N N A A S S S S A A U U A A N N D D B B A A H H A A M M A A I I S S L L A A N N D D S S L L E E A A D D I I N N G G N N E E W W S S P P A A P P E E R R C M Y K C M Y K Volume: 106 No.5THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 WEATHER SUNWITH SHOWER HIGH 82F LOW 75F By TANEKA THOMPSON Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org THREE cruise lines have suspended their tours in BASH's Earth Village since 18 cruise ship passengers were robbed at gunpoint during a Segway tour of the site last Friday. BASH Executive Director Terry Miller estimates the robbery will cost the nature retreat and Caribbean Segway Tours about $50,000 in l ost revenue and security c osts. Disney Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines have suspended their tours with Caribbean Segway Tours, Mr Miller said. Representatives from Disney Tours were scheduled for a horseback riding tour in Earth Village the day of the robbery with a view of adding the destination to their onshore tours. Mr Miller said the cruise line abandoned the proposition after the robbery. Meantime, a person closely associated with Caribbean Segway Tours continues to help police in their investigaThe Tribune ANY TIME...ANY PLACE, WERE #1 B AHAMASEDITION TINGS TOUGH McDOUBLE FOR $3.79 www.tribune242.com Ear th Village and tour compan y to lose $50,000 after trips suspended I N S I D E CLASSIFIEDSTRADER CLASSIFIEDSTRADER CLASSIFIEDSTRADER I N S I D E OBITUARIES and RELIGION INTODAYSTRIBUNE JOBSAND HELPWANTED L L O O A A D D S S O O F F CARS! CARS! CARS! Cruise lines hit back after tourist robbery SEE page 13 By ALISON LOWE Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com TWO televisions and two computers have been stolen from the constituency headquarters of the under-fire Minister of National Security, Tommy Turnquest. There was no sign of forced entry at Mr Turnquests Mount Moriah office, which is located on Thompson Boulevard opposite the Caribbean Bottling company. Although police are investigating the incident, Mr Turn TVs, computers stolen from Turnquests headquarters SEE page three By PAUL G T URNQUEST T ribune Staff Reporter p turnquest@ tribunemedia.net A SIX-MONTH temporary job programme for unemployed college graduates who have an associates degree or higher, has been announced by the Ministry of Finance. With the capacity to employ up to 200 college graduates, the programme will be a joint work experience/job training exercise designed to also assist in the advancement of a number of important govSix-month temporary job programme is announced SEE page 12 By MEGAN REYNOLDS Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org THE fire that ripped through Nygard Cay causing multi-million d ollar destruction was accidental and probably sparked by an electrical short-circuit, investigators have concluded. Jeffery Deleveaux, the superintendent in charge of Fire Services, said non-definitive evidence shows the blaze was ignited by an electrical fault near the dance floors Sunshine Bar in the south west area of the six-acre property. Roaring flames engulfed the wood and thatch building just before 4am on Wednesday, November 11, and three crews of firefighters fought the blaze with 11 fire engines throughout the morning. Their efforts continued 32 hours later as they battled to extinguish the burning embers. Property owner, Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard, was out of the country at the time and no-one was injured in the blaze. Fire investigators findings contradict the original impressions expressed by Supt Deleveaux in the wake of the blaze. Supt Deleveaux had ruled out electrical problems as a potential cause of the fire and said it was likely to have started in the northeast section of the resort before Nygard Cay fire probably sparked by electrical short-circuit SEE page two PLEASE NOTE THAT, DUE TO THE THANKSGIVING DAY HOLIDAY IN THE US, THERE WILL BE NO USATODAY IN T OD A Y S TRIBUNE BASH EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Terry Miller speaks to the media yesterday. F e l i p M a j o r / T r i b u n e s t a f f By PAUL G TURNQUEST Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com MINISTER of State for Finance Zhivargo Laing revealed yesterday that the economy of the Bahamas has experienced negative growth by more than four per cent this year. However, he claimed the outlook for next year will be brighter still, with a decline of 0.5 to one per cent. Economy experiences negative growth by over four per cent SEE page 14 By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor CABLE Bahamas last night urged investors in its recent $40 million preference share issue to have patience after the first dividend payment due to them had to be deferred, as a result of US regulators having yet to approve the buyout of the BISX-list ed companys controlling shareholder. Anthony Butler, Cable Bahamas president and chief operating officer, in a letter sent to investors last night, said that while Cable Bahamas shar e issue dividend payment is deferred SEE page 20
C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS PAGE 2, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM quickly spreading to the southwest area. The extensive destruction made it difficult to determine the location and the reason for the start of the fire, Supt Deleveaux said. Everything was in flames, it was burnt right out, he explained. But we found it started inside, in the area of the bar, and the evidence on the electrical wire tells us that it was shorted out. In the conclusion of the investigation we found the fire was an accidental fire, and it could have been caused by an electrical fault, but that is not definitive. However, all the indicators are that it was electrical. Supt Deleveaux said concrete, wire mesh and steel used in construction prevented the fire from spreading throughout the extensive property tucked away in a corner of the exclusive Lyford Cay gated community in north western New Providence, although it caused millions of dollars worth of damage. Mr Nygard built Nygard Cay as a Robinson Crusoe-style adult playground in 1987, with 22 seculded cabanas, Mayanstyle temples, interconnecting swimming pools, beaches, tennis and volleyball courts, anda state-of-the-art home theatre. The multi-millionaire owner recently revealed he had plans to expand the resort by building a suspended cable bedroom that lowers into the ocean, a dolphin interaction attraction, and a programme allowing guests to visit the property's $2 million shark tank. The fire came days after Mr Nygard celebrated the opening of his flagship store in Times Square, New York City. FROM page one Nygard Cay fire
quest said he had not reported it as a crime at thiss tage. I had a robbery, but there was no forced entry. It wasnot a break-in, he stated when asked about the inci dent. Queried as to what he sus pected had happened, Mr Turnquest said he did not want to say until police are able to investigate further. asked the police to do fingerprints. Well find out, said Mr Turnquest, who has recently been criticised over crime, particularly in the wake of the hold-up and robbery of 18 tourists last Friday. Mr Turnquests office is believed to have been entered sometime between Tuesday afternoon and yesterday morning. The items were found missing by a woman employee of the office. Meeting Mr Turnquest, who is currently acting Prime Minister and Minister of Finance while Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham is in Trinidad to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, said the items were all that had been identified as having been tak en from the office so far. Im not reporting it as a crime until police tell me what they know, added the Minister, when asked whether police had any leads as yet. Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of crime, Raymond Gibson, yesterday confirmed that the scene was processed by officers. The matter is under active investigation with police trying to develop the information we have received. Hopefully at the end of the day well find the person responsible. Were confident and following some leads, he said. By MEGAN REYNOLDS Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org A CALL for the Government to publicise an audit report revealing flaws in thec ountrys air traffic control system has been reiterated by the Air Traffic Controllers Union following a protest last week. M embers of the Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union (BATCU the House of Assembly last Monday to demand higher standards for the country and union involvement in improvements. Union leader Roscoe Perpall claims shortfalls identified by the International Civil Aviation O rganisation (ICAO blacklist the Bahamas as a tourist destination if not immed iately addressed. A nd the Government has f ailed to provide union members with copies of the reportp ublished earlier this year, or involve members in improvem ent works, the BATCU claims. Minister of Tourism and Avia tion Vincent Vanderpool-Wal lace denied the deficiencies w ould negatively impact tourism, as he said the Civil A viation Department (CAD is working with others to ensure the Bahamas maintains its category one status with the Unit-e d States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA A nd Director of the Civil Aviation Department (CAD C aptain Patrick Rolle said his department was looking at a two-year reform programme beginning in 2010 to improve services by having airport security investigations and accidents s plit into separate entities. But the BATCU is still u nsatisfied with the Governm ents response, and Mr Perp all wants to know why the a udit report released nearly ten months ago has not yet b een made public. He said: Not only were n umerous and serious deficiencies identified, as was acknowl-e dged by the Minister, but there are a whole number of i ssues this country committed to dealing with immediately in the aftermath of the audit to which ICAO expected tangible efforts to yield reportable r esults within two months of the report. M r Perpall fears there will be a repeat of the Bahamas d owngrading from category one to category two in 2000 if all stakeholders, including the BATCU, are not involved in improvement works from the beginning. Results He said: It is a universal maxim that the best results are b orne when all of the relevant stake-holders are included, comprehensively, at the earliest stages. This is also an ICAOr ecommended practice. Sadly, this is not happening, thus there is no apparent movement and following the fashioning by the few, will the plan b e forced down the throats of the many, or will we go t hrough, laboriously, trying to implement what could very well be a flawed and unpopular. Further upset at the union is b oiling over the DCAs alleged failure to address members concerns after disputes were heard at the Department of Labour both sides agreed to m ake greater efforts to resolve their differences. I ssues surrounding vacation leave, failure to collect agency shop payment from all mem-b ers of the Bargaining Unit, and an outstanding contractb etween BATCU and the gove rnment all require attention, M r Perpall said. He added: We call upon the government t o do the honourable thing and instruct its agencies and agents to respect the air traffic controllers contract in the same manner as they have done for members of the nurses, doctors and water and sewerage unions. The union is also disappointed with the Minister of Tourism and Aviation and the Directoro f Civil Aviations failure to a ddress salary anomalies and o utstanding promotions foll owing last weeks protest. M r Vanderpool-Wallace said t he issues raised by the union r egarding terms of employment are very much under discussion, while the ICAO report should be available to them. H e added: There was some p eriod of time when we responded to items, but it is a public document as I understand it. Theres nothing in the report that couldnt be made public, and the presentation of t he findings was made with a v ery broad group. The Minister maintains his department has been working with the ICAO to address issues in the report since Feb ruary, and the ICAO has been pleased with the progress. C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009, PAGE 3 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Renewed call for air traffic control report to be released A MAN was arraigned in Magistrates Court yesterday on a marijuana possession charge. It is alleged that on Monday, November 23, Maurice Andrew Strapp, 37, was found in possession of 10 and a half pounds of marijuana with intent to supply. Strapp, of South Beach, was arraigned before Magistrate Carolita Bethel in Court 8, Bank Lane. He denies the charge. Strapp was granted bail in the sum of $20,000 with two sureties. The case was adjourned to May 11, 2010. Man in court on drug charge BAHAMASAIRTRAFFICCONTROLLERSUNION Union leader says system shortfalls need to be addressed immediately In brief A BOMB scare at the College of the Bahamas sparked the evacuation of students, faculty and staff yesterday. But the phone call claiming there was a bomb in the build ing proved to be a false alarm when police and security officers searched the college buildings in Poinciana Drive. COB evacuation amid bomb scar e T elevisions and computers stolen fr om T ur nquests headquarters FROM page one VANDERPOOL-WALLACE T i m C l a r k e / T r i b u n e s t a f f MINISTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY MP Tommy Turnquests constituency office.
EDITOR, The Tribune. Hasnt anyone else noticed that when the trafficl ight on the corner of West Bay Street and Ferguson Road is working that the traffic flow either east or west is worse than terrible? I n the morning there is so little traffic from Ferguson Road that usually I am just sitting at the light waiting for nothing! Going west at the end of the day takes a lot longer when the light is on, as the light slows the movement of vehicles out of a congested area. When this traffic light is m aintained as an amber flashing light, traffic flows much better. Makes me wonder how west traffic will be oncet he round-a-bout is con structed near Saunders Beach. I have already seen how they inhibit traffic flow on the highway, so franklyI am not looking forward to it. Would the government please do the How to drive around a round-a-bout lessons in the paper again please? APPLETON Nassau, November, 2009. EDITOR, The Tribune. Unless youve been living on another planet for the last few years, or you are a Member of Parliament that leaves home for the office around 10am in your chauffeur driven vehicle, you cannot help but know that we have a huge traffic problemh ere in Nassau. T rying to get around this island, especially at certain t imes of the day, is an extreme exercise in patience a nd it would be frightening t o discover how many hours of productivity are lost by employees sitting in cars in bottlenecked traffic. A s well as the number of fender benders or near misses that are caused simply by traffic congestion. The reasons for this prob lem of course, are not new and cannot be isolated to just one or two. C ontributing factors are: a road system that is unable t o cope with the number of vehicles on the road, a corrupt vehicle inspection process that allows cars on the road that simply should nt be there, an inefficient s top light system that creates problems rather thana lleviates them, a poor and unsafe public transport sys t em, the lack of any policing of dangerous or illegal driving and extremely poor driving habits in a significantly large enough section of the driving population. I t would take too long to discuss all these factors but I w ould like to focus here on t he latter. The Rules of the Road, as laid out in the H ighway Code, have been developed over many years and are used in countriesa cross the world. These Rules of the Road have one p urpose: to keep traffic flowing. They do this by giving drivers in certain circum-s tances, priority over other drivers. For example, the driver driving along a straight sec-t ion of road has the right o f way, in other words, priority to move forward over other drivers. A driver fac-i ng a green light at a stop l ight also has the right of way, as does a driver on a roundabout. Unfortunately, many Bahamians think that rules do not apply to them, and therefore drive in a manner that changes the pri orities and as a result slow down the flow of traffic and even bottle it up completely. The driver who feels that h e has the right to just pull o ut of a corner, cutting up t raffic moving in a straight l ine from right-to-left, or if turning right into the leftto-right lane and therefores its across the right-to-left lane, both disrupt the flow of traffic. The driver who runsa red light, or the one who continues to turn right after the right turn light has expired, all disrupt the flow of traffic. The driver who blocks t raffic by moving through a g reen light knowing that t hey will not be able to clear the intersection before the light changes to red, blocks t he flow of traffic. I havent mentioned yet t he taxi and jitney drivers, who think that they own the road and stop in the middle o f traffic to pick up or drop o ff or just to harass tourists, a nd stop the flow of traffic. Even, in the case of jitney drivers, when a space is a vailable for them to pull i nto to pick up their passengers. While I am sure they would argue that they are j ust trying to earn their living, they seem to forget that, so are the rest of us, who h ave to put our lives and business on hold while we sit behind them. Sadly, there appears to be no hope that the problem will be eased in the near future. This would require in our decision makers, the politicians, and in our operators, the Road Traffic Depart ment, either an understand i ng of the problem or a willingness to deal with it, or both. U nfortunately, both seem to be lacking. N ASSAU OBSERVER N assau, N ovember 18, 2009. C M Y K C M Y K EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR PAGE 4, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009 THE TRIBUNE The Tribune Limited NULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI Being Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master L EON E. H. DUPUCH, Publisher/Editor 1903-1914 S IR ETIENNE DUPUCH, Kt., O.B.E., K.M., K.C.S.G., (Hon. P ublisher/Editor 1919-1972 Contributing Editor 1972-1991 EILEEN DUPUCH CARRON, C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B. P ublisher/Editor 1972Published Daily Monday to Saturday S hirley Street, P.O. Box N-3207, Nassau, Bahamas Insurance Management Building., P.O. F-485, Freeport, Grand Bahama T ELEPHONES Switchboard (News, Circulation and Advertising W EBSITE w ww.tribune242.com updated daily at 2pm ORDERED by Commissioner of Police Reginald Ferguson to do something to get t he youth off the streets in Carmichael, Supt Wayne Miller then in charge of the C armichael Police Division launched a marching band. N ow the new Commandant of the Police T raining College, Supt Millers marching b and will give its first concert at the Shirley S treet Centre for the Performing Arts on Sunday. The first performance is at 5pm, f ollowed by the second at 7pm. One hundred children are involved, ranging in age from s even to 18 years with the average age about 11 years. A lthough Supt Miller has moved to the College, he has left a very strong communit y outreach programme behind to carry on the work he started. For example, Mrs Kim Deveaux, who h eads Carmichaels Crime Watch Group, has for the past two to three weeks spent m ore time with the band preparing for this weeks concert than she has at her archiving f irm. Mrs Deveaux said that the