project is expected to include 3,000 rooms, a 100,000 square foot casino, two signature spas and a third world-class destination spa, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus golf course, 200,000 square feet of meeting space, 3,000 feet of continuous beach front, a 20-acre beach and pool experience and a 35,000 square foot retail village w ith upscale shopping, chef-branded restaurants and entertainment venues. Earlier this month Baha Mar's senior vice-president of government and external affairs Robert Sands told The Tribune that the general contractor for the development, China State Construction and Engineering Corporation, have arrived in the coun try. Company officials are being housed in one of Baha Mar's two hotels, the Wyndham Nassau Resort or the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort. Planning continues on a pre-fabricated housing complex that will be constructed on the grounds of the old Hobby Horse race track to house the majority of the thousands of Chinese labourers who will enter the Bahamas to work on the project over the course of its development. Developers anticipate creating over 8,000 new jobs for Bahamian workers across all sectors of the hospitality industry. F ROM page one BAHA MAR GROUNDBREAKING E MPLOYEES f rom the Water and Sewage Corporation are pictured above working at the Water and Waste Treatment Facility at Pidgeon Plum Street, Pinewood Gardens yesterday. Tim Clarke /Tribune staff FROM page one Sewage crisis hits Pinewood
By CONSTABLE 3011 MAKELLE PINDER The odds of you being victimized by crime while in a public places is low. H owever, your personal s afety is at risk anytime you g o out. For this reason you must protect yourself. Remember, criminals often plan crimes and look for the right opportunity with the easiest victim. Your best defence is to p lan ahead. Being safer doesnt require changing your lifestyle, personality wardrobe or to stop going out. The following crime prevention measures to are provided to increase your personal safety and security. A T HOME Have your key in hand w hen approaching the e ntryway W ait outside if anything looks unusual (i.e. open door or broken window) Give the hide-a-key to a trusted neighbor No personal identification o n key rings C hange the locks if you l ose your house keys A UTOMATED TELLER M ACHINES (ATM Memorize your personal identification number H ave everything ready b efore arriving B e aware of people loitering and sitting in parked cars who may be watching customers transact business. Never use an ATM after dark W HILE WALKING Avoid walking alone. Be confident & walk with purpose Choose busy, well-lit streets and avoid isolated a reas, alleys and vacant lots. W alk facing traffic to see a pproaching cars E arphones make you less a ble to sense potential dang er. K eep valuables in an inside pocket and hold your purse under your arm so they are harder to snatch PUBLIC T RANSPORTATION L ocate well-lit and freq uently used bus stops Do not wait alone Sit near the driver on buses Immediately report incidents of verbal or physical harassment to the driver o r to and to the police WHILE DRIVING Keep your car in good running order Plan your route in advance Drive with the doors l ocked and windows rolled up C arpooling is a safe altern ative to driving alone D ont stop if another driv er tries to force you off t he road AT WORK Get involved with improving work place security Walk to and from the p arking areas with other p eople A void using the isolated and deserted stairways If a suspicious person follows you into or is already in an elevator, get out immediately Check rest rooms before l ocking the door WHEN PARKING Choose well-lit parking areas Keep valuables and packages locked in the trunk A lways remove the keys and lock the doors B e alert in underground or e nclosed parking garages W HEN SOCIALISING A dvise someone of your r oute before leaving Carry proper identification Vary your route and schedule so you are not predictable A void outdoor activities a fter dark C arry the necessary tools in case of an emergency Carry a personal alarm Should you be a victim of crime, please do not resist but take note of the descript ion of the culprit e.g. his a ppearance, clothing, height, physical details and the direction or mode of escape. Call the Police as soon as it is safe to do so. I f you come across any suspicious person(s i ng around your business or h ave any information pert aining to any crime, please d o not hesitate to contact c all the police emergency a t or Crime Stoppers at 328-tips (New Providence), 1-300-8476 (Family Islands) LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011, PAGE 13 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM held a forum with Haitians to introduce himself and to hear their concerns. During the two hour meeting, he said Haitians had expressed concerns about a number of things, including the inefficient service at the Haitian Embassy, claims of mistreat ment and abuse during appre hension exercises, and work permit related issues. Ambassador Rodrigue held a Consular Clinic to assist persons with issues concerning passports, birth certificates, and other legal documentations. He also took time to meet with reli gious leaders and pastors in the Haitian community. The ambassador felt it was also very important as well to pay a courtesy call on immigration officials here. I think when you know people you can have better dis cussions, and my job would be easier when people know me and I know them, he explained. Mr Rodrigue noted that Haitians have complained about the treatment they receive from immigration and other law enforcement officers in Freeport. The way they are treated when immigration apprehends them, some complain about mistreatment or abuse they receive during the operation, and they feel they are not treat ed with dignity and basic human rights, he said. The refusal of work permit renewal and the short time peri od given to leave the country, especially for those Haitians who have been working and living in the country for many years, was also a concern. They say sometimes they can have 10, 12 or 15 work per mits and suddenly they say (immigration renew it. They have 21 days to leave the country without the possibility to take anything, their belongings or money they have in the bank, he said. Ambassador Rodrigue noted that the Haitians who have been told to leave the country also expressed concern about their contributions to the National Insurance Board. They say after contributing all this time they have to leave the country and they cant get any money they contributed, he added. When asked whether he was concerned about the repatria tion of illegal Haitians, Ambas sador Rodrigue said sending them back will make things worse in Haiti. I am concerned about repatriation due to the situation in Haiti, Ambassador Rodrigue said. All those people are going to aggravate the situation and especially those going back with children. Often times they send the parents with the kids, and you have some kids who have lived here since they were born; they dont know Haiti, they have been to school here and have to return after 10 or 12 years here in the Bahamas and they cannot go back to school because they cannot speak the (Creole very difficult situation for them, he said. But, I have to agree that people in that situation if they are caught they have to be repatriated, I cannot say any thing about that, that is the law. If they are caught the Government of the Bahamas is going to repatriate them so thats a thing the Embassy cannot interfere, except that in the treatment that we see. I think whether they are arrested for whatever reason, there is a kind of treatment they (Haitians Mr Rodrigue was pleased with the turn out. I feel they are supportive of what I am doingand they can expect better service now, he said. He said they have appointed a voluntary agent Lorena Ciceron Jusma in Freeport who is not paid to receive passport applications and send them onto Nassau. Ms Jusma can be contacted at 533-7632, 3743288, or 352-1182. FROM page thr ee AMB ASSADOR HEARS CLAIMS OF IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS MISTREATING HAITIANS working to ensure that the young politician was properly rewarde for his decision. We often dont know how to treat our own, so we dont want to make the same mistake here again, the party insider said. Currently there are a few seats being discussed that could be offered to Dr Rollins amongst them: Bamboo Town, Pinewood, Montagu, St Annes, Long Island, and South Eleuthera. However, according to sources within the party the most likely s eat where the young politician would have the greatest possibility of winning may be in the Family Islands preferably in South E leuthera. Having just switched over, he might face a harder fight in New Providence from that standpoint. People here may be less forgiving than on the Family Islands where the particular needs of each constituency far outweigh the personality or history of the candidate. While obviously constituents will care about who ultimately will b e representing them, they are just as concerned about the quality of that representation. The PLP this lap around will have the obligation to run not only the best candidate in each seat, but the best candidate who can assist the party from a national stand point particularly if that candidates age and experiences can be used in comparison to what is not being offered in the FNM, he said. At this point the next great battle, the source said, would be to convince an incumbent MP such as Oswald Ingraham whethero r not it would be in the larger national interest of the party to have a younger unknown candidate seek the seat he currently holds purely from a strategic standpoint of offering the populace change and youth. The message must be seen and not just heard. We cannot simply talk about being the party of change and progress without showing voters that we are actually about that. We must lead by example, and I think the voting public will see that in 2012, he said. ROYAL BAHAMAS POLICE FORCE NATIONAL CRIME PREVENTION OFFICE:PERSONAL SAFETY TIPS F ROM page one DR ANDRE ROLLINS IN ELECTION
