Citation
The Tribune.

Material Information

Title:
The Tribune.
Uniform Title:
Tribune. (Nassau, Bahamas).
Alternate Title:
Nassau tribune
Place of Publication:
Nassau, Bahamas
Publisher:
Tribune
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 58 cm.

Subjects

Genre:
newspaper ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
Bahamas

Notes

General Note:
Description based on: Vol. 79, no. 210 (Aug. 3, 1983); title from caption.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
09994850 ( OCLC )
9994850 ( OCLC )

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PAGE 1

Nassau & Bahama Islands Leading Newspaper SPORTS: SWIMMERS SURGE TO HIGHEST GOODWILL GAMES FINISH WEDNESDAY HIGH 92FLOW 79F it! 24/7 BREAKING NEWS ON TRIBUNE242.COM Biggest And Best!The Tribune THE PEOPLES PAPER: $1Established 1903 Babys killing rocks Cabinet MORE than 300 people with delinquent Education al Loan Authority accounts will face prosecution and may have their wages gar nished or valuable assets seized among other things, Education Minister Jeffery Lloyd told The Tribune yes terday. He said while the re sponse to the governments calls to repay the millions owed to the ELA has been fantastic, there still re mains hundreds of people who have been unrespon sive or are reluctant to set tle their debts. Some $156m is outstand ing because many accounts remain delinquent, Mr Lloyd said. 300 FACING COURT OVER STUDENT LOAN DEBTS By KHRISNA RUSSELL Deputy Chief Reporter krussell@tribunemedia.net HOURS after an eightmonth-old baby was shot dead in his home, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis met with the attorney gen eral and Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) of cials to reinforce the gov ernments zero tolerance approach to crime, stressing his commitment to provide the support police need to ght crime, Press Secretary Anthony Newbold said yes terday. The babys murder, he told reporters, has left eve rybody really shocked. However, while the fam ily grapples with this tragic end to the infants life, Mr Newbold said the country must understand there is no one solution to crime. He said a complex approach must be taken to arrest this multifaceted problem. The Minnis administra tions crime plan or per ceived lack thereof by some detractors has been the source of much criticism. Asked to respond in this regard during his regular press brieng, Mr New bold said: Plans wont stop crime (or) certainly kill ings. He continued: The Min ister of National Security (Marvin Dames) has spo ken to plans. The police should also present a crime plan. As I also said, the prime minister has called for the formation of a ministerial subcommittee as well be cause crime is vexing and one plan or one element of a plan is not going to solve it. THE $250m Pointe pro jects Chinese developer urged the Government to quickly provide construc tion approvals just days af ter Beijing unveiled plans to restrict overseas invest ments. Daniel Liu, head of the China Construction Amer ica (CCA) entity behind the downtown Nassau project, wrote to the Minnis ad ministration on August 22, 2017, seeking immediate assistance for the Pointes condominium and marina construction approvals. The letter, addressed to Desmond Bannister, minis ter of works, was written just four days after Chinas State Council and its top eco nomic planning body placed overseas hotel investments by Chinese companies and especially state-owned ones such as CCA in a restrict ed category. CCA WARNS POINTE PLAN THE government has en gaged a group of retired and soon to be retired educa tors, with the hope of con tracting many of them to offset a potential shortage of about 100 teachers head ing into the new academic year. Education Minister Jef frey Lloyd said yesterday the government has had a great degree of success in its attempts to invite teach ers approaching or those who have reached the re tirement age to consider contracted stints after for mally retiring and accept ing their respective gratuity and pension benets. RETIREES COURTED IN TEACHER SHORTAGE By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net SUPREME Court jurors yesterday heard how home invaders allegedly feigned being members of the Roy al Bahamas Police Force in their attempts to burglar ise a Blair Estates home in 2014 when Blair resident Andre Cartwright was shot and killed. Emma Cartwright, moth er of the deceased, taking the witness stand before Justice Renae McKay, said she heard shouts of police, KILLED OUR SON By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net POLICE are on the hunt for three men who tied up, assaulted and robbed two security guards at a local high school and a neigh bouring business early yesterday morning before making off with a safe with plenty money and two sto len vehicles. The drama unfolded short ly after 5am off Shirley Street. In the rst incident, po lice said the three men, armed with handguns, ap proached a security guard at Temple Christian School and robbed him of his black Nissan Note before assault ing him and taking his per sonal items. About fteen minutes later, a security guard was at Thompson Trading Co Ltd when three men in a black Nissan Note tied him up and robbed him of a cell phone, cash and his green 2009 Pontiac. The suspects also broke into the business and removed a safe before eeing the area in both sto len vehicles. Ofcers responded to the robberies, spotted the vehi cles and a chase followed, ending off Homestead Street. The suspects aban doned the two vehicles and ed on foot. ARMED TRIO HUNTED AFTER SAFE SNATCH By SANCHESKA DORSETT Tribune Staff Reporter sdorsett@tribunemedia.net By KHRISNA RUSSELL Deputy Chief Reporter krussell@tribunemedia.net SEE PAGE SIX SEE PAGE SIX SEE PAGE SIX SEE PAGE THREE By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor nhartnell@tribunemedia.net FULL STORY SEE BUSINESS SEE PAGE TWO THE REPORTED interior of Thompson Trading after the raid in images shared on social media. A1MAIN HURRICANE INSURANCE:Are you Covered?242.394.5555242.350.3500242.367 .4204r242.332.3211f242.336.2304 Covering The Bahamas for 40 years. www.InsuranceManagementBahamas.comNobody Does it Better! (BAHAMAS) LIMITED. INSURANCE BROKERS & AGENTSINSURANCE MANAGEMENT

