By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com THE Bahamas Telecommunications Company rolled out its long-awaited 4G, high-speed network in New Providence last night. The company also unveiled its new flagship store, which was said to be the first of some 50 new stores slated to be opened throughout the country. Acknowledging the milestone, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham underscored the importance of improved telecommunica tions infrastructure and elec tronic media on various sectors, especially tourism and commerce. Overwhelmingly, people today book their travel, choose their vacation destinations, select their hotels and select their tours on line, he said. Today, international financial services, much as local banking, are conducted overwhelmingly online; meetings take place via teleconference calls and bids and trades are placed electroni cally. Mr Ingraham added: The majority of the retail stores will be owned and operated by Bahamian entrepreneurs creating more investment opportunities for enterprising Bahamians. The introduction of 4G is the latest in a series of improvements in service and rate reductions since the company was privatised six months ago. The network, a $43m N ASSA U AND BAHAMA ISLANDS LEADING NEWSPAPER Two MPs quit FNMparty Volume: 108 No.14TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2011 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 WEATHER SUNNY AND BREEZY HIGH 85F LOW 74F Wr ight and Gr ant to lea ve government TRY OUR DOVE RASPBERRY McFLURRY The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST LATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM WOMAN T T E E E E N N A A G G E E M M O O D D E E L L S S O O A A R R I I N N G G H H I I G G H H SEEWOMANONPAGE12B PRIMARYSCHOOLBASKETBALL G G I I A A N N T T S S P P O O U U N N D D E E D D B B Y Y S S T T R R I I K K E E R R S S SEESPORTSSECTIONE By LAMECH JOHNSON firstname.lastname@example.org A COURT of Appeal hearing to receive submissions on whether or not Bishop Randy Fraser should receive bail pending the appeal of his conviction has been delayed by 10 days, due to an important document not being presented in court yesterday. The Pilgrim Baptist Temple leader will return to the countrys second highest court on Friday, December 16, at 10 am before appellate court president Justice Anita Allen and Justices Stanley John and Abdulai Conteh. Having already spent his first five nights of three years behind bars, he appeared before Court of Appeal Justices where his attorney, Jiaram Mangra presented an application for bail to the court. In yesterdays brief hearing, Mr Mangra told the court that while he was not in possession of the written arguments to submit to the court, By DANA SMITH email@example.com T HE owner of a cultural g em turned popular nightclub believes last weeks Bay Street fire, which destroyedh is property and others nearby, could have been an arson attack. D alton Mitchell, owner of t he 19th century former chapel at the western end of Bay Street, which for some y ears now has been known as Da Balcony club, described the fire as a serious tragedy. H e said: Hopefully, the police will find the person who has done it. I think it was arson due to the fact there was no particular reason the market could have caught on fire. The cause could be questionable because it could have been an accident, but either way I think it was an act of negligence. The building that houses D a Balcony was planned to b e a part of Downtown Nassau Partnerships (DNP redevelopment plan whicha ims to beautify the downt own area. Mr Mitchell said he and the DNP had reached an agree m ent, before the fire, concern By PAUL G TURNQUEST Chief Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org CLIFTON Member of Parliament Kendal Wright and Eight Mile Rock MP Verna Grant are to tender their res ignations from the Free National Movement, The Tri bune can reveal. According to numerous sources within the party and others close to the respective MPs, Mr Wright and Mrs Grant intend to make their announcement when the House of Assembly meets at 10am Wednesday. Having both expressed their disapproval in the recent boundary cuts where they saw their seats eliminated, these MPs decision to leave the governing party has reduced the governments majority in the House of Assembly to 21 with the Official Opposition B AHAMAS 4G NET W ORK GOES LIVE PRIMEMINISTER Hubert Ingraham takes part in a ceremony marking the opening of the new wireless service and flagship BTCstore at the Mall at Marathon. Photo: Felip Major /Tribune Staff S S e e e e p p a a g g e e 7 7 S S e e e e p p a a g g e e 7 7 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 7 7 NIGHTCLUB OWNER: AY ST FIRE WAS ARSON RANDY STAYS BEHIND B ARS FNMNOMORE: Clifton MPKendal Wright and Eight Mile Rock MP Verna Grant. i m lovin it
LOCAL NEWS PAGE 2, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2011 THE TRIBUNE A matter of the heart SIRArthur Foulkes made h is annual visit to Princess Margaret Hospital yesterday. The Governor Generals v isit was part of the traditiona l pre-Christmas activities at t he hospital. The hospital chairman, Veta Brown, said the theme of the celebrations this year was that Caring is a Mattero f the Heart. During Sir Arthurs visit, festive hymns were sung, before the Governor General himself delivered the Christmas greetings. H e toured a number of the w ards in the hospital, stopping to take time to talk to patients and staff, and even play withs ome of the younger patients. Chief hospital administrator Coralie Adderly said: We a re so blessed to enjoy another Yuletide season, and to welcome the Governor General for his annual visit. GOVERNOR GENERAL Sir Arthur Foulkes plays with a young patient at Princess Margaret Hospital, as part of his tour of the facility. Photos: Felip Major /Tribune Staff LADYJOANFOULKES joined Sir Arthur on his tour of the hospital.
