The secret elite who owe BPL thousands Minnis orders end to special treatment BAHAMAS Power and Light has given poli ticians and government ofcials who were on a spe cial do not disconnect list seven days to pay their outrageous bills or be disconnected. BPL is owed hundreds of thousands of dollars by persons on this list, sev eral of whom are said to be active politicians, The Tribune was told. Govern ment House also owes BPL a hefty sum. The hardline directive came from Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, who was consulted by Minister of Works Desmond Bannister about the practice the latter found in place by the Chris tie administration, which allowed elite members of society to rack up electricity bills as high as $50,000 and not be disconnected. This while the average consumer can have his or her electricity shut off for an outstanding sum of as little as $200. The Tribune under stands the list includes several Progressive Liberal Party ofcials, government ofcials and at least one Free National Movement member. BPL issued the letters to the delinquent customers on Thursday. By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor email@example.com A DOWNTOWN Nassau resort risks total failure and collapse, its owner fears, after a dispute with its management company saw it frozen out of the hotels accounting and res ervation systems. Sunset Equities, owner of the 201-room Court yard by Marriott on West Bay Street, is alleging that Donald J Urgo & Asso ciates is threatening to wreak havoc on its plans to bring in a new management company, Trust Hospitality. The owner and its prin cipal, New York-based developer Ron Hershco, last week took the case to his home state by seeking an injunction and temporary restraining order to prevent Urgo from blocking access to the propertys accounting and reservation systems. WEATHER forecasters yesterday warned of the potential dangers of Tropi cal Storm Maria, advising that in the worst case sce nario, the system could turn out to be a major hur ricane expected to hit the southern Bahama islands by the weekend. Dave Samuhel, senior meteorologist for Accuweather.com, said while Tropical Storm Maria isnt expected to hit the southern islands until Friday or so, its impact on islands in that region could be severe. POLICE are investi gating the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of a 17-year-old boy in the Fox Hill area on Sat urday evening. The shooting came less than a week after an 11th grade Government High School student was shot multiple times and killed while hanging out with per sons in the back of his Fox Hill home. By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org POLICE are search ing for a female suspect who intentionally struck a woman with a vehicle fol lowing an argument in the Blue Hill Road south area early Sunday morning. According to police, shortly after 2.30am, two women were involved in an argument in the park ing lot of a bank located on Blue Hill Road south that led to one of the women intentionally being struck by a vehicle. The victim was rushed to hospital where she is detained in serious condition. The suspect ed the scene. At last check, police were said to be fol lowing signicant leads into the matter. Meanwhile, police are searching for several male suspects responsible for By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org SEE PAGE EIGHT SEE PAGE EIGHT SEE PAGE THREE By TANEKA THOMPSON Tribune News Editor email@example.com SEE PAGE FIVE FULL STORY SEE BUSINESS A1MAIN Nassau & Bahama Islands Leading Newspaper MONDAY HIGH 90F LOW 82F im lovin it! 24/7 BREAKING NEWS ON TRIBUNE242.COM Biggest And Best! The Tribune VOLUME:114 No.206, SEPTEMBER 18TH, 2017 THE PEOPLES PAPER: $1 Established 1903 INSIGHT: LESSONS TO LEARN FROM HURRICANE IRMA 16 PAGES HOUSE HOME &
PAGE 2, Monday, September 18, 2017 THE TRIBUNE A2MAIN
THE TRIBUNE Monday, September 18, 2017, PAGE 3 EVENTS such as Hurricane Irma, which dev astated Ragged Island as it moved throughout the region this month, have left no doubt humans are living through a period of cli mate change, CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque said Friday after landing here. CARICOM ofcials visited Ragged Island on Saturday to observe the damage there from Hurri cane Irma. They also held discussions with Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis about how CARICOM could be helpful to this country in the wake of the storm. One of the things that the heads of government have mandated us to do is organise for all of the affected states, a donors conference that would help bring resources for the long haul to rebuild, Mr LaRocque told The Tribune on Friday. Its not going to be a short-term thing, but long-haul rebuilding, build ing smarter and more resilient. Already weve begun discussing with at least one international partner that would help us to get this thing going. We have to plan for it so its one of the discussions well have here with the prime minister. Climate change is here, he said. These are trau matic events that leave no doubt in our minds that we are living through climate change. Keith Mitchell, the prime minister of Gre nada and current chairman of CARICOM, said the organisations heads came here to show solidarity with this country, having vis ited other hard-hit island nations like Antigua and Barbuda; Turks and Caicos, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands. In your hour of need we feel compelled and very happy to respond to what is taking place here and to offer all the support CARI COM could give in this difcult time, he said. He reiterated a long standing CARICOM concern, that multilateral nancial institutions and other development part ners which use per capita income to determine a countrys level of develop ment and consequent need for grants and concessional nancing are using a awed formula, one that fails to provide a true picture of a countrys economy. What we have to do in every forum, he said, is to restate the position we have been taking: to assess coun tries because on so-called per capita, that formula is a farce because in one stroke of the pen, you can have so many disasters that can take years to recover from. Especially in The Baha mas, even if you have one island spared, so much destruction can take place with the many islands you have. By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org He said Accuweather currently forecasts Maria will strengthen into a cat egory two or three storm, however, he said that pre diction may very well change. Nonetheless, Mr Samuhel said The Bahamas should not receive any impact from Tropical Storm Maria immediately, although noting that waves from Hurricane Jose passing near the US East Coast will continue to affect both the northern and southern Bahamas, with the north facing shores also to experi ence some large surf as a result. He said the other system forecasters are tracking, Tropical Storm Lee, is weakening and will be a non-factor. According to an Accu weather.com report, Tropical Storm Maria continues to strengthen as it makes it way west-northwestward. Conditions are conducive for the storm to strengthen into a category two hurri cane prior to reaching the Lesser Antilles on Monday night and Tuesday, the report said. By midweek, the storm is expected to reach cat egory three intensity, when it is expected that the storm would affect much of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with severe rain and wind. Based on the storms projected path, Mr Sam uhel said he expects that by Friday, Tropical Storm Maria will hit Inagua and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Were looking at Maria to cross the north ern Caribbean Tuesday and Wednesday, and the impacts will really be deter mined by how much of those islands it goes over, Mr Samuhel told The Trib une on Sunday. Say does it go right over Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, and if so it will be a much weaker hur ricane as it passes by those islands, so that would be I guess good news for you. If it stays just north of those islands it will retain more intensity, but regard less of what happens there your impacts are probably not until Friday or next weekend when youll start to see some tropical storm or hurricane conditions in the southern Bahamas. It would rst approach Great Inagua being the southernmost island there and then the Turks and Caicos, he added. Thats where we could start to see impacts by Friday or so. When asked by The Tribune about forecasted severity of the storm by the time it hits, he said: It could be severe. The worst-case scenario is its a major hurricane coming into the southern Bahamas Friday or next weekend. Our forecast right now is for a category two, but its likely going to change as to what happens, he added. Tropical Storm Maria is the third system to affect the region in recent weeks, following the pas sages of Hurricanes Irma and Jose earlier this month. Maria has prompted a hurricane warning for Guadeloupe and Dominica and a hurricane watch for Antigua, Barbuda, St Kitts, Nevis, Montser rat, Saba, St Eustatius, St Maarten, St Martin, St Barthelemy and Anguilla many of which were dev astated when Irma struck and killed 44 people in the Caribbean, according to CNN. We may have a problem with Maria from page one HURRICANES A SYMPTOM OF CLIMATE CHANGE MINISTER of Foreign Affairs Darren Heneld (third right) hosted a small luncheon for CARICOM Chairman and Grenada Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell (third left) on Saturday, September 16 following the delegations return from Ragged Island where they toured the devastation caused there by Hurricane Irma. Dr Mitchell was accompanied by a number of senior Caribbean Community ofcials, among them, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque (far right). Bahamian Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis also attended the luncheon. Pictured from left: Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes; Foreign Affairs Act ing Permanent Secretary Donna Lowe; Dr Mitchell; Mr Heneld; Director-General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sharon Haylock and Ambassador LaRocque. Photo: BIS TWO men, including a man on bail for murder and a nightclub owner, were taken into police custody following the seizure of two illegal handguns in two separate incidents over the weekend. According to police, shortly after 1am on Sunday, officers assigned to the Selective Enforce ment Team were conducting an opera tion at Apache Alley off Kemp Road, when a man was seen behaving suspiciously. The man was approached and searched by police. A rearm a .40 Glock pistol along with seven rounds of ammunition were found in his possession. The man, who police conrmed was being elec tronically monitored and on bail for murder, was taken into custody. In the second inci dent, shortly after 2am on Sunday, a special police operation team, acting on information conducted a search of a local nightclub located on East Street South and Gibbs Corner, where they allegedly uncovered a Smith and Wesson pistol containing a magazine with 14 rounds of ammunition hidden in a toilet bowl. The owner of the club was taken into custody in relation to the discovery. TWO HELD OVER GUN FIND A3MAIN
