The Tribune.

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The Tribune.
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Tribune. (Nassau, Bahamas).
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v. : ill. ; 58 cm.


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

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LOCAL NEWS PAGE 2, WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011 THE TRIBUNE s low it down because it happens so rapid and it don't have no point in time for it to happen. "It's happening now, ain't nothing you could do about that." He added: "This is the ghetto, this is the real ghetto. It don't have nothing much to do about parenting and policing in this neighborhood. It reall y just persons and their mindset they have it in their heart and mind to do what they want to do." Despite claims concerning the commonality of crime in the area, the spate of violent shootings experienced in the Wilson Track area this year has devastated long-standing families who argue that deteriorating c onflict resolution skills and substandard parenting have heightened social ills. Denise Sands, mother of a 25year-old man gunned down on Independence Day, said: "We never had these kind of things in the Bahamas, I don't know where and what gone wrong with our Bahamian people. I f eel as if our young boys need better status by going off to some sort of environment where they can motivate themselves into a work environment. I think too many waste time on the streets and there is no moral behind whatever is going on with our young boys." Francisco Hanna the fifth of seven children, some of them police and defence force officers was shot more than eight times by his assailant, an action Ms Sands termed animalistic. She added: "I don't know what it is to be around them now, I am not afraid but my point is to live with p eople who I know all my life young boys that grow up under me and with my children and school with them it is very senseless to do what they did. They came as if he was an animal, and for the way how they do it, it really didn't call for it." Mr Hanna had been released from prison three days before the attack. M s Sands, 47, called for increased opportunities targeting at-risk youth, whom she feels are too often left idle and unsupervised. The Englerston community has been steeped in criminal activity since the late 70s, some residents claim, who tracked the criminal element's shift from drug trafficking tog un-slinging. A resident said: "The gun battle has just escalated in the past 10 years in Englerston. Englerston has alwaysbeen a drug haven coming from the 70s into the 80s crack dealing and dope dealing but the younger gen eration that came up in the 90s and onwards they the gunslingers inE nglerston. He added: "The older fellows them, they were dope dealers but they done pass out and gone. So the much younger generation now, they aren't too kept up in that, they are just dealing everything, guns, dope. This is the wild, wild west." Community stakeholders, led by M P for the area Glenys Hanna-Martin, announced plans for a massive and multi-sectoral clean up initiative yesterday. The team seeks to deter criminal activity through improved environmental conditions by remov ing garbage from abandoned lots and derelict vehicles (see story on page 2). M s Hanna-Martin said: "It's deemed a ghetto area but in truth it's a collection of people from all walks of life who have ordinary aspirations. I think that the problem is because a lot of them tend to be from a lower economic class, their resources are limited, many are unemployed, and they come through a public school system that is not serving them well." She added: "It reflects the norms and morays of our country and we have to begin to change." While admitting that the community-based action was sorely need ed, residents explained that the untimely nature of such initiatives paired with the noncommittal attitude of residents stifled true progress. Another resident said: "[We should] try and really have community meetings where persons can comeout more and talk because you only get to do a lot of things when you voice your opinion. Unless we have a lot of persons coming together and really trying to be a community it will just be like it is the wild wild west." RESIDENTS SCEPTICAL ABOUT ENGLERSTON REFORM POSSIBILITY FROM page one MAKE A Wish Bahamas has appealed to anyone concerned about Renaldo Gibson to take part in a three day-fast to aid the healing of the bedridden teenager. After seeing the plight of the 18-yearold highlighted in The Tribune the foundation decided to mount a fasting and prayer campaign to support the his recovery. "Please pray with us for Renaldo Gibson. Its been almost three years. May the Lord raise up him to walk again and to sing his praises," said the organisation in a mass e-mail yesterday. At 16, Renaldo was thrown from his mother's car when a truck hit the passenger side, where Renaldo was seated. He has been in hospital since the accident. His mother Jacqueline Ford fears her son is wasting away at the Princess Margaret Hospital and chalked up his dramatic weight loss and recent insomnia to inactivity. "My concern is his happiness; he would be more contented if I bring him home, but if the doctors are not paying attention to him in [the hospital], what happens if he comes home? I feel like they are delinquent in there with him now, and it would be worse if I bring him home," she said earlier this week. Now entering his third year in hospital, he has made dramatic improve ments and is scheduled to be transferred to the Intensive Care Unit to be weaned off his ventilator. The directive was outlined in a med ical report on April 28; however, Renaldo still hasn't been moved, his mother said. Mrs Ford is convinced that Renaldo, initially diagnosed as being permanently paralysed, may have a chance of regaining the use of his legs and even upper his body with further medical treatment and rehabilitation in the United States. The concerned mother in the process of obtaining a cost estimate from Jackson Memorial Hospital, after waiting for necessary documentation from PMH since last year. Ms Ford said: "My heart is breaking for Renaldo, my thing is, if they were working with Renaldo more he would have been further but they gave up on him from day one. MAKE A WISH FAST APPEAL OVER BEDRIDDEN TEENAGER that lasted a lifetime She also remembers in vivid detail that she wore a fitted white ankle length gown with box pleats that was made by her future mother-in-law and carried, as was custom in those days, a bouquet made of white crepe paper. She was attended by five bridesmaids all in white dresses as was tradition then, with the men all in black suits. After the wedding, she and her husband settled into married life in a union that would span more than seven decades and survive many challenges, including the death of a newborn daughter and an adult son. The couple had eight children five boys and three girls. One son, Tony, died in his forties and their daughter died after only a day. Mrs Johnson worked as a homemaker and seamstress. Mr John son was a farmer, fisherman and occasional boat builder and captain. Mr Johnson was ordained as a minister. Ministry and religion have played a major role in their lives. Although the years have left Mr Johnson in declining health and Mrs Johnson with aches and pains they still remain committed to each other and to their family which now includes 19 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. Mrs Johnson admits that it is disappointing to see so many marriages fail after a very short period of time. You have to keep the fire burning, you have to keep loving each other and forgiving one another. It will help keep you together. 74 years is a lot of togetherness. Plenty of it went with a lot of prayer. You have to put God first in your life. Sometimes things will go wrong, but you have to work through it. The couples daughter, Oralee Whylly, says that she and her siblings are truly inspired by their parents. They instilled in us that you have to let God be the head of your lives and love and respect each other and that makes a marriage. By CARA BRENNENBETHEL Tribune Features Editor LIKE all married women, Ellen Johnsons wedding day brings fond memories and a smile to her lips as she recalls the white dresses both she and her bridesmaids wore and the wedding reception that followed the ceremony in the local school hall on Crooked Island. It was after all a memorable day which took place exactly 74 years ago today. Mrs Johnson is now 91 and still blushes when asked about her courtship with Uhijah Johnson, now 98 and the details of their wedding in 1937. When I met Uhijah for the first time, I was living with my sister in Moss Town because her husband had died and he would see me walking back and forth. And after that he used to tell me I gonna marry you one day. So when I moved back home, we would correspond. He eventually spoke with my mother and father and that was that. We got married. The wedding took place on July 27, 1937 when the bride was 17 years old. In fact we had to put my age up to 20 so that we could get married. It was not a big wedding but it was nice. I remember after the wedding in the Bap tist church, we had to walk all the way to the Moss Town school hall which was where they had the reception. I remember it was a long walk about 3-4 miles and I had on these high white shoes. In those days, there werent any roads like today. I had guests from the other settlements and from Miami. The reception was not like the ones you see today, we ate flour cake. ELLEN AND UHIJAH JOHNSON celebrate their 74th wedding anniversary today. T HIS VACANT LOT o n Wilson Tract and the abandoned two storey s tructure therein has been used as a dumping site for more than a d ecade, according to residents. Tim Clarke /Tribune staff ENGLERSTONCOMMUNITYSETFORMASSIVE CLEAN-UP COMMUNITY leaders called on innercity residents to break the cycle of substandard living conditions and take advantage of progressive opportunities. A massive clean-up exercise has been commissioned for the Englerston community as stakeholders hope to improve morale and deter opportunistic crime. Joann Johnson of the Bahamas National Pride, said yesterday: They've done it hundreds of times, next year are we going to be doing it again? We need to stop this trend of just doing the same thing over and over again. We want to change, can we change? Can we just end it and be better, do we want to be better? That's what we are asking the community of Englerston. Do we want to make a difference? Overgrown lots, abandoned buildings and derelict vehicles were said to be breeding grounds for crime, according to police, as these sites often harboured opportunistic thugs, contraband items or stolen goods. Led by MP for the area Glenys HannaMartin, a multi-sectoral and communitybased initiative was outlined yesterday, comprised of the Department of Environmental Health, the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Bahamas National Pride, and the Englerston Pastoral Association in the area. Mrs Hanna-Martin said: We understand that the issue of crime is very complex, that it is not simply a policing issue which is a critical issue but it comes at the latter end of the spectrum. There are some other things that we can do in terms of deterrents, prevention, and detection and one of them is the issue of the environment. "This kind of thing has happened before clean up in the area we know that, but we want this to be a different approach. One that is sustained, that is community based, but that will also be joined by other efforts in a way to inspire the community despite their challenges. It's going to require the investment resources from the state, she added, and we are going to be demanding that on behalf of the people of Englerston I think that has been a little shortcoming." The department of Environment Health has committed to cleaning the sides of streets and removing derelict vehicles; however, the public was urged to take responsibility for their surroundings and assist in making the initiative a sustainable one. Vincent Sweeting, senior deputy director, said: "We will provide containers, we will provide manpower, but we want (residents) to be a part of it. Whatever is in their yard we want them to bring it out to the front. This is an opportune time because of the increase in suspected cases of dengue fever that we're having in New Providence, this is an ideal time to bring out whatever you have that might hold water after a heavy rain car, tyres, cans, bottles." Seven of the year's murders have occurred in Englerston, according to police, who estimate there has been a three per cent rise in such crime. Residents were urged to take advantage of spiritual counsel available to them within the community by Ednal Minnis, president of the pastoral association, whose membership includes 52 churches in the area. "Before you pull up a gun, before you pull out a knife, come and talk to somebody, Mr Minnis urged. One of the pastors here will be more than willing to sit with you and talk with you about the situa tion. In Englerston, a cleaner community will make a cleaner person, and that is what we are trying to do we are trying to build that clean person and build that clean and rejuvenated community all over again."


