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N ASSA U AND BAHAMA ISLANDS LEADING NEWSPAPER All eyes on quitting MPs Volume: 108 No.15WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2011 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 WEATHER SUNNY AND NICE HIGH 84F LOW 72F By CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com ALL eyes will be on the H ouse of Assembly today to see if a possible resignation in Parliament will force theg overnments hand in calling a n early election in 2012. As reports continue to swirl around the intendeda nnouncement of the resignation of Eight Mile Rock MP, Verna Grant and Clifton MP Kendal Wright over their disapproval of the boundary c uts, a top level source within t he FNM claims Mrs Grant is not in fact leaving the party. While the FNM has yet to r eceive any communication from Mr Wright, the source said Mrs Grant contacted theF NM yesterday denying c laims that she is resigning from the party or her seat in Parliament. A ccording to the source, Mrs Grant is very hurt by Resignations may force earl y election TRY OUR DOVE RASPBERRY McFLURRY The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST LATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM ARTS T T H H E E P P O O W W E E R R O O F F E E M M O O T T I I O O N N SEEARTSSECTIONC NCAASWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS A A R R I I A A N N A A S S Y Y E E A A R R H H I I T T S S P P E E R R F F E E C C T T H H I I G G H H SEESPORTSSECTIONE By SANCHESKA BROWN Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org PLP LEADER Perry Christie said if media reports regarding the resignation of two FNM MP's are true, he expects there to be an early election. Speaking with The Tribune, Mr Christie said if the reported tension in the governing party is factual, he predicts Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham will call elections before February. The Prime Minister has always been the type that does not like when people are not conforming to his wishes. If the reported trouble within THE young girl who was found dead in Blue Water Cay has been identified as 17-year-old Candice Major, who police sources say was the alleged victim in a rape case before the courts. The sources say before her body was dumped in a rocky area of Fox Hill on Friday, the girl was tortured and raped. Police do not know if the incidents are connected but say they are exploring all avenues. Assitant Superintendent BK Bonomy, head of the homicide division, would not comment on the alleged rape but did say police are still in the preliminary stages of their investigations. He said: She was just identified by her family. We are interviewing her friends and close family members to retrace the last places she visited. She was not report ed missing but was not at home for two days. We are speaking to her family now to determine where she was. We still have no official cause of death there was a wound on her body but that is all I can say until an autopsy is performed. Ms Majors body was dis covered just after 10am last Friday in Blue Water Cay, south of Fox Hill Road. She was fully clothed but sustained injuries to her upper body. When the news of her death broke, friends and family wrote tributes on her Facebook page and described her as a fun loving girl whose life was cut short too soon. One friend said: We will miss you baby girl. I hope justice is served. You are in a better place and I know you are an angel watching over us. By AVA TURNQUEST T ribune Staff Reporter email@example.com TWELVE homes in six government subdivisions are being occupied without mort g ages, T he Tribune h as learned. According to Tribune s ources close to the matter, the homes are located in Sunset Subdivision, 5; DignityG ardens, 2; Pride Estates I, 2; H ope Gardens, 1; Jubilee Gardens, 1; and East Coral Estates, 1. The keys to eight oft he homes were given out in 2006, two in 2004, and one in 2003 and 2007. Sandra Storr, acting man aging director at the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation( BMC), said both front and back-end mortgage lending guidelines have since been tightened to guard against fur ther mismanagement. The undocumented units are the remnants of a yearslong regularisation process undertaken by the corpora tion in an attempt to recover funds spent to construct the homes, Mrs Storr said. As we went along over the years we regularized a lot of persons, but we still have 12 unregularised in government homes, she said. How it happened, thats the issue under discussion. It just happened. There are various reasons, Mrs Storr added, sometimes the loan approval was in place but then we take it to the attorney for due diligence and its discovered that some of the persons had pend ing judgments that they didnt mention, and you cant get a mortgage if you have some thing pending in court. Applicants for government housing are assigned by the Ministry of Housing and then forwarded to the BMC for final assessment and approval. However, Mrs Storr said that the keys to government homes are distributed by the Ministry of Housing. EXCLUSIVE: HOMES GIVEN OUT WITHOUT MORTGAGES BY PLP MINISTRY CANDICEMAJOR, aged 17, who was found dead in Blue Water Cay. MURDERED 17-YEAR-OLD W AS VICTIM IN RAPE CASE CHRISTIE EXPECTS EARLY VOTE S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 7 7 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 7 7 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 7 7 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 7 7 im lovin it
LOCAL NEWS PAGE 2, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2011 THE TRIBUNE GOVERNMENT HIGH SCHOOL held its last practice yesterday at the school as they prepare for the upcoming Junkanoo Parade, to be held on Thursday on Bay Street. Photos: Felip Major /Tribune Staff Countdown to J J U U N N K K A A N N O O O O
By DANA SMITH firstname.lastname@example.org BUSINESS owners were a ngry when power loss lasting for nearly 24 hours forced them to close their businesses for the day. Electricity has been out in t he Blue Hill Road and Cumberland Street areas since 6 pm Monday, and as of 4.30pm Tuesday, power had yet to be restored. An angry business owner, who did not want to be identified, claimed as a result oft he outage, she has lost more than $20,000. We were in total darkness and not able to operate, she said. The power loss has left her feeling totally frustrated.S he thinks BEC has no respect or regard for the public. She said she had called BEC several times since Monday evening only to receive an automated voice service telling her they were aware of the problem andl ooking into it. Its ridiculous, she said. If you dont pay your bill on time, they are out here immediately to cut your power. The business owner said shes been forced to run herg enerator and it has since b urned out. Ive been in a whirlwind trying to get my place running, she said. As for the surrounding businesses, according to the source, they have all lockedu p and gone home. I could hear people beating on their doors all day long wondering why they arent open, she said. Theyre los-i ng money left, right, and centre. S he said she has seen BEC trucks driving around the area, but the power has yet to be restored. A representative for the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BECu nsure of the problem behind t he outage. I cant confirm (the power loss), but the cable people probably cut a wire or something, the representative said. It happens almost everyd ay. I dont know what type o f drink they be taking. The representative said he had