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PAGE 2, Wednesday, August 30, 2017 THE TRIBUNE A safe was recovered from one of the vehicles. Assistant Commission er of Police Clayton Fer nander said police suspect the men are responsible for several armed robberies, dating back to February, where security guards were tied up and businesses were robbed. This a trend that we have been noticing and based on the way these guys work, we suspect the same persons are committing these rob beries, ACP Fernander said. These individuals are targeting business estab lishments in the early morn ing, tying up the security and robbing the place. It started with some schools a few months ago and now they are doing it to busi ness. We believe it is the same group of criminals do ing these robberies. Perry Cunningham, Tem ple Christian High School principal, told The Trib une that nothing was stolen from the institution and said everything is in or der for the schools open ing next week. We will be ready for Monday, we want the par ents to know that every thing is in order. What happened was, we have a security ofcer that was attacked and sustained in juries to his face and head. He was taken to the hos pital where he is not criti cal however the situation is still most unfortunate, Mr Cunningham said. There is no damage to the school itself like to the classrooms or the build ings. We are ready and set to have school on Monday. I think these people targeted Thompson Trading and just attacked our guard to get the vehicle or because he was a witness. There was no attempt made on the school at all. I dont want our parents to feel uneasy, the school is safe and we are ready. The Tribune attempted to contact the management of Thompson Trading, a food and beverage distrib utor and wholesaler, but calls were not returned up to press time. However, an employ ee who asked to remain anonymous conrmed that thieves broke through a wall that leads to the safe and dragged the safe out the building. There is a lot of dam age to the wall on the in side, they broke in through a glass door and they knew what they were coming for. There was plenty money in the safe but not the $2m that is circulation on social media, the employee said. In February, two secu rity ofcers at C C Sweeting Senior High School were tied up and held at gunpoint while four masked men robbed the school of cash and electronics before leav ing them gagged and bound for nearly four hours. A few days earlier, C H Reeves Junior School was also vandalised and secu rity guards there were also tied up and robbed. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 911 or 919, the Central Detective Unit at 502-9991 or Crime Stoppers anony mously at 328-TIPS. Armed trio hunted after safe snatch from page one THOMPSON Trading pictured after the armed robbery. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff AN IMAGE from video footage showing the stolen safe. INSIDE Thompson Trading after the raid in an image circulating on social media. A2MAIN

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THE TRIBUNE Wednesday, August 30, 2017, PAGE 3 police from the other side of her homes interior door, which was being bashed in, just seconds after her son Andre, in a loud voice, commanded: Stop! I have a gun. So authoritative were the shouts of police, po lice, Mrs Cartwright said she honestly believed RBPF members were on the other side of the door and that they might be on ofcial business. Glenn Cartwright, mean while in an emotional tes timony that invoked sobs from family and friends of the deceased in the court room, described how short ly after 1am on the morning in question, he was awak ened out of his sleep by loud banging and crashing noises coming from the di rection of his homes front door. He said he ultimately made it out of his bedroom when he noticed the in ner door was being pushed in. According to Mr Cart wright, the inner door sepa rates the bedrooms from the rest of the house. He said he always locks that door before retiring for the night. When it became obvi ous the inner door would be compromised, Mr Cart wright said he pushed his wife into the bedroom for safety. Mr Cartwright said his son then pushed him into the bedroom, and con sequently got in between his parents and the compro mised inner door. Mr Cartwright said he heard a brief exchange of gunre, and eventually came out of the bedroom to see his son Andre stum bling backwards into one of the doorways on their side of the inner door. He said he noticed that his son was in distress and holding his chest. Mr Cartwright said he subsequently tried to resus citate his son, but he had al ready died. Mr Cartwright said he sat on the bathroom oor with his dead son in his lap for an unknown amount of time, before going out the front door, falling on the grass and sobbing until his sons body was taken away. The testimonies by Mrs Cartwright and her hus band came on the rst day of trial for Tiano DHaiti, of Thompson Lane, and Kevin Andrews, of Montell Heights, in connection with Cartwrights murder which occurred October 28, 2014. DHaiti, represented by Jihraim Mangra, is accused of murder and attempted armed robbery, while An drews, represented by Mur rio Ducille, is accused of murder, attempted armed robbery and burglary. According to initial re ports from police, Andre Cartwright, 44, was at his Blair Estates home around 1.40am with his mother and father on the morning in question, when three men kicked in the door of the house. When he heard the noise, the deceased got his li censed shotgun and went to investigate, police reported. He encountered the three suspects, one of whom was armed with a handgun, po lice said. There was a brief ex change of gunre, which resulted in the victim be ing shot multiple times. He died at the scene. One of the suspects was also shot, however, he and the other men escaped in a silver coloured Honda Accord, according to initial reports from police. Mrs Cartwright, in giv ing her testimony, did not specify whether she saw a silver coloured Honda Accord leaving the scene. However, she did say that in her attempts to get help from neighbours, and while in the middle of the street, she saw what appeared to be car headlights shining from behind her. She said she spun around and waved her arms franti cally in an attempt to ag them down and ask for help. However, she said the car drove around her and left the area. A neighbour, Richard Sweeting, also testied yesterday, saying after he heard what sounded like loud banging coming from outside of his home, he looked out one of his win dows towards the Cart wright residence and no ticed that their front door was open. Mr Sweeting said he heard gunre, and lat er saw two dark brown males leaving the home in a western direction super fast. The rst person he said, was about 510 with a medium build, wearing dark-coloured pants and something covering his head. The second individual, Mr Sweeting said, was tall er with a slim build, with dark-coloured pants, and also had his head covered with either a cap or tam. Mr Sweeting also said the second individual carried what appeared to be a darkcoloured handgun. The trial continues today at 11am. Bogus police killed our son from page one RELATIVES and an employee of Anglican Bish op Laish Boyd were held up at gunpoint by three masked men who robbed them in the driveway of their San Souci home on Tuesday morning. According to a statement issued by the Anglican Diocese of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, the incident took place at about 7.30am. Bishop Boyds three sons, their cousin and the bish ops personal assistant were all held at gunpoint, the statement said. The incident took place in the driveway of the bish ops residence in San Souci. The bandits took the bish ops car along with personal effects from the ve indi viduals, according to the Diocesan statement. The Anglican Diocese said Bishop Boyd was not at home at the time of the robbery. However, he was expect ed to return yesterday from Antigua. Please pray for the bish op and all others involved in this most unfortunate incident. Let us pray also for the perpetrators of such crimes, the diocese added. Police said the masked men robbed the victims of cash, cellphones, laptops, jewelry and a Toyota Cam ry. The car was later found by police abandoned on Je rome Avenue. Police are also investigat ing two other armed rob beries which happened yes terday. Shortly before 11am, a woman was at a business on Tonique Williams Darling Highway when a man with a handgun entered and stole her handbag containing cash and a cellphone. The thief escaped in a Honda vehicle, police said. Then shortly before 2pm, another woman was robbed at a business on Bernard Road. A gunman entered the business and robbed her of cash before eeing on foot. PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Chairman Bradley Roberts said he expects several more persons to run for the leader of the party during its October convention, adding that the competition will only make the PLP stronger. Mr Roberts comments came one day after En glerston MP Glenys Hanna Martin launched her bid to become leader of the Of cial Opposition. She is the rst person to publicly announce an inten tion to challenge Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador MP Philip Brave Davis for leader at the upcoming convention. She is seeking to become the rst woman to lead a major political party, hav ing been elected as the rst woman chairman of the PLP in 2008. Mrs Hanna Martin said she would lead the party into an era of aggressive modernisation as PLP lead er, embracing technological advancements while ensur ing greater dialogue be tween members and party leadership. Democracy is alive and well in the PLP and I ex pect that there will be oth ers who will be putting their name forward, Mr Roberts told The Tribune I know there will be more than her, I know that much. A lot of persons will offer themselves, there will be competition because the PLP is strong and erce. In the end, the best person will get the job, may the best man or woman win. In May, Mr Davis said he intended to run for the top post of the opposition party whenever it decided to hold a convention. The Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador MP said the convention would help the party in its attempts at resolving election issues. As a result of the May 10 landslide defeat at the hands of the Free National Movement, former Prime Minister Perry Christie re signed as leader of the PLP days later. Mr Davis, former PLP deputy leader, was imme diately elevated to party leader, as mandated in the PLPs constitution. The PLP held its last convention on January 24-26. At the close of the three-day event, Mr Chris tie won with 1,264 votes to 169 for Alfred Sears in a leadership race. When contacted last week, Mr Sears, former at torney general, said he was mulling his options now that it was clear a conven tion is happening. Mr Sears, who also un successfully ran in Fort Charlotte in May, added that with all things consid ered, he would weigh all the options ahead of him, as he remains solely and completely dedicated to im proving the PLP. Earlier this month, for mer PLP member of Par liament Philip Galanis said every PLP candidate re jected by voters on Election Day should be barred from contesting leadership posts at the partys October con vention. Mr Galanis told The Tribune the move would ensure that the party is in the best position to return to the people. By SANCHESKA DORSETT Tribune Staff Reporter sdorsett@tribunemedia.net ANDRE CARTWRIGHT MP for Englerston Glenys Hanna-Martin pictured as she ofcially announced her leadership bid for the Progressive Liberal Party. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff A3MAIN

