N ASSA U AND BAHAMA ISLANDS LEADING NEWSPAPER Air chief hits out after crash report Volume: 107 No.317THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 WEATHER SUNNY, SHOWERS HIGH 85F LOW 71F B y TANEKA THOMPSON Deputy Chief Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org THE inefficiencies in the regulatory process at the Department of Civil Aviation exposed in an accident report into the Lake Killarney plane crash highlights the need for a complete overhaul of the avi-a tion sector, said Sky Bahamas CEO Captain R andy Butler. He said revelations that the Cessna 402C which crashed on October 5, 2010 had e ngine problems raised ques tions about its maintenance history. He also questioned why this maintenance history could not be located by investigators att he Department of Civil Avi Ov erhaul of air industry demanded TRY OUR PINA COLADA McFLURRY The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST LATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM 5('8&(<285:(5%,//'$ 67$57$9,1*: 5('8&(+($7 $1'*/$5( 67250)5$0(:,1'2:6 " # $ % & " # '& ( ( ) ,-.( / . 0 ( ( / 1 / . 2 ) ) ( $ ) + (31 4 5 % & ) ) ) 6 " # TM /)2 B y CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com M INISTER of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Brent Symonette said recent c laims about the number of people awarded citizenship or permanent residency were grossly exaggerated for p olitical purposes. It is a pity, he said, that some things get so sensation-a lised as a result of political agendas. While Mr Symonette could not say exactly how many h ave been regularised, a rough estimate of how many citizenship and permanent A MISSING teenage girl was found yesterday afternoon. Kevisha Richards, 17, of St Michael Road, off Prince Charles Drive, was reported missing after her mother told police she hasnt seen her since Sunday, October 23. Kevisha has since been found in good health, according to police. She was found at an address on St James Road, off Kemp Road, yesterday. Her family could not be reached for comment. By TANEKA THOMPSON Deputy Chief Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org DESPITE the regulatory holes exposed in an accident report into the Lake Killarney plane crash, Tourism and Aviation Minister Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace said yesterday the possibility of a sim ilar disaster is unlikely. Still, he said, the Government is working ardently to fine-tune their recommendations for aviation sector reform based on the findings of the investigation. Mr Vanderpool-Wallace was tightlipped on the specifics of the recommendations. He would only say the By KHRISNA VIRGIL AN agreement of more than 20 years standing between the US Atlantic Undersea Test Evaluation Centre (AUTEC Bahamas was renewed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday. While the Ministry did not reveal the worth of the new agreement, officials of the US Embassy said the renewed lease is valued at just over $10.8 million. The renewed agreement will grant AUTEC, based in Andros, another five years to test and evaluate US Naval operations and procedures. According to Foreign Affairs Minister Brent Symonette AUTEC has for years supported the Bahamas in more ways than one. AUTEC, he said, pro vides a lot of technical and logistical support to the Bahamas and also to the US. CHILDREN from Stephen Dillet Primary School walking home from school yesterday hugging a Guy Fawkes sitting at one of the corners in St Cecilia. Photo: Felip Major /Tribune Staff CHILDREN GETTING READ Y F OR FIREW ORKS NIGHT MISSING TEEN A GE GIRL FOUND SECTIONS of Jamaica were shaken by a minor earthquake yesterday. It was the third time since Saturday, The Daily Gleaner reported. It was confirmed a 4.6 magnitude quake was felt at about 3.32am yesterday in Southfield, St Elizabeth, parts of Kingston, and the communities of Meadow brook and Havendale in St Andrew. The Gleaner reported that the epicentre was located about 60 kilometres southwest of Black River, St Elizabeth. A 3.5 magnitude quake shook parts of St Catherine, Kingston and St Andrew on Monday, while a 3.6 magnitude quake was felt Saturday in Clarendon, Manchester and parts of Kingston and St Andrew. Ear thquake in Jamaica $10.8M NAVAL DEAL IMMIGRATION CLAIMS ARE EXAGGERATED S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 1 1 1 1 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 3 3 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 3 3 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 1 1 1 1 INSIDETODAY Y Y O O U U R R S S O O U U R R C C E E F F O O R R O O B B I I T T U U A A R R I I E E S S NOBODYBEATSTHETRIBUNE NEWS SPORT FASHION MOVIES TV MUSIC ONSALEEVERYSATURDAY S S A A V V E E M M O O N N E E Y Y W W I I T T H H C C O O U U P P O O N N S S DIS AS TER REPEA T UNLIKELY i m lovin it
G overnment plans to publicly r elease them in less than a m onth along with the accident report prepared by the Department of Civil Aviation. T he findings of the crash probe, which has not been made public, were exclusivelyp ublished by T he Tribune e arl ier this week. "We have a whole series of recommendations we haveb een working on that are going to be delivered," the senator said when asked ofG overnment's plans to address the findings of the crash report. He also dismissed the possi b ility of another deadly crash in the absence of serious reform in the domestic aviation sector. H e added that the sector has grappled with the problem of illegal charter operators fory ears and Government is trying t o eradicate the trend. "The fact is, how many crashes like this have we had?T o say that something like this is likely to happen again is... You and everyone else int he Bahamas have been flying on aircraft without proper documentation for years and we all know it. It isn't as ift his is a recent state of affairs ... it is not an unusual event, we are trying to (fix it As for calls from the Department of Civil Aviationfor more resources and man power to address inefficiencies in regulating certified and uncertified air carriers, Mr Vanderpool-Wallace said his ministry is doing the best it can to allocate limited resources. "I really wish I was living in an ideal world, you may talk about Civil Aviation as if they are only in Nassau. We have up to 50 airports so the capability to have resources to properly police them every where is (improbable are doing the best we can with the resources that they have," s aid the senator. T he 90-page document prepared by investigators at Civil Aviation revealed several c ontributing factors to the crash that killed all nine people on board. P ilot Nelson Hanna was not certified to operate commercial charter flights; he and his co-pilot ignored earlier signs that the plane's left engine was faulty and his Cessna 402C was more than 500lbs overweight. I t was also revealed that Mr Hanna turned off the power to his plane's right engine which showed no mechanical p roblems while the plane's l eft engine was failing, smoking and 150 to 300 feet in the air. The pilot then initiated a s teep turn while the plane's landing gear was down as he tried to return to the runwayb ut the plane stalled, pitched nose down and fell into the lake shortly after 12.30pm on October 5, 2010. The report also found that the department is not adequately staffed, nor does it havee nough resources to ensure proper surveillance of certified and non-certified pilots. It was also revealed that a ccess procedures to airplanes a t domestic airline areas are inadequate, doors to access the airplanes are not secured o r locked continuously and persons are seen walking in and out of the area withoutb eing checked. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011, PAGE 3 POLICE are investigating an armed robbery that took place in the capital yesterday. A woman had just arrived at her home in Garden Hills at9pm when she was approached by a man armed with a handgun who demanded cash. The woman was robbed of her vehicle, a white Toyota Avalon, licence plate number 1724, which also contained her handbag. The culprit then fled, heading in a unknown direction. Police also reported taking a man into custody in Freeport after discovering a firearm. The 24-year-old Lunar Boulevard man was detained at around 5.50pm after offi cers, acting on a tip, went to the Britannia Minnie Mall where they observed a man acting suspiciously. They searched the area and found the gun and ammunition. Members of the public who may have any information on either crime are urged to con tact 911,919; the Central Detective Unit on 502-9991 or 502-9910; or Crime Stoppers on 328-TIPS. ation during their probe. They are saying the records are not available how c an that be? If you are authorised by Civil Aviation to do the inspection and you haven't got the records, how are you still authorised? Mr Butler also wondered why the Government has yet t o release the report and questioned the integrity of the investigation. He called for an independent probe into the accident. Is it that this report is taki ng long to come out because of the findings? Is the report b eing scrubbed, has it been scrubbed, is this all there is? The response has taken too l ong to come and ( T he Tribune ) had to get it through back door means, said Mr Butler, a political hopeful for t he North Andros cons tituency. His comments came a day after The Tribune exclusively revealed the findings of the department's report into the crash which killed nine peo-p le. G overnment has yet to offic ially release the report. Mr Butler said: The sector needs to be reformed from top to bottom and have appropriate regulations, proper budget, proper staff levels,r egulations for airport certification, air traffic management, appropriate securityr egulations those haven't been changed since September 11, 2001. However, Mr Butler doubte d there is sufficient political w ill to make the changes that are necessary modificationsh e said will protect lives of persons who place their trust i n pilots every day. There is no demonstrated p olitical will to get it done. Its hard to see some of the things in the report that Civil Aviation has not addressed already which we see as c ausal factors we have to ask the question, is Civil Avi-a tion even going to make this work? He urged colleagues in the a irline industry not to remain q uiet in the face of the problems adding that the nine people killed in the crash should not die in vain. My condolences go out to the families of everybody involved. Its sad, I thought the response of the investigat ors did not match the kind of seriousness where we lostn ine productive men in this country. We cant continue to stand by. I loved Nelson (the p ilot) too, he was a friend, he would have no problem endorsing something that can help people, he wouldnt jump on a plane and kill peop le, it was an unfortunate accident that could have beenp revented. All nine men on board the plane died as a result of mult iple blunt force injuries from t he crash. They are Clarence Williams, 38; Chet Johnson, 39; Corey Farquharson, 41; Junior Lubin, 23; Devon Storr 2 7; Chanoine Mildor, 44; Lavard Curtis, 26; Delon Taylor, 28, and pilot Nelson Hanna, 43. THECRASH at Lake Killarney which left nine people killed, and the report into which has shown a catalogue of failings that led to the disaster taking place. AIRLINE CHIEF HITS OUT AFTER CRASH REPORT f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e REPEAT OF DISASTER UNLIKELY ARMED R OBBER T AR GET S W OMAN
EDITOR, The Tribune. Insights Time to tackle Police brutality condemns the Police Force and appears to suggest, that such conduct by Police Officers are condoned by the executive management and senior officers of the force. There has been no mention of the number of police officers, who have been arrested and prosecuted in the criminal courts for serious misconduct against accused persons. There are those who have been dismissed from the service for such misconduct. There are cases pending in the courts against police officers. I also wish to inform the writer, with respect, that our police force is not the only force against which charges of police brutality are made. For decades, police forces around the world have been accused of such misconduct in the courts; UK Police Forces, US Police Services, Canadian P olice Forces and similar organisations in Europe and Asia have been the subjects of such accusations. I n the following paragraphs, I will relate some incidents of alleged police brutality presented in the courts to have confessionso f criminals thrown out and occasions when such allegation are proved to be fabrications: Cat Island murder of an elderly lady in an outdoor kitchen. Her head was blown off by a shot from a shotgun. Investigation was conducted by me at Arthurs Town. My team arrested a man, who was the grandson-in-law of the deceased. He was interviewed in a school building with several persons looking through win dows and the principal of the school in his office. The man was very, remorseful as he realised that he had killed the grandmother of his estranged wife. He intended killing his wife. The deceased was wearing a hat normally worn by the wife and the only light in the kitchen was from the fireplace. He made a full confession of the crime. We took statements from a few prominent citizens as we expected that the statement might be challenged. The then Attorney General declined to call those persons as witnesses. Police brutality was the mans defence. The jury apparently believed the man. The bulk of circumstantial evidence was ignored and the jurys verdict was not guilty. The attorney knew the only defence he had in the case was police brutality and he used it effectively. Persons in Cat Island, who were at those windows wrote to the then Commissioner of Police informing him of the lies told in court about us. In a case of armed robbery of a firm of JFK Drive, we arrested a young man of a prominent family, who was found running in the area of the crime. Money similar to the cash taken from the firm was found on his person. He made a statement admitting the crime. A prominent attorney used