found out about the outage only yesterday morning, and directed The Tribune to BECs Public Relations department for further answers. Thep ublic relations department could not be contacted. By LAMECH JOHNSON email@example.com A LATIN American w oman and an American man are on remand at Her M ajestys Prison after the former admitted to committing more than $80,000 worth of credit card fraud. Lunaite Paulmerie, 28, of Brazil, was charged with John F orest, 50, before Magistrate Guilimina Archer. While Paulmerie pleaded guilty to 28 counts of credit fraud, Forest entered a not guilty plea to each count. The defendants, who were both represented by Tai Pinder, were given two minutes to consult with their attorney before the arraignment began. M agistrate Archer e xpressed displeasure that the consultation was taking place just before the arraignment. It is alleged that in the 28 d ays between Saturday, November 5 and Friday, December 2, the pair incurred a combined debt of $82,108.40 a t two major resorts and seve ral businesses in Atlantis Marina Village. According to court dockets, t he two stayed at the Sheraton B each Hotel on West Bay Street between November 5 and November 19, accruing $19,306.77 worth of credit through false pretenses. It is also alleged that between November 19 and December 2, the two accrued$ 55,349.98 worth of credit at the Atlantis Resort and Casino on Paradise Island. T hey were also accused of c ommitting a combined $6,688.42 worth of credit fraud at four businesses in Marina V illage: the OSugar Candy Store, Will and Ives, Pirana Joe and Calypso Carousel. Forest was charged separately with committing $18,070w orth of credit fraud at the R iu Hotel. He pleaded not guilty to this charge as well. After Magistrate Archer read out the charges, she informed the accused of their option to have the matters heard in either the Magistrates Court or the Supreme Court. B oth chose to keep their case before Magistrate Archer. T he prosecution asked for a n adjournment in order to gather all the facts surrounding the case. T he tourists will return to the Nassau Street court on December 9. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2011, PAGE 3 JOB OPENINGInterior Design DirectorWe are seeking an experienced Interior Designer who will oversee all residential projects, work along with architects and manage a team while working in conjunction with members to ensure satisfaction. The successful candidate will be responsible for and should possess the following:Examining material samples before presenting a detailed plan and sketch to a client. outlining the estimated cost of material to complete a job. clients. swatches and photographs to clients. clients needs. furniture design and spatial planning to butlers and resident managers. operate under a demanding schedule. drawings and implement revisions as Experience Interested applicants can forward their information to: firstname.lastname@example.org, Attn: Human Resources Manager Bakers Bay Golf & Ocean Club Great Guana Cay Abaco, Bahamas (242Becoming the Employer of Choice in The Bahamas! By KHRISNA VIRGIL HALF of the 626 registered straw vendors have paid outstanding National Insurancec ontributions to date, NIB officials confirmed. G reg Collie, senior manager of inspectorate and compliance at NIB, told The Tribune that 323 vendors have n ow paid money owed for the y ear 2011. In addition, Mr Collie said, 196 vendors are current for t his year and the next, while 129 of them have entered into payment plans to bring their a ccounts up to date. About 200 of them also have valid business licenses. As the $12 million market i s to open for the Christmas season, Mr Collie said a large number of vendors have f locked to the NIB office to ensure they are in good graces. At least about 50 plus c ame in on Monday and another influx yesterday, he said. I expect that as we move into the month more oft hem will come in. Moving forward, Mr Collie said, NIB acknowledges the vendors' efforts, but they s hould know that the board is willing to take the neces sary precautions for anyone o wing more money in arrears. Last month, Minister Charles Maynard was named minister of the new Straw market under the Straw Mar ket Authority Act. The Act was passed with other legislation that made provisions for a Straw Market Authority Board to oversee the management and day-to-day operations of the straw market. Hubert Chipman, the straw market authoritys chairman, commended the vendors formaking efforts to have their accounts up to date. There is a general belief in the public that those people are not trying to make the pay ments, he said, but they are. According to Mr Chipman, most of the vendors will be ready for the move in date. The new straw market building and implementation of the Act has sparked great controversy as many vendors found its regulations offensive. The new regulations out lined the banning of pushy, smelly vendors, the selling of counterfeit brand namegoods, smoking, and cosme tology practices. Also, vendors who break any rules will be subject to fines and have their licenses suspended or revoked. HALF OF STRAW VENDORS PAY OFF NIDEBTS IN an article published on Tuesday, December 6, it was incorrectly stated that Dr Gail Saunders established the Pompey Museum. In fact, Pompey Museum was established by the Gov ernment of the Bahamas under Dr Saunders supervi sion as Director of Archives. The Tribune apologises for any inconvenience caused by the error. CORRECTION DAY-LONG POWER CUT LEAVES BUSINESSES FUMING Pair on remand over fraud charges JOHNFOREST, left, denies all fraud charges, while Lunaite Paulmerie, right, has admitted 28 counts of credit fraud. Photos: Tim Clarke /Tribune Staff
E DITOR, The Tribune. SINCE time immemorial, there have been rumours of unusual practices and behaviour in the straw market. There have been strange and u nusual scents witnessed and experienced by others to be directed to or concentrateda round the stalls they opera te, when they did not put it there. These practices have been h appening for donkeys years. Stories have it that the successful vendors have encoun-t ered this and suspected that the haters or the lazy ill-prepared vendors may have been the perpetrators. But what is so mysterious is that all of these women are f rom over the hill, many who also profess to be Christians and some even are ordained ministers/pastors. In fact, the higher up in the church they are, the more trouble caused. W hy cant they just get along? How come a group of black women, all workingt oward a common goal coe xist. What would it take for the black crab syndrome to d ie? Who is working fever ishly to keep it alive? What is there to gain from k eeping the atmosphere neg ative? I would hate to believe that there are some that continues to nurture the practice of witchcraft/obeah while under the false pretences of being a Christian. All vendors have a right to work in an environment where they do not have to worry about a fellow vendor setting out to intentionally make anyone else uncomfortable. This practice must die a natural death because, the ones who are guilty, if in fact these rumours are true, must be banished from being a round civilised, sensible people. I dare say that the trouble makers should not be given permission to be in the new Straw Market. It is these people, if they e xist, who have caused the market to not live up to its full potential. S tevie Wonder succinctly s aid, Very superstitious, you believe in things you dont understand and you suffer. S ensible vendors and true believers must remember that there shall