B y DANA SMITH email@example.com DESPITE the charred mess which remains of the h istoric Pompey Museum fol lowing the last weeks Bay Street fire, most of the arti-f acts were saved, and one hist orian is confident the building will be restored. Dr Gail Saunders, who e stablished the Pompey Museum in 1992 and serves as deputy chairman on the A ntiquities, Monuments, and Museums Corporation board, said of the destruction: Lets not count it as a loss. Remember, the Pompey Museum was partially damaged by fire 10 years ago and i t was re-restored, Dr Saun ders said. We feel confident that it c an be, and will be, restored a gain. Dr Saunders said although she previously thought them useum had lost everything to the fire, staff who entered the remains of the b uilding were able to salvage most of the artifacts. If you had looked inside the building at 6 or 7am, you w ouldnt have believed anyt hing was saved. It was a c harred mess, Dr Saunders said. Among the items saved i nclude the original metal shackles used on slaves and a library of rare books on slav-e ry. D r Saunders spoke on the historical significance of the museum, as well as St Cuthb erts Chapel, which was also destroyed by the fire. I think these fires bring it h ome that we have to realise these buildings are very, very important, Dr Saunders said. The people of the Bahamas have to know their history and appreciate it. T he building which houses the Pompey Museum, named Vendue House, is the oldestb uilding in Nassau, dating b ack to 1769, according to Dr Saunders. Its where slave sales o ccurred and also sales of all sorts of goods, she said. People gathered there not o nly to sell things, but also to socialise, talk, and gossip. So that building in itself is valu able, its a heritage house. S t Cuthberts Church, w hich is next door to Vendue H ouse, is sometimes described as The Seamans Chapel, Dr Saunders e xplained. When the sponge fishermen came into Nassau, theyw ent out on voyages that w ere about six weeks long. They came and they worshiped there, Dr Saunders s aid. Following its use as a church, the building had beenu sed for several other purposes including a photography studio, a seamstress shop, and most recently, a bar andr estaurant named Da Bal cony. Dr Saunders stated these t wo buildings are historic and important not only to the Bahamian people, but touristsw ho visit Nassau. We are a tourist destina tion and we have to cater to them and give them interest i ng things to visit, she said. Heritage tourism is very important all over. Tourists are not only after sun, sand, and sea, they want to know about the history of each country they visit. The m useum is particularly relev ant there. It's a great historic s ite. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2011, PAGE 3 By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org FREEPORT Police took two men in for questioningon Sunday after a firearm was discovered at a shopping plaza in Caravel Beach. Asst Supt Loretta Mackey, press liaison officer, reported that a 19-year-old youth and 25-year-old man, both of Freeport, were detained around midnight at the Britannia Mini Mall on Polaris Drive. Police were called at around 11:45pm when a man was seen brandishing a hand gun in the area. During a search, a black Taurus 9mm pistol with five live rounds of ammunition were confiscated. The man and the teenager are helping officers with their investigation. By LAMECH JOHNSON email@example.com A MAN accused of being found with drugs, ammunition and a bullet-proof vest was denied bail in Magis trate's Court yesterday. Stanley Wallace, 36, of Sandy Lane appeared before Gun Court Magistrate Joy anne Pratt-Ferguson. He was charged with possession of marijuana withthe intent to supply; possession of 50 .9mm bullets with the intent to supply; and possession of body armour without the proper authori ty. The offences are alleged to have taken place on Wednesday, November 16. Wallace, whose alias is Stanley Brown, was not required to enter a plea to the charges. When the subject of bail was raised, the prosecution argued that according to new laws, the Magistrates Court has no discretion to grant bail because of the nature of the charges. It was also pointed out that the accused has a previous drug possession con viction. The matter was adjourned to March 8, 2012, to give the prosecution time to determine whether it wishes to proceed with a trial in Magistrates Court, or have the case forwarded to the Supreme Court by way of a Voluntary Bill of Indictment. Defence attorney Antho ny Newbold told the magis trate he had no objection to the date chosen, but asked that on that day, the prosecution be prepared to move forward. Magistrate Ferguson-Pratt agreed and informed the pros ecution that if it did not pre sent a Voluntary Bill of Indictment on March 8, a tri al would proceed. MAN DENIED BAIL OVER AMMUNITION CHAR GES TWO MEN QUIZZED OVER FIREARM FIND Museum destroyed in fire will retur FIREFIGHTERS outside the P ompey Museu m in he wake of the blaze on Bay St. THE Baha Mar resort development has announced the Baha Mar Challenge an effort to match, dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000, all donations made to the Salvation Army during the holiday season. Sarkis Izmirlian, chairman of Baha Mar Ltd, said the initiative aims to help boost donations to the Salvation Army so the charity can continue to help needy individuals and families. Donations may be made in cash or by cheque made payable to the Salvation Army at Red Kettles and in the lobbies of both the Wyndham Nassau Resort and the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort both Baha Mar properties. Donations may also be dropped off in person or by mail to the Salvation Army's Nassau office, at 31 Mackey Street, PO Box N-205, Nassau, the Bahamas. The company hopes it will need to match the entire $10,000 for this very worthy cause. B AHA MAR BACKS SALVATION ARMY