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.) 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 1972Published daily Monday to Friday Shirley & 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, Monday, September 18, 2017 THE TRIBUNE EDITOR, The Tribune THE article in the Trib une Business Section of last Friday, September 15, about BISX may have given the impression that I was critical of its manage ment for not making BISX more successful by per suading more companies to list. That is a distortion of what I said. My principal point was the small number of listed companies, and the meager volume of trading of their shares, was due to many factors far beyond the control of CEO Keith Davies and the rest of his executive team. They have worked hard to bring BISX as far as it has come, and have been notably success ful in listing many mutual funds and other collective investment schemes for for eign securities. But the fact remains that with a total of only 20 ordinary shares listed, many of which rarely trade, BISX is a negligible factor in our economy and is shunned by many investors as well as by companies that might consider going public. The principal reason for this is our overly restric tive exchange control rules on capital markets trans actions, which cannot be changed by BISX but only by our Central Bank and Ministry of Finance. These rules inhibit the inward ow of off-shore capital held by both Bahamians and foreigners, and make it difcult or expensive for Bahamians to move any local capital to reputable foreign stock exchanges. As I said, our citizens can freely sink their savings into web-shop numbers games, but cannot invest in IBM, Walmart, or Apple. The Central Bank appears obsessed with the fear that relaxing capital controls will immediately bring devaluation of the Bahamian dollar. This fear has often been debunked in Tribune col umns by hard-headed Jamaican businessman John Issa, who has a major stake in The Bahamas through ownership of Superclubs Breezes and points out the energy of securities trad ing on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, free of exchange control I do hope my friends at BISX will continue their persuasive efforts with the Central Bank, which is where any decision to relax the rules will lie. RICHARD COULSON Nassau, September 17, 2017. AS IF to make amends for an embar rassing blunder, the much troubled Baha Mar resort prepared dinner Thursday evening for Family Islanders who had been own to Nassau and housed at the New Providence Community Centre to escape the wrath of Hurricane Irma. Baha Mar, facing its rst hurricane, was criticised for closing its doors to the approaching hurricane and informing its guests that if they could not leave The Bahamas, they should seek alternative local shelter. Atlantis president and managing director was the rst to express alarm. Howard Karawan found it not only unacceptable, but alarming that Baha Mar would close its doors to its customers and the community as a category 4 hurricane approached. Sir Sol Kerzner and especially his late son, Butch who had been accepted by Bahamians as one of their own set the tone for Atlantis while under their ownership. Not only did they make their guests as comfortable as possible during a storm, but they opened the doors to welcome Bahamians who also needed shelter. Mr Karawan, who is continuing in the Kerzner tradition, said that a major hotel on an island has a moral obliga tion, not only to provide shelter for its guests, but to support the community. The only reason, said Mr Karawan, that a hotel should close in the face of a hur ricane would be if the hotel were not built up to standard. This comment harks back to the original problem that destroyed the Baha Mar dream. We have heard many allegations about construction standards at the Baha Mar resort. We dont know what is true or false, and none of us will ever know the full story until the court-sealed documents sealed at the request of the China Export-Import Bank are opened. Baha Mar, which was six months behind its December 2014 opening a date on which the contractor, China Construction America (CCA), had given the all clear for opening then went on to miss two more set dates in March and May 2015. Finally, having been publicly embarrassed by the much publicised three missed opening dates, developer Sarkis Izmirlian drew the line in the sand Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Delaware was the destination. In an earlier statement it was claimed that the work on the property by China Con struction America (CCA) had not met expected standards of excellence and was therefore, not acceptable. On June 29, 2015, Mr Izmirlian announced that the Cable Beach resort had voluntarily led for Chapter 11 in the United States so that Baha Mars construction could be completed and the property opened as soon as possible. I am committed to doing all I realisti cally can to move Baha Mar forward to be completed and opened successfully, Mr Izmirlian had said at the time. I am condent that, once opened, Baha Mar will be a world-class destination resort that will attract guests from around the world and serve as a key economic sparkplug for the Bahamas. This was a dispute between a devel oper and his contractor. Already the Izmirlian family had spent $850m of their own money on the $3 billion development. If the Christie government had remained out of the argument, and let Chapter 11 go full term, Baha Mar would probably have been the shining star among resorts as was intended. And The Bahamas credit rating would not have been reduced to junk by Stand ard and Poors just before Christmas. Nor would Moodys have had to give the new government a second chance by retaining the countrys Baa3 rating, but downgrading it from a positive to a negative outlook for the future. Eve ryone had pinned their future on Baha Mars success. But, once government got into the fray, agreeing with EXIM bank and CCA that as most of the assets were in The Bahamas, whatever disputes there were should be decided in The Baha mas, failure loomed. And so in came the Christie government ying the affront to sovereignty ag, failing to understand or not wanting to acknowledge that The Bahamas courts had recognised international insolvencies, and if it were not for governments interfer ence, Chapter 11 would have been the most efcient route for Baha Mar to take. Former prime minister Hubert Ingraham warned then prime minis ter Christie that to put Baha Mar into bankruptcy in The Bahamas was fun damentally a bad decision. So strongly did Mr Ingraham feel on this matter that he wrote two letters trying to dis suade Mr Christie from making such a fatal mistake. The government, said Mr Ingraham at the time, should not have tilted in favour of the construction company (CCA). It made a mistake and now it is stuck with a very bad decision because it is the government that put Baha Mar in liquidation. But the PLP government, almost taking the lead away from the courts, went full steam ahead at the side of EXIM bank. Beijings plan seemed clear when it came time for the banks receivers to sell off the resort. Sir Sol Kerzner, who was one of those interested in bidding on the property complained as did others that the China EXIM bank would not give him the information needed to make a proper bid. It was obvious that the EXIM bank with its contractor CCA had plotted its own course from that day in 2015 when CCA failed to deliver a completed Baha Mar for the open ing date that it had itself set. They refused to let Mr Izmirlian bid on his own development. In a letter to the bank, Mr Izmirlian pointed out that his company had been advised that all offers to purchase the resort had to go through the receivers and that was why the Izmirlian offer would not be con sidered, yet the Baha Mar purchaser selected and approved by EXIM had been found outside the receivers process. It is now the door to this company that the Beijing group has approved that the Minnis government has to open gin gerly and have all its investigative wits about them. The selected group is a large and very successful Hong Kong company. It is like an octopus with arms that reach into many ventures. But the one that we suggest our government has to pay special attention to is the long arm that stretches into the entertain ment and casino world and has rubbed shoulders with the Triad. National Secu rity Minister Marvin Dames has enough problems with his own home grown gangs without adding to his burdens. The Bahamas has now been given a second chance to secure its own inter ests. There will be no more tilting in favour of EXIM and CCA, but rather in favour of these islands called The Bahamas. Clarifying capital markets LETTERS email@example.com Baha Mar attempts to break bread again firstname.lastname@example.org STORM EVACUEES UNWILLING TO RETURN EDITOR, The Tribune. GOOD morning Bahamas. I am a fellow Bahamian and small time contractor sitting right now in my truck on the dump site beginning to write this letter. I came out about an hour earlier and just com pleted clearing trash off my trailer by hand. While clearing the trailer, I have watched as others came with their small dump truck and just dumped off their trash and left while I am still pulling with my hands. My problem is that I need to buy a small dump truck to make my life and work a little more easier. But this foolish policy of ban ning all vehicles over ten years old, implemented by the last PM, that we helped kick to the ground in the May election, is hurting me and many others that want to purchase a truck that we can afford. I am still to this day won dering what is the rhyme or reason for such a decision. Did he take on, all by him self, the problem of solving global warming by ban ning said vehicles? To my new and improved PM, sir, we beg you to look at this asinine policy imple mented by that dinosaur of a former PM and repeal this law. I need to purchase a dump truck that I can afford without becoming a slave to some foreign bank elitist. FRANCEO SMITH Nassau, September 15, 2017 EDITOR, The Tribune THE IMF is bemoaning the fact that commercial banks in The Bahamas are reluctant to lend, they no doubt are concerned about increasing their signicant number of nonperforming loans, the Bank of Bahamas recently requiring addi tional recapitalisation at the expense of the tax payers for that very reason being a typical case in point. Also, while acknowl edging that the Bahamian economy has been stag nant since 2012 the IMF, rather than suggesting that the government improve our economic outlook by putting their own house in order by enacting Fiscal Reform Legislation and a cap on government spend ing, is encouraging them to further fiscal folly by recommending they implement an income tax on Bahamians already burdened by a regressive tax regime. Death by a thousand cuts! To paraphrase Dr. Laurence J Peter, The Bahamas is a land of taxa tion that was founded to avoid taxation. IAN MABON Nassau, September 15, 2017. e IMF and taxation Foolish ban on older vehicles A4MAIN
THE TRIBUNE Monday, September 18, 2017, PAGE 5 They will have the option to arrange a payment plan if they cannot pay in full. While the government is adamant about col lecting the unpaid utility bills from politically con nected individuals, The Tribune understands Dr Minnis is also focused on going after companies with delinquent National Insurance Board (NIB) contributions and those who owe money to the Public Treasury. The Tribune understands the prime minister, who previously told Parlia ment his own electricity was once cut off for nonpayment, does not want to know who is on the do not disconnect list, but is reso lute no one is above the law and those who cannot pay their bills should have their electricity shut off. When contacted for com ment, Mr Bannister told The Tribune : BPL used to have a list and they used to put all the politicians and some other (well con nected) people on it. The prime minister has said from the outset that we are not going to operate like that. As soon as I was able to learn of the existence of this list, I contacted him and he agreed there was to be no list and everyone was to pay their way. Mr Bannister said he has not seen the names on this special list, but told The Tribune he knows some of the sums owed are outrageous. I dont know how some one could accumulate $30,000, $50,000 and not be concerned about paying BPL, he added. They (ofcials at BPL) were instructed to send those letters out and we fully expect there will be nobody who will be exempt. (. . Except) the GG, thats the only person who should not be cut off, at Govern ment House. I know Government House will pay; the message has to be that all of us are subject to the law and all of us must pay. When asked again who was on this list, Mr Bannis ter said: I havent looked at the bills; I have not looked at the names. I dont want to know the names. Its not a political witch hunt and Im not interested in who it is, just interested that BPL is going to be able to oper ate appropriately. When I was a minister (from 2007-2012) they cut me off twice once I was in France on government business and they cut me off. Former Prime Minister (Hubert) Ingraham didnt tolerate that nonsense. We have to let everyone know this is a country of law and order and we dont operate that way. He added: Since the election, Ive had my head quarters turned off, my community centre in Car michael has been turned off. Its rented and I didnt get the bill in time from my landlady and I went and paid it. When contacted by The Tribune BPL Chairwoman Darnell Osborne could not say how many delinquent people are on this list or how much is exactly owed by those in this category. As a board, in terms of policy, and in terms of trying to improve the cash ow of the corporation, we would like to have all cus tomers treated the same, she said. Whatever the policy has been in the corporation in terms of management and what they do for regu lar customers in terms of receivables, in terms of if you fall on hard times, you come in and pay a percent age, whatever policy they have for regular customers, they have been instructed to deal with everyone in that manner. Its just that there is no special treatment for anyone going forward, Ms Osborne added. In December 2016, Department of Statistics ofcials revealed that as many as 12,000 people had their power disconnected due to nonpayment. Cyprianna Winters, a statistician, said at the time: Approximately 10 per cent of households where the main source of lighting was electricity had their power disconnected due to non payment of their bills. Ms Winters said that per cent translates to about 12,000 people. The survey was con ducted between October 24 and 30 of last year. The secret elite who owe BPL thousands FORMER Environment Minister Kenred Dorsett was formally arraigned before a Supreme Court judge on Friday charged with using his former minis terial position to extort and solicit $120,000 in bribes from Jonathan Ash. Dorsett stood before Justice Bernard Turner faced with the nine crimi nal charges he was initially arraigned for in July: a single count of misconduct in public ofce and four