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The Tribune LimitedNULLIUS 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.) LL.D., D.Litt Publisher/Editor 1919-1972 Contributing Editor 1972-1991 EILEEN DUPUCH CARRON, C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B. Publisher/Editor 1972-Published daily Monday to FridayShirley & Deveaux Streets, Nassau, Bahamas N3207 TELEPHONES News & General Information (242) 322-1986 Advertising Manager (242) 502-2394 Circulation Department (242) 502-2386 Nassau fax (242) 328-2398 Freeport, Grand Bahama (242)-352-6608 Freeport fax (242) 352-9348 WEBSITE, TWITTER & FACEBOOK www.tribune242.com @tribune242 tribune news network PAGE 4, Wednesday, August 30, 2017 THE TRIBUNE EDITOR, The Tribune. WHEN he was a private citizen nobody cared that Brent Symonette found in Donald Trump a man with whom he was so enamored that he would have voted for him in last Novembers election if he had US citi zenship. More than a few Rotary Club members must have squirmed in their seats when Symonette made this declaration of solidarity with Trump in February. Other than the obvious sucking of teeth and roll ing of eye-balls by Rotar ians whose guiding princi ples are service, diversity and integrity, the moment passed and somehow Sy monette wasnt laughed out of the luncheon or rebuked for his nave utterance. This man was our Deputy Prime Minister and Minis ter of Foreign Affairs. Now he sits at the Cabinet table helping make decisions for all of us while Donald Trump sits in the White House making decisions that embolden racists, big ots, anti-Semites and white supremacists. We dont have to lose sleep over whether Brents fondness for Trump will somehow nd its way into our foreign policy. His cab inet colleagues, led by our adroit new Foreign Min ister Darren Heneld will shut him down before he nishes his thoughts. But the public needs to know if our Minister of Financial Services, Trade and Industry and Immigra tion still reveres Trump, a man who seemingly hates minorities, non-white im migrants, Jews and women. Brents conscience prob ably wont dictate that he come forward and repudiate Donald Trump for his latest benighted outburst. Con tinuing with his full-blown assault on the American presidency, Trump went rogue again and refused to be a beacon of hope and a balm for a nation hurting after racists, neo-Nazis and white supremacists went on a rampage in Charlottes ville, Virginia, birthplace of Thomas Jefferson, the pri mary author of the US Dec laration of Independence. It is true that Jefferson was a philandering slave owner, but the words he used when he drafted the preamble to that decla ration were later used to extend equality to the de scendants of slaves. Those words all men are created equal rang hollow on the sacred ground that was de faced by racist thugs. Enter Symonettes hero Trump serenading the pur veyors of hate and for the rst time in modern history putting the presidency on the wrong side of a moral divide. Trump refused to appreciate that there were only two sides good vs evil. He was cool with evil. The Prime Minister and the Cabinet make foreign policy and so we can all rest assured that after Char lottesville whenever Minis ter Heneld speaks in inter national fora he will leave no doubt in anyones mind that the Bahamian people vigorously oppose racism and bigotry, anti-Semitism and any kind of supremacy. Is Brent willing or ready to walk back his earlier Trump endorsement? Brent is not the rst man in history to fawn over a leader hell bent on his own destruction. But he chose to make public his esteem for Trump and so the onus is on him to state publicly whether Trump is still his man of business. If he cannot distance himself from Trump then he dishonours himself, his colleagues and the Baha mian people. This is not about poli tics. Its about character. Its about poor judgement. Its about morality and its about the preamble to our own Constitution which tells the world that we ab hor racism and slavery. Brent must abandon Trump now before history leaves him standing alone, a poor pathet ic gure who couldnt tell the difference between a states man and a charlatan. Its time for Brent to man-up. THE GRADUATE Nassau, August 19, 2017 WE RISE, a new group claiming that it wants something done about injustice, wrongful terminations and violent crime, has announced that it will call a protest march for the South ern Recreation grounds on Saturday. As far as they are concerned the new gov ernment is moving in the wrong direc tion. However, there are doubting Thom ases out there who believe that We Rise is the creation of the now op position PLP, desperate to remain rel evant as they attempt to bamboozle Bahamians into believing that the problems they now face had nothing to do with their ve-year administration, but solely the creation of an inept FNM. While the PLP have not openly en dorsed We Rise, the group, sporting the partys colours, and pictured at PLP headquarters, meeting with former Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell, have given the game away. Now a senator, having lost his parliamentary seat, it is important that somehow Mr Mitchell moves from the shadows if he ever wants to take a last, desperate shot at realising his lifelong dream and become the Hon Fred Mitchell, Prime Minister of the Baha mas. There are vehement PLP denials that any member of their party has anything to do with We Rise or for that matter any political movement against govern ment. However, Ranard Heneld, now a senator, who led the peaceful, and effective, We March demonstration before the May 10 election, says other wise. Senator Heneld says he has been privately called by senior PLP members to rise up against the Minnis