EDITOR, The Tribune. Back in the 1970s, it was discovered that President N ixon had an enemies list, and unfortunately a very new comer to politics here has a lready apparently started his own enemies list beginning at the top. When Mr Branville M cCartney said, indicated or whatever, that he was willing to run in the constituency of North Abaco merely to try to defeat Hubert Ingraham and was indeed also willing to lose and hope the PLP would win, is indeed the most revealing thing about his character. It is now very clear and now very obvious and its now very out in the open to see that unfortunately Mr McCartneys quest is to not be a part of the political process, not be a productive member of parliament, not be a statesmen but only intends to pro ceed with a personal vendetta against Hubert Ingraham, and w orse, just forget about all the people in the constituency of Bamboo Town. Shaft alsoB amboo Town in the process too? Although his quest was obvious in the past that hej ust wants to be Prime Minis ter, he has stated very clearly now that he is indeed not con cerned with those who are also counting on his coat tails to maybe catch a seat themselves. To even personally lose a possible seat as long as one man, Hubert Ingraham cannot serve the people of North Abaco is ludicrous. All citizens are now keenly aware that we too could be placed on Mr McCartneys enemies list. If he does not like something in any business we may work in, hes not coming after the business; hes coming after you/us. Y es indeed, weve listened, tried to understand his point of view, but fortunately fora ll of us he has now made his view extremely clear. He is in fact not quite mature enough, which indicates a definitivel ack of leadership and willing to sacrifice others. Somewhat childlike and sadly indeed too green for the job. Well wait and take a look in another five years. Thank you, Mr McCartney, for making your views absolutely clear it is indeed all about you. HOLY MOSES Scared to get on the list Nassau, November, 2011. EDITOR, The Tribune. OBVIOUSLY, some of the spokespeople for the Opposi tion think we are so gullible we will accept cute slogans as possible ways to fix the myriad of issues the country faces. They act as if they didn't have a hand in getting the country where it is in the first place. Their lack of public policy rec ommendations is discouraging. Ever notice how Opposition politicians run to any commotion they think will get their picture in the newspaper? Some of them seem to think it's their role to stir upset. Why not lead and encourage settle ment of disputes instead? Of course its easier to stir the emotional pot. Its a different matter to show leadership and encourage people to do the right thing even if it might not serve one's political advantage. No political party, when in Opposition, seems above it. They're just different versions of how to divide and conquer to gain the ultimate prize of political power. Surely on big national issues like the national debt, education and boundaries, just to name a few, the political parties must be able to close ranks and offer ideas for improvement? But instead we mock each other and call that leadership. Its fun to jest but, surely after 38 years of independence, many of the issues that have been around for decades should have been resolved by now. So it begs the question; Is politics insoluble? Yours in Liberty, RICK LOWE Nassau, December 2, 2011. EDITOR, The Tribune. THE credibility of the Leader of the Opposition and his party went into a rapid nosedive during their single unproductive and disastrous term in office. Their inability to perform and delivero n promises, even basic ones, as well as a frenzy of scandals, r esulted in their prompt firing by the Bahamian people. N ot only has the Opposition's credibility not improved. It has dwindled even more over the p ast five years. Incompetent in government, they have proved as bungling, indecisive and divided in Opposition. Not only are they unprepared to return to office. They were unprepared for the role and responsibilitieso f Opposition. In the face of the most severe economic crisis to hit the Bahamas since the Great D epression, the Opposition, which borrowed approximately $800 million in better times, with little to show for it, proposed reckless ideas whichw ould have worsened the impact o f the global financial meltdown o n the domestic economy. The O pposition has no credibility on the economy. H aving campaigned against a n Independent Boundaries Commission, and after failing to propose measures to create o ne, the Leader of the Opposition now says he supports such a c ommission. It is a classic case o f late-again. The Opposition l acks credibility on democratic r eform. Despite incurring a nearly quarter million dollar debt to Z NS, a public corporation, and after a court judgment to pay w hat they legally owe, the Opposition continues to rant and r ave about public expenditure. The Opposition has no credibili ty when it comes to the nation al budget and financial responsibility. In five years, the Opposition couldn't finish the plans for a new Straw Market, let alone build one. In the same period, the FNM built a new Market, was instrumental in causing the c onstruction of a new straw and craft market to be built at Cable B each, and will begin the cons truction of a new craft market downtown. The Opposition has n o credibility when it comes to k eeping promises to Bahamian a rtisans and craftspeople. T he Leader of the Opposition enjoys talking at length about his many plans for the Bahamas.B ut while he plans to keep planning and plans to keep talking, he does not plan to act. Plans a nd talk he has in abundance. What he does not have is a record of accomplishments. After Hurricane Irene, Mr Christie, as is so often the case, had much to say on how the country should respond to hurricanes. He is an expert of sorts if one believes that talk is action. Following the blow of three hurricanes, Jeanne, Frances and Wilma to their island, MrC hristie made this solemn vow to Grand Bahamians: The