band was officially launched in April. The instruments were purchased in May with a grant from the Ministry of Culture. And five months later children, who could neither read music nor play an instrument, were making music with t heir own band. This has taken children off the streets, s aid Mrs. Deveaux. It gives them something to do in the afternoons and teaches t hem discipline. The classes are twice a week Mondays and Wednesdays but with the coming concert they have been upped to four sessions a week. The children love it! said Mrs Deveaux. They look forward to coming to band. We have a waiting list for others who want toj oin, but we cannot accommodate them at this time. However, we shall start a drive in Janu ary to get more instruments so that we can take more children. Mrs Deveaux said that Carmichaels parents are most supportive. They drop and pick up their children. One of our instructors has worked before int he inner city and this is the first time that he has seen parents coming with their children. A t band practices parents are there every evening its like a little family atmosp here. Everyone gets involved. She said that when the band travelled to Eleuthera recently, parents were near tears when they couldnt join them on the boat, and were unable to arrange accommodationo n Bahamasair. We just dont see that kind of support from parents, particularly young parents, said Mrs Deveaux. The Carmichael band got its start at the Carmichael Police Station. However, so m any young persons wanted to join that their meeting place was moved to nearby G erald Cash Primary School. Theodore Campbell from the RBPF band l eads the youth band. He is assisted by two o ther officers from the Police Band. Mr C ampbell teaches the brass instruments, w hile Mr Bailey gives lessons on the drums and Miss Young, the woodwinds. A road trip to Atlanta is planned for January 28 for the children to watch the Battle o f the Bands. They will see how the US bands perform and understand what levelt hey have to achieve to enter that league, said Mrs. Deveaux. T his summer for the first time these children took the Royal College of Music exams, Grade 2. They get their results in D ecember. Mrs Deveaux praised both Youth Sports a nd Culture Minister Desmond Bannister and State Minister for Culture Charles Mayn ard for their enthusiastic support of the programme. I couldnt believe that they would come out and talk with the children and give them their full support. One Sat urday afternoon, before taking the plane to Andros, Mr Bannister came out and spent two hours talking with the children and their p arents, motivating them to excel. And then there is the Sunday school pro g ramme attended by about 50 children, under the guidance of Ms Pandora Butler. She does a fantastic job, said Mrs Deveaux. She has a passion for these children. She calls them her children and when they dont show up for Sunday school, she calls and v isits them to find out why. Mrs Deveaux also praised the work of S gt Cinderella Johnson, who has since been transferred to Police Stores, but returns to C armichael every Sunday to be with her little children at Sunday school. And, of course, said Mrs Deveaux, we cant forget Mr Rupert Roberts of SuperValue, who is very supportive. Every Sunday h e sends cakes and drinks for the boys and girls attending Sunday school. A nd so while Mr Bradley Roberts laments changes to the PLPs Urban Renewa l programme, there are members of the RBPF, who, working with community memb ers, are doing a most commendable job in getting young people off the streets and preparing them for the future. This is what community policing is all about. And so while Mr Roberts is mired in the p ast, these youth bands, with police and community behind them, are marching into the future. Traffic: I see no road to salvation LETTERS email@example.com Carmichael bands first concert Sunday T raffic light without a cause
C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009, PAGE 5 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM t!"!&! '*$&., *,& .b' "' %$&*,'"''$-"!"* ,b"$&!$"$" n n b f r f r r t ( + % +#n bf *$& &.$"$".$,&'* ffb(#%(%!)%r)&" By ALISON LOWE Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts yesterday branded claims that changes to the Urban Renewal programme did not lead to a rising tide of crime as a wicked bold-faced lie. He further charged that had Urban Renewal not been watered down under the FNM, the blatant daytime robbery of some 18 tourists at Chippingham would likely not have occurred. Mr Roberts claimed that for the Commissioner of Police to try to deny that adjustments to the programme did not result in an upsurge in serious crime in over the hill areas where the Urban Renewal Programme once flourished, is evidence that the Commissioner is clearly out of touch with the extent of crime and the harsh realities facing locals and visitors alike. As the Police Staff Association has now expressed, Commissioner Reginald Fergusons retirement is a step in the right direction, said Mr Roberts. It was announced last week that Mr Ferguson is to retire from the force in January 2010. Mr Roberts comments come after the Commissioner reacted to statements that have been continually made by the Opposition PLP about the impact of alterations to Urban Renewal on crime. Commissioner Ferguson told The Tribune that, contrary to claims made by the Opposition, he had seen no empirical evidence to show that changes to the initiative have caused an upsurge in crime in the country. He added that allegations that Urban Renewal is dead as has often been asserted by the gov ernments detractors are a lie. In yesterdays release, Mr Roberts quoted statistics which, he said, would provide the evidence Mr Ferguson suggested was lacking as proof that the FNM made a fatal mistake in cancelling/reducing the Urban Renewal Programme. In the statistics which Mr Roberts provides as evidence of rising crime, he quotes figures for murder, manslaughter, armed robbery, rape, unlawful sex intercourse, burglary, housebreaking, shop breaking and stolen vehicles for 2007, 2008 and for some, 2009. In the first five categories violent crimes against the person the statistics from Mr Roberts show that in the first two years of the FNM administration, incidences dropped. However, in the last four categories, all crimes against property, incidences rose. Overall, given the greater rise in the number of property crimes, which are generally more frequent that serious violent crimes year on year, vis-a-vis the less significant drop in crimes against the person, the figures quoted by Mr Roberts show that the number of crimes increased during the FNMs latest term in government, from 6,850 to 7,225. The FNM has also recently released selected figures from 1999 to 2006 which it says show the truth about Urban Renewal, comparing crime levels up to the end of the previous FNM administration in 2001, and under the PLP, when Urban Renewal was initiated, until 2006. The annual rate of serious crimes, such as murder, armed robbery and housebreaking at all times under their era of Urban Renewal remained higher than it was during the pre-Urban Renewal year 2001; and the murder and housebreaking rates were on the increase in 2006, the last full year of Urban Renewal on their watch, the party notes. Reports appearing in the US and UK media over the last year indicate that rises in crime levels in those countries, particularly crimes against property, have been linked to recessionary economic conditions. Roberts insists Urban Renewal changes led to rise in crime By NATARIO McKENZIE Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com A MAN accused of setting fire to a local pre-school was arraigned in a magistrates court yesterday. Darren Isaacs, 42, is charged with arson, shopbreaking as well as stealing from a shop. It is alleged that on Thursday, October 15, Isaacs set fire to Tiny Tots pre-school, on Graham Drive. It is also alleged he broke into the pre-school and stole two HP computer systems as well as three cassette players together valued at $2,100. Isaacs, of West Dennis Court, Yellow Elder Gardens, was not required to enter a plea to the charges during his arraignment before Magistrate Derrence Rolle in Court 5, Bank Lane yesterday. Prosecutor Sergeant Godfrey Brennen did not object to Isaacs being granted bail. Ms Farquharson asked the magistrate if her client could be sent to Sandilands for an evaluation for drug use. Magistrate Rolle acceded to the request but said that Isaacs would receive the evaluation at his own expense. Isaacs was granted bail in the sum of $20,000 with one surety. The case has been adjourned to March 8, 2010. Man accused of setting fire to local pre-school BRADLEYROBERTS
FOX Hill MP Fred Mitchell thanked Education Minister Carl Bethel for helping Sandilands Primary School acquire nearly one acre of land to expand the Fox Hill school. On Monday government announced it has approved a land deal with a local religious ministry. The land was acquired from Mekaddish Ministries through a voluntary transfer of "comparable land" fronting on Pine Yard Road in the area of Sandilands Allotments. The land will facilitate the growth and development of Sandilands Primary, specifically additional classrooms, play and sports facilities, and a teacher's lounge. Yesterday Mr Mitchell explained that he laid the groundwork for the land transfer during the PLP's last term in office. He said he got a call from Barbara Albury, a resident of Chippingham and a friend of his parents, who informed him that the owners of the land wanted to sell it. "I immediately set out upon a quest to have the government acquire this land for the use of the Sandilands Primary School. "Times being as they were, there was one delay after the next and there was a change of government. I did not know how the project would fare, but I immediately spoke to this Minister Carl Bethel who after some investigation concluded that it would be in the best interest of the school, this community and the children of Fox Hill and with the help of his technical people and administrators, he further drove the process to the announcement we are able to make today. "The minister is leaving for another job and so it is fitting that he is able to make this announcement and I hope he sees it as a legacy to the children of Fox Hill," said Mr Mitchell. "The primary school in Fox Hill is my dearest project and the children are special to me. There is no greater or better investment that can be made than in the children of this school and those who will follow them. If they get a good g rounding here, they can face t he world. C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS PAGE 6, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM .,'=&,7< 6WRUHZLGH Mitchell thanks the Education Minister over school land deal FREDMITCHELL CARLBETHEL
The 1.9 million cubic yards of material being dredged from Nassau Harbour will be used for infrastructure projects, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said. The annual usage of fill in Nassau is on the average of a quarter of a million, said the prime minister. We can easily supply six years of Nassaus needs and also do all the other things that the government wants to do for instance extend the boardwalk along Woodes Rogers Wharf, build the market complex, build the government office building on Thompson Boulevard and have more than enough fill to accommodate everybody. The prime minister, with National Security Minister Tommy Turnquest and Environment Minister Earl Deveaux, toured the Nassau Harbour and Arawak Cay p rojects last week. B oskalis International BV (a Netherlands based company) has been contracted to construct three mooring dolphins to increase the length of the piers at Prince George Wharf, extend the Western end of Arawak Cay, provide a wider approach channel to Nassau Harbour and lengthen the cruise ship turning basin. The project is being carried out to accommodate the n ew mega Genesis Class C ruise ship Oasis of the S eas, which is expected to make its maiden voyage to Nassau on December 11. Prime Minister Ingraham said government would make considerations for people whoare presently in the fill business and might be preparedto enter into arrangements that will allow them to pur chase fill at a certain price, sell it and make a profit. We are not seeking to put anybody out of business other than those illegal operators, he said. Regarding storage of containers, Mr Ingraham said almost one third of the total containers that come to Nassau are landed at Arawak Cay and the government is seeking to remove all of them from Bay Street. The usage of this place is not changing; it is going to be changing in a better, more o rganised way, he said. P ort The container port will only take up a small percentum of the total acreage on this island. We will relieve congestion from Potters Cay so that the Bohengy and those that now leave from Potters Cay will leave from here after now. Some of the mail boats will also be able to bring their freight at this point here in the harbour. We want to organise things. We want the money to come to the public treasury that benefits all of us. And we want some of us ordinary folks to be able to own shares in the entity that operates it. T he prime minister said c ontainers will not be kept at A rawak Cay for any length of time. We want to cause to be put a facility at Gladstone Road so that they could be taken over there mostly at night-time. We want to be able to drive our streets in the city without all the pollution and dust from the heavy traffic. What we are doing is unquestionably beneficial for the Bahamas and the Bahamian people, he said. C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009, PAGE 7 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM P ositions Available R adiologic Technologist/ R adiographer Full-time or part-time F ormally Trained Minimum 2 years experiencein radiography Must hold Health Professional License Q ualificationsin ultrasound imaging a plusUltrasonographer F ull time orpart time Formally Trained Minimum 3 years experience Must hold Health Professional License To apply: Please deliver resume by December 1 to: H uman Resources Manager The Walk-In Medical Clinic 35 Collins Avenue P.O. Box N-4728 Nassau, Bahamas T el: 328 -0783 Dredged material to be used for infrastructure projects DREDGING WORK takes place in Nassau Harbour. Photo: Felip Major /Tribune staff
By AVA TURNQUEST A LOCAL social activist claims decriminalising a controversial psycho-active drug will positively affect the country's crime level and stimulate the economy. In an interview with The Tribune, Sasha Dunn challenged Bahamians to educate themselves about marijuana and the burgeoning hemp industry, which he believes is the answer to the country's socio-economic woes. "Within the past 10 months," s aid Mr Dunn, "we have witnessed the collapse of capitalism, the market manifestation of the peak oil crisis, and the first stages of what seems to be the death of our tourism industry." "With the legalisation and the proliferation of the hemp industry, the economy of the B ahamas will experience a turn-around only similar to that of the switch we made from sponging to tourism in the late 1930s." Hemp is a sturdy yet pliable fiber that is derived from the Cannabis plant and cultivated for industrial use. Because the same plant produces marijuan a, the material carries a negative stigma and in most countries no clear or consistent distinction is made in terms of criminal status. However, the hemp industry has been steadily growing over the years due to the plants low maintenance needs and growth speed, and now boasts a w ide range of products including fuel, soap, clothes, and food products. But it is not just hemp, but also marijuana itself that Mr Dunn thinks should be legalised. He charged that most Bahamians are heavily misinformed about the drug, especially most adults. He claimed that his message is not for old people but for the younger generation that has to live in the country for the next 30-50 years. To illustrate his point, Mr Dunn mentioned a city popular for its unique approach to drug r egulation. He said that though there isn't a single beach in Amsterdam that can compare to what the Bahamas offers, the city boasts 3.5 million visitors per year. Mr Dunn said he is not the only Bahamian that acknowledges the benefit of legalising the drug and referred to an online Facebook group titled 'Bahamians For The Legalisation and Decriminalization of Marijuana and Hemp'. The group's page boasted 201 members yesterday, and is d escribed as having been designed and created to help the Bahamians get marijuana and hemp legalised and decriminialised to help save our tourism industry and economy on the whole as well as allowing the medicinal and recreational use or the marijuana p lant. Mr Dunn is listed as the group's public relations officer, but said all the views he expressed yesterday are not necessarily shared by all the members. "This is not just so we can smoke weed," added Mr Dunn, "anyone right now could go and get an ounce if they wanted and its illegal right now. So it's not so we can smoke weed, clearly the law isn't stopping anyone. "It is not my goal to per suade you into this idea but rather to encourage Bahamians to explore this avenue and conduct their own research." C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS PAGE 8, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Claim that decriminalising marijuana could help economy