By MEGAN REYNOLDS Tribune Staff Reporter SUBSTANTIAL oil reserves found by the Bahamas Petrole um Company will not be explored until new legislationi s in place to oversee drilling, the Ministry of the Environment has confirmed. A report commissioned by Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC with Unrisked Recoverable Prospective Resources in excess of 500 million barrels each have b een identified in 2D seismic surveys of Bahamian waters, and three of the four have more than one billion barrels of oil. This puts BPC right on target to start drilling at the end of next year, said CEO Paul Crevello, in response to the report released by Ryder Scott last week. The study supports the long-standing vision of our chairman and founder, Alan Burns, that the Bahamas may hold significant quantities of hydrocarbons, he said in a statement released to the press. We are extremely pleased with the results of the report and look forward to continuing our exploration programme in licenses in which the compa ny holds 100 per cent interests. BPC is now nearly halfway through a more detailed 3D seismic survey and plans to sub mit an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA to drilling to the Ministry of the Environment before the end of September. The company currently has five petroleum exploration licenses totaling 15,676 square kilometers in Bahamian waters and has also applied for an a dditional license to explore for oil in the Cay Sal area. However, a moratorium on all oil exploration and drilling applications imposed by the Ministry of the Environment last year still holds true and will not be rescinded until strict regulations have been put in place to ensure any drilling is properly regulated and monitored. Energy analyst at the Min istry of the Environment Gilles Deal said his team is working with the Norwegian govern ment, as Norway has the best record in the petroleum indus try for protecting the environment during oil exploration. The communication and information sharing is a long process, he said, and therefore Mr Deal was not able to say when the new regulations would come into effect. It is possible to drill without an environmental disaster, he said. If it wasnt we would have spills every other week. But the proper regulations and proper monitoring processes must be in place, to circumvent those things. We want to be sure to protect the environment, and that n othing goes wrong. Minister of the Environment Earl Deveaux declined to com ment on the obvious risk drilling for oil would pose for the marine environment, which the tourism and fisheries indus tries depend on. He said: I think Bahamas Petroleum will continue to raise their stakes, but I have no comments on what they are doing. The consideration process for all oil and drilling applications was suspended after 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico from the BP rig Deepwater Horizon between April and August last year. Several oil companies are now waiting for their oil exploration license applications to be considered. Meanwhile oil exploration is going ahead in Cuban waters, and the Ministry of the Envi ronment is in communication with Cuba about their plans to drill in waters northwest of the island nation, near the Gulf of Mexico. LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011, PAGE 3 By NOELLE NICOLLS Tribune Staff Reporter THE PRESENTgovernments policy of selling land to squatters in redeveloped subdivisions is consistent with the policy of former governments, said Kenneth Russell, Minister of Housing. The subject has become very emotive, said Mr Russell, because political opponents have sought to capitalise on the fact that the term squatter has become synonymous with illegal immigrant. He said political opponents have also tried to equate the process of regularising squatters to granting citizenship, which he said are two completely separate processes. People have to be treated fairly based on the law. I cannot get hysterical because I know people hate Haitians and say everyone in the shanty town is illegal, because not everyone is illegal and not everyone is Haitian. And what I find amazing is the Christian community is allowing so much hatred to go o n without saying a word, said Mr Russell. The reality is that there are many indigenous Bahamians who are squatting on both government and private land. Pride Estates, Dignity Gardens and the former Leonard SugarmanE states in Fox Hill are prime examples of this, he said. Just about everyone living in Sugarman Estates is squatting on government land, owned by the Ministry of Housing, said Mr Russell. Bahamians have constructed residential and commercial buildings throughout the area. In some cases Bahamians bought land in the area unsuspectingly from fraudulently dealers. Rather than have a standard policy of bulldozing houses, Mr Russell said, the government allows qualified Bahamians to obtain title to the lots they are squatting on. They are advised to do so or risk their buildings becoming property of the government, he said. In some cases, Mr Russell said, occupants are required to upgrade their houses, or construct new houses, in keeping with the building code. The law gives Bahamian squatters the right to obtain title to the lots they are squatting on, said Mr Russell. This has been shown in cases in Grand Bahama, Abaco, Andros, Exuma, and New Providence and throughout the country. While we do not condone squatting, there are many middle income Bahamians including senior citizens, civil servants, police officers, reverends, and straw vendors, squatting on Housing land, in houses which are in most instances larger than government homes. Should all of these persons houses and buildings be demolished and they and their children placed on the streets, or should the government find a way to afford those persons the opportunity to purchase the land they are living on, some for generations? asked Mr Russell. In the case of Mackey Yard, which the government plans to turn into a 52 lot subdivision, Mr Russell said the government is activating an existing government policy from the days of the United Bahamian Party (UBP place a humane, permanent solution to the squatter problem on Housing land. The plan, in fact, is consistent with practices in the private sector, Mr Russell said. Months ago, when a row erupted in the Pinewood Subdivision, currently being developed by Arawak Homes, company executives said they were only bulldozing the homes of squatters if they were located in planned roadways. Otherwise, the squatters would be given an opportunity to regularise their dwellings by paying to obtain title to the land. The Bahamians who formerly lived in Mackey Yard and can afford to purchase the land at the offered price will be able to return, said Mr Russell. Otherwise, the property will be sold to persons from Ministry of Housings list. The governments squatter policy is the same for Bahamians, naturalised or not, who squat on government land. Mr Russell said Bahamians squatting in Haitian villages are treated no differently than those squatting in other areas like Sugarman Estates, for example. By CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter The PLPs record on capital punishment does not reflect support for the death penalty, according to the governing FNM party. A press statement issued by the Free National Movement yesterday criticised the PLP for stating that they would resume hangings if returned to government despite a record showing that not one hanging took place during their five years in power. The FNM said the declaration issued by PLP leader Perry Christie is one of the many and now the latest example of the leader of the opposition proposing to do in the future what he never did in five years. Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Perry Christie stated last week that his party supported capital punishment legislation and was committed to carrying out executions in accordance with the law. There are some of us who agree and some of us who disagree, but I'm here tonight to say that the PLP has always complied with and carried out the law as it relates to hanging and nothing will change with respect to that," Mr Christie said at the PLP's eastern conclave, according to a published report. However, as the FNM statement noted the PLP did not execute any death row inmates during their last tenure in office, from 2002 to 2007. Five inmates were executed while the Free National Movement was in power between 1992 and 2002, according to published reports. The last hanging in the Bahamas was conducted in 2000 in accordance with the law under the FNM administration, said the statement. It said: Despite his talk now, when Mr Christie and his government had five years to amend laws related to murder, they absolutely failed to so do. The party said that only when Mr Christie and the PLP are in opposition are they clear on what needs to be done in the country, however once in office their record is one of weakness, incompetence and stag nation. If Mr Christie could not provide recommendations on election law amendments despite numerous promises to do so, the statement said, it is difficult to believe that he can lead on ever broader issues of national security. The Ingraham administration continues to uphold the rule of law and the application of the death penalty in accord with the law, said the party. A 2006 judgment by the Londonbased Privy Council, the country's highest court of appeal, ruled that the mandatory death sentence for the crime of murder was unconstitutional. As a result, inmates serving mandatory death sentences at Her Majesty's Prison had to be re-sentenced, delaying future executions. SELLING LAND TO SQUATTERS POLICY ONSISTENT WITH FORMER GOVT PAUL MOSSand a handful of supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party staged a protest yesterday against the governments plans to develop a subdivision in the former Mackey Yard squatter settlement. Protesters held placards outside the House of Assembly, vowing to be out here every day until the voices of the people have been heard. The PDP finds it deplorable that the government is offering land to foreigners and can not give it to the Bahamian people who they have sworn to serve. If this is not so the government needs to come forward andsay so, said Mr Moss. Government officials have stated on numerous occasions that it is not selling land to foreigners. In a statement released yesterday, the minister of housing said political opponents have sought to capitalise on the fact that the term squatter has become synonymous with illegal immigrant. During the demonstration, Mr Moss said some people have been on the waiting list for government homes for months. He asked if the government wanted to send the message the you can squat and get a house. OIL RESER VES WILL N O T BE EXPLORED UNTIL LEGISL A TION IN PL ACE A TEEN boy is in hospital after being shot during an incident on Milton Street. Details remained sketchy up until press time, but police did confirm the incident occurred at 1.20am Thursday. The victim, 15, was taken to hospital by private vehicle.At last report he was in stable condition. Police said they are uncer t ain of the circumstances sur rounding this incident but continuing to investigate. QUICK action by police led to the arrest of a man in connection with the theft of a car from the Bargain City store on Carmichael Road. A t around 1am Tuesday, it was reported that the Honda Accord had gone missing from outside the store. Within 10 minutes, accord ing to police, officers had recovered the vehicle in Kims Crescent off Baillou Hill Road and had a man in custody for questioning. The 20-year-old man is now assisting police with their inquiries. TRAFFIC police cited eight drivers, arrested one person on an outstanding warrant and confiscated 12 suspected stolen motorcycles during a special operation. The persons were ticketed for allegedly failing to adhere to traffic laws. The operation took place 7am Sunday. Officers of the Traffic Division encouraged motorists to ensure that their vehicles are in good working condition as required by the Road Traffic Act. Police plan to continue their crackdown on traffic offences. OFFICERS of the Mobile Division found a magazine clip containing ammu nition in a yard on Podoleo Street. According to police reports, officers made the discovery at 3.24am Monday while on patrol in the area. No arrests were made but investigations continue. POLICE are no longer looking for two men whose images were circulated on wanted posters last week. Twenty-year-old Javardo Gentle and 25-year-old Johnny St Luc are no longer being sought by police, press liaison officer Sergeant Chrislyn Skippings said. Police last, week said they wanted to question the pair in connection to a house breaking investigation. MINISTER OF HOUSING SPEAKS OUT ON EMOTIVE ISSUE FNM CLAIMS PLP CAPITAL PUNISHMENT RECORD DOES NOT REFLECT DEATH PENALTY SUPPORT PLP LEADER Perry Christie stated last week that his party supported capital punishment legislation. M INISTEROFHOUSING Kenneth Russell TEEN IN HOSPIT AL AFTER SHOOTING POLICE NEWS PAUL MOSS AND PDP SUPPORTERS STAGE MACKEY YARD PROTEST P ROTEST: P aul Moss