admin istration. The calls, he said, have gone unanswered. I am not sure, Senator Heneld commented sarcastically, which his tory books those persons read that said the abused returned to the aid of the abuser. I trust, he continued, that Mrs Cherly Bazard and Mr Chester Cooper will purge that party (the PLP) by years end. Mr Henelds movement endorsed the FNM government, presenting it with a list of what it wanted addressed within the partys rst 100 days if elected. That list included jail for any politician found guilty of corruption, lower cost of living, term limits for prime ministers, the removal of Crown land distribution from the Ofce of the Prime Minister, an independent director of public pros ecutions and the appointment of former Court of Appeal President Dame Joan Sawyer as attorney general, among oth er things. Mr Heneld made it clear that if the new government failed to get these things done, they would take to the streets again and march. However, handed a government in a worse nancial state than imagined, Mr Heneld said that despite the impa tient, intolerant and radical nature of his organisation, the group sees no need to march. We see progress on a number of our issues and appreciate that no adminis tration can x ve years of plundering and mismanagement in 100 days, he said. As long as we can see changes be ing made on our issues the We March organisation can keep our black shirts on their hangers. On Saturday, Bahamians will proba bly better understand what We Rise is all about. However, from our experience over the years of covering PLP protest marchers, when our reporters have tried to interview the individual protester to nd out what they are protesting, they dont know why they are even there. A while back there was a rumpus on Bay Street with young men rushing upstairs to a certain ofce demanding to be paid what they had been promised for par ticipating in a PLP protest during the Ingraham administration. We are not saying that We Rise is on that level, but we would advise that if there is any deal making, the terms and conditions should be rmly settled before the rst step is taken. Anyway, by the weekend the truth will out. Still in love with Trump, Mr Symonette? LETTERSletters@tribunemedia.net By the weekend, the truth will outjrolle@tribunemedia.net EDITOR, The Tribune. I ADMIRE that Alfred Sears had the courage to challenge Perry Christie at the last PLP convention. It is sad that the PLP did not have the good sense to get rid of Mr Christie and go into the election with a bet ter leader. Following Mr Christie was a bad, bad idea. The party nearly lost every one of its seats. Mr Christie even lost his seat, embar rassing himself. What I liked about Mr Sears was he was talking about reform and changing the party. The PLP has too many stalwart councilors. Mr Christie kept naming them because he wanted to stay in power. He would name people who were loy al to him. The PLP also needs to think about putting term limits in place for its leaders. In 60 years, the PLP has only had two leaders Mr Chris tie and Sir Lynden Pindling. Maybe make it where no one could serve more than 10 years or 15 years as leader? Mr Sears is the best per son to change the party. He is not one of the insiders. If the PLP stays with the same old group of people who have led the party from Pin dlings time, nothing will change and the PLP will lose the next election. People say Mr Sears cant be leader because he is not in the House of Assem bly. Thats not true. There is no rule anywhere that says that. The PLP could have a leader in the House who serves as leader of the opposition and Mr Sears could be the leader of the party who changes it and makes it more relevant to non-PLP voters. The PLP cant win an election with its base alone. It needs to attract swing and independent voters. The party needs a leader who is not linked to PLP misdeeds of the past. Bahamians re spect Mr Sears and they do not associate him with the scandalous crew in the PLP. I hope Mr Sears runs. I hope PLPs give him a chance. MARTHA S GREENE Nassau, August 27, 2017. Alfred Sears should run for leader RE: Larry Smith EDITOR, The Tribune. THE Bahamas has indeed lost a fearless and excellent journalist. Larry Smith was one of the very best. My condolences and sym pathies to his family on his untimely death. FRED F GOTTLIEB Marsh Harbour, Abaco August 29, 2017. Larry Smith is a big loss EDITOR, The Tribune. BP&L ZNS News report Sunday last. Wow if you be lieve one word of that re lease all our troubles with excessively high electricity rates have to be over what a lot of garbage. BP&L and the FNM are miles from the solu tion which is biting their toes. One could say dumb also but then we have to be kind to these inexpe rienced people. Hmm Ms Pam Hill is replaced by a sub-contractor of Pow erSource got to ask so what really does Power Source bring to the table except we paid them or was it $850,000.00 for our own business plan! Mr Prime Minister when you eventually return to the House please Table that Business plan and the MOU of PowerSource the People want to see! Spelling years ago jour nalists and alike mixed up council and counsel now it seems honorary and honor ary ..... got to be BJSE English is so bad ... it is honor ary please ZNS in the case when referring to an Honor ary Consul. To laugh a little I saw a sign on Shirley Street of an Honorary Consul with honorary spelt honourary sign makers please note also! BAIL ... when is the At torney General going to in sist all bail applications for accused murderers, rapists, persons with possession of guns will have to raise high value bails we have to save their lives as they are dead otherwise! W THOMPSON Nassau, August 27, 2017. e problems with BPL A4MAIN