By MEGAN REYNOLDS Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org CRIME conscious pastor Bishop Simeon Hall is calling for political parties to find some c ommon ground and form a national coalition to combat crime as it spirals out of control. The leader of New Covenant Baptist Church in Independence Drive, Nassau, insists politicians in the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP National Movement (FNM ernment must stop blaming each other for rising crime while leaving the people at risk. Debate sparked in the wake of the parties political conventions last month, with the PLP blaming rising crime on the FNMs scrapping of their Urban Renewal initiative, and the FNM maintaining they have maintained the programme, but changed the format. PLP chairman Bradley Roberts said the PLP version of Urban Renewal, was structured in such a comprehensive form that it addressed not only crime, but all the criminogenic circumstances which inevitably led to crime. He added: The attempt to undermine the effectiveness of the programme by the FNM government has resulted, and is continuing to result, in anarchy and chaos in our society today. However, the FNM maintains Urban Renewal is still alive and w ell, but police are now in a liai son role rather than in charge of the programme. Mr Roberts also called for Minister of National Security Tommy Turnquest to resign from his post after 18 international cruise ship passengers were robbed at gunpoint while o n an eco-tour of the Bahamas Association for Social Health (BASH and accused the minister of having a role in demoralising the police force, helping to force the early retirement of qualified police officers and supporting the removal of police from pub lic schools. But political blame-gaming is not a sufficient response to the serious concern for public safety brought on by a marked increase in violent crime, Bishop Hall said. As former chairman of the National Crime Commission, Bishop Hall is keen for crime to be tackled in a meaningful way. He said: I am amazed some politicians (past and present would point fingers and cast blame for the current quagmire o f problems we face. We will not make any serious dent in the current crime nightmare if those who make the laws remain at the lowest level of blaming each other. It would be wrong to blame the crime problem on any one person or group; we are all culpable. Any politician who has served for the last 35 years should be well aware 50 per cent of the countrys crime problems were p lanted in the 1970s and 1980s, when the drug trade debauched the entire Bahamian society, Bishop Hall said. Therefore such long-serving politicians are disqualified from finger-pointing on the issue, he added. Truth be told, a national coalition involving both political parties and other civic and religious groups is imperative if we must save the day, Bishop Hall submitted. The young men with guns are not listening to the pronouncements from the pulpit, nor those from parliament. Some young people are not checking we must go beyond the blather of easy talk to concrete and decisive action. Too many people are benefiting from the crime problem and the crime will not be solved or abated as long as it is in the interest of the powerful and influential for things to remain as t hey have always been. He added: It is regrettable that while our country is teetering on the edge of social disintegration, some politicians remain adversarial rather than patriotic and nationalistic in their approach to the big issues. C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009, PAGE 9 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM The Mercedes M-Class. Beauty, brains and brawn. TYREFLEX STAR MOTORSCall us today for your new Mercedes-Benz M-Class at 325.4961Wulff Road, P. O. Box N 9123, Nassau, The Bahamas Fax: 323.4667W hen you think of the average SUV on t he road today, you think of roadhogging, air-polluting gas guzzlers that wouldnt know the meaning of high precision and fuel efficiency if it were emblazoned on their windshields. But there is an alternative. The refined M-Class from Mercedes-Benz. W ithits superior German styling utilising o nly high-grade materials, its robust engine power delivering exemplary turn-on-a-dime performance whilst still being frugal on fuel and its handling of pot-holed roads and 1.5 ft. flooded streets, the Mercedes-Benz M-Class is clearly the best choice in SUVs. Bishop Hall calls for coalition to combat crime B ISHOPSIMEONHALL
C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS PAGE 10, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM TEACHERS AND SALARIED WORKERS CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT UNION LIMITEDNOTICE TO OUR VALUED SHAREHOLDERSPlease be advised that Interest/Dividend payments for the year 2008 will be distributed effective Monday November 2, 2009 during the hours of 11:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. as follows:November 2 November 3 November 4 November 5 November 6 November 9 November 10 November 11 November 12 November 13 November 16 November 17 November 18 November 19 November 20 November 23 November 24 November 25 001-700 701-1200 1201-1800 1801-2400 2401-3000 3001-3600 3601-4200 4201-4500 4501-4800 4801-5100 5101-5400 5401-5700 5701-6000 6001-6300 6301-6600 6601-6900 6901-7200 7201-7500 November 26 November 27 November 30 December 1 December 2 December 3 December 4 December 7 December 8 December 9 December 10 December 11 December 14 December 15 December 16 December 17 December 18 7501-7800 7801-8100 8101-8400 8401-8700 8701-9000 9001-9500 9501-10000 10001-10500 10501-11300 11301-12100 12101-13000 13001-14000 14001-15000 15001-16000 16001-17000 17001-18500 18501 onDates Account Numbers Dates Account Numbers &5$:)25'/266$'-867(56RZ&ODLPVHVROXWLRQ/7'f7VHUYH\RXEHWWHUZHKDYHUHORFDWHGRXU 6RXWKRI9LOODJH5RDG5RXQGDERXW6ROLGHU5RDG DQG7XUQTXHVW$OOH\7ZRGRRUV6RXWKRIWKH /LPRXVLQH&RPSDQ\ 6SHFLDOL]LQJLQPRWRUF\FOHLQMXULHVVHULRXVLQMXULHV GHDWKZKLSODVKVOLSDQGIDOOFDVHV&ODLPV ,QVXUDQFH&RUHIXVHWRSD\ORVHVSDUWLFXODUO\ WRODUJHKRWHOV0DULQHORVVHVDQGDYLDWLRQORVVHV DOVRDVVLVWZLWKSURSHUWLHVLQGLVSXWHDQGSURSHUW\ PDWWHUV &DOOWKHQHZLQMXU\SDLQQHHGKHOSOLQH UHDG\WRFRQWLQXHVHUYLQJ XEOLF&ODLPV$JHQWf &RQWDFWRXUROGQXPEHUDQG\RXZLOO EHSURYLGHGZLWKWKHQHZQXPEHU :ZRUNIRUWKHSXEOLFRQ\RXUVLGH$OVRZHDSSRLQW ODZ\HUVRIRXUFKRLFH.HHSWKLVQXPEHULQ\RXU JORYHFRPSDUWPHQW\RXQHYHUNQRZZKHQ\RXZLOO QHHGLW0XFDQ'DZNLQVDQDJLQJ'LUHFWRURSHUDWLQJWKLVEXVLQHVVVHYHQWHHQ\HDUVf (175$1&((;$0,1$7,21)25$'0,66,21 1 1 250$1$1/($:&+22/-DPDLFDf +8*+:22',1*/$:&+22/ULQLGDGtREDJRf ( 8*(1('838&+/$:&+22/KH%DKDPDVf /HJDO(GXFDWLRQ&HUWLZR
C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009, PAGE 11 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM d to keeping country off blacklist action against non-cooperative jurisdictions, including tax havens and to deploy sanctions to protect public finances and financial systems, Mr Laing explained. Furthermore, the G-20s have stated that a country must have a minimum of 12 Tax Information Exchange Agreem ents (TIEA r egarded as co-operating in m atters of tax information exchange transparency. Moral While we can wrestle with the moral arguments about this exercise by the worlds most developed countries, keeping it real, I should simply wish to point out that there is not a jurisdiction in the world that is not moving a ggressively to meet the stand ard set by them, Mr Laing s aid. It is the reality of the virtual playing field on this issue that enables us to move forward because while we had committed to the principle of transparency in 2000/2001, we insisted in our letter to the OECD that we would do so when the playing field was level. The Bahamas has signed TIEAs, with the United States, San Marino, Monaco, t he United Kingdom and N ew Zealand. Negotiations are being held with other countries and the government expects to meet the 12 TIEAs goal by the end of this year. Regardless of what is happening in the world, there is a strategic focus that we must have in order to grow and develop our financial services sector and to compete, said Mr Laing. This begins with a strategic vision for the sector. Our goal in this exercise of complying with the evolved and evolving standards of the OECD/G-20 has always been clear preserve the financial services sector of this nation by getting us off any list that was likely to result in sanctions by the worlds most developed countries and economies, sanctions that would make it improbable or impossible for many, if not most of the existing and potential clients of our juris diction from doing business here," he said. K ris Ingraham / BIS MINISTER of State for Finance the Hon Zhivargo Laing (at the podium o n November 18. Share your news The Tribune wants to hear f rom people who are m aking news in their neighbour h oods. Perhaps y ou are raising funds for a good cause, campaigning f or improvements in the a rea or have won an award. I f so, call us on 322-1986 a nd share your story. FROM page ten I I N N S S I I G G H H T T F o o r r t t h h e e s s t t o o r r i i e e s s b b e e h h i i n n d d t t h h e e n n e e w w s s , r r e e a a d d I I n n s s i i g g h h t t o o n n M M o o n n d d a a y y s s
ernment projects. Minister of State for Finance Zhivargo Laing said the programme will cost an estimated $1,092,000 and involve the public and private sectors.E ach applicant will be paid G overnments minimum wage of $210 per week for six months. However, those who are successful in partnering with the private sector placements willh ave the opportunity to earn up to $400 a week with their private employer paying the additional $190. The public sectors component will be comprised of agencies that fall within the portfolio of the Ministry of Finance.T hese agencies have identified s pecific projects that will be u ndertaken by the participants, the Minister said. These agencies and projects will include: The Business Licence/Valu ation Unit that will have mapp ing and Hotel Encouragement Act information update projects. The Information Technology Unit that will undertake the creation of a Bahamas Government IT inventory databasea nd the upgrade of both the Bahamas Governments website and the creation of the Bahamas Governments investor page. The Department of Public Service, which will undertaket he updating of the JD Edwards Human Resources module in order to completely computerized personnel files of public officers. The Treasury, which will i nvolve the computerisation of back-logged treasury docum ents. T he Bahamas Customs Department that will involve d ata entry of backlogged accounting records. Minister Laing said: All of t hese projects will result in much better collation of infor-m ation and much easier access t o critical information for bett er management and decisionm aking within the public sector. With respect to the private s ector, the Ministry of Finance i s partnering with the Chamber o f Commerce. I n New Providence, applications can be obtained from the Ministry of Finance at the Cecil Wallace Whitfield Centre o n Cable Beach, or at the min i strys website: www.bahamas.gov.bs/finance. I n Grand Bahama, applications can be picked up at the Ministry of Finances Business and Licence/Valuation Unit in the International Building on McKenzie Street; and from any Administrators office in the Family Islands. I nterested graduates are asked to get their applications in to the Ministry as soon as p ossible. For further informa tion, contact the Ministry of Finance on 327-1530. C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS PAGE 12, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM FROM page one Job programme
tions into the armed robbery. At a press conference held at nature retreat yesterday, BASH executived irector Terry Miller said he suspects the robbery might have been an inside job. He plans to install video cameras throughout the site and may station security offic ers throughout the forest w hile tours are going on. He also wants Government to erect a fence to close off the forest's perimeter which bor-ders a nearby Government subdivision to block off thep roperty's exits. A ll tours throughout Earth Village's forest have been put on hold until the suspects are caught and security measures are in place at the site. T he company is also striving to meet cruise security g uidelines as dictated by the c ruise lines in order to hold o nto their business. A spokesperson from C aribbean Segway Tours said the company will not c omment until the police i nvestigation is completed. M eantime, bad press a bout the incident continues to spread like wildfire on the I nternet. One of the victims, Charlotte Ashfield, said the inci d ent has left her scarred; she s ought medical care upon h er return home and is on medication to calm her anxiety from the attack. The 62-year-old retired public servant from North-e rn Ireland first thought the two bandits were actors in a Bahamian pirate themed skit. However, reality set in when a Royal Caribbean Cruise Line passenger was d ragged from her Segway, p ushed into a ditch and cursed at by the shotgun toting robbers, she claimed. I looked up at one stage and he pointed the gun at me and told me to get down b ****. The gun was then dis charged in the ground beside my body. I don't know if he was a poor (shooter t rying to scare me. I was, and still am, traumatised. The loss of material items are unimportant when we realise there could so easily have been loss of l ife," she said, adding that she has no plans to return to t he Bahamas. The visitors, who were passengers on the Disney and Royal Caribbean cruisel ines, were part of two separate groups touring theB ahamas Association for S ocial Health's (BASH E arth Village in the former Perpall Tract Wellfield area w hen they were robbed at a bout 1pm. The men tied up the Bahamian tour guide with the first group and ordered them to the ground before r obbing them of money, passports, cell phones, credi t cards and personal items. During the robbery, a second group of visitors approached and were alsoh eld up. Mr Miller said, should the p assengers accept, he would b e willing to offer a complem entary tour of the site to the victims. C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009, PAGE 13 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM T HEENTRANCE t o the Earth Village. Cruise lines hit back after tourist robbery F ROM page one
The economy of the Bahamas continues to struggle, the Minister said. That struggle is not as severe and significant as it was, say, last year perhaps this same time. I think we have seen some levelling out. We believe this year 2009 is going to be the worst of it. We believe there will be a decline in growth of the order of four plus per cent. We expect next year that decline to be less, probably of the order of 0.5 to one per cent, which is a marked improvement though still a difficult situation. At this time, the Minister said Government revenue is still reflecting the many challenges in the local economy but, he said, times are still not as bad as they were this same time last year. With the Government creating a number of temporary job programmes, mainly the national six-month job initiative for 2,500 people, and the college graduate programme for 200 students announced yesterday, Mr Laing said an extraordinary intake in revenue from the StatOil transaction in Grand Bahama has allowed the Government to do these necessary things at this tough economic time. He said: Expenditure is of course in line with budget outside of the fact that we are seeking to do this kind of an intervention which is important for getting some flows in the economy and putting some people to work to make up some of what was taken away by the recession. And so again, things are strained but stable and we are continuing to exercise vigilance because we know that the global economic situation in particular the US, while showing signs of recovery has got a lag in unemployment levels for instance which is impacting on confidence which will impact on tourism numbers and therefore impact on our ability to recover more quickly than we would like. Mr Laing also warned that in the meantime Government must be cautious in its expenditure so that it can have flexibility in its manoeuvrings to make adjustments to minimize the impacts from any unforeseen changes in the global economy. What we do know for the time is that there is some relief required and some injection is required and we are doing what is necessary. I think one of the things you would find in the US and some of the developed countries is that there is a great debate on when do you pull back on these stimulus measures. And a part of that is, trying to make sure you dont cause a relapse in the global economic situation. So we are trying to be as vigilant and balanced in our approach in dealing with this economic crisis as we can, he said. C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS PAGE 14, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM -2+1675$66:,00(502+6685*(21 ZLOOEHYLVLWLQJ7KH6NLQ&HQWUHRQ)ULGD 'HFHPEHUWK 'U6WUDVVZLPPHU W UDLQHGDW+DUYDUGDQG
C M Y K C M Y K THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009 THETRIBUNE PAGE 17 INSIDE Slice makes UFC debut TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM B y RENALDO DORSETT Sports Reporter email@example.com AFTERhis team blew an 11-point lead and held just a slim two-point advantage, Eleazor Johnson calmly stepped to the line and sank the games deciding free throws with just s econds left to play. Johnson, who finished with 11 p oints, made two free throws with 13 seconds left to play and sealed a 45-41 win at home for the Queens College Comets over the C W Saunders Cougars yesterday. The Comets led 29-20 heading into the fourth quarter and opened the final period on an 8-2 run to see the lead balloon to as much as 15. George Zonicles baseline jumper gave the Comets a 37-22 lead with 4 :37 left to play. The Cougars miscues during the run included a series of missed layups, turnovers and at one point an errant score in the wrong basket to put points on the board for the Comets. Queens College held a 41-31 with just over two minutes left to play, a lead that seemed secure with theo ffensive struggles of both teams t hroughout the game, however the Cougars late run turned the game into a thriller. R hemar Lewis running jumper sparked a 10-2 run over the final two minutes as the Cougars stormed back. Ashton Darville, who finished with a game high 20 points, dominated in the paint down the stretch with Comets pivot man Dorian Bowe sidelined with six fouls. Darville scored 13 of his 20 in the fourth quarter, including three con-s ecutive tip-ins, the last of which brought the Cougars within two (434 1) before Johnson stopped the run with his heroics at the line. Both teams shot poorly from the field in the first half, including a paltry first quarter with just three field goals between both teams. The Comets led 5-2 after the first and reached a double-digit lead for the first time late in the second quarter with a pair of free throws fromK hadeem King. Q ueens College led 17-9 at the half. The third quarter produced much of the same with both teams picking up the slack on the offensive end of the floor, however the Cougars failed to trim the deficit. The Comets lead reached as much as 14 in the quarter on a lay-up by Devin Carey. Johnson and Zonicle led the Comets scoring attack with 1 1 points apiece. Bowe and Carey each finished with seven while King added five. While Darville led all scorers with 20, Lewis chipped in with 12 and Vhaul Thompson added seven. Comets defeat Cougars 45-41 in BAISS thriller S EVERAL p layers chase a rebound during the fourth quarter of the Queens College Comets 45-41 win over the C.W Saunders Cougars. F e l i p M a j o r / T r i b u n e s t a f f V OLLEYBALL THE Scotiabank Defenders trave led to Kingston, Jamaica, this weekend to participate in the University of The West Indies (UWI I nternational Volleyball Tournam ent. A fter defeating five Jamaican t eams to finish first in pool A, the D efenders went on to beat the Technocrats of Trinidad in two s traight sets to advance to the finals. Facing Jamaicas top team in a g ym filled to capacity, the Defenders, led by Ian "Wire" Pinder and T ony Simon, went down the first set 27-25. However, the team r ebounded to win the second set 2 5-22. The next two sets proved to be v ery exciting as the Jamaican crowd cheered on and rallied the Vikings C lub, who would go on to win the next two sets 25-23 and 31-29. The Defenders would accept the s ilver medal and supported teammates Shedrick Forbes and Sherw aine Arthurs who won the overall Best Server and Best Defender awards respectively. Scotiabank Defenders win silver in Jamaica I I N N S S I I G G H H T T For the stories behind the n ews, read I nsight on Mondays