counts each of extortion and bribery. The allega tions concern the purported exchange of funds in con nection with work done by a heavy equipment opera tor to move debris from the New Providence Landll following a massive re at the site in March. It is alleged Dorsett, while a public ofcial between March 1 and May 9 of this year, demanded and obtained two payments of $10,000 and two payments of $50,000 from Mr Ash knowing he was not lawfully authorised to make the demand. It is also alleged he, in his previ ous capacity between the same period at the land ll, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, solic ited the amounts from Mr Ash on your account of abstaining from performance or exercise of your asserted power as a minister of envi ronment to stop Jonathan Ash from working at the said sanitary landll. It was nally alleged Dor sett willfully misconducted himself as a public ofcer without lawful authority. He pleaded not guilty to all of the charges read to him on Friday. Before the adjournment, Damian Gomez, QC, Dor setts attorney, submitted that the defence is unable to produce an effective notice of alibi because there is no date between March 1 and May 9 when the acts were alleged to have occurred. That issue had previously been raised by Wayne Munroe, QC, on September 1, when Dor sett had appeared in the Magistrates Court before Magistrate Samuel McKin ney for a status hearing. At the time, Mr Munroe argued the alleged acts occurred between March 1 and May 9, or a total of 70 days, but said the details provided were not specic to a day, time, or location. He further pointed out at the time that the charges only indicate that the alleged acts occurred on the island of New Providence. Following that argu ment, Magistrate McKinney explained that Dorsett had 21 days in which to pre sent an alibi or a witness. After hearing similar sub missions from Mr Gomez during Fridays proceedings, Justice Turner transferred the matter to Justice Car olita Bethels court and adjourned the matter to October 13 for trial. Justice Bethel, as trial judge, will thus consider the accuseds submissions concerning the notice of alibi. from page one FORMER Environment Minister Kenred Dorsett is pictured leaving the Supreme Court last Friday. Photo: Shawn Hanna /Tribune Staff FORMER ENVIRONMENT MINISTER DENIES SOLICITING $120,000 IN BRIBES To advertise in The Tribune, contact 502-2394 A5MAIN
PAGE 6, Monday, September 18, 2017 THE TRIBUNE THOUSANDS of dol lars spent daily at Princess Margaret Hospital to lodge homeless patients exposes an historic gap in the coun trys ability to adequately care for its citizens in the face of rising demands for public health care, The Tribune has learned. With 28 boarders pres ently costing the public hospital more than $15,000 a day, ofcials are calling for a national discussion and asking the public to take a long hard look at the current roles of the institu tion and the community. Several current boarders have been at the hospital for as long as ve years; however nursing staff pro vided several accounts of persons that were interned as infants and left as teenagers. It is a phenomenon that also calls into question the efcacy of state-run social services, which work closely with the hospital to manage cases but are largely unsuccessful. This topic is a contro versial topic, Principal Nursing Ofcer Valerie Miller told The Tribune last week. Its not one that the public is keen on hear ing because it casts some aspersions on them to some extent, but PMH is really plagued by what we deem boarders. Boarders in our setting are those persons who would have come in to seek medical attention, and at the completion of their treatment the physician deemed it was t for them to return home. These persons would not have been collected and discharged and hence they remain with us and we refer to them as boarders. Many of them are not on treat ment and some of them are like many persons who take tablets at home every day so just taking medica tion is no indication to be in hospital. We have borders ranging from one-monthold to 84 years. She added: This would be something thats in the society and the society has changed and some per sons truly have nowhere to go. We always do our assessment, a complete physical assessment and his tory taken on the patient, and sometimes you have your antennas going up at the very beginning that this is a potential problem. In a case like that we involve the social work ers right away who can do their assessment, do a home assessment, and sometimes they realise that this is someone who we have to nd an arrange ment for. There are only so many places out there so they dont have a high per centage of success rate for getting our patients out. Nurse Miller spoke to The Tribune during its investiga tion into reports that there were several young children who were living at the hos pital indenitely. Presently there are four children: two infants, a ve-year-old, and an 11-year-old. Some 15 years ago, the hospital utilised a school bus to take school-aged boarders to and from school; nowadays, Nurse Miller said there is a trained teacher onsite to ensure that children are able to keep up with curriculum while receiving long-term treatment. However, she told The Tribune that there has been no change in how board ers are managed by the state since then. Its the same challenges (for kids), she said. Its harder. It took us years to get them (teenagers) out and they were here with us since they were babies. There are several things that contribute to that, while we have our chal lenges, Im sure our sister institution has their chal lenges as well. And there are only so many persons they can accommodate in the ward (at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre) designated for those type patients. But I cant say its easier getting them out. While cases vary, a considerable number of boarder children have mental disabilities or require specialised medical care. Special needs chil dren are admitted to SRCs Robert Smith Ward. Cost factor A cost analysis under taken by the hospital estimated that having two boarders in the Paediatric Ward cost the institution $1,108 per day; while a sample of 23 adult board ers cost the hospital $15,000 per day, Nurse Miller said. The remaining boarders consist of 18 men, and six women, three of whom are non-nationals. Accommodating that number of persons who really dont need to be in an acute setting, Nurse Miller said, not only is it dangerous, it compromises what you can do for some one who really needs acute care. Its very costly to have persons using an acute care bed in hospital. What it does, it lends to overcrowd ing, its very expensive because you now arent just having them in a bed but you have trained staff manage them whose services and skill set could be used on more acute patients. And there is, of course, lodging and utilities and feeding and clothing, everything. In June, Health Minis ter Dr Duane Sands told parliamentarians that the country had the highest incidence of diabetes in the world. With statistics depicting 79.2 per cent of the population diagnosed as obese or overweight, the steady rise in noncommuni cable diseases has been an impossible phenomenon to ignore for public health care providers. Notwithstanding sick ness, Dr Sands further reported that the Accident and Emergency (A & E) Department at PMH man aged 1,272 assaults, 246 stabbings and 216 gunshot wounds last year. On Thursday, Nurse Miller surmised that the rising demand for state health services was bol stered by socioeconomic challenges. I think as a country, as a nation, she said, there is an increase in noncommu nicable diseases, diabetics, hypertension, things like that are prevalent in our society and we see the effects of that. I also think there is an increase because as you speak to individuals they share that they would have lost insurances, lost jobs, so they would have normally tapped into the private sector but now theyre uti lising hospital services as a public patient. Its a com bination of factors why the Patients stuck in hospital WITH 28 boarders presently costing the public hospital more than $15,000 a day, ofcials are calling for a national discussion and asking the public to take a long hard look at the current roles of the institution and the community. A Tribune investigation into reports that there were several young children who were living at the hospital indenitely uncovered the incidence of four child boarders: two infants, a ve-year-old, and an 11-year-old. Photos: Shawn Hanna /Tribune Staff By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Chief Reporter email@example.com ONE of the youngsters in hospital. A6MAIN rfntfbr br Isnt Your Health Worth It? rrfntfbfrb ttbtrfnntfbrtntftnnr ftfrtr frbbbrtntnbtftfn rrbbrrtrnrbtr ttrtbttbbnrfnntfbtff rtfnn rrfnfbrbtnftftftrntbr rrnfbfffrnbtbfrb ttbbnrtfftfbbtftbtftfn fbrnr ttbbnrrfbbrfbtnfbnrbt rrfbnftbtnfftfbrrnft ttbbnntfrrfrfbffrrr bnftfttnfrbnfr rnrrrtftffrtbbtnftbbr tfnftnbr nrrrtrfr fntrftfbbn tftfrbtbtnfrrr ttnfrr r tbbbffntbbfbb tbrbtfrbbbbf rfntbbfbb CAVES VILLAGEPremium Oce Space for Lease1,409 sq.. 5 oces, conference room, reception, kitchen, bathroom with shower, IT/ling room. $5,459.88 pm inc. CAM +VAT 572 sq.. open plan with conference room, kitchenette, bathroom, IT closet. $2,216.50 pm inc. CAM +VAT Contact Mr. Simon Chappell on 327 1575 or 477-7610 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org of Coral Harbour, who died at the Prin cess Margaret Hospital, Shirley Street, Nassau, on Thursday, 7th September 2017, will be held at Christ Church Cathedral, George Street, Nas sau, on Friday, 22nd September 2017 at 3:00 p.m. The Very Reverend Patrick L. Adderley, Dean of Nassau and Father Colin Humes, Priest Vicar, will ofciate and interment will follow in St. Annes Cemetery, Fox Hill, Nassau. Predeceased by her brothers, Bobby, John Je rome and Frederick McSweeney and sister-inlaw, Rosemary McSweeney. Her memories will forever live in the hearts of her brother, Reverend Irwin McSweeney; sisters-in-law, Marleen and Linda McSweeney; nephews, Marcel, Shawn and John McSweeney; nieces, Marcia, Maryann and Jennifer McSwee ney; niece-in-law, Martina McSweeney; neph ew-in-law, Greg Yancey; many grand neph ews, grand nieces, cousins, other relatives and friends, caregivers, Nurse Marsha McQueen and the family at Coastline Community Care Nursing Home. Arrangements Kemps Funeral Home Limited. Funeral Service Louise Claudia McSweeney, 88
THE TRIBUNE Monday, September 18, 2017, PAGE 7 FOR ve-year-old Arthur, a perfect day con sists of touring the hospital with his favourite nurse, eating lots of pizza and watching Barney shows. Although his circum stances are far from typical, the precocious charmer is full of energy on Thursday afternoon, and eager to show The Tribune the tiny corner of the Paediatric Ward at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) he calls home. Arthur is just infectious, he really is, said a ward nurse, he is a sweetheart. Once he gets started, he steals the show. There is never a dull moment with him, she continued. He has so much energy, hes always breaking toys or getting into mischief but hes so lovable. When we do rounds sometimes hell come, or hell go by the gift shop. We went to the park yesterday. The Tribune has changed Arthurs name to protect his identity. Are you my daddy? he coyly asks Tribune pho tographer Shawn Hanna during this newspapers visit to the hospital. His tone and cheeky grin elic ited nervous chuckles from all within earshot; however, his eyes betrayed a glimmer of wisdom and gave an ink ling of perspective into how the rambunctious little boy braved his circumstances. His question was a sorely needed icebreaker to a con siderably bleak narrative. Arthur is one of four child boarders currently being housed at PMH, a phenomenon that high lights shortfalls in the countrys ability to meet social demands. Two of them, infant girls, are in the Neonatal Ward. Although he is not sick, he has lived on the ward for two years watching sick kids and their visiting fami lies come and go. His case is one of dozens of children that have called the insti tution home due to their complex medical histories, some unable to leave until they are teenagers and others as adults. He spends the major ity of his time inside the hospital, and in the ward; however, sometimes he is treated to an outing, like a visit to the park last week after he got a vaccination. Arthurs room con sists of a standard hospital crib; however his space is at the rear of the ward with a few more feet of perimeter space than the other seven cribs. He has two small mobile dressers for his toys, books and clothes. Last month for his birth day, he had a clown and Big Bird entertainer, with his favourite pepperoni pizza and cupcakes. A cost analysis under taken by the hospital estimated that having two boarders in the Paediatric Ward cost the institution $1,108 per day. However, nursing staff at the Princess Margaret Hos pital told The Tribune the emotional toll of caring for child boarders far exceeds the soaring costs shoul dered by the facility. Eleven-year-old Jacobs condition, another child boarder whose name has been changed, offers