EDITOR, The Tribune. IN 2006 I attended a seminar hosted by the Police and the Ministry of Tourism on Crime and Terrorism. The seminar was attended by law enforcement officers, security officers and public servants. The lecturer was from the USA, who is an expert on the subject. Revelations by them were frightening, in particular as it relates to the security of the borders of ones country. I was prompted to prepare a presentation on Bahamas Immigration. In 2008 after some research, interviews and inquiries I completed a document, which was copied to all Members of our Parliament, Heads of all law enforcement agencies, the Chamber of Commerce, Heads of certain government departments and the press. As a result of the present debate in our country on the subject of immigration and illegal immigrants I am asking that you publish extracts of the document for the information of the public. The recommendations follow: Bahamas Immigration Department: Increase staff to provide service 24/7 in and out of office; Increase and improve communication equipment, transportation availability by land, sea and air, awareness of powers to seize vehicles and boats and authorize direct communication among law enforcement departments to deal with issues without political interference. Make the detention centre more secure and consider having such a place at Inagua. The latter could reduce the deportation expenses. The Bahamas Government: legislation or approval required to develop and introduce photo ID. Card, with thumb or fore finger print and all information about the holder for those immi grants, born here, who may qualify for residential status (not citizenship). Thorough investigation to be implemented before the issue of any card. Fee to be paid for the card and the holder be required to pay National Insurance and any oth er government taxes. The card about the size of the drivers license must be carried by the holder, who must produce it on demand by any law enforcement officer. Renewal of the card will be annually at a cost and could be rejected should the holder become involved in any criminal activity. A similar card of a dif ferent colour to be developed to replace the current work permit. There must be a moratori um and audit of the remaining immigrants. They must present themselves for registration and Bahamians, who employ or wish to employ such persons, must make application to the Immigration Department. The card replaces the work permit and enables the holder to carry it for easy identification. All other immigrants in the country, who are deemed to be here illegally, shall be asked to depart or be deported. With the advent of the card legislation or approval will be required to enforce the following: All foreign persons s eeking services from government departments, such as Road Traffic Department must present their cards. Children of immigrants attending schools here will only be accepted with untruth presentation of the parents cards. Immigrants seeking medical attention will be prov ided with the service, but the immigration authorities will be contacted should the person be unable to present the card. Landlords before renting to any immigrant must confirm status by requesting to see the card. Banks and money transfer firms must demand proof of status b efore engaging in any business t ransactions. Proper records to be maintained on visitors for detection of those who overstay, in particular from the known offending countries. Captains and crews of all boats found to be engaged in human traffickingm ust be prosecuted expeditiously. There ought to be prison sentences, fines and mandatory seizure of the vessel. Law enforcement agencies must be assigned to eliminate all of the shanty towns populated by squatters or in illegally built shacks in the country. Due warning to be given before law enforcement officers and bulldozers move in. Prosecute all illegal immigrants who were previously deported and have returned. Such persons should serve a prison term. Conclusion: The major influxes of illegal immigrants are from Haiti. There must be more cooperation between the governments there and here to eradicate the problem. Rewards could be paid to persons in Haiti and in The Bahamas for information relative to human trafficking. I have always found it difficult to understand how Haitian vessels could arrive in New Providence undetected. Every effort must be made improve the protection of our borders. We served with honour, we remember with pride. PAUL THOMPSON Sr Nassau, July, 2011. EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR PAGE 4, WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 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 updated daily at 2pm SPEAKING at a PLP conclave Saturday night Opposition leader Perry Christie vowed that should his party be returned to power he will carry out the law capital punishment will be in. There are some of us who agree and some o f us who disagree, Mr Christie told his supporters, but Im here tonight to say that the P LP has always complied with and carried out the law as it relates to hanging and noth ing will change with respect to that. This is an interesting statement coming from a man who had five years in which to carry out the law in capital cases, but did nothing. I t is also an interesting contrast to Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, who has made it c lear that he is personally against capital punishment. However, as long as hanging is on the statute books and he is prime minister, the law will be carried out, he said. And it was. In recent rulings the Privy Council has said that there are certain situations in which capital punishment will not be entertained. As a consequence the Ingraham government is having the laws amended so that there will be cases in which hanging can be justified and can be carried out. The Privy Council, in its most recent ruling, has pointed the way. However, during Mr Christies administration no amendments to the Court of Appeal Act or the Criminal Proceedings Act were drafted or laid on the table of the House to accommodate the changing law. However, in contrast to no hangings on Mr Christies watch, five men were hanged during the Ingraham administration. It was the law and Mr Ingraham obeyed the law. In 1868, according to Executive Council minutes, the inhabitants of the city of Nassau petitioned the governor to end public hangings. As a result, an Act was assented toon April 14, 1869, and 142 years ago public hanging ended in the Bahamas. Instead of a public spectacle, to which the whole town turned out on the Eastern Parade, future hangings took place behind prison walls. David Mitchell, convicted of the brutal murder of a German couple in Abaco, was hanged on January 6, 2000 during the Ingraham administration. Buried next to him on J anuary 14 was John Higgs, who was to hang on the same day as Mitchell for the murder of h is wife. However, Higgs cheated the hang mans noose by committing suicide two days before the appointed day of his hanging. The debate on capital punishment raged throughout Mr Christies five year administration, but, other than talk, nothing was done not even an attempt at redrafting the law. Amnesty International called for capital punishment to be abolished, but many religious leaders, police officers, members of Mr C hristies own government and citizens urged the death penalty. Public feeling at the time w as encapsulated in the statement of a caller to a radio station, who pleaded with Mr Christie to start hanging: When you hang, hang all. Get rid of the whole fleet of people on death row one time so that the talking becomes action. As far as we recall Mr Christie remained s toically silent. He did not make his views known until a prison officer was murdered. O n January 26, 2006 Mr Christie spoke at the funeral of prison officer Dion Bowles, who was stabbed to death during a prison break. Mr Christie said that he disagreed with those who were attempting to have the death penalty revoked in the Bahamas. Prime ministers dont go around saying things like that plenty people dont agree. As long as I am prime minister, the brothers and sisters who do believe in it, I am going to fight with them. The 2007 election was nearing. The night following that statement, then Opposition leader Hubert Ingraham was speaking at an FNM rally in Long Island. He described Prime Minister Christies sudden support of the death penalty as a shameless case of mouthing and pure pandering. According to Mr Ingraham, Mr Christie resorted to this tactic, because people no longer believe his promises. But dont wait for them to hang anybody, he told Long Islanders. This is a shameless case of mouthing what some people want to hear pure pandering, nothing more. The hanging bandwagon is rolling and Mr Christie just wants to get on board. The prime minister knows he is in trouble so he will jump on any bandwagon he thinks will get him some votes. Another election nears, and capital punishment is still a burning issue. Mr Christie has announced that if given a second chance at t he premiership he will hang. Is history repeating itself? Is Mr Christie s natching at a second opportunity to jump on a passing bandwagon that might get him some votes? See the story on page 3 and be the judge. Document on Bahamas and illegal immigration LETTERS l Mr Christie says he will hang EDITOR, The Tribune. SHAUN MILLER, the father of Shaunae Miller must be commended on the stand he has taken, regarding the development of his daughter as an athlete, and ultimately as a person. Not too many people are aware of what it takes to raise an athlete, especially onew ith the obvious potential that Ms Miller has. The process and development must be taken seriously and anything that falls short of what is essentially a managerial function cannot be downplayed or relegated, especially if those who see themselves as being in charge seem to have agendas that are not in the national interest.I was further encouraged to hear some of the local coaches giving Mr Miller, their public support even explaining how important it was for athletes to be involved in processes that are rational and predictable. Maybe we are reaching the place where local federa t ions, some, whose approaches over the years have been somewhat heavy handed are realising that athletes play a key role in the athletic process, or, the athletes, coaches, parents and clubs are beginning to understand that the Associations are nothing without them. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a conversation between all of those concerned, and the goal of the national intent is embraced by all. The performances of the Bahamian athletes of recent times have caused many of our competitors to be looking over theirs houlders or checking their rear view mirrors. We know where our strengths are and co-operation is needed to build on those; this is not the time for those who have the ultimate responsibility to be making unnecessary, negative, short term decisions. Teamwork, isa serious thing and it can be difficult, but when it is working the world gets to see something that makes all of us proud that we are Bahamian. As an aside, the decision not to compete in the 400 metres is worth noting. The decision to participate in the 4x400 will have a long term benefit to all of our young women who run this event. It is just incredulous that this young woman would give up a sure medal, but in the process she is bringing her teammates to a better place; perhaps this is an essential ingredient for future progress. She is still going to have to run hard, but I think her teammates will be running much harder because of her presence. EDWARD HUTCHESON Nassau, July 21, 2011. Commending athletes father


WHEN the Bahamas Inter national Film Festival begins its 8th annual film festivalD ecember 1 4, it will be doing so with the assistance of RBC Royal Bank. RBC and BIFF come togeth er this year to promote a new programme called First Look specifically for Bahamian emerging filmmakers. BIFF and RBC have offi cially launched First Look with the Bahamas Video Cooperative members. The programme will assist first time filmmakers in creating original films, which will be considered for the 2011 BIFF. Both short and feature film entries are eligible to win a $5,000 cash prize. RBC believes in the power of the arts to enrich lives and enhance communities, said Jan Knowles, regional manager of public relations and communications. Investing in the arts is a long-standing priority for RBC in the Bahamas and glob ally. Through this Emerging Bahamian Filmmakers Programme we seek to continue a global RBC tradition of empowering emerging local artists. By helping young, up and coming Bahamian film-makers achieve their goals, RBC commits to the development of our nations culture as well as the advancement of our most precious resource, our youth. Expressing her excitement about the partnership, BIFFs founder and executive director, Leslie Vanderpool-Wallace, said: We are very pleased with RBC Royal Banks decision to support and promote film and the visual arts in the Bahamas. BIFF plays a pivotal role in the development of the film industry within the Bahamas and around the world. RBCs support will, by extension, con tribute to our growth and devel opment in the Bahamas. The Bahamas International Film Festival is a non-profit organisation dedicated to pro viding the local community and international visitors with a diverse presentation of films from around the world. It also spearheads education pro grammes and provides a forum for discussing and exploring the past, present and future of cinema. LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011, PAGE 5 JETBLUE Airlines has announced a new international route into Nassau with flights from White Plains, New York set to launch on November 15. T he inaugural flight into Nassau from the Westchester County Airport will come just in time for residents of White Plains andn earby Connecticut to see C onnecticut champions t he UConn Huskies compete in Atlantis' college basketball tournament, set for this Fall. "This addition of nonstop service from Westch-e ster to Nassau represents t he continuing growth of a most successful partnership between the Bahamas and JetBlue," said Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, minister of tourism and avia-t ion. We believe that success i s owed largely to the wond erful match between JetB lue customers and B ahamas vacationers and w e will continue to look for other such opportunit ies to enable travellers to e njoy the culture, cuisine a nd the world's clearest w aters of the Bahamas." Head of the Nassau-Paradise Island Promotion Board Fred Lounsberry said the new flight will c ome just in time to allow residents of Westchester C ounty and Connecticut to p lan their holiday travels and escape from winter weather. JetBlue will begin two d aily flights between W hite Plains and Nassau beginning November 15. T he airline also offers multiple daily departures b etween Nassau and New York's metropolitan area. RBCPARTNERS WITH BIFFFOR EIGHTH ANNUAL FILM FESTIVAL small man sell phone cards. BTC makes millions, why cant they let me keep the small amount of money I make? Selling the cards now is simplynot worth it. I guess, its back on the job hunt for me. A local retailer said she wont be selling phone cards in her store any more because she will be losing money rather than making a profit. It takes more gas to drive and buy these phone cards, not to mention my time. After this last batch of cards is gone,I wont be buying any more. Im one of the lucky ones though, because I still have my shop to fall back on. But what about the people who did this as their main job? They will not be able to survive. I feel sorry for them. Meanwhile, according to phone card wholesalers, there was a sudden 90 per cent reduction in business just two days after BTC announced its decision to increase the price vendors pay for the cards. Speaking on condition of anonymity, one wholesaler said phone vendors are no longer interested in purchasing phone cards and some customers are becomingi rate when they learn the price of phone cards has gone up. People are walking in and walking out. They arent interested in buying them anymore. Business used to be booming but now Im lucky if I sell 10 per cent of what I used to. This is ridiculous. Can you imagine someone standing in the hot sun all day to make 12 cents on a phone card? They are refusing to do it and honestly I dont blame them. It seems as if BTC is trying to get rid of them. If thats what they are trying to do, it is def initely working. A $5 phone card is now being sold to vendors at $4.88, up from $3.65; a $10c ard is now being sold for $9.50, up from $7.85 and a $20 phone card which previously cost $15.75 is now being sold at $19.50. The rate increases will not affect consumers as retailers are not allowed to increase the value of the cards. After the news broke, opposition member of Parliament for Fox Hill Fred Mitchell said Cable and Wireless has always been and will always be bad for the Bahamas. The situation is a disaster, to go from making $1.88 to 12 cents profit is an insult to vendors. The economy still has not rebounded and now BTC is putting hun d reds of people out of work. They along with the government should be very ashamed. It may be wrong to say, but I told you so. FROM page one Phone card trade killed off overnight By SANCHESKA BROWN BAHAMAS Telecommunication Company executives say they are not trying to put phone card vendors out of business but rather make topping up prepaid cell phones much easier. The executives were responding to allegations by phone card vendors and political parties that the increase in the wholesale price of phone cards will ultimately eliminate the need for street vendors. BTC executive Tablot Collie told The Tribune that BTC has increased the rates to keep with industry standards. We are not attempting to put phone card vendors out of business, in fact what we are doing will benefit the consumer. We just eliminated long distance rates on cell between the Islands. That was a $4 million loss for us, but we did it for the customer. As we roll out new initiatives there will be some anomalies; unfortunately this is one of them. But the CEO is committed to lowering cell phone prices. This is the first step in doing that. While BTC executives would not confirm specifics, informed sources said a $5 phone card is now being sold to vendors at $4.88, up from $3.65; a $10 card is being sold for $9.50, up from $7.85; and a $20 card which previously cost $15.75 is now being sold at $19.50. Antonio Stubbs, senior vice president of operations at BTC said the company has been selling the cards for prices above industry norms for quite some time, but now they are aiming to normalise their margins by gradually bringing the distributor and vendor commissions in line with worldwide rates. Wholesalers For several months prior to launching the new top-up system, BTC said they have been in discussions with prepaid card wholesalers and retailers to make them fully aware of t he upcoming changes. As part of the arrangement, the distributors will be solely responsible for their retailers and vendors, ensuring that they are licensed and thoroughly trained on the new EZTop-Up software, hardware and e-portal the company also plans to introduce. Through EZTop-Up, BTC said customers will have multiple ways to add airtime to their phone at home and on the road through participating merchant locations. Top-up methods will increase from three options to seven, making the purchase of airtime accessible virtually anywhere in the country. According to BTC, research shows that prepaid wireless customers buy topup more frequently than other forms of recharge (ie prepaid cards). Retailers can benefit directly from the system through increased sales volume. Customers also tend to purchase other items while topping up their phone in-store, the company noted. The new approach will also include a visibly branded, uniformed presence for all access points. Consumers can expect brightly-coloured kiosks, uniformed apparel and BTC signs wherever EZTop-Up is available. Wholesalers have complained that the increase on card costs will eventually put them out of business, while vendors say the losses being passed on to them will have a severe impact especially as they now have to compete with the new top-up technology. BTC NOT TRYING TO PUT PHONE CARD VENDORS OUT OF BUSINESS COMPANYAIMINGTOMAKETOPPINGUPPRE-PAIDCELL PHONESEASIER W W e e a a r r e e n n o o t t a a t t t t e e m m p p t t i i n n g g t t o o p p u u t t p p h h o o n n e e c c a a r r d d v v e e n n d d o o r r s s o o u u t t o o f f b b u u s s i i n n e e s s s s , i i n n f f a a c c t t w w h h a a t t w w e e a a r r e e d d o o i i n n g g w w i i l l l l b b e e n n e e f f i i t t t t h h e e c c o o n n s s u u m m e e r r . AIRLINE ANNOUNCES NEW INTERNATIONAL ROUTE TO NASSAU


