N ASSA U AND BAHAMA ISLANDS LEADING NEWSPAPER Mystery over Bay St blaze Volume: 108 No.12MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2011 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 WEATHER SUNNY AND BREEZY HIGH 82F LOW 72F By AVA TURNQUEST T ribune Staff Reporters email@example.com I NVESTIGATORS have few leads to assist them in their probe of yet another tragic and devastating down t own fire. Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade said officersw ere following a basic lead that there may have been someone spotted at the scene during the early morning h ours prior to the blaze. However, police are without an identity for the individual, he said. Once the alarm was sounded, police officers immediately responded to the scene, Mr Greenslade said. In speaking to members of the public they received information which has caused us to look a bit closer to how that fire may have been started. Three Bay Street structures were gutted by Fridays blaze, which is believed to have got underway sometime around 2 am. Among the razed build i ngs was the Vendue House, home to the historical Pom pey Museum of Slavery and E mancipation, in which price less books and artifacts were destroyed. The building was considered one of the most historic buildings in New Providence as it dated backt o 1769, when it functioned as a slave and goods trading centre. The tragic loss of vital history was expressed by historians and curators, who said the building served as a critical part of Bahamian identity, heritage and culture. According to fire services, the fire started at the straw market and then as a result of the high winds spread quickly to the surrounding buildings, which housed the museum, SunTime Shop and Da Balcony Night Club. Last weeks fire was said to have affected more than 40 P olice seeking per son spotted near f ir e site T RY OUR DOVE RASPBERRY McFLURRY The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST LATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM IN a message to Pilgrim B aptist Temple, disgraced Bishop Randy Fraser, through a prison visit from hisa ssistant pastor last week, told his congregation that he is praying for them and the leadership of the church, The Tribune has learned. At the conclusion of the Sunday morning service at theS t James Road church, assistant pastor Leroy Major shared with Pilgrim Baptistm embers a message given to h im by Bishop Fraser during a two-hour visit at Her Majestys Prison last Thurs-d ay two days after the bishop had been convicted in Magistrates Court of havingu nlawful sex with a minor. However, before Pastor Major shared the words of Fraser with more than 100 m embers of the congregation, he spoke about last weeks affect on church members and h is feelings before meeting with Fraser on December 1. He admitted: I didnt k now what to say, I didnt k now how to encourage him. But when I saw him, he ended up encouraging me. We know, said Pastor Major, that this last week has been very rough and tough f or the members connected to Pilgrim Baptist Temple. INSIGHT H H I I V V , A A I I D D S S A A N N D D T T H H E E B B I I S S H H O O P P SEEINSIGHTONPAGE12B NFLACTION:WEEK13 D D O O L L P P H H I I N N S S D D E E S S T T R R O O Y Y R R A A I I D D E E R R S S SEESPORTSSECTIONE S S e e e e p p a a g g e e 1 1 3 3 S S e e e e p p a a g g e e 5 5 SHAMED BISHOP: PRAYING FOR YOU By DANA SMITH firstname.lastname@example.org A FORMER DNA candidate has criticised his former party for comments it made about him when giving the reasons for his removal as its candidate for South Beach. Sammie Star Poitier, former DNA South Beach candidate, in a statement made online, said the DNA made comments with no regard for how this would affect my credibility, my reputation, and of course my family. S S e e e e p p a a g g e e 9 9 S S e e e e p p a a g g e e 1 1 3 3 im lovin it By CHESTER ROBARDS Tribune Senior Reporter email@example.com A MONEYGram agent in the Bahamas may have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars this weekend as a result of its system being hacked, The Tribune understands. Harvey Morris, managing director of MoneyGram, Omni Transfers, explained that the agents system was likely hacked by someone residing outside of the Bahamas. He said his own system was not directly affect ed, but did not know which agents system was. However, he said the effect of the breach of security was that MoneyGram set a cap of $400 on wire transfers on all their local agents this weekend until the threat was secured. Its the first time I have seen MoneyGram implement such draconian measures, By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org THE Bahamas Mortgage Corporation was headed to bankruptcy as a result of reckless lending habits under the PLP administration, chairman Dr Duane Sands said yesterday. Dr Sands said that 65 per cent of the corporations now-delinquent loans were created during the Progressive Liberal Partys fiveyear tenure and with Senator Shane Gibson at MONEYGRAM SECURIT Y BREACH FIREFIGHTERS survey the devastation left in the wake of the blaze on Bay Street in the early hours of Fri day morning. Photo: Tim Clarke /Tribune Staff FORMER CANDIDATE LASHES OUT AT DNA MOR TGAGE COMPANY AS NEAR B ANKR UPTCY S S e e e e p p a a g g e e 1 1 1 1
BY CHESTER ROBARDS T ribune Senior Reporter email@example.com HARBOUR Island residents said they are incensed that their roads have yet to be paved following infra-s tructural upgrades that have been completed for months. Chief Counsel for the island Jermaine Johnson said the pitted roads may have contributed to two deaths on the island and a decline in tourist satisfaction. H e explained that a woman d ied after she fell from the back of a golf cart and hit her h ead, while traversing Harb our Islands roads. Its dampening the t ourism industry and its d oing us really bad, Mr J ohnson said. He said Central Governm ent has not yet told him w hen the roads will be repaired. I pray (they will be f ixed) soon, but theres no concrete answer yet, but I pray its extremely soon, he explained. According to Mr Johnson, t he community came together to attempt to fill the worst p arts of the road with fill they o btained from local companies and old tar that was found at the local government office. We just tried to get out a nd do it ourselves because we cant wait for government t o do it because it might take too long, he said. P LP candidate for North Eleuthera Clay Sweeting said t he roads have only gotten worse since October 2010, when the road project began. A nd he added that the repu tation of the island has taken a hit as well. Tourists have been maki ng complaints at the tourism office there by the airport in the complaints box and noth-i ng is being done to protect Harbor Island, he said. It took the people of har b or island once again to care about the community to try to make the roads smooth, but without central governm ent to pave the road its really not too much they can do. People are getting hurt. O wner of Hibiscus Land scaping in Harbour Island Peter Higgs insisted that Har-b our Island could be one of t he top islands in the world once again if the roads are repaired. If the government can come and help us out with the roads thats first, said Mr H iggs We had the water fixed, now we have to have the roads fixed. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 2, MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2011 THE TRIBUNE Waiting for months to see roads repaired O NE OF t he r utted roads on Harbour Island. PITTEDROADS have been blamed for contributing to two deaths o n Harbour Island and a decline in tourist satisfaction.
