The Tribune.
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00084249/03215
 Material Information
Title: The Tribune.
Uniform Title: Tribune. (Nassau, Bahamas).
Alternate Title: Nassau tribune
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 58 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tribune
Publication Date: 02-24-2012
Genre: newspaper   ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage: Bahamas
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 79, no. 210 (Aug. 3, 1983); title from caption.
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 09994850
oclc - 9994850
System ID: UF00084249:03215

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N ASSA U AND BAHAMA ISLANDS LEADING NEWSPAPER Hitman suspect faints in court Volume: 108 No.73FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2012 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 WEATHER SUNNY AND NICE HIGH 85F LOW 71F By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter ljohnson@tribunemedia.net A MAN accused of the execution-style killing of 47-year-old banker Stephen Sherman fainted during his arraignment in Magistrates Court yesterday. C ordero Bethel, 21, of Pinewood Gardens, was standing before Chief Magis t rate Roger Gomez facing murder and multiple charges of armed robbery when he passed out on the tile floor of C ourt Six. Besides the robberies, Bethel was charged with the February 17 shooting death and armed robbery of Mr Sherman. Mr Sherman, the countys 18th homicide victim, was shot to death during a hold up outside his Yamacraw home shortly after 8pm Friday. The gunman reportedly got out of a silver coloured Honda to rob Mr Sherman of his cell phone before he shot him and made his escape in the same car. It is further claimed the accused robbed a young woman of cash during thei ncident. He was not required to enter a plea to the charges due to their nature. When his remaining charges were being read to him by the chief magistrate, h e fainted. However, officers present were able to stop his headf rom hitting the floor. He was helped to his feet and at this point defence attorney Nathan Smith addressed C hief Magistrate Gomez con cerning alleged police brutality towards his client. Mr Smith claimed the accused was severely beaten. He said his client had red marks along his back, neck, ankles and shin to prove it. Chief Magistrate Gomez noted the complaints and ordered the accused be taken to the Princess Margaret Hospital to be examined and treated. He indicated that Bethel Man accused of e xecuting banker outside home TRY OUR MIGHTY W INGS The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST LATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Staff Reporter aturnquest@tribunemedia.net MOTORISTS can expect lengthy closures in four more areas as construction on the New Providence Road Improvement and Infrastruc ture Project nears the finish line. In addition to closures, con tractors have started laying By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter ljohnson@tribunemedia.net THE prosecution closed its case yesterday afternoon in the trial of two policemen who are charged in connection with the death of a pris oner. Cpl Donovan Gardiner is charged with the manslaugh By CHESTER ROBARDS Tribune Senior Reporter crobards@tribunemedia.net ALMOST three times as many individuals were convicted of murder under the Free National Movement administration than under the Progressive Liberal Party, Attorney General and FNM Senator John Delaney has revealed. PLP deputy leader Philip TOMORROW IN THE BIG T FOOD COUPONS AND SPECIALS D ONT miss T he Big T tomorrow, packed with news, features, fashion, e ntertainment and up to $ 150 in food and shopping coupons. T his week in T he Big T, we feature two photo specials on the 48th Heart Ball a nd we reveal w ho made our Belles of t he Ball l ist. In our regular weekly c olumns, J ohn Marquis talks about the critical lashing he received from some readers of his latest book, Long Hot S ummer, and A drian Gibson tells us why he is c lamouring for our B ahamian politicians to engage in American/ Canadian/UK-styled debates. F or advice on how best to deal with job termination, read our Legal Brief c olumn by Halsbury Chambers. I n our entertainment and lifestyles section, you can learn all about the new critically acclaimedd ocumentary on B ob Marley; while o ur STYLZ experts reveal all you need to know aboutt he p erfect eye makeup. Also dont miss a pho to fashion special on h ome-grown designer Kya Nguyen and the story about how two ath l etes with Bahamian r oots are becoming shooting stars in the worlds of football and basketball. FOUR MORE ROAD CLOSURES POLICE TRIAL PROSECUTION RESTS FNM C ONVICTION RA TE UP ON PLP S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 9 9 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 2 2 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 9 9 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 2 2 By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter ljohnson@tribunemedia.net PRIME Minister Hubert Ingraham promised Bahamians that a re-elected Free National Movement will establish a summer pro gramme for young boys. This promise, along with others, came during the FNMs opening of the Southern Shores and Tall Pines conSUMMER SCHEME PLEDGE F OR B OYS S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 1 1 2 2 JUNIOR ATHLETE OF THE WEEK PLP SEEKS OUT HAITIAN VOTES THE Progressive Liberal Party lead ership held a private meeting with Haitian rights advocates last night in a b id to drum up support for their cam paign. Perry Christie is pictured, left as he a rrived at the meeting last night. This comes just weeks after the par ty accused the Free National Move ment of manipulating the political process to gain votes from Bahamians of Haitian descent. PLP Leader Perry Christie met with the United Haitian Association in the Bahamas at the Church of the Nazarene on Minnie Street. UHAB president Pastor Antoine St Louis said Mr Christie was scheduled to meet with members at 7.30pm. S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 9 9 SEESPORT SECTION E


LOCAL NEWS PAGE 2, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2012 THE TRIBUNE B y KHRISNA VIRGIL k virgil@tribunemedia.net W HILE public service employees can expect to r eceive only one more general increment to their salaries under the Ingraham administration, other benefits are imminent, Bahamas Public S ervice Union president John Pinder said. M r Pinder was yesterday b riefing members of the press on the outcome of continuing negotiations with the union and Prime Minister Hubert I ngraham at the BPSU hall o n East Street. The two met on Wednesd ay to discuss a new industrial agreement for civil servants i n the union. H e said: He (Mr Ingraham) was not able to commit to any general increases for t he general public service. He said the country can't afford it. We were able to at least g et him to add another incre ment to every persons salary over the three-year period and the industrial agreement should last if we are able to s ign off on it. Admitting to an existing c ulture in the public service sector, which despite the countrys economic climate still expects an increase in salaries before an election, Mr P inder said a level of dissatisfaction stands. During an election year, t hey normally get an increase in salary, not so much to say they are buying an election, but I believe in most of our i ndustrial agreements, right a round that year, they normally would have received s omething. While we know the count ry may be faced with its f inancial challenges, so are our members, because the cost of living continues toi ncrease and gas prices continue to increase. However, the union will now focus its attention on get t ing other benefits for its members, many of whom are right on the poverty line, Mr Pinder said. If we could get the gove rnment to at least agree to increase the increment that a t least the minimum is $600 thats a good help, since they cant give a general increase. In addition, Mr Pinder said h e hopes that a health insurance to cover catastrophic illn esses can be agreed upon so t hat members who pay high premiums can increase their savings. According to Mr Pinder, M r Ingraham has agreed to a gain meet with union executives next week to continue d iscussions. As early as next week we w ill see if that decision has c hanged or if anything can be put in writing for us to sign off on. He is prepared to put something in writing for us to be committed to or for the government to be committedt o in the event there is a change. By DANA SMITH d smith@tribunemedia.net D R DUANE Sands told t he Senate that he has been the victim of hate speech and character assassination at the hands of the PLP. While announcing his support of the Freedom of Inform ation Act, he said he has no p roblem with criticism no matter how difficult or how caustic provided it is delivered on positions of policy, process, or action. But I dont condone nor w ill I engage in personal attacks on anybodys character. A persons behaviour and character is quite