the police brutality defence. The attorney started his complaints to the then Commissioner. There was an investigation. The Commissioner knew the boys mother and had them both in his office. The boy denied being beaten or mistreated. He claimed that he was directed by his attorney to allege brutality. The Commissioner recorded a statement from him which exonerated us. Two brothers and an accomplice, armed and masked robbed a pharmacy in the Palmdale area. The accomplice was arrested. He was the driver of the getaway car. The other two bandits fled. The driver resisted. He was subdued and he told us the name of his accomplices, one of whom was a former CID officer. They were arrested. In the garbage can at their residence we found a t-shirt, that was cut to make the masks worn. We also found some of the money and a shotgun. Inter rogation in the CID resulted in three admissions. The brothers were the sons of a prominent resident, who had political ambitions. I contacted the med ical officer at the Prison and requested that he thoroughly examine the trio when they arrive there on remand. He did so and sent me a report. The only complaint made to him by one of the accused was that his ear was hurting. That person told the doctor that the prob lem existed for weeks and requested medication. The complaint of police brutality made by the father and the attorney to the Prime Minister, who sent it to the Commissioner of Police demanding an immediate inves tigation. I was called to the Police Headquarters and told of the complaint. I later pre sented the Commissioner with a copy of the medical report from the Prison doctor, which exon erated us from any misconduct. A man accused of armed robbery died in the CID office. There were allegations of police brutality, which were denied by the four detectives on duty. The m atter was the subject of an inquest held before the Coron er. The Coroners jury recommended prosecution of the four detectives for manslaughter. They were charged. Detectives continued investigations as we were satisfied that the accused was not the subject of police brutality. Investigation disclosed that the deceased was repairing a vehicle in his yard when the jack slipped and the vehicle fell on his chest. Hospital records supported the incident. Subsequent to that incident he attempted to rob a man on the street. His intended victim was a karate black belt who beat him badly and left him lying on the street. The intended victim made a statement of the incident. The four detectives were represented by Mr Cecil Wallace Whitfield. The case was thrown out in the Magistrates Court. It must be noted here that the parents of the deceased accused never told the story of the car falling on the chest of their son. A priest, accused of the murder of his wife denied the crime and suggested that she was killed by a burglar, who entered their residence and encountered her on the ground floor of the two storey home. The evidence we collected at the scene proved differently. His attempt to erase b loodstains in their bedroom and the hidden weapon, a heavy part of a reading lamp, normally attached to the bed head, that contained hair and blood stuckt o it eventually convinced him, that we had a case against him. He made a full confession. In court his attorney did not say we beat him, but he was placed under emotional stress by us. He was convicted. T here was a case when an accused made a confession and in court accused Albert Miller of beating him. It was disclosed in court, that Sir Albert was overs eas on a Police Training course when the man was arrested. T he allegations of police brutality in our courts have been used by attorneys for decades. It is one way of getting a statement of admission made by an accused person being thrown out or creating doubt in the minds of jurors. This strategy by attorneys will continue for decades to come. In most of the cases there is no physical evi dence to support the accusations of being beaten with a baseball bat, being punched constantly on the head and the most popu lar now with attorneys is the plastic bag over the head. I was in the police station in Freeport when a man came to report that he had killed his wife. He gave us his reason. He found his wife in bed with a man. A visit to the house proved that his wife was dead. I had insisted that the diary keep er in the station record his exact words and the names of the persons present. The man in court claimed that he had come to the station to report the death of his wife and that he was later arrested and beaten by the police to confess her killing. He had instructions from his attorney. It was an attempt to get his statement thrown out of court. With all due respect to the writer, the intention here is to show another side to the story, which is not mentioned in Insights article; Time to Tack le Police Brutality. PAUL THOMPSON Sr Nassau, October 31, 2011. EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR P AGE 4, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011 THE TRIBUNE The Tribune Limited NULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI Being Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master LEON E. H. DUPUCH, Publisher/Editor 1903-1914 SIR ETIENNE DUPUCH, Kt., O.B.E., K.M., K.C.S.G., (Hon. Publisher/Editor 1919-1972 Contributing Editor 1972-1991 EILEEN DUPUCH CARRON, C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B. Publisher/Editor 1972Published Daily Monday to Saturday Shirley Street, P.O. Box N-3207, Nassau, Bahamas I nsurance Management Building., P.O. F-485, Freeport, Grand Bahama TELEPHONES S witchboard (News, Circulation and Advertising) 322-1986 A dvertising Manager (242 C irculation Department (242 N assau Fax: (242 F reeport, Grand Bahama: 1-(242 Freeport fax: (242 W EBSITE w ww.tribune242.com updated daily at 2pm EUROZONE leaders have insisted for months that there is no Plan B the currency bloc simply will not break up. B ut now that their grand strategy to s ave the 17-nation currency, hatched just a week ago, is in jeopardy, they had bett er start working on one. T he trouble is their options are limite d. If Greek voters reject the deal negot iated last week in Brussels, Greece c ould have to leave the euro, whether or n ot its European partners are ready for the devastating consequences of that. I n the short term, the mere existence of the referendum on the horizon will keep uncertainty high in the markets. The eurozone will rely on the European C entral Bank to buy the government bonds of financially weak countries like Italy and Spain to keep them out of speculators crosshairs. Italys bondy ields are getting uncomfortably close to the levels that forced Greece, Portugal and Ireland to need bailouts. G overnments in Rome and Madrid w ill have to fast-track new austerity measures to win much-needed investor trust. But beyond that, there is very little E uropean leaders can do to avoid what is, after all, an expression of democracy in the country that invented it in the first place. T he 332 million citizens in the euro z one will have little choice but to watch as the Greeks hold their vote and decide the fate of the currency union. O ne of the problems is that Europes P lan A was extremely difficult to achieve in the first place. All its parts cutting Greek debt in half, recapitalisingE uropes banks, and strengthening the regions bailout fund by attracting out side investors are interlinked. For that reason, Greek Prime Minister G eorge Papandreous plan to call a referendum on the Greek part of the deal a ffects more than just his own countrys b ailout. It puts the whole continents crisis-fighting efforts on hold. European leaders will have trouble convincing cash-rich countries like China to contribute to their bailout fund if its existence is not even certain. And because the new bailout fund needs to be in place before private creditors can t ake losses on their Greek bonds, that p art of the deal is also on ice. F acing the danger that the whole p lans edifice may crumble, European l eaders could opt to take the hard line a nd push for the Greek referendum to b e cancelled. S ome European officials are already p laying hardball, suggesting Greeces rescue loans could be held up until the r eferendum is complete. Without those loans, Greece would be unable to pay pensions and salaries in two weeks and would default in December. B ut starving Greece of money and telling Greeks they ought not to have a voice in decisions that would affect their country for years would likely backfire.I t would not only damage the eurozones commitment to democratic decision-making, but would also play into t he image of the European Union as a loof from the concerns of ordinary peo ple. That might well increase the chances that the referendum would fail. And those chances are quite real. Vote rs in Greece, where the economy has been strangled by austerity measures, joblessness and years of recession are in an angry mood. W hether European leaders will take s uch an aggressive stance will be clear soon. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and G ermany Chancellor Angela Merkel are m eeting Papandreou on Wednesday evening to discuss his decision to hold the vote. I n the end, they will likely take a middle road by asking that the referendum be held as soon as possible. Having the uncertainty of the vote over Europe form onths would be too much for the continent to bear. Greece's latest estimate is f or the vote to be held in December. W hatever approach European countries take with Greece, one thing is sure: the eurozone is in for a rocky few weeks. By Don Melvin, Associated Press Another side to tale of brutality LETTERS l email@example.com Europe has few options over Greek vote
O NLY 65 per cent of 2009 high school graduates joined the workforce or went on to tertiary education. This statistic was revealed by Minister of Health Dr H ubert Minnis while serving a s Acting Minister of Education. He said: According to the r esearch and planning unit of the Ministry of Educations report on the destination of h igh school graduates from p ublic and private schools in 2009, 49.12 per cent of students went on to pursue ter t iary level education, while 16.1 per cent ventured into the workforce. This means almost 35 per c ent of 2009 graduates either became unemployed or did not enter the labour force at a ll remaining dependents. Dr Minnis was speaking during the fourth annualN ational Careers Fair, which gave hundreds of students a glimpse at the career paths available to them. T he event, held October 25-27 at the Kendal Isaacs G ymnasium, afforded the students the opportunity to speak with professionals from a cross-section of industries. Dr Minnis said this years t heme, Empowerment, Educ ation, Entrepreneurship, Excellence: Keys to Career Satisfaction, was a timelyo ne considering the statistics found in the report. He said that the Career M onth affords students the o pportunity to glean more indepth information about career offerings and engage i n discussion with persons who are passionate about their career choice. The fair was the culmina t ion of a month of activities held during October to commemorate National Career A wareness Month. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011, PAGE 5 /LYLQJ%HIRUH*RGXU)DWKHU By SANCHESKA BROWN Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org THE Free National Movem ents policies are hurting and in some cases killing small businesses, former Cabinet minister Leslie Miller said yesterday. Mr Miller, who is also a candidate for the opposition i n the upcoming election, said while other nations are cutting taxes to help businesses stay afloat during tough economic times, the FNM has raised taxes forcing manys mall operations to close their doors. I do not have to tell you that smalland medium-sized b usinesses are principal drivers of our economy. The right public polices, both economic and social, can be very effective in encour-a ging business to expand, t hrive and create meaningful jobs. The FNM has failed to do this, he said at a press conference. We need smarter economic polices, polices that put Bahamians first. It is cleart hat the FNM has failed to support small businesses as many of them have had to close, displacing thousands of workers, Mr Miller said. He also accused the government of doing nothing tot hwart the growing crime problem. In the last four years, crime and violence have risen to record levels. The result has been one tragedy after another with nearly everyB ahamian family affected one w ay or another, he said. Safety is a minimum condition for economic growth. The FNM's failure to reduce crime has hurt Bahamian businesses and jobs. Recent measures prop osed by the government are too little and too late. The government has failed to invest in crime prevention and has learned little or nothing from their four years of failure. M r Miller is himself a recent victim of crime. He was forced to run for his life after a gunman tore a gold chain from his neck during hism orning run, then chased him through a neighborhood in eastern New Providence. He said that if elected, the PLP will focus on crime allt he time not just during election season. H e said the partys first order of business will be to launch an updated version of the Urban Renewal Project called Urban Renewal 2.0. One element of the prog ramme is called Citizens Solutions, which aims to promote the organisation of crime watch associations and neighborhood patrols. The PLP believes in giving the police the resourcest hey need to fight crime but we also believe in helping communities organise from the ground up too, he said. Mr Miller said the PLP has a comprehensive crime fighting plan that includes preven-t ion, prosecution, punishment and rehabilitation. FORMER CABINET MINISTER SAYS FNM POLICIES ARE KILLING SMALL BUSINESSES L ESLIEMILLER h as hit out at government economic policies. 35 PER CENT OF GRADUATES DEPENDENTS ACTING MINISTER of Education Dr Hubert Minnis officially opens the N ational Careers Fair. Photos: Derek Smith/BIS HUNDREDS OF students got a glimpse of careers available to them.