a stark contrast to Arthurs effervescent personality. Jacob came to the hos pital in 2014 as a victim of abuse, and is a candidate for the Robert Smith Ward at Sandilands Rehabilita tion Centre (SRC). He is nonverbal with severe developmental delays, suf fers from seizures, and his current medication makes him shake constantly. Some nurses, they just get attached, said Nurs ing Ofcer Eulogia Brown, as she spoke to caring for Jacob. He has (become more sociable), but before he was very withdrawn. When he came, he said nothing and hes just started verbalising a bit trying to say mama, and when he gets excited hell go wooo, wooo. Its a real improvement because when he rst came he was just there, he didnt try to move or say anything. But not all boarders arrive as sick three-yearolds, like Arthur, or abused eight-year-olds like Jacob; for some, the hospital is their rst home. It really is heart wrench ing, said senior nurse Judy Johnson, because we really get attached to them. Some of them come to us as newborns with their naval cord just cut, so we name them, we see that theyre christened, we buy clothes for them, even though the hospital does it, we also do our personal spending. Nurse Johnson contin ued: So when they have to go, especially to a (chil drens) home and not to a family, it really breaks our hearts. I just get tired of doing this, one baby just went to a home and we cant even visit them to continue with that bond ing even though they dont know anyone else but us. Nurse Johnson has worked at the hospital, particularly its Neonatal Ward, for 15 years. Wiping tears from her face as she tended to a three-monthold boarder, she told The Tribune it never gets easier with some goodbyes harder than others. Angel, we named her, Nurse Johnson said, remembering a child who has since left the hospital. Ill never forget the day she came, that was the coldest February in 2014 or 2015. It was so cold, a Tuesday, and the policemen brought her in. The mom delivered her on the step and she came in with her naval cord and the elastic band on it. She continued: When they leave you dont even know what home they gone to, how theyre doing, nothing. They say we have to get permission to visit, but so far, we havent been successful. Sometimes I wonder if they remember us. Nurse Johnson told The Tribune that there were twin boarders at one point, who were admitted into a home but separated by adoption. One of them is a man ager at Atlantis now, he remembers us because they were big when they left but he said he doesnt know where his brother is, they got separated in the home. It hurts, she said, it just hurts. with no home to go to By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Chief Reporter email@example.com numbers are rising, she said. When they come, one of the things we can do is do the full assessment and make the necessary refer rals. You try to be proactive and dont wait until the persons is discharged and then you nd out there is nowhere to go. In July, a series of week end challenges forced some A&E patients at the Prin cess Margaret Hospital to wait for more than 24 hours to receive treatment or be relocated to outpatient clinics due to malfunction ing equipment and severe overcrowding. Dr Sands told The Trib une at that time, There was just no room. Just imagine 28 beds are taken that could be used, Nurse Miller continued. Sometimes we have as many as 30 patients in the A&E awaiting admis sion but there are no beds. What it forces us to do is use trolleys which is not conducive for acutely ill patients and in extreme cases we also have to open additional wards which we refer to as vir tual wards, areas that were decanted as part of our redevelopment. One such area was the space formerly used for the hospitals General Practice Clinic, which is now located offsite. Virtual wards are usually staffed on an over time basis, she said, as nurses currently on shift are attached to the established wards. When we open these various wards, they are acute care type patients with no acute care beds available so we still need to put that particular skill set in that environment on an overtime basis, and over time adds up. Its also difcult because overtime is optional so not every time you say you need a nurse that nurses are available so it can become challenging sometimes and its a signi cant cost. In August, Dr Sands put the cost of boarders which he estimated to be around 30 persons at more than $7m a year. He suggested that there should be a long-term or chronic care facility to accommo date these persons, telling The Tribune that the gov ernment was looking into partnering with a long-term facility to provide care for patients who cannot go to a regular nursing home due to psychical and mental challenges. Its a sensitive thing, Nurse Miller said. Im not in the position to say who can take and who cant take, but sufce to say we do have borders who have visitors. So clearly they are not alone, but theyre here so that sug gests something. Im not here to judge why because persons have their own sto ries and were not here to say why or who should or who can, thats not for us to do. Personally, I do feel that as a country perhaps there needs to be some alterna tive plan. Some of these persons have old age pen sion, every little bit counts and helps, she added. ARTHUR, THE BOY LIVING ON THE PAEDIATRIC WARD NURSE Judy Johnson caring for one of the infants in the paediatric unit. A NUMBER of young children are living at the hospital indenitely, with nowhere to go if the hospital were to release them. Photos: Shawn Hanna /Tribune Staff
PAGE 8, Monday, September 18, 2017 THE TRIBUNE Saturdays murder takes the countrys murder count to 102 for the year. According to reports, shortly after 6pm on the day in question, the teen was walking on John son Road, Fox Hill, with another male, when two males in a grey coloured vehicle approached and shot at them before speed ing off. The victim was rushed to hospital in critical condition where he later died. The other male was unharmed, however. Former Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell, in a video follow ing both Saturdays and last Tuesdays murders, urged the Minnis administration, particularly National Secu rity Minister Marvin Dames to step up to the plate and put the resources in Fox Hill to get this problem resolved. Mr Mitchell, speak ing live from the Fox Hill Park in a video circulated on social media, further lamented how his letters to both Mr Dames and commissioner of police to have additional resources placed in Fox Hill to ght this crime epidemic and the gunshots that are being red every night and people having to crouch in their homes have not been answered to date. No response from the commissioner of police, no response more impor tantly from the minister of national security who campaigned, beating up his gums saying that oh yeah, they had the solution to all of this, and the situation has gotten worse, Mr Mitchell said. But back to the fact that you have now a 17-year-old got killed, thats three people in three weeks in Fox Hill, plus two shot, plus gunshots every night, Mr Mitchell said. Thats whats going on here, and the minister of national security is silent, has noth ing to say. He needs to step up to the plate, and the gov ernment needs to put the resources in Fox Hill to get this problem resolved. Enough is enough. On Tuesday last week, police said they received reports gunshots were heard in the Brice Street area off Fox Hill Road around 11.30pm. When ofcers arrived on the scene, they found the lifeless body of a boy lying on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds. Police have not ofcial identied the victim but The Tribune understands he is 16-year-old Jeffery Wright of Brice Street. Mr Mitchell said: You know, a kid goes to Doris Johnson, he goes to the Church of God, Bernard Road, all of those com munities, including the grandmother Renae Neely in this community and Ms Braynen who is the grand mother of the other boy, the 16-year-old who was killed. All of these people are suf fering because of this stuff happening, and we must do something about it. And dont tell me that I was the MP and blah, blah, blah. Thats got nothing to do with what is happen ing now. We need to put resources to do something now. When I was MP, I did what was necessary to tap these issues down. Im saying bring the resources FNM government. Do something about it. The Fox Hill community has long been plagued with violence. In 2013, when Mr Mitchell was the area MP, Claudzino Davis, Shaquille Demeritte, Eric Morri son and Shanique Sands were shot and killed as they assembled on the bas ketball court in Fox Hill, awaiting the results of the 2013 Boxing Day Junkanoo parade. Several others were injured at the time. Meantime last month, after weeks of reported vio lence in the area, ofcers conducted a walk-about in the community, gathering information and giving resi dents safety tips. At the time, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Stephen Dean said the walk-about was the rst of many ofcers plan to conduct in the area, known to police as a crime hotspot. Additionally, Chief Superintendent of Police Maxine Rolle, ofcerin-charge of the Eastern Division, said at the time she plans to canvass the area at least twice a month. That same month, Fox Hill MP Shonel Ferguson expressed concern about the recent wave of gun-related violence in her constituency, pledging to eradicate the stigma of Fox Hill being labelled a crime hotbed by Bahamian society. At the time, Ms Fergu son said her constituents are enraged over the stigma of violence attached to the area, saying much of what has happened in Fox Hill has also occurred in other areas in New Provi dence. She thus pledged to eliminate the negative con notations associated with the community by pushing the positive things about the area. Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to call police at 919, 5029991 or the Crime Stoppers hotline at 328-TIPS. FOX HILL TEENAGER SHOT DEAD from page one two armed robberies that occurred over the weekend. In the rst incident, shortly after 10pm on Satur day, a man was in his Honda Civic car on Dawson Street, when three men in a grey Ford Explorer approached and robbed him of his cell phone, cash, and vehicle before speeding off. Then shortly after 2am on Sunday, a woman had just pulled up to her home in Kennedy Subdivision in her silver coloured Nissan Fuga, licence plate AF3436, when three men in a red Honda Fit armed with a handgun robbed her of her vehicle before speeding off. Investigations continue into all three incidents. from page one DRIVER MOWS DOWN WOMAN AFTER ROW A BENCH warrant was issued for the arrest of media personality Christina Chrissy Love Thompson when she failed to appear before a Supreme Court judge on Friday, accused of making contemptuous remarks about the legal proceedings against former Cabinet minister Shane Gibson, who had been charged with impro priety. However, Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson ordered that the bench warrant be suspended until 9.30am on Wednesday, September 20. Should Ms Thompson not appear in court at that time, the warrant will be executed. However, court docu ments seen by The Tribune show how Thompson has, last Wednesday, led a constitutional motion against the originating summons and consequent proceedings. In that motion, dated September 13, Thomp son declares that the constitutional rights given to her under Articles 17, 19, 20, 23 and/or 28 of the Bahamas Constitution have been infringed upon. She is also requesting an order that the proceedings originating from verbal summons returnable on August 31, as well as the summons bearing the date of August 31 be deemed a nullity, and that the pro ceedings commenced by the summons be stayed pend ing the determination of the constitutional motion. Thompson is also seeking vindicatory damages, dam ages, costs, and such further and/or any other damages the court deems as just. According to the court documents, the grounds of the constitutional motion nine in total include, but are not limited to, that the purported proceedings are an abuse of the court pro cess; the summons failed to comply with the stipulations of Section 59 of the Crimi nal Procedure Code; the summons presumes guilt on the part of the appli cant; and that the summons failed to give the applicant a reasonable period of notice in which to defend herself. Meanwhile, Justice Grant-Thompson said her ruling on outspoken politi cal activist Omar Archer Srs matter will also take place on Wednesday to allow her to re-read the transcript of the matter as well as Archers formal apology to the court. Both Thompson and Archer were summoned to appear before Justice Grant-Thompson on Friday primarily in connection with statements the two would have allegedly made on their respective social media platforms primar ily surrounding, but not limited to, Gibsons legal proceedings which are cur rently before the Supreme Court. At the start of Fri days proceedings, Murrio Ducille, Thompsons attor ney, said his client had pre-arranged plans to take her son to school, and was thus out of the jurisdic tion. Mr Ducille said as he understood it, Thompsons summons came