THE police need the publics assistance in locating the following vehicles: The first, a white 2001 Volvo, plate No. 33315 was stolen from the parking lot of Jerrys Sports Bar on Cedar Street, on Wednesday, November 9. The second, a Blue 2006 Ford Explorer plate No. 40400, was taken during an armed rob bery that occurred sometime around 11:54pm Friday, November 25, on Princess Lane near the Perfume Factory. P OLICE are currently i nvestigating the disappear ance of an Abaco teen. R enande Oradin, 19, of Bahamas Coral Island, Central Abaco, was last seen around 3pm on Friday at C entral Abaco High School. Renande is described as being of dark brown com plexion, small build, ands tanding at 4 tall. She was last seen wearing a blue skirt, white blouse, blue jean jacket, black shoes, and white socks. Anyone with information a s to the whereabouts of R enande is asked to contact police at 911, 919, or the M arsh Harbour Police at 3672560 or 367-3437. Also, two sisters reported missing last Thursday have b een located. Christina Austin Brown, 14, and Shaniece Austin Brown, 12, both of Wright's Lane, w ere located around 10.15am on Johnson Road on Saturday. According to police, the sisters were found in good health. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2011, PAGE 3 B y DENISE MAYCOCK T ribune Freeport Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org FREEPORT An elderly woman is homeless followinga house fire in Lucaya early Friday morning. F ire officials went to a home at Amelia Place off Albacore Drive, where a single-story structure was ablaze. Asst Supt Loretta Mackey, press liaison officer, reported that firemen received the call s hortly before 2am. S he said officers discovered the house completely engulfed in flames when they arrived at the scene. The occupants were able to escape unharmed. According to reports, a 71y ear-old woman was at home with a friend at about 1.28am when they saw smoke coming from the back of theh ouse. They were able to escape a nd get help. The flames were extinguished, but the building and its contents were completely destroyed. A SP Mackey reported that the damage is estimated at around $270,000. T he cause of the fire is not known and police are continuing their investigations into the incident. By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter email@example.com F REEPORT Grand Bahama Police r ecovered a firearm in a shooting over t he weekend that has left a 26-year-old m an hospitalised with injuries to the upper right arm. A ccording to reports, the shooting inci dent occurred sometime around 4.56am on Saturday in the area of East SunriseH ighway. A sst Supt Loretta Mackey reported that officers from the Mobile Patrol Unit were at the scene of a traffic accident onC oral Road in the vicinity of the Independence Park when they heard what a ppeared to be gunshots. S he said officers went to Candys C abana where they observed gunshots t o the right rear passenger window of a Nissan Altima car. A male resident of Lucaya, an occu pant of the vehicle, had been shot in the upper right arm. H e was transported to the Rand M emorial Hospital for medical attention. His condition is not known. While officers were conducting i nvestigations at the scene, a man was observed running away from the a rea. A n officer gave chase, but was unsucc essful in capturing the suspect.Police, h owever, recovered a black .40 Glock pistol in the area. M s Mackey said investigations are con tinuing into the matter. Anyone with information that can assist the police isa sked to call 350-3107/8, 352-9774/5 or 9 11. FREEPORT Having just celebrated its fifth anniversary, the Keep Grand Bahama Clean organisation got a major boost when Act-i ng Assistant Commissioner o f Police Emrick Seymour again pledged his officers full support in the fight against environmental crimes. Please be assured that we on the Police Force view all o ffences in the same light, said M r Seymour. Whether its murder, indiscriminate dumping, littering, etc, they are all breaches punishable by law. The Assistant Commiss ioner was addressing KGBC members gathered at policeh eadquarters for a special monthly meeting. Along with continuous littering by drivers and pedes-t rians, environmental officials at The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA have identified what is quickly becoming another vexingp roblem on the island, that of indiscriminate dumping. People are dumping anything from refrigerators to other appliances, furniture, roofing materials, sheetrock, you name it. These are some of thei tems that are being dumped e veryday unfortunately, in some of the remotest areas on the island, said Nakira Wilchcombe, environmental manager of GBPA and KGBC chairperson. S he added that along with h ealth hazards, the practice is demeaning to the country. Even visitors travelling over our airspace can see the debris from the air, so its def-i nitely something that shouldnt be synonymous withG rand Bahama. PLEA FOR HELP IN M URDER HUNT POLICE are appealing to members of the public to help t hem in investigating the murd er of a woman whose body w as discovered on Friday. Just after 10am, police received information that a body was found in Blue Water Cay, south of Fox Hill Road. P olice responded and upon a rrival found a womans body i n a rocky area. The woman appeared to be in her late teens or early twenties, and was found fully clothed with injuries to her upper body. Press liaison officer Sgt C hrisly Skippings stated last week: At present, police are uncertain of the circumstances surrounding her death. Police are presently requesting the publics assistance in locating the person(sr esponsible for the womans death, asking anyone who m ay have any information r egarding the incident to contact police. MAN SHOT IN BOTH ARMS A ROADSIDE ambush l eft one man with gunshot injuries in both of his arms. T he victim, 41, of Monastery Park, was driving his truck on Williams Lane off Kemp Road around6 .45pm on Saturday when two m en approached his vehicle, attempting to stop him. The victim sped off, and the suspects opened fire on the fleeing man, injuring him. H e was taken to the hospit al where he was treated and discharged. WOUNDED MAN ARRESTED A MAN wanted for questioning in a previous matter is in police custody after hewas shot and hospitalised. T he man, 19, was walking w ith two other men, in the area of Florida Court, at around 1:30am on Sundayw hen he heard gunshots and r ealized he was shot in his arm. He was taken to hospital where he was treated and dis charged. However, following his discharge, he was taken into police custody on an outstanding Warrant of Arrest. The other two men were not injured. B OY, 15, SUSPECT IN S TABBING A 15-YEAR-OLD boy was a rrested on Saturday in connection with a stabbing that left a 21-year-old man hospi-t alised in serious condition. The victim was reportedly walking on Marlborough Street in the area of West Street around 8pm when twomen approached him, robbed him, and subsequently stabbed him. Shortly afterwards, police found a 15-year-old in possession of the stolen items. The boy was arrested and remains in police custody for questioning in connection with the armed robbery and stabbing. The victim remains in the hospital, in serious condition. WOMAN LEFT HOMELESS BY HOUSE FIRE Gun recovered after man hospitalised in shooting GRAND BAHAMA TARGETS LAW BREAKERS WHO DUMP WASTE WASTE left abandoned in Grand Bahama. POLICE LAUNCH SEARCH FOR MISSING ABACO TEENAGER RENANDEORADIN, who was l ast seen at about 3pm on Friday at Central Abaco High School. THIRTEEN men were take n into police custody over the weekend in connection with three separate incidentso f firearm possession. Last Thursday, around 6:30pm, officers of the Cen-t ral Detective Unit arrested a man after he was found with a handgun and ammunition. The man, 21, of Hope Gardens, was found and arrested at Prince Street, Nassau Village. Around 9:20pm Friday, officers of Rapid Strike wereon patrol in the area of Mar ket and Wilson Streets when they noticed a group of 11 men acting suspiciously. T he officers conducted a search of the surrounding area where the men were, andd iscovered a handgun and ammunition. As a result, all of the men w ere taken into custody. L ater around 10.30pm that same day, Rapid Strike officers arrested a man after a search of his residence revealed a firearm and ammunition. The 28-year-old man of Rupert Dean Lane was found to be in possession of a highpowered weapon and a large quantity of ammunition. 1 3 ARRESTS OVER FIREARMS FIND POLICE SEEK STOLEN VEHICLES