I NTERNATIONAL NEWS P AGE 14, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 THE TRIBUNE T O DISCUSS ST ORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM W ASHINGTON Associated Press A RABand Muslim leaders facing pro-democracy protests need to lead thew ay rather than resist r eform, a senior U.S. diplom at said Sunday while condemning violent crackdowns a gainst demonstrators in Libya, Algeria and Yemen. Susan Rice, the U.S. a mbassador to the United N ations, said the Obama administration was "very concerned" about reports t hat Libyan security forces had fired on peaceful protesters in the eastern city ofB enghazi. A Libyan physic ian told The Associated Press that at least 200 people had been killed in six days of demonstrations against the regime of Moammar Gadhafi. We've condemned that violence," Rice told "Meet the Press" on NBC televi sion. "Our view is that in L ibya as throughout the region peaceful protests need to be respected." A l Jazeera television reported Sunday that protesters in Benghazi hads eized army vehicles and w eapons, that the police academy had been set ablaze and that some sol-d iers had joined the demon strators. Libya's response to opposition demonstrationsi s shaping up to be the most brutal since uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt began spreading across the region. R ice said that President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodh am Clinton and other top administration officials last week pressed the govern-m ent of Bahrain to back off after an assault by police on protesters in the capital'sP earl Square. Five were killed and some 230 wounded after riot police stormed the demonstrators' makeshift camp at night, wielding clubs and firing tear gas. "We've been very clear with our partners in Bahrain that they ought to exercise restraint, that there's no p lace for violence against peaceful protesters there or anywhere else," Rice said. She said Bahrain officials had apparently responded, citing reports that military forces had been withdrawn from Pearl Square and jubilant protesters had returned. Rice said Bahrainian officials had begun a "real e ffort" at dialogue with the opposition. Asked if King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa's pro-U.S. government could survive the protests, Rice said: "I wouldn't want to be in the business of predictions in this very volatile environment." She added that Mideast leaders need to respect calls for reform and "need to get ahead of it by leading rather than being pushed." R ice rejected allegations t hat the White House has been inconsistent, for example by pressuring EgyptianP resident Hosni Mubarak to resign while standing by Bahrain's King Hamad. If U .S. policy differs between c ountries, she said, it is because the situations are different. We are not pushing people out or dictating that they stay," she said. "What we'red oing is we're saying consist ently across the board that there are universal human rights that need to be r espected." Rice downplayed concerns raised by the risk thatt he Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, tightly controlled under Mubarak, would gain influence in a newly democ r atic Egypt. The newspaper USA Today, in an interview with a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman last week, reported that the group wass eeking more political powe r, and planned to use it to push for laws that would punish gays, require woment o wear headscarves and condemn adulterers to death by stoning. First of all, there is no indication that the Brother hood is going to dominate Egyptian politics," she said." We have faith in the peo ple of Egypt and we have faith in democracy." S en. Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign RelationsC ommittee, said Sunday that the U.S. has to recog nize that it will have limited influence over Egypt's future political course. "The military has right now the ball in their court," Lugar told CNN's "State of the Union." Clinton, appearing on ABC television's "This Week" in an interview taped Friday, rejected criticism that the Obama administrat ion has pulled back from President George W. Bush's support for democracy andh uman rights in Egypt and e lsewhere. "That's just not the case," Clinton said. "There is nod ebate that, for 30 years, Republican and Democratic administrations alike sentt he same message to Presid ent Mubarak and the regime, that they had to change." Clinton added that "none of us were particularly successful, because we kept running into an absolute rejection that (reform not going to be done in Egypt." Violence broke out dur ing protests Saturday in Y emen, where riot police fired on marchers, killing one and injuring five. Sev e n have been killed since in Y emen, a key ally in the U.S. war against al-Qaida militants, since the unrestb egan. Al Jazeera television reported that hundreds ofA lgerian riot police broke u p an anti-government rally in the capital Saturday, beating and kicking protesters with steel-toed boots. At least three protesters were arrested and three opposition political leaders injured, the network said, citing eyewitnesses and local media. US condemns crackdowns on protests in Middle East DEMONSTRATORS gather near the White House in Washington in a show of solidarity with the Libyan protestors on Saturday. (AP IN THIS THURSDAY Feb. 25, 2010 file photo, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is seen during prayers after delivering a speech in the city of Benghazi, Libya. Libyan special forces stormed a two-day-old protest encampment in the country's second largest city of Benghazi, clearing the area early Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, said witnesses, as a human rights group estimated scores of peoplee have died in the crackdown on demonstrations. (AP IN THIS IMAGE released by NBC News U.S. Ambassador to the Unit ed Nations Susan Rice speaks about the uprising in Libya, the latest in a series of popular uprisings in the Arab world, on NBC's "Meet the P ress in Washington Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011. (AP By MARY ESCH Associated Press PROVIDENCE, N.Y. (AP Thousands of citizen-scientists across North America are getting out their tally sheets for the 13th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, a usually festive weekend given a more serious edge after the mass deaths of thousands of birds in the South this winter. The National Audubon Society and Cornell Lab of Ornithology sponsor the count. They hope to have more than 100,000 backyard counters for the February 18-21 effort this year, especially after public attention on threats to birds was heightened when blackbirds fell from the sky in Arkansas on New Year's Eve. "An isolated event such as the dead birds in Arkansas may be within the range of normal ups and downs for an abundant species like the red-winged blackbird," said Janis Dickinson, director of citi zen-science at the Cornell lab in Ithaca. "But the count can serve as an early warning system for worrisome declines in bird populations that result from more widespread problems." The deaths in Arkansas where officials believe the birds were spooked by fireworks and subsequent bird kills in Tennessee, Kentucky and Louisiana aren't believed to be connected or a sign of widespread contagion. The backyard count is one of a number of citizen-science projects that gather data on birds. Others are Aubudon's Christmas Bird Count, the North American Breeding Bird Survey and Cor nell's Project FeederWatch and NestWatch. "One thing we anticipate this year is the presence of birds from the boreal forest of Canada, such as common redpolls, at feeders in the Northern U.S.," said Cornell's Miyoko Chu. "They stay up North when they can find enough seeds, but this year birders are seeing them at their feeders." In the Northeast, where much of the landscape is buried under deep snowdrifts, American robins are likely to be scarce, based on data from previous years showing they tend to avoid areas with heavy snow cover, Chu said. While robins are traditionally considered harbingers of spring, many winter up north but stick to thickets where they feed on dried berries and fruit. Participants, from novice to expert birdwatchers, keep track of the number of birds they see of each species in their yards or local parks during the four-day count and report the data online at www.birdcount.org. "The exciting thing about Great Backyard Bird Count data is that it provides a big picture almost instantaneously," Chu said. "Peo ple can watch on the website as reports come in." Past Backyard Bird Counts showed a drop in the numbers of American crows since 2003, coin cident with the first widespread outbreaks of West Nile virus. The signal was confirmed by the more intensive Breeding Bird Survey. Maps from the count have captured the paths of sandhill cranes migrating from Arizona and New Mexico to breeding grounds in Nebraska, demonstrating whether they had an early or later migration in a particular year, Chu said. Bird count maps also show the spread of new species such as the Eurasian collared dove, which was introduced from the Bahamas in the 1970s and spread from eight states in the 1999 backyard count to 39 states and Canadian provinces a decade later. Counters in Arkansas aren't expecting that the birds lost on New Year's Eve about 5,000 specimens of the abundant redwinged blackbird will affect their results, but they acknowledge the die-off is on their minds. "When it comes to trends in bird populations, you've got to look at the long term," said Dan Scheiman of Audubon Arkansas. "That's what's so great about the Backyard Bird Count; it can produce long term trends over large scales." Lois Geshiwlm and Nancy Castillo, owners of Wild Birds Unlimited in Saratoga Springs, participate in the backyard bird count and several other citizen-sci ence programmes each year from their log home surrounded by feeders stocked with seed, suet, peanut butter and other treats. "I like to think of the Great Backyard Bird Count as the everyperson's science project," Castillo said. "It's the easiest one for the real casual birdwatcher to step in for one day a year, or four days a year, to count the birds." Birders prepare for count mindful of mass die-offs Bird count maps show the spread of species introduced from Bahamas in the 1970s Share your news The Tribune wants to hear fr om people who ar e making news in their neighbour hoods. 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RABAT, Morocco Associated Press THOUSANDSof people marched in cities across Morocc o on Sunday, demanding a new constitution to bring more democracy in the North African kingdom amid the wave of Arab world upheaval. Demonstrators shouted slogans calling for economic opportunity, educational reform, better health services a nd help coping with rising living costs during a march on central Hassan II Avenue in the capital, Rabat. But scattered violence broke out in some places. Stonethrowing youths clashed with police near the ocre-colored walls of touristic hub of Marrakech, where angry mobs overt urned and torched several parked cars. The day of demonstration was Morocco's entree into the series of protests that have swept up North Africa and the wider Arab world after popular uprisings brought down longtime autocrats in Tunisia a nd Egypt. The main target of Sunday's rallies was parliament, where many Moroccans fear their voices are not heard. Still, the protests are likely to pressure King Mohammed VI, who has been seen as a reformer compared to his iron-fisted father, H assan II, and who still holds absolute authority. A sea of white banners cov ered Casablanca's rain-splat tered Mohammed V square, where young men in baseball caps and hoods joined young women in Islamic headscarvesas well as middle-aged women i n black-rimmed glasses and earrings in the diverse crowd. Plainclothes police mingled among the demonstrators in Rabat, though police were generally discreet. Morocco, like Tunisia and Egypt has been a magnet for tourists and a strong Western ally. Anger over rising prices and corruption hasn't so far appeared to dent the loyalty many Moroccans feel toward the king. "Today we are here to say that we are all Moroccans, we love our country, we love our king, but we are against corruption and economic and political monopoly," said demonstrator Youness Karach in Rabat. Some called for the release of political prisoners, the recog-n ition of the Berber language, a freer media, a rise in the minim um wage and better social services. While most marches took place peacefully, Marrakech appeared to be the biggest epicenter of unrest. People there besieged a McDonald's restaurant and ac lothing store, said a security official on condition of a nonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. And in the northern city of Larache, roaming crowds set upon the regional governor's house and set fire to a gasolines tation, prompting firefighters to intervene to put out the b laze, the official said. The self-styled "February 20 movement" apparently not for any particular historic rea son was largely summoned through social media like Facebook. But the open call to demonstrate also caused confusion, as disparate political and religious groups elbowed their way in and sought to reshape a protest movement to serve their own ends. One youth-led group initially behind the call to march whose name translates as the Freedom and Democracy Now Movement canceled its plan to take part on Saturday, saying the movement was hijacked by leftist political parties and Islamists seeking to infuse ideology and faith issues. The official news agency, MAP, cited a "weak turnout" including at 2,000 both in Rabat and the northeastern city of Beni Bouayach, 1,000 in Casablanca, Al Hoceima and Targuist, and 900 in Marrakech. An Associated Press reporter in Rabat estimated the turnout there at 3,000 to 5,000. Orga nizers put the turnout outside the parliament building at 20,000. The Facebook page of the February 20 movement claimed tens of thousands of people marched in northern Tangiers, and said that rioting erupted in Safro, near Fes. INTERNATIONAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011, PAGE 15 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Thousands in Morocco march seeking reform P ROTESTERS IN MARRAKECH during one of a string of nationwide protests that brought thou-s ands to the streets across Morocco yesterday, in an effort to push for greater democracy a nd constitutional reform. Prot esters in Morocco and other Arab nations may also be wary as they watch Tunisia and Egyptg rapple with the challenges of building a new system, and maintaining order, after break-i ng free of autocrats. (AP A BURNING car during a demonstration in Marrakech in one of a string of nationwide protests that brought thousands to the streets across Morocco on Sunday Feb. 20, 2011. Thousands of people marched in cities across Morocco on Sunday, demanding a new constitution to bring more democracy in the North African kingdom amid the wave of Arab world upheaval. (AP