capable ofs peaking for itself. Over the last few weeks, I and my family and friends have been subjected to the lowest form of hate speech, character assassination, and putrid public utterances. D r Sands said that while he h as been the victim of such pathetic and untruthful drivel he still supports the right of all Bahamians to exist in a free society, even if the very f reedom he defends is misu sed and misdirected at himself. He later read statements delivered last week by Gold-e n Gates MP Shane Gibson, w ho accused Dr Sands of lying about Mr Gibsons tenure as housing minister from 2002 to 2007, during which he offered advice to the Bahamas Mortgage Cor-p oration (BMC I n an earlier Senate speech, Dr Sands said more than 800 homeowners were overcharged by the BMC from 2002 to 2007 through conting encies. H e also stated that the corporations finances were mismanaged to the point where approximately $1.874 millionh eld in BMCs name was f ound in bank accounts for which BMC had no record. Mr Gibson said: We came in and found a department that was millions in debt, without proper contracts or proce-d ures, without enough engin eers or inspectors. We fixed all that: paid the debt, instituted proper procedures, hired the right people. Then we built 1,400 homes for Bahamians. Im proud of the work we d id. I'm proud of what we accomplished, and proud of the way we did it, too. So, to be clear, Duane Sands isl ying. He is not simply misl eading the public, he is lying. There is zero evidence that homeowners were overcharged because it never happened, Mr Gibson said. There is no missing money,n o accounts with my signat ure all of that is lies, political theatre and lies. After reading Mr Gibsons statements, Dr Sands then tabled and read excerpts from a 2008 audit into the Ministry o f Housing and said the public will soon have access to this sort of information should the Freedom of Infor-m ation Act be enforced. O ne of the overall findings from the audit was that there had been an inexplicable failure in the financial management of the two special accounts at the ministry, he said. Account statements and a udits do not appear to exists for these two major accounts for any year after 1998. The government failed to flag this issue, he said. A dark time in our h istory see page 8 SANDS SAYS HE HAS BEEN VICTIM OF HATE SPEECH BY THE PLP Union president says benefits due for employees MAN CHARGED in court for murder. P hoto: Felip Major /Tribune Staff w ould be charged with the r emaining offences when he recovered and was able to stand in court. The accused was remanded to prison until he reappears today to face the remaining charges police havef iled against him. Two men wanted for ques tioning in connection with the countrys 18th homicide turnedt hemselves in to police yester day, The Tribune can confirm. Jamal Smith, 21, of Churchill Subdivision andK enneth Neely, 21, of Resur r ection Boulevard, were sought in connection with the fatal shooting of 47-year-oldb anker Stephen Sherman last Friday. f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e HITMAN SUSPECT F AINTS IN COURT ter of 28-year-old Desmond Key. Beside him in the dock is Constable Tavares Bowleg who is accused of abetment. It is alleged Gardiner beat father-of-six Desmond Key with a baseball bat at Grove police station in June 2007 while Bowleg watched. Key died of his injuries seven months later. The Crown was expecting to call their final witness, a policewoman who received a statement from Key in connection with the alleged assault. However, prosecutor Linda Evans told the court the prosecution would close its case without the testimony. Prior to this, Ms Evans along with defence counsel Ian Cargill and Tecoyo Bridgewater (holding for Wayne Munroe), entered into closed discussions with Justice Vera Watkins in the absence of the jury. Before these discussions, prosecution witness Insp Kenroy Ferguson, the investigat ing officer, told the court his inquiries and information gathering led to an interview under caution with PC 560 Tavares Bowleg the following day. The interview was done with attorney Wilbert Moss Jr present. I informed him that he was suspected of causing grievous harm and commenced the interview asking a series of questions. He added that Bowleg denied causing grievous harm to Key. Bowleg read over the inter view but opted not to sign under the advice of his attor ney. Gardiner, according to the inspector, was interviewed on August 4, where he also denied causing grievous harm to Desmond Key though he declined to read over his statement. The officer affirmed that neither of the officers were threatened and said based on evidence, Gardiner and Bowleg were charged with causing grievous harm and abetment respectively. When asked by prosecutor Evans if he could recall the officer in charge of the Cen tral Detective Unit at the time, he replied: It wouldve been Glenn Miller. In cross-examination, the inspector admitted to Mr Cargill that he could not say who the previous investigation officer of the incident was nor could he recall who had given him instructions to continue investigating the incident. He contended though, that former Deputy Commissioner of Police Marvin Dames was not in charge of CDU, despite being assistant com missioner at the time. Cargill asked the policeman if he found evidence to con tradict Bowlegs denial of the offence and he replied: No. He did say there was evi dence Bowleg had struck the prisoner when Key was being subdued. The attorney retorted: Which was during the alleged escape, correct? Insp Ferguson agreed. Mr Cargill suggested to the witness that there was no dif ference between officer Bowleg and Constable Kevin Roberts who gave a state ment. He further suggested to the witness that he not only pressured Constable Roberts to give the statement, but was instructed by Marvin Dames to have the accused charged. Ferguson denied the sug gestions and answered, based on Cargills next question, that Roberts would have been lying if he had gone on the stand and said he was pressured to give a statement against his fellow officers. Tecoyo Bridgewater crossexamined the witness next and suggested that he had selective memory, saying that he was able to only recall some and not all of officer Roberts account of the night in question. He had suggested to the witness that Robert had spo ken to senior officers but Ferguson said he did not remem ber. Mr Bridgewater also questioned the frequency of homi cide detectives dealing with non-homicide cases. Cargill himself in a second crossexamination had inquired about this. The witness retorted that it was not an unusual practice as the administration of the force decided which cases went to the various departments and units within the force, including CDU and the complaints and corruption. The trial resumes on Monday. f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e POLICE TRIAL PROSECUTION RESTS


B y AVA TURNQUEST T ribune Staff Reporter aturnquest@tribunemedia.net NEGOTIATIONS between KFC Nassau and the Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied W orkers Union inched forward y esterday as stores remained closed for a fourth day. As a result of mediation by Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes, the fast food chainh as submitted a revised written proposal to the union forr eview. After meeting separately with both bodies, Mr Foulkes said he hoped to arrange a f ace-to-face meeting with b oth teams today. Last night, BHCAWU vice-president Darren Woods said KFC workers have been ordered to continue to go to work as scheduled in an effort t o shield themselves against s trike claims. While the union is prepared to resume negotiations, Mr Woods explained that management would have to work to repair its relation-s hip with the staff. Once we would have gone t hrough all this and negotiations are finished, Mr Woods said. (KFC management will have to work on repairing t he strained relations between m anagement and the union, and management and their employees. Mr Woods said: You have persons that have been in their employ for as long as t he company was in existence. P eople that have given all their time and years to the company. Well see what happens. Labour relations at the f ranchise deteriorated following the cancellation of thec ompanys voluntary recognition of the union. On Monday, staff were given an ultimatum to accept n ew terms and conditions of e mployment or face termination. Employees were given until yesterday to make their decision. KFC Nassau has stated that its nine locations will remain c losed until an industrial a greement is reached, and that it is unwilling to pay any employees during the closure period. The company claims the s hut down was a result of the illegal strike action orderedb y union bosses on Monday. The union has maintained t hat the sit-out on Monday w as not a strike, and came in response to the abrupt cancellation of union recognition and the subsequent ultimatum placed on staff. Mr Woods said: They p laying games. They say they d ont recognise the bargaining agent in the print media but then they say theyre not opening stores until they have an industrial agreement. Whoa re you going to negotiate with? They seem to be moving the goal post every time we g et close and probably they h ave an agenda. As we stand nothing much has changed, we have to see how far apart we are. The fast-food chain also stated that it has not received a claim for recognition from t he union, which it said is necessary for official recognition. The BHCAWU was certified as the official bargaining agent for line staff by MinisterF oulkes on Monday night. Restaurant Bahamas Limi ted did not return calls for comment. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2012, PAGE 3 A TEMPORARY road has been opened on Prince Charles Drive while the exist ing roadway between St Augustines College and B eatrice Avenue is closed to carry out underground trenching as part of the NewP rovidence Improvement and I nfrastructure Project. Instead of a full road clo sure for which no vehicles would be allowed to pass, a temporary road was opened north of the existing road pri o r to construction works on Prince Charles Drive, said Shenique Albury, environ m ental specialist attached to the Project Execution Unit of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport. T he temporary road connects at the rear entrance of St Augustine College (SAC to Stephens Close (which is the 1st corner west of the back entrance to SAC). From this point drivers can travel to Gleniston Gardens, Prince Charles Drive and then to Beatrice Avenue. Drivers also have the option of travelling on Fox Hill Road. The work on Prince Charles Drive also includes drainage, construction of water mains and sidewalks, installation of service ducts for major utilities and relocation of existing utilities. Ms Albury said it is antici pated that a section of Prince Charles Drive at the rear entrance of SAC to Winters Drive (near Breath of Life Pre-School) will be paved in early March. It is also anticipated that Beatrice Avenue to Wilson Way will be paved in early March. KFCstores remain closed but first sign of movement to end dispute VEHICLES travel on the temporary road near the rear entrance to St Augustines College while underground works are carried out on Prince Charles Drive.Photo: Letisha Henderson/BIS TEMPORARY ROAD OPEN ON PRIN CE CHARLES


EDITOR, The Tribune. IN AN interview with the press on February 10, theL eader of the Democratic N ational Alliance (DNA Branville McCartney accused Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham of disgracing this nation by allowing Haitian President M ichel Martelly to come into t he country and encourage his people to support the party t hat is looking after their best interests. Of course, with an election t hat is within months of being held, Martellys shocking statements are seen as both i nflammatory and irresponsib le by many natural born Bahamians. Bahamians have every right t o be upset over the comments of Martelly, but I believe those who are callingi n to the various radio talk shows and demanding the resignations of Ingraham and Foreign Affairs Minister Brent Symonette are simply overreacting. The same thing can be said o f Branville McCartney and his DNA supporters. McCart ney will use this issue to score much needed political brownie points for his party in the coming weeks. C laiming that Ingraham h ad orchestrated Martellys visit for political advantage is pure speculation. McCartneyd oes not have one shred of evidence that this is so. Therefore, I believe that the DNA Leaders demand for Ingra-h ams resignation is totally uncalled for. It was just pure political rhetoric, thats all. M cCartneys interview on February 10 has pretty much confirmed him in his opposi t ion to PM Ingraham and his f ormer party. He has virtually burned the bridge he has crossed. I dont think he cane ver return to the Free National Movement (FNMHe has crossed the point of n o return. But as I said above, McCartney will use this inci dent to give his fledgling par t y some umph. McCartney has made a point to stay in the limelight by criticising the I ngraham administration for almost every decision that it has made. His party has evenh eld several street rallies throughout New Providence and a few of the Family Islands in order to garner the support of the electorate. It was only a few weeks ago that McCartney led the charge in calling for a national debate between himself, the leaders of the two main political parties, Ingraham andP erry Christie. T he fact that McCartney is w illing to enter the lions den to face his former political l eader and benefactor is undeniable proof that the DNA leader is a confident man. Few political pundits, howe ver, are willing to go out on a l imb and say that the Bamboo Town Member of Parliam ent will easily win his seat as I ngraham and Christie will. Both Ingraham and C hristie are deeply entrenched in their respectivec onstituencies. It will be a p iece of cake for both of them to win their seats. That will not be the case for McCartney, however. I n an impressive TV and r adio political ad of the DNA, the Bamboo Town MP comes o ff as smooth and decisive. One is given the impression that McCartney has what it takes to be prime minister. I believe that the upcomi ng general election will be a defining one for the DNA L eader. The number one q uestion that every DNA supporter should be asking is this: If McCartney loses his B amboo Town seat, what then? If the DNA is to have any semblance of relevance to the Bahamian people,M cCartney must win his contest. Otherwise his party will suffer the same fate as the n ow dissolved Bahamas Democratic Movement (BDMN ational Development Part y. To be sure, the other 37 candidates of McCartneysp arty dont really have any thing to lose in this election. Nobody is expecting them to w in. They dont have to feel embarrassed if they lose. After they have lost their contests, they can all walk a way feeling proud and knowing that they have gotten their 15 seconds of fame. McCartney, on the other hand, might be left to pick up the broken pieces of a once promising political career. The talk about the DNA winning the election is tantamount to putting the cart before the horse. Trying to win the election s hould be the least of McCartn eys worries. He should be concerned about winning his seat. He has to retain his seat first before he can talk about occupying the seat of the chief e xecutive. And I can tell you t hat wont be easy. Unfortunately for McCartn ey and the DNA, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP has fielded a candidate in hisa rea. Unlike the 2002 general election when the PLP did T ennyson Wells a favour by n ot running a candidate in Bamboo Town, McCartney will have to contend with ac andidate from two of the major political organisations, Renwood Wells and CassiusS tuart. I believe that the overwhelming majority of supporters from the PLP will vote for Wells. McCartney will have to convince at least 90 per c ent of FNM support e rs who voted for him in 2007 to do the same thing again. I just cannot envisage that happening. Besides, his reasons for leaving the party are petty at b est. I dont think swing vote rs will be much of a factor in Bamboo Town. The politi cal base of both major parties w ill play a pivotal role in this electoral contest. In the final analysis, McCartney has chosen to playR ussian roulette with his political future by leaving the FNM and establishing his own p olitical organisation. He has made himself a nui sance to the prime minister b y persistently harassing him a nd his administration. As a master politician, Ingraham will no doubt usee very legal means necessary to win back Bamboo Town for the FNM. Now that he has e stablished himself as Ingrahams most vociferous opponent, McCartney will be in for the fight of his young political l ife at the polls. I dont think he will win, because the FNM campaign m achine will give him a good run for his money in that contest. KEVIN EVANS Freeport, Grand Bahama, February 12, 2012. EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR P AGE 4, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2012 THE TRIBUNE The Tribune Limited NULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI Being Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master LEON E. H. DUPUCH, Publisher/Editor 1903-1914 SIR ETIENNE DUPUCH, Kt., O.B.E., K.M., K.C.S.G., (Hon. Publisher/Editor 1919-1972 Contributing Editor 1972-1991 EILEEN DUPUCH CARRON, C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B. Publisher/Editor 1972Published Daily Monday to Saturday Shirley Street, P.O. Box N-3207, Nassau, Bahamas I nsurance Management Building., P.O. F-485, Freeport, Grand Bahama TELEPHONES S witchboard (News, Circulation and Advertising) 322-1986 A dvertising Manager (242 C irculation Department (242 N assau Fax: (242 F reeport, Grand Bahama: 1-(242 Freeport fax: (242 W EBSITE w ww.tribune242.com updated daily at 2pm THE PLP are singing their old refrain a gain to lull voters back to sleep. I f its not crime increasing because police o fficers have been removed from the s chool yard, and Urban Renewal PLPstyle has been