no evil befallt hee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. Time to clean up the atti tude and behaviour of the people who meet and greet our tourists. The dirty people who practice filth must remain with their kind, not in the market. The stigma of the market being a place where evil exists must be a thing of the past, in Jesus name, Amen! IVOINE W. INGRAHAM Nassau, December 4, 2011. EDITOR, The Tribune. I sincerely hope that all white Bahamians who live inG rand Bahama, and particul arly in Freeport, were tuned into the Parliamentary Channel Tuesday night (November 29) and heard the remarkable address delivered by E lizabeth Member of Parliam ent Ryan Pinder during the debate on the resolution to a pprove the boundary changes that have reduced the number of seats in the Houseo f Assembly to 38. If they were, surely many of them must now be wond ering why Prime Minister H ubert Ingraham refuses to give one of them the oppor tunity to prove that they can c ontribute as effectively as Ryan Pinder is doing in proving that The Bahamas hasa dvanced to the point where race should no longer be a deciding factor in the choice of a candidate being nominated to run in an election by the party he or she supports. T o be sure, it is ironic that it is the PLP, which has been accused of being a racist party, that is demonstrating that race should not be a determining factor in ones capab ility to be his or her partys c andidate in an election. Of course, the same appar ently is not true of the FNM. I ngraham currently has a golden opportunity to nominate a white Bahamian for one of the new constituencies in Grand Bahama, if it is true that he has forced incumbent Ken Russell and Neko Grantt o retire from politics. A s I have noted before, t here are at least a halfdozen well qualified white B ahamians who are die-hard supporters of the FNM and are deeply immersed in politics who would make excell ent candidates, but they will n ot get the opportunity this time around to prove that t hey can be as effective in t he House of Assembly as Ryan Pinder has proven to b e, if the reports are correct as to whom Ingraham hasc hosen to replace Grant and R ussell. Speculation as to who will be the FNMs candidates for Central Grand Bahama and E ast Grand Bahama, which a re currently represented by Grant and Russell respect ively, has centred around educator Norris Bain being the choice for Central Grand Bahama and Senator Michael Pintard getting the nod for E ast Grand Bahama. There are reports, howev e r, that Bain has confided to c lose friends that he does not intend to run, so if he doesnt, then Ingraham would have another opportunity to change his anti-white com-m itment to selecting candid ates in Grand Bahama. Well just have to wait and see how the murky scenario plays out. Meanwhile, one thing is c ertain: the PLP clearly has a r ising star in Ryan Pinder, a white Bahamian. During T uesday nights debate on the boundary changes, Pinder was simply magnificent as he pas-s ionately picked apart the blatant examples of overt gerrymandering of the new bounda ries by Ingraham. T his is probably one of the reasons why, in redrawing the boundaries, Ingraham leftl ittle doubt that the changes he made to the Elizabeth constituency were aimed ats eeing to it that Pinder is defeated in the upcoming election. But as Pinder predicted in the House Tuesday night, not only will he be reelected, but the PLP will win the nexte lection by the highest proportion of votes ever seen in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas because, as he noted, the PLP puts people over politics. O SWALD T BROWN Freeport, Grand BahamaN ovember 29, 2011. EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR P AGE 4, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2011 THE TRIBUNE The Tribune Limited NULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI Being Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master LEON E. H. DUPUCH, Publisher/Editor 1903-1914 SIR ETIENNE DUPUCH, Kt., O.B.E., K.M., K.C.S.G., (Hon. Publisher/Editor 1919-1972 Contributing Editor 1972-1991 EILEEN DUPUCH CARRON, C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B. Publisher/Editor 1972Published Daily Monday to Saturday Shirley Street, P.O. Box N-3207, Nassau, Bahamas I nsurance Management Building., P.O. F-485, Freeport, Grand Bahama T HE OBAMA administration has bluntl y warned the world against gay and lesbian discrimination, declaring the US will use foreign assistance as well as diplomacy to back its insistence that gay rights are fullye qual to other basic human rights. I n unusually strong language, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday c ompared the struggle for gay equality to d ifficult passages toward womens rights and r acial equality, and she said a countrys cult ural or religious traditions are no excuse for discrimination. Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights, she said. It should n ever be a crime to be gay. C linton's audience included diplomats from Arab, African and other nations where h omosexuality is criminalized or where brutality and discrimination against gay people is tolerated or encouraged. Many of the ambassadors in the audience responded with stony faces and rushed out of t he room as soon as Clinton finished speaki ng. P resident Barack Obama directed the S tate Department and other agencies to make sure US diplomacy and foreign assist ance promote gay rights and fight discrimination. But there are no specific new con-s equences for poor performers, meaning the d irective is more of a challenge to other governments than a threat. In announcing the policy, the US did not point to individual countries with specifi cally poor records on gay rights, although an a nnual State Department accounting of global human rights has cited abuses against gaysby such friends as Saudi Arabia. T he White House said Tuesdays announcement marked the first US government strategy to combat human rights abuses against gays and lesbians abroad. T he speech in Geneva, home of the Unit ed Nations human rights body, is also part of the Obama administrations outreach to gays and lesbians, a core Democratic con stituency at home. Since taking office, Oba ma has advocated the repeal of the mili t ary's ban on openly gay service members now accomplished and has ordered the administration to stop defending a law defin ing marriage as between one man and one w oman. However, Obama has stopped short of backing gay marriage, saying only that his p ersonal views on the matter are evolving. That position and a long delay repealing the military ban have left some gay supporters disgruntled. R epublican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney suggested that gay rights should not be a test for U.S. engagement abroad. I will be looking (at it meets our national security interests and, number two, whether these nations are friends of ours and are willing to be friendly with us in ways when it matters the most, he said on Fox News Channel. A nother Republican presidential candid ate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, went further. Promoting special rights for gays in foreign countries is not in America's interests and not worth a dime of taxpayers mon-e y, a Perry campaign statement said. C linton said she knows the United States has an imperfect record on gay rights, and s he noted that until 2003 some states had l aws on the books that made gay sex a crime. B ut there is no reason to suggest that gay r ights are something only liberal, Western nations can or should embrace, she said. S