THE Democratic National Alliance described the FNMs response to the Bahamas credit rating downgrade as inept and clueless. DNA chairman Mark H umes said the comments of both the government ando pposition in the wake of S tandard and Poors decision to lower the Bahamas to a BBB/A-3 rating, left a lot to be desired. Referring to Minister of S tate for Finance Zhivargo Laings comment that the gove rnment has been working for some time to reduce and lower debt-to-GDP ratio, Mr Humes said: The presentf inancial position that the B ahamas finds itself in shows t hat whatever Mr Laing and the Free National Movement g overnment has been worki ng on for some time has been a n utter failure. The need to get our debt under control is nothing new, the need to diversify our economy and open the country upt o new revenue generating s treams is nothing new, this comment by Mr Laing is nothing new, but it is a clear indication of the continued ineptness of this present administration. M r Humes said the opposit ion is deluded in its belief that the country would be better off if it were in government. The fact that we are deali ng with the failing policies of the FNM is due, in part, to the Progressive Liberal Partys inability to manage the affairso f the government effectively a nd efficiently when they were in power and those were the good times. So, for the PLP to think that things would be better with them, in these bad times, particularly under the present leadership, is nave, he said. Similar to Moodys decision to downgrade the Bahamas e conomic rating a few months ago, Standard & Poors based this latest downgrade on a revised rating methodology, which placed heavier weight on economic diversity and growth projections. The chairman said the D NA agrees with former Chamber of Commerce pres ident Dionisio DAguilar, who said nothing much has changed with the structure of the economy under the lead ership of the PLP and theF NM. Mr Humes said: With nei ther the FNM nor PLP pro viding, publicly, specific plans aimed at allaying the concerns of these international creditr ating agencies, this signals a m ore disturbing and ominous forecast of the Bahamas path to economic recovery under the continued leadership of the FNM and the PLP. He said the DNA, which held a town meeting to intro duce its economic plan last week, is the only organisation to publicly outline its strategy. The party recommended diversification of the economy, small and medium busi ness empowerment opportunities, creating and promot ing industries other than tourism, and debt management. Of late, we have heard the other parties talking DNA language. But they are not talking DNA specifics, he said. From our town hall meeting on education, we addressed diversification of the economy as the impetus for changes in the educational product. We are actively engaging companies with the direct aim of building the energy solutions industry, hi-tech manu facturing and assembly industries, agriculture husbandry and fisheries, as well as the science, technology, motion picture and creative industries. To reinvigorate the small and medium business sector in the Bahamas, the DNA will provide Bahamian entrepre neurs with many of the same incentives that are presently given to foreigners, as well as access to capital that will make their ventures successful. Growing the small and medium business sectors will add thousands of jobs to the economy and will begin to address the diversification and growth issues that are of concern to both Moodys and Standards and Poors, Mr Humes said. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 6, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011THE TRIBUNE DNA HITS OUT OVER CREDIT DOWNGRADE D NACHAIRMAN M ark Humes said the comments of both the government and the opposition in the wake of the downgrade left a lot to be desired.
By CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com D EPUTY Prime Minister B rent Symonette has returned to New Providence after leading a Bahamian delegation at a productive meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government in Perth Aus-t ralia. H e said: For a country s uch as the Bahamas, we are v ery lucky the support staff we have around the world and here at headquarters puts u s in a good position. We are very well represented in many of theseo rganisations and our opinion is well respected. CHOGM member countries are in Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Caribbean, E urope and the South Pacifi c. L eaders of the 54 Commonwealth countries meet every two years to discussg lobal and Commonwealth issues and to agree on col-l ective policies and initiat ives. T his meetings theme was Building National Resilience, Building Global R esilience, and CHOGM 2011 was reported to be the largest gathering ever ofw orld leaders in Australia and the biggest international event to be held in Perth for almost 50 years. G iving a synopsis of the trip, Mr Symonette said the series of meetings com-m enced with the Bahamas, represented through CARICOM, meeting with countries such as New Zealand, South A frica and Canada to discuss relations. In the meeting with South Africa, Mr Symonette said visa requirements and trade p olicies were discussed. H e noted that the B ahamas is in the final stages of abolishing visa requirements to travel to South Africa. A Committee of the R ealm, which consists of the 17 countries for which the Q ueen of England is head of s tate, also took place, chaired by British Prime Minister David Cameron. P articipants discussed two proposed constitutional changes: the first to allow aR oman Catholic to be a m onarch of England, and the second to allow the eldest child of a monarch to inherit t he thrown regardless of gender. Mr Symonette said every m ember state present approved the proposed changes, agreeing that gender should not longer play a role. Among other issues discussed, Mr Symonette said,w ere: climate change, human rights, Security Council issues, food security, EU rela-t ions and other economic issues. The prime ministers meeti ng, which saw Mr Symonette represent Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, was held during a two-day retreat. T o close out the week, a state dinner was held with the Queen Elizabeth II and Commonwealth leaders. M r Symonette said the din ner was very well received. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011, PAGE 7 Upgrade valid from intermediate to full-size car, on rentals of 4 days or more. Offer ends December 10, 2011 and is subjectto availability. Rates, terms and conditions subject to change without notice.C DW + taxes + fees +unlimited miles +free double upgradealamo.com IN FLORIDA w hen using the upgrade coupon F ull-Size car as low as$ 210U S W EEKLYFor reservations please contact: Going Places Travel at (242 | (786 | 1.800.468.3334. B e sure to request rate code RC1 and coupon code AU4368BJZ. C ONGRATULATIONS YOU JUST GOT A DEPUTY PM HAILS VALUE OF MEETING B RITAIN'S QUEEN ELIZABETH II s peaks during the opening ceremony of the biennial CHOGM in Perth, Australia, on Friday October 28, 2011. The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette, who said that the Bahamas is very well represented, with an opinion that is well respected. Photo:AP Photo/CHOGM, John Donegan
LOCAL NEWS P AGE 8, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011THE TRIBUNE Bahamas Motor Dealers Donate to Cancer Society in Memory of Curtis Pinderurtis Pinder, 68, managed Bahamas Bus & Truck Co for 42 years, having joined the company in 1969. After he succumbed to cancer recently, members of the Bahamas Motor Dealers Association made a special donation in his memory to the Cancer Society of e Bahamas. BMDA Members: Alburys Supply Co Ltd Automotive & Industrial Distributors Ltd Bahamas Bus & Truck Ltd Bay Street Garage Ltd Cartwrights Garage Ltd Elite Motors Ltd Executive Motors Ltd Friendly Ford Ltd Multi Auto Parts & Accessories Ltd Nassau Motor Co Ltd Quality Auto Sales Ltd Sanpin Motors Ltd Bahamas Mack Truck Sales Ltd Tyreex Star Motors Ltd Whim Automotive LtdPictured are: Ben Albury of the BMDA (left and Earle Bethell of the Cancer Society.C www.rdicaribbean.com Dont leave for tomorrow what you can do today UK distance learning from RDI Caribbean www.rdicaribbean.com Low study costs, exible payments PROGRAMMES OFFERED INCLUDEBachelors/Masters degrees in Business, Hospitality, Law, Computing and many more. Develop your career while studying Tutor and student support included Free membership of International Management Academy plus benets No attendance requirement. . Now recruiting for January intake THE Ministry of Public Works and Transport announced that on Monday t he eastbound lane of Robins on Road between Baillou Hill Road and First Street was closed to allow the installation of underground utilities at the junction of First Streeta nd Robinson Road. E astbound traffic should u se Coconut Grove Avenue as an alternative route. It is anticipated that this closure will last five to seven days. As scheduled, the Contract or laid the final asphalt layer o n Baillou Hill Road between Wulff Road and Brougham Street over the weekend. This section of the road is now re-opened to traffic. The public is reminded that foll owing construction on Baill ou Road, once traffic is allowed, motorists are only allowed to travel north in a northbound direction. M arket Street is closed b etween Wulff Road and Brougham Street. Motorists should use East Street as an a lternative route. The junction at Palm Tree Avenue/Market Street hasb een closed to allow for excav ation and paving works. The re-opening of this junction has been delayed. Excav ation works have been completed, but due to inclement weather paving works are stillp ending. The junction, howeve r, is scheduled to reopen shortly. Motorists are asked to use Coconut Grove or Poinciana Avenue as an alternative. Motorists and residents are reminded and encouraged top hone the Ministry to report locations of potholes that have developed throughout the island due to frequent rain. The Ministrys hotline is 3029700 between 9am to 5pm. The Ministry thanked m otorists for their patience and cooperation as the pro ject continues. The Ministry c ontinued to encourage resid ents to support businesses that fall within the affected corridors. ROAD CLOSURE O N ROBINSON R OAD ANNOUNCED AT THE CORNER of East Street and Wullf Road, pedestrians have to walk in the road to get around a huge puddle, with traffic having to s top to let them pass. Photo: F elip Major / Tribune Staff
LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011, PAGE 9 The Mercedes-Benz C-ClassYour most enjoyable drive ever.The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a pleasure tobehold offering a new interpretation of driving pleasure. Its taut lines lend it an air of effortless superiority while the wide radiator grille and distinctive rear section announce a vehicle with a real presence and dynamic personality. Few cars can compete with its ability to adjust so many facets of its character from the interior to the drive technology so quickly and precisely in response t oexternal conditions and your own particular needs. The key to this flexible response is the standard-fit Agility Control Package which includes selective damping. The interior offers noticeably more space and a more distinctive atmosphere tosuit your taste. As you will see, the C-Class is the perfect embodiment of the Mercedes-Benz philosophy.Tyreflex Star MotorsWulff Road, P. O. Box N 9123, Nassau, The Bahamas, Tel 242.325.4961 Fax 242.323.4667OUR PARTS DEPARTMENT IS FULLY STOCKED WITH EVERY COMPONENT NECESSARY TO ENSURE THAT YOUR MERCEDES RUNS TROUBLE FREE. TRAINED TECHNICIANS ON DUTY. By CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org THE opposition claims B EC owes millions to supplie rs and accused the FNM of mismanaging the corporation and covering up its shortcomings. In a statement issued yest erday, the PLP said the government is misleading thep ublic by claiming the electricity corporation is profitable, when according to their sources the company owes some $100 million to suppli-e rs. It said: The PLP is very deeply concerned over the critical state of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation and the constant misleading state-m ents by Minister Earl Deveaux, Junior Minister Phenton Neymour and Chair-m an Michael Moss. Mr Ney mour recently told the public t hat BEC was again profi table yet our sources tell us t hat BEC currently owes t heir oil supplier over $100,000,000. T he Minister of Finance, through the Central Bank had to intervene to settle the large d ebt when an oil tanker bringing fuel for BEC refused to release the cargo without further payment, said the statement. Further, the PLP said while t he electricity corporation has s pent hundreds of millions over the last four years in expenditure, the Abaco facil-i ty is still not functional, resulting in Abaconians going without electricity for more t han five hours on Monday. Addressing the many allegations, Minister of State for the Environment Phenton N eymour speaking with The Tribune yesterday said PLP chairman Bradley Robertsc laims are unfounded, holding that BECs fuel bills, payables and receivables have consistently been made public. Clearly from his press s tatement Mr Roberts is conf used, late, uninformed, misleading and a stranger to the t ruth, said Mr Neymour. It was made public knowledge in the House of Assem-b ly in 2009 that the governm ent provided $30 million to p ay BECs fuel bill, said Mr Neymour, he (Mr Roberts i s two years late with this information. Further Mr Neymour con f irmed BEC owes $100 million in fuel costs, however, he said, these figures are current p ublic knowledge also announced in Parliament. BEC fuel costs exceed $20 million every month, said Mr N eymour, what Mr Roberts failed to explain was BECs arrears and companys bill payment arrangement. He has demonstrated he d oes not even know how the c orporation pays bills, said M r Neymour. Mr Neymour noted that it s upports why electricity bills will rise as a result of the higher fuel costs. W ith reference to the r ecent Family Island outage, M r Neymour said reports from BEC indicate the two o utages experienced in Abaco on Monday were a result of lightning strikes. M r Neymour added that BECs power plant in Wilson City, Abaco, has been in full o peration for months. It is clear that Mr Roberts is totally confused and I encourage him to search for t he facts before making further statements, said Mr Neymour. RIVAL PARTIES CLASH OVER LEVELS OF BEC DEBTS ENVIRONMENTMINISTER Phenton Neymour has dismissed PLP claims over BECpayment arrangements.