macroeconomic strategy, which will be formulated in close consultation with the Port Authority, will form the basis f or a form of Marshall Plan for G rand Bahama to restore the economy and society of the Island to the pre-Hurricane posi t ion. Of course no such plans e ver materialised, much less action. T he Opposition's plans often appear out of thin air. In his Farm Road constituency, Mr Christie failed to utilise a $100,000 grant designed to assist MPs in helping to improvet he communities within their constituencies. Despite the fact that most MPs had already planned and executed variousi nitiatives, the former Prime Minister said he was still planning. The Opposition is full of plans, especially after leavingo ffice and failing to implement t heir previous plans, promises and proposals. They talked a bout a plan for national health insurance. It never happened. T hey talked about plans for everything from a national stad ium to Baha Mar to a new LPIA. None of it ever happened o n their watch. N ow the same Opposition that miserably failed to fulfil their p romises is attempting to use s lick advertising to convince Bahamians of their new and i mproved plans which are really their old plans repackaged and recycled in time for a general election. If talk was the same as action, Perry Gladstone Christie would be the busiest man in the world. But it isnt. Which is why MrC hristies record is so weak. Even in good times he accomplished very little. In difficult o r bad times, he is a disaster. The Opposition doesnt simply have a credibility gap with the Bahamian people. They have a credibility gulf which cannot and will not be bridged as long as the same people who provedt o be a disaster from 2002 to 2007 are the ones charged withc arrying out plans they could never move from talk to action, from their minds to reality. B LS Nassau, D ecember 2, 2011. EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR P AGE 4, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 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 THIS MORNING dawns with an interesting political scene developing andd epending on which way the wheel turns, w e might be facing an election just after Christmas. Miffed because their electoral seats were v aporised by the Boundaries Commission, two of the FNMs MPs have resigned from the party. A lthough their resignations have been c onfirmed to T he Tribune b y reliable sources, the FNM have heard the rumours, but have no facts. FNM chairman Carl Bethel was still manning the post in the FNMs headquarters up to 5:30pm yesterd ay, but no letter of resignation had arrived f rom either Eight Mile Rock MP Verna Grant or Clifton MP Kendal Wright. Neither was it clear whether they had o nly resigned from the party or whether they had also resigned from parliament. If the latter, as one person put it, we shall bef aced with a constitutional conundrum. H owever, up until late yesterday, Speaker Alvin Smith had seen no resignation letters. W e understand that, whatever the deci sion, they will keep it close to their chests until Wednesday when parliament againm eets. It is not until then that the bugles will sound and candidates will know how soon they will have to move into their constituencies. I f the two cross the floor on Wednesday, do they go as Independents, or do they join the PLP or maybe even the DNA? T he FNM, which entered the House after the 2007 general election with 23 members to the PLPs 18, were left with 22 members on the floor when North Eleuthera MP A lvin Smith was elected from their number to become Speaker of the House. During the course of the next four years, t he PLP lost one member in Kenyatta Gibson, who crossed the floor to the FNM to bring their number back to the original2 3. Recently, Branville McCartney left the FNM to form the DNA and become that partys only MP. If the reports about Ms Grant and Mr Wright are true, it meanst hat the FNM will lose another two mem bers, reducing their number on the floor to 20. It is not known whether the last two p ossible defections will cross the floor as Independents or whether they will join a party. Should they join the PLP, that par t ys numbers will be boosted to 19. Whether they join a party or remain Inde pendent, the governing 20-member FNM will face a 20-member Opposition PLP (1721 This means that should there be full attendance on both sides of the House at every meeting, all eyes will turn to their bewigged Speaker on his dais above them to break a tie or to get a measure through parliament. H owever, should one or both defecting m embers resign from parliament a byeelection will have to be called within 60 days. This is most unlikely to happen. It is m ore likely that parliament will be dissolved. And so Bahamians will be facing either dissolution or a long recess of theH ouse. O f course bye-elections cannot be held in non-existent constituencies, which Clifton and Eight Mile Rock will soon be, if they are not already. It is probable that, if a byeelection were held, it would be held in the n ewly-named constituencies that would have a bsorbed the voters of Clifton and Eight Mile Rock. And should any FNM member attempt to run against any candidate alreadyn ominated by the party for these two new constituencies they are automatically expelled under the FNM partys rules. T his turn of events takes us back to Janu ary 10, 1967 when the PLP won its first election. In that election, the United Bahamian P arty, headed by Sir Roland Symonette the Bahamas first premier won 18 seats. The PLP also won 18 seats. A tie n o winner. Either the UBP or the PLP had to sacrifice one of their number from the floor to be House Speaker. Whichever side did it would be left with 17 mem b ers to the others 18. However, there were two floating members Alvin Braynen, representative of t he Current, and labour leader Randol Fawkes. For several days, they were the most courted men in the Bahamas as each UBP and PLP sought them out to join t heir party to break the tie. Sir