SECTIONB email@example.com MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 THETRIBUNE $4. 68 $4. 51 $4. 69The information contained is from a third party and The Tribune can not be held responsible for errors and/or omission from the daily report.$ $4.75 $4.72 $4.69 By NEIL HARTNELL T ribune Business Editor Previous governments may have obtained a better price for the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC offered to sell a 51 per cent stake, rather than the minority 49 per cent interest made available under previous privatisation processes, a former finance minister has admitted. James Smith, who as minister of state for finance in the 2002-2007 Christie administration oversaw the failed 2003 beauty contest privatisation attempt and the subsequent Bluewater effort, told Tribune Business it was impossible to compare the $210 million sale to Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC these efforts because the goalposts have changed rather dramatically. The extra 2 per cent makes it much harder to compare, Mr Smith said, explaining that the first Ingraham administration, plus the Christie-led PLP government, only intended to offer BTCs strategic partner a 49 per cent equity interest in the stateowned incumbent. Youve given up effective control, and I know that in the early days all the suitors wanted to have 51 per cent, so the last 2 per cent is more valuable than the 49 per cent. Under the earlier, failed privatisation processes, TriBETTER OFFER IF 51% BTC STAKE GIVEN EARLIER The extra 2 per cent makes it much har der to compare. James Smith Former finance minister says Bluewater offer had more emphasis on Bahamian talent and no BTC staff downsizing* But says impossible to compare with CWC deal, as goalposts have changed rather dramatically* Says regulators would have been all over BTCs 2:1 dividend/profit ratio if firm private SEE page 5B By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor City Markets majority owner has promised to hold a n annual general meeting (AGM o nce the absorption of his 78 per cent majority stake into Associated Bahamian Distillers & Brewers (ABDAB is approved, with an action plan to address deficiencies in the supermarket chainse mployee pension plan also set to be issued for beneficiary approval. Mark Finlayson, head of Trans-Island Traders, the Finlayson-owned family vehicle that acquired City Markets from the ill-fated BSL Hold ings group for $1, said he wanted to get the ABDAB AGM out the way first before moving to hold the AGM for the supermarket chains operating parent, Bahamas Supermarkets. The ABDAB AGM, and prior Board meeting, is expected to pave the way for that company, in which the Finlayson family has a controlling 70 per cent stake, to acquire the 78 per cent majority Bahamas Super markets interest from TransPlan pr omised to address City Markets pension fund well-being Supermarket chain AGM pledged once ABDAB meeting held SEE page 4B By NEIL HARTNELL T ribune Business Editor A leading new car dealer has warned that a tripling of his real property tax bill, plus an estim ated 50 per cent Business Licence fee increase, c oupled with the increased auto import duties and general economic malaise means that he cannot avoid staff downsizing for much longer. Fred Albury, president/owner of Executive M otors, told Tribune Business he was sitting here with my life jacket on waiting for thee xpected rising economic tide in 2011 to lift his business and others, but warned that his sector w as having a very difficult time and not just because of the increased auto Excise tax rates and changed structure resulting from the 20102 011 Budget. Explaining that he paid Business Licence fees w orth $80,000 last year, Mr Albury said that with the new structure his business, which employs some 100 people across three islands, w as probably looking at a $120,000 bill this year a 50 per cent increase. Ive just had the real property tax people in here to assess real property tax, he added. The r eal property tax has gone from $20,000 to $75,000 o n the parts and service building in the last month. My showroom has gone from $4,000 to $12,000. Weve been holding off on any sort of employe e number cuts, but the rate things are going I dont see us being able to hold on much longer.W ere going to have to look at downsizing some staff numbers. On top of that, the Abaco and Grand Bahama operations are sinking in red ink, so whether they continue to exist, I dont know. M r Albury said his group of companies com Dealers job cut fear over tripling tax rate n Executive Motors boss warns cant hold on much longer, as Business Licence bill likely jumps 50% and real property tax assessments triple n Warns: Abaco and Grand Bahama operations are sinking in red ink, so whether they continue to exist, I dont know n Urges government to set age limit on new car imports S EE page 4B B y NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor It will take 15 years for Bahamian new car dealers to get back up to the sort of industry that was there pre-r ecession if last years 3.27 per cent growth rate is maintained, with total sales levels down 50-60 per cent fromt heir high. While agreeing that last years total new car sales growth, as measured by the Bahamas Motor Dealers Car dealers: 15 years to recover from 50-60% drop Industry hit by duty hikes of up to 25% pts, weak US$ and influx of used car imports Incoming vessel has 670 used cars, compared to 120 new models Sector seeking to avoid lays-off, even though slammed with the highest duty increases of any retail industry SEE page 6B B y NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor T he number of Bahamian hotels reporting reve nue and occupancy declines dropped by around 50 per cent in 2010c ompared to 2009, the Bahamas Hotel Associations (BHAs aid, with marginal occupancy improvements e xpected to continue in 2011. Stuart Bowe, responding v ia e-mail to a series of Tribune Business questions, s aid of the BHAs 2010 review and 2011 outlook survey findings: One yeara go when we asked hoteliers to assess their busin ess performance in 2009, 85 per cent of the hotels indicated that revenue ando ccupancy was down. In 2010, 40 per cent reported that room occu p ancy was up and 46 per cent reported that revenue Hotel occupancy, revenue decliners drop 50% in 2010 S EE page 3B By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor The Government would have received almost $14 million in net surplus cash had the sale of a 51 per cent equity interest in the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC ber 30, 2010, documents seen by Tribune Business show, with sources close to develop ments confirming its is expected the Ingraham administration will receive a payment of this nature. The privatisation agreement with Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC that if there is net cash on BTCs balance sheet in excess of $15 million when the privatisation sale is completed, the difference will be remitted to the Public Treasury, giving the Government gross proceeds from the sale in excess of the $210 million plus $7 million Stamp Duty previ ously advertised. Documents buried in the privatisation papers tabled in GOVERNMENTS $14M NET CASH GAIN IF BTC DEAL DONE N OVEMBER SEE page 7B
BUSINESS P AGE 2B, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 THE TRIBUNE By RICK LOWE I n recent years, numerous people have recommendedt hat the Bahamas change the current tax regime from one dominatedb y tariffs (import tax Value Added Tax (VAT F rom government, opposition supporters and other commentators alike, them ain arguments against the present structure run like t his: It's regressive so hurts the small man or lowi ncome earners. Import tariffs have outg rown their usefulness Business people have to tie up inordinate amounts ofc ash to pay the taxes up front while they wait to sell the imported goods/product. The arguments in favour o f introducing a VAT are: A VAT is progressive They are levied on goods a nd services Government income will increase R egretfully, with the exception of The Nassau Institute, not one commen-t ator raises the concern that government might be over s pending, rather than under taxing. That government might s imply be too large. But let's look at the moral argument that import taxes hurt low income earners for a moment. According to James A. Dorn (http://bit.ly/gROgA3t he Cato Institute, a Libertarian think-tank, the idea t hat taxation could be progressive" was introduced by M arx and Engels in 1848 to take capital from the "bourgeois" in increments, whilet he Government controlled the means of production. Y et, even though communism failed as an economic system, the idea that socialj ustice can be achieved with so-called progressive taxation is still entrenched in thep syche of modern-day socialists. Moral T he attempt at gaining the moral high ground in this w ay is lost as the entrepreneurial class is hampered in their efforts to create wealthb y ever increasing taxes and regulations, and this slows e conomic growth, which ultimately hurts everyone. In other words, tax policy based on envy or class warfare iss urely immoral. Free markets create wealth, not gove rnments. As long as government c ontinues its out-of-control borrowing and spending, to paraphrase P.J. O'Rourke,g iving them more money and power to tax society in e ver-increasing ways and levels is like giving whisky and car keys to teenageb oys. If, at the end of the day, Bahamians agree that thet ax system must be changed, I'm firmly in the camp that t axes should be as low as possible with limits on government debt and spendingl evels. T hat said, a flat tax (http://bit.ly/esohAy Constitutional controls ong overnment seems to be the best alternative for future g enerations. Limit taxation and spending Share your news T he T ribune wants to hear from people who are making news in theirn eighbourhoods. Perhaps you are raising funds for a good cause, campaigning for impr ovements in the a r ea or have won an award. I f so, call us on 322-1986 a nd shar e your stor y.