revamped, then its the collapsing economy. Apparently, the Bahamas economy has gone into recess ion, not because international banks have collapsed and poor old Greece cant meet i ts debts, threatening to drag an already n ervous world down with it, but because the FNM government, on being returned to government in 2007, made the Bahamas recession worse by stopping, r eviewing, and cancelling PLP projects. O n the flip-side of that coin is the question: Why didnt the PLP give these proj ects the green light to go ahead before being turned out of office? According to their logic, the Bahamas would have had ab ooming economy if their projects had gone ahead. So what went wrong? Why did they drag their feet when they nearedt he finish line? If all of these projects had been buzzing ahead when the FNM became the government, then Bahamians would have been working. But, no, for s ome reason, there were contracts that just needed a signature to get them started. It was left to the FNM on coming to office t o complete the paper work, put the shov el in the ground, and move them on. The investments that did not go ahead h ad nothing to do with any FNM stop, review and cancel programme, but rather with the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008, leaving many investors strapped forc ash. Several of these investments bit the dust because of this the GINN project in Freeport eventually being one of them. T he Ritz Carlton hotel for Rose Island was another stalled investment that never got off the drawing board. As was Royal Island near Spanish Wells, a Marriott H otel and the Rockford Lighthouse Point project in Eleuthera. All this because investment cash had dried up nothing to do with the Ingraham government. Apparently, the Urgo Hotels continue discussions with a view to moving forward in Eleuthera. We recall the night many years ago when the late Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling stood on a platform in Freeport and laughed at Hubert Ingrahams humble b eginnings, dismissing him as merely a delivery boy. I mmediately, T he Tribune p icked up the s light and turned it into a triumph. Aha! we chortled. That is just what the Bahamas has been waiting for a delivery boy. And we predicted that this was one delive ry boy who would deliver. And, by Jove, he did. Even now, Prime Minister Hubert I ngraham has had to deliver many of the i nvestment plans that were left unsigned on prime minister Perry Christies desk when he was voted from office. In a statement in the House shortly a fterwards, Prime Minister Ingraham said t he Christie government had claimed it had brought $20 billion of direct foreign i nvestment into the country during its five years in office. We have looked for it, said Mr Ingra h am, but cannot find it. He said his government found a number of Heads of Agreement completed for a n umber of projects by the Christie govern ment, but it was the FNM that had to table several of them in the House. Mr Ingraham said that with the exception of the Phase I II expansion of Kerzner International and a billion dollars in land sales to international persons (GINN, Kerzner and the Abaco C lub), the FNM was unable to find the bil lions the PLP claimed it brought in. Negotiations for a proposed develop m ent of a PGA Village in Cat Island was also in suspension when the PLP left office. The negotiations were completed by the FNM shortly after its return to office. W e understand that expectations were high that the project would move forward notwithstanding the economic downturn b ecause its principals were very well funded. Mr Ingraham even attended a ground breaking ceremony in Cat Island. While planning and design work continues and s ome preliminary work commenced on the layout of the golf course, the project has not moved forward as expected. And so when the PLP talk about projects stalled for review by the FNM government, the voter has to carefully examine the facts to find out exactly why they did not go ahead. They will soon learn that none of them was delayed or cancelled by the FNM. Past the point of no return LETTERS l etters@tribunemedia.net PLPs projects had to be completed by FNM My Mission:Zero (0murders in the Bahamas in seven (7 There are seven clergies on board. Now if you can get seven times seventy and the Leader, Leader of opposition and the Junior Leader of Opposition.Can all the people unite? This is possible with THE GREATEST PLANNERAnd a helping hand from Yes You Can.Available at Chapter One and Logos Book Store.Milford Shaggy Lockhart at 324-4000 Email elshag@coralwave.com Comming Soon Website yesyoucanbahamas.com EDITOR, The Tribune. I CONTINUE to be baf fled by the poor management of the New Providence Improvement and Infrastruc tural Project (NPIIP relates to the road works. Oftentimes, I have written about it. Something just does not seem to be adding up to me, but yet the beat goes on. Some weeks ago, when I noticed road workers making markings for a turning lane shoulder on Marathon Road just south of Samana Drive to turn for The Mall, I immediately wrote the NPIIP Face Book Page pointing out that it could not and would not work for the following reasons: 1) The turning shoulder was too short to accommodate the volume of cars that would be making that turn to the very large and also popular shopping destination. 2) Due to the shoulder being so short and with it only being able to accommodate about four vehicles at a time (especially when the newly installed traffic signal is on Red), it will back up traffic on Samana Drive (heading west, towards the mall) and also all those vehicles travel ling south on Marathon Road just before the turning shoulder since the road narrows at that location. 3) The traffic light is just too close to Samana Drive. My suggestion on their page was to relocate the turn ing lane further south which will put it at the Malls entrance located between KFC and the Burns House Liquor Store instead; and to also relocate the traffic light there as well. This would have allowed for space to accommodate more vehicles turn ing to the Mall. Further, the road is wider in that area and will allow a more free flow of vehicles continuing south towards the highway. It is almost like the foolish man continuing to build his house upon the sand, when all indications around him suggest that a rain storm is on the way. I am not an engineer nor am I a rocket scientist; this is common sense. My very young kids noticed this flaw before Christmas. A day or two ago, when I saw the road workers with jackhammers digging up the concrete curb and concrete deck at the turning shoulder, I was not surprised. It was a waste of time, effort and money to have constructed it at the present location in the first place. It seems like the length is now being extended, but further north; however, this still will not work, because the bigger issue is that both the turning lane and also the traf fic light are too close to Samana Drive. Someone from the Ministry should have noticed that as well as many other flaws from the drawing phase of the project. This is another good example why I believe this project is taking ridiculously long to complete; poor management, poor planning. This week marks one full year that road works have been ongoing on Marathon Road, which is only a bit over a quarter of a mile long. For Gods sake, will someone in government put some fire under the person or per sons responsible for this incompetence? Are we sure that Jose Cartellone Construction has built roads before? The motoring pub lic is frustrated; the livelihood of business owners like me continues to be in jeopardy as we continue to lose thousands of dollars in sales. I have a sneaky suspicion that this frustration will follow voters to the polls if a grip is not gotten on this mess. Finally, the medians (islands road on Marathon are far too wide. I mentioned it to one of the engineers at the site about a month ago, but he explained that the five feet median width is standard for roads. What a joke; I imag ine that it might be standard, but standard for what road overall width? While I believe I understand its purpose, they are too wide for our narrow roads. I guess they will continue to pour all of the curbs, then fill the five feet centre nice and neat with hundreds of yards of concrete, trowel it to make level and smooth, then dig all up in a few weeks and make them all narrower; Wow! R A BEVANS Business Owner, Marathon Road, Nassau, February 16, 2012. Baffled by roadworks


LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2012, PAGE 5 S UNSHINE Insurance M arathon Bahamas has donated $10,000 to the drive to raise $1 million for a much-n eeded mammogram machine at the Princess Mar garet Hospital. B reast cancer is devastati ng the lives of Bahamians at r ecord rates. Research has indicated that the highest prevalence of ag enetic mutation that places persons at a higher risk for cancer is found in Bahamianw omen. W hile at private medical i nstitutions, state-of-the-art mammogram machines are available, at the capitals onlyp ublic hospital, the machine is outdated and in need of an upgrade. Marathon donates $10,000 for mammogram machine FUNDS are already rolling in to help Princess Margaret Hospital raise the money it needs to buy a new mammogram machine to help women across the Bahamas. The machine currently owned by Princess Marg aret Hospital is outdated and in need of an upgrade, and Sunshine Insurance Marathon Bahamas has already pitched in with a $10,000 donation. Pictured at the cheque handover are Dionisio D'Aguilar, Jessica R olle, Thelma Rolle, Sharon Wilson, Brian Moodie, Michele Rassin, Stephanie Siegel, Alison Maynard-Gibson and Ned Siegel. TURN THE PAGE TO READ ABOUT THE TRIBUNE CAMPAIGN TO RAISE $1M T O HELP FIGHT BREAS T CANCER T HE National Insurance B oard has moved to clarify the true facts about the National Prescription Drug Plan in response to claims that inferior generic drugs were being issued to particip ants. S peaking out in light of recent misinformation heard on the radio airwaves, NIB completely denied the claims, saying while generic drugs arei ssued, they contain exactly t he same ingredients as their b rand name counterparts. The public should know that the Drug Plans formulary of medications provides more than 160 drugs andm edical supplies for the treatm ent of eleven chronic conditions, an NIB statement said. These drugs include medications that are commonly prescribed by Bahamian physicians and were reco mmended by a panel of local m edical experts comprising b oth physicians and pharmacists. NIB said the Drug Plan i ncludes a 40/60 per cent mix o f brand name and generic d rugs with brand names available for many highly prescribed and critical medications. This composition was agreed upon in order to e nsure the plan would be a ffordable and sustainable over the long-term, the statement said. Generic drugs comprise exactly the same active ingre-d ients as brand name drugs. T hey are sometimes distribu ted by the same manufacturer of the brand name drug or can be distributed by other companies under different names once the original drugp atent has expired. N IB said the manufacturers selected to provide generic drugs for the National Prescription Drug Plan all have a strong presence in the international market place. Most of the companies p rovide products in the US m arket and their facilities have been US FDA tested, HealthCanada certified orW HO approved, it said. Furthermore, NIB ensures t he quality of its medications by randomly testing products. For example, last year NIB tested at least one product from each manufacturer (brand and generic Random drug testing by W orld Health Organisation approved labs outside of the Bahamas confirm that all brand and generic drugs that we provide under the NPDPp assed all bio-equivalency and e fficacy testing, or in other w ords are performing as the manufacturers intended. NIBs closed supply chain also helps to maintain product quality. T he statement went on to n ote that all drugs both brand-name and generic have side effects and may affect individual patients in different ways. If a drug does not agree w ith a patient, this should be r eported immediately to the p atients attending physician. Depending on the severity of the side-effects, the physicianm ay then discontinue the pres cription and prescribe an a ppropriate alternative, NIB said. It noted that the National Prescription Drug Plan doesnot stipulate that beneficiaries must continue using any p articular drug. While the National Prescription Drug Plan exists to help beneficiaries better manage their chronic conditions by making prescription drugsm ore accessible and afforda ble, ultimately, it is up to e ach beneficiary to be responsible for his or her own health. The National Insurance Board recommends that all beneficiaries take the time tor ead the drug information t hat is provided to them with their drugs. This information, including possible side effects for each prescription drug, can be found inside drug packaging, in handouts prov ided by pharmacies and in t he NPDP patient informat ion guides. NPDP guide booklets are available online at www.nib-d rugplan.com and www.nibb ahamas.com and at all NIB o ffices. These guides allow patients to read up on every drug the NPDP provides and compare what each pharmacy has in stock, to ensure the drug they a re receiving is the approved b rand. NIB said all products selected by the NPDP are required to provide product information in English and any prod-u cts that do not should be b rought to the Drug Plan O ffice immediately for evaluation. If there is any difficulty understanding the information, NIB said, beneficiariesc an speak with their pharmac ist or doctor, or contact the Drug Plan office at 356-2032 or 502-1500. The statement added: Finally, NIB wishes to set the record straight regarding p ayments to pharmacies u nder the NPDP. It has been suggested that pharmacies under the Drug Plan dispense generics to theD rug Plan beneficiaries and t hen charge NIB for brand n ame products. This is completely erroneous and false. The fact is, payments for NPDP medications are set based on the medication selected from the formulary a nd the cost of each product t hat is contracted with the wholesaler. The receipt each patient signs will state which product the patient should be receiv-i ng. If the receipt has a brand n ame, the patient should r eceive a brand name. The receipt also shows the amount that is billed to NIB, therefore, patients should be able to verify the informationo n their own. T he National Prescription Drug Plan, launched in 2010 as a first step towards National Health Insurance, continues to ascribe to the highest standards in providing quality p roducts and excellent cust omer service, NIB said. We remain committed to reducing costs, increasing access, and improving healthf or all of our beneficiaries. INSURANCE BOARD ISSUES RESPONSE TO DRUGS CLAIMS


B y SENATOR D R DUANE SANDS From the contribution to the Senate debate on the Freedom of Information Bill DAVID Ben-Gurion, the f irst Israeli Prime Minister, o nce said that The test of d emocracy is freedom of criticism. These insightful words provide a globally relevant, historical context for our delib-e rations today. Freedom of speech is a fairly new and recently acquired (realised We are here today to further entrench the concept of freedom and to deepen ourB ahamian democracy, beginning with the elimination of political victimisation which, Madame President, was thes ingle greatest failure of the original PLP. It is still embraced by factions within todays iteration of the GOP of the Bahamas,a nd has continued to be an albatross around the necks of the new PLP. Since the dawn of our independence, countless Bahamians have been told to shut t heir mouths to not speak o ut about injustices witnessed, corruption encountered or dishonesty or unethicalb ehaviour uncovered. In the formative years of my life, shortly after establ ishing my own definition of m y adolescent self, I can vividly recall being told and hearing many other Bahamia ns being counselled, You cant say nuttin bout dat publicly lest they find them s elves jobless; hungry and o stracized, unable to make a living. Or worse have their families hurt, reputations irreparably damaged or characters assassinated. Or l abelled publicly and ceremo niously as A liar. It was a dark time in our history, a time that we should have long passed, but which we have revisited far too recently and far too often. U nfortunately, as a country, we have not eliminated the climate of political perse-c ution, perfected by the PLP, t hat sends the message: Toe t he line and you will be well cared for. Step over the line a nd you are history! Those older times were very dark days. A s an historical reality, they l ed to the emergence of a group of freedom fighters now known as the dissident eight. T hey created the movement that has done most, if n ot all of the finish work of the Bahamian democracy. And now has the distinction of doing not only the finish work, but installing most o f the infrastructure of this m odern Bahamas. M adame President, I like thousands of Bahamians have had the good fortune to buildm y own home. I consider myself fortunate, indeed blessed, to have expe rienced personally the B ahamian dream. It is therefore an honour and a privilege to serve in a c apacity that protects the interests, needs and concerns of other Bahamians who themselves struggle in pursuit o f happiness, support of their families and ownership of a part of their birthright. T he building of a home, l ike the building of a nation, t akes place in stages. The care and concern, the a ttention to detail, the integrity and honesty of the builder determines the overall qualityo f the home. T he rough work happens quite quickly and it does not take long to get from a foundation to a roof. The home, l ike a fledgling nation, can be designed, framed and put t ogether fairly quickly. But it seems to take forever to get the finish work done, and to get it right. That is because the really s killed labourers, the masons, a nd finish carpenters, exerc ise their skills as artists and produce a product of which we can all be proud. T hey