after she had left the country. However, Police Assis tant Superintendent Michael Johnson, attached to the Central Detective Unit (CDU), subsequently took the witness stand and said shortly after 1pm on September 11, he and two other ofcers went to Dunkin Donuts on East Street South where they encountered Thompson. ASP Johnson said he ultimately presented her with the summons by push ing it near to her hand, but Thompson told him that she didnt want it and for him to contact her attorney. The ofcer said he sub sequently left the area, but noticed a video Ms Thompson that was posted online sometime after he would have delivered the summons. In view of ASP John sons testimony, the judge said she was satised that Thompson was in fact informed to appear before the Supreme Court, but didnt. She said while she has some sympathy for Thompsons absence based on the reasons Mr Ducille gave, those reasons ought not y in the face of the court issuing a summons to appear. This led to the issuance of the arrest warrant, which will be executed only if Thompson fails to appear before court on Wednesday. Apology Subsequent to that decision by Justice GrantThompson, Archers lead attorney, Fred Smith, QC, asked the judge, who had turned her attention to his client, not to read aloud the specics concerning what Archer allegedly said that led to him being faced with contempt of court. Mr Smith submitted that as there were members of the press present at Fri days proceedings, reading the facts aloud would only revisit the matter publicly, and would not serve to ben et the hearing in any way. Thus, instead of reading them all aloud, the judge asked Archer if he had seen and consequently agreed with what was contained in the 10 particulars of con tempt with which he was faced, which he accepted as read. Archer then offered an apology to Justice GrantThompson for his remarks, stating that while persons have a constitutional right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression, such freedoms should be exercised in a respectful manner. Mr Smith, in offering a subsequent plea of miti gation for Archer, stated that when Archer rst approached him for legal advice on the matter, one of the rst things Archer stated was his intention to apologise. Mr Smith further stated that after a conversation between the two, Archer came to realise just how important and signi cant the judiciary is to a small country such as The Bahamas. Mr Smith also drew the courts attention to a voice clip of Archer, obtained by The Tribune in which he publicly apologised for the contentious remarks he made against the judiciary. According to Mr Smith, Archer made the apology prior to appearing in court on Friday. As Bahamian citizens, our right to freedom of speech, expression, choice, freedom of gathering and freedom of movement is protected under the con stitution of The Bahamas, Archer said in the voice clip. However, that gives us no right as citizens to be disrespectful in regards to our judiciary. And the more responsi ble thing to do when youre in a situation and you have been very disrespectful to the judiciary is to apolo gise, because you do not want to put the judiciary in disrepute. By that I mean you dont want other persons to come behind you and be disrespectful also, he continued. My right is pro tected by the supreme law of the land, and that being the Constitution. However, I must be responsible in exercising my right. He added: Freedom of speech, freedom of expres sion, freedom of choice and movement and that of gathering, yes it is protected under the Constitution of The Bahamas, but one must be responsible. Responsible in carrying out his or her actions, and I intend to do the responsible thing today, and to publicly apologise and move on. After hearing Archers apology and Mr Smiths submissions, Justice GrantThompson said she is now faced with deciding whether to move to convict Archer for his actions and sentence him accordingly. However, she said she wished to re-read the transcript of the matter as well as Archers submis sions to the court before she makes her ruling. She adjourned the matter to Wednesday, at which time Archer will learn his fate. Warrant issued for arrest of Chrissy Love CHRISSY LOVE A8INSIGHT Career OpportunityScotiabank (Bahamas) Limitedis seeking the services of aRelationship Manager, Bahamas Trust & Wealth Caribbean North DistrictPosition Summary:The Relationship Manager is responsible for the development of all aspects of the Human Resources strategy that supports the International Wealth strategy. He/she will contribute to the building of a skilled and motivated workforce committed to and capable of delivering on business strategies as well as to develop, implement and manage the Trust and Wealth specic and all-Bank Human Resource programs, policies and initiatives. The incumbent will also be responsible for creating, coordinating effective employee communications including development of protocols to support communication of the Group strategies, initiatives including change management. He/she will be required to develop a comprehensive Leadership Resource Plan that establishes and maintains bench strength for key jobs within the Group, promotes crossfunctional moves and leadership capability in support of future proong the business through talent management and succession planning. He/she will be responsible for ensuring competitive compensation analysis is in line with business objectives and effectively recommending any required changes. He/She will also support the business in the management of local, district or regional reward and recognition programs and benets programs.Key Accountabilities for this role: Have at least 5 years of Human Resource Management experience. Possess Strong oral and written communications and presentation skills. Possess strong Strategic thinking and Business Partner RM skills Possess strong executing and delivery skills Possess strong diagnostic skills and proven ability to evaluate options/ alternatives. Proven ability to foster and develop a strong team environment. Strong ability to be proactive with ability to anticipate and overcome obstacles through Perseverance and creative thinking. Possess a high degree of inuencing skills in order to drive change initiatives. Strong Ability to write reports and/or correspondence. Be forward thinking with strong innovative skills. Possess strong negotiating and networking skills. Possess strong organizational skillsEducational Requirements: A Bachelors degree in Human Resource Management.Qualied candidates should submit C.V. via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org on or before September 22, 2017. Please note: Only candidates short-listed will be contacted.Trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under licence (where applicable).
PAGE 10 MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 2017 INSIGHT EMAIL: email@example.com YOUR SAY By FRED SMITH QC THE 2017 general elec tion has gifted us with a tremendous opportunity to strengthen and entrench crucial democratic princi ples in the political, social and economic life of The Bahamas. Principles such as trans parency, accountability, individual rights and respect for the rule law are corner stones of good governance and key to improving the quality of life for every one who calls this country home. Our democracy took a battering under the last Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), which quickly degenerated into little more than a petty kleptoc racy tainted by corruption, crony capitalism, gross human rights violations and increasingly anti-demo cratic tendencies. All the blame for this dis aster cannot be laid at the feet of Perry Christie and his comrades, however. The truth is the failure of successive governments, both PLP and FNM, to implement legislative safeguards ensuring good governance and protect ing against corruption and political manipulation paved the way for the collec tive nightmare that was the Christie Administration. Going forward, if we want to prevent a return to the dark days of 2012, The Bahamas must make concrete legislative changes to entrench democratic principles and remove, to the greatest extent possible, all opportunities for elected ofcials to engage in cor ruption, malfeasance and oppression of the populace. If this FNM government is to remain true to its mantra, Its The Peoples Time, a number of steps must be taken to improve the state of democracy in The Bahamas. Freedom of Information The government should overhaul the existing Act to: Ensure the Information Commissioner is chosen by a truly independent selec tion committee. Expand the de nition of Public Authorities subject to the Act to include ALL bodies owned, controlled or sub stantially nanced by the government. Minimise time limits for the release of docu ments. Currently it takes 30 years for information to be declassied. Remove the provision giving veto rights to a Cabi net Minister. All decisions should be made by the Information Commissioner alone. Strengthen the judiciary The FNM has already taken an important step in this regard, announcing the creation of an Independent Director of Public Prosecu tions (DPP). The government should also: Create a mechanism for prosecuting ofcials who fail to comply with court rulings. Create a mechanism to prosecute anyone who may seek to intimidate, coerce, hinder or unduly inuence a judge. End executive control over the tenure of judges. Grant non-citizen judges and their families perma nent immigration status. Allow the judiciary to manage its own affairs and budget. Whistleblower Act The existing FOIA makes only cursory mention of protection for civil servants who uncover and expose cases of ofcial neglect or malfeasance. The government should go further with a Whistle blower Act that is both modern and comprehen sive. It should encourage and even incentivize those with knowledge of wrong doing to come forward. New role for the Attorney General With the creation of an independent DPP, there is no longer a need for the Ofce of the Attorney Gen eral to manage thousands of prosecutions each year. The resultant free time could be used to a number of positive ends. For example, the AG could concentrate on ensur ing our laws are in line with the various international treaties which The Bahamas has signed particularly those designed to enhance human rights protections, strengthen democracy and promote the rule of law. The AG could also focus on developing and expand ing legal provisions against top-level corruption, espe cially regarding sitting Cabinet Ministers. Hate speech During the last Chris tie Administration, hate speech became the chief mode of political attack on minority groups such as undocumented migrants, the LBGTQ community and activist that fought human rights abuses, scal mismanagement and envi ronmental pollution. Legislation criminalis ing and outlining penalties for all forms of hate speech and harassment in urgently needed. Careful consid eration must of course be given to balancing this with the right to freedom of expression enshrined in the Bahamas Constitution. A new denition of policy Longstanding confusion regarding the role of gov ernment policy, has meant successive administrations have been able to substitute policy for law the result being government ofcials regularly, though some times unknowingly, operate illegally. The government should create legislation that clearly outlines the role and limits of policy and rein forces in explicit terms, the priority of statute and con stitutional law. Ombudsman The FNM has fore shadowed the creation of an independent Ofce of Ombudsman, although details have yet to emerge. Independent units should be established in all key departments and report regularly to the Ombuds man on matters such as: scal management; com plaints and claims of negligence or malfeasance; operational efciency; and systematic issues leading to poor service or breaches of basic rights. Local government Despite the existence of a Local Government Act, decision-making power on each island remains vested in central government, which also retains control of local budgets and collects all tax revenues for payment into the public treasury. The Act should be amended to create a system in which each island is able to envision and create its own future, with district councils empowered to col lect taxes, pass by-laws and enforce them, and control issues such as town plan ning and Crown Land use. Exchange control reform Severe exchange control regulations are a major barrier to meaningful citi zen participation in this economy. Virtually all the key play ers in the tourism industry are internationally traded companies, yet citizens are prevented from investing in any of these enterprises. Bahamians can aspire to no more than employment in what is essentially, a foreign-owned industry in their own country. A review should be conducted with a view to systematically liberalizing and eventually abolishing exchange control, thereby empowering Bahamians to both have a stake in their own economy and conduct business overseas. Campaign nance transparency The FNM has pledged to introduce some level of campaign nance reform through the expansion of the