The Tribune.

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


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

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


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Nassau & Bahama Islands Leading Newspaper CLASSIFIEDS TRADER: CARS, CARS, CARS AND TECH HIGH 91F LOW 79F it! 24/7 BREAKING NEWS ON TRIBUNE242.COM Biggest And Best! The Tribune THE PEOPLES PAPER:$1 Established 1903 OBITS INSIDE OFFICIAL SOURCE THURSDAY Gifted millions BPL bypassed process to dish out contracts and guess who got them A FORENSIC inves tigation into Bahamas Power and Light Company unearthed glaring infrac tions of the tender process, revealing a company owned by the family of Jerome Fitzgerald was awarded a contract for brokerage work despite no participa tion in the tender process and a recommendation that another entity should be given the approval. According to an Ernst & Young audit into BPL, in one egregious instance, Mr Fitzgeralds family business, Bahamas Courier & Logistics (BCL), was awarded a contract over Pinders Customs Broker age, a company with the best bid. Mr Fitzgerald was minister of education in the last Christie administration. The electricity provider spent $2,626,001 with BCL since 2012. The audit further found in two separate instances, J S Johnson was the winning contractor in the bidding process for insurance coverage, but both con tracts totaling $14,183,159 were ultimately issued to Sunshine Insurance, THE Minnis admin istration has terminated the management services agreement between Ameri can company PowerSecure and Bahamas Power and Light (BPL), which enabled foreign BPL executives to be paid more than any Bahamian parliamentarian or executive at the electric ity provider, according to Works Minister Desmond Bannister yesterday. Under the MSA, former BPL CEO Pamela Hill was paid a salary of $25,000 per month and received $6,000 each month in hous ing benets, down from an initial $8,719 monthly. She also received monthly benets of $3,833.33, Mr Bannister said in the House of Assembly. POWERSECURE wanted to reduce Baha mas Power & Lights (BPL) staff by more than 200 workers, believing it could have saved the company about $20m doing so, according to the companys long-con cealed BPL business plan. Works Minister Des mond Bannister tabled the document in Parliament yesterday, saying its plan for staff is not something the Minnis administration is committed to doing. Integral to the busi ness plan, which the former administration agreed with, was a decision that a reduction of staff by approximately 30 per cent would result in savings of $13m annually, Mr Bannis ter said. The plan refers to the proposed reduction of staff at BPL as a business necessity and envisioned the separation of 233 BPL staff members through a redun dancy process in August or October 2017, together with a possible reduction of an additional 64 staff members in September 2018. This business plan and the plan to separate 233 staff mem bers at BPL has remained a secret of the former adminis tration until today. In its plan, PowerSecure said about BPLs current performance summary: Stafng levels are high by about 30 per cent, creat ing an opportunity to save about $20m. PowerSecure was aware that there was risk its plan for staff reduction wouldnt take off. Political inter ference, it said in its discussion about risks to the execution of its business plan, would impair making BPL a viable and solvent utility. By KHRISNA RUSSELL Deputy Chief Reporter By KHRISNA RUSSELL Deputy Chief Reporter By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter SEE PAGE THREE SEE PAGE TWO SEE PAGE THREE A1MAIN $30,000IN CASH TO GIVE AWAY!10WINNERSPER WEEKSEPT 18TH OCT 29THPurchase ANY combo to enter. No upgrade required. /BURGERKINGNASSAU Visit for details Jerome Fitzgerald $2.6m Sir Franklyn WILSON $14m MINKY ISAACS $4.5m 13 bogus Companies $1.8m ?


PAGE 2, Thursday, September 21, 2017 THE TRIBUNE In addition to paying this monthly fee of $34,833.33 for the former executive, Bahamian taxpayer dol lars also paid $27,322.46 in travel costs and $23,637.55 in relocation costs. Mr Ban nister said for quite some time, Bahamians paid travel costs for a CEO who only lived in the Bahamas for ve days each week from Monday to Friday, but spent weekends elsewhere. She was terminated last month with immediate effect. The executive vice presi dent of generation and operation received a simi lar salary. This executive received $33,583.33, with a salary of $23,750, housing benets of $6,000 and other benets of $3,833.33. The executive vice presi dent of transmission and distribution operations cost taxpayers $26,083.33. This included a salary of $18,750, housing benets of $6,000 and other benets of $1,333.33. To put these salaries that the former administra tion agreed to reimburse to executives selected by Pow erSecure in perspective, it must be appreciated that a member of Parliament is paid less in one year than any of the two top execu tives of BPL make in one month, Mr Bannister said yesterday. And the highest salary paid to any Baha mian executive at BPL is $10,600 per month. This is indeed a won derful example of what members opposite meant when they spoke of putting Bahamians rst. He continued: On August 17, 2017, the board of BPL wrote to Power Secure to itemise certain alleged breaches of the MSA. In accordance there with, PowerSecure had 30 days to respond thereto. Their options were to cure the alleged breaches; or to take issue with them. If they failed to cure the alleged breaches without reason able excuse, then the MSA would be terminated. On September 18, 2017 PowerSecure through its local attorneys took issue with the alleged breaches and itemised certain alleged breaches by the board of BPL, both current and former. They have in their words accepted the repu diation of the MSA. The MSA is therefore terminated. PowerSecure has agreed to leave their personnel in place until as late as December 31, 2017 to facilitate an orderly transition. I wish to personally thank PowerSecure Inc for their contribution to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas during their tenure here. We anticipate moving forward under new and vibrant Bahamian leadership. Apart from hefty salaries, the MSA stipulated Pow erSecure was to be paid an annual base management fee of $2m. It also provided for the payment to PowerSecure of an annual performance compensation fee, which could reach a maximum of 150 per cent of the base management fee. This equates to an additional $3m. As of July 25, 2017, Pow erSecure has been paid a total of $7,994,753.42. The fee includes: $2,666,666.71 to Power Secure for management fees, $901,500 for the BPL business plan, $1.2m as a performance bonus, $2,035,078.80 for the Har bour Island project and $1,191,507.91 for other ser vices inclusive of Hurricane Matthew restoration. Earlier in his contribu tion, Mr Bannister said: I wish to draw the attention of honourable members to the existence of a conden tiality clause in the MSA. The peoples govern ment is one of transparency, not condentiality. Where others conclude agreements and hide them from the people, we are unmistaka bly different. Where others make promises that they dont intend to keep, the peoples government cher ishes and protects the right of the Bahamian people to know. An interesting provi sion in the MSA provided that PowerSecure was to be reimbursed for all wages, salaries, bonuses and incentive compensa tion, benets, pensions and other post-employment benets, travel and busi ness expenses, executive recruiting fees and labour costs described in (its) busi ness plan and reasonably incurred by the service pro vider in connection with the employment of the execu tive management. He said the problem was the former administration did not put any limits or caps on the salaries tax payers had to reimburse, so BPL ended up having to reimburse PowerSe cure $76,626 for executive recruiting fees, since the people they sent to the Bahamas were not neces sarily their employees. from page one PAMELA HILL, the former CEO of BPL. Photo: Shawn Hanna /Tribune Staff A2MAIN