By BRENT STUBBS THE sailing community mourns the loss of another one of its icons with the passing of Captain Ivan Stuart. Every year, it seems as if more and more of the legendary skippers, boat makers and executives are departing the scene, carrying with them a wealth of experience and knowledge that is certainly hard to replace. These men, who spent countless hours on the water ensuing that there is more to regattas than just the fun and frolic that is exhibited on the shores on the various Family I slands, are a unique breed w ho have made the sport as p opular as it is today. For as long as I can remember, there has been constant debate over whether or not sailing or cricket is the national sport of the Bahamas. And there were times when it was pointed out that sailing was indeed the national sport. But there has been no official document from the Bahamas Government to confirm it. S ailing, however, has been the most vibrant sporting entity that has impacted the entire Bahamas. Just about every island has benefited tremendously from the annual regattas hosted with hundreds, even thousands, of Bahamians and foreigners alike flock ing to the shores for the festive occasions. Men like Captain Stuart, who passed away on Sunday, have made significant contributions to the success of those regattas as they sail in the A,B and C class competitions on the high seas. Sailing is what regattas are all about. When we lose people like Captain Stuart, Hezron Mox ey and Rollie 'the Grand Master' Gray, just to name afew, we leave voids that are so hard to fill. These men have devoted their lives to the competition on the water. A lot of them have done so without any kind of national recognition and even the funds that they are compen sated with, the majority of it is turned out to the crew who support them on their respective boats as they sail. With a national regatta already established in Georgetown, Exuma, maybe it's time for the Bahamas Government and the organising committee to look at a way of keeping the memories of all of the deceased men alive. At the regatta site, some kind of billboard should be erected with a biography and photograph of these men who have toiled long and hard throughout the years to ensure that the sport is the vibrant body that it is today. Better still, maybe sports like sailing and those that haven't initiated one as yet can host their own Hall of Fame where they can induct the pioneers into their organisation's top awards recognition. I must take the time now to commend the Bahamas Boxing Commission, who last week inducted Oswald 'Elisha Obed' Ferguson, Gomeo Brennan and William 'Yama Bahama' Butler Jr into their first class of induction. The commission, headed by former cruiserweight champi on Pat 'the Centreville Assassin' Strachan, has also announced that they are in dialogue with the Ministry of Sports for the construction ofa bust in honour of ailing Elisha Obed, the first Bahamian to win a world title. And there is also plans to open a gymnasium in memory of Yama Bahama. Unfor tunately, Yama Bahama was playing a pivotal role in the planning stages before he passed away this year. At least he knew that there was something afloat for him before he died. These were three of the greatest Bahamians who ever put on a boxing glove. There are others such as the Baby Boy Rolle, Ernie 'the Androsian Tiger' Barr, Leonard 'Boston Blackie' Miller, Renny Pinder, Sam-my 'Kid' Barr, Bert Perry, Arthur Clarke, Ray Minus Sr, Al Moss, Ray Minus Jr and Stevie 'the Heat' Larimore, who are among some of the pacesetters in the sport. Eventually, they too should be recognised and honoured. These are just two of the sports that have highlighted our sports pages. There are countless others, which once a gain prompts the need for m ore recognition before we l ose too many more of our sporting legends. T T H H E E B B O O Y Y S S A A R R E E B B A A C C K K The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA publicized annual general meeting and election of officers over the weekend and there was one significant change the "old boys club", as referred to by one of the v oting delegates is back at the helm. Mike Sands and all but one of his "Visionary Team" slate was voted in. The only member from the incumbent Curt Hollingsworth team voted in was Frank 'Pancho' Rahming, who beat out Rupert Gardiner to retain his post as technical director. There were a couple of new faces on theadministration team in office for the next three years in Felix Seymour of Grand Bahama as second vice president, Laura PrattCharlton as treasurer, Olympic quarter-miler Tim Munnings as secretary gener al and Linda Thompson as one of the two special projects officers. All of the other positions, including the 12 council members, were filled by persons who worked in the past with Sands before a vote of no confidence ousted him from office during the middle of his second tenure, making way for Hollingsworth to be ele vated from first vice president to complete the term. Going into the elections, Sands and his team presented a "visionary" plan that the majority of the delegates accepted. It was obvious that some of the same people who voted to have him removed from office voted to have him return. It leaves one to wonder if the vote of no confidence was legitimate or whether or not the delegates didn't appreciate the direction that Hollingsworth steered the association in Sands' departure. Maybe, it might have been the fact that many felt H ollingsworth wasn't visible e nough in presenting his case f or a full term in office. Whatever the decision, the delegates have voted. They have returned Sands and a group of veteran administrators to office for the next three years. Let us now hope that the healing process is a quick one and the sport can continue to make the impact it has on the local and international scenes. Congratulations to Sands a nd his team for their relentless pursuit of regaining power. The "old boys club", as the voted reminded me, is back. C M Y K C M Y K SPORTS TRIBUNE SPORTS THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009, PAGE 19 TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Government should find way to keep memories of deceased skippers alive OPINION STUBBS Open wide and say@#%&*!It tastes awful. And it works.
substantial progress had been made in securing Fede ral Communications Comm ission (FCC the Columbus Communications buyout, it had not come i n time for when the first divi dend had been due. The private placement memorandum, which solicited i nvestors to purchase the $40 m illion preference share issue, had stipulated that all regulatory approvals would be o btained within 90 days of the A ugust 31, 2009, closing something that has not happened. The document also said that investors would receivet heir first dividend on Octob er 31, 2009, but this payment h ad to be deferred because, without FCC approval, Cable Bahamas could not issue the preference shares to investors. Currently, the $40 millioni nvested by Bahamas-based i nstitutions and high netw orth individuals is being held in escrow, pending FCC approval and completion of all requirements. The ongoing wait for FCC a pproval, which is required b ecause Cable Bahamas fibre optic telecommunications cable system lands in the US, forced the company to send out the letter clarifying the situation last night to i nvestors. Mr Butler wrote: We are n ow in the final stages of the approval process with the USF ederal Communications C ommission..... Based on recent correspondence with the FCC, we now expect to receive the necessary FCC approvals on or before December 31, 2009, although we cannot confirmt he specific timing of the FCC approvals. Mr Butler said Cable Bahamas planned to issue the preference shares, which carry an 8 per cent interest c oupon, to investors on the s ame day that FCC approval was obtained. With the first dividend paym ent date having been deferred, Mr Butler said it would also now be paid on t he same day that the prefere nce shares were issued. The p ayment will include all divid ends accrued to that date, with the next dividend date remaining April 30, 2010. The proceeds from the $40 million preference issue, and a$ 90 million syndicated credit f acility from Royal Bank of C anada, FirstCaribbean International Bank (Bahamas Scotiabank, will also be used to refinance Cable Bahamas' existing debt and credit facil-i ties, plus pay transaction c osts and fund working capit al. Its main purpose, though, is to finance the $80 million buyout of the almost 30 per cent stake held in CableB ahamas by its largest and c ontrolling shareholder, Columbus Communications. As previously revealed by Tribune Business, preference share investors will have the option to convert their investm ent into Cable Bahamas ordinary shares (equity t wo years after the $40 million issue closes. T he conversion price will b e the $13.43 per share transa ction price that Columbus Communications is receiving from the company in return for selling its stake. Effectively, one preference share priced at $10 would be e quivalent to 0.7433 ordinary shares, based on those prices. If they choose not to convert, investors will regain all their principal by the time the preference share issue m atures 10 years from its closi ng date. Those who stick with this investment tool will startr eceiving their principal back on the sixth anniversary of closing, with the full sum paid b ack in five equal annual i nstalments. C M Y K C M Y K LOCAL NEWS PAGE 20, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Cable Bahamas share issue dividend payment is deferred FROM page one NEWATTORNEYGENERAL NEWLY APPOINTED Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Senator John Delaney is the centre of attention with reporters following his swearing-in ceremony at Government House on Mon day. Peter Ramsay /BIS
By CHESTER ROBARDS Business Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org ALL INDICATIONS point to Thanksgiving hotel revenues and room rates on New Providence being down year-over-year, with hotels and airlines saying: Things a re not as robust as last year. T he Bahamas Hotel Assoc iations president, Robert Sands, said hotels will be off value this weekend, suffering reduced rates far below those charged for the same period last year. Mr Sands said visitor arrivals typically peak during this short US holiday, but conceded that occupancy numbers this weekend will reflect the tough economic times being experienced globa lly. The real message is that were getting bookings. The not so good news is that the bookings are not at the same value as last year, he said. Thanksgiving has always been a positive period for bookings for hotels in the Bahamas in a short window Wednesday to Sunday or C M Y K C M Y K SECTIONB email@example.com THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009 THETRIBUNE $4. 68 $4. 51 $4. 69The information contained is from a third party and The Tribune can not be held responsible for errors and/or omission from the daily report.$ $4.20 $4.32 $4.25 By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor AML Foods chief executive yesterday pledged that the companys $4-$4.5 million Solomons Fresh Market grocery store would be a real leap into the 21st century for food stores in the Bahamas, adding that it would create between 60-80 jobs when completed in Spring 2011. Gavin Watchorn, who is also the BISX-listed food retail conglomerates presi dent, told Tribune Business that design plans for the store were -90 per cent finished and would be completed before Christmas, with the ultimate intention of having its eco-friendly construc tion/layout energy star rated. Its coming along very w ell, Mr Watchorn said of t he 30,000 square foot store, which will be the anchor tenant for New Providence Development Companys new Town Centre for the western part of the island. Weve not quite got the footprint finished, but were close to it. Its going to bes omething unlike anything in t he Bahamas before, and its going to be a real leap into $4m food store a real leap into 21st century AML Foods chief says Solomons Fresh Market t o create 60-80 jobs when opens in April 2011 Design and la y out plans -90% f inished, a nd will be completed bef or e Christmas Plans to have store unlike anything seen in the Bahamas energy star rated S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 6 6 B B S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 3 3 B B By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor FIDELITY Bank (Bahamas resume its expansion plans by 2011 when the economy turns around, its chief executive said yesterday, after cost containment strategies helped it offset a more than 80 per cent loan loss provision increase and post a 33.7 per cent net income increase for the first nine months in 2009. Anwer Sunderji, who also heads the BISX-listed banks 75 per cent majority shareholder, Fidelity Bank & Trust International, told Tribune Business that its non-per forming loans were below industry average at 6.5 per cent of its total $205.494 mil lion portfolio, while its Robin Hood branch was already contributing to the bottom line some nine to 10 months after opening. Overall, I think our results will be seen to be satisfactory under some very difficult eco nomic conditions, Mr Sun derji told this newspaper. Our net income grew by about 33 per cent, despite very significant increases in loan loss provisions, which increased by 80 per cent. The increase in provisions was offset by cost containment. The growth in the top line, which came about because we grew our balance sheet in 2008, came down to the bottom line because cost containment offset loan loss provisions. Mr Sunderji suggested that while the dollar increase in Fidelity Bank (Bahamas income year-over-year for the first nine months, from $831,846 to $1.113 million, was relatively small in comCost containment helps bank of fset 80% pr ovision rise Fidelity Bank (Bahamas sees 33% profit rise, with growth plans put on hold until 2011 Robin Hood branch already profitable, as non-performing loans below industry average at 6.5% S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 4 4 B B Thanksgiving rated softer By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor A former senior banker yesterday told Tribune Busi ness that the Bahamas total foreign currency debt now stood at almost 33 per cent of its total $3.6 billion debt, up from 14 per cent in 2007, with the recent $300 million sovereign bond issue having taken the absolute level of foreign bor rowings above the $1 billion mark. Al Jarrett, a former Bank of the Bahamas International chairman and FINCO managing director, told Tribune Business that the Bahamas total national foreign currency debt was the sum of the Governments direct debts, plus those borrowings it had guaranteed on behalf of public corporations such as BEC, Water & Sewerage Corpora tion, Bahamasair and the Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD Responding to assertions by Zhivargo Laing, minister of state for finance, that the Bahamas total foreign currency debt stood at less than 10 per cent of GDP or about $600 million, Mr Jarrett argued that some $550 million of borrowings guaranteed on behalf of public corporations had to be added to the equation. That, he added, took the Bahamas total foreign cur rency borrowings to between $1.1-$1.2 billion, and said: That has to be paid from some portion of the foreign reserves. Some $1.1 billion has to come from the external reserves to pay this debt, not $600 million. The Government is responsible for paying those public corporations debts, and its part of the national debt. My calculations now show that foreign currency borrowings now represent 33 per cent of the national debt, an increase from 14 per cent in 2007. Mr Jarrett said that in 2007, when the current administration took office, the Bahamas total foreign currency debt was some $430 million out of a total $2.9 billion, but it was now $1.1-$1.2 billion out of $3.6 billion. The Central Bank of the Bahamas statistics appear to bear out Mr Jarretts argument. As at the end of the 2009 second quarter, the Central Banks data shows that the Government had some $986.948 million in foreign currency borrowings, representing some $583.739 million borrowed directly and $403.209 million guaranteed on behalf of the public cor porations. Even allowing for the fact that the Governments $300 million sovereign bond only added a net $100 million in foreign currency debt, given that it refinanced an earlier $200 million syndicated loan, that will take foreign currency debt to almost $1.1 billion and that supposes there were no other borrowings or guarantees. A nd, as at the end of the 2 009 second quarter, the total n ational debt was already over $3.5 billion, meaning the new bond issue will have pushed that past $3.6 billion. Those figures are also largely in line with his ratios. And, with the latest sovereign bond coming due in 2030, and previous $200 million and $100 million issues falling due for principal repay ment in 2033 and 2038 respectively, the Bahamas will have to repay some $600 million to foreign creditors in an eightForeign borrowings 33% of national debt Retired senior banker says latest $300m bond pushed foreign currency debt above $1bn mark More than $800m in debt principal has to be repaid in the 2030s, storing up potential trouble for future Bahamian generations S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 3 3 B B
C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS PAGE 2B, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Lets talk about your life choices.It takes a lifetimes commitment raising a child,but only the price of a daily coffee for extra financial security.$300,000 life cover costs around $30-$40 per month for female/male age 30*.Rates vary with age,but they are very affordable and no medical is necessary.You can consider more options if you are thinking about long-term,family financial security.Atlantic Medical can help you choose savings strategies and/or flexible life cover,to meet your targets and your budgets.All you have to do is call and ask for a free and no obligation,personal financial review from a qualified advisor.* illustration onlyrates varyCALL 356-5433 or visit www.cgigroup.bm Life ChoicesATLANTIC MEDICAL INSURANCE CO.LTD. Atlantic House,2nd Terrace & Collins Avenue,P.O.Box SS-5915,Nassau Tel.356-5433 Suite 5,Jasmine Corporate Center,East Sunrise Highway,P.O.Box F-42655,Freeport Tel.351-3960A member of Colonial Group International Ltd:Insurance,Health,Pensions,Life Colonial Group International is rated A-(Excellentby AM Best. By CHESTER ROBARDS Business Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org CONSTRUCTION of a new Shell gas station at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA by next summer after pending roadworks set the start of the development back several months, Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD dor has been chosen for the new US departure terminals signature, sitdown restaurant. John Spinks, NADs vice-president of commercial development, said developers were awaiting the completion of the widening of JFK Drive, as well as final clearance from the Ministry of Works to go ahead with the start of the gas station project. When built, it will be the only station west of the Sandyport station, north of the Coral Harbour station and east of the Lyford Cay Station, making it an important fuel deport for western New Providence. The station is part of NADs redevelopment of the Lynden Pindling International Airport, which is estimated to cost more than $400 million when the three phases are complete. According to Mr Spinks, the stations fuel storage tanks are already being stored at LPIA. While a series of new vendors are planned for the area, most within the new airport itself, those in the present US departure lounge are paving the way to a more modern international airport for the Bahamas. President and chief executive of NAD, Craig Richmond, told Tribune Business that those vendors currently conducting business were automatically considered for the new US departure lounge when completed in autumn 2010. Graycliff recently invested in a cigar and smoking lounge within the existing US departure lounge, and is guaranteed retail space in the new terminal building when it is completed. According to Mr Richmond, vendors moving businesses over from the old terminal building will have to adhere to strict standards of decor and will have to inject their own capital into the move, despite having moved into the older terminal just over one year prior. The New US departure terminal will have 26 retail offerings, including a sit-down restaurant, for which a vendor has been chosen but is awaiting board approval. Mr Richmond could not say which eatery received the approval. Kafe Kalik, which is an internationally franchised Bahamian chain, is set to open a new restaurant in the existing US departure lounge next month. The new concessions thus far will have created 125 new jobs at the airport. Airport gas station awaits roadworks New airport concessions create 125 jobs, with Kafe Kalik set to open shortly INSIGHT For stories behind news, read Insight Mondays