Public Disclosure Act to cover political donations. Secret campaign donations are the driving force behind the networks of corruption and nepotism that plague the political life of The Bahamas. Shedding light upon and regulating political nanc ing must be a priority in any effort to further entrench democratic principles. Gender equality The overwhelmingly public rejection of proposed constitutional amendments aimed at bringing about gender equality was due, to a large extent, to the politi cization of the referendum process and misinforma tion campaigns by special interests. Luckily, neither a national referendum, nor changes to the constitution are actually needed to bring about gender equality, at least in the short term. A few simple changes to existing statute law could effectively plug the gaps in gender equality, thereby allowing the public to adjust to the new reality and see that most if not all of their fears are unfounded. Land use The creation of a Land Use Plan (LUP) for New Providence was mandated in the 2011 Planning and Subdivision Act. The Chris tie Administration simply ignored this, however. LUPs aim to make devel opment more rational, efcient and ethical. They aim to bring an end to the unhealthy development model currently employed, which leads to environmen tal destruction, disregard for traditional customs and culture, social upheaval and economic uncertainty. LUPs should be made mandatory for all islands in The Bahamas. Crown Land Over the years, secret Heads of Agreement deals with developers have resulted is the giveaway of hundreds of millions of dol lars worth of land which is supposed to be the property of the Bahamian people. A Crown Land Act must be passed which clearly outlines the circum stances under which leases and grants can be issued. Dialogue with the local population should be a key and binding cornerstone of this law. Applications by Baha mians should be prioritised over proposals from foreign developers. There must also be provisions for clear ing the backlog of 30,000 applications by Bahamians and providing for transpar ency in all matters relating to the granting and lease of Crown Land. Public awareness There is a worrying lack of awareness among some sectors of society regarding the nature of constitutional rights, the role of govern ment and the function of the law. A comprehensive aware ness campaign is therefore a crucial component of any successful effort to enhance our democracy. This must begin at the grade school level across the public education system and extend to courses in Civics, Good Governance and Constitutional Theory at the University of The Bahamas. Other key target groups include: law enforcement, immigration and correc tional services; civil society, in particular groups that deal with minority, migrant and gender rights; staff at the Ofce of the Attor ney General, the Ministry of Legal Affairs and the Judicial and Legal Services Commission; social services providers. Environmental legislation The FNM administration has already taken an impor tant step in this regard with the announcement of an impending Environmental Protection Act. This Act must be the all-encompassing nal authority on environmen tal matters in The Bahamas and must deal decisively with urgent issues such as unregulated development, abuse of Crown Land, and the wanton destruction of natural resources. It must also provide for the training of Envi ronmental Ofcers on each island, answerable to the Local Government authorities and empow ered to investigate any and all alleged environ mental infractions. It must establish an Independent Environmental Czar, who is mandated to work closely with the Ofce of Ombuds man to investigate matters of concern fairly and with out prejudice. The way forward For those Bahamians who value democracy, fair ness and justice, the way forward is clear: we must erect rm legal barriers to prevent recent history from ever repeating itself. Never again can we allow our progress towards a more democratic and prosperous future to be hijacked by underhanded ofcials and their associates whose only interest is lining their own pockets. Never again can we submit to shamefully regressive laws or condone the violation of peoples fundamental human rights, all in the name of scoring cheap political points. The FNM have been given an unprecedented mandate. The Minnis Administration has an incredible opportunity to go down in history as the government that ushered in true democratic change in The Bahamas and pointed the way to a brighter future for us all. Let us pray they have the political courage to live up to their potential. A chance to change THE CABINET of The Bahamas. Photo: Yontalay Bowe A10INSIGHT Career OpportunityScotiabank (Bahamas) Limitedis seeking the services of aReal Estate Manager North CaribbeanPosition Summary:The Real Estate Manager is responsible for ensuring that projects are completed in accordance with the Banks plans and requirements within approved budgets and established schedules, as well as for developing and applying facilities management services for the Banks premises. He/she will be required to work closely with Architects, Consultants, Contractors, Landlords, Developers, Authorities having Jurisdiction, Legal Counsel, Real Estate Brokers and Appraisers, Asset and/or Property Managers, Local/Regional and Executive Ofces, Business Support and Branch Management. He/she will be required to source, cultivate and manage a network of internal/external contacts to determine industry trends in order to provide timely information and recommendations to senior management. This role is based in The Bahamas but requires travel to other assigned countries.Key Accountabilities for this role: At least 5 years of real estate experience. Strong construction management knowledge and experience. Demonstrated expertise in project management for real estate projects. Strong facilities management knowledge. Engineering or architectural background would be considered an asset. A Bachelors degree in a related eld.Functional Competencies: In-depth knowledge of construction and design, facilities management, leasing/purchasing procedures. Working knowledge of software relating to spreadsheets, project management, cost/budget reporting, construction scheduling and building design. Ability to write reports and/or correspondence. Forward thinking and innovative skills. Strong communication and writing skills. Strong negotiating and networking skills. Strong human relations/ people management skills are essential. Strong organizational ability. Availability to travel. Qualied candidates should submit C.V. via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org on or before September 22, 2017. Please note: Only candidates short-listed will be contacted.Trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under licence (where applicable).
EMAIL: email@example.com INSIGHT MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 2017 PAGE 11 SINCE September 6 when Hurricane Irma, the most monstrous storm that the Atlantic has endured in history, thundered up to the tiny island of Barbuda and devastated it, I have been telling audiences in Wash ington, DC, and, through the media, to the wider world that Climate Change and global warming are a reality and here to stay. The 1,700 persons who inhabited Barbuda until September 9, including 500 children of school-age, would need no convincing that the weather is far from normal, and that, increas ingly over the last 25 years, hurricanes have become larger, stronger and more brutal in the damage that they inict. The Barbudans have been among Hurri cane Irmas most affected victims. On September 12, in a formal statement to representatives of the member-nations of the Organisation of Ameri can States (OAS), I said on behalf of Antigua and Bar buda: These storms know no borders. They cross them at will and with no fear of being turned away by any immigration ofcer. They know no ideology or embargoes. So, Irma stalked through parts of Cuba before it went on to parts of the United States. They make no discrimination between small or large, or poor or rich. They see no white people, or black people or any shade of colour in between. Their destruction is ruthless, heart less and pitiless. That is why, I said, no nation can stand apart from the reality of cli mate change or the effects of global warming. I repeated that statement to Emergency Aid Agencies, representatives of devel oped countries, a Public forum organised by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and in many media interviews. With regard to Barbuda, its land mass is 62 square miles. Hurricane Irma was 364 miles wide when it spread itself across the Island, overwhelming it in size, strength and ferocity. Irmas force was Category 5 plus, with winds gusting up to 220 miles per hour; much stronger than the force with which it tossed prop erty aside when it stormed into Florida as Category 4, waning to Category 2. Neither Barbuda nor its inhabitants stood a ghost of a chance against so formi dable and all-encompassing a monstrous power. When Hurricane Irma departed, Barbuda was reduced to what Prime Min ister Gaston Browne called a mangled wreck. It was uninhabitable, having no electricity, no potable water and buildings that were structurally weakened and dangerous to enter. In those circumstances, it would have been irrespon sible for any government to leave anyone on Barbuda. Thus, the government took the decision to evacuate everyone to Antigua. The decision was made more urgent because on the very day of the exodus, Hurri cane Jose was forecast to set upon Antigua, following in Irmas destructive path. On Monday, September 11, even as Hurricane Irma was performing its dance macabre over the other countries in the Caribbean, having delivered cruel blows to the US and Brit ish Virgin Islands and all of the French/Dutch Island St Martin/St Maarten, Pope Francis restated his convic tion that Climate Change is real and perilous. He right fully expressed the view that the impact of climate change will be hardest on the worlds poorest, and he was openly critical of those who do not play their part in reducing its effects. If we dont go back we will go down, he warned. Three things contributed to the fact that Antigua was scarcely damaged while Barbuda was decimated. First, Antigua and Bar buda are separated by 30 miles. Thus, only Irmas outer bands hit Antigua. Second, Antigua is a hilly island; Barbuda is at. Antigua has some natu ral resilience; Barbuda has none. Third, Antigua has experienced many hurri canes since the early 1990s, the consequence of which has been higher codes for buildings and more aware ness among the population of the need to take pre cautions. The Antigua and Barbuda government and, particularly the Prime Min ister, gave strong leadership in gearing-up both islands for Irma. There are lessons for the entire Caribbean to learn from the Antigua and Bar buda experience. The rst is the importance of prepara tion and readiness such as I just described. The second is the incalculable ben et of strong and visionary leadership. The people of Anti gua and Barbuda have been high in their praise of Gaston Browne who took command of prepa ration for the impending storm and for managing the situation of Barbuda and its inhabitants. His leadership, they say, was inspirational. One of the things he did in prepa ration for the storm was to stock a warehouse in Miami with material that was own in immediately for emergency relief in the wake of the storm. Hence, unlike the British, US and French Islands, Antigua was prepared to deal with the evacuees from Barbuda who increased Antiguas population by three per cent overnight with all the demand for govern ment services that such an increase entails. Beyond that, despite the treach erous conditions which lingered over Barbuda on the afternoon of the Hurri canes passage, Browne was the rst person to arrive on the island via a danger ous helicopter ride. His presence on Barbuda and the fact that he could per sonally give comfort and hope to the traumatised, bewildered and desperate people was decisive and invaluable. The third is readiness for dealing with a post-hurri cane humanitarian crisis. While Antigua could not have expected an overnight inux of the entire Barbuda population, in less than two days the government mobilised every resource to accommodate and care for them. Shelters were organ ised, Antiguans were asked to volunteer accepting chil dren and elderly people into their homes, and essen tial material food, water and basics for living were provided by the govern ment. The Antiguans were remarkably open-hearted and welcoming. Of course, others helped initially the Red Cross and then the emergency services of a few countries and hemi spheric agencies. But, the initial costs were borne by the government. So, while the people of other islands, mostly colonies and out posts of powerful nations, were left in dire conditions for days some are still waiting for help, this did not occur in Antigua and Barbuda. In future, all Caribbean countries have to cater for a humanitarian crisis. Not many can decant from one part of their state to the other. Therefore, prepara tions will have to include stockpiling food, water, medicines and other essen tials long before storms arrive on their shores. The fourth lesson is that building codes and stand ards have to be dramatically improved. Storms in the future will be Category 5s and more. Buildings have to be constructed to stand-up to them, or year after year the countries of the Carib bean and the United States will face huge costs to rebuild after disasters and to cope with humanitarian crises. As it is, the government of Antigua and Barbuda is facing a bill upwards of US$250 million to rebuild Barbuda, but it is a US$1 billion economy. The gov ernment cannot do it alone. Barbuda is both a natural disaster and a humanitar ian crisis that cries out for a global humanitarian response. Responses and previ ous commentaries: www. sirronaldsanders.com The writer is Antigua and Barbudas Ambassador to the United States and the OAS and High Com missioner to Canada. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Common wealth Studies, University of London and Massey College in the University of Toronto. The views expressed are his own. DAMAGE left after Hurricane Irma hit Barbuda. Photo: Anika E. Kentish /AP By SIR RONALD SANDERS World View Climate change is here to stay A11MAIN