THE TRIBUNE Thursday, September 21, 2017, PAGE 3 the company of Franklyn Wilson, a Progressive Lib eral Party supporter and nancier. BPL also spent $4,592,041 with Penta Industrial Ser vices, the company of PLP Chairman Emeritus Err ington Minky Isaacs. There was no indication a competitive process of obtaining alternative quotes or competing bids took place. Other contracts approved for entities owned by former Bahamas Electric ity Corporation (BEC) board members were also awarded. Works Minister Desmond Bannister made the rev elations yesterday in one of ve separate communica tions in Parliament. The audit, he said, identi ed numerous irregularities in the manner in which the contracts were awarded since 2012, when the PLP took ofce. The document is dated August 15, 2017. Fraud This report was com missioned as a result of concerns raised relating to fraudulent cheques paid to ctitious vendors before the general election in May. It identied 41 fraudulent cheques to 13 fake vendors totaling $1,886,525 and three fraudulent cheques to legitimate vendors in the amount of $126,779, Mr Bannister said. However, as the police are still reviewing the report, the minister said he was not at liberty to table it in the House of Assembly. For this reason, he zeroed in on issues with the award ing of contracts. First the report identi ed numerous instances where the tender pro cess was not followed, the Carmichael MP told parliamentarians. Many contracts were awarded in excess of $100,000 for which no formal tender had been performed. In other instances, there was no evi dence of any procurement analysis or of other quota tions being obtained. There were also instances where contracts were awarded to vendors who had not been selected in the tendering process, thereby rejecting the com panies that had actually submitted better bids and in one egregious case, a company that did not even bid was awarded a contract over the company that had followed the process and to whom the tenders commit tee had approved the award of a contract. He also said: The gov ernment of the Bahamas is deeply concerned about these irregularities. We are committed to stamping out fraud at BPL. To this end, Ernst and Young has been instructed to pursue further investigations. Other irregularities in the report included the award ing of a contract to Sure Tech CCTV & Surveillance for $157,750 when the con tract was never put out to tender. Mr Bannister said legal action had to eventually be taken against the company when it failed to complete the contracted work. Atcun Security was another company awarded work in the absence of tendering. This company was awarded a contract for $870,684 and since 2012, $3,685,257 was spent with the entity. As a result of the contractual relationship with this company, the monthly cost for secu rity services jumped from $72,280 to $94,419 an increase of more than $22,000 per month, the minister said. Rowcreek Company Limited was also awarded a contract for $114,036 to provide furniture, but there is no evidence of any pro curement analysis being completed or any other quotations obtained. The audit also found other concerning matters where BPL violated busi ness norms. Among these are a lack of vendor due diligence; the chairman of the cor poration being involved in operational procure ment activity; no clarity as to who had authority to create vendor proles and in various cases there was no supporting documenta tion for payments along with missing cheques and invoices. In April, The Tribune reported that from as early as 2013, Mr Fitzgerald, then the Marathon MP, sought to secure for his familys busi ness millions of dollars in brokerage, trucking, and limousine contracts at Baha Mar while he sat in Cabinet. Gifted millions This risk also affected its desired rate reduc tion bond which would have addressed BPLs legacy debt issues, a plan that would have involved adding a charge and possi bly a new cost to customers bills in order to service the bond. Controversy erupted in August after it was revealed that PowerSecure received a performance bonus of $1.1m despite persistent customer dissatisfaction with BPL since the com pany was contracted in 2015. In its discussion of risks to the execution of its busi ness plan, PowerSecures document gives insight into why the American com pany may have felt entitled to the bonus. In the event that the rate reduction bonds are not underwritten or fully subscripted within the rst year, PowerSecure wrote, the company should not be held responsible for the impact such delay or failure has on the operational per formance initiatives and be entitled to the entire perfor mance incentive fee for the rst year of the (manage ment services agreement). The same arrangement would exist for each subse quent year. PowerSecure planned several strategies to reduce stafng. In addition to making some employees redundant if necessary, it planned a voluntary sepa ration strategy through which the company would have given employees a 60-day window to elect to apply for the separate incentive programme. The company also planned an early retire ment programme for employees within three years of retirement. Approximately 17 per cent of the employees have 27 years of service or greater, which represents $12m of the $60m for total compensation, the com pany said. The business plan revealed no clear agenda for embracing alternative energy forms as a means of generating power in the future, though PowerSe cure said it planned to put BPL on the path to a clear, more efcient generation eet. A wide variety of sup plies including liqueed petroleum gas (LPG), liq ueed natural gas (LNG), heavy fuel oil (HFO), auto motive diesel oil (ADO) and solar have been ana lysed and will continue to receive consideration, PowerSecure said. The prospect of bringing LNG or LPG to the islands looks promising. However, cur rent analysis indicates that pursuing those today may put BPL in the position of a loss leader which is mis aligned with the current nancial situation at BEC. Therefore, the current plan is to procure modern HFO units that can be converted to LNG. This approach pre serves the capital resources of BPL and positions The Bahamas to be a leader in advancing cleaner and less costly energy supplies as the market matures. PowerSecure aimed to improve BPLs reliability and performance by adding 140 megawatt of high-ef ciency HFO units to the Clifton Pier plant. The company also wanted to procure rental units to counter the expensive generation of power from the Blue Hills plant. PowerSecure said its analysis of an 80 MW bridge power solution showed it would create a prot of $13.5m. The most expensive to repair units at Blue Hills are taken out of service rst once the bridge power is online, the company said. The others are limited to an absolute minim, thereby limiting repairs costs. Once new generation assets are commissioned, more than 60 per cent of Blue Hills generating capacity is retired. SECRET PLAN TO AXE 233 JOBS from page one from page one THE UNVEILING of the BPL sign after its transition from BEC but there were plans afoot to cut more than 200 jobs at the company. 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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 @tribune242 tribune news network PAGE 4, Thursday, September 21, 2017 THE TRIBUNE EDITOR, The Tribune. WELL nothing amazing the IMF promoting Income Tax are they saying the introduction of VAT was not a success? A whopping $1.2 billion in revenue? Clearly their team must have met the wrong people or which is frightening those who they did meet did not put up the argument why should there be Income Tax and what would be the eco nomic effects of reducing the spend potential of our community? So the brilliance of the IMF suggest a low rate Income Tax dont be swung by the words low rate because once intro duced the low will go to medium and in ve-six years to high. Say the IMF decide a low rate is 15% taxing us at our pay-cheque, before we get what we earn. Can you afford having 15% taken away? MPs cant! Great so the poten tial spend we have now is reduced by 15% ..... reve nue at Customs will reduce VAT will reduce business will reduce -less people will be able to purchase a home. Brilliant in social engineer ing and scal management. Okay you are looking for new revenue sources -lets start collectively we have to pay our bills in full write down how much you owe, you know BEC/BP&LBTC-Aliv-Real Property Mortgage Over-draft (if you are so lucky!) and see what you have left after aggregating that to a month? My list to go immediately 240,000 residents y to the US annually remove the returning exemption or rationalise it.. ... 240,000 times a conservative spend in Dade County-Broward County at $500.00 per person is $120,000,000.00 this has to be halved. Imagine this $120 million being spent locally the potential impact? Forget the politics, Dr Minnis Mr Peter Turnquest this is good for the country. Do Dade and Broward pay us for this massive spend? Luxury items, not neces sities increase duty by 6-8%. The IMF has their evalu ation backwards. Realise it the Banks now control the Real Estate market with the massive delinquent mortgage properties why should they nance any new housing or purchase unless it comes off their list of delinquent properties? Truth told the economy has shrunk since May 10th, I suspect the fear of being caught taking that incentives to process an application has taken $2-600.00 out of your money. The latest unemploy ment gures simply dont believe them they have to have been engineered. Statistics you have to show where and on which island the reduction occurred. What areas of Nassau were polled? Lyford and Cable Beach? NIB, yes IMF were cor rect the high-end rate needs to be increased...those earn ing high-level wages can afford and the fund desper ately needs that money to stay liquid and able to meet their pension commitments. Did you notice fees at LPIA went up recently very quietly but this is going to add to the already high costs of processing through this facility. Government needs to make a policy until they change how electricity is generated, God help us if they cant in months, note Mr Prime Minister that is an exceptionally easy decision just like evacuating was.... require all thermostats in ofce buildings, malls, supermarkets to be set at 78 degrees in the middle of the summer we see the ladies in winter sweaters in ofces now that has to be crazy. Do men have to wear suits in the summer? Lets get practical. Sorry Messrs IMF review team you missed the whole issue. An Income Tax at any level will be detrimen tal to our economy. We need more business not less. W THOMPSON Nassau, September 17, 2017. WHILE Health Minister Dr Duane Sands has spent countless hours trying to discover how he is going to nd the millions needed to bring the Princess Margaret Hospital up to an acceptable standard, we have Senator Fred Mitchell trying to defend the PLPs legacy. After reading The Tribune s front page today we are wondering what legacy there is to defend, but we leave that to our readers. Among Dr Sands many problems is the need to provide the required rooms so that patients dont have to sleep on gurneys in the hospitals hallways; the need to nd a solution to care for the borders, both the homeless children and elderly who have been abandoned at the hospital; the need to collect the funds to construct a state of the art unit that will house a new forensic lab, the morgue and a national blood bank. The list of urgent needs goes on. Not only is the Princess Margaret Hospital in Dr Sands portfolio, but so is Sandilands Hospital, the Rand Memorial Hospi tal in Freeport and the various clinics throughout the many islands. Money needed to have a rst class hospital has been foolishly spent on pipe dreams by the former government, leaving little to repair the inherited damage. However, recently Mr Mitchell has complained that The Nassau Guard ian reported that the PLP left no plan in place to address natural disasters such as hurricanes. This statement, declared Mr Mitchell, is a blatant untruth and these attempts to wilfully mislead the public by rewriting history and telling patent untruths by people who know better cannot and must not stand or left unanswered, he said. It was the PLP, said Mr Mitchell, that tabled, passed and brought into force emergency disaster management legislation that led to the establishment of the National Emergency Management Agency commonly known as NEMA, the nucleus of emergency disaster man agement in The Bahamas. However, on examination of this claim, historians will nd that the Hur ricane Andrew Emergency Response and Recovery Committee was created in the Cabinet Ofce in August 1992 (the new Ingraham government) to deal with the emergency and recovery efforts following the devastation caused by Hurricane Andrew that year. The Com mittee worked in co-ordination with the appropriate Government Ministries and Departments, including Public Works, Social Services, environmental health and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. The committee was instrumental in the development of policies that governed the Governments disaster preparedness and response policies and programmes for the following 20 plus years. The committee became a perma nent emergency preparedness and response unit in the Cabinet Ofce co-chaired by the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Social Services and a Lieutenant from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (Stephen Russell). It was later transferred to the Ministry of National Security under the Direction of a Commander of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. During the rst Chris tie-led Government legislation formally establishing NEMA was adopted by the House of Assembly. According to Mr Mitchell, it was the PLP that caused for the installation of the 100 gigabyte national submarine cable designed to enhance national communication and management in the event of a national and natural disaster such as a hurricane. However, the improvement of com munications technology and the development of redundancies has been a long-term goal of Batelco/BTC since the beginning of the Batelco privatisa tion initiative in 1998/99. Also said Mr Mitchell, emergency airport lighting is a reality because of the foresight of the PLP government to assist in safe evacuations from affected islands in the event of an emergency or natural disaster such as a hurricane. However, we nd that this was planned by the FNM during its second term in ofce; the installation of the emergency lights was foreshadowed during the 1997 Campaign and in Mani festo The PLP coming to ofce in 2002 implemented plans for the emer gency lights which they found in train. And, according to Mr Mitchell, it was the PLP government that established the countrys rst National Energy Policy in the era of global warming and climate and negotiated and signed onto the Paris Accord on climate change. In fact, international negotiations to improve co-operation on the envi ronmental front to protect the planets biodiversity and to counter dramatic impact of changing weather patterns has been ongoing for several decades. The 1992 Rio Summit is perhaps a con venient starting point for more recent negotiations and discussions. The United Nations Framework Con vention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted that year and the Kyoto Pro tocol were the two basic documents that shaped international discourse on climate change. Successive Bahamian Governments have participated in regional, hemispheric and international negotiations related to the subject and to credit the Christie-led PLP Govern ment with leadership on this front would be ridiculous. The most recent Paris Agreement is simply the latest in a long line of important international environ mental documents. The Bahamas has been an active participant throughout. In fact, The Bahamas hosted the First Meeting of Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity in November, 1994. It was the PLP government, accord ing to Mr Mitchell, that lobbied relentlessly in the international arena for the right of The Bahamas to access international funding at concessionary rates for energy related projects that impact the arrest of global warming. Really, Mr Mitchell, and when did this happen? In fact, all Bahamas Gov ernments have pursued this matter at the UN and at all international lending/ nancial agencies. From my observation, continued Mr Mitchell, Dr Minnis was merely follow ing the management script left behind by former Prime Minister Christie in addressing Irma. The record on what the PLP government has done to better pre pare The Bahamas to address the fallout from natural disasters such as hurricanes is well documented for all to see. It really is amazing that Mr Mitchell can recall what his administration was working on but has no recollection of the programmes that they found in place and ongoing in 2002 and 2012. Mr Mitchell would be better advised to help remedy the chaos that his gov ernment has left behind rather than try to twist historical facts. Dont be swung by the IMF LETTERS The hazy memory of Fred Mitchell EDITOR, The Tribune. Re: Theres an elite Water list too. The Tribune, September 20, 2017 WHEN do we get the Elite Bahamas-Air list? KEN W KNOWLES, MD Nassau, September 20, 2017. What about the list at Bahamasair? EDITOR, The Tribune. THERE is nothing more onerous and delusional than the pipe dream of income taxes. Some suppose it to be a panacea for our nancial woes, but internationally, the evidence seems to suggest that without sound scal management, the more access a gov ernment has to collecting revenue, the more they spend. They collect, tax and waste to benet themselves or those close to them. They expand the social welfare net in order to create entitlement states to win the support of the electorate. Eventually you have progressively larger, unsustainable welfare states and crippling debt. In this country, the crux of our problems revolve around a lack of understanding of basic economics, politics permeating every area of national life and civil immaturity. We wanted independence from Great Britain, but lacked the vision, wisdom and discipline necessary for perpetual self government. We continually elect people to govern who have not been able to prove that they can manage their own personal lives and nances. The ruling class does not have enough love for this country and its people to avoid self-serving, self enriching and destructive decisions. Consecutive governments seemed to have a wing it philosophy with borrowing, spend ing and national development. Increasing government access to more revenue will not solve our problems:VAT was implemented to pay down the national debt, instead the debt has increased. It is time for our nation to grow up and become scally responsible. Maybe we can start by changing laws to ensure that pensionable public servants can collect one pension only instead of two or three as some are able to do. Reducing the salary of the President of the Uni versity of the Bahamas, collecting all outstanding debts owed to the government while not writing off debts from Bank of the Bahamas and some foreign investors. Stream lining the civil service to minimise waste and increase efciency while taxing the income of all non-Baha mian citizens in this country. We must do what we can and avoid borrowing to waste. Government should lead by example, maybe then individuals in this country will make better personal decisions in their lives. JB Nassau, September 20, 2017. Income taxes are nothing but a pipe dream A4MAIN