EDITOR, The Tribune. I would like to comment on a very interesting article w hich appeared in the N ovember 30th edition of The Freeport News. The article, which made the front page of the daily, was about the Democratic National Alliance (DNA the Constituency of High R ock, Philip Thomas. According to the article, Thomas will no longer be running for the DNA party in High Rock. In my view, this is t he last thing that the DNA n eeds right now. Just when Bamboo Town Member of Parliament and Leader of the DNA Branville McCartney thought things couldnt get a ny worse for his new party, it has. I am referring, of course, to t he recent spate of nominat ion withdrawals and outright resignations from the DNA p arty. I understand that the DNA candidate for the Constituency of South Beach, Sammie Starr Poitier, has also aband oned the party. F urthermore, there are news reports on an Internet daily that the DNA candidate for the Constituency of Pineridge, Osman Johnson, h as resigned from the party, too. The same Internet daily is reporting that another candidate will be leaving the par t y. With respect to the alleged resignation of Osman Johnson from the DNA, I would like to know why he has left the party. There are rumours that he h ad left the party because of the lack of support from the leadership. If this story is indeed true, then the party will have to find replacements for Thomas and Johnson. An election has to be called on or before May 2, 2012. This means that the DNA has at least five monthsi n order to find two new candidates. What amazes me about the D NA is the fact that the par t y hasnt even been in existence for one year, yet it has more twists and turns than W illiam Shakespeares Othello. The leadership of the DNA party continues to project an image of solidarity and unity among its party supporters and candidates in the Press, yet behind closed doors the p arty appears to be falling apart at the seams. I dont think any objective Bahamian would deny that the DNA party is facing a serious problem. Again, if it is true that J ohnson has resigned from M cCartneys party, then that makes him the second DNA c andidate from Grand Bahama who will not be running in 2012 for the party. A s was mentioned already, the nomination of Philip Thomas has been withdrawn by the DNA party. According to Thomas, he was sacked for a simple disagreement he had with McCartney over whether or n ot a new hospital could be built in Grand Bahama.M cCartney said no. T homas, on the other hand, argued that we (a DNA government) could align ourselves with RossU niversity or we could align o urselves with anybody from t he private sector if need be, but its a priority we really need a hospital on Grand Bahama. Apparently, no one is a llowed to disagree with M cCartney in the DNA. The former DNA candidate even went as far as alleg ing that McCartney is an a uthoritarian leader and that h e is worse than Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham. Q uite frankly, I am taken aback that Thomas was sacked by the party over sucha trivial matter. Even more a larming is the claim made by Thomas that a lot of the DNA candidates believe that M cCartney has all the answers. If this startling claim is true, then it appears as if the DNA is rapidly degenerating into a cult with McCartney as its demigod. F urthermore, Thomas griped over the fact that DNA party members came to Grand Bahama to meet with Port Authority officials, but did not invite any of the local candidates to the meeting. Thomas viewed this as a slight to the candidates on the island. That McCartney would dis his partys candidates isnt my main concern, however. What I am concerned about is the fact that the party would withdraw the nomination ofa candidate for simply voicing an opinion which differed from McCartneys. What Thomas told the Press about the DNA leaders hould cause the hair on the back of every Bahamians n eck to stand up. I f McCartney is already showing signs that he is a dictator and that he is ruthlessly opposed to anyone who has a divergent view from his within the DNA party, what would he do as prime minist er if an opposition supporter openly disagrees with him? If McCartney and the leadership team of the DNA c ould treat a candidate like P hilip Thomas in such a shoddy fashion, what would he do to his political detractors if his party wins the next general election? G ood leaders take suggestions from their followers. W hen a leader reaches a point i n his life when he rejects the g ood advice of the persons around him, then that leader i s treading on dangerous soil. I t is very dangerous when you become unteachable. That the members of M cCartneys party would e ven call themselves the Democratic National Alliance is really a misnomer. Judging from what the former High Rock candidate s aid to the Press, the leaders of the DNA wouldnt recog nise true democracy if it were to roll over them in a Mackt ruck. Many of the supporters of the DNA claimed to have left the FNM because of Ingrahams dictatorial behaviour, yet it appears as if McCart ney is no different from the p rime minister. If Thomas is telling the truth about McCartney, then the many former FNMs who had joined the DNA might as well go back to the govern ing party. At least the FNM has proven that it can win elections in this country. On the other hand, the D NA party has proven nothing so far. The DNA has yet to contest a single seat in ane lection, yet there are already n umerous defections from the party. The Bahamian electorate s hould monitor McCartneys party more closely before they decide to cast their bal lots for his candidates. I am very concerned about what I am hearing in the Press, particularly the incident with Philip Thomas. KEVIN EVANS Freeport, Grand Bahama. December 1, 2011. EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR P AGE 4, MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 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 G LOBAL emissions of carbon dioxi de from fossil-fuel burning jumped by the largest amount on record last year, upending the notion that the brief decline during the recession might per-s ist through the recovery. E missions rose 5.9 per cent in 2010, according to an analysis released Sundayb y the Global Carbon Project, an intern ational collaboration of scientists tracking the numbers. Scientists with the group said the increase, a half-billion e xtra tons of carbon pumped into the a ir, was almost certainly the largest a bsolute jump in any year since the Industrial Revolution, and the largest percentage increase since 2003. T he increase solidified a trend of everrising emissions that scientists fear will m ake it difficult, if not impossible, to f orestall severe climate change in com ing decades. T he researchers said the high growth rate reflected a bounce-back from the 1.4 per cent drop in emissions in 2009, the year the recession had its biggest impact. T hey do not expect the extraordinary g rowth to persist but do expect emissions to return to something closer to the 3 per cent growth of the last decade, still a worrisome figure that signifies lit tle progress in limiting greenhouse gas e s. The growth rate in the 1990s was c loser to 1 per cent. The combustion of coal represented more than half of the growth in emis sions, the report found. I n the United States, emissions d ropped by a remarkable 7 per cent in the recession year of 2009, but rose by j ust over 4 per cent last year, the new analysis shows. This country is the world's second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, pumping 1.5 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere last year. T he United States was surpassed several years ago by China, where emis sions grew 10.4 per cent in 2010, with that country injecting 2.2 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere. Carbon d ioxide emissions are usually measured by the weight of carbon they contain. The new figures come as delegates from 191 countries meet in Durban, South Africa, for yet another negotiat ing session in a global control effort that has been going on, with minimal success, for the better part of two decades. Each year that emissions go up, t here's another year of negotiations, another year of indecision, said Glen P Peters, a researcher at the Centre for International Climate and Environmen t al Research in Oslo and a leader of the g roup that produced the new analysis. Theres no evidence that this trajectory we've been following the last 10 years is going to change. S cientists say the rapid growth of e missions is warming the Earth, threatening the ecology and putting humanw elfare at long-term risk. But their i ncreasingly urgent pleas that society find a way to limit emissions have met sharp political resistance in many coun t ries, including the United States, b ecause doing so would entail higher e nergy costs. The new figures show a continuation of a trend in which developing countries, i ncluding China and India, have surpassed the wealthy countries in their o verall greenhouse emissions. In 2010, t he combustion of fossil fuels and the production of cement sent more than 9 b illion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, the new analysis found, with 57 per cent of that coming from developing countries. E missions per person, though, are still s harply higher in the wealthy countries, and they have been emitting greenhouse gases far longer, so they account for the bulk of the excess gases in the atmos phere. The level of carbon dioxide, the m ain such gas, has increased 40 per cent s ince the Industrial Revolution. On the surface, the figures of recent years suggest that wealthy countries have made headway in stabilizing their e missions. But Peters pointed out that in a sense, the rich countries have simply exported some of them. T he fast rise in developing countries has been caused to a large extent by the growth of energy-intensive manufacturing industries that make goods that rich countries import. All that has changed is the location in which the emissions are being pro duced, Peters said. Many countries, as part of their response to the economic crisis, invested b illions in programmes designed to make their energy systems greener. While it is possible those will pay longterm dividends, the new numbers suggest they have had little effect so far. The financial crisis was an opportunity to move the global economy away from a high-emissions trajectory, said as cientific paper about the new figures, r eleased online on Sunday by the journal Nature Climate Change. Our results provide no indication of this happening. by Justin Gillis, New York Times DNA falling apart at the seams LETTERS l firstname.lastname@example.org Global emissions jump to new high Do Not Sue the BrethrenDare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers! Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? No, you yourselves do wrongand cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were and by the Spirit of our God.1 Corinthians 6:1-11
