N ASSA U AND BAHAMA ISLANDS LEADING NEWSPAPER Volume: 107 No.166WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 WEATHER MOSTLY SUNNY HIGH 91F LOW 79F B y NATARIO M cKENZIE T ribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org P OLITICAL activist Paul Moss was taken before the courts yesterday on a gun and ammuni-t ion charge. According to court dockets, Moss, 44, wasf ound in possession of an unlicensed shotgun on Monday, June 13, without being the holder of af irearms certificate at the t ime. Court dockets also state he was found in possession of eight shotgun shells. Moss was escorted to court in handcuffs yester day afternoon. H e was arraigned before Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt in the gun court, Court 9, NassauS treet, and pleaded not guilty to the charges. His attorney, Geoffrey Farquharson, told the court that Moss was a businessman who had owned the shotgun for many years. He said that while at Potters Cay dock he was asked to produce a license for the firearm. Mr Farquharson said police kept the gun and when Moss went to get the receipt for the firearm this morning he was arrested. Moss was granted $10,000 bail with one surety. He was ordered to r eport to the Wulff Road Police Station every Satu rday before 6pm. The case was adjourned to July2 2 and 29. M oss remained in court until his bail was signed and was then escorted tot he Nassau Street Police Station. Moments later he addressed members of them edia: Today I have come upfront and close with the criminal justice system of our country. Wer ealise that what Ive expe rienced today is small in comparison to what oth-e rs face. M oss, who heads the Peoples Deliverance Party (PDP ence shows that he, as ap olitical leader, has expe rienced what young men and young women face int he country on a daily b asis. Moss even described it as a blessing. This is a blessing. I am not hurt by this at all. I think this is a blessing for me to have gone throughout this because this is what Bahamians face every day, Moss told the press. TRY OUR McFLURRY SNICKERS The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST LATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM 242.394.4111 www.bahamahandprints.com Located on Ernest & Mackey Streets Open Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 10am-2pm THE NEW BAG COLLECTION IS HERE!STOP BY THE BOUTIQUE & CHOOSE FROM SEVERALNEW STYLES, NEW PRINTS & NEW COLOUR COMBINATIONS Paul Moss in gun court US FIRM FEARS BEING CAUGHT IN MINISTRY CASH SCANDAL OUTSIDEOFCOURT By NOELLE NICOLLS T ribune Staff Reporter n email@example.com A N AMERICANsoftw are company is concerned i t may be in the middle of some type of scandal over several million dollars in Ministry of Education funds that are allegedly unaccounted for. Senior government offic ials claimed, upwards to $6 million was spent by the government over the past five years on student infor-m ation software (SIS w are licensed by Software Technology Inc (STI The software manages s tudent grades, attendance records, class scheduling, and other school data. It is designed to provide real-t ime access to student records for teachers, students, parents and adminis trators. C ompany officials strongly refuted the claim. They say the government spent af raction of the rumoured fig u re over the years. Andrew Byer, STI executive vice president of business development, said between 2006a nd 2011 the Bahamas gov ernment paid STI exactly $1,037,631. Eighteen schools are currently on the STI system. The $6 million figure is being spread across education circles, amongst teachers, administrators and oth er interested parties, many of whom are not satisfied with the ministrys implementation of the system. When the claim was put to Lionel Sands, director of education, he said he was uncertain about the full expenditure. He confirmed hearing about a $6 million Political activist pleads not guilty CHARGED: Leader of the Peoples Deliverance Party Paul Moss is shown being escorted to gun court yesterday on Nassau Street. Felip Major /Tribune staff SEE page nine MORENEWSINSIDE CELL PHONE PRICES ARE SET TO DR OP SOON MOBILE phone users can expect to see prices drop later this month or early July, said BTC executives. SEE PAGETHREE GOV T EXPECTS $60M SAVINGS AS BARGING OF WATER FROMN ORTH ANDROS PHASED OUT THE Government of the Bahamas expects to save around $60 million over the next 20 years as they work to phase out the existing practice of barging water from North Andros. SEEPAGETWO TURNQUES T DEFENDS THE ROLE OF THE PRIVY C OUNCIL THE London-based Privy Council has been portrayed as an obstacle to the Bahamas carrying out the death penalty, but this is not the case, according to a senior cabinet minister. SEEPAGETHREE
By PAUL G TURNQUEST Chief Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org THE Government of the Bahamas expects to save around $60 million over the next 20 years as they work to phase out the existing practiceof barging water from North Andros. According to the Minister of State for the Environment, Phenton Neymour, the barging of water was never meant to be a permanent solution to the water shortages in New Providence. With the practice first beginning in the 1970s under the first PLP administration, Mr Neymour said this process has become untenable considering the change in weather conditions, the cost of shipping, and the decrease in the quality of the water following a salt water intrusion which occurred in 2004. Price In addition, Mr Neymour s aid the fact of the matter is, Reverse Osmosis (RO produces water cheaper than the cost of barging it from North Andros a price difference of $6.20 per thousand gallons from RO compared to $8 per thousand gallons via the traditional barging. The Water and Sewerage Corporation (W&SC already began the work to replace the barging of water from North Andros by issuing a contract for the construction ofa new five-million gallon storage tank at the Blue Hill water plant. This five-million gallon tank, combined with the three other five-million tanks currently in place will take the corporations total water storage capabilities up to 20 million gallons at their ground station. During a tour of the facility and the site where the new holding tank is expected to be constructed, Mr Neymour revealed that the total cost of installing the new tank is expected to cost the government somewhere between $3.5 to $4.5million. This water, he explained, will then be pumped up to the W&SCs high level tanks at the hill station on the top of Blue Hill Road, where it will be dispersed to the surrounding area via gravity through the water mains. This process, Mr Neymour explained, is still the most cost-effective way of delivering water. With the new RO plant at Blue Hills, Mr Neymour said the government is expected to save $2.7 million per year over the barging of water, with a total savings of $60 million to be realised over the next 20 years. The new RO plant will also help to supplement the existing plant that is capable of producing an additional 3.5 million gallons per day, increasing the guaranteed volume at Blue Hills to approximately 7.5 million gallons a day, and bring the total capacity to 10 million gallons. This RO plant is being funded by a private firm on a build-own agreement, and is not being funded by the government. Mr Neymour said the government expects to have the RO plant completed by September of this year, and expects to cease the barging of water from North Andros by November or December of this year. So the PLP keeps talking about a plan but they have no action. We actually have a plan and we are in action, the Min ister said. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 2, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011 THE TRIBUNE FamGuards Annual Calendar Photo Contest is opentoallphotographers.Thetitleforthe companys 2012 calendar will be A Celebration of Nature. Photographsmaybeofany subject(animateorinanimate),sceneorhistrocialstructurethatfeaturesastrikingexample of nature as found in The Bahamas. DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES IS JUNE 30, 2011. All entries are submitted at the owners risk a nd will not be returned. All entries are to be delivered to Family Guardians Corporate Centre, Village Road and East Bay Street, Nassau, between 9:00a.m and 5:00p.m weekdays only. Envelopes should b e marked Calendar Contest. All entries must be accompanied by a signed and completed ofcial entry form, available at any Family Guardian ofce, as published in the newspapers or on the website (www. f amguardbahamas.com). Only colour images will be considered. Images must be provided as digital les on CD.Digital images must be of high quality (2700 x 2100 pixels or larger o f photo manipulation, resolution enhancement or compression will be rejected. To ensure thebestcolourreproduction,digitalimagesshouldbesuppliedinRAW,TIFForhighquality JPEG and in the original colour format the camera uses (LAB or RGB Allentriesmustbe s uppliedwithcolourprints(8x10)whichwillbeusedinthejudgingprocess.(Note:prints submitted without CDs will not be eligible and vice versa). The photographers name, photo subject and photo location must be written on the reverse of the print. J udging of entries will be based on beauty, interest, composition, colour, originality and quality of photograph. Particular areas and subjects of interest are detailed on the website (www.famguardbahamas.com). The photographs selected will appear in FamGuards 2012 wall and desk calendars. The decision of the judges will be nal. A gift certicate valued at $400.00 will be presented for each of the photographs selected. Photographic credits will be given in the wall and desk calendars. The number of entries per photographer is limited to a maximum of 5 photos. The winning photographs, along with all publication and reproduction rights attached thereto, become the property of FamGuard Corporation Limited and the Company reserves the right to use such in the future. Photos will not be returned. Employees of the FamGuard Group of Companies or their family members are not eligible. Previously published photos are not eligible.1 2 3 4 5 6 7 89 10calendar contestspecial contest details listed on our websiteVisit www.famguardbahamas.com for special hints and contest details! entry formdeadline June 30, 2011R eturn this form with photos and CD to: Calendar Contest Family Guardian Corporate Centre Village Road & East Bay Street, P.O. Box SS-6232 N assau, Bahamas Name: Telephone: BHC Email: P.O. Box: Street: Address: Island: Number of Photos Entered (a maximum of 5I agree that in the event one or more of my entered photographs is selected as a w inner in the 2012 FamGuard Calendar Photo Contest it will become the property of FamGuard Corporation Limited, and I assign to FamGuard all rights pertaining to its use in any way whatsoever. I also conrm that the photos entered in this c ontest were taken in The Bahamas by the undersigned and have not been previously published.SignatureDate NASSAU I FREEPORT I ABACO I ELEUTHERA I EXUMA I CORPORATE CENTRE I FINANCIAL CENTRE I www.famguardbahamas.com By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter email@example.com FREEPORT One man was burned to death and another s eriously injured in a fiery traffic accident on Grand Bahama Highway on Sunday. A sst Supt Loretta Mackey, press liaison officer, reported that a vehicle was discovered engulfed in flames on the side of the road around 5.50am in the Gold Rock Creek area. According to reports, a man believed to be in his mid-20s died in the fire. His identity is being withheld by police pending official identification of the body on Monday. The male passenger, who was able to escape the fiery wreckage, is listed in stable condition in hospital. His identity has also not been released. ASP Mackey said police are continuing their investigation into the crash, which is classified as the islands fourth traffic fatality. According to initial investigations, the driver was travelling east on Grand Bahama Highway when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree. Firemen responding to a bushfire in the area discovered the overturned vehicle engulfed in flames on the side of the road. After extinguishing the fire, the body of a male was discovered in the drivers seat. The vehicle was extensively damaged and completely burned. The body was removed by morticians and taken to the morgue at Rand Memorial Hospital, where an autopsy will be conducted on Monday to determine the cause of death. MAN KILLED, ANOTHER IS SERIOUSL Y INJURED IN CRASH T HE REMAINS o f the vehicle after the accident. FUNERAL services for the Rev. Harold Slater, who was minister of Trinity Methodist Church in the late f ifties into the sixties, will be held on Friday, June 17, at 2 p m at Alton Methodist C hurch, Hampshire, England. Rev Slater, 88, who had been in poor health for some t ime died on May 28. FUNERAL SERVICES F OR THE REV HAROLD SLATER Govt expects $60m savings as barging of water from North Andros phased out MINISTER OF STATE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT Phenton Neymour tours the Blue Hill water plant yesterday. F e l i p M a j o r / T r i b u n e s t a f f
By LAMECH JOHNSON THE London-based Privy Council has been portrayedas an obstacle to the B ahamas carrying out the death penalty, but this is not the case, according to a senior cabinet minister. M inister of National Security Tommy Turnquest told The Tribune the Councils past rulings on the issue of c apital punishment in the Bahamas, which was last carried out in 2001 under thef irst FNM administration, w ere more about the process than the policy. He said: While members on the judicial committee oft he Privy Council may have views against the death penalty, their judgmentsh ave essentially been more about process than about the penalty itself. And that process itself has had a num b er of landmark rulings. M r Turnquest said these include the stipulation that cases be tried within a reasonable period of time, defined as five years, and the stipulation that the conv iction and sentencing of a person cannot be carried out at the same time. That process is there for a reason and today it might be someone else, but tomorrow it might be your family member. So we just want to ensure that the process is followed, he said. M r Turnquest acknowl edged that the government tracks cases closely after they leave the Court ofA ppeal, but defended the role of the Privy Council as the top court of the Bahamas, saying thea rrangement is beneficial for the country. The Bahamas has decid e d for very good reasons not to do away with the Privy Council. The whole idea of having the Privy Council has served us well particularly in terms of our banking and financial industries and in terms of our commercial law, the minister said. With the murder count near 60 in less than six months and several accused killers out on bail, the government has been called on to follow through with the death penalty, which is on the law books. Mr Turnquest said he is a strong advocate for capital punishment, but he is also an advocate for the rule the law. I, myself, am a propo nent for capital punishment but there is a process we have to go through, he said. T hat process includes the Privy Council, which is the ultimate court of appeal above the Court of Appeal,S upreme Court, Industrial Tribunal and Magistrates Courts, he said. M r Turnquest also defended the governments performance on crime and efforts to upgrade the judicial system. He said: The government continues to work with the judiciary on improving the criminal justice system. The government has taken some steps in that regard from an infrastructural point of view, in terms of ensuring that there are sufficient courts but also in terms of human resources and ensuring that we have the manpower and other resources to get it done. These efforts, he said, have helped cut the backlog of cases yet to be heard. LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011, PAGE 3 A 19-YEAR-OLD Gambier Village man was arraigned in Magistrates Court yesterday on a mur der charge. Rudulph Strachan of Douglas Road appeared before Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez in Court One, Bank Lane yesterday, charged with the murder of Danaldo Johnson. Johnson, 26, was killed at around 10pm Wednes day night in Gambier Village. Police said Johnson was sitting under a tree whenhe was approached by a man, then shot in the head. Johnson, a father of one, was taken to hospital by emergency medical services personnel, but died a short time later. He was the countrys 58th murder victim. Strachan, who was represented by attorney Ian Cargill, was not required to enter a plea to the charge. A voluntary bill of indictment is expected to be presented on July 28. Strachan was remanded to Her Majestys Prison. By TANEKA THOMPSON Deputy Chief Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org MOBILE phone users can expect to s ee prices drop later this month or early July, said BTC executives. The telecommunications provider also has plans to soon release a number of new cellular phones and tablet computers on the market, opitimise the mobile network to reduce dropped calls and improve service and launch a $43 million 4G service in New Providence a nd Grand Bahama before Christmas. "We've got a number of exciting new promotions coming out. We're expecting to see the first big change in mobile rates in early July. I would like to tell you what they are today but unfortunately we have yet to get final approval from URCA," said BTC CEO Geoff Houston yesterday at a press confere nce at BTC's headquarters on JFK Drive yesterday. "But suffice to say we're very excited to start to really bringing down the cost of mobile calls in the Bahamas very soon." "Starting at the end of June you will start to see some of the promotions and rate adjustments," Marlon Johnson, BTC's vice-president of marketing, added. He said rules at the Utilities Regulation & Competition Authority, the industry regulator, prevent them from discussing the specifics of the reductions before they are approved. "We can't prejudice the process by getting into the particulars," Mr Johnson said. BTC will expand its mobile phone offering when it rolls out 40 new cellular handsets in the next few days. "You'll see HTC (phones into the stores within a week. We've also introduced the new tablet phones, so there's a whole new range there which includes not just the (HTC Galaxy but the new (Blackberry book to come and the new Motorola as well coming into the store. Apple Iphones and the Ipad will also eventually be sold at BTC, he said. "We've also got more Androids as well and again because we refreshed that handset range it's hopefully taken us where we feel the market wants us to go and that's to start to position our customer to take advantage of mobile data," said Mr Houston. The company also has plans to build a 4G network in New Providence and Grand Bahama before the end of the year, which will be expanded to the Family Islands over the next 18 months. "We've announced that we're going to build our 4G network and launch it this side of Christmas and we're going to spend something like $43 million over the next two years to build that network. "We'll launch it first in New Providence and Grand Bahama before Christmas and quickly get it to all the islands over the coming 18 months. If we can do it faster we will but as we get into the project it's difficult to see at the moment, but we'll get it to the Family Islands as fast as we can. "The 4G network is the one that's going to give our customers the platform for more mobile Internet access," said the CEO. BTC executives remained tightlipped on whether any employees have accepted the voluntary separation packages offered last week. They have until the beginning of July to accept the proposals. "It's a bit early to comment on that, we have had some applicants come in but right now I prefer not to talk about numbers. We're very optimistic that we will be a long way towards getting the restructuring in place that we need to. When we've got some numbers, we'll let you know," Mr Houston said. "The big risk is that we get too many people from particular areas of the c ompany coming forward that places the business at risk so we need to manage that, but we are hoping where we do find we are oversubscribed in particular areas that we will be able to engage folks in that area in the right way to try and get a good result for them and the business. We really just need to deal with it on a case by case basis." The company is also focused on improving its billing system which has attracted criticism from the public in the past for inefficiencies opening as many as 50 retail stores, increasing vendors or vendor spots to 5,000 and i mproving customer service. Cell phone prices set to drop soon BTC CEO GEOFF HOUSTON and Marlon Johnson, BTC's vice-president of marketing,speak to members of the media yesterday. T i m C l a r k e / T r i b u n e s t a f f BTC executives announce plans Turnquest defends the r ole of the Privy Council By CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com DESPITE Bahamians being allowed to register after the old voters list closes next month, Parliamentary Commissioner Errol Bethel is encouraging prospective voters to sign up as soon as possible. The register used in the 2007 general elections will come to an end on July 14, at which time the new register will come into effect, Mr Bethel said. He explained that those who are not on the new reg ister will not be allowed to cast their vote. According to the commis sioner, there is currently 78,000 registered voters. In an earlier interview, Prime Minister Hubert Ingra ham said that once the old register is closed, the Boundary Commission will be appointed to evaluate con stituency boundaries and determine if there need to be any changes. In 2007, there were 150,000 registered voters in the coun try. That number is expected to be exceeded by the time of the next general election, when voters who became of legal voting age in the interim will have been added to the list. VOTERS ENCOURAGED TO SIGN UP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE 19-YEAR-OLD APPEARS IN COURT ON MURDER CHARGE MINISTER OF NATIONAL S ECURITY T ommy Turnquest said the Councils past rulings on the issue of capital punishment in the Bahamas were morea bout the process than the policy.