smooth the blemishes, c orrect the mistakes, solve the problems. They create a fin ished home. S o it has been in this sovereign Bahamas. As we look forward to cre a ting realistic solutions we must acknowledge from whence we came. It is true that majority rule was introduced by a coalition of Bahamian patriots from theP LP, Labour and an independent force. I n 1967, they ushered in an era which accomplished great things for Bahamians. But as monumental as the problems solved, were the problems leftu nsolved or made worse. Deep, serious problems many of which we suffer from today. They built this nation from i ts foundation. They did much g ood, but either created, ignored or allowed too much evil. I believe they got distracted. They sent incomplete m essages. They lost focus. I nstead of telling Bahamia ns that all honest labour was r edemptive in Gods eye, they introduced a system of entit lement and created a nation that became expectant of political patronage. I nstead of extolling the valu es of hard work of any kind, Bahamians were not corrected when they rejected manual labour for the comfort of a white collar job. Instead of establishing a n ational commitment to honesty such old fashioned ideals were lost to the relativism of hustling to get ahead. Integrity of character was m ade subjective to domination by characters. Lawfulness was laid to waste by lawlessness. Disci p line was sacrificed on the altar of opportunism. Tolerance was destructive l y defined as the approach to people who looked like most Bahamians, talked like most Bahamians, believed what m ost Bahamians believed. Our forefathers and our people all of us allowedd rug dealing, corruption, nepotism, bribery and scan dalous behaviour to become t he norm. So as not to derail the illusion of progress, they ruled with a benevolent iron fist. A s long as Bahamians shut up, they were well treated. George Orwell, in his famous book Animal Farm, could very well have been describing the reality of ordi nary, average Bahamians in t he seventies and eighties who supported the vision of the early PLP, only to find that while all Bahamians were equal, some were more equal than others. And yet with progress came a painful truth: the truth that the fundamental pillars of our democracy legislature, executive, judiciary, press the foundational elements that would ensure the realisation of the dreams of so many Bahamians, the infrastructure of Bahamian society, was not intact. In their last, and thankfully brief term, the PLP government of the Bahamas allowed serious assaults on the third pillar of this democracy. In our last session, we out lined corrective measures and the progress made to safeguard our judiciary Today, the FNM government of the Bahamas now known for both heavy lifting and finish work, introduces corrective action for the fourth pillar of this great Bahamian democracy In current use, the term is applied to the press, with the earliest use in this sense described by Thomas Carlyle in his book On Heroes and Hero Worship : Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters' Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all. We in the FNM believe that people should be able to express freely and respectful ly their views and concerns. Further, the public domain should be free of extreme, arbitrary censorship, and that public service and stewardship should be subject to scrutiny. It is yet another reason why there is credence to the view that that the opposition party operates under false pretencesa nd a long since irrelevant name. T hey are neither progressive, nor liberal. Now, Madame President, we might believe that democracy is alive and well in theB ahamas. One need only listen to the talk-shows, read the newspapers or canvas any gathering of two or more persons to h ear the comments and views o f Bahamians from all socioeconomic classes on many issues. There is no shortageo f criticism much of it directed at the government. B y Ben Gurions standard, a l ot of criticism equates to a s trong democracy! U nfortunately, the sad truth is that Bahamian d emocracy is being threat ened not by external forces but from within. O ver the last two decades, i n sharp contrast to the previous 20 years post independence, the ability to speak publicly and to criticise the decisions and actions of policy-makers, industry and pri v ate individuals has become less risky. Victimisation a reality in the fledgling Commonwealth now happens infrequently, if at all. Unshackled and tongues l oosened, Bahamians have embraced the right of freedom of speech with the expected exuberance of ap eople who have endured generations of economic repression, discrimination and d elayed opportunities. The radio air-waves previously locked down by the very administration that intro d uced majority rule, were opened after 1992 by an administration singularlyc ommitted to the deepening of our democracy. Yet the freedom of expres s ion that we enjoy has come with an ugly companion. Some have gone too far. So we must strengthen it, n ot by repression of peoples ability to speak or censorship, but by providing reasonable access to incontrovertible, reliable, verifiable factual information to rebut the ugli ness being put forth. M adame President this is why Freedom of Information is so critical to the development of our Bahamas. We must create an environment where untruths, halftruths, distortions and lies cannot survive. That, Madame President, is why we are here today. I do not believe that our Bahamian Democracy is healthy. Under the shroud of secrecy it is being pummelled by opportunists who have seized this precious thing. They have highjacked the essence of our free society and diverted its power and impact for the specific special interests of the few. This era of free speech has seen a resurgence of racism, narrow-mindedness, hate-speech, distortion, lies, disinformation and libel. Unless we abort this contamination, we will not realise our full national potential. For the record, I wholeheartedly support criticism however caustic delivered on positions of policy, process or action. I welcome it even when it is directed at me. I agree with Voltaire a French writer of the Enlightenment who said: I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death, your right to say it. You see, democracy cannot thrive without opposition or protest but it withers in the face of intolerance and injustice. But I do not condone, nor will I engage in personal attacks on anyones character. A persons behaviour and character is quite capable of speaking for itself. Madame President, over the last few weeks I, my family and my friends have been subjected to the lowest form of hate speech, charactera ssassination and putrid publ ic utterances. And yet, while the victim of such pathetic and untrue drivel, I stand here today to further the right of allB ahamians to exist in a free s ociety, even if the very freed om that I stand here to defend is misused, misdirected, at me. My deepest regret is that there are innocent peoplea round me who must try to deflect the blows intended for me. George Washington, the American commander in chief of the colonial armies in the American Revolution( 1775-83) and subsequently 1st US President said: If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silentw e may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. Daily we hear speech and observe behaviour that demonstrates contempt andh atred for foreigners, authority, government, the church, homosexuals, the police, anything or anyone different from the so-called true-true Bahamian (that doesnt exist T he target is essentially a nyone different than the person speaking emotively. Unfortunately, often the l anguage and behaviour are being stoked or incited (and sometimes verbalised) by i ndividuals who ought to k now better. Some of these instigators enjoy a level of public respect and privilege and use influence, dollars, liquor or simply access to a medium electronic, written or spok en to achieve political mileage, strategic advantage or simply to bloody up the opponent. I shall continue to fight to make my country a better p lace. Hate-mongering and distortion are alive and well in this country and appears disguised as freedom of expres sion. By whatever means nec e ssary some push to achieve p ersonal, political and social agendas even as they destroy this country which is so seri o usly ill. They claim that it is only politics and that people will understand that the tactics are not genuine. And so it is tragically that we must strengthen our e fforts to fight the basest forces of our society with truth, with facts, with infor m ation. We are here today to introduce a long overdue Freedom of Information Bill. We must r einforce the ability of the public to gain access to the truth in a way that permitst he reasonable among us to arrive at their own conclusions. We should all pause and reflect on this sad state of affairs in our beloved coun try. As we grapple with the social decay that has made our streets killing fields we ought to accept the contribution of such ugly and boorish language and behaviour on the national psyche. As per sons incite aggressive and hos tile behaviour, can we be sur prised at catastrophic consequences? With our national proclivi ty for violence, we ought to look to our leaders for calm and not expect irresponsible rhetoric that inflames. Freedom of speech comes with an awesome requirement of responsibility. The politi cal machinery in the Bahamas, like elsewhere, is expected to spin the facts to influence the electorate. But as we push to develop a more mature political environment, we must collectively agree to an irrevocable standard of truth and civility in our political conversation. Anyone who breeches this national ethos of honesty and integrity should be treated with the public contempt and scorn that they deserve. Notwithstanding the current reality, the average Bahamian (if such a person exists) certainly expects and hopes for more statesmanship from the leadership. Sometimes the end does not justify the means. If the quest for victory and public opinion threaten the survival of our democracy, then victory however sweet is not worth the price. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 8, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2012 THE TRIBUNE A dark time in our histor I do not believe that our Bahamian Democracy is h ealthy. Under the shroud of secrecy it is being p ummelled by opportunists who have seized this p recious thing. They have highjacked the essence o f our free society and diverted its power and i mpact for the specific special interests of the few. D D r r D D u u a a n n e e S S a a n n d d s s


Brave Davis and PLP Senator Allyson Maynard-Gib son have at different times chided the FNM for having only secured 25 murder convictions during its time in office between 2008 and 2012. However, Mr Delaney revealed that during the PLPs time in office, between 2002 and 2007, nine murder convictions were secured, while under the FNM 25 mur der convictions were secured. The document tabled by Mr Delaney in the Senate on Wednesday night charted the names of the convicted, dateof conviction, and their sentences. It revealed such high-pro file names as Maxo Tido, who was originally convicted and sentenced under the PLP and Cordell Farrington who was sentenced under the FNM. Though Mr Delaney revealed this information asa retort to the PLPs statements, he said he did not agree with the yardstick (murder convictions which falls under the purview of the Judicial branch and not the executive) used by the PLPto assess the FNMs response to crime. If the PLP yardstick be a pplied then it ought to be applied also to the prior term during which the PLP gov-e rned, Mr Delaney told T he Tribune yesterday. Mr Davis claimed recently the FNM is utterly incapable of sending murder cases to trial within a reasonable time period. Since the FNM took office, 443 persons have been murdered. Murders have doubled under their watch, dou bled, he said. This government has secured fewer than 25 sen tences for murder in nearly five years. This is a national emergency. Mr Delaney said he did not find that the PLP Senator and Deputy Leaders criticism of the government for the judiciarys prosecutorial effort was helpful, as the granting of bail and convictions are actions of the Judiciary and not the executive branch of government. He praised the governments efforts in fighting violent crime and said that while the system has improved, there remained work to be done. The system has improved and is continuing to improve, said Mr Delaney. I recogn ised the hard work of prose cutors, police, judges and magistrates. O NE would have to be a hermit in a cave not to be aware of the fact that wagering on the numbers is a national pastime. Its widelya vailable throughout almost all parts of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Tickets for the lotteries in the USA are also widely available. I understand that a wager on the numbers canb e made online. Anyway, I s uspect that most of the readers of this column probably know more about the subject than I do. The question that therefore a rises is why have not these activities been legalised with the result that they would make a contribution to the revenue. T here is no doubt that the revenue is needed. There is also no doubt that the majority of Bahamians find these activities acceptable. There should also be little doubt that the authorities tolerate thesea ctivities because they take p lace in the open and are not stopped. We should also remember that throughout history governments have failed whene ver they have tried to legislate morality. Conventional wisdom informs us that should any government move to legaliset he numbers or lottery business there would be an outcry from most churches. Notwithstanding the fact that their members participate in these activities. The solution may be to put t he question to a referendum s o as to avoid it being a political football. It is really a social issue. We should also remember that a law which is ignored by most citizens and which the authorities, over an extended period of time, have chosen to ignore as well, has no moral authority. P ossibly it may not have a ny legal authority because I suspect it is illegal to only selectively enforce any law. The time has come to legalise these activities. The people have spoken with their wagers. I f that is not a case of the p eople putting their money where their mouth is, I dont know what is. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2012, PAGE 9 the final layer of asphalt in a significant number of corri-d ors, according to project spokesman Shenique Albury, w ho said the project is on schedule for completion this summer. R esidents in eastern New Providence should expecti mproved water supply, press ure and quality as the Ministry of Works began comm issioning a 24-inch water main this week. T he 20,000 ft pipe, which s tretches from Second Street heading east to Fox Hill R oad, has passed pressure, chlorination, and bacteriological tests. Roads with areas scheduled for closure include MarketS treet, Prince Charles Drive, Baillou Hill Road and Village Road. E ffective Monday, closures are scheduled for the Wulff Road and Market Street inter-s ection, the Fox Hill Road and Prince Charles intersection and Baillou Hill Road south. The final expected closure w ill be the Village Road roundabout, Ms Albury said. Were working in phases s o all of this is basically shifti ng either east, west, north, or s outh depending on which roadway were on, she said. Were not opening any new areas of closures. Contractors were working s imultaneously in ten differe nt areas during the last three months of 2011, with closures in each area, Ms Albury said. W hile there has been a sig n ificant reduction in the number of closures this year, Ms A lbury noted that there were still traffic diversions, lane closures in other areas to facilitate things like sidewalks, curbing. T he Wulff Road and Market Street intersection closure w ill facilitate the installation of underground traffic signal ducts, excavation and road paving works. It is estimated that works will take three w eeks. Ms Albury said Brougham S treet and Duke Street will b e paved with the first layer of asphalt by early next week. P rince Charles Drive was said to be priority for contractors, who began work on the temporary widening of thea rea between Burger King and Soldier Road yesterday. The scope of works at the Fox Hill Road and Prince C harles Drive intersection w ill be completed in eight stages and is estimated to take n ine weeks. However, Ms Albury said there will be no traffic diversions in the initials tage as a result of the road w idening. Paving from St Augustines College back entrance to W inters Drive, near Breath o f Life Pre-school, and from Beatrice Avenue to Wilson W ay near KFC is expected to begin in March. The road closure on Baillou Hill Road South will take place between Soldier Road a nd Malcolm Road and will facilitate the installation of d rainage, a water main and utility service ducts. While no timeline was given for the closure, Ms Albury said it is expected to last several w eeks. Ms Albury said local access f or residents and business p atrons will be granted despite closures, and she e ncouraged the public to continue to support businesses within the closed zones. For further information on t he project telephone the Ministry of Works hotline 302-9700 or email public works@bahamas.gov.bs. THE TIME HAS COME TO LEGALISE LOTTERY BETTING IN THE BAHAMAS V IEWFROM A FAR J OHN I SSA 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 FNM CONVICTION RA TE UP ON PLP Four more road closures According to sources, the meeting was staged to mend relations with the Haitian community over party statements criticising Haitian president Michel Martelly. Mr Christie did not respond to calls placed last night. The meeting was the talk of an FNM rally last night. Speaking to a crowd of FNM supporters at the Tall Pines constituency rally, Tommy Turnquest referred to Christie meeting with Hait ian leaders on Minnie Street. f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e PLP SEEKS OUT HAITIAN VOTES


LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2012, PAGE 11 By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Staff Reporter aturnquest@tribunemedia.net THE Bahamas government i s in discussions with the International Development Bank to obtain a $15 milliong rant to modernise comput er systems at the Department of Customs, according retir-i ng Customs Comptroller Glenn Gomez. After 45 years of service, Mr Gomez began his preretirement leave today as he approaches the service age limit 65 years next month. Mr Gomez explained that the proposed IDB programme would see the funds spread over a five-year peri od. (The current system around from the mid-80s, thats something that were in discussion with them on and we hope to have that finalised and approved by July, hes aid. During an interview with The Tribune Mr Gomez outl ined several initiatives underway at the department, such as the mandatory submissiono f electronic documents by regular importers. Mr Gomez said that by n ext month the department will make it a requirement for brokers and large business houses to start electronically submitting their documents. Theres been a number of things that weve been pleased to have done in that short period of time, Mr Gomez said. We set about to more ful ly automate the Customs Department and were well on the way to doing that. In addition to the progress made towards fully automating the department, Mr Gomez said he was most pleased with the efforts madet o improve staff conditions and bolster morale. I would not be telling you t he truth if I said that everybody comes to work upbeat and happy, Mr Gomez said. S ome people still have issues, some job related, some not, but regardless we'rew orking with them because the staff well-being is our utmost concern. Among the initiatives launched, Mr Gomez said that he looked forward to the opening of new facilities in New Providence, Grand Bahama, and Abaco. With 30 years of service in the Customs Department, and 15 years in the Ministry of Finance, Mr Gomez said he would use his pre-retirement leave to consider whether or not he intends to further his career. $15M GRANT TO PAY FOR C OMPUTER SYSTEMS Joining hands with the world TWO o nlookers pause to watch last night as the sym-b ol of Rotary International lit up Atlantis. The symbol was projected onto the side of the Atlantiss tructure, making it one more link in a chain of events stretching all around the world. L andmarks worldwide were being lit up with the symbol to mark the 107th birthday of Rotary International and pro-m ote the organisations work. Pictured here are Ameera and Anjali Newry taking in the Bahamas event, the firstt ime the country has joined in the worldwide chain. Rotary is celebrating 50 years in the Bahamas thisy ear. Photo: Azaleta Newry


B y DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter dmaycock@tribunemedia.net FREEPORT Some 7,000 pounds of heavy equipments tolen from the Grand B ahama Shipyard has still not been located and executives are calling for support froms crap metal dealers on the island. A reward of $50,000 has b een offered by the shipyard for information leading to the recovery of three huge fair water propeller cones, whichh ave been missing now for more than two weeks. Rueben Byrd, senior vice p resident of operations, said since the reward had been offered they have received s everal credible leads that they are following, with the police. Some leads have b een credible and some not so credible, but most of them are pointing in the same direc t ion and we have been worki ng closely with the police, he told The Tribune on Thurs day. T he cones are made of brass or bronze and each can weigh between 1,000 to 3,000 p ounds. They belong to a client who owns a cargo vessel that is under repair at the shipyard. I n the meantime, Mr Byrd said a temporary cone has been put on the vessel untilt hey can get another one made. The client is not upset, but t hey are looking to having their second docking free with a new cone. So we are in the p rocess of going and getting one made, he added. Although the equipment h as an estimated value of $ 300,000 to the client, Mr Byrd said the scrap metal val ue is only $5,000. E xecutives believe the items were taken by thieves for its scrap metal value. They s trongly believe that an employee could be involved. An internal investigation is ongoing at the shipyard, and M r Byrd said that any employee who is found to be involved would be dischargeda nd prosecuted. He stressed that they are also trying to track shipping documents to see if the cones h ave been shipped off the island. Mr Byrd called on scrap m etal dealers not to purchase items they know are stolen. You know it is wrong to take pieces like that (the cones) from private individuals and not from the ship yard itself. They should know better than to do that. And if they want to be upstanding good corporate citizens then you need to work with us to stop this, said Mr Byrd. stituency offices, where the FNM leader accused the opposition party of copying the FNM and claiming his partys track record as their own. We know that up until primary school that our boys do reasonably well. But after that, their performance starts to fall off. Some of them get distracted and start to day dream a bout females. We have to be frank in admitting that most of our crime is committed by young men of a certain age. The PM says a concentrated all-day programme for boys may yield very good results. T he institute is expected to focus on English, Math, verbal communication as well as character development andB ahamian culture and heritage. B earing similarity to the International Baccalaureate programme, the summer programme will be experiencedbased, including field tripsa nd guest speakers from the community and the church. Classes are expected to hold 20-25 students with first rate teachers who are spec ialised in subject areas. T he PM added that particip ants in the programme will b e provided with lunch along the lines of the National S chool Lunch Programme which exists in governmentoperated schools. T he summer programme was not the only promise m ade by the FNM last night. In light of the official opening of the new Thomas AR obinson National Stadium, P rime Minister Ingraham pledges to deliver a new sports centre. T his new 450-acre sports centre is expected to house an athletes village with cafe-t eria and health care facilities, m ulti-purpose indoor facilities, 12 additional tennis courts, a new venue for Special Olympics Bahamas and many others. Mr Ingraham said the new c entre will enhance the conception of Big Pond Park, 100 acres of upland area that will provide active and passive recreational opportunities for Bahamians of every taste. T he FNM leader, after e xpressing his support for the two constituency candidates Karen Butler and Kenyatta Gibson criticised the Progressive Liberal Party for try-i ng to claim to be responsible f or the success that the gove rnment party has had since returning to office in 2007. They say that imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery. Well in thec ase of the PLP its the insinc erest form of flattery cause they dont give credit where credit is due. Because they so jealous they pretend that just about everything we do is their idea. How despicable! He called the PLP a party of unrealistic promises andt alk, referring to the PLPs promise to double the education budget. All they have is promises, b ecause they dont have a g ood record to stand on. They are the party of big talk and n o action. Mr Ingraham concluded that his party will continue toa ddress the big issues plagui ng the country, but says only real leadership can address those issues. And by the way, when it comes to delivering and leadership, Perry Christie aint noH ubert Ingraham. Perry talks and Papa delivers! he concluded. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 12, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2012 THE TRIBUNE MELVIN Maycock Sr appeared in the Court of Appeal yesterday seeking to have his conviction for possession of $1.2 million worth of marijuana overturned. The 47-year-old appeared before Justices Christopher Blackman, Stanley John and Abdulai Conteh. His defence attorney, Wayne Munroe, argued that the prosecution did not have sufficient evidence to link his client to the drugs, and that the single index fingerprint found was not on any of the drugs or weapons seized from a home in western New Providence. Prosecutor Eucal Bonaby said the fingerprint was enough to connect Maycock Sr to the drugs, as it was found in his home. Maycocks trial before Deputy Chief Magistrate Car olita Bethell came to an end on November 1 when he was found guilty of drug and firearm possession and sentenced to three years in prison. A ruling on yesterdays submissions will come at a later date. Summer scheme pledge for boys f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e C OUR T HEARS DR UGS APPEAL EQUIPMENT STOLEN FROM SHIPY ARD STILL NOT FOUND PRIMEMINISTER Hubert Ingraham has pledged to introduce a summer scheme for young boys.