Alvin was a UBP, but before the election there had been a quarrel and he walked out. TheU BP were most anxious to mend fences with Sir Alvin. But both Braynen and Fawkes wanted something. Randol Fawkesw anted to be the Labour czar and Alvin Braynen told us that his life-long dream was to become Speaker of the House. Here it was being handed to him on a sil-v er platter, and no other consideration was going to stop him snatching the prize. The PLP got both Alvin Braynen as S peaker, and Randol Fawkes broke the tie by one on the floor of the House, which enabled Sir Lynden to form a government.T he following year, the PLP held an election and won by a landslide. The only difference between then and now is that although there might be a tie on the House floor, there is already a Speaker in the chair to break the tie. This was not so in 1967. The next few months promise to be interesting. Christie and PLPhave zero credibility LETTERS l firstname.lastname@example.org Is an election nearer than expected? Br an shows true colours I I s s p p o o l l i i t t i i c c s s i i n n s s o o l l u u b b l l e e ? ?
By SANCHESKA BROWN T ribune Staff Reporter email@example.com T HE DEMOCRATIC N ational Alliance intends to introduce its full slate of 38 candidates before the newy ear, DNA leader Branville McCartney said yesterday. Refuting claims that the party is falling apart at the s eams, Mr McCartney said the DNA is stronger than ever and intends on hold a c onvention in the near future. We not falling apart at all. The DNA is growing everyd ay. Its getting stronger and stronger. We have been in existence for six months, became am ajor party and we made history in six months. We will be running 38 can d idates one person for every constituency, he said. We have an over-subscription for candidates. Peop le want to be apart of the DNA. As a matter of fact, we had to do some shuffling and m ake some changes because of the reduction of seats. We will come out and inform thep ublic as to who is going to be running in what area short ly. M r McCartneys comments came after Philip Thomas and Sammie Star Poitier, the D NA's former candidates for High Rock and South Beach r espectively, both had their nominations withdrawn. T he men claim a series of a rguments between thems elves and the party leader l ed to their ouster, but Mr McCartney said this was not the case. They were supposed to do quite a number of things theyd id not do. Whether we were over-subscribed or otherwise, if persons are not doing their w ork they will be removed. We have to take this very seriously. We have to make s ure we get the best persons for the constituencies; we only w ant the best people, he said. When we become the gove rnment, being a member of p arliament is going to be very c rucial. We have said before we believe in a recall system, so even if you are a DNA MP and you are not doing your job, I'll be the first one tor ecall you. We need to put the people and the constituencies first a nd if we want to move this country forward in any fash ion, we need to start ensuri ng that we do what is best not what is political, but what i s best for the country. Mr McCartney said the D NA intends to hold a town m eeting to discuss good gove rnance and explain to the p ublic why some nominations have been pulled. By KHRISNA VIRGIL AN OPPOSITIONMP has accused the government ofn ot investing enough time and e nergy in the fight against c rime and other social ills. At a press conference yesterday, PLP MP for Yamacraw and former Social Services minister MelanieG riffin said the FNM should b e doing more to protect the r ights of Bahamians. She said: This was the view of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations General Assembly. They encouraged the B ahamas, among its recommendations, to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Domestic Violence Act. Further, to continue to take effective measures to a ddress the serious social problem of rape and to reinf orce its legislation concerning d omestic violence against women. H er comments follow the d iscovery of the bodies of two murdered women in as many weeks. E choing her colleague, PLP S enator Hope Strachan said the FNMs lack of concern about social issues has contributed to the escalation of crime and violence in recent years. We now have to change o ur focus, from building and putting up buildings and monuments, and focus on building our people, building our families. We cant continue to ignore our people, she said. The country now laments murder 117 and 118, both female victims, whose bodies were found bloodied, lifeless, and abandoned. These women are more than numbers and statistics, she said. A ccording to Mrs Strachan, the PLPs Project SafeB ahamas will highly improve the likelihood of survival among women threatened by violence. The plan, she said, is to partner with churches andc ivic groups to provide safe h ouses for women at risk. Rape victims will see their attackers caught, tried and s entenced speedily under a P LP government, she said. Mrs Strachan said the PLP will also maintain a hard-linep olicy on gun possession and smuggling. We will strengthen border patrol to interdict the transshipment of illegal firearms in and through out country. More strongly, we are warning, even now, that thosef ound in possession of illegal firearms shall not have an option to be heard in a Magistrates Court, but their matters shall be heard in the Supreme Court where the penalty is far stiffer. Responding to the comments last night, Minister of State for Labour and Social Development Loretta ButlerTurner said: It is regrettable that any political party and itso fficers should seek to gain political points in the publica rena regarding the rate of crime or homicide in any sector of our society. Crime against all of our citizens, men, women or children is unacceptable. More-o ver, it is the governments r esponsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of all citizens and residents. S he said the