EDITOR, The Tribune. I have always been told that under our laws only thep olice and only after arresti ng someone can they take fingerprints and that is conditional that if the charges a re dropped or the accused walks free from a court those fingerprints, the card, has to be destroyed. I cannot recall at anytime in the past the law concerning fingerprinting being altered so I ask: It therefore is illegal for the Passport Office to demand the taking of our fingerprints and the recently announced plan to take fingerprints of thosea pplying for work permits, r esidency permits also. Now I dont want to hear that the US takes our prints a nd photograph at LPIA Border Control in the preclearance area as technically under treaty we are no longer in The Bahamas but in the United States of America and we fall under their laws. If passports, immigration or anyone else insists on taking of fingerprints then please comply with the laws of The Bahamas. ABRAHAM MOSS Nassau. May 28, 2011. EDITOR, The Tribune. The New Providence Public T ransportation System must be addressed and fixed by the g overnment, any government, because it seems to have been neglected from its inception. The current policy of issuing bus licence plates and franchises to individuals and companies is not working and has not worked over the years. P erhaps the time has come for the government to take it o ver and appoint a Public T ransportation Authority (PTA a policy and manage the dayto-day operation of the public transportation system. I think the first thing that w ould need to be done is all c urrent licence holders for the operation of buses should be c ancelled and the licence plates re-issued to the PTA. This cannot happen immediately but over a period of time, one route at a time perh aps one franchise or owner at a time. T he purpose of the PTA w ill be as follows: 1) Collect fares 2) Pay government fees 3) Hire staff 4 ) Maintain buses 5 ) Establish routes and schedules 6 ) Manage day-to-day oper ation of the Authority. Setting up the PTA is the m ost important and delicate part of the operation because it has to be done correctly andc arefully. It may be that the government not abruptly cancel all current licenses but purchase the licences from thec urrent holders after an audit o f their services, considering that some of them have been in operation successfully (that is making money) for several years. It would be the job of the P TA to find the appropriate buses whose fares can be coll ected and monitored. No bus d river should carry change e specially in this environment of crime. In the search for the a ppropriate buses, it is important for them to be handicap accessible as none of the pub-l ic buses today are. The PTA m ust also prepare bus schedules as is required in the Road Traffic Act and these should be extensively and vigorously distributed to the public. The bus drivers need to k now that they have a secure j ob and are not in competition with other drivers. The drivers should have a specific route for one part of the day and different one for another part of the day. Their sched-u les must be closely monitored and they must arrive at their destination on time. Should they arrive at their destination ahead of schedule, which hopefully will be t he case, they will wait and d epart according to schedule. The key is that members of the public will know whatt ime they are to be at a bus s top because the schedules will be distributed extensively. The PTA can look into prov iding pensions, medical insurance, etc, for the drivers. Being a bus driver will be a career not just a job until I can do better. It may be that t he PTA will also monitor bus stops as well to ensure that t hey are properly covered and maintained. They should also ensure that the buses stop at the appropriate stops and not as they wish. There should be a depot for all public buses to go where they are maintained and cleaned. T his should be an area where the bus drivers take a b reak, have meals and use the f acilities, thereby taking care of the welfare of the drivers as i s required in the Health and Safety at Work Act. Gone will be the days of one bus driver on a route all day for m ore than eight hours which i s in violation of the Employment Act. These depots will a lso be where the buses are parked at night. They will not be used as the personal vehicles of drivers. These are just a few sugg estions that the government can do to address fixing the p ublic transportation system b ut we must start somewhere. Presently traffic on the roads of New Providence is the worst; however, I am sure if w e had a reliable public transp ortation system it would reduce the number of cars on t he road making driving less stressful. I would be more than will i ng to leave my car at home and use public transportation if I knew a bus will be at theb us stop as scheduled. JULIAN A BOSTWICK Nassau, M ay 31, 2011. EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR PAGE 4, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011 THE TRIBUNE The Tribune Limited NULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI Being Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master LEON E. H. DUPUCH, Publisher/Editor 1903-1914 SIR ETIENNE DUPUCH, Kt., O.B.E., K.M., K.C.S.G., (Hon. Publisher/Editor 1919-1972 Contributing Editor 1972-1991 EILEEN DUPUCH CARRON, C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B. Publisher/Editor 1972Published Daily Monday to Saturday Shirley Street, P.O. Box N-3207, Nassau, Bahamas I nsurance Management Building., P.O. F-485, Freeport, Grand Bahama TELEPHONES S witchboard (News, Circulation and Advertising) 322-1986 A dvertising Manager (242 C irculation Department (242 N assau Fax: (242 F reeport, Grand Bahama: 1-(242 Freeport fax: (242 W EBSITE w ww.tribune242.com updated daily at 2pm A T LAST residents on the eastern side o f the island have something to look forward to with the announcement that a n ew remand court at HM Prison, Fox Hill, w ill be fully operational by September and that something is to be done to r emove the shantytown atmosphere that h as been allowed to grow like Topsy at t he Montagu foreshore. T he remand court is good news indeed f or those Eastern Road residents whose s afety was threatened every evening as a prison convoy police cars escorting a bus load of prisoners travelled at break neck speed, sirens blaring, to get their charges back to the prison compound from the downtown courts. D aily motorists were squeezed off the road to make room for an unwieldy bus t hat had no business trying to manoeuvre between two-lane traffic on such a narrow road. Minds were quickly focused on the situation, however, when one of the con voys recently hit a self drive car with tourists at a red traffic light, which the speeding convoy did not observe. A nd in April a prison bus and police escort vehicles crashed into each other on B ernard Road, sending two prisoners and one of their guards to hospital with minor injuries. P rime Minister Ingraham made the announcement in his 2011/2012 budget p resentation. Mr Ingraham said that the new court w ould be built next to the electronic mon itoring tagging centre, which will elimi n ate the need for prisoners on remand to be taken from the prison compound to t he downtown courts to fulfil the h abeas corpus rules of producing the body. H abeas corpus is an ancient rule, dating from 1679, to ensure that a person in cus tody does not get lost in the system a lthough not too long ago one did just that at HM Prison, Fox Hill, which cost the B ahamas government a pretty penny in compensation. O nce the prison compound court is functioning, said Mr Ingraham, only those inmates whose trials are scheduled will b e taken from the prison to the downt own courts. Those on remand, whose prison dates are yet to be fixed, will still g et their day in court, but within the conf ines of the prison. "I have finally been convinced, said t he Prime Minister, that efficiencies to be d erived from the establishment of a r emand court on the grounds of Her M ajesty's Prison in Fox Hill outweighs m y long held view that individuals held on r emand ought to have their day in court in a place away from the place of their detention." He said that MPs were aware that the transportation, daily, of large number of prisoners from the prison in Fox Hill toc ourts located in the centre of the city of Nassau to have their remand continuance h earings occupies the time and attention of many police and prison officers who might be more usefully and effectively assigned. Further, police escorted prison bus convoys are increasingly becoming not only an annoyance to neighbourhoods traversed by the convoys, but also a dan ger to pedestrians and to regular vehiculart raffic. We now hope that the taking from p rison of those who have fixed court dates downtown will be handled in a more civilised manner. A s for the improvement of the Montagu beach and the removal of the fish v endors, and boat operators from their present location is good news indeed. I t is especially good news for those East ern Road residents anxious to get homef rom a busy day at the office who daily have a frustrating wait for a boat or jet ski t o be taken from the water. It is hoped that at last the area will get t he beautification that concerned foreshore residents offered for a section of it several years ago, but were stopped by p olitics and prejudice. When it came to beautification, all the a ttention seemed to be given to the western end of the island where hotels and t ourists are concentrated. It is now time for Easterners to get their day in the sun shine. Govt needs to fix the public transport system LETTERS firstname.lastname@example.org Eastern Road residents are grateful EDITOR, The Tribune. A few weeks ago the residents of Cable Beach went without electricity for some 12 hours as a result of thec ontractors on Baha Mar c utting the electricity cables and no apology from Baha Mar great new neighbours! Today gone is our cable and Cable Bahamas Internet service and I will guarantee no apology from Baha Mar. We are only at the starting stage imagine as we progress or regress what the residents or people who work in Cable Beach are going to have to go through and no apology? Be a good neighbour, Baha Mar, we are stuck with you and you are stuck with us be a good citizen at the least say we are sorry we will try better next time. Hey dont make it too often now because well charge ya! MOSES DORSETTE Nassau, May 24, 2011. BE A GOOD NEIGHB OUR, B AHA MAR Finger printing: what precisely is the law? INSIGHT For the stories behind the news, read Insight on Mondays
POLICE continued their c rackdown on lawbreakers over the holiday weekend and arrest ed 112 people for various infractions. Officers also issued 324 citations for traffic offences. During the holiday weekend officers arrested 98 adult males,six adult females and eight juve n ile males for offences such as murder, attempted murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm, possession of dangerous drugs, threats of death, unlawfully carrying arms, extortion, loitering, causing harm, shop breaking, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. S pecial operations conducted by the Central Division, South ern Division and the Central Detective Unit contributed to this record breaking number of arrests, police said. "Officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force continue to remain steadfast to the cause in making this Bahamas a safer place to live, work, visit and play," Press Liaison Officer Sergeant Chrislyn Skippings said in a statement yesterday. Officers throughout New Providence also cited 324 drivers for various traffic infractions and placed 274 matters before the Magistrate's Court. Motorists were ticketed for f ailing to stop in obedience to the traffic light, driving an unli censed and uninspected vehicle, driving on a closed street, failureto keep left, having insecure load, failure to notify change of ownership and having dark tint ed car windows. POLICE on Grand Bahama arrested 21 people for various crimes throughout that island ina concentrated effort to stamp out illegal behaviour. Eighteen adult men, one adult female and two juvenile males were taken into custody for various offences, which includeh ousebreaking, stealing, causing grievous harm, disorderly behaviour, stolen vehicles, receiving, unlawfully carrying arms and vagrancy. Two of the males arrested were for outstanding warrants of arrest issued by a Magistrate's Court. "The commissioner of police wishes to thank the hardworking officers of the various policing divisions throughout New Providence, including the officers of the Traffic Division and Grand Bahama for their diligence and commitment during the holiday weekend," said Sgt Skippings. "The police commend members of the public who continue t o adhere to the traffic rules and regulations. Additionally, we wish to encourage members of the public to be alert to your surroundings and to obey all laws as police will continue with their efforts to make this Bahamas a safer place for all," she added. A MANspent the Whit Monday holiday in police cus tody after officers found a quan tity of suspected marijuana inside a suitcase in his home. Shortly after 1 pm, officers of the Drug Enforcement Unit executed a search warrant on ah ome at Fox Hill Road. Officers found a suitcase with a sus pected marijuana inside, accord ing a police report. The 33-year-old male, believed to be Jamaican national, was then taken into custody. Active police investigations continue. LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011, PAGE 5 AS temperatures in New Providence peaked at 91F yesterday for the first time this month, MET officials said its too soon to know if we are i n the beginning stages of a heat wave. Yesterdays temperature two degrees above average for June would have climb another two degrees and continue at that level for a sustained period to be considered truly abnormal. Basil Dean, chief meteorologist, said: This is the first day that weve experienced it, so we cant call it just yet. Its slightly above the normal average, but you do get those spikes throughout the month. Summer Once you start getting into a stretch of a week and beyond, then for us that could be classified as a heat wave. The summer has not officially started yet, but from an historical point of view, it is normal to get 90 during this month. Heat waves are classified as five or more consecutive days where the temperature exceeds the average of any month by five degrees. The mean maximum temperature a projec tion which considers meteorological records over the past 30 years for the month of June is 89 degrees. H owever, the maximum temperatures for June have been in the 90s since 1980, according to Mr Dean, with temperatures peaking at 95 degrees in June 2008 and 95.4 degrees in June 2010. Humidity also contributed to the intense heat experienced yesterday, according to Mr Dean, who said another factor was humans ability to adapt to changes in the climate. He said: What would have made it feel a lot hotter today would be the relative humidity. Southwest winds are bringing a lot of moist tropical air across the Bahamas. We go through these cycles every year, cool season and back into the hot season. It appears that we get so comfortable with the cool weather, when those 90s hit you, you soon forget it was only recently very cool. One way to judge it is to ask yourself, has there been any record-breaking temperatures? If not, then its the same heat you would have experienced last year. The hottest temperature ever recorded for New Providence, 97.7 degrees, occurred during t he month of June in 1998. THEBAHAMAS VERYOWNSTREETPHILOSOPHER CRIMENEWS oo soon to know if we are entering heat wave REPORTS of nausea and vomiting from persons living in close proximity to last weeks AID fire has led a PLP senator to call for a government evaluation of the health and environmental impact of the blaze. Last weeks fire, which destroyed the Automative and Industrial Distributiors Ltd store and warehouse in Wulff Road, has also highlighted the need for national standards for industrial operations, according to Jerome Fitzgerald, Marathon candidate for the next election. Mr Fitzgerald said: This comes 16 months after the latest explosion at the Water and Sewerage Corporation that left an employee injured, and speaks to the need for established national standards for industrial operations. Mr Fitzgerald hit out at the lack of response from monitoring agencies in the Health and Environment ministries after he surveyed households in the surrounding area. Smoke He said that he decided, after having had a chance to speak to and visit a number of persons and households in the Marathon constituency, and noting the effects of smoke inhalation, to inquire of the government and executives of AID as to the steps taken to investigate the environmental and health impact of last weeks fire. Without pushing the panic button, I find it most interesting that there has been no announced public response, in light of the reports of nausea and vomiting by persons in the surrounding fire zone area. Mr Fitzgerald also called on the government to provide constituents and those in the neighboring areas with their assessment of the inventory of chemicals stored at the site, and the manner of their storage. On behalf of the constituents of Marathon and neighboring constituencies, I am calling upon the government and executives of AID to inform the public of steps to be taken to evaluate the effect of the fire and explosions on persons in the immediate area, he said. CALL FOR HEALTH, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT EVALUATION OF AIDBLAZE FIRESCENE: The AID building was destroyed in the blaze last week.