THE TRIBUNE Thursday, September 21, 2017, PAGE 5 MINISTER of National Security Marvin Dames yesterday outlined the chronic challenges the country faces in its ght against crime, while noting murders are up 41 per cent compared to this time last year, but overall crime is down by 19 per cent. He said the crime prob lems are worsened by an ineffective electronic moni toring system where 13 people with ankle bracelets have been murdered and another wearing a device was recently charged with a killing. The minister said latest crime gures show 268 offenders are being moni tored. This includes 70 for murder, 18 for attempted murder, 102 for armed rob beries and 59 for rearm offences. He told Parlia ment yesterday The Bahamas is probably the only country placing ankle monitoring bracelets on offenders charged with murder and other serious crimes, while not ensur ing strict guidelines are enforced. Also contributing to chal lenges with serious crimes is the failing CCTV Moni toring Centre. In 2012, the government of The Bahamas spent $4.6m to establish a state of the art centre and installed 243 CCTV cameras mainly to the downtown Nassau areas and other crime hotspots throughout the island. However, Mr Dames said the system, one of the most vital in the ght against crime, was not being prop erly maintained and could not be expanded due to insufcient bandwidth, which is essential for pro ducing quality images. This impacted nearly half or 119 of the 243 cameras. In addition, hard drives and servers were not upgraded and stafng issues at the CCTV centre were far from adequate, he said. The ineffectiveness of both crime-ghting tools has contributed to the nations overall crime pic ture, Mr Dames suggested. Recent crime statistics, when compared with the same period last year fur ther show murders are up by 41 per cent with 103 incidents up to press time. Attempted murder is down by 20 per cent compared to last year this time, with 12 incidents thus far and man slaughter had one incident. In addition, rape is down by 15 per cent with 45 incidents, attempted rape increased 88 per cent, unlawful sexual intercourse is down 25 per cent, armed robbery is down by 35 per cent with 380 incidents, rob bery down by 44 per cent and attempted robbery is up 17 per cent. Burglaries are down 25 per cent, housebreaking down eight per cent, shop breaking down four per cent, stealing down 13 per cent, stealing from vehicles down 24 per cent and stolen vehi cles are down 33 per cent. Overall crime gures to date when compared to the same period last year are down 19 per cent, Mr Dames said. He said: Our govern ment will be tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime and tough on crim inals. We have made it clear that those who commit crimes will be punished for their actions. We have a zero-tolerance approach to criminal offenders. Permit me to share with you a sobering example of why the criminals feel so emboldened. Just over a week ago police ofcers attempted to stop a sus picious vehicle with two male occupants. After a short chase, the car came to a stop and the suspects were searched. One of the males had a .45 pistol in his pants with 10 live rounds of ammunition. When ofc ers ran a background check on the suspect, he was on bail for two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder. He was also being electronically monitored. He also told the House: It cannot be that we should have persons being granted bail and freely roaming our streets while armed, facing multiple charges. My min istry has been in active discussions with the Ofce of the Attorney General to explore avenues to ensure that persons charged with multiple similar offences committed over time, remain incarcerated up to the time of their trial with out bail. Mr Dames said the gov ernment is now in the initial phases of its crime ghting strategy. These include conduct ing a manpower audit of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, a zero-toler ance approach to crime, increased police visibility, targeting of hotspots and a focus on prolic offenders. Other strategies include strengthening of police and community partnerships, and the establishment of a guns and gangs unit, which was formed Tuesday. The government also proposes to enact legis lation very shortly to address the conditional release of offenders into society through a parole and probation system for rst time and non-violent offenders. This new process of parole will address reha bilitation, reintegration, re-offending/recidivism and reduce costs associated with incarceration. Ankle bracelets are failing, says minister By KHRISNA RUSSELL Deputy Chief Reporter A 24-YEAR-OLD father of two is dead after being shot multiple times in front of his daughters while parked in a vehicle outside a residence on Tuesday night. The killing took place shortly after 11pm and took the countrys murder count to 103 for the year, according to The Tribune s records. The shooting came three days after a 17-yearold teen was shot multiple times and killed while walking through Johnson Road and a week after an 11th grade Gov ernment High School student was killed while hanging out with persons in the back of his home. Those two killings both occurred in Fox Hill. According to police, shortly after 11pm ofcers received information that a man was shot off Far rington Road. When ofcers arrived on the scene off Christopher Street, they discovered the lifeless body of a man in a vehicle who had been shot multiple times. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Tribune understands the victims four-year-old and one-year-old daughters were in the vehicle at the time of the shooting, but were not harmed during the incident. Police are on the hunt for the occupants of a white Nissan Note they believe are responsible for the murder. Police have not identied the victim, but a source told The Tribune he is Shannon doah Greene. Anyone with informa tion on this murder is asked to contact police at 911 or 919, the Central Detective Unit at 502-9991 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 328-TIPS. Investigations continue. SHOT DEAD IN FRONT OF HIS DAUGHTERS By SANCHESKA DORSETT Tribune Staff Reporter THE MURDER scene last night where a man was gunned down in front of his daughters, aged four and one, who were in the car at the time of the shooting. Photo: Terrel W. Carey /Tribune Staff MINISTER of National Security Marvin Dames in the House of Assembly yesterday. Photo: Shawn Hanna /Tribune Staff A5MAIN