By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter email@example.com FREEPORT Two former police officers were charged in Freeport Magistrate Court with stealing by reason of employment. Racine Milford and Tony Griffin appeared before Deputy Chief Magistrate Helen Jones in Court Three. The men pleaded not guilty to the charges and were each granted $5,000 bail with one surety. The matter was adjourned to April 24, 2012. PAGE 10, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011 THE TRIBUNE 35,=(6 :,11(56 $''5(66 7,&.(7 &KHY\&RORUDGR7UXFN 7XLWLRQ /DS7RS &HQWUDO$&QLW 5RXQG7ULS7LFNHWVIRUWRHZ
r esidency applications could b e approved in a year would be 1,200 meaning the 10,000 figure claimed in a newspaper is definitely grossly exaggerated. Any person born in the Bahamas after 1973 has a con-s titutional entitlement to apply for citizenship between the ages of 18 and 19, regardless of their parental heritage, Mr Symonette said. He said there are many people who were born in the B ahamas, attended the local school system, lived in the country all their lives, but feel disfranchised by the fact they have not been regularised. They are not Bahamian purely because their parents w ere not born Bahamian I d o not think many people a ppreciate what that means to thousands of people in this c ountry, he said. M r Symonette said when h e became the minister directl y in charge of immigration t wo years ago, he found thous ands of such files at the ministry. H e said: In recent years t his has become political or raised by the press for whate ver reason, which is unfortunate these people exist and are the backbone to many areas of the country. The Department of Immi g ration was instructed to set up a special project team of 13 e mployees six months ago to process applications for citizenship and permanent residency, said Mr Symonette. The government does not w ant these applications to continue to languish he said. It has nothing to do with ane lection, but is an attempt to regularise these people. Mr Symonette said it was m ade known in the House of Assembly that this team would be created specificallyt o look at files that date back m onths and even years or that have fallen through the cracks, as part of a larger cam-p aign to reduce the backlog of hundreds of applications still to be processed. A ddressing claims that nonBahamians have been sworn in secretly, Mr Symonette said the allegations are journal i stic licence at best. Explaining the process, Mr Symonette said regular m onthly meetings are held to deal with citizenship and per manent residency. H e said: Decisions are m ade after interviews by my staff, who make a recommen dation to me. I then sign the r ecommendation that goes to full Cabinet. Cabinet makes a decision and the person is sworn in. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011, PAGE 11 f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e IMMIGRATION CLAIMS ARE EXAGGERATED B y DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org THE MAN who was struck by a vehicle and killedo n October 31 has been identified as 48-year-old Randy W alter Petty of Imperial Park, Freeport. Pettys death is classified as the eighth traffic fatality on Grand Bahama for the year. Police investigations are continuing into the traffic a ccident, which occurred on C oral Road after 9pm near the NBC Plaza, involving a black Ford F-150 truck that was travelling south at the time. Petty sustained multiple severe injuries. He was taken to hospital where he later d ied. POLICE RELEASE NAME OF MAN KILLED IN TRAFFIC ACCIDENT By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter email@example.com POLICE are investigating another home invasion and armed robbery the third in a week on Grand Bahama. Central Detective Unit officers were called to investigate a reported armed robbery in Freeport on Monday evening. According to police reports, at about 5.38pm on Monday three masked men, one of whom was armed with a hand gun, entered a residence on Murchison Drive. The culprits held up several men inside the residence, robbing them of cash and other personal items before fleeing on foot. ASP Reckley reported that sometime shortly afterwards officers acting on information arrested a 17-year-old Freeport youth in connection with the matter. The teen is assisting police with their investigations. Last Wednesday, police were called to a home inva sion and armed robbery at Pioneers Loop, where three men had knocked down the front door of a home and robbed the occupants. When police arrived at the residence, they saw three men fleeing and were able to catch one of them. Last Friday, three masked men entered a residence at Bootle Bay, West End, and held up the occupants. Dur ing the robbery, one of the occupants was shot in the neck. The victim is currently detained in hospital. THIRD HOME INV ASION
There is also support by OPBAT in regard toh umantrafficking, and trafficking of light arms andw eapons. Given past questions regarding the affects of AUTECs operations on marine life and cancer cases inA ndros, US Embassy Political and Economic Officer Alex S okoloff said: AUTEC conducts regular research in any indication that there may be negative repercussions as a result of the testing. I am not aware that anyof those reports have borne out to ber elated to AUTEC testing. We, the Bahamians and AUTEC in particular are very concerned about first ofall the environment and very concerned that this testing is cond ucted in as environmentally friendly way as possible so that nobody is harmed by it. The Naval base has in the past been criticised for operations and a claim of low wages for Bahamian employees. C ritics of AUTEC have considered the bases ongoing research apublic relations gimmick, but were silenced when substantial scientific results were published. In 2010, two researchers f ound in a study of Andros' coral reef system that stable growth was seen, but that no diversity in underwater species was noted because of ahigh lion fish concentration. A UTEC also stores the N ational Emergency Agency Managements (NEMA relief supplies during hurricanes to prevent damage. Since the onset of the A UTEC-Bahamas agreement in the 1980s, the two have continuously negotiated the t erms by which the evaluation c entre would operate. The base, formerly a missile tracking base, is the oldests urvivingbase given to the US by Britain.AUTEC is Andros single largest e mployer. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 12, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011THE TRIBUNE $10.8M NAVAL DEAL f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e THE trial of two men c harged with the attempted armed robbery of a laundromat last year ended in their a cquittal. R oderick Strachan and R aymond Pratt Jr were found not guilty of this offence and o f three separate armed rob bery charges. During Tuesday aftern oons verdict, a jury of four m en and five women found the pair not guilty on a count o f 8-1 on all charges. I t was alleged that the two men attempted to rob Super Wash on Robinson Road onN ovember 19, and rob others on the date in question. Both Strachan and Pratt w ere discharged and declared free to go. TWOCLEARED
LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011, PAGE 13 2XU*OREDO7UDQVIRUPDWLRQDOXUVLQJ/HDGHU 5RVHPDULH-RVH\UVf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fZRUOGZLGH:PXVWEH LQQRYDWLYHWKLQNHUVLQWKLVJOREDOFULVLV:KDYHWKHSRZHU WR PDNHSURJUHVVRQWRGD\SUHVVLQJLVVXHV%XLOGRQRXU DFKLHYHPHQWV:RUNLQFROODERUDWLRQDQGUHVSHFWHDFKRWKHU 1XUVLQJHGXFDWLRQLVVROLGEDVHGHYLGHQFH1XUVLQJLVDQ HVVHQWLDOVHUYLFHWKDWHQDEOHVXVWRPHHWWKHFKDQJLQJQHHGV RIWKHQDWLRQ$QGXOWLPDWHO\HQVXUHWKDWRXUSDWLHQWVFOLHQWV UHFHLYHGWKHEHVWFDUHSRVVLEOH+HUVDOLHQWSRLQWVDERXW HTXLW\DFFHVVDQGFORVLQJWKHJDSLVVXPPDUL]HGLQKHU DFURQ\P(63(&7 5 ZHPXVWKDYHPXWXDO 5 5 HVSHFW ( ([FHOOHQFHRXUZDWFKZRUG 6 6 SLULWXDOLW\EULQJVEHQHWV WRSK\VLFDOPHQWDOKHDOWK 3 3 HRSOHVNLOORXUGHGLFDWLRQLQ VHUYLQJRWKHUV ( PHQDUHFUHDWHG ( & & DULQJ F RPPXQLFDWLRQQHFHVVDU\LQJUHGLHQWIRUKHDOWKWRSURWHFW VRPHRQH 7 7 RXFKVWLPXOXVVKRZVWKDWZH$V 1XUVH-RVH\FRQFOXGHGDQGGHFODUHGWKHFRQIHUHQFHRIFLDOO\ /DWHUWKLVPRQWK-RVH\ZLOOEHLQWHUYLHZHGWKH (GLWRULQ&KLHIRIWKH5R\DO&ROOHJHRI/RQGRQ ,QWHUQDWLRQDO-RXUQDO 1XUVH-RVH\OLNH\RXVDLG (6$5(25',1$5<3(23/('2,1* (;75$25',1$5< :ULWWHQE\ .DWHFD*UDKDP 9LFHUHVLGHQW 11$ 4`_XcRef]ReZ`_d 1RZSHQ 1RZSHQ 3HGHVWDO-BEJFT#PVUJRVF 6H[\ RSV 6KRHV %RWWRPV RII 6WRUHZLGH &ORWKHV+DQGEDJVKRHV $FFHVVRULHV-HZHOHU\ H[\'UHVVHV+DLUt%HDXW\ /$',(6t((16 &+(&. 6(;<(/(*$17$57<'5(66(6 /$85(1$6+/($=$($67((7+ROG'HYLQVKRWR/DEGRRUVIURPFRWLD%DQNf7 F OUR men are wanted for questioning in connection with three murders and a shooting. The first is 24-year-old Andre Wallace of FirstS treet, who goes by the alias Mugs. He is described as standing at 5 tall, of dark brown complexion and medium build. Detectives want to question Wallace about a murder atP almetto Avenue off East Street, which reportedly occurred around 6am on Thursday, September 15. The second is 20-year-old G arrion Pyfrom of Moss Town, Exuma. H e is described as being of dark brown complexion and medium build. Detectives think Pyfrom can help their investigation into the stabbing death of a 17-year-old girl at Moss Town, Exuma which reportedly occurred around 8.30pm o n Friday, August 12. The third suspect is 22year-old Ormand Leon ofH omestead Street off Wulff R oad. He is described as standing at 5 tall, of dark brown complexion and slim build. Detectives want to question L eon in connection with a m urder at Wilson Track which occurred Sunday, July 10. The fourth suspect is 33year-old Omar Chisolm of Yamacraw Hill Road. He is described as standi ng at 5 tall, of dark b rown complexion and medium build. Officers of the Central D etective Unit think Chisolm m ay have some information about a double shooting on Fowler Street off East Bay Street which occurred Wednesday, October 26. Anyone with information c oncerning the whereabouts o f any of these suspects, is asked to contact police by calling 911 or 919; the Central Detective Unit on 5029991 or 502-9910; or Crime Stoppers on 328-TIPS. Family islanders may cont act Crime Stoppers on 1-2423 00-8476. MEN WANTED FOR THREE MURDERS AND A SHOOTING W ANTEDMEN, f rom left, Andre Mugs Wallace, Garrison Pyfrom, O rmand Leon and Omar Chisolm.