IN the past three years Government approved 239 Crown land grants and 39 leases to applicants in an effort to foster local investment opportunities. Over that same period, the Department of Lands and Surveys budget has increased by $389,173 from $2,637,736 in 2010/2011 to $3,026,909 in 2011/2012, despite the challenges of the global economic recession, crime, and poverty, said Byran Woodside, Minister of State for Lands and Local Government This FNM Government should be commended for its economic prudence and fiscal dexterity over the past three years that has now led to the beginning of the end of the economic downward spiral and has heralded the rebounding of our economy, he said while contributing to the 2011/12 budget debate in the House of Assembly this week. "Now is the time for every young person with a vision, every citizen with ambition, and every entrepreneur with a plan to join in with this FNM Government and use this budget as a catalyst for them to become fully involved in and secure ownership of the Bahamian economy. Mr Woodside said the government must pursue policies that ensure Bahamians can access prime land for residential and business purposes. Government has proposed inservice training for one survey or, as well as a continuation of survey campaigns in Mangrove Cay, Montgomery Tract in South Andros, Inagua, and Mayaguana. They have included the maintenance and expansion of the Crown land parcel layer that would also improve the upgrade of parcel information management system (PIMS the Bahamas. The Department of Lands and L ocal Government continues to develop and improve land administration through implementinga proposed cadastre and land modernisation project to benefit all Bahamians and future gener ations, Mr Woodside said. Since 2005, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB has been assisting the government with conducting the Land Use Policy and Administration Project (LUPAP land administration efficiency and land information. A cadastre, in one of its definitions, relates to a public record of the extent, value and ownership of land within a district for the purpose of taxation. The creation of a land registry will go a long way to remedy the fraudulent sale of land in the Bahamas, said Mr Woodside. The implementation of a land registry will also advance the efforts of the Government of the Bahamas to bring its methods of conducting business in line with accepted standards while enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of revenue administration and collection. The project consists of three inter-related components such as land administration modernisation, land information management, and national issues and policy guidelines. The Government concluded the management and service upgrades that were highly commended by the IDB, which include cadastre surveying, crown land allocation and management, property rights recording, property assessment for taxation, geographic information provisions for land use planning and land development monitoring, strengthening the technical capacity of collecting, analysing and dissemination of land information, as well as policy options preparation and national land use issues guidelines. Local Government districts received the same funding as last year with a slight variance of $63,050, from $22,790,408 in budget year 2010/11 to $22,853,458 in budget year 2011/12. An internal monitoring unit was established in January 2009 to assist in reducing the weaknesses in the accounting system. Their duties are to oversee the execution of all budgetary and financial matters related to local government districts. The unit also ensures that district councils and administrators manage their financial and human resources to comply with the Local Government and Financial Administration and Audit Act. This group will evaluate a performance system to ensure individual districts meet their statutory and policy obligations. Districts were allocated the same funding as in the 2010/11. With the exception of Hope Town, this was increased by $61,440 to facilitate the increased cost of barging of garbage from Man O War Cay. Local Government councils must now, more than ever, ensure that funds allocated are spent for the greater good of the community and not wasted on unnecessary expendi tures, said Mr Woodside. One of the most important functions of district councils is the discretionary allocation of funds sent to the Family Islands. The use of internal controls, transparency and fair play must be the modus operandi throughout the local government admin istration. In addition, commitment to proper budgeting and conformity to the rules and regulations of financial administration and audit act, and the financial administration regulations, along with policies for expendi ture of public funds, must be the order of the day. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 6, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011 THE TRIBUNE www.rbcroyalbank.com/caribbean T rademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence. NOTICER BC Royal Bank (Bahamas) Ltd. INVITES TENDERSR BC Royal Bank (Bahamas) Ltd. invites t enders for the purchase of the following: AllTHAT piece parcel or lot of land being Lot No. 112 situate in Westridge Estates Subdivision situate in the Western district of the Island of New P rovidence one of the islands of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. P ropertySize: 22,000 sq. ft. B uilding Size: N/A T his property is being sold under Power o fSale contained in a Mortgage to RBC R oyal Bank (Bahamas) Ltd. All offers should be forwarded in w riting in sealed envelope, addressed to the Manager, Royal Bank Commercial FinancialServices, P.O. Box N-7549, Nassau, Bahamas and markedTender 7939. All offers must be received by the close of business 4:00 p.m., 17th June, 2011. Government approves 278 opportunities for Bahamians to invest locally THE DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT on East Bay Street has been the central location for Bahamian investors to apply for Crown land to contribute to the economy through owning a business or starting a farm. Gena Gibbs /BIS By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter email@example.com FREEPORT Keriann Stuart was crowned Miss Grand Bahama 20112012 on Sunday at the Hilton Outten Centre. Ms Stuart, who competed against eight other contestants for the title, also captured first place in the Best Swimsuit category. She also received the Miss Friend ship, the Miss Popularity and Top Model awards. Ms Stuart placed second in the Fit ness category. Raquel Oliver was first runner up and Amanda McIntosh was second runner up. The beauty queens platform is to mentor young girls and encourage them to achieve their goals. There were various award categories in this years pageant. Contestant Lashelle Forbes was winner of the Spokes Model award; Raquel Oliver won best Tal ent and Fitness awards; and Amanda MacIntosh placed third in the Fitness category. The Miss Grand Bahama Pageant was held under the directorship of Glenn Charles Davis. The committee members are James Bridgewater, Charmaine McNabb, Gwen Rolle, Yvette Rolle, Janet Albury, Leshan Ferguson, Doris Fitzgerald, Kerel Pinder and Tempestt Stubbs. Davis purchased the Miss Grand Bahama franchise some four years ago and has worked diligently to take the pageant to the international arena. For the past three years, Miss Grand Bahama has represented Grand Bahama and indeed, The Bahamas overseas at the Miss Friendship International pageant in China and also at the Miss Coffee pageant hosted in Colombia, South America. Mr Davis is also the franchise holder for Miss Global Bahamas, which is held in Jamaica. He is currently in negotiations to obtain the Miss Bikini International franchise. Mr Davis extended thanks to all contestants and supporters of the pageant. MISS GRAND B AHAMA 20 1 1-2012 CROWNED MISSGRANDBAHAMA Keriann Stuart
A NON-PROFITorganisation from the United States will continue its efforts to assist the Bahamas Department of Marine R esources in collecting valua ble conch fishery data duri ng the summer of 2011. Scientists and volunteers will conduct surveys to determine the density of conch in a local fishing ground and in the Exuma Cays Land a nd Sea Park. A team of scientists from the Community Conch organisation will conduct their third conch survey in the country since 2009.W ith support from the Department of Marine Resources, the Bahamas National Trust, and the Perr y Institute for Marine Science, the group will look closely at conch populations i n two areas that were surv eyed nearly 20 years ago to d ocument trends in the numbers and reproductives uccess of this economically a nd ecologically important species. Diet The queen conch is known to scientists as Strombus gigas and throughout the Caribbean b y a variety of names such a s the pink conch, the b road-lipped conch, kark, lambi, and the giant conch.Q ueen conch has been an i mportant staple in the diet of many Caribbean culturesand a seafood delicacy for tourists, but unfortunately the species is threatened throughout its range and is already commercially extincti n many countries including the US. Because of dimin ishing stocks throughout the C aribbean, the queen conch i s protected through export restrictions imposed by the Convention on International Trade in EndangeredS pecies of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES The Bahamas is no excep t ion. Despite national and international regulation of the fishery, queen conch populations are disappear i ng here too. B ahamian fishery regula tions prohibit the taking of conch without a flared lip,b ut illegal harvest of juve nile or undersized conchs is still widely practised. Community Conch and the Department of Marine Resources (DMR searching for answers to how to protect the queen conch in the Bahamas, as are other conservation organisations in country and throughout the Caribbean.A first step is to find out where healthy populations still exist and where protection may be needed. Scientists are particularly concerned with the density of conch in an area, or the number of individuals per hectare, because higher densities of adult conch are needed for the successful mating seasons that replen ish stocks. In 2009, Community C onch and DMR completed the first large scale stock assessment of a commercial conch fishing ground in the Berry Islands and a baseline survey of conch populations within the new Berry Island M arine Reserve. I n 2010, Community C onch continued its work w ith the Nature Conservanc y in the traditional fishing g rounds of Andros. In both locations, the densities were a lready too low for reproduction, though there were still higher densities of small, c ommercially undesirable samba conch. T his year during the conch mating season, Community Conch plans to revis-i t areas in the Exuma Cays that were surveyed in the m id 1990s by Dr Allan Stoner, who is now the lead scientist for the organisation. O ne of the survey areas is within the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, known for being the oldest no-takem arine reserve in the world. T he other survey area is near Great Exuma and was once a very productive fish i ng ground for local com munities. Density Nearly 20 years ago, the o riginal surveys of these locations showed that the density of adult conch in the Exuma Park was 31 timesh igher than that in the fishing ground just north of Great Exuma; even back then it seemed that fishingh ad started to take its toll. Dr Stoner expects that the upcoming surveys in theE xuma Cays will provide i mportant new information a bout how densities of conch may be changing in these fished and unfished (no-take It will be really impor tant to see how the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park has been functioning as a conch reserve over time, Dr Stoner said. Since conch larvae drift for about three weeks before settling in a new loca tion, it is not known if the larvae produced in the Park stay in the park or settle downstream. So, if populations are depleted upstream of the park, it is possible that the density of conch in the Park could decline along with populations outside the P ark. This years studies are designed to address these questions, and will provide new information critical for conch conservation. Martha Davis, Community Conchs founder and d irector, elaborates on a seco nd goal for the 2011 exped ition: to determine a bett er estimate of when in the l ife of a queen conch it is a ble to mate and lay eggs, a s tage in the life cycle also k nown as reproductive m aturity. We know that near its t hird year, a conch starts to f orm a flared lip on its shell and at this point, the shell grows no longer, only thicker. Scientists have provent hat the thickness of this lip is related to the conchs a ge, she said. In the B ahamas, regulation of the c onch fishery was based u pon the belief that when a c onch has a flared lip, it is m ature and has had the o pportunity to reproduce before being harvested. Ms Davis suggests that while this has been the cri-t erion used historically, there is more current scient ific evidence that shows a f lared lip may not be the b est indicator of adulthood o r reproductive maturity. Thin-lipped conch may n ot reproduce until the foll owing summer season, so they could actually be harvested before they reproduce. We need to find outh ow thick the conchs lip is when it is capable of reprod ucing. LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011, PAGE 7 conch surveys V aluable data to be collected this summer THE RESEARCH will be the third conch survey in the country since 2009.
PARADISE Plates, Hands For Hungers third annual fundraiser, served-up another unforgettable evening to more than 400 guests. Sponsored by The New Prov idence Development Company Limited and Tommy Hilfiger, the event showcased a lavish array of gourmet food preparedby chefs from Nassaus premier restaurants, fine wine, and live entertainment. All proceeds will go to H4H, the non-profit, humanitarian organisation committed to the elimination of unnecessary hunger and the reduction of food waste throughout New Provi dence. H4H Founder Alanna Rodgers said the event's continued success is a testament to the community's commitment to ending hunger. The fact is that there are thousands of Bahamians facing food insecurity, unable to accesst he foods that are needed to allow for healthy and fully funct ioning lives. There is more than enough food on this island to amply feed every single woman, man and child. Hands For Hunger functions to connect the excess supply of food with the unmet, ever growing need t hrough the more equitable and efficient distribution of resources. The funds raised through Paradise Plates will go directly to impacting the lives of those in need," said Ms Rodgers, programme coordinator for Hands For Hunger. Rosamund Roberts, director of fundraising for H4H, said the event's success was due to generous sponsors and the support of guests. The biggest congratulations for the evening go to our talented chefs, vintners, beverage and cigar participants who were so accommodating and gracious and served exceptional cuisine, fine wines and drinks. We thank each and every person who attended, they helped to create an unforget table evening, he added. Each day, H4H picks-up fresh, high quality food that would oth erwise go to waste and delivers it to 18 community centres, shel t ers, churches and soup kitchens throughout New Providence. S ince operations began in March 2009, H4H has distributed over 275,000 lbs of food to those in need, equal to 275,000 meals served, and prevented more than 400 tons of carbon emissions from entering the a tmosphere. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 8, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011 THE TRIBUNE Paradise Plates serves up a night to savour TEAM PARADISE PLATES: From left: Yolanda Darville, incoming executive director of Hands For H unger; Ashley Lepine, outgoing executive director for H4H; Alistair Henderson, president of New Providence Development Company Ltd; Etienne Christen of Tommy Hilfiger (Bahamas Covington, owner of Tomm y Hilfiger (Bahamas Alanna Rodgers, H4H founder and programme coordinator and Rosamund Roberts, HH director of fundraising at the third annual Paradise Plates. PAELLA! Luciannos of Chicago served a large paella at Paradise Plates that was a hit with those attending. F ROMLEFT: A ndrea and Robin Brownrigg, John Rodgers; Alann a Rodgers, HH Founder and programme coordinator and Brittany B rownrigg enjoy Paradise Plates. Photos/ Vincent Vaughan LIVELY ENTERTAINMENT: Everyone enjoyed the Junkanoo rush-out performed by Stan Burnsides Marina Village Junkanoo Group at the third annual Paradise Plates. ByMIKE LIGHTBOURN IN SPITEof the real estate fiasco in the US that has affected our local economy (among other fac tors), home ownership still remains the bedrock of financial security. Home ownership is even more attractive now that the Central Bank of the Bahamas has reduced the discount rate by 75 basis points to 4.50 per cent. This is the rate at which the Central Bank lends to the local banks. The Central Bank has reduced the prime rate from 5.50 per cent to 4.75 percent and, as a result, all loans which are tied to the prime rate will automatically be reduced by 0.75 per cent. To give a simple example, if you owe $50,000 with 15 years left on your loan and your interest rate was 9.75 per cent it will now be 9 per cent. Your payments up to now would have been $529.68 and they will now be $507.13, a monthly savings of $22.55. With more realistic real estate prices on stream, this is an excel lent time to shop around and see what the banks have to offer. Having a long-term investment that provides the satisfaction and pride of ownership beats just about anything else you can do, either with your savings or the money you are spending on rent. When the market exploded several years ago, prices rose sharply. Although prices remain fairly high in Nassau because of the larger number of potential buyers, the global recession has forced some homeowners to reduce the price tag on homes that were overpriced in the first place. Bahamians who havent owned a home before should contact their BREA agent to ask about governments stamp duty tax exemption for first time buyers. Anyone who qualifies for this exemption may be able to enjoy the double benefit of lower inter est rates and an exemption. Real estate transactions are unlike any other financial transac tion. The demand and desire for homeownership doesnt expire like other flashy investment instruments. The inherent value of a stock can be calculated by a formula of company profits, earnings ratios, performance history, fund managers, and so on. However, a homes value is ultimately determined by what a buyer is willing to pay for it. With a density of over 2900 persons per square mile on New Providence and an increasing population on this island, prices only have one way to go with occasional bumps in the road. Honestly, theres hardly been a better time to make your move. (Mike Lightbourn is president of Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty). A GREAT TIME TO MAKE THE MOVE! REAL ESTATE MIKE LIGHTBOURN
sum, and said perhaps that could have been the cumul ative expenditure over the y ears. Amongst education o fficials, details have been hazy. Mr Byer said it seems as though STI is in the middle of some type of scandal that we known nothing about. If $6 million was spent by t he Ministry of Education ( MOE), he said the company would like to know where the other $5 million went. I have no idea where that figure came from. I dont know who is getting the other $5 million, but it certainly w as not us, he said. O ne ministry official, who w as not authorised to speak, s aid the $6 million figure is n ot accurate. The source s aid there have been internal concerns about the manipulation of funds allocated for the STI contract. Debt The source claimed the g overnment owes STI a few h undred thousand dollars, a nd this debt may have a ccrued because money was skimmed off the top over t he years without the knowledge of STI and some government officials. Ministry officials have yet to confirm on the record how much money was paid to STI; whether or not any f unds are unaccounted for; and whether or not there is an active investigation. Mr S ands only disclosed, the g overnment spent $91,000 on the STI system last year. Desmond Bannister, Min ister of Education, said he w ould not comment on the specific details of the STI contract. At the same timeh e said he had no difficulty w ith the media requiring us to be accountable in the p ublic sector. There is a need for accountability in every area and we seek to provide ther equisite level of accountability. The ministry now has an internal auditor that is looking at every department o f our ministry with a view to ensuring we are accountable for the tax payers mone y. If there are any irregul arities at all they will be b rought to the auditors attention and ultimately tom y attention. That includes S TI and anything else, said Mr Bannister. The Tribune recently revealed that the Ministry of Education is piloting a competing software, Power School, in four publics chools, with the intention o f possibly abandoning STI and moving forward with t he full implementation of P owerSchool. Deloitte and T ouche currently have the contract to pilot PowerSchool. C ompany officials say the frustration being experienced by schools is misdi r ected, because the failures in the implementation are not because of the compa ny or the technology. STI's efforts have been c onstrained by MOE's approach to a cooperative effort, said Mr Byer. With only 160 school to b e placed on the network, M r Byer said the Bahamian s chool system is a small market for the company. He said the entire Alabama school district, inclusive of 1400 schools with more than 700,000 students, is n etworked by the STI. The full scale implementation in Alabama took just over two years, he said. In phase two and three, just under 700 schools were networked annually. Across the US, S TI is in about 5000 s chools. From STI's perspective, l imited MOE resources placed on the project, lack of participants' interest and p articipation in training sess ions, internal decisions to u se only a small fraction of t he software's features, and l eadership and management i ssues are the likely reasons the system has failed to live up to expectations and why the MOE has been challenged with the implement ation. All in all, the status of the project is a source of f rustration to STI too, he said. Meeting On one occasion, he said i t took nine months to s chedule a meeting. It sometimes takes three months to get information back on an e-mail. When the company was informed the MOE was evaluating PowerSchool a nd STI, it requested a meeting to demonstrate the systems features. Mr Byer said: We were not grant e d a meeting. No one would w elcome us down. When STI last met with the ministry in mid-May,t he director walked in the room and immediately walked out of the room. At the meeting STI wast old the MOE was organising a technology fair. The company was invited to exhibit and make a present ation. There has been no w ord on the fair since then. D uring training sessions, Mr Byer said some trainees would go to lunch and never come back. In general there was a lack of enthusiasm and interest. Particip ants were not engaged and it seemed like no one cared. The training sessions were designed as a train-the-trainer programme. Questions have been raised as to how effect ively the trainers went on t o train teachers and administrators across the network. Concern S ince T he Tribune s tarted its investigation, Mr Byer s aid the company has r eceived calls of concern f rom partners and clients across the world, wondering what is going on in theB ahamas. He said it was disheartening because the company is very much com mitted to its partnership with the Bahamas. Clearly, there are issues that go far deeper than the f unctionality of the student m anagement system. STI's o nly goal, since the initiation of this project, hasb een to be a good partner, p rovide a great product and service, and ultimately help the Bahamas use data to improve student achievement, said Mr Byer. Despite it all, he said, STI remains committed to a successful partnership with the MOE. He said there should be public interest in what is happen i ng, because the big losers a re ultimately the school children. The sad thing is the B ahamas should and could have had a fully functional system three years ago or longer, said Mr Byer. T he STI system is credible and robust, so apparent attempts to scapegoat STI only adds to the frust ration, he said. Over the past six years, w e have attempted to move toward a full-scale implementation of the STI Student Information System (SIS continually stalled not b ecause of deficiencies with STI or its products, but for reasons outside STI's control. STI has done everything requested by the people involved in the project, including, but n ot limited to upgrading s ixteen of twenty schools t o INOW, the STI webbased application, for no software upgrade fee, said Mr Byer. For reasons unknown to STI, the MOE has not s eemed interested in using the full features and functionality of the STI system, he said. LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011, PAGE 9 US FIRM FEARS BEING CAUGHT IN MINISTRY CASH SCANDAL FROM page one ANDREW BYER S TI executive vice president o f business development By LAMECH JOHNSON A CTION has been taken against those involved in the o nline leak of crime scene photos of charity worker Nellie Mae Browns murder in April, The Tribune has learned. Following a letter from Bishop Simeon Hall, of New Covenant Baptist Church, to the head of police and copies to the attorney general and National Security Minister regarding the incident, the Minister confirmed in an interview that it was dealt with. Minister Tommy Turnquest acknowledged the letter and said: I know that an investigation was done by the police. They were able to determine the leak and they took action as a result of that. Im not prepared to say anymore than that at this stage. In May, Assistant Police Commissioner Glen Miller denied The Guardian's report that the force had found the source of the leak, as the matter was still under investigation. Attempts to contact Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade for further information were made, but were unsuccessful up to press time. Mr. Turnquest also stated: They determined that it was clearly a leak. What I am prepared to say is that as a result of this case, the process has improved in terms of the sharing of information by the police. The security minister says the situation cannot be taken back but work can be done to prevent a repeat in the future. We cant change the past as it is in the past, but we can ensure that we dont have a recurrence. When the gruesome photos surfaced online two months ago and were sent to persons e-mail addresses, the family of the 42-year-old victim were outraged and immediately demand ed accountability from the police, questioning the forces internal security. Attempts to contact the family members of Ms Brown were also unsuccessful. Between April 6 and 7, Ms Brown, a former president of the Bahamas Heart Association, was found stabbed to deathon the kitchen floor of an apartment complex at Bougainvillea Boulevard, South Beach. She had suffered multiplewounds to her body. Prince Hepburn, a local contractor, was charged with the murder six days later, around the time that the photos of her mutilated body surfaced online. THOSE INV OL VED IN CRIME SCENE PHO TOS LEAK HAVE BEEN DEALT WITH Share your news The T ribune wants to hear fr om people who are making news in their neighbour hoods. Per haps you are raising funds for a good cause, campaigning for improvements in the area or have won an awar d. If so, call us on 322-1986 and share your story.