he said nothing about gay marriage. Gay people are born into and belong to e very society in the world, Clinton said. Being gay is not a Western invention. It is a human reality. I n her most direct challenge to nations with conservative cultural or religious mores, Clinton catalogued abuses such as targeted killings of gays, corrective rape of lesbians or forced hormone treatments. She likened t he targeting of gays for mistreatment to honour killings of women, widow-burning o r female genital mutilation, examples of p ractices the US decries but has not penalised friends, including Afghanistan, f or carrying out. Some people still defend those practices a s part of a cultural tradition, she said. But violence toward women isnt cultural; its criminal. She also compared the evolution of cultural attitudes toward homosexuality to the changing view of slavery. What was once justified as sanctioned by God is now properly reviled as an unconscionable violation of human rights, she said. S ome of the diplomats who were invited were unaware of the topic beforehand, and Clinton introduced her subject gingerly. She said she knew it was sensitive and cut against i ngrained traditions and expectations. Leadership, by definition, means being out in front of your people when it is called for. It means standing up for the dignity of all citizens and persuading your people to do the same, she said. I n the memorandum issued in Washington, Obama directed US agencies working abroad, including the State Department and the US Agency for International Develop m ent, to use foreign aid to assist gays and lesbians who are facing human rights viola tions. And he ordered US agencies to prot ect vulnerable gay and lesbian refugees and asylum seekers. The struggle to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgend er persons is a global challenge, and one that is central to the United States commitment to promoting human rights, Oba ma said in a statement. Gay rights groups praised the order as a significant step for ensuring that gays and lesbians are treated equally around the world. Anne Gearan & Julie Pace, Associated Press Why not a white Bahamian? LETTERS l email@example.com Obama, Clinton:Stop gay discrimination Does witchcraft exist in the straw market?
T HE National Emergency Management Agency said it is close to wrapping up its m assive repair programme three months after category three Hurricane Irene struck t he country, leaving massive destruction particularly in northern and easternB ahamas. NEMA director Captain Stephen Russell said he is p leased with the progress of the repair programme, which kicked in two weeks aftert he all clear was given following the passage of the storm. We are pleased with the contributions from the private sector, which helped to mounta n effective repair prog ramme. We were able to employ about 260 people to work in the 11 affected Fam-i ly Islands, he said. A total of 1,985 homes suf fered damage during the s torm. Of these, 384 were repaired by the government building initiative; 603 through self-help and 998 r emain outstanding, of which 11 homes are to be totally reconstructed. I n Cat Island, the community hardest hit, NEMA repairs co-ordinator JohnN ixon was responsible for m anaging the programme once an initial assessment was done in the affected areas. H e said despite some challenges, all relevant agencies worked together to accom p lish repairs in a timely manner. The repairs programme is t o be extended for another three weeks, based on the scope of works to be com-p leted in Cat Island, Crooked I sland, Eleuthera, Abaco, Grand Bahama and Acklins, NEMA said. The repair programme was funded by donations from the public and private sector. Aso f December 1, 2011, an estimated $3 million has been deposited into the NEMA donations account. A round $1.8 million was spent; leaving an estimated $1.2 million balance, NEMA s aid. The 2011 Atlantic Hurri cane Season ended Novemb er 30. It began on June 1. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2011, PAGE 5 JOB OPENINGGolf Course SuperintendentWe are seeking a seasoned individual that i s experienced in golf course maintenance; operations involved with providing upkeep of greens, fairways, tees, sand traps, bodies of water, roughs, maintenance shop, golf carts and clubhouse. The successful candidate will be responsible for the following: assessing maintenance staff. the highest level of safety for all maintenance staff. developing and executing annual maintenance strategies and budget for the course. including, payroll, suppliers, fertilizers, chemicals, etc. developing required maintenance reports equipment as needed. maximize the number of rounds of golf played and to schedule maintenance healthy growth of the golf course grasses, trees, wetlands, and other plant materials. grounds. Interested applicants can forward their information to: firstname.lastname@example.org Attn: Human Resources Manager Bakers Bay Golf & Ocean Club Great Guana Cay Abaco, Bahamas (242Becoming the Employer of Choice in The Bahamas! By DANA SMITH email@example.com DESCRIBING the Bahamas as a nation ofi mports, BAIC chairman Edison Key called for more support for local farmers. He also claimed the sector is grossly under-budgetedby the government. Mr Key was speaking yest erday during the launch of the Buy Fresh; Buy Bahamian campaign, spearheadedby the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC The initiative seeks to bridge the gap between( local) farmers and producers on the one hand, and wholesalers, retailers, restaurateurs, hoteliers, farmers market operators, and theg eneral public on the other, he said. According to Mr Key, a tremendous amount of money is spent each year on importing fruits, vegetables and meats, which could all be bought fresh in the Bahamas instead. Local retailers who were p resent echoed his sentim ents, claiming they spend millions of dollars every year importing produce and meats. We need to change our attitudes and the way we dob usiness here in the Bahamas, b ecause we need to support our Bahamian people, Mr Key said. We are a nation of imports and we need to change that whole system. H e called purchasing B ahamian goods, an investment in the economy. Imagine what it would do for the livelihood and standard of living in the farming c ommunity, if only a third of t he estimated $500 million a nnual national food bill is spent in support of Bahamian farmers and producers, Mr Key said. Imagine the addi-t ional jobs and careers it could create. The chairman said the government should get serious about supporting local farm-i ng, and properly support its A griculture Fund. If the agriculture industry is developed in full form, Mr Key believes the Bahamas would not have to rely so heavily on imports. T he Buy Fresh, Buy B ahamian campaign seeks to provide greater access to a wider variety of locally grown produce for Bahamians. Representatives of Super Value, Bahamas Food Ser-v ices, Continental Foods, and t he Atlantis Resort were all present at the launch of the campaign and have expressed interest in supporting it. Also discussed was BAICs a nnual Farmers and Buyers F orum, which will take place t his Thursday in Andros. The forum allows for food retailers to meet with local farmers, tour their farms, andv iew their products. AN EX-HUSBAND has filed an appeal against the terms of his divorce settle ment, claiming Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett should have recused himself from the case. Garth Bethel is claiming that the property adjustment order delivered by Sir Michael on May 