By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor THErenamed RND Holdings has some very aggres sive plans moving into the N ew Year, its chairman said yesterday, promising it would seek out opportunities to add to its existing property port folio and become a solid real estate investment trust. S peaking after the nowC olina Real Estate Fund unveiled a slight decline in net income for the first ninem onths of 2011, a 7.7 per cent drop to $250,014 compared to $270,765 for the same period in 2010, Jerome Fitzgerald said restructuring of both the companys long-term debt and its overall operations was beginning to pay off now. Following a positive reaction from shareholders at thec ompanys recent annual general meeting (AGM Fitzgerald told Tribune Busi ness: We essentially said well be looking for more opportunities in the real estate market, and are going to hold on to some of the cash weve built up. Were looking for opportunities in the upcoming year. Kens [Donathan, Colina Real Estates president and chief executive] is looking at a couple now. Weve not had presentations on them yet, but hes going through the numbers and seeing if they make sense. I feel very confident that with a strong financial backer like Colina, well be able to move on them with the market like it is. Acknowledging that growth through acquisition was a feasible strategy for Colina $4. 68 $4. 51 $4. 69T he information contained is from a third p arty and The Tribune can not be held responsible for errors and/or omission from the daily report.$ $5.09 $5.19 $5.04 T HETRIBUNE SECTIONB firstname.lastname@example.orgTHURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011 S leep well while your money grows. B y NEIL HARTNELL T ribune Business Editor BAHAMIANSsaw their income slashed by an average of 0.4 per cent every year over the past decade, a Standard & Poors (S&P revealed, the pace of this d ecline increasing to 1.7 per cent at the height of this recession. The Wall Street credit rating agencys report, which hasb een obtained by Tribune Business, again highlights the e xtent to which many Bahamians have seen their living standards undermined by the global economic downturn, coupled with a decade of anemic growth and stagnat ion during which the economy failed to progress. Figures disclosed by S&P showed that the Bahamas per capita income dropped from $25,050 in 2007, falling to a low of $22,259 in 2010 before recovering somewhat to hit a projected $23,105 this year and $23,474 in 2012. The declines, which mirror t he performance of the Bahamian economys total GDP, were most pronounced between 2007-2008, and 20082009, Between the former two years, average Bahamian per capita income fell by 2.7 perc ent, and between the latter two coinciding with the recessions height it slumped by a dramatic 6.6 per cent. More concerning, though, is the S&P reports implication that the lot of the average Bahamian has not improved over the past decade, meaningt hat the economys 2000-2007 performance was relatively anemic. The Bahamian economy contracted at an average of 0.4 per cent per year on a per capita basis from 2000-2010a s a result of its narrow economy and close economic ties By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor AWELL-KNOWN Bahamian airline executive y esterday urged the Gove rnment to press ahead with plans to create a Flight By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor T he Bahamian consumers cont inued weakness was again highlighted yesterday by the fact that d ebt consolidation loans, with a $ 14.3 million increase, were the f astest growing lending category in August, although overall banking t rends indicated that months bad l oan increase was largely seasonal i n nature. T he Central Bank of the Bahamas report on monthly economic and financial developments for September disclosed a mixed picture for consumer lending the previous month, with miscella By NATARIO McKENZIE T ribune Business Reporter email@example.com CAVALIER Construction has been awarded the contract to construct the new $40 million critical care block at the Princess MargaretH ospital, Tribune Business understands, with the Government expected to make a formal announcement within the coming days. According to a well-placed source, the Government could officially announce the awarding of the con t ract as early as Friday, with groundbreaking slated for November 16. Calls placed to Cavalier Constructions managing director, Richard Wilson, were unreturned up to press t ime. M inister of Health, Dr Hubert Minnis, declined to comment on the a warding of the contract until the Government makes an officiala nnouncement, but spoke to the i mportance of having improved infras tructure at the hospital. "This is very important, he said. We'd have new intensive care facili ties and new state-of-the-art theatres. We have a lot of new surgeons coming back with different speciali-s ations, and we'd be able to accommodate them. We would be able to do a lot of INCOMES CUT 0.4% PER YEAR FOR DECADE GOVT URGED: PUSH ON $30M FLIGHT REGION CAVALIER WINS $40M HOSPITAL CONTRACT AWARD S&P report reveals slash in Bahamian living s tandards increased to 1.7% annually at recessions height Agency risks new row with Got over contract review adding to downtur Foreign investment predicted to remain around $800m S EE page 10B SEE page 8B RANDYBUTLER Sky chief says funds would help Civil Aviation address failings exposed in accident report Said previous estimates suggested as many illegal charter operators as legal Bank loan write-offs hit $127m for first 9 months But trends indicate August arrears spike may be one-off SEE page 7B SEE page 9B C OLIN A REAL ES TATE IN VERY AGGRESSIVE PLANS SEE page 9B JEROME FITZGERALD DEBT CONSOLIDATE FASTEST GROWING LOANS AT $14.3M
PAGE 2B, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011 THE TRIBUNE By DEIDRE M. BASTIAN SO YOU'VE just discove red this great new graphic s oftware, and youre eager t o dive right in to experiment with all the features offered. But wait.... there is one small hitch. You dont have a clue about program installation. This challenge is not as big a s it appears, since most s oftware today is equipped w ith an automatic installation program on CD or DVD. The installation of both is relatively simple, with the computer doing most of the work in locat-i ng the initial program that begins the installation. By the same token, when installing a program, utility or games, it is always a good idea to first close or disablea ny other programs that are running. Software installation can be done either from the Internet or from an i nstallation disc provided by the software manufacturer. Equally important before y ou begin this voyage is that your system may require a significant amount of space o n your hard drive. So the f irst step before installing y our graphic software is to verify that the target systemm eets the general hardware r equirements. If not it can lead to an unsuccessful installation. VERIFY ADEQUATE SYSTEM SPACE: The process of ascertaining comp uter specification is very s imple with the use of only t hree clicks. Heres how: Click the start button, click computer, click properties. Thereafter information about your computer will pop up. You can then see the type of processor the computer is running on, and how much RAM memory and speed is available. If you have the model number you can easily retrieve system s pecifications from the manu facturer's website, but if all else fails try to search for it v ia Google. H ere is an example of how a computer spec looks: ( a) Corel2Duo E6750, (b) 2 .66 Ghz, (c THE GENTLE WAY TO INSTALL YOUR WARES T HE A RTOF G RAPHIX B Y DEIDRE M BASTIAN SEE page 11
HOTELS SEE 10.4% REVENUE GROWTH By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor OCCUPANCYincreases offset the contraction in dailyr oom rates to produce a 10.4 p er cent revenue gain for Nassau/Paradise Island hotels year-over-year during September, with total receipts up by 2 per cent for the first nine months of 2011. T he Central Bank of the Bahamas, in its monthly report on economic and financial developments for September, said tourism industry performance had improved s lightly due to modified prom otional campaigns and gains in room revenues, with the output to end-September dri-v en by a 2.2 per cent rise in average daily room rates (ADRs r oom occupancies steadied at 6 6.1 per cent. Elsewhere, though, the Central Bank warned that the mild economic outlook meant the Governments opportunities for securing near-term improvements in the overall deficit, and corresponding debt indicators, willb e constrained. The same applied to reducing the unemp loyment rate, and loan a rrears. For the first two months of the Governments 2011-2012 Budget year, the Central B ank said the total fiscal d eficit fell year-over-year by 13.5 per cent or $8.6 million to $ 54.9 million, driven by a 2.8 per cent or $5.1 million i mprovement in recurrent r evenues to $188.3 million. T ax receipts rose 2.2 per c ent to $172.7 million, driven b y a $4.6 million increase in business and professional fees, and a $1.7 million rise in ser vices taxes. This offset a $3 million decline in the Bahamas main revenue source, taxes on international trade. N on-tax collections increased by 9.3 per cent to $ 15.5 million, due to a rise in f ines, forfeits and administrative fees. The Governments total spending, meanwhile, fell by 1 .4 per cent to $243.2 million, d ue largely to a 43.7 per cent decline in capital outlays to $ 15.9 million. This reflected a fall in asset acqusisitions and i nfrastructure outlays, by $8.2 m illion and $4.1 million r espectively. Recurrent s pending, though, rose by 4.1 p er cent to $222 million. On the inflation side, the average fuel charge for Sep tember remained unchanged a gainst August levels at $0.26 per kilowatt hour. Yet it was u p 52.6 per cent on an annual b asis. And while gasoline and d iesel prices in September fell by 1.3 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively, to $5.37 and $4.98 per gallon, year-overyear both fuels were up 22.6 p er cent and 35.3 per cent respectively. By NATARIO McKENZIE Tribune Business Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org A LEADING Bahamianowned airline executive said yesterday that the lack of "qualified and current" flight standard inspectors to provide regulatory oversight was major concern for the sect or. R ex Rolle, president and chief executive of Western Air, told Tribune Business that while manpower appeared to be an issue, thel ack of qualified personnel current with aviation regulations to provide oversight was a major concern. The manpower you find t hat they have. What I think is of more concern is not just the manpower but the fact that they have people who are not qualified and current to provide oversight of these air-c raft, Mr Rolle told Tribune B usiness yesterday. It's the biggest issue they have. If you have a flight standard inspectorate, your inspectors need to be qualified and current so you can p rovide oversight and that's a major issue. They need to get their act together on that." Mr Rolles sentiments echoed the findings of a report by the Civil Aviation Departments Air Accident I nvestigation and Prevention U nit (AAIP crash into Lake Killarney, which killed nine people last year. The report revealed that the Bahamas civil aviationl aws and regulatory framew ork hace numerous holes as well as almost non-existent enforcement, all of which were exposed by last years fatal crash. The report noted that: Airside access procedures a re inadequate at Fixed Base Operators. Access to the secure airside is occurring without any check of individuals to challenge whether they have a legitimate reason for a ccessing the secure airside. T he FBO door to access airside is not secured or locked continuously; persons are observed walking in and out without being challenged. Mr Rolle said: When it c omes down to the security o n the airside, I just dont see where it comes into the actual scheme of things as it relates to the safety of operating a flight, except for things that are out of control of the p ilot, like sabotage, people h iding illegal substances on the plane or something like that. There should be some kind of oversight provided by flight standard inspectorate o n the way these planes are o perated. Everybody knows they are short staffed and they just cant provide oversight on the licensed carriers, so you could imagine the unlicensed carriers. M r Rolle added: Every p ilot needs to do a pre-flight inspection. Every pilot needs to make sure the aircraft is w ithin weight and balance b efore take-off and, furthermore, the aircraft needs to be serviced by a maintenance technician. All these things need to come together as one. The burden of that is on theo perator. BUSINESS T HE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011, PAGE 3B t MAJOR CONCERN ON FLIGHT INSPECTORATE SEE page 9B Central Bank says no short-term chance to reduce fiscal deficit and debt indicators Deficit down 13.5 per cent for first two m onths of 2011-2012 Budget year
The Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB ing three Ambassadors who exemplify the spirit of Bahamas Advantage, its new branding programme for the financial services industry. BFSB promotes the Bahamas brand throughout the world. The BBA [Bahamas Brand Ambassador] programme allows us to identify faces in our industry who exemplify our brand characteristics, said Wendy Warren, the BFSBs chief executive and executive director. She added that BBAs are identified through the support and acknowledgement of other industry colleagues. The required characteristics include a brand personality that is wise, respectful, cosmopolitan and hospitable; that looks distinguished, corporate and welcoming; and a brand voice that makes the consumer feel welcomed, confident, reassured and impressed. Nomination forms for the Bahamas Brand Ambassador programme are available from the BFSB and must be submitted by November 16. Individuals who are nominated for the competition must be an employee of a BFSB member firm; must have at least two years experience in the financial services industry; and must have a signed letter of approval from their manager or supervisor to be entered into the competition. A picture and brief profile of the nominees will be posted on Facebook: www.facebook.com /#!/pages/BahamasAdvatage/128057093959511?sk= wall The list of finalists will be determined by the number of likes received by December 16, 2011. Through a one-minute video, each of the finalists will be required to indicate why he/she is an ideal candidate to be a Bahamas Brand Ambassador. A BFSB screening committee will review the video presentations to determine the three individuals selected as Bahamas Brand Ambassadors. The three winning ambassadors are eligible to win prizes such as round trip tickets to anywhere Bahamasair flies, a complimentary stay at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel or the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort and, for the overall winner, an iPad from the Association of International Banks and Trust Companies in the Bahamas (AIBT and an all-expenses paid trip to Abaco for BFSBs International Business & Finance Summit (IBFS 2012. BUSINESS PAGE 4B, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011 THE TRIBUNE 6SHFLDOW\,WDOLDQ&KHI 7KH KHUDWRQDVVDX%HDFKHVRUWt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t$ELOLWLHV XVWEHDEOHWRVSHDNUHDGZULWHDQGXQGHUVWDQG(QJOLVKDQGXVHLWWR IDFLOLWDWHWKHFRPPXQLFDWLRQSURFHVV 0XVWSRVVHVVFRPSXWHUVNLOOV $ELOLW\WRDQDO\]HIRUHFDVWGDWDDQGPDNHMXGJPHQWVWRHQVXUHSURSHUSD\UROO DQGSURGXFWLRQFRQWURO $ELOLW\WRVXSHUYLVHODUJHVWDIIDQGDFFRPSOLVKJRDOVRQDWLPHO\EDVLV $ELOLW\WRFRQGXFWPHHWLQJVPHQXEULHQJVDQGPDLQWDLQFRPPXQLFDWLRQ OLQHVEHWZHHQOLQHVWDIIDQG([HFXWLYH&KHI 4XDOLFDWLRQVt([SHULHQFH +LJKFKRRORUHTXLYDOHQWHGXFDWLRQUHTXLUHG%DFKHORUV'HJUHHSUHIHUUHG LQLPXPRIWR\HDUVH[SHULHQFHDVD&KHILQDKLJKHQGKLJKTXDOLW\ ,WDOLDQHVWDXUDQW 4XDOLHGDSSOLFDQWVDUHLQYLWHGWRDSSO\DW ZZZVKHUDWRQMREV 1RWH$OOLQIRUPDWLRQZLOOEHKHOGLQVWULFWHVWRIFRQGHQFH 5HVXPHVVKRXOGEHUHFHLYHGRQRUEHIRUHRYHPEHU ( D F 5 5 ) PROCLAMATION WHEREAS, there has been an Anglican presence in these Islands for more than 360 years; AND WHEREAS, pastoral and administrative oversight thereof was given originally by the Bishop of London who was responsible for church life in all British Colonies; AND WHEREAS, the territories of the West Indies developed to the extent that in 1824 pastoral and administrative authority was transferred thereto with the establishment of the Anglican Dioceses of Jamaica and Barbados, and The Bahama Islands and The Turks and Caicos Islands coming under the oversight of the Diocese of Jamaica; AND WHEREAS, ongoing development in the Bahama Islands and The Turks and Caicos Islands led to the separation from the Anglican Diocese of Jamaica and their formation into a self-governing entity, then called the Diocese of Nassau; AND WHEREAS, with the issuing of Letters Patent by Queen Victoria on 4 November, 1861, Dr. Charles Caulfield was designated as the Bishop-elect of the new Diocese of Nassau, the Parish of Christ Church was designated the Cathedral and, only then could the Towne of Nassau be created a city; AND WHEREAS, the history, evolution and development of both the said Diocese of Nassau, and the said City of Nassau have been inextricably intertwined over these centuries; AND WHEREAS, this year marks the 150th Anniversary of their common foundation; NOW, THEREFORE, I, Hubert A. Ingraham, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, do hereby proclaim the month of November, 2011 as 0TH ANNIVERSARY MONTH celebrating the establishment of the Anglican Diocese of The Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands, and the establishment of the City of Nassau. HUBERT A. INGRAHAM Prime Minister IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal this 18th day of October, 2011. BFSB SEEKS AMBASSADORS WENDYWARREN Share your news T he Tribune wants to hear from people who are m aking news in their neighbourhoods. Perhaps y ou are raising funds for a good cause, campaigning for improvements in the area or have won an award. I f so, call us on 322-1986 a nd share your story.
PAGE 6B, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011 THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011, PAGE 7B A PROPOSAL is being d eveloped for a first rate deep water port at Mayaguana, Minister for the Environment, Earl Deveaux, revealed yesterday. D uring his address to t he annual general meeti ng (AGM Bahamas Ship Owners Association, Mr Deveaux said: A significant partner in the Bahamas is now developing a proposal fora first rate deep water port at Mayaguana. This will significantly augmento ur already vibrant shipping industry, which is most evident in Freeport, Grand Bahama. The recent link with Panama, through Copa Airlines has already o pened the Central A merican tourist market. We believe the growing awareness of theB ahamas, coupled with t he expansion underway in Panama, will reverberate in the Bahamas shipping industry Mr Deveaux said that despite criticisms for facilitating passing of the Maritime Mar r iage Act, which allows marriages to take place on board ships r egistered with the Bahamas, the G over nment was satisfied it had taken the right course of action. While, to date, one has yet to be perf or med, we know that this is something w hich is of significant importance to cruise ship owners and has been for several years. Despite the criticisms for deciding to facilitate this legislation, in balancing the benefits, we are satisfied that we have taken the cor r ect course of a ction, Mr Deveaux said. He added that the Government was excited about its progress towards a new yacht r egister. He said: The B ahamas is well-known as one of the p remier yachting and cruising destinations in the world. However, more than half of the p otential yachting and cruising areas in the countr y ar e almost completely isolated and rarely visited by y achts and pleasure craft. So, we are very excited about our progress with the new yacht register. Our registration procedures and comprehensive g uidelines on construction a nd operation are d esigned to be attractive to owners, while still advocating high safety standards. This innovation, coupled with the Bahamas proximity to theU nited States and our modernised and expanded international airport atN ew Providence, informed the BMAs recent decision to approvea proposal to sponsor and d evelop a master plan for a network of marinas for the Bahamas. M r Deveaux added: Though our fleet continu es to grow, we know that it is essential toc hange to enhance the a ttractiveness of the flag and to accommodate your requirements. The Bahamas voluntarily submitted to the IMOs VISMAS in an effort to secure a standardised assessment as a Flag State, Por t State and Coastal State. Consequentially, based on the r esults, our flag met the criteria for low risk ships in accordance with Annex 7,p aragraph 12 of the 32nd amendment of t he Paris MoU. The implications for your business are phenomenal, as any delay among gover n mental authorities, worldwide stakeholders and customers is very expensive. Mr Deveaux said the Gover n ment h as sought to broaden its reach by opening an office in Hong Kong, which has full capacity to register ships and addr ess most queries. We anticipate expanding other o ffices there to include services to promote our tourist pr o duct and financial services, Mr Deveaux said, noting thatt he BMA intends to open an office in Gr e ece ver y soon. FIRST RATE PORT FOR MAYAGUANA EARLDEVEAUX neous and education loans contract ing by $17.8 million and $9.7 million respectively, compared to $5.5 million and $1.2 million incr eases the pr evious year. Outstanding credit for private cars also moved lower by $3.1 million, fol lowing a $2.1 million net repayment in 2010, the Central Bank said. In contrast, the debt consolidation category which includes restructured loans continued to tr end upwards, rising by $14.3 million after a $5.2 million advance a year earlier. Gains were also recorded for credit cards ($5.1 million), land purchases ($4.9 million), home improvement ($4.5 million taxis/r ented cars ($0.5 million All of which suggests that a con sumer-led economic recovery is not on the horizon. With consumer demand accounting for 60-65 per cent, or roughly two-thirds of the Bahamian economy as shown by a College of the Bahamas (COB the consumer cannot be counted on to drive consumption. And the gr owth in debt consolidation loan indicates that increasing numbers of Bahamians are resorting to last solution methods with lenders ina bid to reduce their debt servicing costs and meet repayment obligations. And, while the Central Bank s commercial bank loan data indicated that Augusts arrears spike may have beena temporar y event, driven by seasonal ity and Hurricane Irene-related expenditur e, they also indicate that more Bahamian commer cial and household borrowers are failing to get back on track, instead slipping into the nonperforming category. Banks cr edit quality indicators impr oved during September, although the contraction in ar r ears was not br oadly based among institutions and masked the further deterioration in the non-performing segment, the Central Bank added. otal private sector loan arrears declined by $33.7 million (2.7 per cent to $1.216 billion, supporting an impr ovement in the corresponding ratio of ar r ears to private sector loans by 66 basis points to 19.6 per cent. The improvement was driven by a $52 million, or 9.3 per cent reduction, in loans past due by between 31-90 days, indicating that many who defaulted in August wer e able to become current. Loans in this category fell to $505.6 million, or 8.1 per cent of the mor e than $6 billion in private sector bank loans outstanding. Y et the Central Bank added: The ongoing difficulties being experienced by borrowers in meeting debt obligations which, in some cases, wer e already restructured, has led to increases in non-performing credits loans over 90 days in ar r ears, and on which banks have stopped accruing inter est. Shar e During September, non-performing loans held by the Bahamian commer cial banking industry expanded by $18.3 million or 2.6 per cent to $710.8 million, or an 11.4 per cent shar e of total bank loans outstanding. The Central Bank said the commercial banking industry wrote-off $21.3 million worth of loans in September, r estructuring a further $21.1 million and r ecovering a fur ther $4 million. For the first nine months of 2011, Bahamian commercial banks have written-off some $137.5 million worth of loans, r ecovering $25.9 million by way of comparison. Assessing the near -ter m economic outlook for the Bahamas, the Central Bank said the economy would continue its gradual recovery despite the heightened global risks, with Baha Mar and public sector infrastr uctur e pr ojects set to sustain the constr uction industr y DEBT CONSOLIDATE FASTEST GROWING LOANS AT $14.3M FROM page one