By TANEKA THOMPSON Deputy Chief Reporter DAYS before the start of the crawfishing season, two opposition members have urged government to toughen laws against foreign poachers. Poachers, particularly those from the Dominican Republic, routinely encroach on Bahamian fishing grounds and threaten the important indust ry said Ryan Pinder, Progressive Liberal Party member of parliament for Eliza beth, and fisherman Clay Sweeting, the PLP's candidate for North Eleuthera. The men renewed their call f or a special marine protection division in the Royal Bahamas Defence Force to focus on warding off foreign poachers. The pair also asked for government to expand current criminal laws against p oachers with stiff jail terms imposed for those found fishing off season. "The illegal poaching has put at risk our entire marine resources as the illegal fishing is done without regard tos pecies, maturity or sustainability of the catch. Entire areas are wiped out by the illegal poachers. We need to be serious about protecting this fragile industry so Bahamian fishermen can have a future in it. The PLP believes in tak ing whatever enforcement necessary, no matter how strict the penalty, to preserve fishing in Bahamian waters for Bahamians. "We call on the government to ensure the implementation of policies and laws that will be a real deterrent, and not just a slap on the wrist. Jail time should be imposed, especially if poachers are caught fishing in the off season, when the crawfish spawn," said a j oint statement issued by the men yesterday. When contacted for com ment, Abner Pinder, former chief councillor of the fishing community Spanish Wells, agreed that many in the indus t ry want to see harsher penalties for poachers. "The fisherman here want tougher laws, definitely they would like to see the fines increased doubled at least," he said yesterday. While captains of the poaching vessels are often giv en steep fines once charged and convicted, crew members are only required to pay a few hundred dollars, he said. This does little to deter fish erman from countries with barren fishing grounds from seeking precious resources from the Bahamas, he added. "They have no fishing grounds, they have killed their fishing grounds so they are going to keep trying to come here to make a living". Last week, 61 Dominican poachers pled guilty to charges of illegal fishing in Bahamian waters, possession of prohibited spear guns, possession of prohibited air compressors, possession of groupers weighing under three pounds and possession of crawfish during the closed sea son. Nine of the eleven crewmen aboard the vessel Lil Lamb were ordered to pay a fine of $500 or spend six months in prison while the captain was sentenced to pay a $50,000 fine or spend one year in prison. The Dominican crewmen found aboard a second vessel, Don Emmy, were given the same sentence as their counterparts, however the captain's fine in this case was $25,000. The vessels, catch and everything else found onboard were ordered seized. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 6, WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011 THE TRIBUNE 1 2 7 & ( 1,125+,33,1*&203$1< f /,0,7(' 1 2 7 & ( ,6+(5(%<*,9(1DVIROORZV 1,125+,33,1*&203$1<%$+$0$6f /,0,7(' LVLQGLVVROXWLRQXQGHUWKHSURYLVLRQVRIWKH ,QWHUQDWLRQDO%XVLQHVV&RPSDQLHV 7KHGLVVROXWLRQRIWKHVDLG&RPSDQ\ FRPPHQFHGRQWKH QG GD\RI-XO\ LWV$UWLFOHVRI'LVVROXWLRQZHUHVXEPLWWHGWRDQG UHJLVWHUHGE\WKHHJLVWUDU*HQHUDO 7KH/LTXLGDWRURIWKHVDLG&RPSDQ\LV .LUY\)HUJXVRQ RIKLUOH\+RXVHKLUOH\WUHHW 1DVVDX%DKDPDV 'DWHGWKH QG GD\RI-XO\ +$55< /2%26.<$1$*(0(17&2/7' $WWRUQH\VIRUWKHDERYHQDPHG&RPSDQ\ 1 2 7 & ( 1,125+,33,1*&203$1< %$+$0$6f/,0,7(' f & UHGLWRUVKDYLQJGHEWVRUFODLPVDJDLQVWWKHDERYH QDPHG&RPSDQ\DUHUHTXLUHGWRVHQGSDUWLFXODUV W KHUHRIWRWKHXQGHUVLJQHG3%R[1DVVDX %DKDPDVRQRUEHIRUHGD\RI$XJXVW ,QGHIDXOWWKHUHRIWKH\ZLOOEHH[FOXGHGIURPWKHEHQH RIDQ\GLVWULEXWLRQPDGHE\WKH/LTXLGDWRU 'DWHGWKHQGGD\RI-XO\ LUY\)HUJXVRQ / LTXLGDWRU 6KLUOH\+RXVH 6KLUOH\WUHHW 1 DVVDX%DKDPDV By LAMECH JOHNSON A FORMER attorney was given until O ctober 17, when he is next due to appear before the Supreme Court, to produce the funds he admitted to stealing from clients. Ralph Jan Ward, who represented hims elf, pleaded guilty to stealing by reason of service and fraudulent breach of trust in three separate cases before Justice Vera Watkins yesterday morning. Ward who plead guilty last week to t aking $47,500 from Scotia Bank Limited between January 24 and April 16, 2007 and misusing the funds given to him as a trustee on behalf of his client Leterio Edgecombe w as told by Justice Watkins that his promise to return the funds to the victims was the reason his bail was extended. Do everything in your power to ensure the complainants are compensated or resti-t uted. You had told the court that you will get the funds back and that is why your bail is being extended, to ensure that you are ina position to make restitution to the comp lainants, she said. In the first of his cases heard yesterday, Mr Ward admitted to stealing ,000 ($820,000 James Lloyd. According to prosecutor Vanda Macke y-Williams, in December 2005, Mr Lloyd expressed interest in purchasing a lot in O ceans Club Estates, Paradise Island. Entrusting Ward with handling the transa ction, Mr Lloyd wired the funds needed to purchase the property to the lawyers a ccount. Ms Mackey-Williams said that as time went by however, it became clear that W ard had not made the transaction, but rather had used the money to serve his own interests. T he client requested on several occasions that his money be refunded, she said, adding that to date Mr Lloyd has received nothing. In the second matter, Ward admitted to s tealing ,000 ($574,000 Plc a British construction and development group. In February 2006, Ward and a company official decided to enter into an agreement for the construction of low cost homes. However, the development never materialised, despite Pochins w iring the money to Wards account, the prosecution said. In the last case, Ward admitted to stealing by reas on of service from Lianna Laing and Michael Roach between January 4 and July 11, 2007. Laing and Roach had sought to purchase a home and the two cosigned a mortgage for $183,600 at FCIBCB ank for a house and lot package from Tropical Home Design, a company owned by Gizelle Ward, a sister of the former attorney. H is legal services were recommended by the sister to the mortgage cosigners. The bank sent a check for $55,100 to Wards law firm, to be forwarded to Laing and Roach. They never got the cheque and the funds were never returned to the bank. Justice Watkins granted Ward $250,000 bail with three sureties. H e was required to surrender his passport to the Supreme Court registry and report to the Paradise Island police station before 6pm every Monday and Friday until October 17. Ward explained to the judge that his passport was already in the custody of the Magistrate Court as he has a pending matter there. J ustice Watkins said that sentencing will not take place until after the October 17 hearing, where Ward is expected produce the stolen funds he had promised to give back. She told the former attorney: I expect you to have a favourable report. By LAMECH JOHNSON A WOMAN on remand accused of killing of her husband last y ear was granted bail yesterday afternoon. Mikiko Black, 23, who was charged last April in the murder of her husband, Defence Force Able Seaman Leonardo Black, 27, was granted $25,000 bail with three sureties. L eonardo Black was found shot dead in the couple's apartment a t Boil Fish Avenue on the night of April 19, 2010. Regarding bail conditions, Justice Vera Watkins told Black that she has to report to the Carmichael Road police station every Monday and Friday until April 16, 2012, when the hearing willr esume. The accused, who is represented by Ian Cargill, had to surrender all travel documents to the registrar of the Supreme Court and was ordered not to interfere with any of the witness-es involved in the case. BAIL FOR WOMAN ON REMAND ACCUSED OF KILLING HUSBAND Share your news The Tribune wants to hear from people who are making news in their neighbourhoods. Perhapsy ou are raising funds for a good cause, campaigning f or improvements in the area or have won an award. If so, call us on 322-1986a nd share your story. TWOPLPS CALL FOR TOUGHER LAWS AGAINST FOREIGN POACHERS FORMER ATTORNEY GIVEN DEADLINE TO PRODUCE FUNDS HE ADMITTED STEALING FORMERATTORNEY Ralph Jan Ward R ALPHJANWARDHASUNTILOCTOBER17


By MEGAN REYNOLDS Tribune Staff Reporter TOUR operators have criticised the relocation of d erelict boats from Nassau H arbour to a popular scuba d iving and snorkelling site on the south side of Athol I sland. A nother three dilapidated boats were taken to the anchorage site on Sunday after six boats were towed there last week in an effort to clear them from the restricted area around Pott ers Cay dock. H owever, tour operators say the relocation creates a nother eye-sore for visitors a nd could be potentially d amaging to the reef. There is no way they should leave any boatsa nchored there because they will go down to the end of the island and crash onto the reef, said ChristopherH artley of Hartleys Under sea Walk, a unique scuba tour established in 1958. Athol Island was estab l ished as a marine sanctuary in 1892 and the reef on the south side remains ani mportant dive spot particu larly when strong winds blow out of the north east. M r Hartley said: Athol i sland is critical to almost a ll the dive operations on the northeast side of the island, because they all needA thol Island to be able to run a business throughout the year. Bahama Divers dive manager Tony Lowe said he frequently runs tours to the area in windy weather. I agree with cleaning up t he harbour, but we dont w ant to move it from one place to somewhere elset hat is populated and being u sed, he said. Its a protected marine park out there, from the middle of the island to thee ast end, as far as I know, and its very nice snorkelling, so I wouldnts ay it is the greatest idea to dump old steel or wood that is going to deteriorate. Port Commander Patrick M cNeil has overseen the r elocation in an effort to clear abandoned boats from t he restricted area around P otters Cay dock. H e maintains the boats will only be there temporarily and would not bet rashed at the decades old bone yard where boats have previously been dumped and burned near the anchorage, as he said plans to clean up the wrecks are in motion. Appearance C ommander McNeil o rdered boat owners to move their vessels from the restricted area around Pot t ers Cay dock by July 1 as part of a long-term project to improve the appearancea nd marine environment in the harbour. Last Sunday authorities cracked down on the east-e rn side of Potters Cay dock a nd around a dozen bat tered boats were moved to M ontagu Foreshore by their o wners. A total of six aband oned vessels left behind were towed to the AtholI sland anchorage. T his week they focused on the western side, and a 35ft boat and two skiffs abandoned there were taken to the same site on Sunday. Potters Cay dockmaster C raig Curtis said the boats t aken to Athol Island are in particularly bad condit ion, while those deemed s alvageable were taken to t he Defence Force harbour base where they can be reclaimed by their owners. He maintains the boats are properly secured and will be monitored. Meanwhile, Commander M cNeil said the efforts to clean-up Potters Cay has been welcomed. We are getting f avourable comments about h ow it looks, he said. And we are also looking at removing the derelict docka nd the wreck on the east ern side, as well as putting up some signs saying no anchoring in the area. LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011, PAGE 7 Relocation of derelict vessels prompts criticism DERELICTBOATS have been moved from Nassau Harbour to a popular scuba diving and snorkelling site on the south side of Athol Island. P hoto/ C hristopher Hartley