20, 2010 following the end of his sev en-year marriage to Veronica Bethel, should be vacated. Mr Bethel is asking that he be granted half the value of the matrimonial and non-matrimonial assets, in particular the West Bay Street Home and 12 condos. According to his notice of appeal, Mr Bethel only received $75,000 on an estate which should be grossly valued in around, or in excess of $10,000,000. Mr Bethel lists among his grounds for appeal that the chief justice erred in law and principle by causing bias or the appearance ofbias to be unavoidable because he failed to disclose prior to the hearing that he knew the parties concerned. In the notice of appeal, it is claimed Sir Michael attended Mr Bethels ex-wifes mothers funeral five days before the hearing and was a guest in their home during their marriage. Mr Bethel is also alleging that his ex-wife, her parents, sister, brother and attorney, have all personally known the chief justice for years, as they attend the same church. It said: The details above were disclosed by the learned chief justice after judgment upon inquiry. The learned chief justice should have disclosed these facts to all parties prior to hearing the application. Among the other grounds for appeal listed, Mr Bethel is alleging that the chief jus tice made a mistake in describing the property in question as non-matrimonial property. He claims they lived in the home while married, yet the assets were not equi tably divided, as they should have been according to law. Mr Bethel also claims that while the home belonged to his ex-wife before their mar riage, he made at least some contribution in the form of mortgage payments, and that while he did not contribute to the building of the condos, which the Notice of Appeal says increased the value of the property, they were his idea in the first place. Mr Bethel is also appeal ing to the court to take into consideration the parties conduct during their mar riage and reasons for the divorce. MAN FILES APPEAL OVER TERMS OF DIVORCE SETTLEMENT F ROM LEFT, D eAnn Ginson, Ministry of Tourism; Edison Key, executive chairman, BAIC; and Don Carnine, general manager, Bahamas Food Services CALL FOR SUPPORT TO FARMERS Bid to finish Hurricane Irene repairs MEMBERS OF Methodist Habitat o n the roof top of a home in Cat Island, repairing the damage c aused by Hurricane Irene in A ugust. Pictured looking on are director of NEMA, Captain S tephen Russell, left; and John Nixon, NEMAs repair pro-g ramme co-ordinator. P hotos by: Kris Ingraham/BIS NEMA OFFICIALS visit Isabella Wilson of Cat Island, during an inspection of the repairs to her roof. Pictured from left are John Nixon, NEMA repair programme co-ordinator; Ms Wilson and Captain Stephen Russell, director of NEMA.
LOCAL NEWS PAGE 6, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2011 THE TRIBUNE MUSIC echoed through the air, bringing sounds of great cheer as the Royal Bahamas Police Force celeb rated its 11th annual Tree L ighting Ceremony under t he theme, Celebrating the Gift of Life. The moderator for the event was Simone Beneby, who spoke with great elo-q uence and humour. P erforming during the ceremony were: the Royal Bahamas Police Force Pop Band, the Royal Bahamas Police Force Combined Youth Band, the ScotiaB ank Symphony, Tribe of Praise from Mt Olive Green B aptist Church, Soldiers of C hrist Drama Club from Abundant Life Bible Church, Ms Talented TeenB ahamas Monesha Bowleg, Centreville Primary School Head Girl Shaphira Nottage, and entertainer Terez Hepburn. T he guest speaker was Tom R oberts, Pastor of East Street G ospel Chapel. He said: The true meaning of the season is not in the festivities, but Jesus Christ coming to earth and the gifto f life we received through h im. In attendance were Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade and members of his executive management team, Force Chaplin FatherS tephen Davies, Bishop Walter Hanchell, senior officers, f amily and friends. F ollowing the ceremony, Santa made his usual appearance, giving treats to all ina ttendance. THE Bahamas Association o f Chiropractic hosted its first annual seminar on November 11 and 12 at the British Colonial Hilton. T he seminar presenter was professional interna-t ional speaker, accomplished author and vice president of Parker Chiropractic College, Dr GillesL amarche. Organisers said the BAC s eminar had an excellent turnout with 10 of the 11 p ractising Bahamian chiropractors attending the e vent. D r Lamarche spoke on C hiropractic philosophy and d escribed the medical mirac les he has experienced in his practice and personal life. H e said: Most people think the most important system of the human body i s the circulatory system or heart, but what tells the heart to continue to beat on i ts own? The answer is the brain a nd nervous system. The nervous system cont rols everything. If the nervous system is n ot working properly because of spinal subluxa-t ion, the body will not funct ion optimally. As chiropractors, we w ork to restore the workings o f the nervous system, thus allowing the body to heal itself. Seminar topics at the event included the need to developa 10-year vision statement for the association that will transf orm the chiropractic profess ion in the Bahamas into a m ainstream health care c hoice. E SSO Bahamas Limited is again supporting Junior Junkanoo this year. On Monday, the company hosted The Draw, whichd etermines the order of the s chools taking part in the p arade, at its Esso Tiger Market on Baillou Hill Road. The event also marked the launch of Essos annual Christmas promotion, whichw ill feature daily giveaways of Samsung Galaxy Tablets for 40 days, beginning December 5. Esso country manager Valentino Hanna stressed the importance of partnering withp rogrammes such as Junior Junkanoo. He said: We believe that if we invest in our children time, love and money our community will reap the benefits socially, spiritually andf inancially. Mr Hanna also mentioned E ssos Pennies at the Pump initiative, which will see the company donate one centf rom every gallon of fuel purchased during the promotion to support Junior Junkanoo. In attendance at The Draw w ere Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard, who was thek eynote speaker; Director of Culture Dr Linda MoxeyBrown; Junior Junkanoon ational co-ordinator Percy Vola Francis; and Assistant D irector of Culture Eddison James. Representatives of participating schools were also invited. D uring his address, Mr Maynard noted the impor tance of corporate sponsorship to youth-based initiatives. Working with young people is the best way to ensure t hat they get the right kind of e xposure to prepare them for the challenges that are out there, he said. T he Junior Junkanoo parade, now in its 24th year, kicks off December 8. E ssos promotion runs from November 28, 2011 until Jan uary 17, 2012. T HE MEMBERS of St Francis Xavier CathedralB azaar Committee would like to thanke veryone who assisted in any way during its r ecently held B azaar, Steakout and Raffle. Father Glen N ixon, Rector, reported that the Bazaar wast ruly a fusion o f culture and fun and its succ ess is attributed t o the over whelming show of support byt he general publ ic. ESSO SIGNS UP TO SUPPORT JUNIOR JUNKANOO Tree lights go on at police HQ C OMMISSIONEROFPOLICE E llison Greenslade switches on the lights during the ceremony. BAHAMAS HOSTS EXPERT SEMINAR CHURCH BAZAAR A FUSION OF CULTURE AND FUN TIFFANY REID (second left Co-Chairperson Rose Ferguson (second from right t o her. Also present for the event is Terrol Cash, Sales Manager of Executive Motors Ltd.