PAGE 12 MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 2017 INSIGHT EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org S ADLY it was just too late. Or was it? Shawn Minnis left C.V. Bethel Senior High School before he had an opportunity to graduate and receive his diploma. Shawn was a go-getter with good grades and big dreams. . but he was also a realist. With the death of his father leaving Shawns mother as a single parent, Shawn had to make a tough decision. He put his dreams aside, left school and went to work to assist his family. But leaving school didnt kill Shawns dreams. The desire to have a meaningful career kept calling him. He wondered if it was just too late to answer the call. Each year that I got older, I thought it was too late to go back to school, said Shawn. I had to realise that learning is a never-ending process. Shawn eventually came to understand that edu cation was the key to unlocking all of the goals he had for himself and his family. After four years in the work force, Shawn mus tered the strength to return to school, achieve his high school diploma and then go on to complete numerous certications and licences in maritime studies. This past May, Shawn graduated from Holland College with a certicate in Power Engineering. He was able to achieve this goal with the support of a schol arship from Lyford Cay Foundations. Now Shawns future is bright and he is set to embark on a eld with endless possibilities. With his education, he is able to operate and main tain boilers, turbines and refrigeration and air con ditioning in commercial and industrial buildings. It is an untapped eld here in The Bahamas, which fur ther positions Shawn for success. So why did Shawn work so hard and sacrice so much? Why did he bother to ght to achieve his goal? Because Shawn knew a secret. He knew that col lege makes the difference. It is not just true for those who pursue tradi tional careers that everyone associates with college. Its also true for technical and vocational careers. And it is becoming increasingly true for careers where a college education was not needed just a decade ago. We now live in a world where everyone needs some form of education after high school. At least thats true for everyone who dreams of more for their lives and for everyone who wants a razorsharp edge in an increasingly competitive world. According to a recent Inter-American Develop ment Bank report, half of our students attending public schools dont gradu ate from high school. A 2012 survey conducted by the Department of Stat ics noted that two thirds of our population do not have any form of post-secondary education. What if every Bahamian acted like Shawn? What if everyone fought for their opportunity to get an edu cation even if they were faced with challenging cir cumstance or even if it just seemed like it was too late? Well, it could revolution ise The Bahamas in ways that the country has never seen before. According to interna tional studies, educated populations experience better health and family life, higher salaries and more opportunities for growth. An educated population experiences less poverty, less crime, more economic prosperity and better governance. That is a Bahamas that we all want. When asked what advice he had for others who dreamed of making college a reality, Shawn said: This means more to me than anything at this point in my life. My advice is to seize the opportunity and do not let it go to waste. If you want tips on how to use education as a step toward a better future for you personally and for the country, you will want to continue following this column every week. The Lyford Cay Foundations, Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute and University of The Bahamas invite you to keep reading so that you can Gain An Edge. Gain An Edge is a biweekly collaboration of the Lyford Cay Foun dations, the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute and The University of The Bahamas aimed at promoting a national dia logue on higher education. EMAIL: email@example.com PAGE 10 MONDAY, JANUARY 9, 2017 The Perfect FitFinding the best college for you IMAGINE it. From across the store you spot the best looking pair of shoes youve ever seen. Since theyre the last pair left on the shelf, you dash over to grab them. But you quickly realise theres a problem theyre two sizes too small. After lots of toe wiggling and shoe tugging, youre faced with a sad reality. Theyre just not the right t for you! A college search is the same. You cant make a perfect t of a college that doesnt meet your needs. Finding the right t is im portant, because a college that meets your needs gives you the greatest chance of successfully completing your programme and grad uating. Luxzonica Young, a Ly ford Cay Scholar at Brock University in Ontario, Canada, advises students to take a hard look at their college choices before mak ing a decision. I initially attended a college in West Virginia. I thought it would be great, but it didnt take me long to realise that the lack of di versity and remote location just wasnt for me, she said. Now, Im at a school that I love where I have met so many different people from all over the world. And Im condent that my pro gramme will prepare me to return to the Bahamas and become a well-trained physiotherapist. So how do you weigh your college options as you embark on those college ap plications? Factors to guide your search for the best t should include: Academics Of course, youre look ing for a college that has a strong programme in your eld of study, but also con sider these questions: learning opportunities that excite you? Youre more likely to succeed if you are excited about the options. ing style of the college t your personal learning formative lectures or lively discussions? Research or hands on experience? in small groups? Review ing course descriptions will give you an idea of the col leges overall feel. If youre able to, try to visit the campus and sit in on some classes. Campus culture You may spend several years in college, so quality of life is important. Be sure to research essential details that may seem small, such as residential living options, campus dining and recrea tion. Questions to ponder in clude: ment of a big school or the comfort and security of a small one? pus geographical location and weather impact you? Are you energised by the thought of a cold climate or absolutely terried? a busy urban setting, a re mote country location or a suburban setting thats in between? options to support your hobbies and interests? hamians at the college? Is there an active association of Caribbean students? Or will you be the only student from your culture on cam pus? Finances The cost of college is one of the biggest areas of concern for most students. Financial worries during your college years can be greatly reduced by thinking through these questions: youve applied to a good value for the money? Is there a less expensive op tion that is just as academi cally strong? college options here at home? Both the Univer sity of The Bahamas and Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute offer a number of internationally respected programmes. ily openly discussed the cost of the college you want to attend and created a plan? Most college nance plans include a mix of personal savings, loans and scholar ships. make you eligible for local scholarships such as Lyford Cay Foundations scholar ships or Ministry of Educa tion, Science and Technolo gy scholarships? Remember that local scholarship pro grammes will favour stu dents who have chosen a well-respected college and a major that prepares you to full the future needs of the country. For more information about how to nd the best college t, visit www.bigfu ture.collegeboard.org. NEXT WEEK: the com forts of a university at home Gain An Edge is a col laboration of the Lyford Cay Foundations, Baha mas Technical and Voca tional Institute and Univer sity of The Bahamas aimed at promoting a national dia logue on higher education. To share your thoughts, email us at gainanedge@ tribunemedia.net THE TRIBUNE Friday, September 30, 2016, PAGE 3A NATIONAL DIALOGUE ON HIGHER EDUCATIONGAIN AN EDGE A NATIONAL DIALOGUE ON HIGHER EDUCATION GAIN AN EDGE E3SPORTS There are many factors to consider in choosing where to pursue post-secondary education, as Lyford Cay Foundations explainsLUXZONICA YOUNG, a Lyford Cay Scholar, is happy that she has found the college that is the right t for her academically and socially. SHAWN MINNIS, determined Lyford Cay Scholar and 2017 graduate of Holland College Shawn strives to make a difference Y O U R C H O I C E F O R T H E F A M I L Y W W W F A C E B O O K C O M / J O Y F M 1 0 1 9 A12MAIN
THE TRIBUNE Monday, September 18, 2017, PAGE 13 SOCIAL Services and Urban Renewal Minister Lanisha Rolle visited the tornado-damaged areas in Grand Bahama and urged people to be very sensi tive and understanding to the victims who suffered signicant damage and what they are going through at this time. She wanted persons affected to know that the department cares and is there support for them during this difcult time. Ms Rolle and Ms Lil lian Quant-Forbes, deputy director of Social Services, were among the delegation that travelled with Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis on Thursday to Bimini and Grand Bahama. About 28 families have been affected on Grand Bahama as a result of a tornado as Hurricane Irma passed west of the northern Bahamas unleashing fero cious winds and some rain. Five homes in the Impe rial Park Subdivision were destroyed. Several units at the Imperial Gar dens Apartment Building and about ten businesses in Freeport were also damaged. Some of the victims were concerned and upset about passersby coming into the area just to take photos of the damage and post them on social media. Ms Rolle said: There are some that were affected and others that were not, and I think it is very important at this time for us to be sensi tive, to realise it was not me today, but it could be tomor row. Therefore, we must be there for each other. She said the Ministry of Social Services is concerned and is there to assist Baha mians who were affected. We want persons to know that we care and that we are here for them, and that is why we are here and a part of the assess ment team to make sure that individuals know that Social Services is onboard. We empathise and see the need, and are assessing the needs and assisting as much as we can, where we can. Ms Rolle also said: The important thing that we must remember is that this is all of our problems and all our challenges, and all of our success. And so together as a people we will rise again out of these vari ous situations. Paula Marshall, assistant director of Social Services in Freeport, had reported that ofcers met with the victims and had compiled a list. She stated that many of the victims have indicated that they do not want to leave their homes. However, she noted that arrangements would have to be made to relocate at least one family whose house was totally destroyed. They are going to need to have accommodations until arrangements can be made for that particular facility to be rebuilt. Whether that is going to be done by the government, we dont know at this time, but in the meantime, they need to be able to func tion, said Mrs Marshall. She noted that social ser vices cannot force people to leave their homes and so some have decided to stay, and others have made arrangements to stay with family and friends. She noted that Social Ser vices would denitely help those affected regarding assistance with food, cloth ing, toiletries, and blankets. Ernestine McPhee, a resident of Imperial Park whose home was damaged, had expressed her frustra tion with the process when she went to seek assistance at the Department of Social Services. Ms McPhee, whose adult son is disabled and dia betic, told Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis that the process was very stress