THE abuse of children by church leaders, teachers andp arents who take part in youth programmes is a prob lem in the Bahamas, and reflective of a deep problem i n society, according to Dr Sandra Dean Patterson, the director of the Bahamas Crisis Centre. Speaking to The Tribune in the aftermath of the verdict involving Bishop Randy Fraser who was found guilty of having sexual intercoursew ith a minor on Tuesday, Dr. Patterson said that people need to be aware when they go seeking special services t hat there are people they trust that pose threats to them. Dr Sandra Dean-Patterson opened the Crisis Centre in 1982. The non-profit organisation provides services to peo ple who are victims of physi c al, sexual and emotional abuse. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2011, PAGE 5 By DANA SMITH d email@example.com THE PLP has criticised the recent boundaries change andhas called on Bahamians to fire the FNM Government. At a Bamboo Town rally h eld at South Beach Shopp ing Centre on Saturday, PLP Deputy Leader Philip Davis described the period under the FNM as a long night-mare. H e also stated that the gove rnment cannot justify the r eduction in House seats to 38. Like people all across the length and breadth of the Bahamas, we are countingd own the few weeks ahead of us before this bad, wutless, o utgoing FNM government is v oted out of power, Mr D avis said. The audience was encouraged to register to vote so that they could vote against the current, callous and insensi-t ive FNM government. It is time to vote them out, Mr Davis said. It is time for the bell to ring. It is time to fire this FNM government. He criticised the recent boundaries change, questioni ng if the Constituencies Comm ission report is fair to voters and conforms to constitutional norms. The PLPs position on this has to do not with what is fair to politicians, but with what is f air to the voters of the count ry, Mr Davis said. It means that you cannot s imply have a more or less e qual distribution of electors in a seat and then say that this brings about a fair result. That is clearly and blatantly wrong. The government cannot justi-f y reducing the number of s eats to 38. He continued: We in the PLP accept that the constituencies have to be more or less equal, but we say that one must have regard for the s tatus quo, the existing elect ors and constituencies, and the ability of voters to make a judgment on the individual or party who has served them in the preceding years, Mr Davis said. When you elimin ate that possibility, there is a n unfair result. I want to let you guys k now that we are a great c hurch, and without contradiction by the grace of God, I am here because of Pilgrim B aptist Temple Church, he said before reading the bishops note. The clergyman read the note which contained the w ords, some paraphrased, of Fraser: He is in good health. H e is in good spirit. He says that he is constantly praying f or the leadership and is constantly praying for the membership. Fraser went onto say that his current experience behind b ars felt similar to Josephs experience in the Bible, a dding: Pastor Major, I know God gets this. I knowG od gets this. This too shall pass and tell Pilgrim, their struggle is over. H e asked his congregation n ot to treat this present situa tion as a defeat, but treat it as a part of the process. Pastor Major also took this m essage to his congregation from their imprisoned leader: Tell Pilgrim, let the law and the Lord have its way. No rowing. No fighting. Let the L ord have His way. With regards to the leader ship of the church, Pastor M ajor said Fraser suggested t he church leaders decide what steps should be taken g oing forward. The assistant pastor said P ilgrim Baptist leaders have decided to wait three months before deciding the future of t he church. T he three months, Major said, are to allow the church t o heal from this ordeal. Fraser, 54, was found guilty l ast Tuesday of having unlawf ul sexual relations with a 16year-old girl between July 2005 and February 2006. Prosecutors argued the minister abused his position of trust byh aving sexual relations with a girl he had agreed to counsel. He was originally charged with the offence in the sum m er of 2006, but freed a year later. A retrial started in 2008. A fter several delays, D eputy Chief Magistrate Car olita Bethell handed down the guilty verdict. Frasers defence attorney Jiaram Mangra informed the magistrate that he intended to appeal the ruling and sen tencing, and have the execut ion of the sentence at the p rison stayed. PLPcriticises boundary changes f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e ABUSE OF CHILDREN PR OBLEM IN SOCIET Y SHAMED BISHOP:IM PRAYING FOR YOU RANDY FRASER, convicted of having unlawful sex with a 16year-old girl.
THISweek is the annual Disability Awareness Week. On December 2, the B ahamas National Council f or Disability launched activities in observance of the w eek with a one-day forum f ocused on Independent L iving and Legislation for A ll. T he theme for the week of activities is Differently Able with the focus of raisi ng awareness of disability issues, addressing the fund amental rights of persons with disabilities, and the integration of the disabled into the social, political, econ omic and cultural areas of society. T he week of activities is in support of the International Day of Persons withD isabilities, which is cele brated internationally on D ecember 3, 2011. I n addressing the opening session, the US Embassys political officer, Dana Jea, noted that while globalp rogress has been made in r ecent years in advancing the rights of persons living with disabilities, there ism uch more to be done to ensure full inclusion, both in The Bahamas and in the U nited States. There also remains the global challenge in many countries to combat preju d ice against disabled people w ho often face discrimina tion in the form of social exclusion, violence, discrim-i nation in employment, lack of access to public facilities, discrimination in education and women with disabilities are at particular risk for sexual and gender-based viol ence, she said. T he conference facilitator, Tony Eames, of California, w ho is totally blind, gave an i nformative lecture about a dvancing the rights of peop le living with disabilities a nd some of continuing challenges they face in their everyday lives. S he also provided insights on the role of service and g uide dogs in providing independent mobility to the disabled. Fridays conference also a ddressed education, employment, housing andt ransportation challenges faced by the disabled community. F or more information about the work of the B NCD, visit www.bncd.org. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 6, MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2011 THE TRIBUNE FROM LEFT, Dana Jea, Political Officer, US Embassy; Davis Hawn, US speaker; Tony Eames, U.S. speaker; Sheila Culmer, President, BNCD and Ernst Rumer, Honorary Consul for Austria. Week of activities to support disabled There also remains the global challenge in many countries to combat prejudice against disabled people who often face discrimination in the form of social exclusion, violence, discrimination in employment, lack of access to public facilities, discrimination in education and women with disabilities are at particular risk for sexual and gender-based violence. Dana Jea, USEmbassy political officer
LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2011, PAGE 7 By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter d firstname.lastname@example.org F REEPORT The government is actively pursuing development of an additional 100 low-income housing lotsat a Freeport subdivision, M inister of Housing Kenneth R ussell announced. H e said notice has been given to the Grand Bahama Port Authority of acquiring some more lots in the Heritage Subdivision at a cost of $1 million. M r Russell said the government continues to place much emphasis on housing in Grand Bahama, having spent just under $8 million over the p ast two and a half years d eveloping six subdivisions on the island. O n Thursday, the first p hase of the new Wellington Pinder Heights Subdivision w as officially opened. Some 58 homes completed the first phase and ground was broken on the second phase, which w ill comprise around 50 h omes. During his address, Minis t er Russell also noted that some 80 lots are available for sale at the new Freetown subdivision in East Grand Bahama. W ork on a park for the subdivision will start before C hristmas, however, he noted that the ministry will not build any houses unless people come forward to buy the land or get funding for the land a nd housing. The same, he said, applies for the High Rock and M cCleans Town subdivisions. We will not go to East E nd and build a bunch of houseswithout having persons come and pre-qualify. We did that in West End a nd some of the houses sat for 10 years before they were occupied. It is a waste of mon e y for houses to be sitting around for 10 years, said Mr Russell. H e noted that persons with Crown Land can present their deeds to the property and the government will build theh ouse for them once they qualify for a mortgage. Mr Russell said the Min i stry of Housing is also plan ning to develop waterfront lots at McCleans Town and at Pine Forest in Eight Mile R ock. He explained that the status of the subdivision in Eight M ile Rock would be raised tremendously. While pointing out that the Ministry of Housing has a chieved much success, the minister has admitted that all has not been rosy for the housing programme in Grand Bahama, Nassau, and to a lesser extent in