recent enactm ent of a compendium of anti-crime amendments clear ly demonstrates the governm ents unwavering commitment to dealing expeditiously and forcefully with criminals such as murderers, rapists and paedophiles. Mrs Butler-Turner said: It is curious to note the absence of the Opposition Leader andh is colleagues, inclusive of Senator Hope Strachan and MP Melanie Griffin, at the official launch of the Volunteer Bahamas initiative, whose mandate is to address the myriad social challenges facing our country through a holistic transformative programme involving all Bahamians. Actions clearly speak louder than words. When called upon to act, the oppo-s ition is typically paralysed preferring cheap talk overa ction. Now they seek to exploit the pain and suffering of one sector of our society over another. Mrs Butler-Turner said women, men and children alld eserve to be protected by the l aw and law enforcement agencies. This is why successive I ngraham administrations h ave advanced laws, social assistance and programmes to enhance the quality of life ofa ll Bahamians while protecting the most vulnerable in our society, she said. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2011, PAGE 5 JOB OPENINGInterior Design DirectorW e are seeking an experienced Interior Designer who will oversee all residential projects, work along with architects and manage a team while working in conjunction with members to ensure satisfaction. The successful candidate will be responsible for and should possess the following:Examining material samples before presenting a detailed plan and sketch to a client. outlining the estimated cost of material to complete a job. clients. swatches and photographs to clients. clients needs. furniture design and spatial planning to butlers and resident managers. operate under a demanding schedule. drawings and implement revisions as Experience 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! By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter email@example.com FREEPORT A 21-yearold Freeport man was charged in the Freeport Mag istrates Court yesterday in connection with a shooting at East Sunrise Highway. Charmar Reginald Wood, also known as Jamal Woods, appeared in Court Three before Deputy Chief Magis trate Helen Jones on charges of causing grievous harm and causing damage. It is alleged that on December 3, the accused fired shots near Candies Cabana, caus ing damage to the rear passenger window of a Nissan Altima. A 26-year-old man was shot in the upper right arm. Wood pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was remand ed to Her Majestys Prison, Fox Hill until June 27, 2012, when his trial is set to begin. MAN CHAR GED OVER SHOO TING MPaccuses FNMof not doing enough to tackle crime CHARMARREGINALDWOOD BRAN:DNA NOT FALLING APART
B y CHESTER ROBARDS Tribune Senior Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org HARBOUR Island, playground of the rich and f amous, received a bit of a face-lift this past weekend through the efforts of theB ahamas National Coastal A wareness Committee, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and several of their affiliates. T he two-day trash hauling venture was much more than just a black garbage bag cam p aign. CGT Contractors and Developers sent in a convoy of pay loaders, dump trucks and cranes to help move the h eaviest of the debris from the streets of the island, while a force of almost 40 volunt eers dug in to the garbage with their hands. Charity Armbrister, direct or at the Ministry of Tourism for the central and southern Bahamas, insisted that cleanliness is of paramount impor t ance to Harbour Island and the islands of the Bahamas in general. This is a very critical area f or all of the islands, said Ms Armbrister. Obviously there are some i slands cleaner than others but from time to time our exit surveys and the visitors voice t ells us we have a problem. She said clean-up campaigns like the one held in Harbour Island serve to bring a wareness to local communities. And though Harbour island i s usually a litter free community, according to Peter Higgs, owner of HibiscusL andscaping, there is a need for more awareness, and more trash cans across the island. The clean-up campaign is really nice for the island right now after the hurricane blew through and really messed our island up, he said. Jermaine Johnson, chief councillor for the island, said local government plans to strictly enforce litter laws from now on. In 2005, Harbour Island was rated the best Caribbean island by Travel and Leisure Magazine, and Mr Johnson insisted the island can return to its former glory. Were getting it back to where it used to be, he said. All hands were on deck as volunteers from the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation, Dolphin E ncounters and even the Organisation of American States tackled huge piles of debris created by man and n ature. Clay Sweeting, PLP candi date for North Eleuthera, c ame over from Spanish wells to assist with the effort. He also donated shirts for the vol u nteers. He said: Harbour Island is one of the most beautifulp laces in not just the Bahamas, but the Caribbean. It's important to keep that legend alive and in order to do that, this island has to be pristine. A prize went to Harbour Island residents Ian and Cathy Ross for the best kept yard on the island. Ms Armbrister insisted that the Bahamians have to keep up their reputation through the up-keep of their islands. Visitors tell us when they see the islands are unclean, she said. They have a real problem with that and we should too. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 6, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2011 THE TRIBUNE WANTEDA Major Hotel has a vacancy for anASSISTANT ENGINEERResponsibilities includes: Operations email@example.com No later than Thursday, 8th December, 2011 Facelift for Harbour Island C LEAN-UP CREWS i n action on Harbour Island. WORKERS hauled trash, moved debris and freshened up the island.