By CHESTER ROBARDS Business Reporter email@example.com THE NASSAU Airport Development Company ( NAD) experienced a 10 per cent decline in visitor arrivals to Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA the year to June 30, 2009, it was revealed at the companys first Annual General Meeting (AGM increases in the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC aeronautical fees are set to boost revenues from 2010 onwards. Paul Ward, NADs vicepresident and chief financial officer, said the ariport developer managed to reduce expenditure by $4.8 million, allowing NAD to more than compensate for the slump in arrivals, amounting to a losso f almost 200,000 passengers, which cut into revenue streams. However, NADs longterm projection is for passenger arrival growth of 3.5 per cent year-over-year, with up to 5.5 million passengers expected to pass through the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA redevelopment is completed in 2013. The company plans to service its debt and fund LPIAs development through increases in passenger facility charges scheduled to come on stream next year, while aeronautical revenue fees are expected to increase by 45 cents per passenger based on a Boeing 737 aircraft. Currently, NAD holds $157 million in assets, and will have invested more than $400 million in the redevelopment of the three terminals at LPIA when the project is completed. It enjoyed a $66 million increase in total assets and a $2 million increase in total operating revenue year-onyear in fiscal 2009. According to Mr Ward, despite the increase, taxes at LPIA will remain regionally competitive despite being slightly above average following the completed redevelopment. According to vice-president of operations, John Terpstra, NAD has been working with the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (MOTA airlift to the Bahamas, which would translate into higher revenues for the redevelopment and ease the companys revolving loan facility, which could be refinanced by next August for the development of the projects phase two. NAD and the Ministry have been able to secure several new airlift options into LIPA, including Condor Airlines, AirTran out of the US and JetBlue. Between them all, almost 5,000 new seats have been created into New Providence. Besides the increase in air arrivals, the new airport will be able to support 5.5 per cent more foot traffic than previously. According to NADs vicepresident of airport development and project director, Stewart Steeves, the new 585,000 square foot facility will be 20 per cent larger. He said the development will bring $44 million to Bahamian firms recruited to work on the construction, of which 84 per cent will have been completed by Bahamian labour. C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009, PAGE 3B TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM 8QLTXHHFXULW\&R 3URIHVVLRQDOHFXULW\*XDUG Thanksgiving rated softer Thursday to Sunday that peak will then drop again from Sunday or Monday. According to Mr Sands, it was too early to predict what Christmas numbers will be like, but he said the spikes in arrivals were short-term. He said keeping the Bahamas brand atop the Caribbean Market leaderboard was far more important at a time like this. Concentrating on customer service and the positive visitor experience is paramount for the sector, according to Mr Sands, as well as getting those visitors who are here to spend at acceptable levels. He argued that current trends will continue for the first three quarters of 2010. We have to continue to attract guests to the destination, continue to work on value added packaging, competitive packaging and address the cost of airlift into the destination, he said. The Ministry of Tourism and Aviation have negotiated several first time carriers to this country, including WestJet out of Canada, AirTran out of the US and Condor out of Germany. Bahamasair managing director, Henry Woods, said increased competition from new and existing airlines have forced the airline to strategide for the future. According to Mr Woods, Bahamasair seat sales werenot as robust as the same time last year. The recession, combined with competition, have taken our loads down, he said. B ahamasair flights to the F amily islands have taken a hit as well, with private airlines eating away at its business. However, Mr Woods said the company was in the early stages of marketing strategiest o regain their momentum in the market. According to representa tives of British Airways, who wished to remain anonymous, all 189 seats on the airlines two flights into Nassau this weekend will be occupied, with half that number land ing in Nassau and the other half in transit. Mr Sands said customers have become accustomed to exceptional value through the tough economic times and businesses, especially hotels, will have to adjust their strategies to suit changing mindsets. Customers will demand exceptional services at exceptional value, he said. This is a new world order and those are the economic con ditions to which we have to adapt. Shar e your news The Tribune wants to hear fr om people who ar e making news in their neighbour hoods. Per haps you are raising funds for a good cause, campaigning for improvements in the ar ea or have won an award. If so, call us on 322-1986 and share your story. F F R R O O M M p p a a g g e e 1 1 B B F F o o r r e e i i g g n n b b o o r r r r o o w w i i n n g g s s 3 3 3 3 % % o o f f n n a a t t i i o o n n a a l l d d e e b b t t year period. And that is not to mention the $247 million in domestic bond principal due over that period. Mr Jarrett also questioned whether the Bahamas was using old gross domestic product (GDP debt-to-GDP ratio, arguing that the recession had cut Bahami an GDP to $6.9 billion, compared to a previous $7.2 billion. Any reduction in GDP will automatically increase the debt-to-GDP ratio, especially in the face of rising fiscal deficits and government borrowings. And, when it came to unemployment, Mr Jarrett said he believed some 25 per cent of the Bahamian workforce had either lost their jobs, were discouraged from actively seeking work, or were working on reduced incomes. It is my estimate that 44,000 people are either unemployed, working for less or discouraged, he told Tribune Business, arguing that extrapolating this out had led him to the conclusion that some 100,000 Bahamians family members of those impacted by the recession had joined what he termed the Misery Index. This, Mr Jarrett said, was a critical factor behind the surge in crime the Bahamas had recently experienced. Aeronautical fees to rise at airport Cost containment compensates for 10% or 200,000 passenger decline at Lynden P indling International Airport $0.45 cent per passenger rise in aeronautical fees p lanned, along with passenger facility fee increase 5,000 increase in airline seats to Nassau, with $44m i n construction contracts to Bahamian firms
C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS PAGE 4B, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Cost containment helps bank offset 80 per cent provision rise parison to other Bahamasbased commercial banks in pure dollar terms, as a percentage rise it was probably the largest and a marked improvement in results. While some observers have questioned whether Fidelity Bank (Bahamas fully carve out a niche for itself when competing against larger rivals, the banks strategy does appear to be gaini ng some traction in the midst o f recession. W hile loan loss provisions increased from $428,630 to $772,787 as at September 30, 2009, the 13.4 per cent interest income growth to $14.987 million filtered down to net income after what Mr Sunderji described as an almost $400,000 reduction or 10 per cent drop in general and administrative costs to $3.597 million. While Fidelity Bank ( Bahamas) had not made any s taff redundant, Mr Sunderji s aid the bank had not replaced those who had left through natural attrition, adding that it was amazing how much you can save on stationary and other materials. Some areas of Fidelity Bank (Bahamas such as its credit card operation, had continued to expand and require extra staffing, while the Robin Hood locat ion was doing extremely well and had passed the break even point already after nine to 10 months in operation. While Fidelity Bank (Bahamas from the fact that some 80 per cent of its loan book was in mortgages, meaning credit was secured by physical assets such as real estate, Mr Sun derji acknowledged that the recession meant the bank had postponed plans to increase consumer loans from 20 per cent to 30 per cent of the portfolio mix. Credit quality is key, and we are only writing business we think we can collect, Mr Sunderji told Tribune Busi ness. We have a substantially smaller exposure to consumer instalment loans, which is where the margins are. But cost containment and cost management are ever m ore important, and until t here is a sustained recovery i n the domestic economy, the risk of growing the consumer instalment book is quite high, so were being very selective in how we grow it. We pick the credit. We have some exceptionally good products, and customers are coming to us. We have the luxury of choosing a little bit. While Fidelity Bank (Bahamas loans as a percentage of the t otal portfolio was below the industry average, Mr Sunderji said the bank was not taking too much comfort from this and was focusing in credit quality management. Still, Fidelity Bank (Bahamas in excess of the Central Banks requirements. Mr Sunderji added: Currently, we have headwinds, and we have had to put our growth plans on hold until the economy improves, but thats the way we want to go and we will resume our expansion as soon as the economy improves, hopefully by 2011. Were focusing on fundamentals. This is not the time to take risks. There are too many uncertainties in 2010. I I N N S S I I G G H H T T F o o r r t t h h e e s s t t o o r r i i e e s s b b e e h h i i n n d d t t h h e e n n e e w w s s , r r e e a a d d I I n n s s i i g g h h t t o o n n M M o o n n d d a a y y s s F F R R O O M M p p a a g g e e 1 1 B B
C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009, PAGE 5B TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM A A L LL L E E D D U U C C A A T T I I O O N N A A L L I I N N S S T T I I T T U U T T I I O O N N S S W W I I T T H H I I N N T T H H E E C C O O M M M M O O N N W W E E A A L L T T H H O O F F T T H H E E B B A A H H A A M M A A S S P P r r e e s s c c h h o o o o l l s s P P r r i i m m a a r r y y S S c c h h o o o o l l s s J J u u n n i i o o r r H H i i g g h h S S c c h h o o o o l l s s S S e e n n i i o o r r H H i i g g h h S S c c h h o o o o l l s s S S e e c c o o n n d d a a r r y y S S c c h h o o o o l l s s A A l l l l A A g g e e S S c c h h o o o o l l s s S S p p e e c c i i a a l l S S c c h h o o o o l l s s P P o o s s t t S S e e c c o o n n d d a a r r y y I I n n s s t t i i t t u u t t i i o o n n s s T T e e r r t t i i a a r r y y I I n n s s t t i i t t u u t t i i o o n n s s National Education Census Day Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 Forms may be collected from the Planning and Research Section of the Ministry of Education, District Education Offices or downloaded from www.bahamaseducation.com If you have any questions regarding this exercise call 502-2721, 502-2722, 502-2774 or 502-8346. FORMS SHOULD BE SUBMITTED BY FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27th, 2009. Complete and submit your form before the deadline and prove thatYOUR INSTITUTION COUNTS!!! By ERIC DASH c.2009 New York Times News Service THE US-governmentadministered insurance fund that protects depositors has gone into the red for the first time since the fallout from the savings-and-loan crisis of the early 1990s as the pace of bank failures accelerated. The fund had a negative balance of $8.2 billion at the end of the third quarter, federal regulators said Tuesday. Bank customers, however, should remain confident that their deposits would be protected since most of the amount reflects money Fede ral Insurance Deposit Corp. h as already set aside to cover t he losses from future bank failures. Officials of the FDIC said in October that the deposit insurance fund had been depleted, but Tuesdays thirdquarter report card on the banking industry marked the first time that hard numbers had been released. Even amid early signs that the economy is recovering, the report suggested that the countrys 8,100 lenders remain in fragile condition. In its state of the industry report, the FDIC reported that banks posted a $2.8 bil lion gain in the third quarter, after a $3.7 billion loss in the previous period. Meanwhile, the number of problemb anks that run the biggest r isk of collapse increased to 552, from 416 in the second quarter. Bad loans of nearly every stripe credit cards, mortgages, small business and commercial real estate continue to grow, albeit at a slow er pace. The credit adversity we have been discussing for some time remains with us, and we expect it will be a couple of more quarters before we see a meaningful improvement in that trend, Sheila C. Bair, the FDIC chairwoman, said. I am optimistic that if we a ddress these problems head o n, we will see clear signs of i mprovement in bank earnings and lending in 2010. Even so, the number of bank failures will probably keep climbing. So far, the FDIC has seized and sold 124 banks in 2009, and analysts expect hundreds more to collapse in the months ahead. That has put significant pressure on the FDIC fund, which posted a negative balance for the first time since 1992 when regulators cleaned up the carnage from hundreds of failed thrifts and other commercial lenders. Officials Federal officials have also taken action to replenish the fund. The agency recently approved plans calling for industry to lend money to the insurance fund by ordering banks to prepay annual assessments that would otherwise have been due through 2012. That move is expected to add about $45 billion to the fund, which stood at $34.6 billion a year ago, but should a void straining bank earnings b ecause of favorable accounti ng treatment. It also averts the political risk of tapping an emergency credit line from the Treasury Department, although some banking experts say they believe such action may still be necessary. T he industry report card also showed how the banks troubles have spread. Two years ago, the problems seemed to be contained to a handful of big banks, which took large markdowns on the value of complex mortgage assets and other securities. But as the big banks have regained their swagger from big trading profits over the last three quarters, the problems afflicting the bulk of the i ndustrys lenders soured l oans made to consumers and p roperty developers have grown considerably worse. Over all, banks charged off $50.8 billion in the third quarter, or 2.71 percent of assets. And lending dropped by the largest percentage since the government began collecting data in 1984. More banks have also collapsed because of the bad debts. Federal regulators seized 50 banks in the third quarter, including regional players like Colonial Bank of Alabama, Guaranty Financial of Texas and Corus Bancshares of Chicago. That was approximately the twice the total number of banks that failed in 2008. The high cost of the failures has strained the deposit insurance fund, which thousand of banks support by paying quarterly premiums. As of the end of the third quarter, its balance stood at negative $8.2 billion. The bulk of the funds losses stem from money that regulators set aside to cover future failures, allowing it to operate in the red. FDIC officials expect that b ank failures will cost the i nsurance fund $100 billion o ver the next five years. More than half of that cost has already been accounted for, while the new prepayment plan is expected to cover the rest. If losses grew considerably worse, officials mighth ave to impose additional special assessments on banks or draw on the Treasurys backup credit lines. In September, Bair said she did not anticipate having to immediately tap that line of credit, although she did not rule it out. I never say nev er, Bair said at the time. US insurance fund falls into the red
the 21st century for food stores in the Bahamas. Weve been working on the design for the last three months, and what that is done we will be going out to bid for the equipment. When asked about the features that would set Solomons Fresh Market apart from its rivals, Mr Watchorn said he did not want to give too much away, but its not designed like a typical box store. Weve taken a standard food store design, and tried to turn it upside down. Once the design and layout plans were completed, Mr Watchorn said AML Foods would go out to bid for the stores equipment in January and early 2010, with plumbing and electrical contracts to also be issued during next year. The BISX-listed company had budgeted $4-$4.5 million for the Solomons Fresh Market project, an investment figure that was likely to reduce slightly because our estimates were on the high side. The figures, Mr Watchorn said, also included start-up costs and utility deposits. As for job creation when the store opened full-time in April 2011, Mr Watchorn said AML Foods was likely to hire between 60-80 persons. Those new employees would be spread among the new store and AML Foods Solomons SuperCentre and Cost Right brands, with a mixture of existing and new hires at Solomons Fresh Market. One of the things were working on is having the store energy star-rated, Mr Watchorn added. Our inten tion is to build it as much as we can to specifications, so it can be certified as green built. Ourselves and the developers are committed, as much as we can, to building a green, environmentally-friendly building, so it can be a first for the Bahamas and, maybe, the region. Solomons Fresh Market will incorporate features such as recycled material, energy saving devices and the use of natural light, Mr Watchorn pointing out that while upfront construction costs might be slightly higher as a result, in the long run AML Foods w ould save via lower energy costs. The AML Foods chief executive said the green design, coupled with the feel and experience customers are going to get from shopping at the store, would be what set it apart from the competition. While you can never say never, Mr Watchorn said AML Foods had no current plans to take the Solomons Fresh Market concept outside the Bahamas, adding: Under my leadership, I dont think AML Foods will be going outside the Bahamas. He said the company had learned from its Turks & Caicos experience not to venture beyond this nations borders unless a business could be observed and managed properly, although long-term there could be room for a further Solomons Fresh Market elsewhere on New Provi dence, or Grand Bahama. Mr Watchorn added that he would like to believe that the inaugural Solomons Fresh Market would becomea destination store, attracting people from across New Providence to drive out west. C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS PAGE 6B, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM $4m food store a real leap into 21st century F F R R O O M M p p a a g g e e 1 1 B B To advertise in The Tribune the #1 newspaper in circulation, just call 502-2371 today!