There have been chal lenges in regularising, she said. Were taking the lesser of t wo evils because theyre already in the house and you cant foreclose on somethingt hat you dont have. When we regularize, we can legally geta mortgage. Upon scrutiny of the unregularised homes, it was discovered that some units weree ngaged in a rental agreement with the Ministry of Housing, Mrs Storr said. We finance all housing units, we disburse the funds, but housing gives the keys and I cant tell you when u nregularized residents got the keys. Were trying to recover the funds we spent, M rs Storr said. Anywhere and anyhow we can get some money in, wet ry to get it. But it has to be recorded as rental income and collected on behalf of Hous i ng. In a lot of cases, (resi dents) know whats going on when we contact them. L ast night, Mrs Storr said the challenges faced by the corporation as it moves to not o nly register the government homes, but collect on outstanding mortgages are symp-t omatic of a cultural mindset towards government-run insti tutions. Unfortunately, people are of the view that a gov-e rnment institution should be more lenient to the point where its not financially pru dent, she said. Thats a mindset we wish t o change, that we definitely need to change in this whole country. the rumours and puzzled as to where the reports came from. He added that were Mr Wright to leave the FNMa nd resign his seat in Parl iament, the party would deal with it accordingly and cross that bridge when they got there. If Mr Wright or Mrs Grant were to resign their seats as MPs, it would force a by-election in their respective constituencies within 60 days, however, as only six months remain before the election must bec alled it is felt the by-election process would bem eaningless and costly, as both constituencies are to be removed. Losing the by-elections w ould also put the FNM in a precarious situation, observed political com-m entators, who feel Mr Ingraham would instead call for an early election. Mrs Grant and Mr W right expressed their discontent of the boundary cuts and the elimination of t heir respective seats duri ng the debate on the Constituencies Commission Boundary Report last week in the House of Assembly. During his passionate contribution to the debate,M r Wright said he understood the process but expressed disappointment that the majority side did not speak to him about t heir plans to eliminate his constituency before the i nformation was made public. You could cut Clifton, I understand that, go ahead and cut your boundary lines, do what you want to do but I say this ... at least somebody should let you know that there is going to be an eradication or delimitation, but thats all right,s aid the MP. H e added: Im for progress, and make no mist ake about it, I do not plan to come here and say it was all right because it's not all right for Clifton you got b e kidding me. the FNM party is true, he will most likely opt for early elections, he said. Those of us who are true p olitical observers, who are not a part of the FNM, have taken note of the trouble andt he friction in the party. The Prime Minister does n ot like to be embarrassed, if those people resigned it m eans the government will have a reduced majority in t he House and that would put him in a position to call elections sooner. Mr Christies comments came after speculation that Clifton Member of Parliament Kendal Wright and E ight Mile Rock MP Verna G rant intend to resign from the Free National Movement t oday. According to numerous s ources within the party and those close to the respective MPs, Mr Wright and Mrs Grant intend to make their announcement when the House of Assembly meets at 10am. M r Christie said regardless o f whether Mrs Grant and Mr Wright resign, the PLP is r eady for whatever elections are called. We have no evidence that those members resigned. As far as the PLP is concerned, Mr Wright and Mrs Grant are still standing members of the FNM. I have no interest in specu lating whether or not they h ave resigned. The FNMs problems are the FNMs p roblems but I do know this whenever elections are called, w e will be ready, he said. The PLP is unified. We are cohesive. We have already developed a team. We are untied and ready to become the next government of the Bahamas. I can say it w ith confidence the PLP will o nce again return to power and we can thank the Prime M inster and his governments horrendous negligence for t hat. Mr Christe said while he has not been in talks with either Mr Wright or Mrs Grant regarding their possible resignation from the FNM, the PLP is an open tent a nd will welcome them if they s o choose. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2011, PAGE 7 Police say they are also following significant leads into the death of Bridgette Patrice Saunders, 43, of Fox Hill. Ms Saunders body was found with neck wounds t hrough a track road between Joans Heights west and Cox Way shortly after 8am on Tuesday. A 34-year-old man was questioned by police and was released yesterday. Detectives are asking anyo ne who may have information to call them on 919 or 911; the Central Detective Unit on 502-9991 or 502-9910; or Crime Stoppers on 328TIPS. f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e MURDERED 1 7-YEAR-OLD WAS VICTIM IN RAPE CASE EX CL USIVE: HOMES GIVEN OUT WITHOUT MOR TGAGES BY PLP MINISTRY All eyes on quitting MPs CHRISTIE EXPECTS EARLY ELECTION IF FNMPAIR RESIGN K ENDAL WRIGHT a nd Verna Grant will be in the spotlight in Parliament today, following their threats to quit the FNM party.