B y LARRYSMITH I RECENTLY had a chance to talk with Phenton Neymour, a junior minister in the Ingraham Cabinet, who left the PLPt o fight the 2002 general election as a young turk in the Coalition for Democratic Reform, which was led byDr Bernard Nottage. Neymour has an unusual political background. Hisf ather, Basil, was a close friend of Sir Cecil Wallace Whitfield and helped to create the FNM in 1971. After offering as an FNM candidate in three general elections, the elder Neymourr eturned to the PLP following Whitfield's death in 1990. At about the same time, Phenton returned from Syrac use University to join the W ater & Sewerage Corporation as an engineer, where he became close to thenU tilities Minister BJ Nottage. All of my ties were with t he PLP in those days, and b y 1995 I was being conside red as a replacement for George Smith in Exuma, w here my family is from," he recalled. "I was eventually selected a s the PLP candidate for S alem, but that constituency w as eliminated before the 1997 election." T he CDR was formed by the crucible of the 1997 general election, which markedt he highpoint of the backl ash against 25 years of PLP rule under Sir Lynden Pindling, just as the PLPs 1972 landslide was the peak of the tide against colonial rule. Both the FNM in 1997 andt he PLP in 1972 won just under 58 per cent of the vote. T he exhausted, corrupt and increasingly authoritar ian PLP had been thrown o ut of office in 1992 in an e lection that was just as historic as the one that had ushered them into power a quarter-century earlier. And after winning only six seats in 1997 many commentatorsw ere convinced that the PLP w as headed straight for "the boneyard." Perry Christie and Bernard Nottage were named co-deputy leaders after the disastrous 1997e lection, and Sir Lynden s tepped down as party leader soon afterwards. At the PLPs first convention following the general election, Pindling leaned in f avour of Christie, who was v oted in as the new leader. This led the defeated Nott age camp to set up a dissident group called the Centre for Positive Change. "The CPC included myself, Charles Maynard, a nd Peter Bethel among othe rs," Neymour said. "We w orked within the PLP at first, but after BJ lost the second leadership election w e realized the cards were stacked against us. "Christie had appointed o ver a thousand stalwart c ouncillors while almost all Nottage supporters had been removed from the National General Council. That's when we decided to set up the CDR, and some of thosew ho are in the House today on the PLP side supported that effort." Nottage resigned from t he PLP on January 25, 2000 and two weeks later announced he would lead t he newly formed CDR. Reflecting the same energy and confidence as today'sD emocratic National Alliance, the CDR insisted t hat Bahamians were "ready and hungry for a new party" and predicted that it would soon be the primary party. Nottage said he had r epeatedly urged the PLP to r eform itself in order to attract younger voters as well as thousands of defectors, but nothing was done. "The 1998 leadership election was so filled withi ntrigue and irregularities t hat it made the outcome meaningless, and I had no alternative but to resign. Bahamians need and deserve a party committed t o reform and empowerm ent," he said at the time. The CDR set about e stablishing itself with an impressive launch on Grand Bahama followed by a publicity campaign that generated a wave of public enthus iasm. Christie, meanwhile, c onsolidated his position in t he PLP, dismissing the splitters as "a minor distraction." "Sir Lynden's death in A ugust, 2000 took a lot of the wind out of our sails from the PLP side," Ney-m our told me, and the talk i n opposition circles turned to the formation of a united front against the government. The CDR did join up with some small pressure groups but continued tob elieve it would be a force to be reckoned with in the 2002 election. "We hoped to win three o r four seats and be in a position to influence change in the country," Neymour s aid, "but we got no traction at all, winning only 2.5 per cent of the overall vote andn o seats." Charles Maynard won 196 votes in Carmichael, Nottage got 499 votes in Kennedya nd Neymour won 117 votes in South Beach. If all of the CDRs 55 votes had gone tot he FNM in Marathon, A lgernon Allen might have retained his seat against the PLP, but overall the CDR had absolutely no impact on the result. An electorate of 145,000 g ave the PLP 51.7 per cent of the vote to the FNMs 40.8 per cent. "I was the CDRs chief operating officer or chairman after the election, and w e commissioned a survey t o evaluate the loss," Neymour recalled. "We found that most Bahamians wantedI ngraham to lead the coun t ry even though they had just elected the PLP, and m ost felt the CDR had the best platform but it was more in line with FNM policy. Most people said we s hould align ourselves with the FNM." The CDR launched talks with both the PLP and the FNM. "Bradley Roberts rep resented the PLP and he m ade it clear they were only interested in BJ," Neymour told me. "We felt it was in our interest to go to theF NM and over 30 of us made that move. Only BJ and a few hangers-on returned to the PLP. He simply couldn't bring him self to join the FNM." Today, Neymour thinks t he DNA is following in the CDRs footsteps. "They will probably end u p copying our platform. In the end Bahamians vote with their hearts, no matterh ow intellectual you try to be, but I agree that splitting the vote is a genuine con-c ern for the PLP as well a s for the FNM. The next election will be hard-fought whereas 2002 was not close. And I note that some of the original CDR supporters are noww ith the DNA." So far the DNA's platform (as displayed on its website) is merely a list of generalities like "strengthening infrastructure, divers ifying the economy, and e mpowering Bahamians." The only specifics relate to governance, with calls for at erm limit for the prime min i ster, a national ombudsman to check abuse of power, a f reedom of information act, and a constitutional amend ment to limit the powers of the prime minister. T rial lawyer and DNA candidate Wayne Munroe made some specific calls for reform of the criminal jus tice system in a lengthy interview on ZNS recently.B ut the only issue the party has officially pushed is the immigration policy the straw that supposedly ledD NA leader Branville McCartney to resign from the Cabinet early last year. In fact, immigration policy is perhaps the main point of differentiation between the DNA and the two tradit ional parties. McCartney's hardline approach calls for the elimination of Haitians hanty towns (without sayi ng how that will be done), an apparent opposition to t he regularisation of immigrants, and the prosecution of Bahamians for harbouring illegals (something no government has had the nerve to tackle). C ritics argue that McCartney is fully prepared to demagogue the immigration issue and is said to be advised by hardliners like Loftus Roker, who made a name for himself as a Cabi-n et minister during the Pindling years by rounding up Haitians with dogs. "Immigration policy is considered a flashpoint for many Bahamians and McCartney seems to bew orking it for what it is worth," one insider told me. "The government's policy is straightforward send illegals home, accommodate t hose with a right to be here, a nd try to integrate them as much as possible to avoid social tension." B ut as with so many issues in the Bahamas, the t hing that is most lacking is h ard information. No gove rnment has attempted to e xplain the scope and depth of the problem to the elect orate in a comprehensive and forthright manner, with all the facts and figures ont he table to back that explan ation up. There is a tend ency to avoid what is seen as a hugely divisive and i ncendiary issue. Some feel that the DNA leadership is more preparedt han most to exploit popul ar emotions in order to achieve power. The big political question is whether the DNA will be able to take advantage of the anger fueled by high unemploy m ent and rising crime by forcefully articulating a coherent and comprehensive p rogramme for change that can achieve a consensus. The ex-CDR activists like P henton Neymour and Charles Maynard, who are now part of the government, have looked at things fromb oth the outside and the inside, and from both PLP and FNM perspectives. Iron ically, their influence may be key to maintaining the FNMs political balance inw hat is shaping up to be a b itter three-way election fight. What do you think? Send comments to Or visit PAGE 8, WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011 THE TRIBUNE THE UNUSUAL POLITICAL CAREER OF PHENTON NEYMOUR MINISTEROFSTATEFORENVIRONMENTTHINKS DNAWILLFOLLOW INFOOTSTEPSOF THE CDR UNUSUAL POLITICAL BACKGROUND: P henton Neymour


WASHINGTON Associated Press HOUSE OF REPRESEN TATIVESSpeaker John B oehner, facing a Republican r evolt by tea party conserva tives amid revelations that his debt-ceiling plan would notc ut as much spending as advertised, was forced todelay a vote on legislation just a week before an Aug. 2 deadline for staving off the potential financial chaos of America's first-ever default. E ven with time running out and the Treasury's ability to pay the nation's bills at stake, t he speaker promised to quickly rewrite his legislation to increase the U.S. debt lim-i t after budget officials said its planned spending cuts didn't add up. Many analysts have pre d icted dire consequences for the U.S. and global economies if the United States defaults.C redit rating agencies have threatened to downgrade the United States' gold-plated AAA rating if Congress andt he White House don't extend the debt ceiling and take steps to bring long-term deficits under control. Congressional veterans say a final-hour bargain can't be reached until both parties prove that neither the Democrats' top goals nor the Republicans' can be reached in the divided Congress. While Democrats have apparently dropped their demand for tax increases for the wealthy, the main sticking point remains how many trillions of dollars to cut in exchange for a critical increase in the government's $14.3 trillion debt limit. An official congressional analysis late Tuesday said that Boehner's plan would produce smaller savings than originally promised less than $1 trillion in spending cuts over the coming decade rather than the $1.2 trillionhe estimated on Monday. While Boehner searched for votes within House Republican ranks, some Americans seemed to edge closer to the notion that the Aug. 2 deadline might pass without a solution. The stock market fell again, although not dramatically. Public clashing between Democratic President Barack Obama and the Republicans showed no sign of easing. The White House declared Oba ma would veto the Republi can bill, even if it somehow got through the House and the Democratic-controlled Senate. After all that, it was the conservative tea party-backed members of Boehner's own party who continued to vex him, and heavily influence the debt and deficit negotiating terms. Their adamant opposi tion to any tax increases f orced Boehner to back away from a "grand bargain" with Obama that might have made dramatic cuts in government s pending including big ben efit programs long protected by Democrats with some revenue increases. Yet when Boehner turned this week to a more modestc ost-cutting plan, with none o f the tax hikes that Democ rats had demanded, many conservatives balked again.T hey said the proposal lacked strict measures like a consti tutional mandate for balanced budgets. For seven months, tea party-backed House members newcomers and veterans alike have rewritten congress ional traditions. House Speakers can normally offer favors and issue veiled threats to round up the needed support on tough votes. It's pos sible Boehner will be able to do so on the debt-ceiling matter. But many tea party activists abhor political compromise. They insist that their elected officials stand on principle, regardless of the consequences. Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of a large group of conserva tive House Republicans, sent a tremor through the Congress Tuesday when he said he doubted Boehner had enough support to pass his plan. Boehner wasn't helped when Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty and the groups Tea Party Patriots, Tea Party Express, and the conservative business group Club for Growth criticized his plan. The House vote on Boehner's plan originally scheduled for Wednesday is now set for Thursday. That may give Boehner more time to hunt for votes, but it gives Con gress and the White House even less time for maneuver ing. The Boehner bill would require congressional action to raise the debt ceiling this summer, and again before the 2012 elections. Obama strongly opposes that last requirement, argu ing that it would reopen the delicate and crucial debt discussions to unending political pressure during next year's presidential and congression al election campaigns. The president supports a separate bill, pushed by Majority Leader Harry Reid in the Senate, that would raise the debt ceiling enough to tidet he government over through next year and the elections. Reid's plan, like Boehner's, would also identify about $1.2 t rillion of spending cuts to the day-to-day operating budgets of government agencies. Reid's proposal, however, would require only one congres sional vote to raise the debt c eiling before the 2012 elect ions. And it counts an extra $1 trillion in savings from winding down the wars in Iraqa nd Afghanistan, savings that critics say would have occurred anyway. Despite calling for a "balanced plan," Obama effectively jettisoned that goal this week when the White House announced he backed an a pproach by Reid that calls for no tax increases to reduce deficits. LOCAL NEWS T HE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011, PAGE 9 t o take short-term action in order to ensure the long-term viability of its Inagua operation. This was a very difficult decision because we all want to keep operations and employeesup and running, said Mr Bannister. T he layoffs will begin on August 8, affecting t wo thirds of Inagua employees, and will cont inue until weather conditions improve and salt can be produced. The statement explained how excessive rain reverses the process and dissolves the salt crystals in the ponds, leaving the facility withoutp roduct to harvest. M orton Salt will be monitoring the weather a nd salt ponds in Inagua, and will resume prod uction as soon as conditions allow said a company statement. As a long-time member of the Inagua comm unity, Morton is committed to its operation and employees, said Mr Bannister I am confident that we will get through this chal lenging time together, as we have done in the past. Bahamas Industrial Manufacturers & Allied Worker Union (BIMAWU eral Jennifer Brown said negotiations between the company and bargaining units had been under way since July 22 following the companys proposal of a 38-person rotation schedule which was done in December 2010 to March2 011. According to Ms Brown, in the past, this r otation was not beneficial to the 113 bargaining unit employees who were not given equal amount of working hours. Following rejected union proposals from the company, BIMAWU agreed to get back to Mr Bannister last Monday, said Ms Brown,h owever the union was not given the opport unity before being issued with a ten-day layoff notice. She said the notice is a total disregard for t he union and its executives and proves that it w as the companys intention all along to lay off employees. reported that it was receiving up to 100 pers ons a day who presented symptoms of dengue fever. With that number on the rise, PMH officials advised the public to go to local clinics for t reatment as the accid ent and emergency d epartment was becoming "over-w helmed." A viral illness transm itted by mosquitos, d engue fever cannot be s pread from person to person. S ymptoms include f ever, headache, chills, eye pain and general body and muscle aches, similar to that of the flu. Attempts to reach the health minister w ere unsuccessful up t o press time. t hree days before the 2007 election, then cabinet minister Mr Roberts travelled to Abaco to regularise a large number of illegal immigrants. Mr Christie strongly denied this, saying that Mr Roberts happened to be in Abaco for other reasons, and had actually complained about it to him at the time how he hadb een accused of this falsehood. Speaking to The Tribune yesterday about the allegations, Mr Roberts confirmed that he had travelled to Grand Bahama and Abaco at the time to swear in a couple of people, both white and black persons. I even see Brensil Rolle said I went in the Mud regul arising people. That is a lie. You think Bradley Roberts would go looking for people to register like that? These people werent even approved in my time. They were approved a long time ago. I remember one of the white people who was sworn in; he said to me you know how long I was waiting for this, Mr Roberts remarked. The PLP chairman challenged the government to lay the r ecords for all to see in the public domain on the number o f persons regularised before the last election so that this sick allegation could be finally put to rest. Brensil Rolle is on his last days as a Member of the H ouse of Assembly, Mr Roberts promised. M r Rolle could not be reached for comment before press time last night. CONFIRMED CASES OF DENGUE FEVER RISE TO 90 F ROM page one PLPCHAIRMAN: FNMS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT ALLEGATION IS SICK DIABOLICAL LIES Morton Salt set to lay off two-thirds of employees FROM page one FROM page one H OUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER o f Ohio pauses during a news conference at The Republican National Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday. (AP CONSERVATIVE IRE THREATENS REPUBLIC AN DEBT PLAN INTERNATIONALNEWS