PAGE 10, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011 THE TRIBUNE BOYNUYOGUN, Turkey Associated Press SYRIAN tanks and the govern ment's most loyal troops pushed into more towns and villages Tuesday, trying to snuff out any chance that the uprising against President Bashar Assad could gain a base for a wider armed rebellion. Facing the most serious threat to his family's 40-year ruling dynasty, Assad has abandoned most pretenses of reform as his military seals off strategic areas in the north and east including the town of Jisr al-Shughour, which was spinning out of government control before the military moved in on Sunday. "The (Syrian forces and buildings, kill even animals, set trees and farmlands on fire," said Mohammad Hesnawi, 26. He fled Jisr al-Shughour over the weekend and spoke to The Associated Press from this border area of Turkey, where some 8,000 Syrians are seeking refuge in camps. Pro-democracy activists, citing witnesses, said the military also sur rounded al-Boukamal, along the Iraqi border, an area that was a major smuggling route for insurgents and weapons into Iraq in the 2000s. Syrian officials have expressed concern over a reverse flow of arms into Syria, and in March security forces seized a large quantity of weapons hidden in a truck coming from Iraq. Activists say more than 1,400 Syrians have died and some 10,000 have been detained in the government crackdown since the popular uprising began in mid-March, inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. Assad initially responded with vague promises of reform, but the increas ingly deadly government crackdown has only added fuel to the movement. Thousands of protesters across the country now vow to continue until Assad leaves power. There is no sign of that, however. The crackdown has obliterated a viewheld by many in Syria and abroad of Assad as a reformer at heart, one constrained by members of his late father's old guard who were fighting change, especially privileged members of the Assads' minority Alawite sect. An offshoot of Shiite Islam, the Alawites represent about 11 percent of Syria's population, which is over whelmingly Sunni Muslim. The sect's longtime dominance has bred resentments, which Assad has worked to tamp down by pushing a strictly secular identity in Syria. But Assad is now relying heavily on his Alawite power base to crush the resistance, particularly amid rumors that Sunni army conscripts have been refusing to fire on civilians. The president and commander-inchief's latest military moves in the north and east are being carried out by his most trusted forces many of them Alawites whose fate is linked to the regime's. The bloody new push, against civilians who took up arms and reportedly military mutineers, was clearly designed to keep the opposition from establishing a base, as happened in Libya, where rebels trying to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi took over Benghazi. In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. condemns the "barbaric acts" in Syria. In a statement, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton accused Iran of assisting its ally Syria in the opposi tion crackdown. She didn't detail such assistance, but Syrian human rights activist Ammar Qurabi, at a Paris news conference, claimed the Iranians have sent guns and electric batons to Syrian authori ties, and Iranian computer experts were in Damascus hacking into activists' email and Facebook accounts. For its part, Tehran on Tuesday warned the U.S. against any military intervention in Syria. "This would be a mistake and an engagement in a scene which can bring dire consequences for the region," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters. Washington and its allies have shown little appetite, however, for intervening in yet another Arab nation in turmoil, as NATO has done in Libya. There is real concern that Assad's ouster would spread chaos around the region. Assad has had to juggle many factors in the Syrian political landscape: its sizable minority populations; a majority Sunni population drawn in part to Muslim fundamentalism; an influential military, and alliances with such external Shiite forces as Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah. The government crackdown has brought intense international condemnation and sanctions on Syrian fig ures including Assad, a soft-spoken, British-trained eye doctor who told the Wall Street Journal in January his country was immune to the unrest sweeping the Arab world because he is in tune with his people's needs. Now an international pariah, Assad will struggle to regain a semblance of legitimacy if he manages to quell a revolt spreading quickly across the country and to a wider cross-section of society. On Tuesday, activists said about 2,000 doctors, pharmacists, lawyers and engineers protesting in the central city of Hama called for the regime's downfall a significant shift in a movement that so far appears dominated by the young, poor and disenfranchised. For the most part, the opposition has yet to bring out the middle and upper middle classes in Damascus and Aleppo, Syria's two key cities. The monied classes have been Assad sup porters, preferring a heavy-handed regime to instability. If that support unravels, Assad's dictatorship could begin to wobble, 11 years after he inherited power from his father, the late Hafez Assad, who ruled with an iron hand for three decades. Militar y seals off str ateg ic ar eas By LARRYSMITH THREE interesting environmental projects are in the works that could have a big impact on our landscapes andl ifestyles at the eastern, weste rn and southern extremities of Nassau. They are the proposed redevelopment of the 18-acre Botanical Gardens at Chippingham, the multi-million-dol-l ar reorganisation and restorat ion of the derelict Montagu foreshore, and the possible creation of a model Bahamian township on 250 acres of undeveloped land at South Beach. S OUTH BEACH TOWNSHIP A public tender to design the township was won late last year by Nassau architects Alex-iou & Associates, who linked u p with TSW & Associates of Atlanta, a leading New Urbani st design firm. Lionel Johns on, a young Bahamian archit ect now receiving post-graduate planning experience at T SW, will work with principals Mike Alexiou and Bill Tunnel on this capstone project. T he key goal is to create a n ew community that breaks the pattern of urban sprawl that has blighted most Bahamian development over recent decades. Draft plans for the South Beach Township pro-p ose 3,000 high-density resid ential units mixed with commercial, civic and recreational areas. The housing has a smaller footprint than most Bahamian subdivisions and will bed ivided into three walkable neighbourhoods, with live/work accommodation linked by bike and pedestrian paths as well as roads. Space for government offices also will b e included. T his is the first opportunity for the creation of a new town for Bahamians based on thep rinciples of New Urbanism, a design philosophy that pro motes walkable, mixed-use neighbourhoods to create am ore eco-friendly style of building and living. Environmental damage during the cons truction process is minimized, while sustainability on all fronts is emphasized. Drainage on the relatively low-lying property was amongi ssues discussed at a recent d esign charette for the project in Nassau. The township land was carved out of the Sea Breeze residential estate in southeast Nassau, which was partially developed as a canal-b ased subdivision by the G eorge Baker family in the 1960s. Parliament passed a resolution last year to acquire 200plus acres from the Baker estate as part of a regularization of the original real estated eal. T o help control flooding, preserve tree cover and provide public amenities, the designers propose a regionalp ark with a large lagoon, both of which can be inundated during severe storms. A flushing channel will be excavateda long the shoreline to improve tidal flow, provide boat access and create recreational oppor-t unities. The spoil from this dredging will be used to restore the beach dune. T his project is being spearh eaded by the prime minister's office, as a response to "the challenges of urbanization,i nclusive of human services and well-being, infrastructure, liv-a bility and aesthetics." N ASSAU BOTANICAL GARDENS What we now know as the B otanical Gardens was originally a rock quarry for the construction of Fort Charlotte int he 1780s. In the early 20th c entury the site was used as an agricultural research centre, and was converted into ab otanical garden when the country became independent in 1973. A national herbarium was created at the site in 1996. This was a joint project of the Department of Agriculture,t he Bahamas National Trust and the College of the Bahamas essentially a data b ase of dried plants collected over the years by various scientists from around the islands. Although still advertised to t ourists, aside from being an o pen space the site offers little to match its description as a botanical garden. It is generally devoid of visitors outside of special events like the International Cultural Fair. But nowt here is the prospect of a dram atic improvement, linked partly to the desire for a better tourism product and partly to the need of the Bahamas National Trust for a new headquarters. R ealising that it was runn ing out of space at its old Village Road HQ, the BNT proposed moving its administrative offices from the Retreat( the former home of a colonial civil servant named Arthur Langlois and his Bahamian wife, Margaret) while at thes ame time reviving the degraded botanical gardens. The buildings at the Retreat wouldb ecome a visitor centre for the 11-acres of native coppice that surround them. I n pursuit of this objective, t he BNT linked up with Steve Mouzon, another New Urban ist planner dedicated to sust ainable design who has published an award-wining booko n Bahamian architecture. M uch in demand as a celebrity s peaker, Mouzon is a founder of the Miami-based New Urban Guild a sort of intern ational think tank for architects who advocate traditional community design. M ouzon's conceptual plans f or the Botanical Gardens envision a multi-faceted destination linked to other attrac t ions in the area, like Arawak Cay and the Ardastra Gardens & Zoo. The goal is to create a substantive experience for visitors and residents, showcasing Bahamian culture, hor ticulture and agriculture t hrough one jam-packed educational opportunity after another." T he conceptual plans are a distillation of discussions that took place at a design charette held earlier this month at Dockendale House, where the Ministry of the Environment is located. Invited participants included BNT and Ministry ofT ourism executives, planners, d evelopers and landscape architects. Key features include a new roundabout on West Bay Street with a corridor leading to the entrance arch and moreo rganised parking; a bandstand f or cultural events, together with a new overlook building; a rock garden screening the Humane Society kennels; a children's garden and play-g round; an orchid house; f armer's market and orchard. Craft cottages will make and sell native produce and plant-derived products, providing commercial opportunities for tradesmen and artisans.A culinary institute and restaurant will feature Bahamian d ishes, while a meeting hall a nd natural ampitheatre prov ide space for workshops and special events. All of the buildi ngs will express traditional Bahamian architectural themes. G roundwater will be p umped by a windmill, grey water will be recycled for irrigation, and all south-facing roofs will be fitted with solar panels for electricity production. The fruit orchard will bei nterspersed with parking s paces, and the existing herbarium will be refurbished and upgraded. The BNT headquarters building is planned for the hilltop at the site's northeast cor-n er. Complete with an observation tower, it will act as a signpost for the gardens, which will be operated as a publicprivate partnership. Current thinking is that the BNT would a ssume overall management o f the government-owned property, with concessions leased to private operators. Ini t ial redevelopment could be c ompleted within a year of approval, but a formal presentation to cabinet has yet to bem ade. MONTAGU F ORESHORE This project is the most def inite of the three discussed here. This summer the Ministry of Works will add turning lanes at Blair, Johnson Road and Fox Hill Road to dramatically improve traffic flow, while Kerzner Interna-t ional will fund a multi-milliond ollar restoration of the 1200 feet of beach between the fort and the old hotel pier, and 300 feet between the fort and the Nassau Yacht Club. For most of the island's hist ory, the Montagu was our prem ier recreational beach, but it has now all but disappeared, with barely 12 feet of sand near the pier at high tide, and none at all near the fort. Coastale ngineer Dr Kevin Bodge told a town meeting at Queen's College last week that a series of t-groins would be built into the ocean to hold sand in place, while sand fences and native dune vegetation would bei nstalled along 700 feet of backshore. H igh-quality sand would t hen be deposited to create a t hree-acre beach at high tide and almost four acres at low t ide enough for hundreds of users. The state-of-the-art beach restoration is expectedt o take three months to comp lete and, based on similar restorations Bodge has undertaken elsewhere, will be longlasting although storm damage will require repairs. "The beach restoration does n ot include upland improvem ents," Bodge said. "Tidal flushing will be generally unchanged and the restoration will neither create nor cure water quality problems. Those will have to be addressed sep-a rately." The water quality problems he was referring to derive mostly from the adjacent fish market and boat ramp, which contribute fish entrails and oil d ischarges to the coastal shall ows. Human waste is another factor due to the lack of public restrooms and running water,a s well as seepage from the s ewerage system and nearby septic tanks. Environment Minister Earl D eveaux promised increased monitoring of water quality by the Department of Environm ental Health Services, but noted that proper use of the foreshore was a responsibility of users. "We have to accept that we can't just act as we please because user conflicts at the Montagu can lead to potential health risks for us all." M ontagu MP Loretta Butl er-Turner told the packed town meeting that plans were being completed to move the vendors off the ramp to hygienic stalls on the adjacent reclaimed land and build pub-l ic restrooms. The ramp will b e accessed only from the signalled intersection, and traffic would be prevented from flowing north towards the fort and the yacht club. Some 200 park-i ng spaces will be available w hen the project is finished, and the government is seeking to acquire more land in the area from private owners. This combination of major beach restoration, addition oft urning lanes at three Eastern Road junctions, closing access t o the ramp from East Bay S treet, building public r estrooms, and moving vendors to better accommodation i n the same area should resolve much of the Montagu's infamous chaos and safety risks.A nd it has taken over 20 years t o get to this point. CONCLUSION These three projects illustrate the key environmental and developmental issues facedb y the island of New Provid ence. How can we accommodate hundreds of thousands of people in liveable communities on shrinking land resources? How can we resolve increasing conflicts betweenr ecreational and commercial users of public spaces? How can we leverage our cultural and environmental heritage to enhance our tourist product and earn more revenue? I f we are to maintain our q uality of life for future gener ations, these are the kinds of issues that must engage poli c ymakers and professionals in b oth the public and private sec tors. As someone once said, let's not pass stupid on to ourk ids. W hat do you think? Send com ments to l firstname.lastname@example.org Or visit www.bahamapundit.com Environmental projects that could have a big impact SYRIAN REFUGEES carry food supplies donated by Turkish villagers across the border to fellow r efugees still stuck in S yria, near the village of Guvecci, Turkey, on the Turkish Syrian border, T uesday. (AP INTERNATIONALNEWS
BUENOS AIRES, A rgentina A ssociated Press THEcloud of ash spewing f rom a volcano in Chile grounded more flights Tuesday in countries from U ruguay to Australia, forci ng Peru's president-elect to cross a river by boat and threatening to delay the start o f the continent's football championship. The schedule of next mont h's Copa America could be a ltered if the ash cloud from Chile's volcano keeps g rounding flights, Argentine Football Association President Julio Grondona said. "We're watching it closely a nd it's for sure that teams are not ready to come to Buenos Aires," Grondona told Argentine broadcaster Radio 10. "The tournament starts July 1 and we hope thatw ithin five or six days the p roblems with the ash will not exist." Peruvian President-elect O llanta Humala, who met with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez on Tues day, was forced to take a boat across the Rio de la Pla-ta from Montevideo, Uruguay, to Buenos Aires on M onday because flights were grounded. Airpor ts T he main international airports in Argentina and Uruguay were closed, and across the Pacific more Australian flights were canceled because of ash from Chile's Cordon Caulle volcano. The cloud of fine grit can damage airplane engines and it had disrupted hundreds of flights since the volcano began erupting June 4. In areas near the volcano in Chile, about 4,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. Hundreds of passengers were stuck in terminals as flights remained grounded at Buenos Aires' main airports. Many of those forced to change their travel plans have been tourists, and resorts in the mountains of Patagonia that have been blanketed with ash say they expect major losses due tothe dearth of visitors. Organisers of the Copa America weren't the only ones worried about the pos sible affects on a football tournament. Organisers of t he club-level Copa Libertad ores had talked of delaying W ednesday's match in Uruguay between Brazil's S antos and Uruguay's Penarol due the lack of flights, but the Braziliansm anaged to arrive Tuesday. I n Australia, meanwhile, airlines scrambled to fly out thousands of passengers who had been stranded for two days in Melbourne. More than 70,000 passengers hadb een stranded in Australia but it was unclear how many still were as flights resumed i n Melbourne. About two dozen flights to and from the southern Aus t ralian city of Adelaide were canceled Tuesday. Er uption N ew Zealand's Civil Avia tion Authority said the ash will be back in Chile soon, a fter circling the globe. Even if the eruption were to stop now, however, the agencys aid Australia and New Z ealand can expect at least another week of ash clouds in their airspace. In Chile, ash stopped falling Tuesday on some small towns near the volcanoa fter leaving a thin film on homes, the governor's office said in Ranco, a province located about 500 miles (800 k ilometers) south of Santiago. Although seismic activity has lessened, experts have been closely monitoring the eruption while the volcano has been shrouded intermittently by clouds and rain. In Ranco, authorities on Monday allowed dozens to return to their homes and the provincial government said others returned temporarily to tend to their cattle and other farm animals. Last week, steaming rivers near the volcano were filled with tons of hot volcanic rocks, and experts said the temperature of the Nilahue River reached 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius), killing off large numbers of salmon. The Nilahue River has now cooled to its normal temperature of about 42 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius), the Ranco government said. The river, which has been swollen with rainwater in recent days, has deposited large amounts of volcanic rock in Ranco Lake. INTERNATIONAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011, PAGE 11 A MAN WEARING a protective mask walks on a street blanketed in volcanic ash from Chile's Puyeh ue-Cordon Caulle volcano in Villa L a Angostura in southern Argentin a, Tuesday June 14, 2011. Scientists say the volcano's eruption has diminished, although they warn that ash likely will keep spewing out for at least several m ore days. (AP MORE FLIGHTS HALTED BY ASH FROM CHILEAN VOLCANO A MAN WALKS a t Ezeiza international airport, where flights were canceled or delayed due to a volcanic ash cloud that reached Argentina's capital grounding most air travel in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday. (AP