h e was prepared to make sub mission with respect to bail. Fraser, 54, was convicted last Tuesday in Magistrates C ourt of having unlawful sex w ith a minor between July 2005 and February 2006. P rosecutors argued that the minister abused his position of trust by having sexual relations with a girl he had agreedt o counsel. H e was originally charged with the offence in the sum m er of 2006, but freed a year later. A retrial started in 2008. After several delays, Deputy Chief Magistrate Car olita Bethell handed down the g uilty verdict and sentenced Fraser to three years at Her M ajestys Prison. Mr Mangra informed the m agistrate at the ruling that h e intended to appeal the rul i ng and sentencing, and have the execution of the sentence at the prison stayed. When the bail application w as presented yesterday, p rosecutor Darnell Dorsette i mmediately objected to the a pplication on the basis that t he prosecution had not received notice of the application within four days of the hearing and that they were n ot in possession of the full t ranscripts from the previous t rial. S he, however, informed the court that she was prepared to proceed in which case Jus t ice John noted that her o bjection was not necessary. A s to not having the written arguments ready for court a nd Mr Mangras desire to continue without them, Justice John inquired: Why should we part from the normal practice of the court? Mr Mangra went on to explain that the documents were already written, but his office had not had the opportunity to have them forwarded to the court, which he said could be ready as early as this afternoon. Justice Conteh replied that in cases concerning bail anda ppeals where attorneys rep r esent clients coming before the appellate court: When y ou come, you come prepared, adding that you come with a fully loaded gun, if you will to convince the c ourt. After the matter was adjourned, Fraser was escorted downstairs and out of Claughton House into a waiti ng police car to be taken b ack to Her Majestys Prison while a number of bystanders on Charlotte Street watched him leave. Mr Mangra spoke to the press concerning F rasers appeal. He said that his client was not satisfied with the conviction and consequently, we have appealedt hat decision to the Court of A ppeal. While not going into specifics, Mr Mangra noted t hat they are appealing on the g rounds that the some of the evidence presented during the three-year trial had been prejudicial to his client and that t he facts presented did not support the ruling made my Deputy Chief Magistrate B ethell last Tuesday. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2011, PAGE 7 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 w ater, 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! T HE Ministry of Public Works and Transport is b uilding new sidewalks on Madeira Street and some nearby side streets in the Palmdale area. A work crew i s seen here preparing to install a sidewalk on Montgomery Street. Photo: Letisha Henderson /BIS (PLP D NA at one, and now two Independents. Under such a Parliamentary make-up, political observers have stressed that it would ben early impossible for a government to function as every vote would ultimately come down to the Speaker of the House, (who would be removed from the 21 MPs on the governing side) having to cast his vote in favour of a g overnment motion to see it pass t he Parliament. If Mr Wright or Mrs Grant were to resign their seats as MPs, it would force a by-election in t heir respective constituencies. A s it currently stands, it is unknown if Mr Wright, or Mrs Grant have entered into any agreement with either the PLP or the FNM or will remain for the duration of this sessions sit-t ing as Independent Members o f Parliament. S peaking with T he Tribune y esterday, FNM Chairman and MP for Sea Breeze Carl Bethel s aid that he has been at their p arty headquarters on Mackey S treet manning the phones for hours and has yet to receive any official documentation frome ither Mr Wright or Mrs Grant on their resignations. However, Mr Bethel said that it appeared as if the pair were resigning to the press first. If this is true, we wish them a fond farewell, and wish them all the best for the future, he said. This party will go on, unbent, and unbowed, with our heads held high to serve the Bahamian people to the best of our ability by the grace of God. Win orl ose. If they were to resign from Parliament, they would have to deliver their letters to the Speak-e r of the House of Assembly and t hat may be the option they would wish to do, he said. However, calls to the Speaker o f the House, Alvin Smith, confirmed that the pair have not in fact resigned their Parliamentary seats as no official notice was handed in to either the clerko r Mr Smith personally. Mr Bethel continued: We have been through issues like t his before and we have triumphed. The party is bigger than a ny one member. It is bigger than the ambitions and goals of any one or two persons. The party, as a social tool which embod-i es at least 50 per cent of the B ahamian people, will continue. W e do not feel, nor do we have any reason to believe that the actions of one or two individuals is going to impede the strengtho r the vigor of this governing party leading into an election. It will not happen. Mr Bethel said that the FNM h as always had, and will always have an open door policy with respect to its members. It has always been accommodating. It has always beeno pen to the legitimate aspirations of all of its members. If persons have developed differences with the party or the direc-t orate, we are sorry and respect t heir views. But will it cause the party to be weak on the ground (in 2012 The Bahamian people can rightfully expect that the same attention to