BUSINESS THE TRIBUNE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011, PAGE 3B TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM 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 THE COLLEGE OF THE BAHAMASVisit our website at www.cob.edu.bs w as the same or better than last year. While we are not yet at pre-recession levels, we are moving in the right direction on occupancy with continuous challenges on rates. We expect the marginal occupancy improvement trend to continue in 2011. While individual hotel performance will vary, on the whole we expect continued marginal improvement in the industry. Asked how concerning it was that 60 per cent of hotels responding to the BHAs latest survey characterised thet ourism environment as weak, Mr Bowe replied: Many of our hotels, particularly our small hotels in the Family Islands, a re challenged. The Ministry of Tourism and the private sector have stepped up efforts to address the matter of more a ffordable and accessible air travel. BHA has also advanced strategies and policies to help reduce costs and increase revenue, some of which the Gov-e rnment has put in place, others which are being considered. A nd, as for concerns about the two-thirds, or 63 per cent, of Bahamian hotel properties expecting to suffer a net loss in 2010, the BHA president said: Keeping in mind that s ome hotels have had losses over the past three years, most have trimmed costs where possible, becoming more energy efficient and learning to do more with less. Hold A number of hotels indicated in the survey that they will continue to put a hold on any significant capital spend-i ng. Despite these challenges, last year we didn't see any mass lay-offs, which is encouraging. BHA's major focus t his year will be on energy cost reductions, education and training, and helping member hotels become more efficient. M r Bowe added: It is difficult for us to compete on price, so high cost must translate into high value to the c onsumer. Our competitive advantage must be our proximity and our ability as a people and country to deliver an exceptional experience to the visitor. The recession has forced us to find more ways to be e fficient and reduce costs. At the same time, value is king, and this has caused us to come up with creative ways to offer customers less expensive vacations. Asked how quickly Bahamian hotel industry employ ment levels were expected to recover, Mr Bowe said: Employment is driven by business activity. While employ ment levels are not expected to increase with any significance in 2011, some member hotels have planned increases. W ith airlift access and price a major concern for Bahami an hotels, Mr Bowe acknowledged: It impacts consumer's t ime and money, two huge factors in buying decisions. Sim ply, they want to get here as quickly and as inexpensively as possible. The Ministry of Tourism is placing considerable empha sis on the airlift issue with the full support of the BHA and the Promotion boards. The Companion Fly Free program has been successful and well-received by the hotels which participated in it,e xceeding expectations for many of them. Hotel occupancy, revenue decliners drop 50% in 2010 F ROM page 1B GAC, the global shipping, logistics and marine services provider, hass trengthened its global network by signi ng an alliance agreement with Bahamia n agency, Elnet Maritime Company, forming GAC-Elnet with effect from March 1, 2011. E lnet Maritime Company was formed by then 28-year-old shipping veteran Elbert Ellie Hepburn in 2008, a fter he served in a variety of managerial positions at agencies in Grand Bahama. Since then, the company has provided agency services to principals with vessels calling at ports througho ut the Bahamas. The alliance is GACs move to expand its network to the Bahamas in r esponse to client needs, in particular oil majors operating and using the c ountrys terminals and refineries. One o il client plans to use its South Riding Point crude storage and transshipment t erminal on the island of Grand B ahama to supply two refineries in N ew Jersey and Delaware City, on the U S east coast, with crude oil and feedstock. Opportunistic Throughout its history, GACs growth has been opportunistic and customer-driven to meet the needs of our clients and this latest move into the Bahamas is another example of that, said Lars Heisselberg, GACs groupv ice-president for the Americas. The professionalism and perform ance of Elnet Maritime make it an easy match to the values of GAC. Expansion in the Caribbean makes s trong business, and Elnet Maritime is t he ideal partner to help make that happen. Mr Hepburn said: Our local knowhow and GACs global standing make GAC-Elnet a winning combination. Through this alliance we will be able to pursue international clients, and GACs customer will benefit from our frontline expertise here in the Bahamas. Specialised support services for the energy industry can be provided by Houston-based GAC Energy & Marine Services (GEMS works closely with the groups global hub agency teams. Shipping agent in global alliance The professionalism a nd performance of Elnet M aritime make it an easy match to the values of G AC. Expansion in the C aribbean makes strong business, and Elnet Mari time is the ideal partner t o help make that happen.
Island Traders, a 100 per centowned Finlayson family vehicle. That ABDAB AGM is set for February 24. As soon as weve finished w ith that, we will announce when the Bahamas Supermarkets AGM will be, and we will be able to provide a very clear path as to where the company is going, Mr Finlayson told Tribune Business. Beneficial We believe its going to be very beneficial to the Bahamas Supermarkets shareholder if ABDAB acquires the majority interest in their company. The average shareholder is going to benefit from it, and benefit greatly, if everything goes to plan, as I expect it will. M r Finlayson also pledged to release the two forensic accounting reports by John Bain, one of which examined the operating business, the othe r a probe into the state of the e mployee pension plan, which is funded only by contributions f rom the company nothing from the employee. John has done a very, very thorough job, Mr Finlaysona dded. The pension fund document is 86 pages long, and hes g one into every detail. Theres not any skeletons in the closet, but there were things done before that, as Id s aid before, had the trustees known what the results were going to be, I think theyd not have done those things. Its going to be on the table f or every stakeholder in the fund to see, Mr Finlayson said of the report. Going forward,w e have a plan to present to these stakeholders and I thinkt heyll approve it. In a previous interview in l ate December 2010, Mr Finl ayson told Tribune Business that City Markets would look t o turn over stewardship of the employee pension plan to inde p endent, professional trustees, thus removing any potential for,o r perception of, a conflict of interest between the companys c urrent role as settlor and trustee. Trustee He added at the time of how t he plan was handled under the BSL Holdings ownership: If I w as a trustee, I would not have done certain things that were done. I'm not saying they were unethical or illegal, but the results were not good for the p eople involved with the trust. I think the beneficiaries got the b ad end of the stick with some of the decisions made. In the final analysis, it can be repaired over time, but in my opinion some of the decisions should not have been done in the first place. The two t rustees involved, I have a lot of respect for and have known form any years, but with some of the decisions made they looked a t the overall benefit to the employees of making sure they [the staff] had a job........." Questions had previously been raised over Bahamas S upermarkets' sale and leaseback of $3 million worth of s tore equipment and improve ments, at its Cable Beach store, t o the staff pension plan. This had been defended at the time as allowing the pen sion plan to gain a higher rate of return than it would other w ise enjoy on alternative investments, but it was queried bye xternal auditors, Deloitte & Touche, in the 2009 audited a ccounts, over whether it should be treated as an operating or finance lease, the company not having assessed the value of lease assets. The same audited financial statements also showed that Bahamas Supermarkets, operating parent of City Markets, owed the staff pension fund almost $519,000 at the 2009 year-end in unpaid rent for the company's head office an asset owed by the plan. prised Executive Motors and Quality Auto in Nassau, Quality Freeport and part of the Abaco Motor Mall. He addedt hat the two National Insurance Board (NIB increases had imposed a further burden on his businesses. T he Executive Motors president also urged the Government to follow the lead established by other Caribbean countries and impose an agel imit on vehicle imports coming into the Bahamas, explaining that this would benefit consumers, the environment and t he Treasurys revenue base. Acknowledging that this might cause concerns about pricing lower and middle i ncome Bahamians out of the market, Mr Albury said there w ere enough vehicles in the supply pipeline to ensure that todays new vehicles become the vehicles of tomorrow. The proliferation of used c ar outlets and importation of 10-12 year-old used cars is not contributing to the new car business, Mr Albury told Tri-b une Business. You also have to link that with the environmental aspect and the road aspect. Many are on the road for a s hort period of time and become derelict vehicles. The Government does not realise much revenue from them, so iti mpacts the tax base as well. A lot of the older models also tend not to use the newer technology, which is more fuel effic ient. The Executive Motors boss said there had been a prolife ration of used car dealerships springing up around New Providence on any vacant land and corner, and noted the recent d uty revaluations carried out b y Customs on some dealers vehicle imports over concerns as yet unproven that import bills and invoices were beingu ndervalued. One of the things the Government should consider doing is what Barbados, Jamaica, T rinidad and other Caribbean c ountries have done when they were hit by used car imports from Japan, which is to put an age limit on them, Mr Alburyt old Tribune Business. Suggesting the Bahamas impose the same four-year age limit, he explained that this w ould cut into the Japanese bureaucracy of inspections and how they keep them on the r oad. In Japan, when automobiles pass four years of road service, it becomes much more expens ive to licence them and pass i nspections, depreciating a vehicles value drastically. As a result, Japan ends up with a huge surplus of cars in the sev-e n-eight year-old range, which are typically sold and shipped to places like Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean. E xplaining that this practice floods the market, Mr Albury told Tribune Business of the age limit benefits: I think the Governments revenue base ons ome models would improve considerably, because whats imported would be of far more substantial value. So from what c omes in, the Government will realise greater value. People will say that will price the small man out of them arket, but theres enough vehicles in the system today so t hat the new vehicles of today will become the used vehicles of tomorrow, so thered still be total access effectively. BUSINESS PAGE 4B, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Dealers job cut fear over tripling tax rate F ROM page 1B Plan promised to address City Markets pension fund well-being F ROM page 1B MARK FINLAYSON
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Association (BMDA a modest bit of good news, dealerships spoken to by Tribune Business said the challenges faced by the industry, combined with the 2010-2011 Budget tax hikes and Excise tax structurec hange, and the general economic malaise were all working against any suddenr ebound. Andrew Barr, Friendly Motors sales manager, toldT ribune Business: Any shift in that direction is a positive shift. Its better tog ain 3.3 percentage points than to drop 3.3 percentage p oint. Theres a certain feeling of optimism that it might have bottomed out, andw hile 3.3 per cent growth in a year is nothing to brag a bout, its a positive figure. Mr Barr explained that next months Car Showw ould give the industry a better idea of where demand for new autos, andt he ability to finance purchases, stood, since consumers would then be fully exposed to the higher prices resulting from the 2010-2011B udget tax hikes and duty structure change. With the Excise Tax structure now dependent on engine size, not the CIF bill,M r Barr said 6V engine m odels had jumped from the 60 per cent to 85 per cent duty category, a 25 per-c entage point increase. Whichever way you look at it, its a big hike and directt o the segment of the market thats paid tremendous a mounts into the Public T reasury in duties over the years, Mr Barr told Tribune Business. That is a bigi ncrease in duty, and most dealers have reduced their i nventory for this type of vehicle. Our lots are a lot emptier than in years gone by. Thats where the problem lies. Price increases of$ 15-$20,000, thats a huge jump. Acknowledging that it would take time for the benefits of the $2.6 billion BahaM ar project to filter through to the wider Bahamian economy, and for unemployment to reduce, Mr Barr said banks were right-f ully being cautious about w ho they advanced money to for auto loans, having tightened the lending crite-r ia considerably. Risk T his was unlikely to change in the near future, w ith many people no longer falling into the good category of risk. O n the positive side, Mr Barr added: All the deale rships right now are staying open, selling enough cars to maintain staff levels, not letting anyone go, and if thes tatus quo remains then well be able to carry on without impacting unemployment levels in the country, even though the industryh as been slammed with the highest duty increases of any retail industry. He said it was very hard to imagine the Bahamiann ew car industry returning t o pre-recession sales levels, at least not for many years, although 2010s salesf igures while up against weak 2009 comparatives at least indicated the sectorw as headed in the right