C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009, PAGE 7B TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM www.rdicaribbean.com Recruiting Now for the February 2010 intake 27499 Riverview Center Boulevard, Suite 111, Bonita Springs, Florida 34134 USA Tel 1 239 444 1730 email firstname.lastname@example.org your goalsCall 1 888 496 6173 (toll free to fast-track your career MBA University of Bradford (AMBA, EQUIS accredited), University of Sunderland, University of Wales MSc in Public Administration & Development University of Birmingham MSc Marketing & Management University of Bradford (commencing January 2010MSc Finance, Accounting & Management University of Bradford (commencing January 2010MSc Information Technology University of Teesside MSc Telecommunications Birmingham City University MSc International Hospitality Management University Diploma in Management University of Wales (pre-MBA for non-degree holders) University of WalesOnline/distance learning from RDI in the Bahamas UNIVERSITY OF WALES University of Wales Business (top up Marketing, Finance, Banking University of Sunderland Business&Management(top Financial Management (top up University of Derby Psychology (commencing January 2010)University of Teesside LLB, BSc up) BSc Tourism (top up BACHELOR DEGREE COURSES MASTERS Develop your career while studying No attendance requirement Tutor and student support included Free membership of International Management Academy By ZACHERY KOUWE c.2009 New York Times News Service NEW YORK Five weeks after he was arrested on charges of masterminding a vast insider-trading scheme, Raj Rajaratnam, the billionaire money manager, answered his accusers on Tuesday with a sharp-edged attack on the governments case against him. Responding for the first time to civil charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Rajaratnam said that his New York hedge fund, the Galleon Group, had based its investments on savvy research and not, as the authorities claim, on inside information. Rajaratnam also struck at the heart of the governments c ase by arguing that the a uthorities violated his cons titutional rights by clandestinely recording telephone conversations between Rajaratnam and various corporate insiders. The case is the first insider-trading prosecution based on wiretaps, which are typically reserved for investigations into organized crime, drug syndicates and suspected terrorism. In documents filed in federal court in Manhattan, Rajaratnams lawyers argued that the authorities resorted to wiretaps without first demonstrating that conventional investigative techniques were inadequate, as required under the Wiretap Act of1968. Rajaratnams lawyers are expected to use similar arguments in the criminal case against him. Like a thunderclap, Rajaratnams arrest on Oct.16 stunned the financial community. The hedge fund manager, who has maintained his innocence, has long been regarded as a high-stakes player in technology stocks. Rival money managers feared that the case as the authorities characterize it, a tale of corporate intrigue stretching from Wall Street to Silicon Valley might be the first of many insider-trading prosecutions aimed at hedge funds. But despite persistent buzz on Wall Street, no other major cases have emerged. If Rajaratnam succeeds in having the wiretap evidence suppressed an outcome legal experts said was possible, although unlikely the case against him, as well as the governments effort to bring similar cases, might unravel. If the wiretaps are suppressed, it wont completely destroy it, but will definitely pull the rug out from under the governments case, said Joseph DiBenedetto, a criminal defense lawyer not involved in the case. J ohn Nester, a spokesman for the SEC, said the commission was looking forward to proving its case in court. After his arrest, Rajaratnam shut Galleon after anxious investors withdrew their money from its funds. Five other defendants have pleaded guilty to the charges and are cooperating with the investigation. In their filing Tuesday, R ajaratnams lawyers argued t hat the government misled c ourts in seeking authority for the wiretaps in 2007. Investigators argued that forgoing wiretaps would be too risky and could seriously compromise the entire insider trading investigation. But Rajaratnams lawyers wrote that the money manager had, by that time, already been interviewed under oath by the SEC in another unnamed hedge fund investi gation and had been questioned about the investments that eventually led to the charges against him. Galleon had also submitted more than four million pages of documents at the SECs behest during the investigation while they were seeking authority for the wiretaps, the filing claims. That, Rajaratnams lawyers argued, contradicted the governments assertion that the wiretaps were necessary because there was no other way to conduct the investigation of him and his firm, rendering the surveillance unconstitutional. As recently as a month before he was arrested, Rajaratnam had not been contacted about his suspected insider trading, his lawyers asserted. They also said that, in obtaining authorization for the wiretaps, the SEC made false statements about the governments key cooperating witness, Roomy Khan. The SEC told the court thats he had no criminal history. In fact, she had been convicted of wire fraud in a California federal court in 2001. While striking at the evidence obtained through wiretaps, Rajaratnam also maintained that his trading was based on careful research and that any inside information he may have received was less precise and less detailed than Galleons own r esearch. His lawyers also a sserted that most of the i nformation in question had been made public through reports by analysts and the media. Indicted hedge fund boss hits back at SEC I I N N S S I I G G H H T T F o o r r t t h h e e s s t t o o r r i i e e s s b b e e h h i i n n d d t t h h e e n n e e w w s s , r r e e a a d d I I n n s s i i g g h h t t o o n n M M o o n n d d a a y y s s
B y EDMUND L ANDREWS c .2009 New York Times News Service WASHINGTON Policymakers at the Federal Reserve have become slightly more optimistic about the pace of the economic recovery, but they continue to predict that unemployment will remain well above nine per cent through 2010, according to new forecasts released on Tuesday. The forecasts, along with the minutes of the central banks policy meeting earlier this month, show that officials remain worried about the fragility of the economic recovery even as they begina more intensive debate about how and when to remove their emergency supports. The uncertainty has probably increased since the Fed meeting three weeks ago. On Tuesday, the Commerce Department reduced its estimate of economic growth in the third quarter to 2.8 per cent, from 3.5 per cent. Last week, the government reported that housing starts plunged 10.6 per cent in October, a drop that sent chills through financial markets. According to the Fed minutes, policymakers were still unconvinced that the recovery was strong enough to be self-sustaining without government stimulus efforts like the cash-for-clunkers programme. It was not clear how much of the recent firming in final demand reflected the effects of temporary fiscal programmes to support the auto and housing sectors, the Fed said in its summary of the discussions. Most policymakers expected the recovery to be rather slow and to bring only a slow improvement in unemployment next year. But the minutes also hinted at a debate about when to start raising interest rates. Fed officials will eventually have to raise the benchmark overnight interest rate, which has been held at virtually zero since last December. In addition, they need to end their programme to prop up mortgage lending by purchasing $1.25 trillion in mortgagerelated securities. That programme is set to end in March, and the real estate industry is already worried that mortgage rates will jump. But at some point, officials want to shrink their holdings and bring the Feds balance sheet back to normal. The minutes describe a spirited debate about the best way to do that, though no hint about when to start. Some members argued that the Fed could sell some of the securities outright. Others warned that such sales could cause a C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS PAGE 10B, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM 7KH3XEOLFLVKHUHE\DGYLVHGWKDW 0217(// */(152<)(5*8621 LQWHQGWRQDPHWR 0217(//&$0(5217+203621 ,IWKHUHDUHDQ\ REMHFWLRQVWRWKLVFKDQJHRIQDPH'HHG3ROO\RX PD\ZULWHVXFKREMHFWLRQVWRWKH &KLHI3DVVSRUW2IFHU 31DVVDX%DKDPDVQRODWHUWKDQWKLUW\ fGD\VDIWHUWKHGDWHRISXEOLFDWLRQRIWKLVQRWLFH Fed slightly more optimistic over pace of S S E E E E N N E E X X T T p p a a g g e e
C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009, PAGE 11B TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM 127,&(LVKHUHE\JLYHQWKDW (8./(<&$03%(// RI 0$5.(7675((71$66$8%$+$0$6 LVDSSO\LQJWR W KH0LQLVWHUUHVSRQVLEOHIRU1DWLRQDOLW\DQG&LWL]HQVKLSIRU U HJLVWUDWLRQQDWXUDOL]DWLRQDVFLWL]HQRI7KH%DKDPDVDQGWKDW DQ\SHUVRQZKRNQRZVDQ\UHDVRQZK\UHJLVWUDWLRQQDWXUDOL]DWLRQ VKRXOGQRWEHJUDQWHGVKRXOGVHQGZULWWHQDQGVLJQHG V WDWHPHQWRIWKHIDFWVZLWKLQWZHQW\HLJKWGD\VIURPWKH WK G D\ RI 129(0%(5 WRWKH0LQLVWHUUHVSRQVLEOHIRUQDWLRQDOLW\ DQG&LWL]HQVKLS 127,&( economic recovery in US damaging spike in long-term interest rates, and argued that the central bank should manage the exit strategy with a combination of more indirect approaches. Fed officials also hinted at a debate about when to raise the overnight federal funds rate from its current level of zero. Members noted the possibility that some n egative side effects might result from the maintenance of very low short-term interest rates, the Fed recounted. Though policymakers decided that the risks were relatively low, they agreed to remain alert to them. Brian A Bethune, an economist at IHS Global Insight, said the comments were more like obligatory boilerplate than a signal of future tightening. Its like the 18-year-old going out with the keys to the car and says, of course Ill drive carefully before he even gets the sermon from his parents. M ost, if not all, of the Fed policymakers a ppeared to agree that for now unemploym ent posed a bigger risk than inflation. The new forecasts, produced by each of the Fed governors in Washington and the presidents of regional Federal Reserve banks around the country, were slightly more optimistic about the pace of growth. The central tendency of the forecasts predicted that the economy would expand 2.5 to 3.5 per cent next year. That was slightly faster than the predictions from June, reflecting a pickup in growth this summer that was somewhat faster than Fed officials had expected. But overall, Fed officials barely budged from their previously somber prognosis of plodding growth, high unemployment and low inflation for the next two years. On average, they predicted that the jobless rate would be 9.3 to 9.7 per cent in 2010. They predicted that unemployment would average about seven per cent even in 2012. Most members projected that over the next couple of years, the unemployment rate would remain quite elevated, and the level of inflation would remain below rates consistent over the longer run with the Federal Reserves objectives, the central bank report ed. For practical purposes, Fed officials have generally wanted to keep the core rate of inflation, which excludes volatile prices for food and energy, around two percent or slightly below. But that core rate has drifted below 1.5 per cent in the last year, and most Fed policymakers predicted that it would remain below two per cent through 2012 and for the longer run as well. To many Fed officials, that means there is still ample time to keep interest rates low without stoking inflation pressures. S ONJA JACKSON of Detroit, holds an E mployment Guide while attending a job fair i n Livonia, Mich. Unemployment likely will r emain high for the next several years because t he economic recovery won't be strong enough to spur robust hiring, Federal Reserveo fficials warned Tuesday... ( AP Photo: Paul Sancya)
C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009, PAGE 15B TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM By JENIFER B MCKIM Globe Staffc. 2009 The Boston Globe MASSACHUSETTS home buyers are off the sidelines, purchasing homes in increasing numbers, despite some sellers reluctance to put houses on the market, real estate figures released yesterday show. Sales of single-family homes rose by 17.2 per cent in October, compared with the same month last year, marking the fourth consecutive month of increases, according to Warren Group, a private company t hat tracks real estate data. The n umber of sales, 4,295, marks the h ighest total for the month of October since 2005. Some people are being lured into the market by the $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time buyers recently extended into next year as well asby low interest rates and falling home prices, real estate professionals say. The median, or midpoint, price for single-family homes sold in Massachusetts in October fell 2.8 per cent, to $277,000, from the same month last year. The median selling price of condominiums fell 8.1 per cent to $240,000, according to Warren Group. Nicolas Retsinas, director of Har vard Universitys Joint Center for Housing Studies, said the increased sales activity is a strong sign the Boston-area housing market is at, or near, its bottom. He said the region will probably lead a national real estate recovery because it does not have a lot of unsold housing stock, something plaguing other regions. Despite the relative lack of inventory, he said, prices still are dropping because lenders are continuing to unload foreclosed homes at discount prices, depressing the overall market. We are trolling around the bottom, Retsinas said. Prices are still sluggish because of foreclosures. At the same time, many potential sellers are reluctant to put their homes on the market because sale prices remain too low. They are likely to come back if they see prices beginning to rise, said Barry Blue stone, dean of the School of Social Science, Urban Affairs and Public Policy at Northeastern University. Inventory is low because people have taken properties off the market, Bluestone said. From the point of view of the seller, if you can delay putting your property on the market you may want to wait a little bit more. The number of Massachusetts homes on the market on October 31 was down 15 per cent, compared with the same time last year, the 19th straight month that inventory had declined, according to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, which also released data yesterday. Inventory of homes for sale in October was the lowest for that month since 2002, the association said. The statewide inventory of singlefamily homes fell to 27,204 in October, which translates into a 7.1month supply. The association considers 7.5 to 8.5 months of supply to be a balanced market. Eric Berman, communications director for the Massachusetts association, said low inventory can increase home prices, but such an escalation can also price entry-level buyers out of the market. It becomes more difficult for people to buy, Berman said. We need the transactions to occur. S ales activity is largely at the lowe r end of the housing market, a ccording to Warren Group, boosting the argument that the first-time buyers credit is having an effect. Sales of homes priced below $600,000 increased by nine per cent between July and October of this year, compared with the same time last year. At the same time, sales of more expensive homes continued to stall, Warren Group said. Ken Sazama, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker in Cambridge, said he has seen a flood of buyers looking for homes under $400,000 this year. In some cases, he said, they are even being forced into bidding wars on fairly priced houses. People who are motivated are scrambling, Sazama said. Single-family home sales rise for fourth consecutive month in US MAP SHOWS monthly new home sales in the four US regions from September to October...