PAGE 6, Thursday, September 21, 2017 THE TRIBUNE RESIDENTS in the southeast Bahamas should prepare for excess ood ing and tropical storm force winds as Hurri cane Maria is expected to dump four to eight inches of water as it passes over the country on Friday, according to US Accu weather forecaster Dan Kottlowski. Those islands include Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Cay, Samana Cay and the Turks and Caicos. According to the National Emergency Man agement Agency (NEMA), residents in coastal and low-lying areas are urged to take the necessary pre cautions ahead of the storm. A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 10 feet to 15 feet above normal tide levels, near and to the north of the centre of Maria as it passes the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeast Bahamas, NEMA said in a statement. Mr Kottlowski said on the current forecast track the central and northern islands seem to have dodged a bullet. Maria will make a close call for the Turks and Caicos and pass within 30 miles just east of them but this storm will be differ ent for them they will get winds, tropical storm force winds but the impact will be nothing like Irma, he said. As far as the Southern Bahamas is concerned, there is a good chance they will see tropical storm force winds on the cur rent track but the winds will be on the far east ern edge so the winds will come in gusts and will not be super strong. The cen tral and northern Bahamas is expected to have no issues at all. The biggest issue will be rough surf and that will be a problem only in eastern Bahamas. New Providence is so pro tected from the strong surf that hits all the islands so that wont be a big prob lem. Right now Maria is expected to pass well over 150 miles from New Providence, the Bahamas dodged a big bullet this time. A hurricane warning is now in effect for the south west Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos, includ ing Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Cay and Samana Cay. A hurricane warning means that hurricane con ditions can affect the above mentioned islands within 36 hours. The island of Puerto Rico has been destroyed after Hurricane Maria made landfall there as a category four storm Wednesday morning, according to cnn. com. Puerto Ricos ofce of emergency management conrmed that 100 per cent of the US territory had lost power. Maria is forecast to move off Puerto Ricos north ern shores and into open Atlantic waters Wednesday night, potentially allowing the storm to strengthen, according to ABC News meteorologists. Maria is also forecast to approach the Dominican Republic on Wednesday night, but the Caribbean nation is not expected to get a direct hit. By Friday, Maria will pass to the east of Turks and Caicos, where theres a potential for hurricaneforce winds and heavy rain, but the storm is not expected to make a direct hit. From there, the hurricane is forecast to pass by the southeast Bahamas. Flood alert as Maria nears By SANCHESKA DORSETT Tribune Staff Reporter THE family of a 28-yearold medical student based in storm ravaged Dominica yesterday said their concern is growing by the minute as they await updates after the passage of mega storm Maria. We talked on Monday, the students mother Van dora Johnson said in an emotional interview with The Tribune He said the school was preparing to shut down because the storm was getting close. It is now Wednesday and I need to know if he is safe. The heartbroken mother said she had exhausted all options when it came to trying to communicate with her son, Christian Johnson, who is enrolled as a medical student at Ross University in Dominica. He doesnt live on the schools campus. He lives across the street. When we last spoke, he sounded relaxed and ne. But that was when Maria was just a tropical storm. It didnt jump until later on that night, she added. Maria, a category ve storm at the time, ripped through Dominica on Monday completely destroying communicates, infrastructure and critical facilities. On Monday night, Dom inicas Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit in a Face book post indicated that even he had to be rescued from his ofcial residence after the powerful storm ripped the roof off his home. On Tuesday morning, he wrote: We will need help, my friend, we will need help of all kinds. He described damage to the island as mind-boggling. Yesterday, the Minis try of Foreign Affairs said there are three Bahamians living and working in Dom inica: two students and a businesswoman. In the aftermath of the passage of Hurricane Maria over that island, and in the absence of a formal Bahamas mission in Dominica, the minis try has reached out to the sources in the community to determine the Bahami ans precise situation. The ministry stands ready to provide consular or other assistance if necessary, a short statement from the ministry noted. Meanwhile, the family of Mr Johnson said hes been in Dominica since August 23 taking classes at Ross University. A search of the univer sitys website revealed that notices were posted earlier this week, inform ing students that the storm was close and posed immediate threat to life and property. An alert on the website read: We have set a plan in place to begin a series of boat evacuations of the Ross Med community, to take them to safety on the island of St Lucia. It continued: We are working with a charter boat company to utilise a number of vessels to get our people to a location of greater safety and com fort. As you can imagine, the harbours on Dominica suffered damage in the hur ricane and there is much debris in the water. The rst step today is for a scout boat from the char ter company to nd the best location to access our people. Meanwhile, the boats are being staffed with crew and stocked with medical supplies and other supplies where they are docked on nearby islands and those boats will begin their journey to Dominica today. Our crisis team contin ues to be in communication with the US State Depart ment about the possibility of a larger-scale military evacuation, but as of now, moving forward with our evacuation plan is our best choice. We plan to begin the transport of people with taking care of the chil dren and elderly rst. Each family will be permitted to have one parent travel with their children. We will also certainly transport anyone with any serious injuries in this rst group, although we are grateful to report at this time that we have few reports of injuries, and those are said to be some what minor. We have a team dedi cated to determining next steps once we get all of our people to St Lucia and we will provide more details soon regarding how long they will be there and what plans are for the continua tion of classes. Up to press time Wednes day, The Tribune was working to establish a line of communication between the Johnson family and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the hopes of a resolution. By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter MARIA MARIA Nassau Miami Miami Nassau Port-au-Prince Port-au-Prince Havana Havana ST ORM DET AILS Day:Wednesday Date: 9/20/2017 Time: 8 PM EDT Storm Name: Maria Storm Discussion: Maria is slowly pulling away from Puerto Rico, though intense bands continue to move across the island. The Dominican Republic will have to contend with Maria through Thursday night. Very heavy rainfall will pose a significant risk to lives and property. Damaging wind gusts will also affect the Turks and Caicos islands and southern Bahamas Thursday Night into Friday. Lat: 19.00 North, Lon: 67.60 West Movement: NW at 12 mph Central Pressure: 957 mb Sustained Wind: (mph): 110 mph Peak Gust: (mph): 130 mph A6MAIN Available at these ne stores677-2100 326-4121393-816526 X 26 $120.0037 X 38 3/8 $150.0037 X 50 5/8 $170.0038 3/8 MULLION $10.0050 5/8 MULLION $16.001-year limited warranty ~ Same day collection or delivery