GEORGE TOWN, the Cayman Islands At a dinner party on Seven Mile Beach here, I asked a long-time resident (who serves on two publ ic boards) for a briefing on the islands political parties. Curiously, he could not even recall their names. So the next day, I drove along the modern four-lane h ighway to Camana Bays signature bookstore to pick up a copy of Roy Bodden's politic al history t he Cayman I slands in Transition. C amana Bay itself a $400 million live, work, play development by billionaire Kenneth Dart is an obvious physical example of that trans ition. Dart, an American w ith Caymanian status, recently acquired retail and office property in downtown N assau, but has yet to launch a project. B odden is a former Caym anian education minister w ho is now president of the University College here the e quivalent of our College of the Bahamas. His Transition book was the first of a threep art series on local political development. And it explained why my dinner party host seemed at a loss. Oddly enough, political parties here date no furtherb ack than the year 2001 apart from two brief experiments in the late 1950s and e arly 60s. The Cayman Islands were first settled in the 1600s by European wreckers, rene gades and fishermen. But the p olitical history of the islands d id not begin until 1831, when a legislature was established by leading citizens, without reference to the imperial gov ernment in London. There w ere less than 2,000 people l iving here at the time half free and half enslaved. Back then, a handful of men got together in the liv ing room of a plantation great house called Pedro St James, o n Grand Cayman's windswept southern coast, to set up the assembly. And four years later, an envoy from Jamaica held court there to issue the proclamation end i ng slavery in the British Empire. The three-storey building w here this event took place has been carefully restored ata cost of some $8 million. And Pedro St James is now a seven-acre national historic site, featuring a multi-sensory 3D theatre as well as a spacious gift shop and visitor cen tre. There is nothing like it in the Bahamas. Although the British even tually ratified the Caymanian legislature, confirming the islands status as a dependency of Jamaica, it was not until 1959 that a written constitution was first introduced. When the West Indies Federation died and Jamaica became independent in 1962, Caymanians overwhelmingly opted to remain British. At the time, there were fewer than 10,000 people here. Another constitution, adopted in 1972 as we were about to become independent, devolved more authority from the British governor to Caymans elected repre sentatives, while stopping short of internal self-govern ment. The governor remained the islands chief executive, and candidates for the legislature stood as independents. Nonetheless, (this tution represented the beginning of a new era in Caymanian politics, Bodden wrote, noting that the 1976 election marked the first time in the history of the Cayman Islands that the political directorate had assumed prominence over the official arm of gov ernment. Voting by recent immigrants became a potent issue around this time until a constitutional amendment established eligibility requirements in 1987, enabling control of the legislature to remain in the hands of what Bodden calls established Caymanians, in recognition of the fact t hat the entire society is i mported. But there were still no political parties. In the 1980se lections were contested by unofficial teams of candidates, as well as by independ ents. T hese loose alliances displayed no significant differ ences in policy or ideology. I n fact, Bodden refers to this period as an ad-hocracy. In the 2000 general elect ion, a portly print shop owne r named Kurt Tibbets became government leader. And soon afterwards, somem embers of the legislature rejected his leadership and formed the United Democra-t ic Party under the command of Mckeeva Bush, a businessman and longtime politician. Tibbets and his supporters r eacted by forming the Peo ples Progressive Movement, and went on to win the 2005 e lection. In 2009 after constitutional changes created the office of premier and d evolved more power to a reorganised cabinet Bush and the UDP were re-elect e d. The next election is sched uled for 2013, and Tibbets r ecently passed leadership of the PPM to Alden McLaughlin, a lawyer and former civil servant. I n a short visit, it is difficult to discern any differences between these two parties especially since Caymanian politics revolves principally around personalities, andm any of these personalities even share identical surnames Bodden, Eden, Hurlstone and Ebanks in particular spring to mind. Caymanian politics has been described by outsiders as medieval or byzantine, and Roy Bodden likes to apply the term frontier soci ety to connote clannishness, scheming and a conspiratorial attitude. But the British governor remains the real head of gov ernment, appointing the premier and holding responsibility for the civil service, defence, external affairs and internal security. The transformation of the Cayman Islands over the past 50 years has been nothing short of phenomenal. In 1953, there was a single commercial bank in George Town, but several key pieces of legislation in the 1960s laid the foundation for development of one of the world's top financial centres, which sparked Caymans economic boom. The extent of the transformation can be seen from this recent description in the Cay man Financial Review : In the early 60s, there was no telephone service. Electricity did not extend to all districts of Grand Cayman. There was no piped water or sewage system. Mosquitoes were so thick at certain times of the year they suffocated cows. Many of Caymans roads were unpaved. There (was just the beginnings of a tourism industry, geared mostly toward scuba divers. But today, Grand Cayman is home to a dazzling array of high-end tourist and financial infrastructure, populated by a cosmopolitan and largely affluent workforce of 36,000 m ore than half of which is f rom other countries. Over a hundred high-quality restaurants and a score of u pscale hotels line Seven Mile Beach, including the RitzCarlton, Marriott and Westinb rands. T he 2010 census put the total population at 54,000, of which there were about 20,000 work permit holders. Most of the established C aymanians are of mixed r ace, and the large expatriate population (both white and non-white) is a major source of contention among local politicos, with immigration policies always a hot buttont opic. In fact, during my visit, I had a hard time finding an established Caymanian interfacing with tourists. From restaurant servers, to front d esk clerks to managers, they a re usually North Americans or Europeans on work permits. G rand Cayman has mana ged to preserve its position as a top financial centre in the face of a crackdown on inter-n ational money laundering and tax evasion, as well as the recessionary impact of the g lobal credit crisis. And tourism grew by more than 5 per cent last year, for a total of 1.9 million visitors. A s a result, the government is projecting modest growth in Caymans $2.4 billion grossd omestic product this year, with public debt at under $600,000 and a budget deficito f less than $5 million. It sounds good to us, but it is a sign of the times that the government has been oblig-e d to agree to a new Britishmandated Framework for Fiscal Responsibility to control spending, borrowing and public procurement. Only a few years ago, G rand Cayman was totally devastated by Hurricane Ivan, but you would never know that today. The island is clean, wellmaintained and well-organised. All the infrastructure works, and the hotels and restaurants are buzzing. But despite this obvious prosperity, a drug gang culture has begun to develop, and police are increasingly worried about the prolifera tion of firearms. Robberies have increased and there were five gangrelated killings in September alone, leading the government to allocate an additional $4.6 million to the police while bringing in experts from Britain to help. In his book, Bodden gives some possible clues as to why this is happening and his explanation resonates with our far worse experience in the Bahamas: Land sales were encouraged and money flowed, while education, training and human resources development were relegated to the back burner or ignored... crime is becoming increasingly widespread, yet there is no sustained, coherent attempt to address family and community issues, as if soci etal breakdown and combat ing crime have nothing to do with one another. It remains to be seen whether the Cayman Islands will rise above its legacy as a frontier society and become the Singapore of the Caribbean as many of its pro moters enthusiastically forecast. What do you think? Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www. bahamapundit.com. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 8, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2011 THE TRIBUNE Politics on the Cayman Islands The Bahamas own street philosopher The transformation of the Cayman Islands over the past 50 years has been nothing short of p henomenal.
LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2011, PAGE 11 DOT TELL PINDER DARVILLE GONE CRAZY!!! 40 yr. Architecture Shingles$31.00 per bundleResisto Ice & Water Shield 100% Silicon$75.00 per roll10% Off All Windows 10% Off All LumberMany, Many More In-House Specials! ENTERPRISESSmashing Prices Left & Right Tel: 324-1943 Prince Charles Drive FOR MORE than four decades, the Nassau Renaissance Singers have been inspiring audiences with classical, traditional and contemporary choral music by many 2 0th century composers of c lassical style. This years concerts, entitled Music For Christmas, are dedicated to the memories of Dr Keva Bethel and E Cement Bethel; two individuals who contributed greatly t o the educational, cultural a nd musical fabric of this n ation. T he public is invited to join in the musical tribute, to be held in the Government House Ballroom on Saturday, December 10, at 8pm and Sunday, December 11, at 6.30pm. Choir director Audrey D ean-Wright said: The B ethels have played an i mportant role not only as it r elates to the Nassau Renaissance Singers, but to the d evelopment of the arts and education throughout the Bahamas. The Nassau Renaissance Singers began as a quartet in 1965 under the direction ofD avid Fysh. From 1967 until his death i n 1987, the choir was directed b y the late E Clement Bethel, a Bahamian who trained at the Royal Academy of Music i n London. The Singers grew under his direction, b ecoming one of the country's p remier vocal groups. A statement from the Singers said: Clement strove for excellence in all art forms, and was a catalyst in thed evelopment of the National Dance School, the NationalY outh Choir and the E C lement Bethel National Arts F estival. He is an accomplished composer and writer (knownf or the popular folk opera Same Swain and PraiseH ymn) as well as a gifted p ianist. Clement also played a pivotal role in assisting visual artists such as Amos Fergus on to gain international recognition. A promoter of all things B ahamian, he visited J unkanoo shacks, walked and talked with the people of Bain Town and Congo Town in order to get a true sense ofo ur cultural heritage. Clement was our first and most outstanding Director of Culture. Though acclaimed on his return from university as one of the worlds best up-and-c oming pianists, by the famed Van Cliburn, Mr Bethel gave up what could have been world-wide fame to return home and serve his beloved Bahamas. Dr Keva Bethel, a musician in her own right, was a faithful founding member of the Nassau Renaissance Singers, b eing one of the four in the o riginal quartet. This group always walked away with first place in the then Bahamas National Arts Festival. The statement said: Her rich alto voice is remembered fondly by members of t he Singers. D r Bethel was also a tale nted pianist. She was accomp anist for the Government High School Choir where she also took up a teaching position for Modern Languages in 1959. In 1975, she transferred to take up a post at the College of the Bahamas, where she r emained until her retirement i n 1998. S he was named principal in 1 982 and later, the colleges first president in 1995. D r Bethel is credited with putting COB on the map in the eyes of students and educators, laying the groundwork for moving the school from a two-year com-m unity institution to a recognised four-year univ ersity. K eva and Clement shared 25 joyful years together, until his death in 1987. I n this years concert the audience can expect a varied s election of pieces that will p ut them in the Christmas and holiday mood. To continue a popular tradition, the Dicey Doh Singers will delight the audience once again this year. The statement said: The Nassau Renaissance Singers c hoir is committed to assisti ng young, talented musicians in realising their dream to develop their art form by providing scholarships to the College of the Bahamas. This year, we are proud to h ave two recipients of the N assau Renaissance Singers S cholarship at COB. They are o ur featured artists for this years concerts: Thurman Johnson and Ruebendero Gibson. Thurman Johnson said the scholarship has been a blessing to him because he did not have the funds to attend C OB. H e said: The scholarship c ame out of nowhere, like a m iracle. I have learned so much s ince entering the College of the Bahamas this fall. Thurman has particularly enjoyed his major area of interest, the trumpet, as well as the new choral techniquesa nd performances with the College of the Bahamas Conc ert Choir. N assau Renaissance Singers tickets for December 10 and 11 are available at Logos B ookstore in the Harbour Bay Shopping Centre, at Cust om Computers on Cable B each and from choir mem bers. Paying tribute to cultural icons THE NASSAU RENAISSANCE S INGERS, a bove, as they prepare for Saturdays concert and, right, as the choir was in 1989.