direction. R eferring to that 3.27 per c ent improvement, Mr Barr told Tribune Business: If thats the level of growthw ere going to sustain, were looking at 15 years to get b ack up to the volume of industry that was there. Fifty to 60 per cent is a p retty good estimate of w here sales are compared to pre-recession. Three per cent sounds good, but ify ouve dropped 50-60 per cent, it takes a long time to get back. For us, as the Bahamian dealer industry as a whole,t he goal is to keep staff employed, keep our companies viable, and not con-t ribute to unemployment. Many companies who have s een a 50-60 per cent reduction in sales would cut back on staff, but thats not thew ay we want to go. Fred Albury, Executive M otors owner/president, confirmed the 50-60 per cent decline in new car sales com-p ared to pre-recession, telling Tribune Business that one only had to watch the wharves to see how consumers had switched to lesse xpensive used car purchases. He said one vessel he observed docking in Nassau Harbour had 670 used vehicles, and the last ship carry i ng new cars only 120 vehi cles. Thats a benchmark as to whats happening in the industry, Mr Albury said. Adding that the 3.27 per cent new car sales increase f or 2010 was not too significant, Mr Albury said dealers were not having much trouble in moving high-end vehicles priced in the $60,000-plus bracket, such as the Lexus and Toyota 4Runner. Those who have money, have money. Recession or no recession, they are still buying new vehicles, Mr Albury said, adding that the sector was concentrating on those clients. It was in the $25,000-$30,000 price brack et, where lower and middle income purchasers were found, that had seen the sig nificant drop-off. January was better than expected, and February is turning out to be reasonable. OK, we can see and feel that things have bottomed out. I think the consumer just has to get adjusted to the price levels of what new vehicles will be, Mr Albury told Tri bune Business. The first half of this year, I dont see an improvement that much, and in the second half, if the economy starts to move upwards, the industry will but at a slow pace. The Executive Motors boss said there were a number of factors beyond our control impacting the Bahamian new car industry, namely the weakness of the US dollar against the Japanese yen, which meant that the Japanese car brands favoured by Bahamian con sumers were relatively more expensive, with or without the import duty increases. And US-made vehicles, such as the General Motors and Ford brands, had been hit by those duty increases due to their large engine sizes. BUSINESS PAGE 6B, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM 127,&( 5(1$5,19(670(176)81'/7' ,192/817$5,48,'$7,21 1RWLFHLVKHUHE\JLYHQWKDWLQDFFRUGDQFHZLWK6HFWLRQ RIWKH,QWHUQDWLRQDO%XVLQHVV&RPSDQLHV$FW 5(1$5,19(670(176)81'/7' LVLQ G LVVROXWLRQ 7 KH'DWHRIWKH&RPPHQFHPHQWRIGLVVROXWLRQZDV WK2 FWREHU'DYLG7KDLQRI$UQHU%DQNt7UXVW %DKDPDVf%XLOGLQJ&DYHV9LOODJH3%R[1 LVWKH/LTXLGDWRURI 5(1$5,19(670(176 ) 81'/7' $OOSHUVRQVKDYLQJFODLPVDJDLQVWWKH D ERYHQDPHGFRPSDQ\DUHUHTXLUHGWRVHQGWKHLU DGGUHVVDQGSDUWLFXODUVRIWKHLUGHEWVWRWKH/LTXLGDWRU E HIRUHWKHWK1 RYHPEHUBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB 'DYLG7KDLQ /LTXLGDWRU Car dealers: 15 years to recover from 50-60% drop F ROM page 1B
the House of Assembly show that, at November 30, 2010, BTC had total cash on its balance sheet of $68 million, and total indebtedness (most of this coming from $36.4 million in borrowings) of $39.1 million. Subtracting the latter from the former, and BTCs net cash position at end-November last year was $28.9 million. With $15 million to be left on the balance sheet when C WC and the Government c lose the privatisation agreem ent, this means that, if the deal had closed then, some $13.9 million in cash would be remitted to the Public Treasury. And, if that was added to the $217 million in purchase price and Stamp Tax being received initially, it would take the gross proceeds t o the Government to $230 m illion-plus, more than the g ross $220 million first installment that Bluewater Ventures would have paid under its now-terminated deal. A source close to the privatisation efforts confirmed: Were expecting there to bea net cash surplus, but it depends on the performance of BTC over the next couple of months. And, in addition, the Government will also receive any surplus net working capital above $6.1 million, the documents show, this being calcu lated from subtracting current liabilities (such as accounts payables) from current assets, (namely receivables The Government is leaving in the business the average working capital it needs to run. If there is any excess, it will come back to the Gove rnment on completion, the s ource said. The net worki ng capital issue is completely standard. Theres not an acquisition that happens without it. BARRY HATTON, A ssociated Press P AN PYLAS, Associated Press LISBON, Portugal P ortugal's financial agony has deepened, threatening to pitch Europe into a whole new round of economic turmoil over its debt crisis. T he country's borrowing costs are punishingly high, with the interest rate on its 10-year bonds holding above 7 percent for a 10th straight session Friday. As Portugal one of the smallest and frailest in the 17nation euro zone runs out of options, its leaders are pressing fellow European nations to adopt new crisis management measures at a summit next month, before a euro4.5 billion ($6.13 billion t hat falls due for Portugal in April. Yet the broad consensus in markets is that Portugal is doomed to become the thirdm ember of Europe's bailout club, after Greece and Ireland, partly because the continent's p aymaster Germany doesn't want the issue to fester for much longer. A nother bailout for a eurozone member is sure to further undermine market confidence in the fiscal soundness of the s ingle currency bloc and carry severe consequences for other vulnerable and much bigger countries such as Spain, Belgium and Italy. F ilipe Sila, debt manager at Portugal's Banco Carregosa, said investors have turned their backs on Portugal, frightened away by a level of risk that's d eemed too great and worried they might not get their money b ack. Many political decisions are pending that could have a lot of bearing" on what happens, he said. It's an additional risk. I think nobody is buying Portuguese debt at the moment except the European Central Bank." T he catalyst for the renewed tensions was euro-zone leaders' failure at a Brussels meeting two weeks ago to come up with anything dramatic that c ould douse the yearlong financial firestorm, despite bold pron ouncements from many that a "comprehensive package" w as in the offing. Those predictions briefly calmed investors. The most visible sign of the new heightened state of s tress is in the bond markets, where Portuguese bond yields have spiked dramatically. The spread between twoyear Portuguese and Germanb ond yields has risen by more than a percentage point this week alone, while Portugal's 10-year yield has risen three q uarters of a percent to a potentially unsustainable 7.5 percent. Portugal's borrowing costs for its three-year government b onds stands at 5.6 percent more or less the rate the International Monetary Fund and euro-zone countries charged A thens and Dublin for their loans and making a bailout look more palatable for the Portuguese. A number of analysts think the bailout option will become more acceptable for Portugal, given that its economy is contracting once again. Although Portugal has a l ower debt level than Greece, i ts high fiscal deficit and dismal growth prospects expose the country's debt dynamics to market risks," said Athanasios Vamvakidis, a strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "Beyond debt sustainability concerns, the lower IMF-EUb orrowing cost should look increasingly attractive to Portugal." But the Portuguese government, keen to keep its domestic political reputation for economic management intact, insists it doesn't want orn eed assistance. BUSINESS THE TRIBUNE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011, PAGE 7B TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Portugal's debt woes spell more trouble for Europe (AP Photo/ Francisco Seco S TRIKINGOUT: P assengers at Lisbon's Rossio train station argue about w orkers' right to strike and the country's economic situation Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011. Governments $14m net cash gain if BTC deal done November FROM page 1B
GABRIELE STEINHAUSER, AP Business Writers GREG KELLER, A P Business Writers P ARIS The world's dominant economies struck a watered d own deal on how to smooth out trade and currency imbalances many say exacerbated the financial crisis, but the difficult y in getting vastly different e conomies like China and the United States on the same page doesn't bode well for the Group of 20 rich and developi ng countries as a forum for global decision making. G-20 finance ministers and central bankers meeting in P aris agreed Saturday on a list o f technical indicators to track those imbalances caused by some countries consuming more while others tend to hold on to their money but leftt he more tricky questions of when those imbalances actually become dangerous and what to do to mitigate them for later. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, whose country holds the G-20 presidency this year, said the all-night talksh ad been "tense" at times, indicating the clash in national interests between countries that find themselves on completely divergent growth trajectories after the 2008 financial crisis that plunged the world into its w orst economic recession in 70 years. The result was a "balanced compromise (that matize any one country,"L agarde told journalists. The G-20 itself is a recognition of the rise to power of nations such as India, China a nd Brazil, having supplanted smaller forums like the G-7 and G-8 during the climax of the financial crisis, when it achieved its biggest successes. B ut since then with some countries growing at an almost unprecedented pace while others remain in the through of r ecession the G-20 has lost much of its swagger. "What I was worried about I'm sorry to say materialized: which is that it's more dif-f icult than it was before to have people agree," Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managingd irector of the International Monetary Fund said of Satur-d ay's compromise. "When they w ere really scared, they were h appy to find a consensus. Now .. many believe wrongly the crisis is behind us and they h ave domestic concerns." At the heart of the debate a bout imbalances is the realization that a decades-longg lobal economic order centered on the U.S. buying exports f rom the rest of the world and r unning huge trade deficits, while countries such as China a nd Germany accumulate vast surpluses, is no longer tenable. I n the years before the meltdown, countries with trade sur p luses plowed money into mortgage and other investm ents in the United States, driving up their value and exacerbating the crash when the bubble eventually burst. But the opaque language of S aturday's deal shows the challenge of moving beyond that b asic recognition. China's large current account s urplus, a measure of trade and capital flows in and out of a country, made it reluctant to include that as one of the G20's indicators for imbalances. C ompromise wording was agreed on making that mea s urement a mix of current account balance the indicat or most countries wanted and trade balance the yard stick China had been pushing for. The valuation of national c urrencies long a sticking point in Chinese-U.S. relations did not survive as a separate indicator, but will be conside red as part of the broader analysis of capital flows. That saved Beijing from even more direct pressure to let its currency the yuan rise more q uickly against the dollar. The U.S. complains that the artifi-c ially low value of the yuan gives Chinese exports an unfair a dvantage. Foreign currency reserves the largest of which are also held by China were dropped all together, although some officials insisted they sur vived under the oblique heading of "other policies." Lagarde touted the very fact that the words "exchange rate" were even mentioned on the list as a success. The indicators also include more traditional yardsticks such as public debts and deficits and private debt levels and savings rates. With agreement on what to track, work will now begin on the more difficult task of set ting what the G-20 calls "indica tive guidelines" against which to measure each of the criteria. Lagarde said the goal is to agree on this at the next G-20 finance ministers meeting in Washington in April. Asked whether deciding the list of indicators presaged even more divisive talks over thresh olds and enforcement, Lagarde said "I take things one day at a time. If it is difficult, it will be difficult." While some analysts said the compromise on imbalances was a natural result of slow international decision making, others warned that an agreement on a list of indicators didn't mean much for rebalancing the global economy. Saturday's deal is "totally irrelevant," said Charles Wyplosz, professor of interna tional economics at the Graduate Institute in Geneva. "Everybody knows what is the exchange rate of China and the current account of Germany." Enforcing any eventual agreement on firm thresholds will be even harder. "What we're down to is peer pressure..., which has never ever worked," Wyplosz said. BUSINESS PAGE 8B, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM C OMMONWEALTH 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 (5,324-i ng 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 $0(6(57,/86RI 67-$0(652$'3%2;1$66$8 % $+$0$6 '$1,(/02&$/,;7(RI 22/$&5(63%2;1$66$8%$+$0$6 9 ,&725,$3,(55(RI $ %1(5675((7)2;+,//3%2;*7 1$66$8%$+$0$6 Fuzzy compromise threatens the relevance of G-20 forum (AP Photo/Francois Mori FAMILYSNAPSHOT: From left to right, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble, France's Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner pose during the family picture of the G20 Finance summit at Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011. Finance chiefs from the world's 20 industrialized and fastest developing nations wrestle over how to steady the world economy at a two-days meeting in Paris.