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THE TRIBUNE Wednesday, August 30, 2017, PAGE 5 THE Minnis administra tion is expected to nally table the management ser vices agreement signed be tween the Christie admin istration and PowerSecure last year. In an interview with re porters outside of the Of ce of the Prime Minister on Tuesday, Works Min ister Desmond Bannister insisted the Minnis admin istration continues to op erate distinctly different from the former adminis tration. Responding to questions about when the agreement would be made public, the Carmichael MP told reporters to be in the House when sittings re sume on September 13, implying the government would nally table the ser vices contract. Bahamas Power & Lights board of directors cited the MSA when it red former CEO Pamela Hill last week. At a news confer ence, BPL chairwoman Darnell Osborne suggested the move was made as a means of accountability, as specied in the MSA. Additionally, the board called on PowerSecure to cure all deciencies and/or breaches set out under the MSA within 30 days. BPL has made headlines over the past few months over a ve-month long fraud scheme that involved ap proximately 44 cheques paid out to 16 vendors from December 16, 2016 to May 9, 2017. Both the government and the BPL board have received copies of an audit conducted by Ernst and Young. For his part Tuesday, Mr Bannister said the government is working with PowerSecure to do what we can in accordance with that MSA. Following the discovery of that scheme, three jun ior employees were termi nated and two managers placed on suspension. In the days following those moves, there was an ticipation that the respec tive unions, the Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) and the Bahamas Electrical Managers Union (BEMU), would respond with industrial action. Addressing this Tuesday, Mr Bannister said he has held some very produc tive meetings with the workers union in recent weeks. He added that the BEWU had expressed concern for members and their treatment in the wake of the scandal. Ive asked them to be patient. There is some very condential informa tion with respect to the mat ters that occurred at BEC, it has caused the Bahamian people to lose almost $2m, he said. Mr Bannister contin ued: It is a very serious is sue and as Bahamians we all ought to be concerned. The (BEWU) has demon strated its maturity in in dicating that it is going to work with us and they are going to be patient while the process unwinds. I can assure you that there is much more to be done at BEC and we are not on any type of witch hunt. We are there to pro tect every single Bahamian consumer, because after all, it is your money it is all of our money and we all have to be concerned about it. I was very impressed with the maturity of the union. While they have a duty in relation to their members, they have wider duty and a larger duty in relation to the Bahamian public, and they have ac cepted that duty and we expect to work closely with them. Asked if he had held sim ilar talks with the BEMU, Mr Bannister added: We have communicated with the managers union and we have told them our posi tion. Ive seen some releas es from them and I do hope that they will take the same mature stance as the work ers union. Mr Bannister said that there were some things that go above and beyond un ions, issues he said had to be viewed as more impor tant to a country. This is one of them, he said. This is a very critical issue and where you nd that these things occur, we have to wipe them out and we have to get to the bottom of all of it. I assure you that we will do that. On Monday, Mike Har reld assumed the role of in terim CEO of BPL. Mr Harreld has said he has no intention of get ting involved in the dis pute between BPLs board and PowerSecure, rather aiming to focus his energy on improving the power company. PowerSecures ve-year MSA was promoted by the former Christie admin istration as being the an swer to sub-par electricity service and high electricity bills. When the agreement was signed in February 2016, the MSA was said to in clude a business plan which outlines cost-reduction and reliability targets along with renewable energy and customer service initiatives for New Providence and the Family Islands. By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net LABOUR Minis ter Dion Foulkes yester day denied rumours that 75 employees were directly terminated at the Grand Bahama Shipyard earlier this week. According to Mr Foulkes, who spoke to reporters out side of the Ofce of the Prime Minister on Tues day before heading into a Cabinet meeting, a com pany sub-contracted by the Grand Bahama Ship yard was released from its agreement with the prop erty and as a result, it was unclear if the employees of that company were ulti mately redeployed to other areas. Mr Foulkes said the com pany, which he didnt name, had a total of 75 employees operating at the shipyard on a day-to-day basis. The Tribune understands the company is Clear Blue Maritime Agency. We are trying to ascer tain from that contracting company whether those 75 persons are still work ing for that company and whether they have been re deployed on to other jobs, Mr Foulkes said. But it is not true that the shipyard terminated 75 per sons. I want to make that clear. Mr Foulkes said he was unsure if the Grand Ba hama Shipyard had already hired replacements, but said the company has given notice that it is seeking to hire trained Bahamians to ll a number of vacant posi tions. He stated: Not only (persons from) Grand Ba hama, but anywhere New Providence, Abaco, Long Island, Cat Island if you have skills, espe cially in the technical are as, they are anxious to em ploy you. Asked if that meant the shipyard was attempting to ll the vacancies left by the departure of that unnamed company, Mr Foulkes was unable to say, but contend ed that this line of think ing could be concluded based on the recent actions taken. The Grand Bahama Shipyard plays an integral role in the growth of that islands economy. Last month, Cabinet min isters and senators toured the shipyard in their rst ofcial visit since the new administration took ofce in May. They met with company executives in a closed meet ing about plans at the ship yard and were then given a tour of the facility. State Minister for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thomp son at the time said the visit acted as a first step in a renewed relationship between the government and operators of that fa cility. Mr Thompson said the government wanted to en sure Bahamians knew the goods and services required by the shipyard, and under stand how they can expand their current business op eration so all parties could benet. The senator added that the government would con tinue to work with the ship yard on its apprenticeship programme. Mr Thompson revealed that more than 600 Baha mians were working at the shipyard in both perma nent and contracted ven tures. By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net UNCERTAINTY OVER SHIPYARD JOBS AS CONTRACTOR DROPPED BPL management deal to be tabled in Parliament THOUSANDS of Baha mas Telecommunications Company customers expe rienced problems with their landline phones late Mon day evening. BTC said technical is sues with its landline platform meant customers experienced intermittent issues making and receiv ing calls. Interim CEO, Dexter Cartwright said: Our sys tems alerted us that we were experiencing some technical issues on our lan dline platform. Immediately our tech nical teams began ad dressing the problem, and by approximately 3am the issue was completely re solved. Our engineers are con ducting a forensic analysis to ensure that this issue does not recur. BTC is presently in the process of embarking on several major initiatives with the intent to complete ly transform the business to enable us to continue to grow in todays competitive environment. BTC TACKLES LANDLINE OUTAGE DARNELL OSBORNE, BPL board chairman, suggested the ring of Pamela Hill was made as a means of accountability. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff A5MAIN