By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor BAHAMIANS are missing the big picture by flocking to Miami to conduct the bulk of their Christmas shopping, a leading retail execu-tive warned yesterday, as failing to support retailers in this nation could ultimately jeopardise even their own incomes and employment. Gavin Watchorn, president and chief executive of BISXlisted AML Foods, told Tribune Business he was a little disappointed that neither the Government nor the private sector had mounted an advertising/marketing campaign to encourage Bahamians to shop at home this Christmas, especially given that the holiday season was the most important business period for many retailers. Some retailers generate up to 40-45 per cent of their annual revenues and profits during the Christmas season, and the current recession has only heightened the holiday seasons importance to the survival of many firms in thiss ector. Yet every Christmas season thousands of Bahamians head to Florida for their shopping, sucking millions of dollars out of this economy for the benefit of US retailers. Mr Watchorn suggested that even allowing for the current climate, some Bahamian consumers might be a little over cautious when it cameto their Christmas spending p lans, and felt they maybe n eed to rein in their spendi ng more than necessary. Given this backdrop, Mr Watchorn said that the retail industrys Christmas performance was more than ever going to depend on people supporting Bahamian companies. Bahamian retailers have a lot of jobs, and if consumer do not support them, those people will join the unemployment lines and a lot of spending comes out of the economy, the AML Foods chief told Tribune Business. And, with fewer jobs in the retail sector and less money circulating within the Bahamian economy, any further downturn suffered by that industry could result in a negative knock on effect for jobs and employment in other businesses. Theres a much bigger picture here that people are m issing, Mr Watchorn e xplained. If they all flock t o Miami, theres no retail jobs in the Bahamas. By shopping here, youre supporting your own country and businesses, and that trickles down into jobs, salaries and people spending money. Bahamians need to be patriotic and support businesses in their own country, rather than flocking to WalMart and Target, and putting money in the pockets of US shareholders. Mr Watchorn expressed surprise that no active advertising/promotional campaign had been launched by the Government, the private sector or a combination of the two, to encourage Bahamians to shop in the Bahamas this Christmas. Such campaigns had been initiated in many European countries in a bid to keep consumer spending at home, and he added: I dont see that here. Its a little disappointing that I dont see it. Mr Watchorn was backed b y his chairman, Dionisio DAguilar, who said a hue a nd cry had been raised over the need to get Bahamians to s hop at home this Christmas, and the seeming absence of any collective initiative to encourage this. A number of businessmen have called me recently and said there needs to be a major effort to get Bahamians to spend their limited dollars at home, Mr DAguilar told Tribune Business yesterday. There needs to be a privatepublic sector partnership to come up with some adverts to get Bahamians shopping at home. There is no internal marketing being done by any agency to convince Bahamians that, when it comes to spending money in south Florida, it may result in a short-term gain but, ultimately, it will result in long-term pain. It may cost them their jobs. Mr DAguilar used the example of civil servants to illustrate the point. If civil servants did not spend their money in the Bahamas with Bahamian businesses, those companies would import less inventory, and the Government would earn less money from customs duties/Stamp taxes on imports. In turn, if the Government was earningl ess revenue, it could not afford to employ the same n umber of civil servants, thereby jeopardising public s ector jobs. The former Chamber of Commerce said an advertising campaign was needed to connect these dots and show Bahamians why it was so important to support their own businesses, especially during a recession. He acknowledged that Bahamian consumers felt Florida-based retailers provided them with a better product selection at better prices, and they were convinced they could land their purchases back in the Bahamas at a cheaper price than they could obtain here, Customs duties notwithstanding. Most people are convinced that they know how the system works and can get it in at a cheaper price, and are not really concerned about the cost of an air ticket,t he cost of the car and the cost of the hotel room. They dont f actor that in, Mr DAguilar said. A ny shop at home marketing campaign needed to target the Wal-Mart and Target spenders, he added, explaining: Those are the people who are sucking money out of the economy, and are destroying the retail purchasing sector and making a bad situation even worse. While such a campaign would ideally be led by the Chamber of Commerce, Mr DAguilar suggested it did not have the funds to pull it off. Given that businesses already paid a multitude of taxes and fees, such as the business licence fee, real property tax and import duties, to the Government, he suggested it was not too much to ask the Ingraham administration and its agencies to fund a marketing initiative featuring wellknown Bahamian personalities, such as Miss Daisy. B ahamian businesses, architects, accountants and other p rofessionals could also be employed to reinforce the m essage, Mr DAguilar said. C M Y K C M Y K BUSINESS PAGE 16B, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009 THE TRIBUNE TO DISCUSS STORIES ON THIS PAGE LOG ON TO WWW.TRIBUNE242.COM Bahamians missing big picture over Florida shop Disappointment over absence of campaign to convince Bahamians to give up Florida trips, as retailers seek every dollar from holiday season to survive recession Top retail executives warn Bahamian shoppers they ultimately put own jobs at risk by not supporting domestic industry by shopping at home GAVIN WATCHORN
The Tribune The T ribune M y V o i c e M y N e w s p a p e r Thursday, November 26th, 2009
The Tribunes RELIGION SECTION THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2009 PG 22
By JEFFARAH GIBSON IN Bahamian society today it is commonplace to hear of men being labelled as dead beat fathers, orthless, or good for nothing. T o counter this view shared by many Bahamians, the Anglican Church Mens Council is honouring 36 men in a gala affair for the outstanding contributions they have made to the church and the community at large. The event will be held tomorrow night at the All Saints Community Centre under the patronage of Bishop of the Diocese of the Bahamas Rev Laish Boyd and his wife Joanne Boyd. Kevin Ryan, president of the Anglican Church Mens Council, told Tribune Religion that it is time for the men in this society to be r ecognised for their selfless acts and meaningful contributions. The purpose for this gala affair is to showcase the r ole men have played in the chur ch as well as in the community These men have played major r oles, and have been an example for young people to fol low. They are capable and well-deserving of such an award, he said. Not only will men from New Pr ovidence be honoured, but worthy Anglican church members residing in the Family Islands will also be awarded the Anglican Chur ch Men Bishop Michael Eldon Medal of Distinction. Additionally, three prominent individuals will be honoured on the night. They include the late Sir Clement Maynard, Thomas A Robinson and catechist Har tman Moncur e would like to honour all the men who have made contributions to the church, but unfortunately we cannot do that. Hopefully we will be able to honour them in the years to come, Mr R yan said. Because Bahamian men are often criticised, he said he hopes the event will somehow change those people s views and attitudes. Ther e ar e r eally good men in this society and it is unfor tunate that people dont usually see those men. It is one of the aims of this affair to tear down that image people have about men. We want to show the countr y just a few of the men who selflessly r ender their time for the better ment of the community , he said. The event or ganisers are also trying to reach out to other men in the public, to ultimately bring about a change. e want to r each out to other men, especially the younger generation, to show them that there is absolutely nothing wrong with becoming a witness in the chur ch. It is a life-changing experience and it is our duty to show these men that there is room and hope for everyone who chooses to take the right path, he said. Among the invited guests is Governor General Arthur D Hanna. The Anglican Mens Council has organised a number of award ceremonies for mens appreciation in the past years. This year, the organisers are promising an exciting event with music provided by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Pop Band. The Anglican Church Mens Council is requesting a small donation for the event which will begin at 7pm. The Tribune Thursday, November 26 2009 PG 23 RELIGION ANGLICAN CHURCH HONOURS OUTSTANDING MEN OF THE CHURCH AND COMMUNITY The purpose for this gala affair is to showcase the role men have played in the church as well as in the community. These men have played major roles, and have been an example for young people to fol low. They are capable and well-deserving of such an award. REV LAISH BOYD
The Tribune PG 24 Thursday, Novmber 26 2009 RELIGION By REUBEN SHEARER Tribune Features Reporter r email@example.com WHILE you are getting ready to face the world on a regular Wednesday morning, Norma Lightbourne is leading a group of twenty-something Christians on Saunders Beach in a power-packed prayer session for the nation. s a public acknowledgment that we love the Lor d, Tanya Mackey, a member of the prayer group, told Tribune Religion. The fact that (Ms Lightbourne out in the open on the beach in a major thoroughfare like West Bay Street shows her commitment and that shes there for anyone who needs her, she said. Lamenting the turmoil of the country, Ms Lightbourne and members of Reign Ministries can be heard from a distance, getting the atmosphere charged up so that when others come they will join in, Ms Mackey said. e shar e the word, sing songs, and let the Lord have his way. Whatever the Lor d has us to pray for we will pray for This week, Ms Lightbourne and her group have been planning and praying for a confer ence they ar e hosting starting tomorrow and continuing through Sunday at the British Colonial Hilton. Ms Lightbourne promises an excellent time at the Staying on the Wall conference this weekend,w here she says people will be dedicated, delivered and set free. The theme for the conference, is taken from Nehamiah 6:3; the story of Nehamiah being restored tor ebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The biblical story is significant because it follows the life of a man who prayed and stayed in faith. Scripture outlines Nehamiahs progression in life, starting out as a gover nment worker in the employ of a foreign king. In the fifth century before Christ, he became a building contractor, called on to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Nehamiah left a comfortable job as an official in a rich and powerful city to become governor of a tiny, impoverished, backwater province surrounded by enemies. Persons who come out can expect changes, and to leave a changed man and woman, Ms Lightbourne said. Souls ar e so impor tant especially in our land. Last year, she held a conference entitled Restoring All. And not much has changed in the for mat or the message she wants to send at this years event. Theres a donation of $75 for confer ence participation which takes car e of instr uctional materials, literature and a special buffet social, which will follow the ser vice in the Victoria Ballroom of the Hilton. Ms Lightbourne started the prayer group at Saunders Beach on January1 6, 1999. Since then, she and the group have met there every Wednesday. During the morning prayer meetings, some passersby stop, observea nd request a prayer for themselves, and some even join in with the group, Ms Lightbourne said. Sometimes they just want some words of encouragement, so we give them that. e pray for crime, marriages, the police force, families, the government, for people to be saved and that people will remain sane in the midst of their trials, she said. Ms Lightbourne will be celebrating her new life in Christ, during the weekend conference, climaxing on November 29. Ive been saved for 20 years, she said. It was the Thanksgiving of 1989 that I gave my life to the Lord. Star ting at 7.30 pm on Friday the Staying on the Wall conference will begin with its sessions, continuing through Saturday morning at 10am, and closing on Sunday with a final session at 11 am. s important that people are in tune with God, Ms Lightbourne said. I do believe that if we continue to be faithful and seek the face of God we can see the changes happen. This confer ence will not be for anyone s glory, but Gods alone. taying on the Wall A spiritual conference THEspirit of the Bahamian people has captivated the faith-based television show and magazine ravel with Spirit. Producer Honnie Korngold recently paid a courtesy call on Minister of T ourism and Aviation Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace while she was in the country to help promote the Bahamas in the faith-based travel sector. While featuring the Bahamas for the religious market, Ms Kor ngold also attended How to Lead Beyond Y our Leadership held by Dr Miles Munroe and Bahamas Faith Ministries. Mr V anderpool W allace was interviewed for her programme Travel with Spirit. The programme is a faith-based, family-friendly television series that promotes exciting, inspirational travel destinations, events and attractions from throughout the world. Minister V anderpool-Wallace stated that the Bahamas is not a single island but 700 islands that have something unique for all to experi ence. He went on further to say that the Bahamas welcomes the faithbased traveller. T ravel with Spirit is a half-hour television show airing on i-Lifetv Sky Angel and NRB Network. Ms Kor ngold also ser ves as the editor -in-chief of T ravel with Spirit Magazine. Bahamian spirit captures the heart of the faith-based traveller (L-R LINVILLE Johnson, general man ager of Religious Tourism; Honnie Korngold, T ravel with Spirit presi dent, and Vincent V anderpoolW allace, Minister of Tourism and Aviation. Pastor Norma Lightbourne
THE HISTORY OF RELIGION IN THE BAHAMAS The Tribune T hursday, November 26 2009 PG 25 RELIGION COPY of a despatch from Governor Bayley t o his Grace, The Duke of Avamir: (written as the clamour by the Dissenting Ministers for disestablishment and disendowment of the Anglican Church was mounting). MY LORD DUKE, 30 March 1864. HEREWITH I have the honour to forward a letter and schedule which I have received from the Bishop of Nassau, in reply to your Grace's Circular Despatch, of 15th January last. The schedule gives about 6,400 as the total number of members of the Anglican Church in the Colony; but I agree with the remarks of Mr Swann, as quoted by the Bishop, that a considerable addition might fairly be made to this computation; and I am inclined to believe that 8,000 might reasonably be assigned as the number of professed members of the Anglican Church in the whole of the Bahamas. By far the lar gest number of the negr o Cr eoles belong to the Baptist persuasion. This species of dissent has peculiar attractions for them, involving, as it does, a very democratic form of self-government, the substitution of class councils, and adjudications for the procedure of the established cour ts of law, together with a system of mutual espionage and censorship, which at the same time gratifies their curiosity and flatters their selfconceit. I by no means deny that, in their time, the Baptist preachers have done good to their flocks; but I consider that the present effect of their preaching and of their church organisation is to imparta tone of r epublican self-asser tion to their congregations, to foster a hypocritical habit of quoting the Sacr ed Scriptur es on all occasions, and to postpone the more serious duties of the moral law to chapel-going observance of the Sabbath, and similar ceremonial formalities. Had the tenets and the ministers of t he Anglican Church obtained an ascendancy over the minds of these people shortly after their emancipation, we should, probably, be now witnessinga stronger regard for some of the social duties of life, a deeper sense of the responsibilities of hired labour and service, and a more rigorous honesty than that which actually prevails. And I am quite sure that, were one or two clergymen of good sense, genial temperament, and active habits, settled on some of the out-islands, they would speedily acquire a most salutary influence over the minds of the negroes. They would be regarded, perhaps, less as spiritual advisers at first than as friends and councillors in the affairs of daily life; and fr om this high vantagegr ound they would soon extend their authority to matters of a r eligious and spiritual nature. The introduction of such clergymen, I have always looked on as the most desirable result of the new episcopate; and for the sake of the moral and social improvement of thec olonists, I should deeply regret to see Her Majesty's Government recognise any economical or political necessity for withdrawing from the Imperial Estimates the provision for the stipend of the Bishop of Nassau. But I forbear to press on your Grace's notice observations which have not been required by your Grace, but which seem to flow naturally from the subjectmatter of your Grace's Despatch. In 1868, Robert H Sawyer, formerly the Repr esentative for Harbour Island, now a Methodist Member of the House of Assembly for the Nassau City District, presented a resolution for the disestablishment and disendowment of the United Churches of England and Ir eland within the Bahamas Islands and the Chur ch of St Andrews. The bill was eventually passed in 1869. A Despatch from Governor Bayley, 1864 JIM LAWLOR DR Richard Stratton, president of Clearwater Christian College in Florida, will visit alumni, prospective students and speak in two Nassau chur ches this week. Approximately thirty Bahamians, including C Paul Car twright (deceased Counselling Centre, Nassau; Perry Cunningham, pastor of Gospel Light Baptist Church, senior master at RM Bailey High School and for