THE TRIBUNE Thursday, September 21, 2017, PAGE 7 THE Minnis administra tion tabled the rst Bill of its tenure yesterday: a Con stitutional Amendment Bill to establish the independ ent Ofce of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Making the Department of Public Prosecutions free from interference has been a long-standing policy goal of the Free National Movement and has con sistently been endorsed by Constitutional Commis sions appointed over the years. The Bill tabled yester day would not give the DPP complete freedom from interference from the attorney general, however, as it allows the attorney general to give specied directions to the DPP in any matter involv ing public policy, national security or the interna tional obligations of The Bahamas. Such directives must be written and signed by the attorney general, the Bill says. Some lawyers yesterday said these exceptions could provide a loophole in the legislation that administra tions could exploit. Through the bill, the Constitution would be amended to clarify that the attorney general would be the principal legal advisor to the government. Meanwhile, the Direc tor of Public Prosecutions would have the power to institute and under take criminal proceedings against any person before any court in respect of any offence against the law of The Bahamas, among other things. In performing his/her duties, the director of public prosecutions shall not be subject to the direc tion or control of any person or authority, the Bill says. The Bill also says the person who serves as DPP must be one qualied for appointment as justice of the Supreme Court. The DPP may hold ofce for a period of ve years and cannot hold ofce beyond age 68 but is capable of of being reappointed for no more than a ve-year period. The Bill says the DPP could only be removed from ofce for inability to discharge the function of the ofce or misbehaviour. To remove the DPP, the prime minister would have to inform the governor general, who would then appoint a tribunal consist ing of a chairman and no less than two other mem bers who would determine if the DPP should be removed. A referendum is required to amend the Constitution once the Constitutional Amendment Bill has been passed as is expected as the Free National Move ment has all but four seats in the House of Assembly. This Bill, State Legal Affairs Minister Elsworth Johnson said yesterday as he tabled the Bill, is one of the innovative and contemporary pieces of legislation that our govern ment intends to bring. As an international custom, he said, it is trite to nd in the constitution in any country that you will nd an independent prosecutor. This topic of an independent prosecutor was articulated by some of our most prominent legal luminaries. The legislation would make it so that attorneys general cant be consulted on matters relating to nolle prosequis, he said. What the Bill will do is all civil prosecutions will be controlled by the attorney general and criminal pros ecutions by the DPP with some slight exceptions in matters of national security, public policy, the AG would still retain some hold of that, he said. The House of Assembly will resume on September 27. First govt Bill tabled for independent prosecutor By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter THE Bahamas Sickle Cell Association received a nancial boost thanks to a recent donation from Sunryse Information Management. The $3,000 contribution will assist the local non-prot group in its ongoing efforts to raise awareness and provide hope and support to per sons in The Bahamas living with the illness. Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that affects red blood cells. There are several types of sickle cell disease with the most common forms being Sickle Cell Anemia (SS) and Sickle-Hemoglobin C (SC). Each September, the Bahamas Sickle Cell Asso ciation organises events to educate the public on the seriousness of the illness. Recognising the important role the association plays in assisting families coping with sickle cell disease, Sunryse Information Man agement made the donation to support the groups 20172018 initiatives. Nadine Sawyer, chief nancial ofcer at Sunryse, said they are pleased to partner with the association. In addition to the nancial donation, the document management company has adopted the non-prot group as its ofcial charity. To help increase aware ness, Sunryse staff will wear t-shirts branded with the Bahamas Sickle Cell Asso ciation logo every Friday in September. We are happy to donate to the Bahamas Sickle Cell Association. It is a cause that is close to our hearts and we appreciate the work that the association does and the positive impact it has in our community, Mrs Sawyer said. As a company, we are commit ted to supporting the group not only during the global awareness month in Sep tember but throughout the calendar year. This month, the Bahamas Sickle Cell Association will hold a series of activities geared towards education, support and awareness including fun, run walks in New Providence and Grand Bahama, an educational forum and a mini fair and rafe in New Providence. To learn more about the association, visit http:// SUNRYSE SUPPORT FOR SICKLE CELL GROUP A7MAIN


PAGE 8, Thursday, September 21, 2017 THE TRIBUNE THE Ministry of Educa tion is preparing to petition the government concerning the impact of the countrys immigration policy on access to education, according to education director Lionel Sands, who acknowledged the current policy contravened international law. Mr Sands told The Tribune the ministry was aware there are children who have been unable to register for school since the immigration policy was rst introduced in Novem ber 2014. The United Nations Con vention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is a human rights treaty that outlines the rights of all children under the age 18, inclusive of the right to education. Once ratied, countries are bound to uphold the convention by interna tional law. I understand that, he said, and I know that, but I have this policy from the govern ment, that is a policy and Im bound by law to follow the policy of the government. Were waiting to see whether it will be maintained by this new administration or if they will amend it because there are still a number of students in our country who have not availed themselves to our system of education because of these roadblocks their par ents are facing. Mr Sands added: I under stand the pain and I feel the pain but I cant break the law. Ive already spoken to the minister of education and were submitting something for him to take to Cabinet. We recognise the problem. The Bahamas became a sig natory to the CRC on October 30, 1990; however, the treaty was signed with a reservation over the provisions of Article 2. UNCRC Article 2 mandates that all children are free from discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities or any other status, whatever they think or say, or family background. The reservation read: The government of the Com monwealth of The Bahamas upon signing the convention reserves the right not to apply the provisions of Article 2 of the said convention insofar as those provisions relate to the conferment of citizenship upon a child having regard to the provisions of the Constitu tion of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Article 28 outlines the right to education and species that primary education should be free. The November 2014 policy shift sent shockwaves through the international community, with groups like Amnesty International and a Florida lawmaker rais ing grave concerns with its impact on vulnerable migrant communities. The policy mandates that every person living in The Bahamas has a passport of their nationality with proof to legally reside in this coun try, among other restrictions, like the requirement for every foreign person enrolled in schools, including children born in The Bahamas to immigrants, to have a student permit. Florida lawmaker Daphne Campbell, who was born in Haiti, wrote a letter to then Prime Minister Perry Christie about the new requirement for non-Bahamian children in February 2015. In her letter, she called the sweeping changes deeply disturbing, adding the policy was not only discrimina tory but violates the United Nations declaration and The Bahamas own Education Act. Yesterday, Mr Sands said: The challenge we have is, there is this policy from 2014, there is this ruling from the Immigration Department, and its asking us to ensure that every child in our school is legally registered and those who are actually here are here legally. What weve done is weve created some form of docu mentation to capture that type of information. The documentation says any child born to a Bahamian mother or father, or who is the child of an immigrant who has the right to work here, can be reg istered to attend school in The Bahamas. Any child whose parent does not have the legal right to be here, who came in ille gally, will have to now go to the Ministry of Immigration and get a student visa. The student visa would allow the child to be registered to go to school here. Were holding fast to that simply because its a require ment. We understand there may be students who dont have legal rights to be here as a consequence of that. We also understand there are some children who were born here to parents who are illegally in this country, thats a problem. Mr Sands added: What were trying to do is ensure the parents rectify the prob lem so we can get them into schools as quickly as possible because theyre here. I know there is an international obli gation that all children must be in school but the law is the law and we have to abide by it, that is the challenge we are faced with. We are making some rep resentation to the current government to see if there will be some change. I cant go beyond what the policy is requiring of me to do today. If the policy changes then we can make adjustments, Mr Sands said. Education policy in breach of international laws By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Chief Reporter EDUCATION director Lionel Sands. A8MAIN