$4. 68 $4. 51 $4. 69T he information contained is from a third party and The Tribune can not be held r esponsible for errors and/or omission from the daily report.$ $5.59 $5.29 $5.67 T HETRIBUNE SECTIONB email@example.comWEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011 100% Principal Protected 10% min return (2% p.a. Invest in Bahamian DollarsProt from the Global Crisis in Food and FuelPLUS 60% participation in performance of Agribusiness and Energy Indices GET TIGRS Series 5June 20th thru July 1st$10MLimited Oering $11m BTC savings via 50% cost drop TABLETTALK: BTC CEO Geoff Houston holds up a tablet PC yesterday at a press confrence held at BTCJ FK. Tim Clarke /Tribune staff Eight-figure procurement savings in less than two months, as buying team told nothing less than 20% cost drop will do BTC to invest $43m over two years in 4G cellular network Hoping for regulatory approval on reduced cellular rates by mid-July B y NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor T he Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC per cent less for big capital itemst han it did pre-privatisation, its chief executive yesterday disclosing that some $11 million in procurement/contract savings had been generated in the past two months. Announcing that BTCs procurement team had been told to look for nothing less than 20 per cents avings on every equipment and supply contract, G eoff Houston said the former incumbent, now 51 per cent majority-owned by Cable & Wireless Com SEE page 2B By NEIL HARTNELL T ribune Business Editor T he Bahamas Telecommun ications Companys (BTC chief executive yesterday p ledged to complete an interconnection agreement withS ystems Resource G roup/Cable Bahamas as fast as we can, with the newl y-privatised operator hoping to make an aggressive trans ition to its Next Generation Network (NGNp arents financial year. E xpressing hope that regBTC PLEDGES INTERCONNECT WITH CABLE AS FAST AS WE CAN Aggressive transition to Next Generation Network to take place late in majority owners financial year* Still looking at 50 retail stores Lot of sleepless nights over more BTC employees than necessary taking r edundancy packages S EE page 4B By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor The Treasurers decision to question the amount of Stamp Duty payable on real estate transactions is the exception, not the rule, a government minister said yesterday, emphasising that the Ingraham administration doesnt want to impede that market. Stressing that the Gov ernment wanted to strike a balance between encourag ing real estate deals and ensuring it collected the proper amount of Stamp Stamp Duty queries exception, not r ule Minister emphasises balance between collecting due taxes and not impeding real estate deals Unhealthy if T reasury does not have power to examine suspect deals Suggests recession and impact on property values has sparked questions Zhivargo Laing SEE page 4B By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor A former Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA day urged the Government to rapidly clarify the situation surrounding Stamp Duty payable on real estate transactions, warning it would cause total, total upheaval if not addressed. William Wong, of William Wong & Associ ates, told Tribune Business that the Treasurys seem ing increasing use of real property tax valuations/assessments to determine the amount of Stamp Duty due on real estate transactions meant both buyers and sellers do not know what they will ultimately have to pay. I think itll kind of put the buyers in an awkward spot, Mr Wong said. Were between a pig and a poke, because we do not know what the property costs. You will have delays, and people have budgets to spend a certain amount of money. It throws the whole industry into total, total upheaval. I believe this changes the whole playing field. Now, when you sell a property and tell the client this is what the conditions are, the Government can turn SEE page 5B T OTAL, TOTAL UPHEAVAL FEARS ON S T AMP DUT Y B y ALISON LOWE B usiness Reporter a firstname.lastname@example.org A major Bahamian food wholesaler yesterday said the prices of to 40 items were increasing every day, with more hikes t o come as consumers wall ets so far shielded prepare for a greater hit. D on Carnine, general m anager of Bahamas Food S ervices, said the wholesaler has felt the impact of a rise in the price of manys taples, in particular soy bean or corn-based products, and rice. A lot of low cost items have gone up. Soy beans and different raw products that provide some of the b ase or foundation for a lot o f different items have g one up. Its increased a lot o f commodities in price. W ith corn you see a steady i ncrease: some days it might be 10 to 12 per cent, 30 days later its another seven to eight per cent, hes aid. Beef has also seen significant price increases lately,a s has chicken, turkey, lamb and veal, said Mr Carnine. He attributed the beef price hikes primarilyt o added demand for the m eat during barbecue sea son. but the cost increases are also a product of ther ising cost of corn, which is used as feed for cattle. As for turkey, the food wholesaler said these are probably the highest WHOLESALER: TO 40 FOOD PRICES UP EVERY DAY SEE page 5B
m unications (CWC seeking to become more effi cient across all elements of s pending. The cost savings generated from the purchasing power,a nd economies of scale, prov ided by CWCs Caribbean regional affiliate, LIME, are what has enabled BTC to a pply for the first significant change in its cellular rate structure, which should takee ffect in July. W hile BTC executives declined to confirm the new proposed rates or level of d ecrease, given that the reduction awaits the Utilities Regulation & Competition A uthoritys (URCA approval, the company con firmed it would invest $43 million over the next two years in e stablishing a nationwide 4G ( fourth generation) cellular n etwork. Pledging that this would be rolled out in New Providencea nd Grand Bahama prior to Christmas 2011, Mr Houston said the 4G network which will allow Bahamians toa ccess the Internet via their cell phones at landline speed, providing the platform for B TC to introduce a suite of new data-based products would be extended to all theF amily Islands. U nveiling the short-term way forward for BTC, after UK-based CWC completedi ts majority stake purchase two months ago, Mr Houston said the new owner had a lready delivered some quick wins. It was seeking more as it sought to transform the company from one that w as inward and engineering focused to a firm concentrat ing on marketing, sales and customer service. Confirming that CWC/LIME had used theirb uying power to reduce costs and negotiate network contracts at significantly bet-t er rates, Mr Houston said this, together with the renegotiation of some existing contracts, had generated $11 million in savings for the business. Thats a work in progress, but were very hopeful given the start weve got off to, he added. Asked by Tribune Business about the level of cost savings CWC hoped to generate for BTC via its economies of scale, Mr Houston said: The procurement team will be looking at noth ing less than 20 per cent. If youre comparing what the business was paying b efore and what were payi ng now for big capital items, were getting savings of 40-50 per cent. I t was cost savings such as these, Mr Houston said, that had more or less enabled BTC to apply for the reducedc ellular rates. This suggests that BTC was constrained under government ownership f rom doing this because it was unable to sufficiently bring its cost structure (operatingc osts) down to compensate f or the revenue loss. Roaming With BTC also seeking by m id-July to offer lower roam ing and long distance rates to the 13 other Caribbean terri tories, Mr Houston said allc ost reduction avenues were being explored while the companys 1,200 staff mulledw hether to accept the Voluntary Separation Packages (VSEPs Our plan at the moment is to take costs out of the business elsewhere, and look ath ow we can make the busi ness more efficient across all elements of spending, prop erty, procurement costs, support costs, suppliers. Were looking to be a more efficient company everywhere, the BTC chief executive said. He added that the build out and launch of BTCs 4G cellular network would take place this side of Christmas, with New Providence and Grand Bahama covered before year-end. The network would then quickly be extended to the Family Islands over the next 18 months, Mr Houston pledging: If we can do it f aster, we will. We will get to t he Family Islands as fast as we can. The 4G network is going to give customers thep latform for mobile Internet access. CWC/BTC is billing the 4G network as an investment thatw ill take the Bahamas into the Caribbeans number one spot for cutting edge, fast m obile technology. Once deployed, it will allow cus tomers to use their laptops to a ccess the Internet wherever a c ell phone signal exists, and provide a platform for a 20channel mobile TV service. T ribune Business reported several weeks ago how CWCs London-based chief e xecutive, Tony Rice, had dis closed that BTC would be getting a new cellular net work. In the meantime, aC WC team has been deployed to the Bahamas in a bid to deal with the existing networks areas of no cover age and dropped call frequency. As we start to deliver on some of the early promises, weve put a team on the islandt o optimise the mobile network, and hopefully plug a few holes in terms of dropped calls....., Mr Houston said. The optimisation programme were doing is a quick win. Its not going to involve significant invest ment. He described it as involving a few adjustments to the network, reducing some of the bottlenecks, and added: Its not going to be perfect. If youre looking to get to what will be branded a world-class performing net work, we will not get there with the network weve got now. BFSB BRIEFING WILL FOCUS ON CANADA TIEA BUSINESS PAGE 2B, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011 THE TRIBUNE F inancial planning consultant Glenn S Ferguson is hosting a retirement planning seminar on Tuesday, June 21, at SuperClub Breezes on Cable Beach. Emphasising that he was committed to making retirement planning househ old words for Bahamians, Mr Fergus on said in a statement: The country is c urrently in a flux, as more and more persons are finding themselves facing the prospect of retirement without having the appropriate exposure or tools that are necessary for preparing them for thisl ife-changing event, resulting in an i ncreasing number of retiring Bahamians being woefully unprepared for retirem ent. He said this would result in an increas ing number of Bahamians becoming d ependent on the Government, their families of charity for support during retirement. And some 76 per cent ofB ahamians will have to continue working b ecause they will not be able to afford r etirement. Mr Ferguson said money will n ot be the only concern for Bahamians, as most will not have the physical health needed to cope with retirement. Some 70 per cent of Bahamians are now obese, while 80 per cent suffer from a lifestyle d isorder such as hypertension (high b lood pressure), diabetes or high chol esterol, with an ever-increasing number being affected by coronary heart and kidney diseases. While retirement traditionally happens at the end of a lifetime of working,w hen persons were really too old to work a nd too young to die, and retirement was rather brief, with persons spending that t ime enjoying gardening and their grandchildren while talking about the good old days with friends, this is not ther eality of todays retirement, as persons will be retiring earlier and living longer, Mr Ferguson added. Unfortunately, most persons are u naware of this change, which is why this s ession is so critical for participants. T he one-day seminar, under the theme R etirement Secrets Exposed has among its sponsors the National Insurance Board. Mr Ferguson said it will: Sensitise participants about the need f or Retirement Planning Discusses the changing face of retirement, along with the psychological, educational and financial preparations that must be made Sensitise participants to a holistic, b alanced and integrated approach to r etirement planning Provide strategies that will enable r etiring Bahamians to transition successfully to retirement E ach participant will also receive a copy of the 68-page Strategies for Achieving A Comfortable Retirement planning w orkbook, with practical exercises and e xamples to help get started. Consultant to host retirement seminar T he Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB n ext Tuesday host a Canada Bahamas Tax Update, with specific focus on the Bahamas-Canada Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA ment in its Business Seminar Series. The Industry Breakfast Briefing will be held in the V ictoria Room, British Colonial Hilton Hotel, starting at 9am. The Bahamas-Canadian TIEA was signed in June, 2010, and will come into force once the Canadian government has completed the required process for its entry into force. The Bahamas International Tax C ooperation Act 2010is the enabling legislation for the T IEAs this jurisdiction has signed. Guest presenter will be Sandra Slaats, a partner in the international tax group at Deloitte & Touches Toron-t o office. She is the chair of the Canadian firms inter national tax opinion committee ,and a member of the global firms international tax think-tank group. M s Slaats is also a member of the Joint Tax Committee of the Canadian Bar Association and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, and part of the Committees working group on the foreign affiliate r ules. From 1987 to 1990, Ms Slaats was a tax policy officer with the Canadian Department of Finance. GUEST PRESENTER: Sandra Slaats $11m BTC savings via 50% cost drop FROM page 1B
By ALISON LOWE Business Reporter email@example.com Around 100 unionised e mployees spread througho ut the soon-to-be-sold Paradise Island Harbour Resort a nd Nassau Palm hotels should benefit from a financial windfall this month, their union vice-president s aid yesterday. Darren Woods, of the B ahamas Hotel, Catering and Allied Workers Union, confirmed that the union hasb een informed the hotels will remain operational following their purchase, meaning it is likely many ifn ot all their staff will r emain employed. Nonetheless, under the t erms of the BHCAWUs contract with the current owners of the properties, employees should be offered s everance packages by the present owner once the sale goes through. Contract In our contract there is a provision called change in o wnership, where the seller w ould pay out everyone and the new owner would engage whoever he wishes, m inimising the financial o bligations on the new own e r. If I am going over I w ould get a windfall, get to t ake the money and start over, Mr Woods said. We understand that the company is prepared to pay whatever severances are o wed to employees. We have been in talks about n umbers and years to ensure t he payment packages w ould be correct. We have also reached out to the purchaser in terms of what will happen after. The seller has indicated they believe the company [buy i ng the hotels] has no intention to close them but to c ontinue to operate them. So that is a good sign, because those people who are working there presently are already in the system, so they should be re-engaged. Mr Woods said the BHCAWU represents around to 85 workers at the 246-room Paradise Island Harbour Resort, and to 25 at the 183-room Nassau Palm Hotel, on West Bay Street. On Friday, Valentine Grimes, attorney for the sellers of the Paradise Island Harbour Resort, Genwood Paradise Ltd, confirmed the sale should be concluded by t he end of the month. G enwood Paradise is an investment vehicle ownedb y Driftwood, the former o perator of Freeports stillc losed Royal Oasis Resort. Driftwood is thought to own the Nassau Palm Hotel through a separate invest-m ent vehicle. The sale had been expected to go through around May 12. Mr Woods said he understands this was delayed due to an issue with the new buyers obtaining government approvals for the purchase. M r Woods also noted that d ue to the hotel being ultimately owned by Driftwood,w ho failed to pay severance p ackages owed to workers w hen the Royal Oasis shut down, employees at the two hotels have some concerns that they may end upi n the same position. However, Mr Woods said he at present has no reason to believe the owners will not live up to their obligations. The attorney for the seller indicates they have a lready allocated the money people will receive. As a p recaution, the union has have spoken to the Minister of Labour about the matter and he wouldve spoken to the Prime Minister, so everyones eyes are on this, claimed Mr Woods. BUSINESS T HE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011, PAGE 3B Love your car? Pay less for great cover with NIBA!You will pay much less if you insure your car with NIBA. You can enjoy extra benefits too! SAVE $$$! Low premiums 100% NCD protection Low deductibles,fast claims service Generous liability coverPay less for insuring your car! Tel.Nassau 677-6422 Freeport 352-6422 or visit www.nibaquote.com NASSAU INSURANCE BROKERS AND AGENTS LIMITED Atlantic House,2nd Terrace & Collins Avenue P.O.Box N-7764 Nassau Suite 6,Jasmine Corporate Center,East Sunrise Highway P.O.Box F-42655,Freeport Tel.Nassau 677-6422 Freeport 352-6422 www.nibaquote.com Open Saturdays10.00am-2.00pm Union employees in hotel sale windfall By ALISON LOWE B usiness Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org S ir Durward Knowles will be honoured at this years C aptains o f Industry Awards hosted by the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC isations Lifetime Achievement Award winner for his accomplishments in business. The decision to award the Olympic gold medallist the honour was announced yesterday as the BCCEC invited members of t he public and the business community to attend this years awards ceremony: the 40th in its history, and the first following the merger of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and the Bahamas Employers Confederation earlier this year. A long with the Lifetime Achievement Award, awards will be given in the following categories: Business of the Year (in two categories: Those with more than 50 employees and those with l ess than 50 employees), Outstanding Business Person of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year. At a press conference at BCCEC headquarters, Khaalis R olle, its chairman, said that while it is for his sporting achieve ments and philanthropic nature that Sir Durward is most wellknown, he is also accomplished in business. The BCCEC chairman suggested that it was clear Sir Durw ard had taken that same drive and skill, which enabled him to take on the world in the Olympics, and applied it to his business pursuits. It was noted that in addition to being an O lympic sailor and businessman, Sir Durward spent 50 years as a harbour pilot becoming perhaps the longest-serving in the region guiding cruise shipss afely into Nassau harbour. I t is for his contribution in this regard to the lifeblood of the Bahamian economy tourism -t hat co-chair of the Captains of Industry Awards, Janet John son, said Sir Durward and othe rs who plied this trade could be considered one of the Bahamas unsung heroes. N inety-three year-old Sir Durward said the award was a great surprise to him, and after joking that the key to his suc cess was a secret, he admitted that it was his determina-tion, willingness to try anything and refusal to take no for an answer that had led him to accomplish his goals. Among Sir Durwards achievements are his role in creating the Nassau Harbour Pilots Association and Michelle Towing Services, owning and operating the Nassau Yacht Haven ,and creating a mobile fuel station which served boats at sea (Carib Company). He set up Ferry Services, which took passengers to private islands by tender from Cruise Ships; the Caribbean Towing Company, which transported rock throughout the Bahamas; and Island Sands, which supplied Bahamian construction busi nesses. The Bahamas Tug Boat Company was another Sir Durward creation, as it ferried boat harbour pilots out to incoming tankers, which they would guide into Clifton Pier to offload fuel. Meanwhile, along with his friends Craig Symonette and J. Barrie Farrington, Sir Durward purchased the Hurricane Hole marina in 1983, turned it into a profit-making enterprise and resold it in 1987 for a handsome profit. Janet Johnson, co-chair of the Captains of Industry Awards, said Sir Durward had been a trailblazer and pioneer in the maritime field. Mr Rolle said it was fitting that most of the businesses in which Sir Durward had an involvement are related to the mar itime industry, as there are increasingly more ways for Bahamians to get involved in the maritime sector. Sir Durward will be formally honoured with his Lifetime Achievement Award during the BCCECs Captains of Industry Awards ceremony on July 1. Other nominees in this category were: Marvin Bethell, Norbert Boissiere, Roy Bowe, Sir Garret Finlayson, Sir Sol Kerzner, Sir Durward Knowles, Billy Lowe, Judy Munroe, Diane Philips and Cedric Saunders. Nominees in the Business of the Year (more than 50 employ ees) category are: Abaco Markets, Arawak Homes and Builders Mall. Business of the year (less than 50 employees include: Coin of the Realm, Ports International and ZipX Bahamas. Businessperson of the year will be selected from Elizabeth Covington (Tommy Hilfiger), Jason Kinsale (Balmoral Devel opment), Stephen Greenslade (ICS) and Vivien Eldon (Splash Dance) Entrepreneur of the year nominees are: Ethan Quant (Pro gressive Consumer Services) and Charles Kemp/Allan Rolle/Chairo Munroe (Chalmuns The awards will be held on Friday, July 1, at 7pm at the British Colonial Hilton. Tickets are $150, those interested in purchasing tickets can call 322 2145 or email@example.com Sir Durward is set for top honour HONOUR: Sir Durward Knowles.