INTERNATIONAL NEWS PAGE 14, WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011 THE TRIBUNE OSLO, Norway Associated Press WHEN A nders Behring Breivik launched his assault on the youth campers of Utoya Island, he expected Norway's special forces to swoop down and stop him at any minute. Instead, Delta Force police officers made the 25-mile (40kilometer) journey by car they have no helicopter then had to be rescued by a civilian craft when their boat broke down as it tried to nav igate a one-minute hop to the island. It took police more than 90 minutes to reach the gunman, who by then had mortally wounded 68 people. Breivik immediately dropped his guns and surrendered, having exceeded his wildest murderous expectations. As Oslo's police force sounds an increasingly defen sive note, international experts said Tuesday that Norway's government and security forces must learn stark lessons from a massacre made worse by a lackadaisical approach to planning for terror. "Children were being slaughtered for an hour and a half and the police should have stopped it much sooner," said Mads Andenas, a law professor at the University of Oslo whose niece was on the island and survived by hiding in the bushes. One of his students was killed. "Even taking all the extenuating circumstances into account, it is unforgivable," he said. These include the fact that Breivik preceded his one-man assault on the island with a car bomb in the heart of Oslo's government center. Authorities were focused on helping survivors from that blast as the first frantic calls came in from campers hiding from the gunman on Utoya, northwest of Oslo. Survivors said they struggled to get their panicked pleas heard because opera tors on emergency lines were rejecting calls not connected to the Oslo bomb. When police finally realised a gunman was shooting teens and 20-somethings attending a youth retreat on the island, Breivik had already been hunting them down for half an hour. In a final act of bungling, police on Monday revised the island death toll down to 68, after initially miscounting the corpses at 86. Breivik's lawyer, Geir Lippestad, said Tuesday his client was surprised he even made it onto the island with out being stopped by police, never mind that he was left to fire his assault rifle and handgun for so long. The island's lone part-time security guard was among the first people he killed. Police spokesman Johan Fredriksen rebuffed criticism Tuesday of the planning and equipment failures, calling such comments "unworthy." "We can take a lot, we're professional, but we are also human beings," he said. Risk International experts said Norway must take a hard look at a response system appar ently premised on the assumption that the country didn't face a credible risk of terrorist attack, much less a back-to-back bombing and gun rampage. That could be difficult in a country renowned for a culture of openness that has led to jaw-dropping security lapses in the past. Norway's most infamous crimes before Friday involved the 1994 and 2004 thefts of artworks by its best-known painter, Edvard Munch. In the first theft, the robbers left their ladder propped up against an unlocked National Gallery window and replaced Munch's "The Scream" with a mocking note: "Thanks for the poor securi ty." Fernando Reinares, former senior anti-terrorism adviser to the Spanish government, said Friday's attacks point to "an astonishing failure in police intelligence." He said a competent anti-terrorist agency would have identified Breivik before he struck because of his purchases of bomb-making ingredients and specialist weaponry. "Norway is behind other Western European countries in adapting internal security structures and procedures to face terrorist challenges," Reinares said. "But there was also an amazing failure in police preparedness and reaction, both in terms of human resources and technical capabilities." Andrew Silke, director of terrorism studies at the University of East London, called the police response "a bit Keystone Kops" because Nor way's police were "just not used to dealing with some thing like this. The system was swamped." Frank Cilluffo, director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University, said Norway has been victimised in the same way as all countries caught off guard by terror. "Their planners suffered a major failure of imagination, to foresee that the adversary could go that far," he said. "But this is exactly what every counter-terror policy must do to be effective: to plan and train for worst-case scenarios. Because if you haven't done that before the bomb goes off or the shooting starts, then you're just improvising, and that just increases the dangers." In Norway's case, the Delta Force squad whose Nor wegian name, "Beredskap stroppen," means "emergency unit" is equipped only to travel to crises on Norway's largely two-lane road network. It took about a halfhour to cover the roughly 25mile (40-kilometer Police spokesman Sturla Henriksbo said Norway a country spanning some 1,100 miles (1,750 kilometers length, with about 50,000 islands has only one police helicopter, based at an airport north of Oslo. The helicopter has only four seats, including two for the pilots and one for an equipment manager. Helicopter "That helicopter is never assigned for the transportation of anyone, never mind Delta Force," he said. Still, it could have been used as a rapid-response plat form for a police sniper, said Finn Abrahamsen, a former Oslo policeman who directed the force's violent crimes unit. But even that wasn't possible on Friday: All police helicopter pilots were away on summer holidays. Delta Force could have used an army helicopter, but decided it would take too long to scramble one from the nearest base in Rygge, some 40 miles (60 kilometers the south. So they drove, then waited for the local police department to scramble its lone boat, a small rigid inflatable craft. All the while, shooting and screams could be heard from Utoya, just 600 yards (meters Within seconds of jumping on board, officers found themselves having to bail out the overloaded vessel. Then the engine became waterlogged and died. "Too many policeman wanted to go too quickly to the island," said Kgell Tvenge, commander of the police base in the nearby town of Honefoss where the boat is docked. "But the boat didn't sink. They got a new boat from a tourist," he said. Authorities say that within five minutes after the police reached the island, Breivik was disarmed and in custody. In a 1,500-page manifesto published online before the attack, the killer said he planned to surrender as soon as police arrived, so that he could publicise his extreme nationalist and anti-Muslim views in court and inspire copycat attacks elsewhere. Andenas, the law professor, said he would have expected Norway's special forces to have trained to reach a popu lar retreat like Utoya within 15 minutes. "Many people feel this was a very difficult situation, that one should take account of that and not be too critical of people who certainly tried to do their best," Andenas said. "But it was just not good enough. The police action was too little and too slow," he said. "The cold truth is that many children who died out there should not have died." NORWAY POLICE SLAMMED FOR SLOW RESPONSE TO RAMPAGE TWO YOUNG WOMEN stand in silence after placing flower near Sundvollen close to the Utoya island, near Oslo, Norway, Tuesday, where gunman Anders Behring Breivik killed at least 68 people. The defenxe lawyer for the man who confessed to the mass killings of government workers and Labor Party youth in Norway told The Associated Press on Tues-d ay that there's no way his client will walk free, saying Anders Behring Breivik's rampage was absurd and horrible and he's likely insane. (AP OFFICERSTOOKMORETHAN90 MINUTESTOREACHGUNMAN PEOPLE PARTICIPATE in a march in memory of the eight people killed in Friday's blast in Oslo and the 68 who died in the shooting at the youth camp on Utoya, in Vik, near Sundvollen close to Utoya island, near Oslo, Norway, Tuesday. (AP OSLO, Norway Associated Press GUNNAR LINAKER was a gentle bear of a man, a lover of people and the outdoors who dedicated himself to the ideals of the country's left-leaning governing party. Tove Aashill Knutsen worked as a secretary at the electrician's union, a well-liked woman who commuted to work by bike. I smail Haji Ahmed was a dreadlocked descendant of immigrants, a teenage musician who recently appeared on the "Norway's Talents" television show. All died in a few hours Friday in the bombing and shooting spree by a man ona self-described quest to rid Europe of immigrants and leftists. On Tuesday, police began officially release the names of the victims, transforming an anonymous death toll 76 into avivid tapestry of lives cut short, bringing new collec-t ive grief to an already reeling nation. Linaker, 23, hailed from the village of Bardu in northern Norway. He was "a calm, big teddy bear with lots of humour and lots of love," his father Roald told The Associated Press. He was a devoted m ember of the Labor Party, which advocates a s trong welfare state, high taxes and controlled but continuing immigration. Roald Linaker said he had even taken leave from his political-science studiesat the university in the n orthern city of Tromsoe in order to work full-time in p olitics and was a regional secretary of the party's youth wing, which hold the camp on the island of Utoya every summer. "He had been to Utoya many, many times, four orf ive years," his father said. His voice weak and trembling, Linaker said he had been on the phone with his son when the shooting started. "He said to me: 'Dad, dad, someoneis shooting,' and then he hung up." T hat was the last he heard from his son. Gunnar Linaker was wounded and was taken to a nearby hos pital, where he died on Sat urday. His 17-year-old sis ter also was at the camp, but somehow survived the slaughter, he said. H e declined to speak any further. Knutsen, 56, had left the office of the electricians and information technolo-gy workers' union for the day and was on her way to a subway station when the bomb exploded in Oslo's g overnment office quarter, union head Hans Felix said. Normally Knutsen would go to and from work on her bicycle, but earlier that day she had left it at a repair shop. "It wasn't finished, so this day she had to take the subway home. Tove never got home," Felix said. "Tove was a happy girl who was well liked by us all, and it feels unreal that she is no longer with us." Police only identified two more of the slain, both victims of the bombing. They were Hanna M. Orvik Endresen, 61, and Kai Hauge, a 33-year-old who owned a bar and restaurant in downtown Oslo. A flower arrangement outside the bar on Tuesday afternoon included notes from friends and a photo of him. A note beside the locked front door, handwritten in black marker, read: "Closed due to death." Inside, the bar was dark. The national newspaper Dagbladet posted the names and photos of 30 people it said were killed in the attacks or missing. The information, apparently received from friends or relatives, showed three victims who did not appear to be ethnic Norwegians examples of the increasingly diverse Norway that the alleged bomber and gunman says he despised. Among them was Ahmed, whom the newspa per said had recently appeared on the "Norway's Got Talent" television show. Another, reported as missing, was a 20-year-old native of Iraq, Jamil Rafal Yasin. NAMES OF NORWAY VICTIMS RELEASED, CAUSE NEW GRIEF