I nformation Region (FIR for this nation, arguing thatt he multi-million dollar revenues generated could finance the Civil Aviation Department (CAD help address regulatorys hortcomings. R esponding to the findings of the Lake Killarney air crash report, CaptainR andy Butler, president and chief executive of Sky B ahamas, questioned why nothing had been done yet to address the CADs pleas as noted in the report form ore trained staff, resources and financing to enable it to f ulfill its oversight mandate. And, backing the call for tougher penalties against illegal air charter operatorst o be enacted into law, Captain Butler said that when h e was at CAD, the department estimated there were as many illegal operators as there were legal ones. Noting that effective e nforcement by CAD of the r eports recommendations, and existing regulations, would cost money, CaptainB utler told Tribune Business that implementing the F IR proposal already on the table would enable the Government to provide money that could adequately support and take care of thec ivil aviation regulator. A 2004 International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAOt he proposed FIR suggested that, if it was established, t he Bahamas could generate $30 million in annual revenues and 100 new jobs by assuming full control of its sovereign airspace. The revenue stream will n ot only finance the capital costs of implementing the total project and pay for the yearly operations and maintenance budget of the Civil Aviation Department, but will also be able to con-t ribute to financing the development of Family Island aerodromes, the paper said. Fees Revenues would be earned from charging air-l ines air navigation fees for o verflight through Bahamia n airspace. Presently, these revenues accrue to the US via the Federal Aviation A dministration (FAA w hich controls airspace over this nation above a certain height. H owever, neither the Christie-led PLP governm ent, under which the prop osal was drawn up and a nnounced, nor the Ingraham administration has shown at least in public -a ny appetite for pursuing the FIR option. It is possible this may have run into US o bjections over securityr elated concerns. A lot of things were going after cost money, and t heres opportunity for cost recovery, Captain Butler, who is also the DemocraticN ational Alliance (DNA c andidate for North Andros, said. He urged the Government to negotiate with the US to get a portion of these monies back. Thats the firsts tep. By keeping it separate from the Consolidated F und, the Civil Aviation Department would be ensured a continuous rev-e nue stream. Haiti has an F IR, as do Dominica and Jamaica both, Captain But ler added. Why not the B ahamas? These are things we should be able to do. Meanwhile, describing illegal air charters as big business:, Captain Butler told Tribune Business: We probably had estimated, w hen I was at Civil Avia tion, that there were 15-20 operators, almost as many as certified operators. Passengers Noting that the accident r eport revealed how some of the passengers on the illfated flight had been shop ping for charters, the Sky Bahamas chief also ques tioned whether action had been initiated to make such services less available [accessible] to the Bahamian public. Adding that the absence of a complete civil aviation regulatory regime, and poor enforcement, was holding us back, Captain Butler added: The good thing about the industry is its safe, and safe because of self-regulation that is going on.... There needs to be more enforcement, and having enough quality people in there to do this. Thats not happening. Civil Aviation is respon sible for oversight, and if theyre calling for resources, budget and training, why is it not being done? Wheres the political will to get this done? Wheres the requirements for training, and that pilots need to be up to date with training? Calling on the Government to have a public inquiry into the accident, Captain Butler said of the accident reports findings: Im just surprised that they have identified some of the shortcomings, but not how theyre going to fix those things. He added that some of these issues had been identified by a 2009 ICAO audit of the Bahamas. This nation had developed an action plan, with dates, timelines and corrective measures, but Captain Butler questioned whether this had been followed/imple mented. 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Real Estate Fund, especially given that the recession and relatively sluggish commercial property market might prompt some owners to sell, Mr Fitzgerald added: We want to continue to build ourselves into a solid real estate investment trust, so we have some very aggressive plans moving into the New Year. Apart from acquisitions, Colina Real Estate Fund may also have an opportunity to act as the property development/investment arm for its majority shareholder, Colina Insurance Company. The BISX-listed insurer has numerous properties on its books, and the possibility is there that it could transfer them all under one roof. Tribune Business revealed last month how Colina Real Estate Fund had moved from a very light cash position to one where it was translating gross cash flows of $60,000$70,000 per month into a $25,000 net position. This flow will give it ready access to liquid funds should real estate acquisition opportunities become available. While Colina Real Estate Funds cash position had slipped year-over-year to $12,454, compared to $60,912 at end-September 2010, this largely appears to have been because the company was seeking out greater returns via investments of its surplus cash. With interest payments on commercial bank deposits slipping to almost negligible levels following the Prime rate cut, Mr Fitzgerald said the company instead invested its cash into investments such as FOCOLs preference shares and the Nassau Airport Development Companys (NAD Were generating cash and the banks not paying any interest. Were not just letting the money sit in the bank at 12 per cent, he added. Were investing in different instruments that provide 6-7 per cent for us. Thats what were focused on. Well be looking at the Container Port when that becomes available, Mr Fitzgerald said of the Arawak Cay ports upcoming $30 million private placement. I think that will be the preference shares. I dont think youll see us do any investment in the equity. The preference shares have fixed rates of return and we can move in and out pretty quickly. Colina Real Estate Funds year-over-year net income for the nine months to end-September 2011 fell largely because it was up against prior year comparisons that included $117,132 in other income from the now discontinued TicketXpress business. The contract expired with Western Air and the others, Mr Fitzgerald confirmed. They had cheaper ways of doing it, we ourselves couldnt do it at that price, so we just exited. We tried to be as prudent as we can. Colina Real Estate Fund also saw a slight year-overyear rise in finance costs, from $227,962 in 2010 to $242,511 for the nine months to endSeptember. Mr Fitzgerald said this occurred because the company refinanced the $2.904 million long-term debt owed to FirstCaribbean International Bank (Bahamas debt from Colina Insurance Company, at a slightly higher rate o.5 per cent to 1 per cent higher than what we got from the bank. He added of the refinancing: It still made sense to us in the short, medium and long-term, based on the increase in cash flow. The percentage increase in the rate was not that significant that it offset what we were trying to accomplish. With its $11.603 million property assets, consisting of the RND plazas in Nassau and Freeport, plus the Abaco property, Mr Fitzgerald said his decision to sell his majority controlling stake to Colina had resulted in a win-win for both sides. From Colina Insurance Companys perspective, it had gained an opportunity to match long-term liabilities with a strong long-term real estate asset, while for the former RND and its shareholders, the debt burden and cash flow restriction issues hadb een resolved. This, at least in theory, will monetise their investment and allow them to enjoy strong earnings upside from revenue flows. Colina Real Estate Fund can also spread staffingc osts out through the A. F. H oldings empire. This may be starting to happen, given that Colina Real Estate Funds operating income for the first nine months of 2011 hit $487,908, a 28.1 per cent increase over the previous years $380,795. Total revenues were ahead 2.4 per cent at $942,174, compared to $929,554 the previous year, while rental revenues were up 1.3 per cent at $942,174. Total operating expenses, meanwhile, fell 15.5 per cent from $548,759 to $464,176. Mr Fitzgerald said Colina Real Estate Funds lease agreements contained clauses providing for a 3 per cent increase in rental revenues per annum. While the initial rental rates had been below market, as an incentive to entice tenants into the RND plazas, they had caught up over the past 1 years to more in line with where the market is. 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It will help to relieve the beds, and as we consolidate our intensive care unit we will have additional space in the hospital to accommodate an additional 50 beds. He added: The problems we face today with beds, we would be able to alleviate those moving forward. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said this new wing of the hos pital will entail a three-storey building consisting of about 70,000 square feet. It will house new suites of Intensive Care Units for both adults and children; six new operat ing theatres; new clinical laboratory facilities; a modern sterile supplies division ando ther support services. The Airport Authority has increased security to account for a ll persons gaining access to the secure airside. Changes requiring all pilots to have two-year proficiency checks and flight reviews, and enhanced reporting requirements, have also been implemented. Among the crash reports recommendations is for the Gov ernment to enact legislation that creates tougher penalties for persons engaging in unauthorised air charters. T he report also called for CADs budget and staffing to be s ufficient to oversee operation and maintenance of all certified and uncertified air carriers in the Bahamas, and called on the Airport Authority to explore a surveillance programme or require all fixed base operators to install surveillance equipment (CCTV ture all activities by persons gaining access to the secure airsideat all FBOs. To this, Mr Rolle said: I think the Government can create any kind of penalty, but creating a penalty or legislation is tombstone. You had an accident and people lost their lives; you had regulations in place for that, so going and creating another regulation and you dont have people to enforce it is baseless. People losing their life is something serious. You need peo ple who are qualified and current to deal with these issues. There could be other measures they could put in place to pre vent people from going on unauthorised charters, but this is a free country and people can give there friends a ride or fly their family members. You need those people who are current and qualified, who know the regulations as to when that person is breaking the rules and regulations. You have to determine when it is a rev enue flight and when it is a non-revenue flight. FROM page three COLINA REAL ESTATE IN VERY AGGRESSIVE PLANS MAJOR CONCERN ON FLIGHT INSPECTORATE F ROM page one CAVALIER WINS $40M HOSPITAL CONTRACT AWARD FROM page one
to the US, the S&P report said. More recently, from 20062010, per capita GDP contracted by 1.7 per cent per year on a verage, lagging the growth rates of most peers. The Wall Street credit rating agency added that the Bahamas p erformance was worse than the m edian achieved by its BBB rating peers, who had managedto achieve 2.6 per cent per capita income growth. The weaker performance results from several factors, S&P said of the Bahamas. These include the adverse weather conditions that the Bahamas, like the other Caribbean islands, is suscepti-b le to; a lacklustre tourism arrival performance over the past few years; greater competition in the tourism industry; and t he global recession in 20082009. With the Bahamas mediumterm growth prospects remaining subdued, S&P again reiter-a ted its criticism of the Ingraham administrations so-called Stop, Review and Cancel policy that it was alleged to have initiated for all public sector and works contracts it inherited when it took office in 2007. F NM ministers previously said they only inherited two contracts in any state of completion, and were uncomfortable s pending a huge proportion of the 2007-2008 capital works budget on the Straw Market plans they left in place. S&P, though, in its report, s aid: This stalled numerous investment projects, which contributed to the economic downturn. It added that a number, i ncluding the Straw Market, were subsequently re-started, but the rating agencys comments are likely to reignite the row with the Ingraham government. And, noting that the PLP had made noises about reversing theB ahamas Telecommunications Companys (BTC if it was re-elected in 2012, S&P added: Yet another possible r eversal of contracts under a new government could take another toll on the still sluggish economy, as it did after the last election. A ssessing the tourism industry and broader economys prospects, S&P said the factors that benefited the Bahamas in t he past proximity to the US, the Atlantis resorts brand name, strong tourism project investment inflows, and the cruise industry all turned