THE TRIBUNE Thursday, September 21, 2017, PAGE 9 A SUPREME Court judge yesterday ordered the immediate arrest of media personality Christina Chrissy Love Thompson after she failed to appear before her for the fourth time to face charges of con tempt of court. Justice Cheryl GrantThompson ordered the warrant be circulated to the Royal Bahamas Police Force as well as all border ofcials for Thompsons arrest. The judge said no rea sonable explanation was given yesterday for Thompsons failure to appear before the court, which followed her absences on two consecu tive dates in August and again on September 15. Thompson was due to appear before Jus tice Grant-Thompson in connection with certain contemptuous remarks she allegedly made on social media about the legal pro ceedings against former Cabinet minister Shane Gibson. At the last hearing on September 15, Justice Grant-Thompson ordered the bench warrant be suspended until 9.30am yesterday for Thompson to appear in court. At the time, her attorney, Murrio Ducille, said Thompson had pre-arranged plans to take her son to school, and was thus out of the jurisdiction. Yesterday, after the court noted Thompsons absence, Mr Ducille raised the issue of his clients ling of a con stitutional motion against the originating summons and consequent proceed ings last week. In that motion, dated September 13, 2017, Thompson declares that the constitutional rights given her under articles 17, 19, 20, 23 and/or 28 of the Consti tution have been infringed upon. She is also requesting an order that the proceedings originating from a 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 pending the determina tion of the constitutional motion. Thompson is also seek ing vindicatory damages, general damages, costs, and 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 pro ceedings are an abuse of the court process; the summons failed to comply with the stipu lations of section 59 of the Criminal Procedure Code; the summons pre sumes guilt on the part of the applicant; and that the summons failed to give the applicant a reasonable period of notice in which to defend herself. Yesterday, Mr Ducille further submitted his cli ents position that Justice Grant-Thompson should refer the hearing over the constitutional motion to another judge. Mr Ducille submitted that while he is not seek ing to bring into question the courts competence in hearing and consequently managing the particulars of the motion, the appear ance of the matters adjudication is crucial to the motion, and thus should be heard by an independ ent mind. Thats what justice is all about, Mr Ducille concluded. However, Justice GrantThompson said after hearing submissions that essentially request she recuse herself from the matter, she maintained she can hear both Thompsons contempt of court matter and the constitutional motion. After ordering Thompsons arrest, she instructed Mr Ducilles law firm to serve the Crown with the docu ments pertaining to the constitutional motion by September 22, which the latter was ordered to respond to by October 20. Mr Ducille and his team will submit their skeleton arguments on October 27, to which the Crown will reply on November 3. She ultimately set a date of November 12 at 2pm to hear the application of Thompsons constitutional motion. Love fails to show so police given arrest order By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter OUTSPOKEN selfstyled activist Omar Archer Sr was yesterday convicted and sentenced to 21 days in prison by a Supreme Court judge for contemptu ous remarks he previously made about the legal pro ceedings against former Cabinet minister Shane Gibson. However, Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson sus pended the sentence for 21 days on the condition that Archer donate $15,000 to the Cancer Society of the Bahamas in Centreville and another $6,000 to the Baha mas Red Cross on John F Kennedy Drive. Archer must also provide six months of community service at the Eloise Penn Ward at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre. Additionally, Archer must also wholly with draw the statements he made on social media, and make a public apology in clear terms by the same medium. He must also request that a copy of his apology be printed on the front pages of The Tribune The Nassau Guardian as well as The Punch. Archer must then pro vide to the court by close of business on October 18, proof that he made the donations and apologies. Justice Grant-Thomp son said her written ruling should be available by the end of the week. However, in deliver ing her ruling to both Archer and his attorney, Fred Smith, QC, yester day, she said she took into account how when he appeared before her last week, Archer immediately expressed genuine contri tion for his statements and apologised at the earliest convenience. Nonetheless, she also said that in coming to a deci sion on Archers fate, she reected on what both right and wrong-thinking per sons in society would make of Archers controversial remarks. She noted the possibility of how Archers comments could adversely affect per sons already sceptical about the administration of jus tice in the country, and said Archer, given his position in society, should strive to use his platform to per suade such persons to think otherwise. Thus, she said Archers sentence should be one that demonstrates the importance of maintaining the integrity of the courts and simultaneously ensure respect for the judiciary. She then convicted and sentenced Archer for the ten factors of contempt out lined in his summons. ARCHER MUST PAY CHARITIES AND APOLOGISE By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter CHRISSY LOVE A9MAIN


PAGE 10, Thursday, September 21, 2017 THE TRIBUNE THE government has spent nearly $40,000 clear ing a critical manhole at The Pointe without any contribution from devel opers, according to Works Minister Desmond Bannis ter, who addressed severe ooding in the downtown area. The Bay Street area experienced signicant ooding last week from The Pointe in the west to just before the Paradise Island bridge in the east. In a communication to the House of Assembly, Mr Bannister pointed to the blocked manhole, or inspection chamber, as a contributing factor to the ooding. He said it has been continuously blocked due to the placement of quarry over it by The Pointe developers. Mr Bannister continued: From Bay Street & Victo ria Avenue to Dowdeswell Street, the pipes that convey the water from south to the north side of Bay Street are compromised. There are various utility infrastruc ture in the channels thus restricting the ow which leads to a back-up in the system. Other factors were trash, which impeded the ow of storm water, and the inten sity of the rainfall. Mr Bannister advised that the ministry will develop a scope of works to have all lateral drains in the area impacted to be water jetted, and the installation of additional lateral drains across Bay Street. For the long term, he said, the Ministry of Public Works will liaise with the utilities to work out the logistics for the installation of larger pipes which may involve the decommissioning of some of their systems. Yesterday, Mr Bannister gave an account of Baha mas Power and Lights restoration efforts on the islands impacted by Hurri cane Irma. While work on all islands are expected to be complete this week, Mr Bannister said there was presently no estimate of when repairs will be completed to the network on Ragged Island. The passage of Hurri cane Irma impacted power distribution in Rum Cay, Mayaguana, Long Island, Long Cay, Inagua, Exuma, Eleuthera, Crooked Island, Bimini, Andros, Acklins and New Providence. Mr Bannister said: Sig nicant damage to the distribution system was reported in Ragged Island. BPL continues to coordinate with NEMA and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force on the way forward for Ragged Island. The defence force, Ministry of Works and other agencies will commence work in Ragged Island later this week to deliver equip ment, clear debris, and conduct cleaning/elimina tion of waste. The defence force will also construct temporary housing to be used by them selves and other agencies including BPL during the restoration, he continued. Once initial prepara tions are completed, BPL will send the necessary teams, vehicles, equipment and materials to the island in order to commence the reconstruction of the network. $40,000 to unblock manhole at The Pointe By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Chief Reporter A FREEPORT prop erty owner and former developer has described the tornado damage at the Imperial Gardens Apart ment complex and at the Imperial Park Subdivision as a horrible incident. Glen Berkley Smith, the owner of the 36-unit apartment complex on East Atlantic Drive, said the building suffered sig nicant roof damage in the ofce, and seven units were destroyed. He was pleased there were no serious injuries to anyone and is now focusing on rebuilding what was torn apart in a matter of seconds before his eyes. Mr Smith said the build ing was not insured because he could no longer afford to pay the high annual insur ance premium. We had no insurance, that was the worst part of it, he said. Things were so bad in Freeport for the last ve or six years you can hardly afford insurance. He estimates that it would cost somewhere around $11,000 annually, with a two per cent deductible. Some homeowners who sustained severe damage at the Imperial Park Sub division also did not have insurance. During the passage of Hurricane Irma, Grand Bahama experienced tor nadic activity on September 10. The tornado ripped off roofs and took down poles and power lines. Several businesses in Freeport were also damaged. Mr Smith said he had just nished watching the church service of St Barna bas Church when he heard a loud noise. I had gotten through watching it, and I was saying thats a wonderful sermon, and then all of a sudden we heard this noise. It sounded like a tractor was coming from some where or a train, and all of sudden it hit the windows and everything went out, he said. Mr Smith said that it all happened in a matter of sec onds. Portions of the roof had gone, and windows were blown out across the street. A lot of tenants were in the yard making noise, and when I went to nd out what was going on, I noticed that my storage shed was at the door; it was so horrible, he recalled. I came out and saw the upstairs part of the roof was gone from over us, Mr Smith said. The tenant is moving out today because we have to get that top oor repaired. In the ofce space, there was roof and ceiling damage, and three windows to the front upstairs had been blown out. Mr Smith later learned that the tornado had also destroyed several homes in Imperial Park. That is my subdivi sion; they told me one or two roofs had gone, and that was devastating to me because I did those homes and I like (the subdivi sion), he said. Although the apart ment complex was built in 1982, it had withstood past hurricanes. While the island was spared a direct hit, tornadic activity was to blame for the destruction of homes and businesses. The property owner said rebuilding would take some time. Of the 36 units here, about seven were damaged, so thats not too bad, Mr Smith said. Other than that, the wonderful thing is that no one was injured to the point where they were disabled I think that is great, he said. Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis and his del egation travelled to Grand Bahama last Thursday and went to the apartment com plex and the Imperial Park Subdivision to assess the damage. He was concerned over the lack of enforcement of proper building codes in the construction of houses that were severely damaged. Dr Minnis noted that hurricane straps in the dam aged homes had not been properly installed, and also observed issues with the trusses. On Grand Bahama, some 28 families and ten busi nesses have been affected. APARTMENT OWNER TRYING TO By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter TORNADO damage to a ceiling in Grand Bahama. Photos: Denise Maycock GLEN B SMITH, owner of Imperial Gardens Apartments and former developer of Imperial Park Subdivision in Grand Bahama. His apartment complex suffered damage from a tornado brought on by Hurricane Irma earlier this month. DAMAGE inside an apartment in Grand Bahama. A10MAIN 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. 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THE TRIBUNE Thursday, September 21, 2017, PAGE 11 OPPOSITION Leader Phillip Brave Davis yesterday accused the gov ernment of meddling in the senior leadership of the Royal Bahamas Police Force and subverting the Constitution that protects and empowers the commis sioner of police to carry out his duties. In a statement, Mr Davis condemned the Free National Movement for allegedly pressuring and forcing senior ofcials to abdicate their responsibili ties over the interest of the Bahamian people. He said the command of the RBPF should not be subjected to unexplained and improper political interference. It has been highly speculated that Commis sioner of Police Ellison Greenslade is being forced out as the RBPFs top chief and has been asked to retire early. Sources say there is noticeable ten sion between National Security Minister Marvin Dames and Commissioner Greenslade. The Tribune under stands that Commissioner Greenslade has been offered the post of high commissioner to London and is set to be replaced by Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ferguson. It was also reported that Deputy Commissioner Emerick Seymour, now in charge of Freeport, will be transferred to Nassau as deputy commissioner. Last month, Mr Dames downplayed the noticeable absence of Commissioner Greenslade. When asked, Mr Dames insisted there was no reason for concern, adding that Commissioner Greenslade continues to operate in the post of top cop on a day-today basis. In his statement on Wednesday, Mr Davis said the governments per ceived interference in the RBPF has resulted in the perception of a leaderless organisation. We remain gravely concerned about the apparent meddling by the government in the senior leadership of the Royal Bahamas Police Force that has resulted in the perception of a leaderless organisation. Our country must draw a line to protect the individuals who served our country with a sense of duty, honesty, integrity, and courage, Mr Davis said. The command of the Royal Bahamas Police Force should not be subjected to an unex plained and improper political interference. The government should not set the precedent of subvert ing the Constitution that protects and empowers the commissioner of police to carry out his or her duties effectively. The Progressive Liberal Party strongly con demns any effort of political pressure to force any senior ofcial to abdicate their responsibilities for a politi cal reward over the interest of the Bahamian people. If the opposition conrms that there was an attempt to cir cumvent the tenure of the commissioner of police by an overreaching politician with a blatant disregard for the constitution, it will be strongly condemned. Mr Davis also called the FNMs crime plan nonstra tegic and unprioritised. Our country contin ues to be embroiled in a vexing crime problem. The alarming spikes in armed robberies and murder necessitate us abandoning a partisan mentality and collectively holding hands to protect our neighbour hoods from being safe havens for criminals, the statement said. There has been a sys temic failure, and the system must respond with policies and initia tives to prevent and not just respond. During the Christie administration, we strengthened the Urban Renewal programme to readdress our countrys development challenges among young people. The government must place a sustained effort on socioeconomic policies designed at addressing the causes of crime and strengthen the relationship between the police and the communi ties to improve intelligence gathering. Our communities, our citizens, our schools, our children, and particularly our young men cannot wait for a partisan debate over crime to end. They deserve their policymakers to act now to protect their interest and rights to a peaceful and a safe environment. Up to press time, 103 murders were recorded this year. Mr Dames said on Wednesday 45 of those killings happened since the May 10 general election. Davis: Govt is meddling with police force By SANCHESKA DORSETT Tribune Staff Reporter PHILIP DAVIS, MP for Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador speaking in the House of Assembly yesterday. Photo: Shawn Hanna /Tribune Staff A11MAIN