D uty due, Zhivargo Laing, minister of state for finance, s aid it would be unhealthy if the Treasury did not have the power to question the amount of duty offered when proper suspicions arose. Noting that the absence o f such powers would leave the Treasury and governm ent revenues exposed to numerous abuses and unlawful behaviour, Mr Laing said there was no evidence to suggest that Treasury queries on Stamp Dutyand the use of real propert y tax valuations to assess t he correct amount was becoming the norm. The minister told Tribune Busi-n ess that the Government, through information already h eld by its agencies, was aware of people who had listed properties for sale, say a t $2 million, but then produced conveyancings for S tamping that reflected a much lower purchase price or market value. Question A cknowledging that due Stamp Duty was calculated o n market value, or the value of the transaction, Mr Laing said: What the Treas urer is empowered to do is t o question whether in fact the transaction reflects the v alue of the property...... There are people who a re desirous of taking advantage of market conditions, saying that the prope rty is valued at substantially less than it is. The Treasurer is empowe red to assess the value of a property. Q uestioning whether the Treasury should accept Stamp Duty paid on a $ 100,000 purchase price, when the property in quest ion was worth $500,000, Mr Laing emphasised: The Treasurer is empowered to question whether the trans-a ction reflects the true value of the property. However, he conceded: That ought to be the exception, not the rule. Im not aware of that being the rule, although Imh earing of an increasing n umber of such incidents, and inquired about that. There is nothing to say that is the rule. M r Laing was responding to concerns expressed by b oth the Bahamas Bar Association and Bahamas Real Estate Association ( BREA), whose members fear the Bahamian real e state market and numerous transactions are being d isrupted by uncertainty o ver the final amount of S tamp Duty payable on a d eal. This uncertainty, they said, has stemmed from the T reasurys increasing reliance on real property tax valuations to determine the amount of Stamp Duty due. T he minister suggested the Treasury was only intere sted in transactions that appeared not to reflect hist orical values of the conc erned property, based on information held in the public domain. Appraisals H e acknowledged, t hough, that independent p roperty appraisals could be used to make a case to the T reasury that prevailing market conditions were not in line with historical trends. I dont think its unreas onable for the Treasurer to q uestion whether a transaction reflects the true value o f assets being exchanged, Mr Laing said. In an environment like weve had, where weve hada recession for two years and people have found them selves in distress, there are those seeking to make thec ase that property valuess had decreased so significantly that the transaction reflects that reduced value. He added: Lawyers and realtors who believe they have a legitimate case that ought to be looked at, it canb e looked at. We can look at it to see the extent to which they have a case or not. This is a power we believe the Treasury ought t o have. If not, it cant be healthy for the Treasury, and leaves the Treasury open to all kinds of unlawful behaviour. We want to balance life. We want to encourage transactions in the real estate industry; we dont want to impede them. We want to charge people no more than is lawfully due, but what is lawfully due is based on the value of the transaction, and that has to be a legitimate value. We dont want to charge people more than is due, but dont want the Treasury to get less than its due. BUSINESS PAGE 4B, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011 THE TRIBUNE 3URMHFW 0$1$*(0(17)25(68/76*5$0 ) LQDQFLQJ QWHU$PHULFDQ'HYHORSPHQW%DQN $ EVWUDFW (GZDUGV:RUOG+XPDQ&DSLWDO 'HYHORSPHQW&RQVXOWDQW 6HFWRU ),1$1&( 7 HFKQLFDO&RRSHUDWLRQ $ 1XPEHU ,QYLWDWLRQIRU([SUHVVLRQVRI,QWHUHVW 'HDGOLQH WK -XO\+2856 7 KH *RYHUQPHQWRIWKH&RPPRQZHDOWKRI7KH%DKDPDV*2&%f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f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ulatory approval of BTCs Reference Access and Interconnection Offer (RAIO track interconnection talks, Mr Houston said: We have comm itted to progress those discussions and negotiations in good faith, and are being very proactive in coming to an agreement. Obviously, the RAIO sets out the rules and the process, and were hoping that as that becomes more visible to everybody, that will encourage everyone to fast track that negotiation and move on. Wed rather get that discussion, and SRGs interconnection, out of the way as fast as we can. Together with number portability, interconnection is vital to both stimulating competition in the Bahamian fixed-line voice services market and Cable Bahamas ambition to enter the same, especially given its recent $8 million acquisition of SRG, t he only legal rival to BTC in this area. T ribune Business understands that the sector regulator, the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA virtually approved BTCs RAIO. Both it and Cable B ahamas/SRG will have three months from the RAIO approval to negotiate an interconnection agreement. These talks were recently embroiled in controversy, with URCA forced last month to issue an Interim Order setting out the timetable for talks and conditions that both sides must m eet. URCA was forced to intervene after BTC, which has been p ursuing SRG for months to sign a new Interconnection Agreem ent compliant with its RAIO, threatened to terminate interc onnection. Such a move would have effectively eliminated a ll existing competition in the fixed-line voice market, with SRG claiming that BTC was abusing its Significant Market Power (SMP The background to this is that the previous Interconnection Agreement between BTC and SRG, a five-year deal signed in 2 004, expired in 2009. SRG's position is that this agreement was extended, under URCA's supervision, until the new regulations were formalised, and BTC's RAIO approved. A s a result, the company's position as agreed by the regul ator was that the existing Interconnection Agreement cont inue in force until such time as the RAIO came into force. However, BTC's position is that a new Interconnection Agreement has to be negotiated that is compliant with the RAIO something it is still finalising with URCA. Meanwhile, Mr Houston said the newly-privatised BTC had made a few good strides in figuring out what to do with its N ext Generation Network, looking to use it to fast track the launch of its 8 MB (Megabyte T r ialled The NGN network is currently being trialled in Coral Harbour, and Mr Houston said BTC was intent on getting high speed broadband Internet product to market as quickly as we can. He added that the NGN network, and the platform it pro v ided, would not only help us compete more efficiently and put u s on track for competing and growing the Internet business, b ut also enable BTC to launch new communications products s uch as TV. A sked by Tribune Business when the NGN network would become fully operational, Mr Houston replied: I would say we are still going to need a little bit more time to bottom out what we need to do to operate that network. Suffice to say its going to take a little more time than what we thought, but hopefully we will start that cut over in an aggressive way this financial year, but later in this financial y ear. That financial year is CWCs, which closes in March 2012. Confirming that BTC plans to expand its retail footprint t o 50 stores, with 5,000 vendors and top-up locations throughout the Bahamas, Mr Houston said the company had been working very aggressively to enhance this experience. We expect to launch our first flagship store this side of Christmas, and that will be the formula we expect to roll-out across the rest of the Bahamas, he added. He hinted this was likely to be a refurbished Mall at Marathon location, which will be BTCs biggest flagship. Elsewhere, BTC had launched quite a few handset pro motions, Mr Houston disclosing that it had cleared some 4,000 old model handsets from its inventory. We feel, having done that, that theres a huge demand in the market for more services and promotions from BTC, Mr Houston said. Its setting a theme and trend of putting more exclusive promotions into the market on a more regular basis. A Fathers Day promotion is upcoming, and BTC had completely revamped the range of handsets and merchandising in its retail stores. New tablet, Motorola and Android phones had been introduced, and the company expects to introduce 40 different types of handset. These will include the Blackberry Playbook, Motora Xoom and Apples iPhone and iPad. Noting that BTCs planned 4G network would provide the platform to increase market share and deliver data services to Bahamian consumers, Mr Houston said: Again, as we refresh that handset range, we will hopefully take the market where it wants to go, positioning customers to take advantage of data. While BTC had a big challenge to fix the problems with its billing system, Mr Houston said a team had been dedicated to achieving this. Weve set an ambitious plan to fix the billing system, have made good progress there, and are very confident it will be fixed by the end of summer, Mr Houston added. More work also remained to be done on BTCs one number call centre and customer access to what they needed to fix their problems, but Mr Houston said BTC had put down a marker that it intended to deliver new services through its con tract to provide all Sandals PBX telecoms needs. We know weve got a lot of work ahead of ourselves to posi tion ourselves as a customer service company, Mr Houston said, but were starting to see where we need to change. Weve a good feeling for where we can eliminate a lot of bureaucracy from the business....... Weve had a lot of work to do over the last couple of months, and a lot of work to do over the next couple of months to deliver on the promises made. Weve delivered on a number of quick wins, have more coming, and expect it to be an even busier summer. Mr Houston was tight-lipped on BTCs ongoing Voluntary Separation exercise, given that the companys 1,200 staff hasve another 16 days until months end to determine whether they accept the packages on offer. Confirming that a significant sum had been set aside for this exercise, Mr Houston said the one issue creating sleepless nights for BTC and CWC was if more staff than desired took the packages. Pointing out that BTC had the right of last refusal, Mr Houston said: The big risk is we get too many people from a particular area coming forward, and that places the business at risk. We will have to manage that, engage the folks in that area in the right way, to try and get the right result. BTC pledges interconnect with Cable as fast as we can FROM page 1B Stamp Duty queries exception, not rule F ROM page 1B
CHRIS KAHN, AP Energy Writer NEW YORK Oil climbed above $99 per barrel Tuesday following a better-than-expected retail sales report, a decline in the dollar and a broad rally on Wall Street. The U.S. government reported that retail sales slipped 0.2 percent last month, the first decline in nearly a year. Lower cars sales brought down the reading. The report still beat analysts' expectations. Excluding car sales, retail sales rose 0.3 percent. The Labor Department also added some upbeat news, saying that food costs were falling. Stocks and oil rallied after the reports came out. Benchmark West Texas Intermedi ate crude for July delivery gained $2.07, or 2.1 percent, to settle at $99.37 per barrel, rebounding from Monday's decline on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude added 93 cents to settle at $119.35 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Standard and Poor's 500 and the Nasdaq were more than 1 percent higher in late afternoon trad ing, the best gain for stocks in two weeks. Oil rose against a weaker dollar. Oil is priced in U.S. currency and tends to rise as the greenback falls and makes crude cheaper for investors holding foreign currency. Analyst and trader Stephen Schork noted that despite waning demand in the U.S., oil continues to look like a relatively safe investment when compared with the dollar. The world still needs fuel, and supplies are expected to get tighter this year as China and other emerging nations consume more. "There's some momentum there," Schork said. And crude prices will continue to be supported by production problems in the North Sea, a shutdown in Libyan exports and supply issues in Nigeria. Excess Goldman Sachs said Tues day that "it is only a matter of time" before excess production from Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries will become "effectively exhaust ed." That means the market will need "higher oil prices to restrain demand, keeping it in line with available supplies," Goldman analyst David Greely said. In the U.S., motorists have cut back on gasoline purchases for 12 weeks in a row, according to the latest survey by MasterCard SpendingPulse. SpendingPulse, which tracks purchases at thousands of pumps around the country, estimated that Americans bought 389.8 million gallons per day of gasoline last week. That's down 1 percent from the same week a year ago. Gasoline pump prices dropped to $3.696 per gallon (97 cents a liter according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Infor mation Service. The U.S. average is still almost a dollar more than a year ago. Analysts expect the national aver age to fall as low as $3.50 per gallon this month. In other Nymex trading for July contracts, heating oil added 2 cents to settle at $3.1258 per gallon, while gasoline futures gained 6.78 cents to settle at $3.0646 per gallon. Natural gas lost 6.5 cents to settle at $4.581 per 1,000 cubic feet. BUSINESS T HE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011, PAGE 5B 5 (48,5(0(176 4 0 F'RQDOGVRIIHUVH[FHOOHQWEHQHWV otal, total upheaval fears on Stamp Duty around and say: No, this is what the Stamp Duty is. Its ridiculous. It just throws a monkey w rench into the whole system. How can you deal in this market if the client does not know what to pay for it? One of my agentsh ad something similar to this, and said: Mr Wong, this deal is going to fall through because the Government is going to value this property higher than they are going top ay for it. T he former BREA president said a realtor might advise that a certain rate and amountof Stamp Duty was due, only for the Treasury to insist that the last real property tax valuation put it in a higher duty band, leav ing both buyer and seller paying more taxes t han budgeted. Thats unreasonable. I dont know where this has come from, but its not right, and the Government needs to fix that, Mr Wong said. Youve got to know what youre pay i ng. Weve got to pay Stamp Duty on what the market is selling for, not on real property tax valuations. D escribing the impact of all this as chaotic, Mr Wong said: If you have to sell your property quickly, at a fire sale, and are hit to pay more in Stamp Duty, whats the point?T he whole deal can go south. Some conside ration needs to be given with that. The sooner the better, because we need these sales right now. FROM page 1B I NTERNATIONAL NEWS /associated press Wholesaler: to 40 food prices up every day (price dicted that consumers will be faced with a major year-over-year increase when they go to pick out their Christm as turkey this year. It seems like everything continues to rise. Eventually it will hit a ceiling and come back down. Every day we are getting 30 or 40 items with price increases coming into us, the Bahamas F ood Services general managers said. One of the knock-on effects, said Mr Carnine, is that some chefs, food and b everage managers (at local hotels a nd even housewives shopping for dinn er are making little different decis ions on what they will buy and put on t heir menu. In the retail sector, theres a little bit of a shift towards more dollar stretching, more value items. A couple of restaurants and hotels have changed their menus around to accommodate more value-added products, he added. Gavin Watchorn, president of AML F oods, said his company has noticed p rices increases in food items com ing through the system, but antici-p ates that the worst of the effect has y et to be felt. I think the large increase s are not here yet, he added. Mr Watchorn said consumers have been shielded to a degree from the fulle ffect of the increases that the company has experienced, as AML Foods and, he suspects, other retailers have absorbed much of the price rises. Because of the intense nature of the competitiveness of the market, most are being absorbed by the retailers. Theres an ever-increasing number of competitors in the business, and the marketplace is not growing at the same rate. Pricing has to remain competitive to maintain market share. Itsg ood for the consumer, but given the f act that were trying to manage increasing utility costs, it puts a squeeze on the bottom line, the AML Foods chief explained. In this regard, Mr Watchorn noted how a US supplier of his company was i n Nassau last week and commented about how prices here are lower thani n South Florida in some cases. Particularly produce prices. Costs A s to what point the company may be forced to pass on more costs to consumers, Mr Watchorn said AML Foods as a publicly traded entity does face pressures that other companies with a single shareholder or small shareholder groups, such as Supervalue, do not face. We have to provide a return on investment to shareholders, and there i s a limit to what people can absorb. Unless you see some relief in utility costs you will that get passed on to consumers. Its unsustainable otherw ise, he said. M r Watchorn could not point to one f ood category where prices have increased more than others, but emphasised that the general trend i s of cost hikes on items his company imports into this nation to sell to Bahamian consumers. Asked what steps AML Foods takes to mitigate the impact of cost rises, Mr Watchorn said the company is always looking to buy cheaper and better, to find alternative sources, and also engages in forward contracting in the h ope of securing better pricing for its p roducts. Youve generally got to keep battling away. Find different suppliers to g ive you same quality products, and I t hink we do a good job of finding good vendors, so thats part of why we are a ble to maintain those prices, said Mr Watchorn. T he volatile nature of food prices over the past year has been receiving ever more focus and attention fromt he private sector and international organisations. M eetings on rising and volatile food prices will be held next week in the C aribbean and Central America as part o f a series of 14 seminars organised by the UNs Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO The FAOs wheat price index averaged 242 points over the first five months of this year, 72 per cent higher t han the same period last year. Meanwhile, food prices overall stayed near record levels in May basedo n higher meat and dairy costs. The FAOs Food Price Index of 55 f ood commodities fell 1 per cent in A pril, data released yesterday showed, after hitting an all-time high in February 2011. FAO officials have projected that g lobal wheat production will continue t o lag behind demand, helping to keep f ood prices high and volatile at least through to 2012. FROM page 1B Oil rises on economy news, stock market rally