ful. I was there from 9am until after 1pm; I missed a whole day at school at the Social Services just to give them (some) informationthats what you have to go through. She told Dr Minnis that she was in need of a genera tor and wanted to know if she could be provided one from NEMA to keep her sons insulin cool. McPhee said their home is insured and was worried about her elderly neigh bour whose home was not insured, but was destroyed. FOR the eighth consecu tive year, Cabinet ministers and educators along with hundreds of parents and students packed the Kendal G L Isaacs Gymnasium for the Ministry of Educa tion and Commonwealth Banks Parenting Forum and walked away not only inspired to tackle the new school year but equipped with the necessary tools. The theme of this years forum, hosted by the New Providence Association of Principals of Public Sec ondary Schools (NAPPSS), was Parents, Schools, The Community: Shaping the Finished Product which showcased the comprehen sive approach necessary to ensure the overall success in educating the nations children. These sentiments were echoed in the remarks of guest speakers, including Minister of Education Jef frey Lloyd. Less than 50 per cent of our students are graduat ing from high school, said Mr Lloyd. I dont think we can be proud of that. We are seeing a downward trend in the positive results of our exams. We are fail ing. Countries around us are going up, we are going down. So all of us must get on board and we have to turn this around because we must turn this around. Commonwealth Bank understands that education is indeed a partnership, said T Nicola McKay, prin cipal of C R Walker Senior High School. The Ministry of Education alone cannot foot the bill for the cost of educating our children. There would be no forum without the donation of the bags, books, pens, pen cils and the lunch that is also provided by Common wealth Bank. Bringing remarks on behalf of Ian Jennings, Commonwealth Banks president, Sr VP Credit Risk Denise Turnquest said: Children whose par ents are involved in their education earn higher grades, have a much better chance of graduating, are less likely to drop out of school, are more likely to go onto higher education, have better social skills so they get along better with people, and they are more likely to like school. Mr Lloyd told the crowd that education is your responsibility. At the end of the day, we are going to help you but its what you do with the opportunity you have to make it happen for you. The opportunity you have now, you may not have again, he told students. To parents, he had a dif ferent message. God gave these children to you. You have a funda mental responsibility for these children. It is your responsibility to see that these children be what they come to earth to be. Between spirited charges, attendees were entertained by the sounds of the Royal Bahamas Police Pop Band. This was the 11th year Commonwealth Bank partnered with the Minis try of Education for back to school supplies and the eighth time it sponsored the Parenting Forum, provid ing well-stocked book bags, pencils, composition books and lunch for all. Over the last decade Commonwealth Bank has invested over $2m in education including over 110,000 backpacks. The forum also provided the opportunity to high light the accomplishments of students who gave stel lar performances during the standardised exami nations of the Bahamas Junior Certicate (BJC) and Bahamas General Certicate of Secondary Education exams. FROM left: T Nicola McKay, principal of C R Walker Senior High School; Jeffrey Lloyd, minister of education; Denise Turnquest, Sr VP credit risk of Commonwealth Bank and Lionel Sands, director of Education in the Ministry of Education. Rolle tours hurricane aftermath SEVERAL Bahamian boaters were rescued by a joint effort by members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Royal Bahamas Police Force and Operations Baha mas and Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) and Bahamas Air Sea Rescue (BASES Freeport) in two separate incidents on Saturday. In the rst incident at 6pm, OPBAT reported that a 25-ft white Ranger vessel named Whiplash experienced mechanical problems two miles south of Bimini. A vessel from the Police Marine Division in Bimini was dispatched with a police ofcer along with two RBDF marines on board. The disabled vessel along with a male occupant were safely brought into North Bimini. In a second incident at 8.25pm, a 19-ft skiff was being towed by a 17-ft skiff in the area of Browns Boat Basin near the Poop Deck, East Bay Street. A 26-ft vessel named Raptor collided into the tow rope, resulting in minor damage one of the vessels. RBDF Patrol craft P-115 went and assisted the vessels, which were all escorted to the RBDFs Harbour Patrol Unit. None of the occu pants on the vessels were injured. By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org BEACHES are one of the countrys most valuable assets, and in observance of the 32nd International Coastal Cleanup on Satur day some 600 volunteers will comb the beaches on Grand Bahama removing trash and marine debris. The major global effort is being held under the theme, Harnessing the Power of People to Fight Ocean Trash. The event is being coor dinated by the Ministry of Tourism, the Keep Grand Bahama Clean Committee, and the Bahamas National Trust. Jeffrey Pinder, a senior executive of Sustainable Tourism at the Ministry of Tourism, said beach cleanup would take place between 8am and 10am, and persons are invited to join in and help tackle this vexing problem. He stressed that the min istry is pleased to be a part of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) for the last 30 plus years, coordinating clean-up efforts between Grand Bahama and New Providence, collecting data from various beach loca tions on the two islands. We want to nd out how is it that garbage, whether it is marine debris, plastic, cups, are ending up on our beaches, he said on Friday during a press conference held at Xanadu Beach. According to Mr Pinder, the effort in Grand Bahama is well supported with some 600-student volunteers from the various public and private schools on Grand Bahama. Each group will consist of 20 volunteers and two coor dinators who will canvas the shoreline and beaches on the island from east to west. Mr Pinder thanked all the local sponsors for assist ing in providing gloves and water for the hundreds of volunteers who will be participating. We want to thank Sol omons, FOCOL, Dolly Madison, Sawyers Fresh Mart, and others that have assisted us with this ICC event which is in its 32nd year, and we are happy to be able to do this especially since the passing of the last storm. We want to show GB is resilient and that we are ready for customers. This is especially impor tant for the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) because our beaches are on one of the biggest attractions for cruise ship passengers to the island. Mr Pinder noted that 60 to 80 per cent of the cruise passengers who come off the ship would end up on one of our beaches. It is important to make sure that not only are they clean, but that we have an idea where this garbage is coming from, he said. Oletha Gardiner, cochairperson of the Keep Grand Bahama Clean Com mittee, said they always partner with the MOT in the ICC efforts. We are pleased to be a part of this effort this year, just after the recent passing of the storm. The KGBC mandate is that everybody is responsible for keeping our island clean and wants to continue to spread that message. Ms Gardiner said the committee has partnered with schools as well as civic organizations to keep the island clean. Our beaches are one of our prize possessions in the country; we want to make sure we do our part to keep our environment clean, she said. The International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is the largest single-day vol unteer cleanup effort in the world tackling the grow ing threat of trash in the worlds oceans. Trash is one of the most visible and most prolic threats facing our ocean today; its also one of the most preventable, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Tourism. It indicated that world wide, more than 500,000 people participated in last years International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), removing nearly 18.4 million pounds (more than 8.3 million kg) of trash from oceans and waterways. According to the state ment, since the rst ICC 32 years ago, more than 12 million volunteers have removed over 228 million pounds (more than 103 mil lion kilograms) of trash. HUNDREDS VOLUNTEER FOR GRAND BAHAMA CLEAN-UP BAHAMIAN BOATERS SAVED BY JOINT RESCUE READY FOR SCHOOL THANKS TO BANK A13MAIN
PAGE 14, Monday, September 18, 2017 THE TRIBUNE MINISTER of Labour Dion Foulkes has expressed condolences on the passing of former trade unionist Idena Burrows who died in hospital last week. It is with profound sad ness that I learned of the passing of Mrs Idena Bur rows, past president of the Bahamas Communications and Public Ofcers Union (BCPOU), Mr Foulkes noted in a press release. Mrs Burrows served as both president and vicepresident of the BCPOU. She played a critical role in the ght for womens rights in the trade union movement in The Baha mas and in the wider Caribbean. She was a champion for the trade union movement for which the National Congress of Trade Unions (NCTU) honoured her during the 2015 Labour Day celebrations. Mrs Burrows made a signi cant contribution to the BCPOU and to the trade union movement in the Bahamas. She served in many capacities in the movement. Her death is a loss to the trade union movement and to the NCTU. Mr Foulkes said Mrs Bur rows served as a consultant for the government and on a number of national boards. She was instrumental in developing young trade union leaders, investing heavily in education and training. She was an avid church-goer, a member of Evangelistic Temple and a family woman. Her role in developing young people in the church and trade union community was exem plary, he added. She leaves behind a hus band, Stanley, children and grandchildren. A PLANNED Respon sible Gaming Month was created to increase education and aware ness around gaming and promote responsible gambling practices. According to a press release from Island Luck, as with other possibly addic tive activities, the gaming house believes that gam bling may present an issue to a small portion of the population therefore we strongly believe that there is a need for this month of education and awareness. It is expected the month will be observed every year, focusing on respon sible gaming education for gambling patrons and employees. At Island Luck, we understand that responsi ble gaming begins before the patron walks through the doors, said Neil Major, risk and compliance manager of Island Luck. Island Luck takes our role in educating our patrons, employees and the general public on problem gaming seriously. Responsible gaming is an ongoing prior ity of Island Luck, from our board of directors and top management to front-line team members and we are committed to continuously raising awareness about this subject matter. To illustrate this years responsible gaming theme, Island Luck will be airing targeted video blogs, tel evision, radio and print material on the various programmes currently offered to patrons to assist with any gaming issues they may have. This event will coincide with the material relating to the phenom enon of problem gaming already prominently dis played in all Island Luck locations and on Island Lucks website. Island Luck is proud of our continuous efforts to promote our responsi ble gaming programme, said Mr Major. Tribute paid after death of trade unionist AWARENESS MONTH SEEKS TO ENCOURAGE RESPONSIBLE GAMING AS they celebrate Prince Hall Week, the sisters of Rebecca Chapter No 4, Order of the Eastern Star, held the seventh install ment of Rebeccas Mystery Soup Kitchen on Saturday. The chapter is afliated with the Prince Hall Lodge. The soup kitchen, this time held at Mother Butlers Park on Meadows Street, has a concept of showing up unannounced at vari ous spots in the Bains and Grants Town community. God bless the sisters of Rebecca, said Simeon Darlcie. This is the second time that I caught the kitchen when it came around. The rst time it was at the Urban Renewal. My sister ran into the house and told me to hurry up cause the ladies from Rebecca was out there. The lady in charge said the soup was made with love and I believed her. We had nothing to eat at all that day and they came right on time with love and that soup that taste so good. All of us got some. We didnt know how we were going to get food until they came along that day. God bless them. The chapters worthy matron said it was the groups goal to spread love and joy to those in need of a good meal. In addition to a hot meal, the women also pro vided clothes to those who needed them. A SOUP Kitchen hosted by the Masonic Lodge and the Order of the Eastern Stars on Saturday at Meadow Street on Mother Butlers Park across from the Salvation Army. Photos: Terrel W. Carey /Tribune Staff Soup made with love A14MAIN
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