DARLENE SUPERVILLE, A ssociated Press H ILLSBORO, Oregon Pushing his jobs agenda, President Barack Obama made t he case Friday that companies can make money and build up the country at the same time, citing the giant Intel Corp. chip m aker as his model of smart i nvesting in education. "We know what works. We know how to succeed," the president told employees here a fter getting an eye-opening tour of Intel's manufacturing facility. "We know how to do big things. And all across this n ation, in places just like this o ne, we have students and teachers, local leaders and companies who are working together to make it happen." T hough Republicans in Washington are balking at Obama's call for more spending on education, Obama said Intel's example has shown that spending on education and worker training is a good investment even in difficult financial t imes. "You're not just a good corporate role model," Obama said. "You're a corporation that understands that investing in education is a good business m odel. It's good for the bottom line." T he president spoke during a West Coast swing designed to highlight his vision of making the U.S. more competitive globally. Before the visit, the White House announced that Obama had picked company CEO Paul Otellini, a sometimes critic, to serve on a presidential competitiveness council. I ntel last year announced a 10-year, $200 million commitment to promote math and science education; Obama was w owed by the projects of the students he met during his visit. The company is among those that are working to help meet Obama's goal of getting theU .S. to first place in science and math education in a decade. The president is proposing a freeze on overall domestic s pending for five years, but increases in select areas like education. "In today's economy, the quality of a nation's education is one of the biggestp redictors of a nation's success," he said. "It is what will determine whether the American dream survives." BUSINESS THE TRIBUNE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011, PAGE 9B TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM 52wk-Hi52wk-LowSecurit y Previous CloseToday's CloseChangeDaily Vol.EPS $Div $P/EYield 1.260.97AML Foods Limited1.041.040.000.1230.0408.53.85% 10.759.67Bahamas Property Fund10.6310.630.000.0130.200817.71.88% 6.184.42Bank of Bahamas4.424.420.000.1530.10028.92.26% 0.580.18Benchmark0.180.180.00-0.8770.000N/M0.00% 3.492.70Bahamas Waste2.702.700.000.1680.09016.13.33% 2.152.14Fidelity Bank2.172.170.000.0160.040135.61.84% 12.509.62Cable Bahamas10.2110.210.001.0500.3109.73.04% 2.842.36Colina Holdings2.402.400.000.7810.0403.11.67% 7.005.40Commonwealth Bank (S1)6.856.850.000.4880.26014.03.80% 3.651.63Consolidated Water BDRs2.082.130.050.1110.04519.22.11% 2 .551.40Doctor's Hospital1.401.400.000.1070.11013.17.86% 6.995.47Famguard5.475.470.000.3570.24015.34.39% 10.207.23Finco6.516.510.000.2870.00022.70.00% 11.408.77FirstCaribbean Bank9.399.390.000.4940.35019.03.73% 6.003.75Focol (S)6.006.000.000.4520.16013.32.67% 1.001.00Focol Class B Preference1.001.000.000.0000.000N/M0.00% 7.405.00ICD Utilities7.407.400.000.0120.240616.73.24% 10.509.82J. S. Johnson9.829.820.000.8590.64011.46.52% 10.0010.00Premier Real Estate10.0010.000.001.2070.2008.32.00% 52wk-Hi52wk-LowSecuritySymbolLast SaleChangeDaily Vol. 99.4699.46Bahamas Note 6.95 (2029BAH2999.460.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 17 (Series A) +FBB17100.000.00 1 00.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 22 (Series B) +FBB22100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 13 (Series C) +FBB13100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 15 (Series D) +FBB15100.000.00 5 2wk-Hi 5 2wk-Low S ymbol B id$ A sk$ L astPrice D ailyVol E PS$ D iv$ P /E Y ield BISX LISTED & TRADED SECURITIES AS OF:7% Interest 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 2029WEDNESDAY, 17 FEBURARY 2011BISX ALL SHARE INDEX: CLOSE 1,481.69 | CHG 0.05 | %CHG 0.00| YTD -17.82 | YTD % -1.19BISX LISTED DEBT SECURITIES (Bonds trade on a Percentage Pricing basis)Maturity 19 October 2017F INDEX: CLOSE 000.00 | YTD 00.00% | 2009 -12.31%30 May 2013 52wk Hi 52wk Low Symbol Bid $ Ask $ Last Price Daily Vol EPS $ Div $ P/E Yield 10.065.01Bahamas Supermarkets5.016.0114.00-2.9450.000N/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%L ast 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 Obama says companies can help bottom line and nation (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File INVESTMENTINFUTURE: In this Feb., 18, 2011, file photo President Barack Obama talks with a group of seventh grade students who are Intel Science Talent Search finalists, about their projects during a visit to the Intel Corporation in Hillsboro, Ore. Obama recorded his weekly radio and Internet address during the visit Friday.