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PAGE 6, Wednesday, August 30, 2017 THE TRIBUNE We have seen that cer tainly with the former ad ministration and so (its) a work in progress always. The police on one side and then social elements must be added. Whether its the school, whether its the church and we have to pay attention to the recommen dations wherever they come from and do the very best that we can to implement those recommendations. Earlier in his presenta tion to the press, Mr New bold said the Cabinet sub committee was formed to take a holistic view of the crime problem. The prime minister met yesterday (Monday) with the police and the attorney general to reinforce the governments zero toler ance approach to crime and to stress that he is still pre pared to provide all the sup port that the police needs to get the job done. In fact the Cabinet sub committee has been formed to take a holistic view of the crime situation and how the church and schools and oth er social partners can play a larger role in getting crime under control. Everybody is really shocked by what happened (Monday morning) and we understand though that there is no one solution to crime. Its a multifac eted problem and so there must be a multifaceted (ap proach) to getting it under control. Police believe the infant, Shelton Delano Tinker was killed in an act of retaliation toward the babys father. Police initially said the child was 18-months-old but yes terday claried the babys correct age of eight months. The boys mother and fa ther were also shot during the incident. They are both listed in serious condition in hospital. Shortly after the tragic killing, police said they wanted to speak with 19-year-old Anthon Ste vens, aka Bigga, for help with the investigation. Mr Stevens later turned himself in to the Central Detective Unit with his law yer around 4.05pm in con nection with the investiga tion, police said. The shooting took place shortly after 3am on Mon day and took the countrys murder count to 90 for the year, according to The Trib unes records. It was also the second murder in less than 48 hours in the capital. Assistant Commission er of Police Clayton Fer nander said the adult male victim, the father of the baby, was about to enter his home off Rupert Dean Lane when he was forced into the residence by a gun man who he knew. The adult male just got home and he was about to enter his home, north of Dunmore Street when he was approached by a gun man known to him, who lives in this general area. The gunman forced him into the home, ACP Fer nander said Monday. The home is a single structure home, where the victim lived with his girl friend and their. . baby boy. The individual red a number of shots resulting in three persons being shot. The male victim, his girl friend and the baby were shot to the body. The infant died on the scene, the male and the female were trans ported to hospital by ambu lance and they are listed in serious condition. The man is in more serious condition than the woman. ACP Fernander said the male victim and the sus pected gunman had an ar gument the night before, which police believe led to the shooting. Babys killing rocks Cabinet The response has been fantastic because people now face the possibility of prosecution and obviously nobody wants to be pros ecuted, Mr Lloyd said yes terday. However, unfortunately, over 300 will have to be prosecuted because they have been unresponsive or they have been reluctant to respond and that process is ongoing. But I am grateful that there are many who took the invitation to bring their accounts up to date to repay their loans or to work out some nancial arrangement with the authority as to how they will repay that loan. Asked to explain the pen alties which may be possi ble should people face the court over the money owed, Mr Lloyd said: It is a civil offence. It is a civil action. You are obviously go ing to be found in breach of your contract. You will then be required to pay on certain terms as the court may determine. The court may impose other remedies as requested by the applicant that could be seizing personal assets, de pending on the amount (or) that could be a garnishing of your wages. But most people dont want to go through that process. Most people want to deal with some means of repaying whatever it is that is outstanding. So we are condent that even those who have been served with writs will somehow fall in line as it were with the am bitious intentions of the au thority and just come to an agreement. He added: We are not trying to put people in jail and all that kind of stuff or really make life difcult. But at the same time, its the taxpayers and the tax payers deserve to have their monies repaid. Last month, Mr Lloyd re vealed that scores of schol arship applicants were set to be turned away by the Ministry of Education in the coming weeks as the government continued its push to cut government ex penses. At the time, he revealed the Minnis administra tion had hoped to recover a portion of the $156m in delinquent student loans in order to aid its scholarship programmes until the gov ernment was in a better nancial posture to fund the initiatives. In June, the South Beach MP, during the 2017-2018 budget debate, warned those owing the ELA to pay up or face grief. The loan programme was established in 2000 to assist persons pursuing tertiary education, either locally or abroad. However, it was sus pended in August 2009 due to its high delinquency rate. When contacted by The Tribune recently for an update on the situation, the South Beach MP indi cated his ministry has com menced the dissemination of written requests to the more that 4,600 former loan recipients, requesting some form of repayment. Similar letters were is sued during the Christie ad ministration. The issue of delinquent student loan payments has been ongoing for some time. In March 2016, then Min ister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald said the ELA was owed $155m in out standing loan payments for its student loan scheme. At the time, the Progres sive Liberal Party Cabinet minister urged delinquent borrowers to arrange repay ment methods or face court action. 300 FACING COURT OVER STUDENT LOAN DEBTS The South Beach MP was responding to con cerns raised over a poten tial shortage of teachers as public schools are set to reopen for the 2017-2018 aca demic year next Monday. While Mr Lloyd speculat ed the public school system could see a decit of ap proximately 100 teachers, he said that number could increase based on the num ber of teachers who reach retirement age in the com ing days. Mr Lloyd said the com mon practice among educa tors is to formally announce their plans to either retire or stay on in the month of August. Well, we are continu ing to address the teacher shortage issue, Mr Lloyd said. As you know, teaching as a profession is not one of the most attractive op tions for students coming out of high school or even college. That I expect will change. He continued: For any number of reasons people dont see it, though it is re garded as one of the more elegant and some describe it as the profession of pro fessions which I absolutely agree, some dont see it as one of their rst two, three or fourth choices, not to mention the rst choice. That, I hope again, will change because as you know, teaching, teachers, education is the bedrock of any society. What we hope to do and have done and I think to a great degree of success is to invite those teachers, those educators who are ap proaching or have reached the retirement age, to invite them to consider (putting off) retirement for a year or two or more, so that they would be able to assist us particularly in the primary area with the understand ing that they would be al lowed to ofcially retire, get their gratuity and their pen sion, but to be returned on contract. He added: Many, I am grateful to say and I am happy to say, have accepted that particular provision. But, there is no question, we have to address this is sue of perennial teacher shortage. Earlier this month, Ba hamas Union of Teachers President Belinda Wilson insisted that the recent re cruitment of Cuban teach ers doesnt satisfy the wor rying shortage the country faces. Mrs Wilson said she continues to be concerned about the potential short age and how hiring and re cruitment of new teachers is being outpaced by retire ments. RETIREES COURTED IN TEACHER SHORTAGE from page one from page one from page one POLICE at the scene of Monday mornings shooting, which saw two adults injured and an eight-month-old infant killed. Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff A6MAIN