B y NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor W ITH 83 PER CENT of business executives expecting mobile payments to become mainstream within the nextf our years, a leading accountant yesterday said it was vital for the Bahamas to follow suit a nd stay on the cutting edge to maintain its economic competitiveness. S imon Townend, managing d irector of KPMG Corporate Finance (Bahamas firm yesterday released thes urvey of 1,000 global busi ness leader opinions on the growing importance of ser vices such as mobile banking and mobile wallets, said this nation was likely to follow suit quickly once the commer c ial banking industry and its accompanying regulations all into place. Noting that Cable & Wire less Communications (CWC plan for BTC was focused on mobile data and smartphone technology, with a particular emphasis on mobile banking, Mr Townend who was one of the key advisers/consultants to the Government on the pri vatisation said the deal meant the Bahamas would see such technology sooner. KPMGs 2011 Mobile Payments Outlook, which surveyed top business executives in the global financial services, technology, telecommunica tions and retail industries, found that 46 per cent believed mobile payments would become a mainstream form of transaction within two years. Subject to all the banking elements falling into place, its going to have to happen quickly, Mr Townend said, because Bahamians travelling abroad will see this is the way people transact their banking and payments, and say: Why cant we do it at home? Its important competi tively for the Bahamas to be in the right place technologically, and customers customer demand will force it to happen....... I think it will become very important if we want to stay on the cutting edge in the Bahamas. While BTC would have no mobile/cellular competition until 2014, Mr Townend sug gested it would want to be ahead of the curve and waste no time in moving to facilitate mobile payments, given its desire to retain customers when the likes of Digicel and Cable Bahamas arrive. I think its fairly early days anywhere in the world, but for the Bahamas you might want to have a chat with CWC, Mr Townend suggested. I k now that for them it was part of their strategy, and was in their business plan. I thinkt heyve rolled it out in Panam a. The technology is proba bly there, more or less. Its a m atter of banks and the regulations covering them to allow it to happen. Exchange con t rol might be another factor, and Mr Townend added that getting the banks to buy into it quickly was also important. N oting that mobile pay ments and banking was set to take-off rapidly elsewhere in the world, the KPMG execu tive added that the Canadianowned banks Royal Bank ofC anada, CIBC FirstCaribbean and Scotiabank were likely $4. 68 $4. 51 $4. 69The information contained is from a third party and The Tribune can not be held responsible for errors and/or omission from the daily report.$ $5.25 $5.39 $5.22 T HETRIBUNE SECTIONB business@tribunemedia.netWEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011 Dont Blow It !Received a Lump Sum?Let Royal Fidelitys seasoned investment professionals help you identify and reach your investment goals By NATARIO McKENZIE Tribune Staff Reporter and NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor THE BAHAMAS TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY (BTC has effectively cut wholesale margins on its pre-paid cellular cards by more than half, informed industry sources told Tribune Business yesterday, as it moves to drive consumers to its new technologybased EZTop-Up system and take greater distribution control. This newspaper was told that major wholesalers/distributors were told at a meeting with BTC over the weekend that their margins, or commissions per card, were being cut from 25 per cent to 12 per cent, with the newlyprivatised carrier wanting to lock them into exclusive contracts as it tries to tie-in their distribution channels. BTC also dictated to their wholesalers what are the margins they have to pass on to their retailers, one source told Tribune Business. Retailers will get 6 per cent if they use the EZTop-UP technology, and 3 per cent if they use the physical card. Theyre driving consumers to the technology, and want rid of the cash. The small guy is gettinga little bit of a pasting. BTC has not confirmed the margin/commission reduc tions, and no wholesaler/dis tributor wanted to speak on the record to this newspaper yesterday. However, telecomsi ndustry sources told Tribune Business that a condition of the exclusive distribution contracts is that wholesalers meet a minimum threshold of $400,000 in phone card sales per month. Some are likely to merge to achieve that, and this newsp aper was told that three wholesalers had signed up sofar. One is understood to be Tripoint Communications. The move is part of a fun damental restructuring of BTCs distribution channels for its pre-paid cellular business, its largest revenues tream. Pre-paid cellular revenues were $159.481 millionin 2009, the last year for which audited financial statements were available, accounting for 44.2 per cent of the top-line. BTC, under the direction of new 51 per cent majority owner Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC attempting to regularise and exert greater control over the business, combining this with a focus on customer service to drive Bahamians to the store-based EZTop-Up technology and away from street vendors. The latter have already taken a major hit, and many seem to have already exited the business, as phone card vendors were far less visible on New Providence streets yesterday. One phone card wholesaler, who requested anonymity, said BTCs increased rates/reduced mar gins will help regulate and bring equality to the industry. The wholesaler said: "Yes, it affects my business, but I think in the long run it's going to affect me positively. If I have a storefront, and I'm By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor A TEST CASEfor whether line workers should be paid double time or time and a half for working during the 24 weekly hours of rest not counted as their day off is set to come before the Industrial Tribunal, with the outcome set to have major implications for all Bahamian employers overtime pay. Obie Ferguson, president of the Trades Union Congress (TUC labour attorney, confirmed developments to Tribune Business, hinting that because the Government, via Parliament, had failed to amend the statute in the Employment Act, the courts would now have to decide what was intended when it was originally passed. There is a test case coming up, Mr Ferguson told Tribune Business. It is a point of contention that seems to have to be resolved by the courts. The confusion relates to the Standard Hours of Work section of the Employment Act and section nine, which deals with the day off provision. Under section 8 (1 that no Bahamian employer can require an employee to work for more than eight hours per day, or 4 hours per week, without the payment of overtime. And, section nine, which deals with the day off, states: In every seven-day period, an employer shall allow each employee at least 48 hours of rest, withn ot less than 24 of such hours being consecutive, and a period of 24 hours rest is in this Act referred to as a day off. However, the Act is silent as to what happens to the other 24 hours of rest, meaning that this can be split up into half days should the employer so choose. The confusion then arises when section nine of the Employment Act is combined with section 10, which deals with overtime pay. This reads: Where an employee is required or permitted to work in excess of the standard hours of work, he shall be paid in respect of such work at a rate of wages not less than in the case of overtime work performed on any public holiday or day off, twiceh is regular rate of wages. But section 10 then adds that in any other case, employees working overtime should be paid one and a half times his regular rate of wages. As the definition of day off only applies to one consecutive 24-hour period, the confusion is over the rate of overtime pay for employees working on their other rest day whether this be a whole day, or two half days. Some employers have been paying double time, others time and a half. Tribune Business understands that the private sector has been pressing the Government for years to clarify the day off in relation to overtime pay, and whether this applies to all 48 hours of rest or just one consecutive 24-hour period. The issue has only arisen since 2008, some seven years after the Bill was passed, and six since it was implemented, but it seems that, like the death penalty issue, the failure of two successive governments to legislate means the courts will have to decide. T ribune Business was told by private By NATARIO McKENZIE Tribune BusinessR eporter and NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor MORTON SALT (Bahamasa lly implemented a 2.5 p er cent salary increase over three years for its unionised staff, the latters attorney said yes t erday, as the company prepares to temporarily lay-off around 100e mployees after suffering more than double average rainfall. By NEIL HARTNELL T ribune Business Editor A NATIONAL SMALL and Medium-Sized Enterprise Funding Scheme was yester day touted as the only way to finance a viable entrepre neurial sector, a leading consultant telling Tribune Business that the business community lacked a sustainable middle class. Mark Turnquest, head of Mark A. Turnquest Consult ing, an adviser to many small and medium-sized companies, argued that just like Bahamian society there was a big gap between the haves and have nots in the business commu nity, contrasting major employers such as Atlantis with locallyowned Over-the-Hill business es that were suffering. We dont have middle class businesses, Mr Turnquest told Tribune Business. The medium-sized enterprises are the most important ones, as they can hire more people and are more sustainable. That is what we lack. Welcoming the imminent BUSINESS COMMUNITY ACKS MIDDLE CLASS Bahamas weak in bridging gap between havs and have nots* Consultant calls for SME export focus National Funding Scheme urged MARK TURNQUEST SEE page 5B CUTTING EDGE MOBILE BANKING VITAL TO THE BAHAMAS Accountant says key to nations competitiveness, as KPMG survey shows 83% of top e xecutives believe it will be mainstream in 4 years BTC privatisation to bring it in sooner, with banking buy in and regulations critical SEE page two MORTON SALT IN UNILATERAL 2.5% UNION WAGE RISE Firm to temporarily lay-off around 100 staff due to more than double average rainfall SEE page three BTC WHOLESALE MARGINS CUT BY OVER HALF SEE page 4B Overtime pay test case filed C ourts will have to decide confusion a round day off and related pay rate, after failure to legislate SEE page two


By NATARIO McKENZIE Tribune Business Reporter T HE Securities Commiss ion is seeking to implement regulations mandating that investment advisors who provide brokerage services obtain professional indemnity insurance, ensuri ng there is a consistent r egulatory approach relative all firms providing broker-dealer services. Laverne Thompson, manager of the Securities Commissions authorisation d epartment, told Tribune B usiness yesterday: The current legislation does not require investment advisors to obtain indemnity insurance, and this creates a reg-u latory gap between broker/dealers and securityi nvestment advisors prov iding broker/dealer serv ices. To that end the recent publication [notice] was to advise the public of the Commission's position with regards to the requiremento f professional indemnity i nsurance for any firm offering broker/dealer services. Firms We just want to ensure that there is a consistent regulatory approach tof irms engaged in broker/dealer services. Ms Thompson added: "The Commission's position is that all securities and investment advisors are required to provide thes tated regulatory capital ($25,0000 s ional indemnity insurance. This is with the except ion of security investment advisors, who are providing advice only. So, if you are providing investment advice only youa re exempt from the r equirement of professional indemnity insurance. However, if you are providing brokerage services, the same as a broker/dealer, you are required to havep rofessional indemnity i nsurance." The Securities Industry Bill 2010; the regulations to that legislation provides for indemnity insurance. The Commission is currently in the process of providing ar ule to that end, and the rule will be circulated for industry consultation before it is finalised," Mrs Thompson said. t o move fairly rapidly. Their B ahamian counterparts would a lso do the same, he suggeste d, given the level of compet ition between them. Mr Townend, though, also s uggested it was critical for t he Bahamas not to fall b ehind when it came to leadi ng technologies, pointing out that, for example, debit cards were only now coming into wide use in this nation when they had been present in c ountries such as the UK for 15 years. B TCs plans to implement a f ourth generation (4G work in this nation over the next year will provide a key backbone for mobile payment f acilitation, and Mr Townend s aid: I think its just another one of the things I would hope t he Bahamas might see sooner as a result of privatisation. Thats not to say BTC would not have got around to doing it, but with the right partner doing it elsewhere wew ill be ahead of the curve, not behind it. Once weve got a cellular platform like 4G, you will be able to move things a round pretty quickly. That will definitely provide the right backbone for mobile p ayments in the future. It is all linked together. Once youve got the rights peed platform, there are a lot of things you can to with it. M-wallet allows mobile devices to be used as a wal l et, with account and transac tion information stored on the SIM card. M-banking provides d irect access to bank services and information via mobile data. In the KPMG survey, 72 p er cent of executives said mobile payments are now or will be reasonably important in the future, with specialist online systems building on its leading position as a payment method, and m-banking and n ear field communication (NFC tion than today. Some 58 per cent said they have a mobile payments strategy in place. Another 81 per cent felt convenience/accessibility was the highest attribute of mobile banking services, followed by simplicity/ease of use at 73 per cent; security, at 57 per cent; and low cost, 43 per cent. Mr Townend acknowl edged, though, that consumer trust in mobile payments systems and their security was an issue that had to be overcome. BUSINESS PAGE 2B, WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011 THE TRIBUNE sector sources that another issue was the sometimes conflicting advice given by the Department of Labours officers and mediators on this issue, some recommending a double rate of overtime pay, and others time and a half. The private sector is also fearing that the Department of Labour will be inundated with trade disputes filed on the issue, now that it has become public. However, Bahamian employ ees would be well-advised not to push too hard on this issue, especially in this bad economy. If forced to pay double time for all overtime, employers cost bases could increase drastically, and many may decide simply not to allow any overtime work hurting employee take-home pay in the process. ONSISTENT APPROACH FOR ALL BROKER/DEALERS FROM page one OVERTIME PAY TEST CASE FILED CUTTING EDGE MOBILE BANKING V ITAL TO BAHAMAS S IMON TOWNEND F ROM page one