T R I N A & J B O O G T O P E R F O R M A T A L L O F T H E L I G H T S SEI N F EL D I S A COM ED IC H I T WI T H TOUR I STS AN D LOC ALS C A V ER GAD ERI N G CL UB T O H OST GA RDEN I N G S HOW WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011 T H E T R I B U N E S E C T I O N C By CARA BRENNEN-BETHEL Tribune Features Editor L ifetime Bahamian artist Jonathan Bethel recently held his 10th annual solo art show "Colours of the Islands" at the British Colonial Hilton where he highlighted some of the most beautiful aspects of Bahamian nature to more than 200 patrons. His collection featured a kaleidoscope of paintings of plant life coconuts and seagrapes. "Colours of the Islands features scenes from all over the island. There are bright scenes and scenes at sunset. I wanted to capture the Bahamas in different lighting." To capture the images, Jonathan took photos at differ ent times of day before recreating the scenes on canvas. Jonathan, 33 attended St Andrew's School before obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Clemson University in South Carolina. According to his bio, even at an early age, Jonathan displayed a strong interest and aptitude for art, particu larly drawing. He would recreate anything he could get his hands on, from album covers to basketball cards. He also loved to invent his own cartoon characters, creating sketch after sketch of them. As a child, he participated in and won several art competitions. He always took the art projects he was doing very seriously, and spent great time on them, sometimes even to his teacher's disdain. It was probably always evident that his future would involve art in some form. But it was while at college, away from home for the first time, that Jonathan really developed his apprecia tion and love for the beauty of the Bahamas. As the clichÂŽ goes, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." So he decided to put that passion into his work. He devoted much of his painting studies there to capturing Bahamian scenery on the canvas. Most of his work at that time was done completely from his head, and was in part an attempt to feel closer to home. To this day, Jonathan's desire to recreate the Bahamas on canvas remains, and he has learned that it takes many years to perfect. In November of 2001, Jonathan received first prize in the Eighteenth Annual Central Bank of the Bahamas Art Competition (the most prestigious local competition for young artists) He adds that he has a great deal of admiration for Bahamian artists such as Rolfe Harris, Eddie Minnis and Brent Malone. Persons who missed the Colours of the Island exhibit can catch an encore performance by scheduling a private viewing with the artist or by attending Street of Won dersAn Experience of Architecture and Art which will be held on Saturday June 25 from 11am -6pm and Satur day, June 26 from 1pm -5pm. Street Of Wonders will be held at the Turnberry Town Homes in Charlottesville. Admission is $5 with children under ten free of charge. Proceeds from the event will go to the Bahamas Humane Society and the Sea Horse Institute. Interested person can also register for the opportunity to win a free art piece of art by calling 322-7770. For more information visit www.bethelgallery.com. COLOURS ISLANDS W A TCHING THE SQUALL BEACHED SKIFF YELLOW FRANGIP ANI JUNKANOO COWBELLER JONA THAN BETHEL
T H E T R I B U N E S E C T I O N C A R T S & E N T E R T A I N M E N T 02 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011 By JEFFARAH GIBSON Tribune Features Writer B EING in the company of Carver Garden Club members can make you want to take a sec ond look at your own yard and go "Hmmm what can I do to make my yard look much more appealing"? C u l t i v a t i n g B E A U T Y Th e y d o n 't n e ed l an d s c ap er s i t i s a t t h e hands of their labour that their gardens con s e r v e s o m e o f th e m o s t e x o t i c p l a n t s a n d f l o w ers in the Bahamas. F r o m t h e i r e s t a b l i s h m e n t i n 1 9 4 6 i t h a s b e e n a d e si r e he ld b y a ll Ca r ve r G a rd e n C lu b members to i nspire ot hers to b e c ome envir o n m e n t a l l y a w a r e a n d d o t h e i r b e s t t o a p p r e ciate nature in its true beauty. Fo r tha t ma tte r th e cl ub ho s t a fl owe r s ho w a s o f t e n a s p o s s i b l e t o i n s p i r e i n d i v i d u a l s i n t h e com munity to take on a s imila r v entur e. And t h i s y ea r t h e gr o u p i s p r o m o t i n g a G o i n g Green" theme. Though putting on a show is an expensive venture, the group puts on smaller events to remain true to the constitution of the Carver Garden Club. W e w a n t t h e p u b l i c t o g e t i n s p i r e d b e c a u s e w e h a v e a lo t o f pl a n ts t ha t a r e u na pp r e ci a t e d i n t h e B a h a m a s W e a l s o w a n t p e o p l e t o l e a r n as much about the plants as well. In our pro gram for the show we have a list of the class e s o f p l a n t s s o t h e y c a n k n o w w h a t t h e y a r e S o it is also a learning ex p e rience," said p r esid e n t o f t h e C a r v e r G a r d e n C l u b C y n t h i a Gibbs. "This is an opportunity for people to come an d en j o y t h e s h o w b e i n t h e c o m p a n y o f g o o d p e o p l e a n d r e f l e c t o n t h e b e a u t y o f nature," Ms Gibbs told Tribune Arts T h e s h o w i s c l a s s i f i e d i n t o t w o d i v i s i o n s t h e horticulture division and the design division. Al l h ort i cu lt u re exhi bi t s mu st b e grow n b y the exhibitor and only one plant is permitted in a pot with the exception of plants that nat urally have multiple suckers or stems. Addi t i o n a l l y a l l p o t t e d p l a n t s m u s t b e i n t h e e x h i b i t o r s p o s s e s s i o n f o r a t l e a s t t h r e e w e e k s Members participating in the show can enter a maximum of three exhibits in the show. There will also be awards given to the two best in show in th e h orti cul tu re and d esign di visio n. The best in sh ow aw ard fo r hort icul ture division will be giv en to t he exhibit that is judged the finest in horticulture. Like wise, the best in show award for the design d i vi si o n w i l l b e g iv en t o t h e e xh i bi t t h at i s ju dged t he fi nest i n design An d th e sw eep s t a k e a wa r d w i l l b e g i v e n t o th e e x h i b i t o r w h o scores the highest number of points in both design and horticulture. A p l a n t d o e s n t h a v e t o b e p e r f e c t to e n t e r the show but it has to be at it's best. We help o u r m e m b e r s t o b e c o m e c o n f i d e n t a b o u t th e i r p l a n t s I t i s n o t n e c e s s a r y t h a t o u r 3 0 m e m b e r s e n t e r a p l a n t i n t h e s h o w b u t w e t r y t o e n c o u r age them to do so because the whole point about being in the group is for it to be a fun place and get inspiration from one another," Ms Gibbs explained. O v e r t h e y e a r s t h e c l u b h a s b e e n i n v o l v e d i n n u m b e r o f c o m m u n i t y p r o j e c t s T h e y a r e r es po nsi ble fo r Poin cia na D ri ve b ei ng na m ed a s th e y p la n te d th e tr e e s in th a t v i ci n ity T h e y have also beautified St Anne's Church, The Kirk, as well as St Matthew's. The flower show will be held this Saturday a t S e r e n d i p i t y L a k e S h o r e D r i v e fr o m 2 -6 p m Flowers and plants will also be on sale. Carver Garden Club to host flower and plant show F R O M l e f t t o R i g h t C a r v e r G a r d e n C l u b M e m b e r : M i c h e l l e B r e n n e n V i r g i n i a C a m p b e l l C y n t h i a G i b b s a n d S h e l i a C o x
T H E T R I B U N E S E C T I O N C A R T S & E N T E R T A I N M E N T 03 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011 Y O U N G en t r e p r en e u r s ge t e xp e ri en c e in d esi gn i n g, n ami n g an d ru n n i ng co mp an i e s t hr o ug h t h e i nt e r n a t i o na ll y r e c og n i sed Ju n i o r A ch i ev emen t (JA ) p r o gr am. I n N e w P r o v i d e n c e w h e r e L a s h a n t a S m i t h (st a n d in g) i s p ro gram man a ger, ab ou t a do zen comp ani es sp on so r JA clu b s, each w it h c om m it te e s tha t ov e r se e c om pa ny op erati o ns fro m p ro d uct d eve l o pmen t to m arketing. Come th e e n d o f the scho ol y ea r, comm i tte e hea ds compete fo r top h o n o u r s a s t h e i r b u s i n e s s e s t u r n i n r e s u l t s fr om sa le s. He re aw ar d winnin g pub lic r e la t ions e x e cut iv e D ia ne Phi llip s, w ho se rv ed as th e p u b l i c r el a t i o n s j u d ge, i n t e rv i e w s Q u e e n s C o l l e g e s t u d e n t O N e i l Mi ll er. "T h ey ge t i t P h i l l i p s s a i d "T h e i r c o mp re h en si o n o f wh at p u b l i c r el a ti o n s i s w as i mp r es si v e an d t h ei r u n d er s ta n d i n g o f t h e imp or tance of goal sett in g, strat eg y an d t im e man age men t w en t w ay b e yo n d w h at you w ou l d h a ve expect e d fo r th eir years. Ve r y go o d t o ex ce l l e n t p e rf o r ma n c es al l Award s wi l l b e p resen ted at a ceremony o n Ju n e 29 at th e W il l amae Br id gewater C o n ven ti o n C en tr e, F ar ri n gt on Ro ad JUNE 16 THURSDAY "TH IS IS N OT A F A IR Y T A LE E XH IB ITIO N O PEN IN G Holly Parotti opens the exhibition "This Is Not A Fairy Tale", a collection of shots capturing fleeting yet vastly emotional moments found in everyday objects. 6.30pm-9.30pm at PopOp Studios. Exhibition runs until Friday, June 24. See http://www.popopstudios.com. JUNE 16 THURSDAY DOCT OR'S H OS P IT A L LECT URE: "MEN'S HEAL TH Doctor's Hospital presents it's Distinguished Lecture Series for the month of June on the topic, "Men's Health" with Dr Leonard Stevens. 6pm in the hospital's Conference Room. RSVP, Telephone: 302-4603. JUNE 18 SATURDAY H YP ERMEDI A 'S CO MED Y JAM ALL S T A RS Hypermedia Entertainment presents "Comedy Jam All Stars" for Father's Day weekend, starring Doug Williams, Cory Fernandez, Snick, and Brandon Marshall and hosted by Brooklyn Mike. Cost: $35/general; $50/VIP; $500/tables for 6 and includes a bottle of champagne. Tickets available at Alpha Sounds, Telephone: 322-1137; I Catching Boutique, Telephone: 394-3994; Hypermedia Ticket Delivery, Telephone: 432-3186 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org. JUNE 20 JULY 22 C AM P ERD O WN RI DING CL UB' S HO R S E BA CK R IDI N G C A MP Camperdown Riding Club presents it's Horseback Rid ing club with daily riding lessons, lessons in horse care, bathing and grooming, games, swimming with horses and weekly pizza parties. Telephone: 324-2065. Email: camper email@example.com. T H I N G S 2 DO By CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org FO R A s ec on d year in a r o w, c o m e d i a n J e r r y S e i n f e l d p e r f o r m e d i n f r o n t o f a p a c k e d h o u se a t t h e I m p e r i a l b a l l r o o m i n Atl ant is S atu r da y n igh t. Si m il ar t o th e typ e o f h u mo u r o n t h e i n f a m o u s S e i n f i e l d s i t c o m, w hi c h h e st a rr e d a n d c o c re a t e d M r S e i n f i e l d m a k e s h i l a r i o u s o b s e r v a t i o n s a b o u t t h e f r u s t r a tio n s of ever yda y li fe, s i tu atio n s r a n g i n g f r o m m a r r i a g e t o c e l l p ho n e u s e an d m o vi e et iq u et te. Fr o m th e act i t is cl ear th at Mr S e i n f e l d h a s n t l o s t a n y o f h i s s h a r p w i t t y h u m o u r s i n c e t h e s ho w 's en d m or e th an a d ecad e a g o To m P apa, h o s t of th e co m ed y s ho w T he M a r ri a g e R e f w a r m e d up the audience cons ist in g m ostly o f vacati o ne rs fo r w h at wo u ld b e an even in g o f no n -s to p lau gh ter Fr om the s ta r t o f his 90 m inu te act Mr Se in fel d h ad h i s a ud i enc e e n g a g e d a n d w a s e n e r g e t i c a l l y fu n ny thr o u gh ou t s h o w. M ov ing f lue nt ly from on e t opic to an o th er Mr S ein fel d s p o ke o f fam il y an d ki d s sa yin g i t is m u ch eas ie r to b e m ar r i ed th an s in gl e an d i f an yth i ng h app en ed t o h is w i f e h e w o u l d g e t s o m e o n e t o r e p l a c e h e r i m m e d i a t e l y f i r s t p e r so n he sa w on t h e st re e t sh op pin g c art an d all H e po k ed f un at th e o b s es sed bl a ck be rry us er s wh o ca n 't hol d a p r op er c on ver s ati o n f ace t o f ace w i t h o u t r u d e l y c h e c k i n g t h e i r p h o n e s S o i s i t o k ay f o r m e t o h o l d t h i s m a g a z i n e i n f r o n t o f y o u r f a c e an d r ead w h il e yo u 'r e tal k in g?" s ai d Mr S ein fel d. U n p l a n n e d s u r p r i s e s a l s o a d d e d to the sh ow 's app eal fo r examp le th er e was a s l igh t gli tch wi th th e l i g h t s i n t h e m i d d l e o f M r S e i n f e l d d e l i v e r i n g a j o k e s p u n c h l i n e a n d h an dl i ng i t li k e a pr o fes s io n al h e s tated th at th e li gh t p ers o n mu s t h ave b een r u sh i ng i n fr om h and l in g t he wate r sl i des H e a dd ed after b ei n g in c om ed y f o r 3 5 y e a r s h e k n o w s t h a t o n c e a j o k e h a s p a s s e d i t h a s p as s ed and w h il e h e m ay w ant to g o b ack t o th e j o ke an d w e may w a n t t o h i m t o g o b a c k t h e m o m e n t i s g o n e H o w e v e r h e m an ag e d to m ak e a n e x c ep ti o n a nd i t was ev en f un n ier th an i f it h ad n 't ha pp en ed I t was rea ll y a tr eat to s ee s uc h a h u g e s t a r i n h i s o w n e l e m e n t con t inu ing t o ma ke pe op le ha pp y t hr o u gh lau gh ter The At lantis Resort ho ste d t he c o med i an as p ar t o f i ts At lan ti s Li ve S u m m er s eri es SE I NFE LD I S A C OM EDIC H IT WI TH T OUR I S T S AND LOC AL S A LIK E JERR Y SE INFELD NESTLED in the southwestern corner of New Providence, far away from the hustle and bustle of Nassau's commercial center, is a place where the gently rolling land creates a haven for families and young professionals who want a safe place to live, play and socialise. Lyford Hills was created as a 21st century environmentally conscious Green community with a diversity of amenities to suit the needs of the most demanding resident. Spread over 100 acres, the new Lyford Hills community embodies the Green ethic in several ways. First of all, over 10 acres of the property will be lush green open space, with parks that are interconnected throughout the community and jogging trails that allow you to go from one end of Lyford Hills to the other, underneath lush Bahamian coppice and past dazzling fresh water features that provide homes for wild water birds and fish. According to the Project Manager, Tennyson Wells II, "We are also preserving native trees, includ ing the increasingly rare mahogany, paradise tree, and pigeon plum, on the lots and, in some instances, even transplanting them to other areas of the development in order to keep them safe for the enjoyment of the Lyford Hill residents." The Lyford Hills Green vision also extends to infrastructure including the installation of a stateof-the-art energy efficient transformer that will save money on utility bills for the homeowners in Lyford Hills as well as underground utilities. Mr Wells says, "Our Green vision will soon also be visible along our streetscapes in Lyford Hills which will be illuminated by solar powered street lights." The development itself, with 126 lots in Phase One out of a total of 352 lots in all three phases, features roadways that conform to the natural contour of the land, which creates winding roads with surprise vistas around each bend. This environmentally friendly manner of road construction preserves the existing road elevations and produces a safe network of roads that do not encourage speeding and evoke a relaxed country feeling. Along these carefully designed meandering roads, the breezy elevated lots of Lyford Hills range from 8000 to 21,000 square feet, from 8' to 34' above sea level and feature stunning views of the island and the sea beyond. Mr. Wells adds, "Looking around Lyford Hills, it's hard to believe that all this peaceful, serene beauty is so conveniently located near shops, schools, restaurants and beaches and only minutes from Lynden Pindling International Airport and just 20 minutes from downtown." For those who like the more active life, it will all be there for them in and around the Lyford Hills 15,000 square foot Clubhouse. Once you've bought your lot in Lyford Hills, you automatically become a member and have access to all the Club's amenities like Squash and Racquet Ball courts, Tennis courts, adult and kiddy pools, a hot tub, a putting green for the golfers, a restaurant, a billiards room and meeting space. Everything the active family needs to fully enjoy their lives is right there, just around the corner from home. Even in these challenging economic times, half the lots in Phase One are already taken and on Saturday, June 18, there will be a open house where interested per sons can speak with bankers, realtors and representatives of the Development Company. As a very special bonus, the developer will waive the Property Owners' Association fees for the entire first year for anyone who signs up for a lot at the Open House. The waiving of these fees, which cover things like maintenance of the parks, entrance, public buildings, road verges and round the clock security guards, represent a savings of $3000 for the new Lyford Hills landowner. LIV E GR E EN A T L YF ORD HIL L S DEREK SMITH, JR./ Photo F RESH I DEAS F R OM JUNIO R A C HIEVERS BETTER ENTRY SIGN & GATEHOUSE GATEHOUSE FLOWERS