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PAGE 8, Wednesday, August 30, 2017 THE TRIBUNE PRESS Secretary Antho ny Newbold said ofcials are still in talks over the Grand Lucayan Resorts sale more than a month af ter Prime Minister Dr Hu bert Minnis revealed the government was negotiat ing to become temporary joint owners of the hotel in Grand Bahama. Last month during his national address, the prime minister said the move was in a bid to boost the hotel until it can sell off its equity. However, during his weekly press brieng yes terday, Mr Newbold said there was no update in this regard except to say talks were continuing. He said: Everybody is happy that those conver sations have been positive conversations because you could be talking and you rowing all day. The conversations have been very positive and again the prime minister is com mitted to right that situation down there. That is why the conversations continue. Dr Minnis at the time of his address did not give spe cics about the plan and it is unclear what amount of investment the government is willing to make in the re sort. The nations leader previ ously said his administra tion has identied a num ber of integrated travel and hospitality companies that can bring quality brands to Grand Bahama but also much needed air transpor tation. The government is now involved in negotiations with the owners of the as sets of Grand Lucayan in Grand Bahama and related assets for the joint owner ship of those assets in part nership with a number of investors, Dr Minnis said last month. As was done by the Unit ed States during the 2008 Great Recession, my gov ernments intent is to resus citate and grow business to the Grand Lucayan as rapid ly and as sustainably as pos sible, and thereafter sell its equity to one of the existing partners or other investors. We have no intention of remaining as an owner in the hotel business for any extended period of time. All signs point to the be ginning or renovations at the resort within the next month with the facility ready for business for the winter season, Dr Minnis said last month. Mr Newbold also com mented yesterday on the arrests and charges brought against former politicians. He said the prime minister does not consider these dis tractions. Talking about nances, I have been asked about ar rests and charges brought against various people, in cluding politicians, some consider it a distraction, Mr Newbold said. . For the good of the country, Prime Minister Minnis has vowed to smash the cycle of corruption. The prime minister believes it is important to emphasise to the public, that anytime a person takes from BEC or from the Ministry of Works or from the (Public) Treas ury, it increases the likeli hood that you, Joe Public, will eventually have to pay more taxes. Why do you think we need value added tax? Talks still ongoing over future of Grand Lucayan By KHRISNA VIRGIL Deputy Chief Reporter kvirgil@tribunemedia.net A BRITISH man whose wife vanished at sea 30 miles off The Bahamas ap peared in a Florida court yesterday charged with transporting as much as $100,000 worth of coins believed to have been sto len while he was rst mate of Kitty R in May 2016. In a hearing yesterday that lasted about ten min utes, a United States judge ordered Lewis Bennett be held in advance of a bond hearing set for Friday. Reports on Tuesday indicated that federal prosecutors are asking he be held without bond, which is done when the government fears a de fendant is a danger or a flight risk. In May, Bennett was the last person to see his wife, 41-year-old Isabella Hell mann, alive. The pair, on a belated honeymoon sail through the Caribbean, struck something 30 miles west of Cay Sal in The Bahamas. Bennett said he awoke that morning to discover his wife missing and the cou ples catamaran taking on water. When rescued by the United States Coast Guard on May 15, authorities no ticed that Bennett loaded a suitcase and two backpacks on to his raft but had taken only one backpack with him when he was pulled from the raft by the Coast Guard swimmer. The Coast Guard later recovered the life raft and took it to Key West. Reports have indicated a suitcase, a backpack, un expanded parachute ares, buoys, 14 gallons of water, a second ePIRB homing de vice, and nine plastic tubes which were found to con tain some 225 of the stolen coins, were all discovered aboard the raft. A four-day search to lo cate Hellman was called off on May 18. MAN WHOSE WIFE VANISHED AT SEA ACCUSED OVER $100,000 IN STOLEN COINS SEVENTEEN foreign service career ofcers will be recalled and some of these posts will be replaced according to foreign service regulations, Press Secretary Anthony Newbold said yes terday. (They) will be rotated in their postings and this per tains to ofcers who have been posted oversees for three or more years, he said. Seventeen of them will be recalled and replaced, two ofcers will be trans ferred from one ofce to another and four of the ofcers who are being re called will not be replaced. One of those ofcers is from the Miami ofce, two from New York and one from London. They will not be replaced. These are not people who were posted to be am bassadors or consul gen eral, Mr Newbold added. These are people who ac tually work in the foreign service. They work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and every three years they are just routinely rotated. 17 CAREER OFFICERS IN FOREIGN SERVICE RECALLED By KHRISNA VIRGIL Deputy Chief Reporter kvirgil@tribunemedia.net AN immigration ofcial has warned that the hiring of persons residing illegally in the country is an offence and is calling on citizens to inform the Department of Immigration of suspected illegal immigration activity on Grand Bahama. This caution comes after 12 illegal Haitians were tak en into custody in Freeport last weekend. Half of them were reportedly working without work permits. Immigration ofcer Napthali Cooper reported that the immigrants all males were discovered by immigration ofcers last Friday and Saturday. He said six of the men were al legedly working illegally, while the others were ar rested at an apartment com plex in the Freeport area. During the Department of Immigrations investiga tions, Mr Cooper said it was found that nine of the men claimed to have entered TBahamas illegally by boat from Haiti earlier this year. He said the other three had possessed legal status at one time which has since expired, and they had not submitted requests for re newal. The men were processed at the Department of Im migration in Grand Baha ma and own to New Provi dence, where they are being detained at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre to await repatriation to Haiti. Mr Cooper said: The Immigration Department would like to remind Baha mians that it is an offence to hire persons to work for them who are without legal status in the country. Also, it is an offence to hire a per son who may have a work permit for somebody else other than the individual who hires them to work for them. Citizens are invited to continue calling the de partment with any tips they may have regarding illegal immigration activ ity that they may suspect, he said. Mr Cooper stated that the Department of Im migration is committed to ensuring that the immigra tion laws are enforced and that persons who are in the country illegally are arrest ed and dealt with according to the law, as well as Baha mians who seek to engage illegal immigrants in their employ and those who seek to harbour undocumented persons. WARNING OVER HIRING OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter dmaycock@tribunemedia.net THE Supreme Court trial of three men allegedly involved in a murder plot that was executed in June of last year was again ad journed yesterday due to is sues with the empanelment of the jury. Senior Justice Stephen Isaacs delisted the trial for Daran Neely, Jahama ro Edgecombe and Sean Brown, as the court had only managed to empanel some 28 jury members, not nearly enough given the number of accused men on trial. The trial was adjourned on Monday to yesterday also because of issues with empaneling the jury. It is unclear when the trial will begin. Both Neely and Edge combe are charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder while Brown is charged with ac cessory after the fact. It is alleged that Neely, on June 16, at New Providence and being concerned with others, plotted to murder Kenyari Lightbourne. On June 21, Lightbourne was shot multiple times while walking through his neighbourhood of Woods Alley, off Market Street. He died at the scene of the shooting. Neely is represented by Geoffrey Farquharson and Jomo Campbell, Edge combe is represented by Ian Cargill and Brown is repre sented by Nathan Smith. MURDER PLOT TRIAL ADJOURNED AGAIN By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net THE GRAND LUCAYAN RESORT A8MAIN The Tribune is looking for a highly motivated The successful candidate will: Work well as part of a team Have excellent written skills Be computer literate with experience of Mac operating system an advantage Have excellent communication skills Have discretion and a fondness for dealing with the public Be able to work to deadlines Resums and a cover letter should be sent to: hr@tribunemedia.net by close of business on Friday, 1st September.