Abaco. A ccording to Mr Russell, the ministry has been required to repair 60 houses in the Heritage, Sunset, East Coral Estates, Forbisher Cir-c le, Pine Forest and the West H eight Subdivisions. We want to urge builders to be competent and take pride in their workmanship. We have learned much from the past and we have now in place new measures designedt o mitigate against poor construction and the resulting drain on the public purse, Mr Russell said. He noted that testing in v arious stages of construction h ave been implemented, inspections of plumbing and e lectrical, and modifications h ave been made to house plans to mitigate problems t hat have developed in the past. Mr Russell said his ministry has also joined forces with the M inistry of Environmental H ealth to reduce termite infestation in new houses. I am pleased to say the results weve gotten so far from the testing we put in place are working beyond our expectation, he said. M r Russell said the houses in West Heights, Pride E states, the second phase of Dignity Subdivision, and the new Sunset subdivision in Nassau are among the best ever houses built by the gove rnment. There is no sense having citizens purchase a housew hich is in need of major repairs after one year and causing the government tos pend $40,000 to $60,000 in repairs, he said. Mr Russell called on qualified builders not registered at t he Ministry of Housing to register. Builders who are interest e d in moving forward with us must be an approved builder under the Ministry of Housingl ist. You must become a Housing registered builder because we cannot contract you unless you register withu s at Housing, he said. While there is room for improvement, Mr Russell said t he ministry is in a good place with respect to the housing programme. As long as I sit in this chair a s Minister of Housing, I will continue to ensure that Grand Bahama gets its share becauseG rand Bahama has suffered much over the past 10 years as a result of the economic downturn, and we have to do w hat we can to keep people working, he said. By KATHRYN CAMPBELL Bahamas Information Services THE Inter-Ministerial committee appointed to review the United StatesG overnments 2011 Trafficking in Persons (TIP to make recommendations on these matters to Cabinet held its inaugural meeting Wednesday. The committee is made up of senior o fficials of ministries and agencies concerned with trafficking in persons, many of whom have been following such mat-t ers in regional and international forums. The committee includes representat ives of the Ministries of National Secur ity, Foreign Affairs, Office of the Attorn ey General, Health, Labour and Social Development, Finance, the Royal B ahamas Police and Defence Forces and the Department of Immigration. According to the US Department of States website, the objective of the report is to raise global awareness regard-i ng trafficking in persons, to spur countries to take effective action to counter this trafficking and to give guidance to governments to understand what is required to fight trafficking in persons. A release from the Ministry of Nationa l Security states that in producing the report the United States Government seeks to encourage compliance witho bligations arising from the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Chil-d ren, Supplementing the United Nations C onvention on Transnational Organised C rime. The Bahamas was ranked as Tier 2 W atch List. The report uses a three Tier system to rank the efforts of countries worldwide, including those of the United States in countering trafficking in persons. The release states that this rankingi s given to countries not fully in step with the minimum standards outlined in the United States Governments 2000 Trafficking Victims Protection Act, as amended, but that are making significant efforts to do so. T o carry out its mandate, the committee will hold consultations with Bahamian non-governmental organisations con-c erned with issues of trafficking in per sons. The committee will report to Cabinet a head of the February interim assessm ent report to the United States Cong ress and preparation for the 2012 Report. EXTRA HOMES AT LOW PRICE MEMBERS of the Inter-Ministerial committee appointed to review the United States Governments 2011 Trafficking in Persons (TIP o n The Bahamas. Shown seated third from left is Carl Smith, permanent secretary; Missouri Sherman-Peters, consultant in the Ministry of N ational Security, Vinette Graham Allen, director of Public Prosecutions, Franklyn Williams, deputy director of Public Prosecutions. Photo:Letisha Henderson/BIS. Committee aims to tackle trafficking
By DENISE MAYCOCK T ribune Freeport Reporter email@example.com FREEPORT The first p hase of the Wellington Pind er Heights Subdivision was officially opened on Thursday by Minister of Housing Ken-n eth Russell, who unveiled plans for a complete $21 million, four-phase housing d evelopment in Hawksbill. T he first phase is comprised of 60 houses, and infrastructure work has already starte d on the second phase where an additional 50 houses will be built. M r Russell said the new s ubdivision in Hawksbill was named in honour of the late Rev Dr Wellington Pinder for his outstanding contributions to the community of Grand Bahama. T he wife and son of Rev Pinder, Valurine Pinder and Rev Peter Pinder, unveiled the sign for the new subdivi sion. We want to thank all of Reverend Pinders family for c oming here. This is an hist oric day because if you look a t the history of Rev Wellingt on Pinder, you will know that he is a man deserving of t his recognition, Mr Russell said. He said WPH Subdivision w ill be further developed to include phases three and four. M r Russell said a good deal of the land has already been paid for, with future plans for various amenities, includingl and set aside for a shopping plaza, playground and preschool. The government would h ave invested just around $21 million in the development of WPH subdivision, hes aid. The minister said the complete subdivision will include 2 00-300 houses, and will prov ide business opportunities for persons interested in building a shopping plaza or p re-school. When completed there will be almost 300 homes, so ap re-school will do wonderful h ere and also cater to residents of Pinders Point and Lewis Yard, he added. Today is a very important one for both homeowners and contractors. This is indeeda mong one of the finest subdivisions ever developed by the Ministry of Housing, and it is a tangible recognition of the governments acknowledgment of the outstanding contribution made by Rev Wellington Pinder, Mr Russell said. A ccording to Mr Russell, t he government has spent just under $8 million over the past two and a half years completi ng repairs and developing six subdivisions on the island. The subdivisions are: East Coral Estates, Pine CoralE states, Forbisher Circle, W est Heights, Heritage, Sunset, and Wellington Pinder Heights. Mr Russell also noted that t he ministry is embarking on a nother ambitious housing p rogramme. The MOH continues to place much emphasis on G rand Bahama, he said. This is demonstrated by the fact we have placed in-h ouse value of just under $33 m illion on works now being planned for the island, which includes all of the six subdivi s ions. We are cognisant of the economic challenges facingt he people of Grand Bahama and it is for this reason my ministry sees its role as being a dual one. We realise we are not only required to assist persons in realising the dream of home o wnership, but to stimulate the local construction industry by providing jobs for builders,a rtisans, and other persons who rely on the construction industry. We have sought expedi t iously to proceed with devel opment of the WPH Subdivision, and our aim has been to m ove through four phases for this subdivision. Mr Russell said he expects to meet with the Grand Bahama Port Authority to discuss infrastructural work on other two phases, so we can put more contractors to work. I feel the pain of Grand Bahamians who are not working. And whatever the MOH can do to ease that pain, we will do, he said. Mr Russell said he believes the subdivisions name is a fitting tribute to Wellington Pin der. The government could not have chosen a more worthy individual to serve as this subdivisions namesake, he said. He described Rev Pinder as a respected man of God, who served as moderator for the Zion Churches in Grand Bahama. He was also honorary pres ident of Grand Bahama Christian Council, member of local Board of Works for many years, member of the Independence Committee, and an officer in Grand Order of Fellows Lodge. He was also a Justice of the Peace. Mr Russell also acknowledged David Jordine, deputy chairman of the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation, the financing agent for most of the homes in Wellington Pin der Heights. He commended Mr Arthur Jones, vice president of build ing and development at the GBPA, for ensuring that the houses were built to good standards. Rev Arnold Pinder Jr, pres ident of the Grand Bahama Christian Council, blessed the houses. WPH was built by the government following devastation caused by Hurricane Wilma in Mack Town, Hunters, Lewis Yard, and Pinders Point, to provide relocation for residents in those vulnerable settlements on the southern shoreline. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 8, MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2011 THE TRIBUNE Latest housing division opened MINISTER OF HOUSING Kenneth Russell speaking at the official opening of the Wellington Pinder Heights Subdivision. BREAKINGGROUND at the new Wellington Pinder Heights Subdivision. Photos: Vandyke Hepburn THESIGN to the Wellington Pinder Heights Subdivision is unveiled.