GALWAY, Ireland Associated Press IRELANDholds historic elections this week a ballot that could devastate the p arty blamed for the country's dramatic economic reverse and dump it from o ffice after dominating Irish politics for almost 80 years. The ruling Fianna Fail p arty faces defeat in Friday's p oll as voters vent their a nger over Ireland's rapid d ecline from economic mira cle into debt-ridden disast er. The country has been forced to accept a multibillion rescue deal from European neighbors and the International Monetary Fund. Karen Holland, 29, stood w ith her arms crossed defia ntly outside Paddy's pub in Galway, on Ireland's west c oast, as she described strugg ling to raise her four children on the salary brought h ome by her husband, a s ecurity guard. F or Holland, the politicians had it coming. "They should have let the banks go down," she said, referring to t he government's fateful d ecision to guarantee debts h eld by some of its biggest banks with public money." They let us go down i nstead." Holland's anger has found echoes across the country, and some observers predict this week's vote has the potential for revolutionary change. The word I'd use here is seismic,'" said Noel Whe l an, a staunch critic of the g overnment's handling of t he crisis and commentator f or the Irish Times. "We're going to see next weekend a political earthquake in Ire land." Investors are watching for aftershocks in London, P aris, and Berlin. E uropean banks have bill ions tied up in Ireland's troubled financial sector. The current government has guaranteed their money, but F ine Gael the party t ipped to take over from its l ongtime rival has said that it is unconscionable "fort axpayers to be asked to b eggar themselves to make massive profits for speculators." Fine Gael has raised the prospect of forcing some senior creditors to take a cut on their investments, and t he possibility of a new dose o f red ink being splashed a cross European balance s heets has spooked the mark ets at a time when concern p ersists over the financial health of countries such as Greece and Portugal. Earlier this month, credit rating agency Moody's downgraded the creditworthiness of six major Irishb anks as politicians argued whether or when to inject m ore cash. Ireland's 4.6 million people have their own worries. T he one-time Celtic Tiger economy was one of the first v ictims of the Great Recession. Its government quickly guaranteed the debts racked u p by its over-stretched banks a promise which t urned into political poison. Unemployment has tripled in three years to 13.4 percent, Ireland's welfare system is shriveling awaya nd taxes have gone up in a bid to fight a deficit estimated at more than one third of the country's $204.1b illion GDP. The election could claim as many half of the legislators in Ireland's 166-seatl ower house, polls suggest. Recent surveys show the opposition Fine Gael is within reach of a parlia-m entary majority in the Dail Eireann a potential historic upset for FiannaF ail, the party that has won t he most seats in every elec tion since the party first went into government in 1932. I reland's crisis has already seen Prime Minister Brian Cowen announce he will quit after the poll. He won't stand in the election. Even if it falls short of a majority, Fine Gael a center-right political party is still expected to rule with the help of independents or the left-leaning Labour, which has also seena huge jump in support. Fianna Fail, seen as more c entrist than its rival, has been pushed into third place in most recent polls. T he rhetoric surrounding the electoral campaign has s ome worried. Editorials grumble darkly about resisting German domination and burning the bondholders," reflections of the concern h ere that investors in Europe and particularly Germany are making money off the Irish people's misery. A recent poll showed that 84 percent of the population backed renegotiating terms with bondholders, though iti sn't considered a likely prospect. The new government can't push too hard againstt he European Central Bank, which, along with the Inter national Monetary Fund, extended euro67.5 billion ins upport of the Ireland's nearly bankrupt economy in November, said Frank Bar-r y, a professor at Trinity C ollege Dublin's business school. "We have no other source of funds, and everybodyu nderstands that," he said. In Galway, students at the city's National University of Ireland seemed resigned to years of continued sacrifice. Talk of getting a new deal from Europe and the IMF was "totally unrealistic," said Mary Walsh, a 26-yearold science student. "Our hands are tied," she said. "We'll have to repay them oney." Across the rain-streaked c ampus, professor Chris Curtin of the School of Political Science and Socio logy says few in Ireland are excited about the election despite the changes it promises for the country's leadership. The general mass of the population is being hamm ered into the ground," he said, calling the international bailout "a humiliation." He, like other political watchers, said there'd bev ery little room for a renegotiating of its terms. The election could even tually result in reforms of p olitical institutions found wanting during the debt cri sis. Both Fianna Fail and Fine G ael call for a job stimulus, the scrapping of the Irish parliament's upper house, the Seanad, and plans tot ackle negative home equity. Constitutional reform, a shake up of the civil servicea nd a move away from Ire l and's patronage-dominated election system are also promised. But Curtin said any hope f or a better future was buried under the weight of the country's crushing debt. Voters aren't even worrying whether there's light at the end of the tunnel, Curtin joked, because they're wondering: "Can we find the tunnel? Is there even a tunnel?" I NSIGHT P AGE 10B, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 THE TRIBUNE T O DISCUSS ST ORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Irelands ruling party braced for historic elections F INE GAEL LEADER E nda Kenny during a public meeting at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Sunday Feb. 20, 2011. Ireland holds historic elections this week, a ballot that could devastate the party blamed for the country's dramatic economic reverse and dump it from office after dominating Irish politics for almost8 0 years. The ruling Fianna Fail party faces defeat in Friday's poll as voters vent their anger over Ireland's rapid decline from economic miracle into debt-ridden disaster. The country has been forced to accept a multibillion rescue deal from European neighbours and the International Monetary Fund. (AP HESPERIA, Mich. Associated Press GROWINGnumbers of black bears are migrating into southern Michigan as the state's population surges, leading biologists to step up efforts to trace their movements and prevent unwanted encounters with people. The Upper Peninsula is still home to 80 per cent or more of the state's bears, and 95 percent of the others live in the northern Lower Peninsula. But sightings are picking up farther south, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment says. "They tend to be younger males that have been chased off by older males as they look for territory, so they disperse to areas where they don't have competition," Mary Dettloff, spokeswoman for the agency, said Friday. "They're following the fruit belt, all those orchards right down the west side of the state. We often get reports in the spring, when they wake up hungry." Michigan's bear population has risen for the past two decades and is estimated at 9,000 to 11,000, DNRE bear program specialist Adam Bump told The Grand Rapids Press. The department gets 10 to 30 reports of bears in southern counties each year. They've been spotted from Flint to Ionia and even in Jackson County, south of Lansing. A state bear management plan approved in 2008 recommends letting the population expand naturally, Bump told the Press. That means the DNRE needs to educate people in southern Michigan, who are less accustomed to coming across bears in the wild than northern Michigan residents are. "They eat a lot of vegetation but do have the potential to harm people and pets if they are not respected," Dwayne Etter, a DNRE research specialist, told The Associated Press. "But they are not an animal to be feared. If people follow our suggestions on how to respond when encountering a bear, there shouldn't be conflicts." Biologists watch as bears migrate to southern Mich
INSIGHT THE TRIBUNE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011, PAGE 11B TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM any kind of abatement of the violence and for the cons titutional process to be r espected, said Mr Sears. Insight into the backdoor d ealings raises so many q uestions about the uprisi ng that threatened the nations stability and the sta-bility of those with interests. W hat really happened in Haiti seven years ago? Was it a true peoples revolution? Was it a controlled opposition? Was it a political mobt hat had passed its breaking point? E gypt showed us a modern day example of a true p eoples revolution. Haiti brewed a different stew: there were too many sticky p olitical fingers in the pot. I am inclined to think, in the case of Haiti, the decisions made by the various political actors served political ande conomic ends more than the interests of the people. T he three most often do not coincide. I could be challenged that t he uprising was not a true peoples revolution, but here is why it feels right. Political leaders make d ecisions based on their d esire to win political competitions, most notably in the form of elections. Com-p etition is the foundation of modern democracy, and the rules of politics are the same as the rules of a capitaliste nterprise. It is a dog eat dog world and it literally is a fight to the top. Why do you think the Free National Movement and the PLP when they have their political hats on area lways fighting? Look at the r hetoric they use, the tactics they employ: the mass of supporters who turn out to p olitical rallies appear as an unruly mob ready to go to war. These people are beholden to their collective political identities for a number of reasons: pure intent, historical obligation, familial connection, miseducation, ignorance, and selfish interests. Politicians take advantageof them regardless of the reason, because the thing about politics is; the leadership has to be in control. They have to maintain the ability to manoeuvre the mob. So a popular uprising with loyalty to political leaders is in fact a controllable entity. Naturally there is a breaking point for this typeof opposition movement. It is kept in check by the nature and intent of its lead ers and most times we can count on our leaders to use their power for the greater good of the few people they cant fully control, in other words affluent people or those with perceived influ ence. Based on the nature of politics, I am inclined to believe Haitis 2004 uprising was a political opposition capable of being led; that good men chose to do nothing allowing evil to prevail. Unlike President Mubarak who eventually caved to the will of the people and stepped down, Pres ident Aristide refused to be moved short of being kidnapped, which he said he was. President Mubarak had seven months left on his term; Aristide had 13. In the case of Egypt, I am certain t he people would have asked themselves: why s hould we respect the cons titutional process, which s hould serve the will of the people, and wait sevenm onths for an election, w hen for decades Mubarak has governed with little respect for the constitution or the people? Somehow, President Mubarak must have been convinced that the protest m ovement was no small f raction or fringe group. It w as an honest representat ion of the peoples will. I w ould imagine President A ristide did not have those same feelings. Still, President Aristide had many choices that could have demonstrated a commitment to the constitution al process and respect fort he will of the people. President Aristide insisted he serve out his term, as Presid ent Mubarak originally w ished to do; he could have c hosen to stepped down immediately as President Mubarak stalled in doing. U nlike Mubarak, who had no choice of running in the next election because the publics trust was so cor r oded, President Aristide could have stepped downed voluntarily and offered him self again in the next elec t ion. A win that time around would have decidedly silenced the critics. He coulda lso have asked to stay, but c hosen to call an early elec tion. P o w er C olin Powell once intimated that President Aristide had become arrogant and unreasonable with hisa llies, and probably his people, which endeared him to neither. I would not venture as far as to compare him with President Mubarak, but I am inclined to believe Aristide had on his mind holding power at all cost for the sake of his personal pride and dignity. President Mubarak has demonstrated that while his tory will mark his inglorious departure as a personal failure, it will write an inspir ing story of his country. Egypt, a Muslim land, is without a doubt the new beacon of hope for freedom. Egypts final colonizers still govern its lands, but get this: the beacon of light has returned to Africa. Haiti in 2004 had no such story to tell. With American and French fingers deep in the pot, and Caribbean interests contending for influence, Haiti had its inter nal politics to deal with and its external politics. Stability was more important than democracy for the Bahamian government, as well as the French and American governments. Instability would mean a migration influx for the Bahamas, and economic losses for the Americans and French. So what happened? Aristide somehow ended up on an American government jet headed to the Central African Republic. Aristides ouster was the lowest common denominator of agreement between the greatest number of influential forces: external interests and the