O bie Ferguson, who represents the Bahamas Industrial, Manufacturers and Allied Workers Union (BIMAWU a ccused Morton Salt of u sing the lay-offs as a union b usting tactic, alleging that only union employees were involved. This was deniedb y the company. M r Ferguson also told Trib une Business that he had o btained a Supreme Court injunction to prevent Morton Salt from implementinga planned increase in the employees health insurance contributions, which was setto take effect from June 1, 2 011. T hat move relates to efforts to negotiate a new i ndustrial agreement b etween the two parties, w ith Mr Ferguson yesterday telling this newspaper that discussions were at an impasse. As a result, the company had gone ahead with implementing the 2.5 per cent salary rise, every year for three year, retroactively to March 1, 2010, adding this was the best f inancial package it could p rovide in the economic cir c umstances. W hile unable to ask the c ourts to block this, as it b enefited the union members, Mr Ferguson said hewas able to do so with the i nsurance aspect because it w ould negatively impact them. I got an injunction from t he court preventing them from increasing the insur-ance contribution, which was to take effect from June1 2011, the attorney told Tribune Business. He added that in instances where there were moves byo ne side to unilaterally amend the workers terms and conditions, as thesew ere not contained in the i ndustrial agreement, the lat ter would be considered abrogated. Morton Salt seems to h ave a little difficulty in d ealing with the union, Mr F erguson said, hitting out at the company and its owner, German-based conglomerate, K + S, which bought it in 2009. Theyve been accustomed to doing things on t heir own, and its very diff icult for them to adjust and c onsult and negotiate with the union. Give them time, and theyll realise unions are not bad. Just develop a strate gy and discuss it with them. O nce they are reasonable and informative as to what t heyre doing, most union l eaders are reasonable. C onfirming that Morton Salts temporarily lay-offp lans would impact around 1 00 company staff on Inagua, Mr Ferguson said his understanding was that the procedure would start next week, and could last between four weeks to two months. M orton Salt had not given a timeline, and Mr Fergus on said: Our main concern i s that we are not opposed to what the company is doing, b ut it appears to be designed to for union members. Everyone at the plant should participate in the exercise, not just unionm embers, as we consider it union busting and an a ttempt to discredit the union leadership, which is not wise. G lenn Bannister, Morton Salt (Bahamas director, in a July 25, 2011, letter to Ronald Roker,u nion president, said: Over t he past seven months, Morton Salt Bahamas salt pansh ave received 26.43 inches o f rainfall. This excessive rain fell in the salt system in months critical to salt growth, andh as negatively affected the growth. Presently there are two small pans left (H-1 and G-2) to be harvested. Hence, we have no more than one week of salt cake left to harvest. He added: We anticipate a down time, with lay-offs, e xceeding five days due to t he impact of the excessive rainfall noted above and insufficient salt cake in the crystallisers to continue the salt harvest. Mr Bannister said some unionised employees would b e retained to maintain e ssential services and load s hips calling into Inaguas port. Under the industrial agreement, the unions members will not be eligib le for redundancy pay until l ayoffs exceed 45 days. In a statement issued yest erday, Mr Bannister added: This was a very difficult d ecision because we all want to keep operations ande mployees up and running, b ut weve already seen more than 26 inches of rainfall in Inagua through the first seven months of the year more than double the average rainfall for the January to July period over the past f ive years. Given this excessive rainf all, the company was forced t o take short-term action in order to ensure the longt erm viability of its Inagua operation. Two-thirds of its workforce will be impacted, starti ng on August 8. Morton B ahamas employs around 1 40 Inaguans at its facilities. Denise Lauer, a Morton Bahamas spokeswoman, said the company aimed to resume its operations as soon as possible. The excessive rainfall in I nagua has forced the comp any to temporarily halt salt p roduction at the Inagua facility and scale back operations, and our workforce until weather conditions i mprove, Mrs Lauer told t he Tribune. The companys operation r elies on Inaguas typically a rid weather conditions to p roduce salt by allowing saltwater in ponds to evapo-r ate. This stimulates the form ation of salt crystals at the bottom of the pond. Excessive rain reverses the process and dissolves the salt crystals in the ponds, leaving the facility without product to harvest. Our intent is to resume operations as soon as possib le, but this is dependent on t he weather. So even after the weather returns to norm al conditions it will still take some time to produce enough salt to resume operBUSINESS T HE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011, PAGE 3B $51(77(*(50$,1 RI)2;+,//1$66$8%$+$0$6 <$1,&.6(9(5( RI:(67(/(81$31$66$8 %$+$0$6 )5$1',(8-268(RI 75($685(&$<$%$&2%$+$0$6 '$,6<'$0$5<6*$5&,$',$= 0 $57,1RI)$55,1*72152$'3 1$66$8%$+$0$6 $1'5(&$5(

used to seeing folks standing out in front of my store, I'm paying t axes to stay open and there's a guy standing out there who didn't pay any taxes, but all he is doing is pocketing the money and walking off, what do you think is fair? That is the question. They added: "On the other side, some will say you are going t o take the fellow off the streets, he is trying to make a couple of dollars. But most of the fellows are Haitians. On one side you are saying a fellow is trying to make a couple dollars, he is trying to feed his family, but the question is: Why impose a tax on me, but you are allowing a fellow to stand in front of my shop and he is buying his product from a wholesaler. If you drive around, all of the people who were selling phone cards aren't out there any more because they feel they aren't making sufficient to be standing out in the hot sun." Another source intimately familiar with the phone card business told Tribune Business that the margins wholesalers and retailers had been earning on BTCs pre-paid cards were way outside the norms in terms of what they got here. They added that the previous margins were outside the benchmarks by a long way, with most of the world not even at 10 per cent its between 5-10 per cent. It doesnt help the man on the street in terms of selling phone cards, the source conceded, but it does help a lot of people in the retail sector. It will drive traffic into their retail businesses. CWCs business plan aimed to expand the number of BTC cell phone top-up locations to more than 5,000, and provide improved methods. Through our retail stores roll-out and TopUp distribution enhancement, new dealer opportunities will become available to Bahamians (especially in the Family Islands), CWCs business plan said. We will support current TopUp dealers with marketing funds, and improve their margins with technology advancements such as eTopUp and handset TopUp. The EZTOP-UP technology will allow Bahamians to add between $1 to $99 to their cell phones per go, moving away from the existing card-based system for fixed amounts. Technology is driving the industry, and the card system has disappeared in many other countries. This new initiative is part of our commitment to improve services and deliver value to our customer said Antonio Stubbs, senior vice-president of operations, for BTC. We must bring our cost base in line with regional and global standards in order to prepare the business for competition, and provide the prices that our customers are demanding for our products and services. Our distributors and retailers have been excellent partners in delivering BTCs prepaid cards throughout the Bahamas. Weve been above industry norms for quite some time, but we are aiming to normalise our margins by gradually bringing the airtime distributor and vendor commissions in line with industry standards worldwide. BTC said it had been discussing the changes with its wholesale and retail clients for several months, with new contracts and distribution policies/procedures now finalised. The wholesalers will now be responsible for their retail and vendor clients, ensuring they are licensed and technology trained. Prepaid cards start off with the carrier generating pins, printing, shipping, paying duty, checking inventory and storage, reconciling. Its endless counting, said Damian Knowles, president of Melda Vending and a BTC wholesaler. With the sizeable margins that BTC offered in the past, when product goes missing sometimes it takes up to 10 sales to recoup the loss. With EZTop-Up, everything is electronic from the provider to the user. With less human contact, theres not much need for reconciliation. For wholesalers, its a dream come true. Its Utopia. TopUp methods will increase from three to seven. The distribution changes are intended to facilitate rate reductions, such as the removal of intra-island cellular calling charges, which eliminates $4 million in BTC revenues. That, though, is more than compensated for by some $11 million in procurement savings. 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arrival of the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Development Bill, which the Government hopes to have ready when Parliament returns, Mr Turnquest accused both major parties of using the Bahamian business ownership concept as a political ploy, and of failing to understand the market for such companies. We are weak when it comes to having a lot of viable businesses, and thats because of a lack of commitment by both the PLP and FNM to focus on small business development from a sustainability point of view. Mr Turnquest, who sets out his thoughts on the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Development Bill and its implementation in a column in tomorrows Tribune Business, added that rather than focus on more Mom and Pop stores, the Bahamas should instead target creative markets that would generate export earnings. Arguing that the Bahamas was not maximising its export potential, Mr Turnquest told Tribune Business that focusing small and medium-sized business development in this area was the only way togrow their current 5 per cent share of per annum gross domestic product (GDP The emphasis is not actually focused on creative markets, he said. Markets dealing with e-commerce, information technology (IT vative manufacturing. Those creative economies, if we can actually invest more in the productive processes, we can diversify the economy more. Because we cant export the way we should, theres too much of a burden on the local economy. We are weak in exporting our talents. The Government needs to focus on creating avenues for the export of authentic creative products. Thats what we need. Im not an advocate for too many Mom and Pop stores. To increase the 5 per cent share of GDP small and medium-sized businesses have now, we have to be more innovative in exporting and bringing more money into the country. Reiterating that the Governments Jump Start programme, which would providea maximum of $7,500 per entrepreneur to start their own business was not enough to ensure such ventures were sustainable, Mr Turnquest urged that this initiative be packaged with other available financing sources banks, angel investors and other local/international capital sources. I dont believe in the grant process of $7,500 at all, he told Tribune Business. Not only is it not enough, but I challenge the Government to work with the banks, investors with international funding, to package those with the lending policies they have. I can tell you from experience that this $7,500 they are going to give entrepreneurs has to be packaged together. Otherwise it is going to get the entrepreneur into trouble. Its almost going to be a waste, and its not actually going to benefit the economy in the long run. The maximum Jump Start grant, Mr Turnquest said, was just enough to cover a first and last months rent and enable a businessman to start operations. Yet to ensure the venture lasted for six months down the line, he argued that another $30,000 in financing was required, especially to stop the competition beating up on you. The small business consultant suggested that the $7,500 grant almost be used as a downpayment to obtain other forms of financing, leading to his call for a National Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Funding Scheme that brought together all potential funding partners. I am an advocate for some type of Small and MediumSized Enterprise Funding Scheme, where you have to identify the requirements of new and existing businesses, their financing needs, and how they will benefit from receiving the money, Mr Turnquest told Tribune Business. You only give money to companies and entrepreneurs who have the capacity to pay it back. I feel there needs to be one lending scheme, where people are put into different sectors based on the business cycle. This all needs to be under one roof, rather than put together by individuals not in synergy. Apart from bringing together the commercial banks, foreign and local angel investors and other potential private sector financiers, Mr Turnquest said such a scheme should also seek to unify the various government agencies such as the Bahamas Agricultural Industrial Corporation (BAIC opment Bank (BDB Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund. This would eliminate duplication and enhance productivity through combining resources, with Mr Turnquest also urging the Government to do more to allow potential foreign financiers of small and medium-sized enterprises access to the Bahamian market. Im an advocate for foreign financial institutions having access to our local market, he added. The local market cannot sometimes afford the amount of money needed to drive the SME market. There are a lot of foreign investors out there, but because of the Central Bank exchange control regulations, think they cant. If they can relax that and involve individuals who want to invest in the Bahamas, we would be in a better position. 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