PAGE 12, Thursday, September 21, 2017 THE TRIBUNE PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis spoke of the risks to small island nations, such as The Bahamas, from climate change yesterday, as he referred to the nd ings of the worlds leading weather experts, who con tinue to draw parallels between global warming statistics and the frequency and severity of storms. His comments came at the Fifth Meeting of the ACP Ministers in Charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture. During his remarks at the Melia resort, Dr Minnis called on nations across Africa, the Carib bean and Pacic (ACP) to rise to the challenge with new ideas for sheries and aquaculture. Reecting on recent devastation across the Caribbean due to the pas sage of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and now Maria, the Killarney MP insisted the complex challenges resulting from climate change include an increase in the amount of acid in the ocean and the loss of coral. To that end, Dr Minnis said climate change poses just as big a risk to land and property as it does to sustainable sheries, sustainable devel opment and tourism all integral segments of the respective economies of ACP states. Dr Minnis said: Cli mate change is now one of the most fundamental development challenges for countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacic. Vari ous climate models suggest the damage from natural disasters have increased sharply. He continued: Such damage is likely to worsen, especially from ood ing. The National Wildlife Federation in the United States notes, and I quote: The latest science connect ing hurricanes and global warming suggest that more is yet to come. Tropical storms are likely to bring higher wind speeds, more precipitation and bigger storm surge in the coming decades. On the issue of sh eries and aquaculture expansion in The Baha mas, and the need for more focused attention in the Caribbean, Dr Minnis said his government will promote investment in agri culture, mariculture and modern sea farming strategies. He also said his admin istration will promote the study of the countrys marine resources with a view to creating opportunities for the arti cial propagation and enhancement of local sh ing spots. Additionally, Dr Minnis said the gov ernment will create more protective breeding areas with a view to achiev ing the stated national goal of protecting 20 per cent of the national seabed by 2020; and seek the assistance of international organisa tions to provide ongoing technical and nancial sup port to ensure the growth, protection, viability and sustainability of our marine resources. Dr Minnis said: Aqua culture production in Caribbean community countries, CARICOM, has been around ve per cent of total sh produc tion of these countries in recent years. In most Caribbean small island, developing states (SIDS), the aquaculture production is nearly insignicant. He continued: The import of sh and sheries products shows a steep rise with an increase of 35 per cent in just over a decade. Fish imports are cur rently about ten per cent, ten times higher than aqua culture production. According to Dr Minnis, the continued increase in population in the region, together with the impact of a more demanding tourism industry and the ongoing promotion of healthier lifestyles and diets, spurs demands for healthy, safe and high-quality foods, including sh and aquacul ture products. He also stressed that more public and private sector investments are required if the aquaculture sector is to develop into a viable sector throughout the Caribbean. At the Third Meeting of the ACP Ministers for Fisheries and Aquaculture, held in Nadi, Fiji, in 2012, a ve-year strategic plan of action was adopted. That plan sought to address key issues affect ing ACP states, specically in the sheries and aquacul ture sectors. That plan also noted that ACP states lacked suf cient technical or nancial resources to effectively or sustainably harvest their shery resources. Moreover, the plan also outlined ve strategic pri ority areas of action: the effective management for sustainable sheries; pro moting optimal returns from sheries trade; sup porting food security in ACP states; developing aquaculture and maintain ing the environment. The ACP conference contnues through today. Fisheries face climate change danger By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter MEMBERS of the Royal Bahamas Defence Forces (RBDF) Woman Entry 2 celebrate their 30th anniversary this month, honouring their commitment to country and service after graduat ing from recruit training as members of the contin gent in 1987. Some of the members have since retired or were honourably discharged or transferred to other govern ment agencies. RBDF Commodore Tellis Bethel commended the women for their long and colourful years of service, their loyalty and for their individual and collective achievements throughout their tenure. He also encouraged them to continue working towards the peace and security of our nation in whatever capacity they now serve. Five years after the ofcial formation of the nations only military arm, women were nally allowed to join the rank and le of the RBDF. That decision inevitably bore its share of challenges for the rst entry of women in what had tra ditionally become a mans world. Commendably, the rst entry of women stayed, served and proved their worth paving the way for the second female recruit intake. Following a grand total of 23 intakes of female recruits, that account for nearly 20 per cent of the forces populous, these pio neering women can claim responsibility for many of the paths that have been paved for military women in the RBDF over the years. When the 33 women who would eventually gradu ate to make up Woman Entry 2 entered the gates of Coral Harbour Base on September 21, 1987, it was an indication that women in the Bahamian military were here to stay. Today, the RBDF congratulates the members of Woman Entry 2, a truly extraordi nary group of women who have proven their worth throughout three dec ades of national military evolution. To commemorate this impressive milestone, a huge contingent repre senting the entry, attended several planned activi ties, including a courtesy call on Governor General Dame Marguerite Pin dling, on Monday as well as a courtesy call on Com modore Bethel on Friday past. Demonstrating their inherent need to serve, last Saturday the ladies also volunteered at the Unity House, a senior citizens Home, where they cooked and served breakfast and fellowshipped with the members, sharing stories and listening and enjoying the company of each other and their seniors. Symbolically, the number 30 represents optimism, inspiration and most t tingly, dedication to a particular task or calling. Hence, the RBDF is opti mistic that young women and other members of the Bahamian public will be inspired by these modelwomen who have worked hand-in-hand with their male counterparts in dedi cating their lives and service to the defence and protec tion of our nation. WOMEN CELEBRATE 30 YEARS OF DEFENDING THE NATION By MICHAEL TURNER II Royal Bahamas Defence Force MEMBERS of Woman Entry Two presenting a commemorative plaque and shirt to Dame Margue ritte Pindling, and Commander Defence Force, Commodore Tellis Bethel. Photo: Marine Seaman Kyle Smith A12MAIN Key Note LecturesObesity, a growing regional problem Prof. Donald Simeon: Epidemiology & Public Health, UWI St. Augustine Trinidad and Tobago Obesity, in the elderly Prof. Denise Eidemire-Shearer: Gerontology & Public Health, UWI Mona, Jamaica Lifestyle medicine and obesity medicine Preparing for the 21st Century Dr. Robert Kushner: Nutrition, Internal & Obesity Medicine, Northwest University, Chicago Can cancer really be prevented by what we eat? Prof. Celine Heskey: School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, California Bariatric Surgery in the management of chronic non-communicable diseases Dr. Emanuele Lo-Menzo: Cleveland Clinic, Florida The complete approach to weight management Prof. Lawrence Cheskin: Weight Management Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore The contributions of plant-based dietary patterns to health and disease Prof. Celine Heskey: School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, California RBC Royal Bank Lecture Can we meet the challenges to curb obesity in the Caribbean? Pro. Fitzroy Henry: Professor of Public Health Nutrition in University of Technology, Jamaica No Registration Fee! A Critical Thinker, Analytical, and a Passion for Problem-Solving We are growing! Fidelity Bank invites applications for the position of:ABSOLUTELY NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE SUBMIT BEFORE September 29th, 2017 to: HUMAN RESOURCES Re: Associate Internal Auditor careers@delitybahamas.comMain Duties & Responsibilities: Key Qualications & Experience: A competitive compensation package will be commensurate with relevant experience and qualication.ASSOCIATE INTERNAL AUDITOR Job Summary:


THE TRIBUNE Thursday, September 21, 2017, PAGE 13 IN the aftermath of Hur ricane Irma which resulted in unprecedented destruc tion across parts of the southern Bahamas and the Caribbean, Scotiabank branches in The Bahamas are accepting donations to support restoration efforts being led by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Bahamas Red Cross. Donations can be made to: Hurricane Relief Fund, account #4005056 at the main branch (70045). The donations can be made at any Scotiabank branch across The Baha mas, however persons are asked to please indicate that the donation is in sup port of hurricane relief. Donations can also be made by account transfer online at or via Scotia Mobile App. On September 8, Sco tiabank announced a donation of US$500,000 towards the relief effort as part of its contribution to the rebuilding exercise. Half of this money will be channeled through the Canadian Red Cross that already has active societies in the affected communi ties, with the remainder being directed to initiatives supporting young people in these areas. Our thoughts remain with everyone affected by Hurricane Irma as restora tion efforts continue, the bank said. Scotiabank support after hurricane The Bahamas own street philosopher G R SWEETING once again partnered with The Ranfurly Homes For Chil dren for the new school year. This summer at the vari ous The Shoe Village and Clarks stores, customers were asked if they wanted to make a donation to the home at the time of purchase. By September, G R Sweeting had collected over $10,000 from the public. The company then matched the publics contribution; in total donating $21,390 dol lars to the worthy cause. LaToya Polacek, sec retary of the board and chairperson of the fundraising committee at the home, said partner ing with G R Sweeting has meant a lot to the organisation. We are very grateful to G R Sweeting & Son Co Ltd. Through this partner ship, that started in July 2014, Ranfurly is able to continue to provide a stable, safe and loving home for abused, abandoned, and neglected children. The home currently offers a safe haven to 26 children, ranging in age from 13 to 17. Established in 1956, the home provides everything for the children resid ing there, including food, shelter, a private education and clothing. The home also provides professional counselling for all children. The home depends on the public for 80 per cent of its income. G R Sweeting thanked its customers for donating to such a worthy cause. Gwen Burrows, the com panys retail operations manager, said: As The Shoe Village celebrates 20 years in business, we would like to thank our customers for their continued support and patronage. It is because of them that this initiative has been so successful, we are very thankful. G R SWEETING AID FOR RANFURLY KIDS A13MAIN


PAGE 14, Thursday, September 21, 2017 THE TRIBUNE MEXICO CITY Associated Press THE wiggling ngers of a young girl trapped in the rubble of her col lapsed school in Mexico City raised hopes among hundreds of rescuers work ing furiously Wednesday to try to free her a drama that played out at dozens of buildings toppled by the powerful earthquake that killed at least 230 people. But it was the rescue operation at the Enrique Rebsamen school, where 25 people including 21 children perished, that was seen as emblematic of Mex icans rush to save survivors before time runs out. Helmeted workers spotted the girl buried in the debris early Wednesday and shouted to her to move her hand if she could hear. She did, and a rescue dog was sent inside to conrm she was alive. Hours later the crews were still laboring to free her, as images of the rescue effort were broadcast on TV screens nationwide. Workers in neon vests and helmets used ropes, pry-bars and other tools, frequently calling on the anxious parents and others gathered around to be silent while they listened for any other voices from beneath the school. At one point, the workers lowered a sensitive micro phone inside the rubble to scan for any noise or move ment. A rescuer said they thought they had located someone, but it wasnt clear who. It would appear they are continuing to nd children, said Carlos Licona, a burly sledge-hammer wielding volunteer who came to help in any way he could. Asked if that made him optimistic, he said, I hope so. While optimism ran strong, by Wednesday night no living survivors had been found all day, but four corpses were found in the school, volunteer rescue worker Hector Mendez said. Mendez said cameras lowered into the rubble suggested there might be four people still inside, but it wasnt clear if anyone beside the girl was alive. It was part of similar efforts at the scenes of dozens of collapsed buildings, where reghters, police, soldiers and civilians wore themselves out hammering, shoveling, pushing and pulling debris aside to try to reach the living and the dead. By mid-afternoon, 52 people had been pulled out alive since Tuesdays magni tude 7.1 quake, Mexico Citys Social Development Depart ment said, adding in a tweet: We wont stop. Among them were 11 people rescued at the Enrique Rebsamen school, where three people remained missing, two chil dren and an adult. Earlier, journalists saw rescuers pull two small bodies from the rubble, covered in sheets. More than 24 hours after the collapse, the debris being removed from the school began to change as crews worked their way inside: from huge chunks of brick and concrete, to pieces of wood that looked like remnants of desks and paneling, to a nal load that contained a half dozen sparkly hula-hoops. Even as stunning rescues of people continued, such as a man pulled alive from the rubble of a partly col lapsed apartment building in northern Mexico City, there was also a rescue of animals Wednesday. Mexico City police said rescue workers clearing wreckage from a collapsed medical laboratory in the Roma neighborhood found and removed 40 lab rab bits and 13 lab rats used by the rm that had occupied the building, now a pile of beams and rubble. A helicopter overight of some of the worst-hit build ings revealed the extent of the damage wrought by the quake: three mid-rise apartment buildings on the same street pancaked and toppled in one Mexico City neighborhood; dozens of streets in the town of Jojutla, in Morelos state, where nearly every home was attened or severely damaged and a ruined church where 12 people died inside. Search goes on for Mexico survivors SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO Associated Press THE strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years destroyed hundreds of homes, knocked out power across the entire island and turned some streets into raging rivers Wednesday in an onslaught that could plunge the US territory deeper into nancial crisis. Leaving at least nine people dead in its wake across the Caribbean, Hur ricane Maria blew ashore in the morning near the southeast coastal town of Yabucoa as a Category 4 storm with winds of 155mph (250kph). It punished the island of 3.4 million people with life-threatening winds for several hours, the second time in two weeks that Puerto Rico has felt the wrath of a hurricane. Once were able to go outside, were going to nd our island destroyed, warned Abner Gomez, Puerto Ricos emergency management director. The information we have received is not encourag ing. Its a system that has destroyed everything in its path. As people waited in shel ters or took cover inside stairwells, bathrooms and closets, Maria brought down cell towers and power lines, snapped trees, tore off roofs and unloaded at least 20 inches (50 centim eters) of rain. Widespread ooding was reported, with dozens of cars half-submerged in some neighborhoods and many streets turned into rivers. People calling local radio stations reported that doors were being torn off their hinges and a water tank ew away. Felix Delgado, mayor of the northern coastal city of Catano, told The Associ ated Press that 80 percent of the 454 homes in a neigh borhood known as Juana Matos were destroyed. The shing community near San Juan Bay was hit with a storm surge of more than 4 feet (1.2 meters), he said. Months and months and months and months are going to pass before we can recover from this, he said. Gov Ricardo Rossello imposed a curfew from 6pm to 6am daily until Saturday to allow rescue crews and ofcials to respond to the hurricanes aftermath. We are at a critical moment in the effort to help thousands of Puerto Ricans that urgently need aid and to assess the great damage caused by Hur ricane Maria, he said. Maintaining public order will be essential. One fatality has been reported but the total casu alty count wasnt known. MARIA DESTROYS HOMES, TRIGGERS FLOODING IN PUERTO RICO RESCUE workers remove rubble as they search for people trapped inside a collapsed building in the Del Valle area of Mexico City yesterday. Mexicans across the city are digging through collapsed build ings, trying to save people trapped in debris under schools, homes and businesses, toppled by a 7.1 earthquake that killed more than 200 people. Photo: Rebecca Blackwell /AP A14MAIN


THE TRIBUNE Thursday, September 21, 2017, PAGE 15 A15MAIN


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