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PAGE 10, Wednesday, August 30, 2017 THE TRIBUNE THE new FNM government of PM Doctor Hu bert Minnis has enjoyed the usual grace pe riod of 100-plus days. Now the hard questions begin. When does the page turn to change course from a PLP regime guilty, at least, of gross incompetence? In the very act of get ting elected, with an over whelming majority, Doc Minnis and his FNM col leagues did a great service to the nation, simply by re moving a passel of cronies who ran their Ministries like blind-folded cow boys. Campaigning was not easy, even in the rst phase when the struggle was inside his own party, and his determination and hard work deserve great respect. No better example of the mess he now faces was the sight of new Im migration Minister Brent Symonette glumly eye ing the boxes cluttering his Hawkins Hill ofce, stuffed with thousands of les that had never seen a computer, and worrying whether the toilets were safe for use. This had been the empire of Nassaus debonair voy ager, Fred Mitchell, now found ponticating from his new Senate seat. Rath er than devote any of his ve-year term to tedious managerial tasks of reduc ing the delays and petty graft endemic to his Minis try, nicky Fred preferred constant travel for diplo matic palaver around the world. One trip to the Mid dle East was publicised as his personal effort to raise funds for the Treasury. Did he bring home enough to cover his rst-class air fare? The Docs rst mission was to clean out the Augean stables, and he seems well on the way. The general message of austerity has become a clarion call in every de partment, and Minister of Finance Turnquest is squeezing each line-item of the budget in his campaign for a 10 percent expense reduction. Excess staff, of ten hired as a last-minute PLP election ploy, are be ing pared, notably by the Minister of Tourism. Cor ruption prosecutions are part of the judicial pro cess, not the executive, so the PM cannot take credit for the recent perp walks of arrested one-time mag nates, but clearly he leaves the police, prosecutors and judges free to do their jobs without political hin drance. While necessary, these steps are, corrective not cre ative. In lowering our rating forecast from stable to neg ative, Moodys found stabil ity but no signs of growth. The big issues clamoring for solutions have not been addressed. One hundred days are not long enough to accomplish hard results, but give enough time to outline basic programmes leading towards change. Instead, we hear windy generalities like we are still looking into it, and we will do better. Here are specic urgent needs that citizens demand to be met, not overnight, but within a realistic timeframe: Electric Power The dismissal of CEO Pamela Hill by a newly de cisive Board of Directors was purely a band-aid for an open wound. The ap pointment of Power Secure as manager of Bahamas Power & Light last year was doubtful from day one a small specialist com pany acting purely as advi sor with no equity interest or commitment of funds. Their role is now in tat ters and is likely to be ter minated. Neither then nor now has the elephant in the room been confronted: the estimated $650m needed to pay off legacy debt and build new oil-red generat ing plants. Ownership by a ma jor foreign utility compa ny may be the solution, de spite loss of sovereignty objections. Or alternative ly, reduce oil dependence, and for the rst time look seriously at renewable en ergy potentials: sun, wind, and thermal. Or consider the offers of LNG, or the mobile barge often pro moted in The Punch. The answer will not be immedi ate, but Government has not yet given the slightest hint of which way it is look ing. We certainly want to avoid another consultancy committee, while years of high tariffs and outages continue, a major drag on our economy and obstacle to growth. Waste disposal at the landll Its hard to know who was more inept, PLP Govern ment itself or their chosen contractor, Renew Baha mas, but we know the dis astrous results. For the mo ment, we are avoiding res and clouds of toxic smoke, but the eruptions are mere ly dormant and far from ex tinct. Meanwhile, Govern ment dithers. An experienced and wellnanced Bahamian consor tium made its bid, but was put on hold. Apparently new RFPs, requests for proposals, will be sent out, but how long before they are prepared, the results analysed, and the winner goes to work? Meanwhile, the Stellar Waste venture keeps re newing its proposal to con vert garbage into electric power, an accepted tech nology but not in the form promoted by this unproven company. VAT Reduced rates on breadbasket items have been mooted but none an nounced. Our many lowincome families are entitled to know whether they can expect some relief from this food-counter burden, or whether they must keep their belts tight to preserve the Treasurys budget integrity. Admittedly, a tough decision for Government, but one that must soon be made and explained. Postal service The failings of our post ofce seldom capture the limelight, but are pervasive and insidious. How can we pretend having an efcient commerce platform when mail takes a fortnight to traverse a 21-mile island, and weeks longer interna tionally? Several new sites to re place our collapsing and unhealthy central building have long been identied and are being studied, but no decision seems im minent to start the trans fer. Ease of doing business This admirable principle gets lip-service, but where are the practical steps? No announcement has been made about creating a veri able property register, long urged by lawyers and real-estate experts, and now more achievable with modern computer technol ogy. And what about easing the expensive administra tive burdens of ling tax compliance certicates for multiple Government transactions? Bank of The Bahamas The PLP sank $100m of citizens money to save it, and the FNM is apparently committing another $160m. Where is any hard evidence that this will convert it to protability without further rescues? Why not simply shut down and transfer whats left including some doubt less excellent staff to one of our proven commercial banks? The guiding principle should not be Save the name BoB at any cost, but rather Provide Bahamians with the best banking ser vices at the lowest cost. The same principle should apply to Baha masAir and other stateowned businesses eternally dependent on subsidies. Downtown Nassau The most visible fail ure of Government policy is the deplorable state of downtown Nassau, as the Ministry of Tourism itself laments. While the respon sibility extends back many years, the new broom administration of Doc Min nis has not yet said a sin gle word to resolve this na tional disgrace. It cannot even give a straight answer about the fate of The Pointe, the ambitious scheme owned by a Chinese Government company and currently blocking a stretch of prime waterfront. Originally scheduled for completion in 2017, no construction activity is vis ible. Have our authorities disapproved the plans? Is the Chinese contractor too busy completing Baha Mar? Or has Beijing de cided to pull back, as part of its retrenchment from foreign resort projects? Nothing is said. Nearby, Arawak Cay, aside from the efcient container port, remains an industrial junk yard. More serious is the fate of the Bay Street zom bie zone east of Rawson Square. Ever since the departure of commercial shipping, these blocks have featured acres of bare car go docks and vacant ware houses, shuttered shops or empty window displays, and the grim faade of a long-closed hotel, all shunned by both tourists and natives. The few property own ers who prepared develop ment plans were stymied by Government silence and absence of any sensible zon ing rules. The Chinese own ers of the BC Hilton hotel allegedly prepared a master plan for Mr Christie, which was never published. A master plan will cer tainly be required some form of public-private joint venture including compul sory seizure of abandoned tax-delinquent properties. More than a plan, it will need rm nancial in vestment commitments to assure action not simply more talk. This will not be an easy project, but the New York World Trade Center, de molished at 9/11, is nally being rebuilt through tough negotiations between spar ring parties the City, two States, Washington, and a feisty private owner. The same should be feasible for our little Nassau, but Government must take the lead in supporting the ob jective. The efforts of the wellmeaning but ineffective Downtown Partnership have not resulted in a single new construc tion. Only the Prime Min ister can announce the ini tial impetus. No country can thrive if its capital city remains infected by dereliction. Perhaps the new Ameri can Ambassador, with a track record of invigorat ing the San Diego water front, will stimulate new thinking. Foreign ideas are always welcome, but the responsibility will stay with Bahamians, just as Britons restored London after the Blitz and Germans raised Berlin from the rub ble left by the Russians. Doc Minnis can take the initiative on all the above issuesbut he had better start moving, or his res ervoir of good-will could start leaking away. Sep tembers next parliamen tary session will be none too soon. The problems are obvious, now its time to act YOUR SAY By RICHARD COULSON CLOSED Businesses downtown on East Bay Street. Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff A10MAIN

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THE TRIBUNE Wednesday, August 30, 2017, PAGE 11 MP for Bain and Grants Town Travis Robinson partnered with Sandys Ltd in a new initiative and brought more than 200 children to the store from the Bain and Grants Town community to shop for school supplies, including clothes, bags and more. Mr Robinson said each child would have sufcient money to purchase two pants, two shirts, socks and a necktie. Photos: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff HELPING YOUNGSTERS GO BACK TO SCHOOL A11MAIN MOBILEAPP Take us with you Everywhere you go! Take us with you Everywhere you go!