B AHAMIAN Rotarian B arry Rassin recently addressed more than a thousand Rotarians and other guests at the United Nations H eadquarters in New York City. Mr Rassin described to t he audience how tens of t housands of earthquake victims in Haiti have had some semblance of normalcyr estored to their lives thanks t o the efforts of Rotary and the kindness of corporatea nd private citizens of 60 countries. The Rotarians and others in The Bahamas put our c ountry as the second high est contributing nation outof the 60. S peaking at the RotaryUN Day earlier this month, Mr Rassin disc ussed how the work in Haiti is helping prevent and treat disease, combat cholera, help with peace a nd conflict resolution, provide maternal and child h ealthcare, ensure citizens have access to potable water and sanitation, provide basic education andl iteracy and generate economic and community development. To date, more than 2,000 p eople have been immun ised, and biomedical repairs are being conducted at four hospitals in Haiti. M idwives have been trained, nearly 30,000 children have received basice ducation, 36 schools have b een built or are under cons truction, three bridges have b een built and 150 wells have been created as well as a 200,000 gallon water reservoir. T he 70 funded and 10 non-funded Rotary initiatives underway in Haitih ave a value of $6.5 mill ion. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2011, PAGE 9 Break away from the ordinary and discover how to experience life to the fullest. The Isuzu D-MAX is the ultimate multi-purpose pick-up truck which enables you to drive through tough roadsand load a variety of cargoes. It is specially designed to be powerful, stylish and highly functional. The Isuzu D-MAX is one toughvehicle that willnever let you down!T H E I S U Z U D M A XPOWERFUL COMFORTABLE VERSATILE T YREFLEX S T AR MO TORSCall us today for your new IsuzuD-MAX Pick-UpTruck at 325.4961Wulff Road, P.O. Box N 9123, Nassau, The Bahamas Fax: 323.4667 B ARRY RASSIN, R otary International Director 2006-2008, addresses an audience at the UN Headquarters. (Photo: Rotary International Help for Haiti earthquake victims L ast Wednesday, DNA leader Branville McCartney explained the ousting of Mr Poitier, stating: There are certain requirements that we expect of each candidate in each constituency, certain procedures and policies we have implemented for the betterr epresentation of each cons tituency, and when candidates dont comply with those procedures and policies, we h ave to look and see what is best for the constituency. In this case, many things were n ot complied with over the l ast six months and we had no other choice than to revoke (Mr Poitiers M r McCartney claimed Mr Poitier failed to complete the required monthly reports for h is constituency, failed to compile assessment data of people within his constituenc y, and was absent from party initiatives. Mr Poitier has denied all the allegations. They inferred that I was not prepared to participate in the electoral process at this t ime, he said. This is fictitious; and it is blatantly false. There were a number of D NA representatives that stated on many occasions that my team and I did not perform well, and that I, in part icular, was inefficient as a candidate, Mr Poitier said. They also said that I did not deliver reports required by the party, started no comm unity programmes, did little to no work on the ground and that for these reasons, among o thers, that I was not fit to be a candidate and therefore released. Contrary to those assertions, all of the aforesaid r equirements were met. Mark Humes, chairman of t he DNA, refused to comment on Mr Poitiers statements, only offering that its unfortunate that Mr Poitier feels slighted. We are on a serious miss ion right now and this miss ion is not for everyone, Mr Humes said. It is for those people who are ready to take o n the job, and the job is not an easy one. f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e FORMER CANDIDATE LASHES OUT AT DNA
T HEfirst Bahamas Speed Week Revival has proven to b e a success, say organisers with the promise that it canr eturn both bigger and bett er. A s events drew to a close yesterday, UK organiser David McLaughlin revealedt hat talks were already well advanced about a follow-up, with plans being drawn up toc reate a racetrack on the area o f Arawak Cay currently occupied by containers. Mr McLaughlin praised the g overnment for its support t hroughout the build-up to S peed Week and the event i tself, saying that organisers had all the help they could have wished for. He also praised the events sponsors. We have been so fortunate getting great sponsors for Bahamas Speed Week Revival, he said. But I real l y want to single out EFG International because it was E FG that gave us the push we needed when we first started talking about this. They start ed the engine revving. For private bank EFG, it was natural. The company has a long association with classic cars, and is one of the twom ain sponsors of the Le Man Classic. A number of our clients have a passion for cars in terms of driving, collecting and racing and we arei nvolved in supporting a vari ety of historic motoring events, said a company state ment. L udovic Chechin-Laurans, managing director of EFG Bank & Trust (Bahamas was born inches from the LeM ans track in France, his first recollection of sound the purr of an engine, his first car a classic followed by sports andr acing Porsches and other exotics. Mr Chechin-Laurans, who used to live in Nassau, was working in Luxembourg when he first heard about the revival of Nassau Speed Week, a highlight of the social calendar from 1954-1966. He said:As the private bank for historic motor rac ing, EFG International is proud to have helped make the revival of Bahamas Speed Week a reality. It has been a pleasure working with such enthusiastic individuals and I am convinced the event will be a great success, in car terms and for the Bahamas. In preparation for Speed Week, vendors on Arawak Cay have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on upgrades. Roads have been paved. Foreign entrants stayed at luxury hotels and on megayachts at Atlantis Marina. A slew of foreign media came from France, the UK, Canada and the US. The beauty of this, said Jimmie Lowe, the hands-on president of Bahamas Speed Week, is that it affords every Bahamian an opportunity to see these amazing classic and vintage racing cars up close, to talk to the drivers and to experience this in a more per sonal way than they can anywhere else in the world. At the same time, it is an opportunity to showcase the Bahamas. If you look around, it feels like the whole island is getting dressed up for the party. There was also an impressive list of Bahamian entries, and organisers hope future events will draw even more entrants from around the world. For more, see business B1 LOCAL NEWS PAGE 10, MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2011 THE TRIBUNE A CTION ON A rawak Cay yesterday. Photo: T im Clarke / Tribune Staff AN Elva Mk 2 rips around the Arawak Cay track yesterday.Photo: Tim Clarke /Tribune Staff SPEED WEEK LIKELY TO RETURN AFTER DEBUT SUCCESS M INISTER OF YOUTH, S ports and Culture Charles Maynard, fifth from l eft, and Minister of Tourism and Aviation Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, to his right, are flanked by organisers and sponsors of Bahamas S peed Week Revival. EFG is represented by managing director Ludovic Chechin-Laurans, 2nd row, far left.