mer princi pal of Nassau Christian Academy, and Cecile Albury, founder and principal of Agape Christian School in Marsh Harbour Abaco r eceived their bache lor s degrees from Clearwater Christian College. Located on a 138-acr e property on Tampa Bay, the college is home to over 600 under graduate students pursuing a distinct Bible-based Christian education in a liberal ar ts envir onment. It of fers 26 majors and 17 minors. In the summer of 2008, the college began its first graduate programme in the area of educational leadership. It is r egionally accr edited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS The college is not af filiated with any major denominational groups, adhering solely to the fundamental truths found in the Word of God. In May 2009, Dr Stratton completed his seventh year as pr esident of the college. After r eceiving a bachelors degree in accounting from Bob Jones University in 1981, he took a position with the firm of Deloitte and Touche (for merly Deloitte, Haskins and Sells), one of the big four accounting firms. After two years with the firm, Dr Stratton taught in the accounting division of Bob Jones University until 1989, when he began work on a doc torate in business administration at the University of Geor gia. He was awarded the degree in 1994. Dr Stratton r eturned to Bob Jones University to resume teaching, and in 1998 he was appointed dean of the business school. While living in Gr eenville, South Carolina, the Stratton family attended Hampton Park Baptist Church where Dr Stratton was active in various ministries, including teaching Sunday school and ser ving as chairman of the deacon board and the finance committee. He also ser ved on the boar d of Carolina Hope Christian Adoption Agency, an international adoption agency. He is currently on the board of Bob Shelton Evangelistic Ministries. Dr Stratton and his wife, the former Holly Burket, have two childr en, a son Michael and a daughter Maycee. They ar e members of Hillsdale Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida. Dr Stratton is visiting prospective students at the following Bahamian high schools this week: Abaco: Agape Christian School (including W esley College, Cyber Learning Centre and Long Bay), For est Heights Academy and SC Bootle High School. Nassau: Kingsway Academy Faith Temple Christian Academy, RM Bailey High School, T emple Christian School and Nassau Christian Academy A reunion for Bahamian alumni will be held this Saturday at 7.30pm and Dr Stratton will be the featur ed speaker Dr Stratton will also speak at two Nassau chur ches on Sunday, at the Calvar y Bible Chur ch, Collins A venue at 11am, and at the Gospel Light Baptist Chur ch, Cowpen Road at 6.45pm. The public is invited to attend. For fur ther infor mation, alumni may contact Priscilla Car twright at Logos Bookstor e at telephone number 394-7040. President of Clearwater Christian College comes to Nassau DR Richard Stratton
MEDITATION The Tribune PG 26 Thursday, November 26 2009 RELIGION Not feeling thankful? T HERE comes a time when life seems so overwhelming all we can do is run for cover. I f it is a temporary imbalance then shifting the pace may be all that we need. The danger comes, as one writer puts i t, when what was meant to be temporar y becomes a way of life. This is how the care-givers get caught. Are you exhausted, miserable, dissatisfied and despondent? You may need to take a break even if it means paying someone to take over your duties. Clergy, lay ministers, and other church workers in the area of pastoral care know only too well how valuable regular breaks are when a schedule is demanding most of the time. This is true for every one under great stress. To compound the problem, our cultur e has inherited the view that tears are a source of embarrassment and a sign of weakness, especially for men. How do we expect a loving heart to break and no tears are shed? How do we watch a loved one dying slowly, week after week, or receiving sudden news of tragedy? Having a life-long relationship come to an abrupt end, for whatever reason, is a source of pain that needs to be acknowledged. When we r efuse to allow our men to be sad, and express it, we suggest that anger is more manly and violence more acceptable. The tender-hearted, compassionate man is described in Holy Scripture. In the epistles, the example of the Lord weeping, of King David weeping and fasting, of Peter weeping in remorse for betraying the Lor d. These are just some of the instances of power ful emotions expr essed by men. As a hospital chaplain in training in New Jersey in 1983, I saw brain dead persons who had no scratch on them whatsoever, but who had to be disconn ected from machines after only three days. The second day was for organ donation decisions. H ow does one comfort a parent, spouse, or a sibling that cannot cry? It is so hard to know that deep emotions are there but are unable to surf ace. We can sit with them in silence, pray for them if they like, talk to them about our memories but we have to leave it up to the person to grieve in his or her own way. Sometimes the shock is so great that tears cannot come. I know what that is like. Some of us go into a functioning mode that allows us to organise, execute and remain in control until what has to be done is done. There can be a feeling of numbness that takes a while to pass. Those in public positions are often trained to exercise a great degree of self-control that seems to be required by the office. It may be consider ed undignified to lose control. Whatever the initial r eaction, ther e needs to be release. Drinking is not an acceptable option. Working can become a curse if it is an evasion tactic. If tears will not roll, there are types o f tears that seem to be carried on the inside, accompanied often by deep sobs, or the churning of the stomach. T he key is not to fight the feeling. Take time to be alone each day, if needs be, to privately explore the inner pain, in the presence of the Lord. W e are each individual, and we need the fr eedom to respond to life in our own way. It helps to listen to ones body, and be guided by the Holy Spirit. A fire or financial loss may move one person to tears, or a death or divorce may affect others in this way for weeks and months, even years. Seek healing in appropriate ways that will not promote spiritual sickness or physical ailments. Take comfort in the Bible reading the Psalms, Job, the gospels and other parts, along with books written by others who have had a similar experience. Talk to someone who will be confidential and caring. Y ou cannot keep all of this bottled up and not expect an explosion of some sor t. Pray, cry, talk, read, write, walk, travel, work, witness, worship do whatever you can to regain a thankful heart. Just aim to please God with your plan. REV.ANGELA C BOSFIELD PALACIOUS Levi is called "And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of customs, and said unto him, follow me. And he arose as followed him. I love going to church, it is one of the best things we can do for our faith walk with God. God requires us to assemble ourselves because in doing so str engthens. Y ou can watch church on television but it is no comparison to physically being at a ser vice. For me, I lear n so much fr om going even though God commanded it. I know I am a better person for being a par t of a congr egation. A couple of weeks ago in our early Sunday mor ning worship service I was blown away by a ser mon that I had never heard before. The ser mon was taken from Mark 2:13-17. What spoke echoes in my spirit was the fact that the pr eacher highlighted Levi's position as a tax collector. The pr eacher brought to the congregation's attention the fact that by right of lineage Levi should have been a man of the cloth (a priest In the Old T estament, the Levis' wer e the only ones that had the right from God to be priests. The priest would be the one who sacrificed an unspotted lamb for the people's sin. Without the shedding of blood there can be no r emission of sins. So this was the job of the priest. Thank God our high priest Jesus Christ came to be the ultimate sacrifice for us. Because He shed His blood we no longer have to wait for a priest once a year to make a blood sacrifice for us. God in His infinite wisdom has taken car e of that for us. The point of the preacher's sermon was that it does not matter how we start, but how we finish. We all have had a rough start, because the Bible says that we were born in sin and shaped in iniquity. However that does not have to be the note that we end on. The beautiful thing is God has given us a second chance to choose life which He advises us to choose. You see Levi started out as a tax collector however he ended up as a disci ple of Jesus Christ. W e have to know within ourselves when the Lord is speaking to us. We have to know when it is time to make our calling a sur e one. For those who say when I'm r eady, yes you ar e right, that decision is when you are ready. Please don't take too long to be r eady So many of us think that we have all the time in the world and that God will wait on us. Even God has a set time when all of our chances will cease to exist. W e can't say that we were not given the chance to make our end better than our beginning. I think that in itself is a blessing to be given a second chance at life. Before this preacher made his declaration, at an early age I was taught that it does not matter how you star t, but how you finish. Which means it did not matter what the odds wer e that wer e against me when my life began, but what is imperative is how it ends; the decisions I make which will contribute to a good end or a bad end. What impresses me about Levi is the fact that he recognised when God called him. The Bible says that Jesus said to him, follow me", and he got up and followed him. W e have to know when God is speaking to us. The point of this scriptur e and the preacher's message is that it does not matter how you star t, but how you finish. For our peace of mind, lets take God up on the second chance that He gives us. By letting the end being gr eater than the beginning. ALLISON MILLER
THANKS: The word thanks is mentioned 73 times in 71 verses in the e ntire Bible. In the Old Testament, the word thanks is mentioned 36 times in 35 vers-e s. In the New Testament, the word thanks is mentioned 37 times in 36 verses. I n the Hebrew, the word thanks is yadah (pronounced yaw-daw' has several meanings: (1 worship with extended hands; (2 bemoan by wringing the hands, (3 make confession, (4 praise. And in the Greek the word thanks is eucharisteo (pronounced yoo-kharis-teh'-o) which also has several meanings: (12 express gratitude, (3 meal. THANKSGIVING: The wor d thanksgiving is mentioned 28 times in 27 verses in the entire Bible. In the Old T estament, the wor d thanksgiving is mentioned 20 times in 19 verses. In the New T estament, the word thanksgiving is mentioned eight times in eight verses. In the Hebrew the word thanksgiving is towda (pr onounced to-daw') which has the following meanings: (1 extension of the hand, (2 (34 sion, (5 In the Greek the word thanksgiving is eucharistia (pronounced yoo-kharis-tee'-ah) and can mean the following: (12 language. As a nation, do we really give sincere thanks unto the Almighty God for His grace and mercy and for all that He has and is yet doing for us? For the scripture tells us in First Chronicles, chapter 16 and verse 34: O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever In r eading this article you know that as a nation weve perfected the art of mur muring and complaining. W e murmur and complain about everything and everybody, and then religiously we find a scripture verse or two to justify our complaints. But all is not lost! Do r emember the song that we sang in Sunday School? Thats when churches used to have Sunday School. Am I complaining? No, Im not. Im just reminiscing about a time when the church embraced every opportunity to come together and collectively give G od thanks; and Sunday School was one of those opportunities. The song from Sunday School was, It only takes a spark, to get a fire going. Can God use you to be that spark to start a fire of thanksgiving in thisn ation? Or is it that youre like everybody else thats busy in being the worshipful master of their regime? What is Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving is a spiritual act of worship that is sought by the Father. The times, tests, trials and challenges that are at hand have come to birth true worshippers. For hear what the Bible says about this type of worship: John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. As we celebrate this thanksgiving seasons, can I say to you that thanksgiving is a way of life and is not based on a calendar date. T r ue spirit-led thanksgiving is a key that will unlock any door that God has ordained open for an obedient child of God which the enemy has caused to be locked by whatever means. Don t allow your thanksgiving to be based upon a political or r eligious favour, or by your material possessions. Despite of what you have or dont have, despite of what youre going or may have gone through, determine in y our heart to bless and give thanks unto the Lord, thereby giving Him access into your affairs. W atch this! Amidst all of Davids troubles hers what he said Psalms 34: 1- I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shallc ontinually be in my mouth. This word bless in the Hebrew is barak (pronounced baw-rak' has the following meanings: (1 kneel, (23 congratulate, (45 In closing, please r emember this, dont allow where you are, to determine who you. A Bahamian may visit China or Haiti, but that doesnt make him or hera Chinese or a Haitian. Likewise, whatever situation youre in or facing right now, dont let that situation determine who you are. For the tr uth of the matter is, you are the righteousness of Yahweh in and thr ough Y eshuwa Messiah. Happy Thanksgiving and may the favour of God be with you. For questions or comments contact us via e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone number 1-242-441-2021. Pastors Matthew and Brendalee Allen Kingdom Minded Fellowship Center International The Tribune T hursday, November 26 2009 PG 27 RELIGION Thanks and Thanksgiving PASTOR MATTHEW ALLEN CHILDRENS CHOIR ANGELIC V OICES OF PRAISE GRAND CONCERT SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2009 Beginning at 6:00PM An Evening of Honor & Adoration featuring Invited Ministries: St. Francis Childrens Choir Holy Trinity Dance Ministry All Saints Childrens Choir Bethel Baptist Childrens Choir St. Barnabas Childrens Choir New Bethlehem Dance Ministry Judah Praise, Trinity City of Praise HOL YTRINITYACTIVITYCENTRE TRINITY WAY, STAPLEDON GARDENS THE PARISH CHURCH OF THE MOSTHOLYTRINITY FOR MORE INFORMATION Charlotte Thompson 428-9684 or CharlotteThompson@emailaccount.com
The Tribune PG 28 T hursday, November 26 2009 RELIGION LAST Sunday, at the Feast of Christ the King, congregation members assembled at St Andrews Anglican Church in Arthurs Town, Cat Island to celebrate the 14th National Childrens Week. Under the theme Inspire the Children, Father Chester Burton, priest in-charge of the Anglican Churches in Cat Island, read from the text of the gospel applicable for the Feast of Christ the King, in which Jesus entered Jerusalem ona donkey. Father Burton told the young people gather ed at St Andrews that they must not let anyone determine their destiny and state in life. As Cat Islanders we all have the potential for greatness, as the slogan of Gatorade puts it so aptly in their mantra, it is in you, he said. He further illustrated conclusions drawn from the lives of Moses and David, Old Testament heroes who came from humble beginnings and eventually became great men in scripture. And finally we all know the story of Jesus our Christ the King who was born in humble, quaint conditions to poor parents who couldn t even find a suitable place to birth their first born son, Father Burton said. After the sermon, two young church members, who ar e also active altar ser vers, came to the lectern to give inspirational talks. Both ar e on the winning debate team of the Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador District. First, Dannya Far rington recited the poem Wisdom from memory, then Donald J Newbold gave his personal review of a weekend discovery which he attended and was hosted by Christ the King, Ridgeland Park. The youth certainly took centre stage at this Eucharistic celebration. Finally an all-boys choirs sang the Negro spiritual Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. After the service, the youngsters were feted during an elaborate five-course meal. Coral Burton, wife of the priest incharge of St Saviours Parish, got up in the wee morning hours to prepare this sumptuous meal. After the children had eaten and fellowshipped, they began making their rounds to visit the sick and shut-in of the parish who reside in the northern district of Cat Island. Father Burton had already mentally and spiritually prepared them for what they would do. He admonished the youngsters that during this celebration of National Childrens Week they should be sensitised to the plight of our precious pearls in society. These ar e persons who gave yeoman service to community and civic life. Although they are up there in age, its because of their wor thwhile and meaningful contribution we enjoy the amenities that life has to offer us here in Cat Island, Father Burton said. The elderly her oes of the community wer e serenaded with Thanksgiving hymns of praise such as All Things Bright And Beautiful, after which one of the designated childr en would pr esent them with a basket of goodies collected last Sunday at the Har vest Thanksgiving service. Next year, the clergy and vestry have decided to treat the sick and shut-in of the parish to a Harvest Thanksgiving luncheon. CAT ISLANDERS CELEBRATE NATIONAL CHILDRENS WEEK MEMBERS of St Geor ge's Anglican Church gathered last week Tuesday at the Feast of St Cecilia, patroness of music, to celebrate and r ecognise Monica Sands for 36 years of dedicated service to the Music Ministry of the Church in the Valley. Pictur ed after the ser vice, in which Mrs Sands also celebrated her bir th day are (l-r, director of music; Rev Dr Roland Hamilton, assistant priest; Monica Sands; Rev Father Kingsley Knowles, r ector and Br eanda Ar cher, president of the senior choir. Monica Sands recognised for 36 years of dedicated service THE all-boys choir per forms at a service at St Andrews Anglican Church in Cat Island in celebration of National Childrens Week. YOUNG Anglicans enjoy a fivecourse meal prepared by Carol Burton.