T H E T R I B U N E S E C T I O N C A R T S & E N T E R T A I N M E N T 06 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011 J u s t a f e w i m a g e s o f w h a t w e t h e Ba h am a s lo oke d like 4 0 ...5 0 ..60 ... years in the past This is the ESSO Standard tank farm on Hog Island, (now Paradise Island). The government isolated it here for safety reasons, and it was eventually moved to Clifton Pier. It was manage by John Berdell Key, who remembers vast orange groves which the tourists ate on their way to Paradise Beach. BY ROLAND ROSE R O Y AL POIN CIAN A WHENEVER you see a list o f t h e w o r l d s t o p t e n m o s t b e a u ti f u l t r e e s r o y a l p oi n c i a n a i s a l w a y s t h e r e u s u a l l y t o w a r d s o r a t t h e t o p o f t h e l i s t T h e r e a s on i s ob v i ou s : the ro y al poinciana in bloom is like a g i g a n t i c b o u q u e t o f f l o w e r s p r e d o m i n a n t l y r e d w i t h d i m i n u t i v e w h i t e c o u n t e r p o i n t s m a y be a fe w p a tch e s of fol ia g e for contrast. Th e ro ya l p oi n c ia na i s o n e o f a nu m b e r o f d e ci d u o u s t r e e s t h a t p r o d u c e f l o w e r s f r o m b a r e l i m b s t h e f o l i a g e f o l l o w i n g quickly after. By the time the flowe rs ha ve forme d se edpods th e tr ee h a s a l l i ts l e av e s in ful l g l o r y T h e s e fa l l i n a u tu m n a n d a n a d u l t t r e e g o e s f r o m a b e a u t y t o a c r o n e Y o u n g r o y a l poinciana trees maintain their f e r n l i k e f o l i a g e t h r o u g h t h e winter. D o n o t p l a n t r o y a l p o i n c i a n a in your yard unless you have a v a s t e s t a t e T h e r e a r e q u i t e enough already in Nassau and oth e r major sett leme n ts. In a small yard t he t ree s sp read a g r e at de a l o f de tr itus a nd a re a l i a b i li t y d u r in g h u r r i ca n e s T he m y r i a d b r a n c h e s e n c o u r a g e y o u n g s t e r s t o c l i m b b u t t h e b r i t t l e n a t u r e o f t h e l i m b s ma kes this a dange rous ex ercise. R oy a l po i nc i a n a c om e s t o us f r o m M a d a g a s c a r t h a t r e m a r k a b l e i s l a n d th a t s e p a r a te d f r o m th e Afric an ma in la nd l ong a g o and t h ereb y b ec ame t he p res e r v e o f h u n d r e d s o f u n i q u e pla nt and a nimal f or ms. T here is a yellow form of royal poin ciana that is quite rare. Another tree I mentally put in the same category as royal p o i n c i a n a i s j a c a r a n d a T h e t w o a r e n ot re l a te d a nd in fa ct the jacaranda is only marginally a s u b t r o p i c a l t r e e I t c o m e s f r o m n o rt h er n A r ge n t i n a / s o u t h e rn B r a z i l a n d h a s t h r i v e d i n M e d i t e r r a n e a n t y p e c l i m a t e s i n C a l i f o r n i a S o u t h A f r i c a a n d Au str alia. Th e y say th at P retoria in Ma y looks blue from t h e s u r r o u n d i n g h i l l s c a u s ed b y t h e t h o u s a n d s o f a v e n u e ja c a randas t ha t line t he cit y s streets. C l o s e i n s p e c t i o n o f a j a c a r a n da flower shows it to be a red d i s h p u r p l e b u t fr o m a d i s t a n c e it appears royal blue. F l ow e r i n g t i m e i s M a r c h a n d April in T he Baha mas and the f l o w e r i n g s e a s o n i s a l l t o o b r i e f The jacaranda foliage of com pound leaves is similar to that o f r oy al p o in c ia na b u t s eem s t o be d e n s e r ma k in g th e tr e e a good summer shade tree. A b e a u t i f u l s h r u b t h a t i s r e l a t e d t o r o y a l p o i n c i a n a i s Caes alpi nia pu lcherrim a, c o m mo nl y cal led p ri de of Bar bad o s o r d w a r f p o i n c i a n a I un de rs ta nd i t is us e d i n Ba r ba d o s a s a b o u n d a r y h e d g e because of the wicked curved t h or n s t h at ma ke i t an ef f ec tive obstacle. P r i d e o f B a r b a d o s g r o w s f r o m 1 2 t o 1 5 f e e t t a l l a n d b e a r s p a ni c le s o f re d f lo we rs t ha t a r e e d g e d i n g o l d T h e s h r u b s e e m s t o d o w e l l i n f a i r l y p o o r s o i l and bears flowers, on and off, t h r o u g h o u t t h e y e a r I t i s re ma rk ab l y d r ou gh t re si st a nt a n d n e e d s l i tt l e t o n o c a r e o n c e e s t a b l i s h e d i n t h e g a r d e n P r o p agation is usually from seed. T h e r e i s a y e l l o w f o r m o f pride of Barbados that I con sider to be even prettier than the red form as the growth is m or e c om pa c t. T he c on tr a s t o f th e y e ll o w f lo w e r s to th e g r e e n foliage is cool and pleasant. I n A u g u s t w e w i l l s e e t h e b l o s s o m i n g o f a t r e e t h a t i s often called yellow poinciana, an unfortunate name because t h e t w o a r e o n l y d i s ta n t l y r e l a t ed. Peltophorum pterocarpum is a handsome tree that bears u p r i g h t p a n i c l e s o f y e l l o w f l o w e r s t h a t g i v e w a y t o c o p p e r c o l o u r e d s e e d p o d s t h a t a r e quite a t tra ct iv e. I usua lly r efer t o th e tr e e a s p e l to p h o r u m a n d w o u l d p r e f e r t h e c o m m o n nam e of c opp er p od t ree' t o yellow poinciana. Th e p elt o pho ru m keep s it s leav es in wint e r and is t here fore a wonderful avenue tree. I n M a r s h H a r b o u r t h e c a r p a r k o f N e w V i s i o n c h u r c h h a s b e e n set out with peltophorum and looks very pleasant. g ard e n erj ack @c o ral w a ve .c o m A LONE royal poinciana brightens a cor ner of Marsh Harbour. THE COOL blue of jacaranda flowers makes it a subtropical favourite around the world.
T H E T R I B U N E S E C T I O N C A R T S & E N T E R T A I N M E N T 07 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011 R O L L I N G I N T H E D E E P Adele E.T. K aty Perry fea t. K anye Wes t G I V E M E E V E R Y T H I N G Pitb u ll JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH The B l a ck Eyed Pea s ON THE FLOOR Jenni fer Lopez feat. Pitbull THE LAZY SONG B r uno Mars THE SHOW GOES ON Lupe Fi a sco ROLL UP W i z K hali fa LOOK AT ME NOW Chri s B ro wn YA HEAR Bronny Boy, I Mean Lebron James, made an escape here to the Bahamas after his loss to Dallas in the championship finals last week? Well he's here vacation ing and he was spotted shopping in Marina Village Atlantis, Paradise Island on Monday, walking around full of smiles. YA HEAR the Mavs was partying with the Miami fans after their big win Sunday night? Yes, the teammates were partying at Club LIV in Miami with their championship tro phy. Now "aint" that a blow! Mark Cuban, the owner of the Mavs danced and celebrated with his team to celebrate the team's very FIRST Win in NBA History, GO Mavs! Congrats. YA HEAR this hot piece? More in basketball news, Rapper Birdman of Cash Money Records lost 2 mil lion bucks after the Miami Heat loss. The die hard Miami Heat fan made a bet of 2 mill in hopes of the Heat winning the championship. Along with the heat, he lost this one. YA HEAR Comedian Katt Williams has been arrested yet again? According to Blog sites, the comedian was arrested for intimi dating a witness after a group of women began throwing rocks and dirt at a tractor worker. YA HEAR RiRi and Drake spent the weekend together, yes "togeth er," in Montreal Canada? The two have always been in the headlines of gossip news sites suspected of being in a secret relationship. They were spotted in Canada leaving Drake's hotel and headed to dinner at the Buonanotte Restaurant. YA HEAR Wiz Khalifa and girl friend Amber Rose was stereo typed in Beverly Hills? The couple, along with a few of their family members were shopping at Bar ney's, an upscale store in the hills and being unrecognizable to the employees of the store, Wiz was treated as if he was there to steal something. He and his girlfriend quickly left the store. 1 0 R A D I O By LESH N ASSAU will be highlighted this Summer Season as the Ultra Exclusive "All of the Lights" Party will be featuring American Rapper and Songwriter, Trina along with the rising Hawaiian based recording artist J Boog this Saturday Live at Club Luna. By FARAH R K EL L Y h a d e v e r y r i g ht to e n d h i s v id e o response to a jab by R&B artist Trey Songz, by saying "Elephants don't swap flies". And while I love Trey Songz very much, he over stepped his boundaries by saying the king of s o u l w a s c h a s i n g t r e n d s b y u s i n g a u t o t u n e s i n his music. R K e ll y h a s pr o v e n th a t h e do e s n' t n e e d to c h a s e t r e n d s j u s t t o s t a y r e l e v a n t a n d h e s h o w s tha t in his la te st m us ic v id eo Ra d io M e ss ag e The R&B veteran premiered the music video to his new single "Radio Message," which is lifted off his critically acclaimed album 'Love Letter on 106 & Park Monday evening. Radio Message takes me back to the time when "If I Can Turn Back Hands of Time" "You Remind Me Of Something" or "Bump N Grind" were the hits. R Kelly has always been gifted with his unique ability to make a sensual love song out of any object or topic. In Radio Message, he is trying to get the woman he loves to change her mind about leaving the relationship. A radio station is giving away tickets to the twelfth caller. R Kelly is the twelfth caller and as romantically inclined as we all know he is, he sings his message over the radio hoping his special lady is listening: "This is a radio message to my baby, And I!m begging her Come back, come back, come back, come back." I d on t do u b t t h at af t e r se ei n g t h is vi de o me n w h o h av e sc r ew ed u p w i l l t r y t o r eac h ou t t o t he i r lo v er s w it h a r ad i o m es sa ge. A n d i t m i gh t j us t w or k b e ca u se R K el ly di d get h i s l ad y ba c k e ven t h ou g h t h e vi d eo on l y s ho w s h er f eet s t ep p i ng i n t o t he d o o r. Th e s on g i s s mo o t h s en su a l, a n d i s ac t u al l y a b r ea t h o f f re sh as o p p os ed t o m o re "s exi e r" R& B so n gs I t b r i ng s a b li s sf u l f ee li n g t o w ar d s l ov e an d a ll t h at go es a l on g w it h i t s u c h a s t h e br ea k u p s an d m a ke u ps W ha t a so f t f o c u s ed r o ma n t i c ge st u r e f r om K e l l s On t h e se t o f t h e vi d eo R Ke l ly s ay s t h at Rad i o M es s age i s a ve ry s p ec i al so n g t o h i m H e al so sp o k e ab o ut t h e Lo ve L et t er al b u m a nd t o ur T h e L o v e L e t t e r a l b u m i s d o i n g g r e a t T h e L o v e L e t t e r t o u r i s s e l l i n g o u t e v e r y w h e r e I a m s o h a p p y t h a t t h e f a n s a r e o u t t h e r e b e l i e v i n g i n m e s t i l l I t h a s b e e n t w e n t y y e a r s I h a v e b e e n d o i n g t h i s a n d I a m s o e x c i t e d I f i n n a d o t h e B e n j a m i n B u t t o n I d o n t k n o w w h a t o t h e r a r t i s t s a r e d o i n g b u t I a m g o i n g t o d o t h e B e n j a m i n B u t t o n T H E K ING OF R &B I S B A CK WITH A RAD IO MESS A GE' Y A H E A R G O S S I P C O R N E R T h e m u s i c a l l i n e u p f o r t h e l o n g a w a i t ed night includes the sounds of some of t h e B a ha m as b es t D J s s uc h as ; D i o n d a B u t c h a D J C h r o n i c S e l e c t a T y S u p a M a r i o B i g L a n d T i k o T a n d R i s k y of E Life 242 is set to keep the crowd entertained by hosting. In an interview with In Ya Ear, Pro m o t e r J a i m e e G a s k i n s o f G r a n d B a h a m a explained her reasons for choosing the artist Tri na and J Boo g t o p e rf orm at A l l o f t h e l i g h t s : I c h o s e T r i n a b e c a u s e m a n y p e r s o n s w o m e n e s p e c i a l l y r e s p e c t h e r v e r y m u c h a s a n a r t i s t The art of rap is mainly male turf, and T r i n a i s o n e o f t h e f e w w o m e n t o m a s te r it and stay relevant. J B o o g w a s c h o s e n m a i n l y b e c a u s e o f his hit song "One Night Stand/Nice To K n o w Y a t h a t h i t t h e a i r w a y s l a s t y e a r J B o o g h a s n e v e r p e r f o r m e d i n t h e B a h a m a s b u t T r i n a h a s p e r f o r m e d a f e w times and is no stranger to our shores," she said. "The Diamond Princess" as Trina is ofte n ca lle d h as m ad e ap pe a ra nc es a nd p e r f o r m e d i n N a s s a u a n d G r a n d Bahama a few times over the years. S p ea k i n g o n t h e n a m e o f t h e p ar t y Al l o f th e l ig ht s, M s Ga s k in s a d de d : I a m t h e u l t i m at e f an of K an ye W e s t a n d I f o l l o w h i s m u s i c v e r y c l o s e l y M a n y of his songs I can relate to and "All of The Lights" is one of them. I think the phrase "All of The Lights" is about liv ing a c e rt ain lifest yle on e of c onst a n t limelight and luxury." DIAMOND PRINCESS S h e c o n t i n u es : F o r t h e n o r m a l p e r s on l ife doe s not e nta i l ma ny r e d ca rp et part ies wit h cham pagne an d pap arazz i. H o w e v e r e v e n t h e a v e r a g e J o e a n d J a n e s o m e t i m e s h a v e t h e u r g e t o b e i n t h e s p o t l i g h t a n d f e el l i k e a s t a r T h e A l l o f t h e L i g h t s P a r t y i n t e n d s t o b r i n g t h a t t o l i f e, f o r o n e n i g h t o n l y I think the All of The L ights" pa rty will b e a s u c c e s s c o n s i d e r i n g t h e t i m e o f t h e y e a r c h o s e n t o h o s t i t a n d b e c a u s e o f t h e l i n e u p o f p e r f o r m a n c e s a n d D J s L u n a s v e n u e w a s c h o s e n b e c a u s e i t i s t h e i d e a l s et u p f o r t h i s p a r t i c u l a r e v e n t. G u e s ts o f th e p a r ty w il l be co mf o r t a b l e an d a b l e t o e n j o y t h em s el ve s as t h e y sh o u l d s h e s a y s G o i n g f u r t h er p at r o n s c an b e s u r e t ha t t h ere w il l no t b e a du l l mo m en t in C l u b L u n a t h i s S a t u r d a y a p a r t f r o m the pe rform ance s by Tr ina And J B o og, B a h a m i a n a r t i s t s M D ee z B i g A C a n d R a q u e l O l i v e r w i l l a l s o g e t a c h a n c e t o e nte r tai n th e cro wd w ith the ir ho me gr o w n t al e n t s PRE P AR TY T h e re w il l no t be an o ffi cia l Pr e Pa r t y. Ma n y e ve n t s w i l l b e h a p p en i n g in the ear lier pa rt of t he night, Sunshine Aut o's C a r Show and a c omedy show to name a few, but we think all roads will e ventually lead to Club Luna the night of June 18," Ms Gaskins said. I n Y a E a r u n d e r s t a n d s t h a t t h i s is the first time Ms Gaskins has b e e n i n v o l v e d i n e n te r ta in m e n t s uch as this one She e xp lai ns : W i t h t h e h e l p o f C y c l o n e E nte rta inm en t an d a fe w others I am l ear ni n g t h e ro p es o f t h e b u s i n e s s a n d I t h i n k that planning and promoting t h i s p a r t y w i l l g i v e m e t h e e x p o s u r e to b e a b l e t o s p r e a d my w i n gs i n m y f u t u re v en tures. I am honestly very ner v o us b ut a l s o e x c it e d a n d r e a d y to take on the night." S p o n s o r s f o r A l l o f T h e L i g hts a r e Tr i ple Cr own En te r t a i n m e n t A l p h a S o u n d s C y c l o n e E n t e r t a i n m e n t A i r b r u s h J u n k i e s S M E, a nd E L IFE 2 4 2. T he Pr o mot ion f or thi s event has b e en a n e f f o r t b y m a n y d i f f e r e n t t e a m s such as; 3 LITE Entertainment, Te rribl e T, Cyclon e Ent ertainment, Triple Crown Entertain ment, Selecta Jimbo and Dion Da Butcha. All interested persons can pu rc has e t ic ket s a t A l ph a S o u n d s a n d A i r b r u s h J u n k i e s P e r s o n s w h o w i s h t o R S V P f o r t h e P e r s o n a l D i a m o n d S e r v i c e S e c t i o n c a n call 428-5918. R KELLY