said Mr Morris. So it is evident that something went drastically wrong for them to have done that. While Mr Morris said he could not say exactly how much money might have been involved in the scam, one source said the lossc ould have been in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. M r Morris contended: It must have been pretty severe. He explained that Bank of the Bahamas and Cash N Go are also Money Gram agents. One of the agents, not our office, had a problem which resulted in MoneyGram having to take some action and change limits able to be sent from the Bahamas, he said. According to Mr Morris, the hackers likel y used the agents system to send false money transfers that would be charged to the a gent. He said this weekend was not the first time individuals have attempted to hack into theirs ystem. However, he explained that he was surprised that someone was successful. Im a bit surprised to see that this has taken place, said Mr Morris. There have been various attempts to get into the system and this has happened for years. Weve been in the business for six years and seen several attempts like this. He revealed that MoneyGram sends its agents regular fraud alerts in order to curtaila ny attempt on its systems. O ne source claimed that fraudsters have been calling Moneygram agents in the Bahamas claiming to be officers of MG International and directing them to bogus websitest hat look identical to the MG website. The agents are then directed to download software which compromises their system. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2011, PAGE 11 FULLSPEEDAHEAD for one of the racers at Arawak Cay track yesterday. Photo: Tim Clarke /Tribune Staff T AKINGTHE c hequered flag at Arawak Cay. P hoto: S tephen Hunt / Tribune Staff A MODEL p oses for a calendar shoot during a break in action at Bahamas Speed Week Revival. Photo: Stephen Hunt /Tribune Staff BEAUTIFULCARS in a beautiful setting during the final day of the B ahamas Speed Week Revival.Photo: S tephen Hunt / Tribune Staff f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e MONEYGRAM SECURITY BREACH
B y SIR RONALD SANDERS N OVEMBER 28 general elections in Guyana have resulted in a crisis for the country. While it is being suggested t hat the elected President, Donald Ramotar, of the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C and run a minority government, it is an unrealistic proposition. R amotar was elected President by a plurality of the votes but the PPP/C failed to get an overall majority in the National Assembly. The complex Guyana constitution provides for an elec-t oral system of proportional representation under which the country is divided into 10 regions returning 25 members of the National Assembly and another 40 being allocated nationally on the proportion of votes cast for a party. To control the National Assem-b ly, a party must secure more than 50 per cent of the votes cast. H owever, the President in whom executive authority lies, according to the Constit ution, only requires a plur ality of the votes to be elected. Thus, since the PPP/C got t he highest number of votes cast for a party (48.7 per cent), Ramotar is elected P resident but the PPP/C as a p arty does not control the National Assembly which makes the laws of the county and initiates its money bills, including the Budget. O f the 72.9 per cent voter t urn-out at the poll, the three opposition parties combined secured 51.3 per cent of the vote. The breakdown is: 40.8 per cent for A Partnership for National Unity (APNU per cent for the Alliance forC hange (AFC cent for the United Force. Even if the three opposition parties were now to form an alliance something they f ailed to do before the elect ions they cannot form a government. U nder the Guyana constit ution, the President appoints the Prime Minister and Ministers of the Government from among the elected m embers of the National A ssembly. There is no r equirement for him to a ppoint persons to form the government from among a p arty or parties that command the majority in the NationalA ssembly. T his has to be the worst nightmare for any President, but it has to be particularly harrowing for Ramotar who has no experience of govern-m ent, except as a member of t he National Assembly for the PPP/C of which he has been general secretary over the last few years. As this commentary is being written (shortly after the announcement of the elec-t ion results on Thursday), it has been reported that Ramotar will try to operate a minority government. In other words, he will appoint a gove rnment from among PPP/C e lected members only. This would not be a sensib le proposition. For, if the o pposition parties in the National Assembly decide to work together, they would defeat any legislation, includi ng a Budget which the gove rnment would require to f unction. In such a circums tance, Government would be crippled, and the only resolut ion of the problem would be fresh elections in an effort foro ne party, or an alliance of parties, to secure an overall majority. It is ironic that had the A FC joined the APNU alliance that comprises the Peoples National Congress (PNC President Forbes Burnham, a nd the Working Peoples A lliance (WPA the late historian Walter Rodn ey, the combined parties w ould have won both the Presidency and the overall m ajority of the National Assembly. In this sense, they have only themselves to blame for their failure to topple the PPP/C. B ut more importantly now is what happens going forw ard. Ramotar and the PPP/C have a rare and golden opportunity to retrieve Guyana from its long histor y of racial and divisive polit ics by recognising that the majority of the people of the country did not support them at this election notwithstanding the economic success theyh ave achieved in the last few y ears. O ther issues played a much larger role and those issues included a perception of neglect of disadvantaged communities by the PPP/C includ-i ng sugar workers of East I ndian descent; marginalisation of Guyanese intellectuals of African descent who have been excluded from top government positions; and a general view that high PPP/Co fficials had benefited hugely from their time in government. In this context, if Ramotar and the PPP attempt to form and operate a minority gov-e rnment, they will be doing so against a backdrop of considerable popular hostility. Itw ould be a prescription for disaster. Good sense should prevail in this very troubled situat ion and Ramotar should make every effort to talk to the leaders of the two maino pposition parties to form a government of national uni ty. It would be the best thing for Guyana, and it would ensure that prosperity and s tability can be built on its r ecent economic success and the definite prospects for immediate and continuouse conomic growth as a result of recently signed contracts for the mining of gold, bauxite a nd manganese, expected to e arn the country billions of dollars, as well as the real possibility of oil production. The future for the Guyana e conomy and the Guyanese p eople could be glowing if such a course is followed. If it isnt, then Guyana and the Guyanese people will be headed for great politicali nstability, social unrest and a major reversal of their r ecent economic good fortune. At the same time, if Ramotar and the PPP/C reach out a hand of co-operation to theA PNU and the AFC the two l atter parties also have an obligation to accept it and to sit down to work out the mechanics of a government of national unity that could secure Guyanas future. I f ever there was a time in the tides of a countrys fortunes that requires its politicians to put their narrow political interests to one side for the greater interest of then ation, that time is now. The vast majority of people of Guyana are now fright-e ned and worried. The countrys political leaders have the chance to turn that fear and worry to relief, hope and conf idence. Guyana, at last, could begin to realise the potential it hasl ong held out. Other leaders in the Caribbean and the world should call on Ramotar, and the leaders of APNU and AFC not to condemn their c ountry to ruin and their peop le to the rack. History is in their hands. Responses and previous commentaries at: www.sirronaldsanders.com T he writer is a consultant and former Caribbean diplomat. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 12, MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2011 THE TRIBUNE JOB OPENINGGolf Course SuperintendentWe are seeking a seasoned individual that is experienced in golf course maintenance; operations involved with providing upkeep of greens, fairways, tees, sand traps, bodies of water, roughs, maintenance shop, golf carts and clubhouse. The successful candidate will be responsible for the following: assessing maintenance staff. the highest level of safety for all maintenance staff. developing and executing annual maintenance strategies and budget for the course. including, payroll, suppliers, fertilizers, chemicals, etc. developing required maintenance reports equipment as needed. maximize the number of rounds of golf played and to schedule maintenance healthy growth of the golf course grasses, trees, wetlands, and other plant materials. grounds. Interested applicants can forward their information to: firstname.lastname@example.org Attn: Human Resources Manager Bakers Bay Golf & Ocean Club Great Guana Cay Abaco, Bahamas (242Becoming the Employer of Choice in The Bahamas! Guyana crisis follows election W W O O R R L L D D V V I I E E W W
LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2011, PAGE 13 vendors, some of whom claimed they for a second time had lost everything in the blaze. The temporarym arket site was hit by natural disaster in August when Hur-r icane Irene ripped through portions of the tent on Bay Street. Vendors split up following the storm with some moving their wares to theP rince George Wharf, while others continued to sell theirg oods at the front of the tent facing Bay Street. The government announced plans to partner with the business communityt o implement closed circuit television earlier this year. Mr Greenslade said he could not confirm last night whether or not the market site or surrounding area was under surveillance; however h e said the matter would be explored and a further update provided. Last night, Mr Turnquest also said he could not confirm whether or not the collaborative surveillance system implemented in the downtown area covered the scene. T he Tribune u nderstands that fire investigators met over the weekend to discuss updates in the case; however, Mr Greenslade could not provide any more details on the matter. Deputy Commissione r Quinn McCartney, the police liaison to Fire Services on the investigation, did not respond to a call placed last night. t he helm. The FNM senators comments follow claims by thep arty that Dr Sands, supported by his administration, had ordered the heartless evict ion of a family of seven. D r Sands citicised Mr Gibson for capitalising on the emotional impact of a familyl osing their home instead of sharing ownership of the root cause. A huge number of individu als were placed in a situation where they were granted mort gages that there was no possible c hance for them to service the debt, Dr Sands said. It created a situation whereby mill ions and millions of taxpayers d ollars were squandered. Dr Sands explained that the family whose story was publ ished in a newspaper had been in arrears for five years, and, after every possiblee ffort had been exhausted, a S upreme court order granted vacant possession to the BMC. Last night, Mr Gibson chal l enged Dr Sands to produce evidence to support his accu sations. He also urged the gove rnment to exercise greater care in the eviction process. Mr Gibson said: I challenge him to bring the prooft o show where government m inisters instructed staff to give mortgages to Bahamians w ho didnt qualify. Bring the c ases, present the paperwork. N ow if a persons circumstances change thats different but the (BMCt he clients and determine whether they are eligible. W hile he said he did not h ave enough information on that particular eviction to d etermine whether it was a valid exercise, Mr Gibson cried shame on the government for not coordinating with other agencies to provide assist ance to the ousted family. If youre a government senator, and youre about top ut people on the streets, wouldnt you coordinate with social services? Mr Gibson a sked. These are difficult t imes for individuals. You d ont have people who have money and not paying you h ave people that do it but this family dont fall in that category. The government has taken a business position, but then a humanitarian position shouldh ave kicked in and said lets contact social services. Mr Gibson referred to statements made by Dr Sandsa nd Prime Minister Hubert I ngraham on the sidelines of the Mackey Yard subdivision t wo weeks ago. At that time, D r Sands revealed that the B MC faced some $80 million in debt from more than 1,000 defaulted loans. A cknowledging the delinquency rate as unacceptably h igh, Mr Ingraham also a dvised the corporation to seek compensation from the Mortg age Guarantee Fund to cover delinquent mortgages insured by the Ministry of Housing. Also highlighting the presence of such a fund, last night M r Gibson called Dr Sands statements an attempt to justify the governments positiona nd said the BMC did not stand to lose as much money as previously stated. T he PLP senator maintained t hat the default percentage rose b y more than 10 per cent under the FNM administrations 1992 t o 2002 term. In 1992, the default per centage was less than 20 per c ent. In 2002 when (FNM left it was around 32 per cent and it was unchanged whenw e left office. It didnt increase, Mr Gibson said. 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 MYSTERY OVER BAY STREET BLAZE MORTGAGE COMPANY WAS NEAR BANKRUPTCY
LOCAL NEWS PAGE 14, MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2011 THE TRIBUNE HUNDREDS of Bahamians came out last weekend to take part in the AIDS Foundations awareness walk. Under the theme Moving t o Zero (aiming towards achieving zero transmission of the HIV virus), participants last Saturday walked a route that started at 6am at Arawak Cay, continued on t o Goodmans Bay and then r eturned to the starting point. The AIDS Awareness Walk was just one in a series of events surrounding World AIDS Day 2011, which waso bserved last Thursday. Walkers on the march
LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2011, PAGE 15 to fight AIDS Organisers said that they were pleased to see thee vent attract more participants compared to previousy ears. They said they were especially happy to see so many young people come out for the walk. Many of the young-s ters who took part belong to t he Governor Generals Youth Award (GGYA gramme. During the walk, several persons tied the iconic red AIDS ribbons to trees alongt he route. Photos by Jamaal Davis
LOCAL NEWS P AGE 16, MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2011 THE TRIBUNE DOCTORS Hospital held a tree lighting ceremony on Thursday night to mark the beginning of the Christmas season. Astaff choir joined children in singing hymns and carols before the tree was lit. DOCTORS HOSPITAL staff choir and childrens choir sing a selection of Christmas hymns at the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Photos: Tim Clarke/ Tribune Staff B y MIKE LIGHTBOURN PERHAPS youve t hought about selling your p resent home, but have put off that decision, thinking that now is not a good time t o sell. Want some advice? Wait no longer! Consider what happens d uring the bad times. Most h omeowners want to sell their homes for the highest possible price in the shortest p ossible period of time. So, during those periods that are perceived as a bad time tos ell a home or a buyers market, those homeowners put off their selling decision until a more favourable selling climate exists. S ince the so-called bad times can last from a rela t ively short period to several years, a backlog of frustrated would-be sellers builds up. It is sort of like the force that b uilds up in a pressure cooker. Then, finally, comes the good news: Home sales are r ising buyers are buying! Guess what happens? Like the pressure cooker, the lidb lows right off the top. Selle rs begin to flood the market with homes to sell. The competition is incredibly fierce a nd prices must be competi tive to generate a sale. The best time to sell a h ome is when you are ready t o sell. Make sure your home is in top condition, price it properly and employ the best B REA professional available. Through careful planning, your house will sell suc c essfully in any market! DONT FORGET: How much you need is not necessarily how much you will receive on a sale. The market d etermines what a property can sell for. R EMEMBER: Often the best offer you will get is the FIRST one! M ike Lightbourn is presi dent of Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty. O N the eve of another World Childrens Day, the g olden arches of McDonalds in downtown Nassau opened its doors with Golden Girl D ebbie Ferguson-McKenzie at the till and ready to go. Welcome to McDonalds. M ay I take your order p lease? she said repeatedly, smiling. With the same gust o, class and grace that have b ecome her signature traits on the track, the 4-time O lympian and Gold-medallist greeted customers, assemb led their orders and thanked t hem for supporting McDonalds. World Childrens day at McDonalds was first launched in 2002, explainedS hanendon Cartwright, McDonalds marketing and d evelopment manager. In 10 years, the event has grown and expanded to more than 100 countries and raised more than $100m. Here in theB ahamas, we are pleased to participate and even more p leased to welcome back Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie w ho is always willing and ready to support this worthy cause. I n Nassau, McDonalds celebrates World Children's Day by inviting customers to pur-c hase a Give A Hand sticke r for $1 with proceeds ear marked for specific childrensc auses within the communit y. Beneficiaries have included the Centre for the Deaf, t he National Childrens Choir, the Downs syndrome Assoc iation and for the past four y ears, a child who has courageously battled cancer. Javon Knowles bravery and positive attitude have touched us all. He has workedh is way into our hearts and earned his place as our poster b oy, setting an example for others, said Cartwright. It is this spirit of giving that lures Ferguson-McKenzie to lend her support. This is the1 0th year she has served up Happy Meals, smiles and h elped raise funds for children's causes. Giving back to the community, especially for causes related to children, is a nat-u ral and easy thing for me, acknowledged the Gold Medallist. Where would anyo f us be, were it not for the s upport of others? With this said, she sprinted t o her post to welcome anothe r approaching customer, Robert Romano, the mayor o f Vineland, New Jersey. I live about 40 miles away f rom famed Olympian Carl L ewis, said the Mayor, and have never met him. It is quite a twist to be on vacation in Nassau and to be served by another wonderful Olympianw hose contributions are so noteworthy. Im loving it. S imilar sentiments were expressed by Kristal Bethel, a high-ranking manager with the Ministry of Tourism. In Tourism, we are always takingn ote of those good ambas sadors who represent our c ountry, she said. Debbie has represented The Bahamas beautifully over the years, so I feel quite privileged to be s erved by her. I am also so impressed by her willingness to give back and serve in this manner. M cDonalds in Nassau is among more than 30,000 restaurants worldwide cele b rating World Children's Day November 20. United in song to mark start of Christmas season THE TIME IS ALWAYS RIGHT OLYMPIAN TAKES YOUR ORDERS OLYMPIAN Debbie FergusonM cKenzie with Mayor of V ineland, New Jersey, Robert Romano.