internal political opposition. One could say the people never determined Aristides fate: their revolution was hijacked. President Aristide went t o Jamaica from the Central African Republic and then on to South Africa, where he was granted asylum. We will never know if he was really kidnapped by the United States or if he leftv oluntarily. I think it is prob able he was pressured under the threat of being other wise killed. A t the end of the day, our best hope for knowing what really happened is probablyW ikileaks. Short of that it w ill be a perpetual, he said she said game between selfinterested parties. What we do know is that President Aristides stronghold was proven to be untenable, and his departure did not lead to national solidarity. This brings us back to my starting point: politics is dirty, deceptive, stubborn and life altering. So much is placed in the hands of our political directorate, but in the midst of their game playing, their manoeuvring of economic interests, we can never be sure if they really do right by us. And yet we give them chance after chance after chance, never stopping to think that the usefulness of a politician has an expiry date. Do our leaders do their best to make a positive impact in our lives or do they just do enough to stay in the game? Are they morally, spiritually or intellectually capable of knowing the difference? These are questions for all of us to contemplate, because the actions and inaction of our leaders can change the course of history. The whole world felt the impact of Americas warmongering President George W Bush. There is no doubt, the political instability in Haiti has robbed its people of so many opportunities. For all of its natural wealth, the financial resources of its wealthy elite, its strong intellectual foundations, rich cul tural heritage and prized his torical legacy, Haiti should want for nothing. Unfortunately this is not the case. And the turbulent c onditions in Haiti com bined with our own political game playing have thwarted attempts at build ing a meaningful relation ship between next door neighbours. I imagine there is some genuine interest, but as Mr Sears explained, it is not an easy road. The repeatedi nterruption of democratic rule over the years has made relationship building, fore xample, a tightrope to w alk. In one of the negotiations we had, I think it was with Jean-Robert Estim, foreign affairs minister, when he left, two weeks later he was out of office. In fact, once we had to deal with six to seven foreign ministers in the space of four years; it was not easy, said Mr Sears. Leader Regime change, at almost any cost, has been ingrained in the way they solve their problems, said Mr Sears. Virtually every political leader is dead or outside the country. These are intelligent people. They know contin ued instability is the consequence of unilateral interruptions of the democratic process. You never give the country a chance for those issues to be set aside. That is a dangerous phenomenon we have witnessed, he said. With all the lessons we have to learn from Egypt, Haiti and global politics is there any hope of revolution in the Bahamas?I think the odds are against us and the status quo will be our accepted condition for some time to come. After all, we recently had an Egypt opportunity, to use the phrase loosely, and we squandered it. I think it can be summed up in the story of the day the Prime Minis ter was driven from the House of Assembly burning tyres with no seatbelt on. Barring the mass rally, the biggest demonstration of BTC unions was their m arch to Parliament Square. That was the day Parliament ended early; members of the governing party went flee ing and members of the opposition jumped on the bandwagon. T he actions of our leaders was predictable, but that dayI watched in astonishment as the people cowered to them ight of the state on two fronts. The people amassed in Parliament Square on thes treet to the west and on the b leachers to the north. They were cordoned off by police barricades and police officers. At one time, the frontliners made a move to push through the barricades and march to the House. They were successful, to a point. When the revolution started, half of the people fled to the bleachers; they held their position in the comfort of their distance; they divided the opposition. Those were no Egyptian revolutionaries. The efforts of the frontliners was so concerted that had the people stuck together, they would have surly overpowered the flimsy cohort of police and made it to the House. Sadly, they succeeded only in pushing through to the middle of the road. What they demonstrated was their lack of conviction and their powerlessness. A union member who had bro ken through the barricades, said: "They have y'all corralled like a bunch of animals. That is how they have you. Y'all look like a bunch of animals." It was true. The police knew this, and they also knew how incensory it would be if the people real ized, so they told the protester to stop that. They had their greatest momen tum that day and they broke. In Egypt the people were prepared to die for their cause and many of them did. Those who survived stepped into the shoes of the dead without hesitation: them selves prepared to go all the way. There was no shortage of conviction or cohesiveness. The other telling incident t hat day had to do with unions action to the PLP opposition. When the House of Assembly was adjourned, PLP members of parliament congregated at the site of the demonstration. They didn ot cross the barricades to join the union members; instead, they hijacked the moment. They assembledt heir own impromptu press conference by the south side bleachers and sidelined theu nions and all their mem b ers to put on their own show. Of course the media spotlight shifted to them, and after all of the sound bites and video footage was collected the PLP left. Again, that was expected. Unions The unions, they tried sheepishly to compete for the spotlight, shouting over their bullhorns to the cor ralled mass of sorts. People tend to forget: the government is comprised of the ruling party and the opposition. After all, an ineffective opposition makes for an ineffective government. The PLP opposition is no real friend to the unions and they should have told them so. Some of the present union leaders admit; had they been in power under the PLP administration, they would have opposed their bad Blue Water deal back then as well. But the unions allowed their movement to be hijacked on that day. Egyptian revolutionaries they are not. In the weeks and months ahead, the world will see what Egypt makes of its rev olutionary moment. In the meantime, I am sure, politi cians and wannabe revolutionaries across the world will continue with their trite use of the Egyptian moment to further their personal objectives. The true revolu tionaries, hopefully, will look beyond the rhetorical gimmicks for the real lessons of Egypt, Haiti and all of the movements, past and pre sent. What can we learn from Haiti and Egypt? A MAN holds a calendar depicting Haiti's ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide during a protest in Port-auPrince, Haiti, Friday. A few thousand supporters of Aristide marched through Haiti's capital shouting they will derail a presidential runoff set for next month unless his leaderr eturns. Aristide left the country in 2004. (AP FROM page 12B
INSIGHT The Tribune INSIGHT MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 The stories behind the news By NOELLE NICOLLS Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The cond uct of public affairs for private advantage. Ambrose Bierce, American journalist, satirist. I found this quote on the e-mail signature of Philip Brave Davis, deputyl eader of the Progressive L iberal Party. Tribune edi tor in chief, Paco Nunez, once used the same quote as his e-mail signature. I thought it unsurprising in the latter instance since Mr Nunez also has on hisd esk a quote from another American journalist, satirist H.L. Mencken that says a journalist is to a politiciana s a dog is to a lamp-post. But on Mr Davis signature, I thought it was a classic caseo f something hidden in plain s ight. Like this timeless quote, Egypt this month lifted the veil on a fundamental natureo f politics: it is dirty and deceptive; it is stubborn and it is life altering. What we also saw was an example of what is possible when peo ple awaken, when they are slapped into consciousness and demand accountability from the public masqueraders. Some Bahamians have already been swept up in the Egyptian revolutionary euphoria, but less their nobleness and naivety lead them astray, they should know, it takes a lot more than rhetoric to make a rev olution. As the Egyptian story unfolded over the past few days and weeks, there was something eerily familiar about the plot. That is because Egypt faced a test that Haiti last took in 2004, and we invigilated it from across the waters. How well Haiti passed is still up for debate, and as the dust settles on the Egyptian streets their results are being tal lied. B oth stories, as well as the pro-democracy movement that is rippling across the Middle East, have lessons to teach us, about the nature of our politics and our people. Government The Indonesian people, who themselves are familiar with peoples revolution responded to Egypts news with cautious jubilation, advising the Egyptian people that the hard part had only just began. Revolution is a temporary moment. It is the gust of wind represented by the hurricane, and its seasonal occurrence is nowhere near as sure or firm. Egyptians now have the task of reconstructing a government and giving birth to the national dream. Democracy is hard work and revolution does not guarantee evolution. Revo lution is a critical spark, part icularly needed to achieve quantum leaps, but it is unstable and it is transitory. Evolution is the process of growth and development in all things as they transition through the cycles of life and death. The world wishes Egyptians well as they strive towards their highest ideal. They will need our best wishes and much more. Given history, and the nature of politics, success is a Sisyphean task, and no mod ern democracy has accom plished it successfully yet. Really: where in the world has democracy truly given birth to the national dream? The truth is we live in an unsustainable way that is in direct conflict with our very desire for success, whether it is measured by democracy, freedom for all, the end of hunger and poverty, national unity, justice, racial equal ity, social equity, peace and stability, the pursuit of hap p iness, independence, whatever the dream. Yet we must trod on in faith and do our best. Egypt showed us that people are capable, and sometimes driven, to exerting their people power to bring about a revolution. However, most times political electorates are like blind sheep being shepherded and the political directorate is like an abusive lover. In their natural state, and even after a revolution when the dust settles, people most often find themselves beholden to their leaders and powerless in the evolutionary process of gov ernance and nation building. P oliticians Last week I heard Fred Mitchell, Fox Hill Member of Parliament ask a group of supporters, how we would get young people like Andre Rollins, PLP freshman, N ational Development Party absconder, their Egypt moment. That was not sur prising to hear, politicians are notorious band-wago nists. But what of this Egypt moment: what does Egypt and Haiti have to teach us? First of all, people are rightly amused when they hear politicians talk about revolution. Egypt teaches us that the nature of a true peoples revolution is that it is not given to the people. The people make and take the power. In the midst of the revolution political leaders are made virtually irrel evant. The popular uprising in Egypt was not led by its political opposition. It was a youth movement, wield ing people power. This made it infinitely more difficult for a negotiated solution to have emerged, because such a movement has no allegiance to the establishment and little r espect for any authority, b ut its own vision of democracy and freedom. It was not s urprising that the people refused to negotiate with P resident Mubarak. There was no trust in his authority. Ironically, the military t urned out to be the only institution that held publicc onfidence. And it is the m ilitary now tasked with the responsibility of bringing about democratic reform, until constitutionally man d ated elections are held. Despite our faith in the electoral process and repre s entational politics, political leadership is no substitute for people power or military power for that matter. Wew ould definitely be telling a d ifferent story today if the popular uprising witnessed in Egypt was a movementb orn of the political oppo sition. Our next door neighbour Haiti shows us why. In 2004 a CARICOM t eam, of which the Bahamas was a party, travelled to Haiti to meet with political actors and help negotiate ar esolution to the political unrest threatening the countrys stability. During the 2004 protest movement there were calls for President Jean Bertrand Aristides resignation. Suppor ter s Joshua Sears, director general at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said there was a stand off between opposition forces, who decided Aristide had to go, and supporters wanting the constitutional process to be respected. President Aristides term was to expire in 13 months. They couldnt wait 13 months; they wanted to kick him out. The situation had reached a point where the violence had increased; instability had overwhelmed institutions; there was a social breakdown of law and order. If the parties dont agree there is no chance of SEE page 11B THOUSANDS OF EGYPTIAN anti-government protesters march in Alexandria, Egypt earlier this month. (AP What can we learn from Haiti and Egypt? Lessons from 2004 and this years Middle East pro-democracy movement