against this nation during the recession. The Bahamas high vulnerab ility was magnified due to its dependence on the US for 80 per cent of its tourist market, and S&P added: All sectors of t he Bahamian economy have been affected by the US recession, resulting in weak domestic consumption, tourism and construction. The Bahamas dependence on tourism from the US makes prospects for a robust recovery in tourism unlikely over the near t erm, given the current finances of the average US consumer. The Bahamas tourism sector has weakened ever since 2004, with total and stay-over arrivals declining annually since then. The industry was experiencing difficulties even before the full effects of the international econ omic crisis took hold. S&P also noted that foreign direct investment was vital to finance the Bahamas trade d eficit and current account deficit, which are projected to widen to 26 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively, by 2012. B etween 2005-2009, foreign d irect investment (FDI financed almost two-thirds of the Bahamas current account deficit. FDI hit $871 million in 2 010, up from $664 million in 2009, completely covering that years current account deficit of $888 million. However, we believe that in 2 011, and over the following several years, foreign direct investment will not fully finance the deficit, in line with its historicalp atstern, S&P said. We do expect foreign direct investment to remain around $800 million. The FDI projects t hat appear to have staying powe r are those that eventually will serve high-end customers or a niche group of tourists, as well as those that will provide resident ial tourism products besides the development of Baha Mar. BUSINESS PAGE 10B, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011 THE TRIBUNE 52wk-Hi52wk-LowSecurit y Previous CloseToday's CloseChangeDaily Vol.EPS $Div $P/EYield 1.190.97AML Foods Limited1.181.180.000.1480.0408.03.39% 10.639.05Bahamas Property Fund10.6310.630.00-0.6420.080-16.6 0.75% 7 .504.40Bank of Bahamas6.936.930.000.2300.10030.11.44% 0.530.17Benchmark0.180.180.00-0.0480.000N/M0.00% 2.842.55Bahamas Waste2.702.700.000.0300.09090.03.33% 1.961.77Fidelity Bank1.771.770.000.0970.04018.22.26% 11.108.29Cable Bahamas8.468.460.000.2450.32034.53.78% 2.802.33Colina Holdings2.602.600.000.4380.0405.91.54% 8.508.33Commonwealth Brewery8.508.500.000.7400.00011.50.00% 7 .006.21Commonwealth Bank (S1 6.546.540.000.4960.32013.24.89% 2.001.63Consolidated Water BDRs1.851.79-0.060.1110.04516.12.51% 1.771.31Doctor's Hospital1.371.370.000.0740.04018.52.92% 5.504.75Famguard5.435.430.000.4980.24010.94.42% 7.505.35Finco5.355.350.000.7570.0007.10.00% 9.457.75CIBC FirstCaribbean Bank8.148.140.000.4940.35016.54.30% 6.005.00Focol (S 5.335.330.000.4350.22012.34.13% 1.001.00Focol Class B Preference1.001.000.000.0000.000N/M0.00% 7.305.58ICD Utilities7.307.300.00-0.1220.240-59.8 3.29% 10.809.80J. S. Johnson9.829.820.000.8800.64011.26.52% 10.0010.00Premier Real Estate10.0010.000.001.2070.2008.32.00% 52wk-Hi52wk-LowSecuritySymbolLast SaleChangeDaily Vol. 99.4699.46Bahamas Note 6.95 (2029BAH2999.460.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 17 (Series A) +FBB17100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 22 (Series B) +FBB22100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 13 (Series C) +FBB13100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 15 (Series D) +FBB15100.000.00FINDEX: YEAR END 2008 -12.31%30 May 2013 20 November 2029 7% RoyalFidelityMerchantBank&TrustLtd(Over-The-CounterSecurities) 29 May 2015BISX LISTED & TRADED SECURITIES AS OF:7% Interest 19 October 2022 Prime + 1.75% Prime + 1.75% 6.95%TUESDAY, 1 NOVEMBER 2011BISX ALL SHARE INDEX: CLOSE 1,367.10 | CHG -0.06 | %CHG 0.00 | YTD -132.41 | YTD % -8.83BISX LISTED DEBT SECURITIES (Bonds trade on a Percentage Pricing basis)Maturity 19 October 2017 W WW.BISXBAHAMAS.COM | TELEPHONE: 242-677-BISX (2479) | FACSIMILE: 242-323-2320 52wk-Hi52wk-LowSymbolBid $ A sk $Last PriceDaily Vol.EPS $Div $P/EYield 10.065.01Bahamas SupermarketsN/AN/A14.00-2.9450.000N/M0.00% 0.550.40RND Holdings0.350.400.550.0010.000256.60.00% 41.0029.00ABDAB30.1331.5929.004.5400.0009.030.00% 0.550.40RND Holdings0.650.750.400.0290.00024.130.00% 52wk-Hi52wk-LowFund NameNAVYTD%Last 12 Months %NAV 3MTH 1.57791.4674CFAL Bond Fund1.5779263.39%5.87%1.548717 3.02482.9020CFAL MSI Preferred Fund3.02482.63%3.94%2.981382 1.61281.5289CFAL Money Market Fund1.61512.61%4.53%1.591803 2.72022.5398Royal Fidelity Bahamas G & I Fund2.5730-5.41%-9.79% 13.849313.2825Royal Fidelity Prime Income Fund13.73472.82%1.94% 114.128999.4177CFAL Global Bond Fund114.09222.35%13.88%114.128861 118.4255101.6693CFAL Global Equity Fund118.42552.30%8.26%116.580785 1.17491.0000FG Financial Preferred Income Fund1.18773.59%4.94% 1.13431.0000FG Financial Growth Fund1.14152.06%4.07% 1.17641.0000FG Financial Diversified Fund1.18903.47%5.04% 9.9952 9.5078Royal Fidelity Bah Int'l Investment Fund Principal Protected TIGRS, Series 19.94330.98%4.58% 11.49859.8690Royal Fidelity Bah Int'l Investment Fund Principal Protected TIGRS, Series 210.96520.78%5.70% 10.68139.6635Royal Fidelity Bah Int'l Investment Fund Principal Protected TIGRS, Series 310.60135.75%13.20% 8.85647.8830Royal Fidelity Int'l Fund Equities Sub Fund8.65073.01%18.38% BISX ALL SHARE INDEX 19 Dec 02 = 1,000.00 YIELD last 12 month dividends divided by closing price 52wk-Hi Highest closing price in last 52 weeks Bid $ Buying price of Colina and Fidelity 52wk-Low Lowest closing price in last 52 weeks Ask $ Selling price of Colina and fidelity Previous Close Previous day's weighted price for daily volume Last Price Last traded over-the-counter price Today's Close Current day's weighted price for daily volume Weekly Vol. Trading volume of the prior week Change Change in closing price from day to day EPS $ A company's reported earnings per share for the last 12 mths Daily Vol. Number of total shares traded today NAV Net Asset Value DIV $ Dividends per share paid in the last 12 months N/M Not Meaningful P/E Closing price divided by the last 12 month earnings FINDEX The Fidelity Bahamas Stock Index. January 1, 1994 = 100 (S) 4-for-1 Stock Split Effective Date 8/8/2007 (S1) 3-for-1 Stock Split Effective Date 7/11/200731-Jul-11 31-Jul-11 31-Jul-11TO TRADE CALL: CFAL 242-502-7010 | ROYALFIDELITY 242-356-7764 | FG CAPITAL MARKETS 242-396-4000 | COLONIAL 242-502-752531-Jul-11 30-Jun-11 31-Jul-11 5-Aug-11 30-Jun-11MARKET TERMS30-Sep-11 31-Jul-11 RoyalFidelity Merchant Bank & Trust Ltd (Over-The-Counter Securities) CFAL Securities Ltd. 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BUSINESS T HE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011, PAGE 11B Which means that the computer is running on an Intel C orel2Duo E6750 (Brand a nd Make) with (speed) of 2 .66Ghz and 2GB of RAM (space Be that as it may, some software installers require that you enter a serial number or software key (or code) during the installation. Under these circumstances, you can usually find the number or key printed on the installer disc, disc case, in the manual, or on a cer-t ificate provided with the software. The serial number may be sent in a separate e-mail. N onetheless make note of t he code information before installing the software, and b e sure to enter it correctly. I f the code is not accepted, b e certain that you use the numeral 1 or the letter I asa ppropriate, the number 0 ( zero) and the letter O as appropriate, the number 5 for the letter S as appropri ate, and so forth as these canbe easily mistaken. SOFTWARE INSTALL ATION: Now that the h ousekeeping points are finished, lets continue the softw are installation process: To i nstall the software using a d isc, simply press the button on the side of the computer to open the DVDROM drive tray and insert the program CD/DVD. For Microsoft Windows users, many software prog rams, games and utilities have an AutoPlay (auto run) feature that will automatically start after the CD or DVD is placed in the disk d rive. Thereafter, examine the screen and observe a button or text link that says Install or Start. Click here to begin the process. Check e ach screen carefully for o ptions and directions duri ng the installation process. Click Next or Continue on each screen until the program has been installed. At this point you might be prompted to reboot your computer, or a notice of some sort may pop up that f inalises your software i nstallation. And guess what..youre done. You can now experiment with other new software and conf idently install them yourself. Following these simple s teps, why pay to have your s oftware installed or ask s omeone else to do it when y ou are quite capable of d oing it yourself? Until we m eet again, have fun, enjoy life and stay on top of your game. NB: The columnist welcomes feedback at email@example.com A bout the Columnist: Ms. B astian is a trained graphic designer who has qualificat ions of M.Sc., B.Sc., A.Sc. S he has trained at institut ions such as: Miami Lakes Technical Centre, Success Training College, College oft he Bahamas, Nova Southeastern University, Learning Tree International, Langevine International and Synergy Bahamas. THE GENTLE WAY TO INSTALL YOUR WARES F ROM page two W ASHINGTON A ssociated Press THEFederal Reserve sketched a bleaker outlook Wednesday for the economy, which it thinks will grow much more slowly and face higher unemployment than it had estimated in June. T he Fed's gloomier forecast shows that the recovery from the recession has continued to fall short of expectations. Some economists said it makes the Fed more likely to act fur ther to try to boost the economy, though probably not until e arly next year. One option would be a program similar to the Fed's $600 billion in Treasury bond purchases, which it completed in J une. Some economists think the Fed could buy mortgagebacked securities instead, which could more directly support the depressed housing market by lowering loan rates. Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, Chairman Ben B ernanke said that if conditions worsen, the Fed would consider buying more mortgage-backed securities He declined to specify what would trigger such a move. "Bernanke did not go out of his way to dampen growing expectations" that another round of purchases is coming, said Dana Saporta, an economist at Credit Suisse. "If anything, he stoked those expectations." Still, a more aggressive effort to boost the economy would likely face resistance within the Fed. Ian Shepherdson ofHigh Frequency Economics said the economy would have to deteriorate before the Fed would launch another round of purchases. The Fed now predicts the economy will grow no more than 1.7 percent for 2011. For 2012, it foresees growth of about 2.7 percent. Both forecasts are roughly a full percentage point lower than its June forecast. The Fed sees unemployment averaging 8.6 percent by the end of next year. In June, it had predicted unemployment would drop next year to as low as 7.8 percent. The rate is now 9.1 percent. The Fed's gloomier outlook is similar to many private economists' forecasts. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, for example, expects only 1.8 percent economic growth this year and 2.1 percent in 2012. Those growth rates are far too low to drive down unemployment. At his news conference, his third this year, Bernanke acknowledged that the pace of growth will likely remain "frustratingly slow." "We remain prepared to take action as appropriate to make sure the recovery continues," he said. Even so, the Fed said the economy had improved since nearly stalling in the spring. As a result, it's putting off any new actions so it can gauge the impact of steps it's already taken. Fed policymakers made the announcement after a twoday meeting. In a statement, the officials said consumers have stepped up spending. Still, they said the economy continues to face sig nificant risks, including the debt crisis and risk of recession in Europe. At his news conference, Bernanke cited Europe's debt cri sis as a particular concern. He said the crisis could threaten confidence and hold back growth. The vote on the Fed's policy statement was 9-1. Charles Evans, the president of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank, dissented. The statement said Evans wanted to take stronger action to try to boost the economy. The vote was a shift from the previous two Fed meetings, when three members had dissented for the opposite reason: They opposed the Fed's continued efforts to keep rates at super-lows, for fear it could ignite inflation. Those three members, known as inflation "hawks," dropped their oppo sition this time. "The view of the hawks is that once the decision has been made by the majority, it just causes confusion if they contin-ue to vote to roll back action that has already been taken," said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics. FED F ORESEES F AR WEAKER GR OW TH THAN IT HAD EARLIER