duty that they have become accustomed to out of the FNM will continue, despitet he actions of two persons, he said. Prime Minister Hubert Ingrah am last night shrugged off reports that Mr Wright had left t he party. Stating that Mr Wright was a good and longstanding party member, Mr Ingraham said he could not comment ont he matter as he had not r eceived written notice of the d ecision. ing the plans for his building. Da Balcony was definitely i n talks with the Bay Street redevelopment people, Mr Mitchell said. We had some very big plans in terms of adjusting the whole conceptof the building. Mr Mitchell said discussions concerning the plans seemed to be very positive and he was per cent in support. W hat will happen now that the fire has destroyed the building is uncertain, but Mr Mitchell believes the redevelopment should go ahead as planned. Right now, theres a lot of after-the-game adjustments, Mr Mitchell said. People aret alking, everyone has some s peculation of what happened. Fact is, there was a negotiation in progress and that shouldnt be changed. Named St Cuthberts Anglican Church when built in 1 893, it came to be known as the Seamans Chapel because o f the sponge fishermen who worshipped there. Later, it was used as a Sund ay School classroom by nearb y Christ Church Cathedral. Even through decades of use as a commercial space, the arched windows and pitched roof remained them ark of a former church. N ow, no one can say what it will look like in the future. Now, we should have a m ore beautified building. Its a new opportunity and something we are looking forward to, unless someone notifies us different. There shouldnt be any reason why that train of thought should change, Mr M itchell said. V ernice Walkine, co-chair of the DNP, said it is too early to say how negotiations will progress, but she also hopes to continue with the redevelopment. She said: We have our plans and we want to move forward, but we have no idea right now how the plans will be affected. Its still too early to make a definitive statement. 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 f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e NIGHTCLUB OWNER: FIRE WAS ARSON RANDY STAYS BEHIND BARS NEW SIDEWALKS BUILT TWOMPS QUIT FNM PARTY
by JOHN HEDDEN SO FAR in this series, we have briefly examined vari-o us aspects of agriculture, including its history, technology, and infrastructure, its viability, the existing government policy, and the formidible obstacles farmers face. To date, nothing thrown at t he problem has stimulated anything be it politicians, ministers, ministry staff, or the few brave farming souls who seem to end up eating dirt. So what is the way forward f or agriculture and farming in the Bahamas? We have no soil. We have no native mineral fertilisers. We have a raw limestone rooting medium. We have f resh water in limited supply. We have a good winter climate. As any fruit grower will tell you, we have hurricanes. We have loads of bugs and diseases. We have a consumingp ublic with cultured, beautiful nails, green with cash and, allergic to the very idea of brown soiled hands. That, pretty much, covers the phys-i cal environment. O h, I forgot to mention the s unshine, plenty of it; we do, after all, cultivate tourists, and quite a crop. Though, like our produce, I can't vouch for the quality As for infrastructure and g overnment policy, we have a very harsh climate with no favourable conditions to encourage any entrepreneurship, unless you are affiliated with the appropriate powerful entities. Marketing is hampered by our geography, and the native tastes tend toward name brands and imported foodstuffs. The costs of food pro-d uction are very high, and genuine land tenure is pretty much unavailable to the normal farmer. All of this tells me that sust ainable agriculture and selfs ufficiency are also pretty m uch a figment of the politician's imagination. Yet we hear noises to the contrary all the time. Agricultural production accounts for less than 1 per cent of thec ountry's economic output, a nd this tells me that something is very wrong. Pretty forlorn isn't it? In order for any semblance of successful farming to take root in the country, the gov-e rnment must first create a f avourable economic and p olitical climate for the agric ultural entrepreneur, with t he understanding that there a re no such things as sustaina bility and self-sufficiency in the local farming sector. W ith this in mind, is the g overnment going to put in p lace the incentives and the p olicies that will genuinely encourage investment and application of modern techniques in agriculture? What is needed? F irst of all, we need a good a nd sound policy that plants the farmers firmly and legally on the land for at least three generations. C onditions can and should b e built into any contract, and the option for a grant or purc hase must be included at the end of the contract period. R emember the Home steading Act introduced by the US government? Remem ber the building ordinance of t he Redlands area of Flori da? One dwelling for every 15 acres of farmland. We also need a good solid p olicy to encourage the devel o pment of the small business model, which would neces sarily include the small farmer. We have yet to realise that t he small business creates a method of employment and r eward that no mega-develo pment can provide. And the cost of investment per job created does not range into the millions of dollars. W e have to leave our plantation mentality of employment behind and now b ecome the planters. The country must also e quip the sector with an effi cient and practical group of a gricultural staff who are capable of assisting farmers w ith all aspects of production and marketing. In other words, the Min istry of Agriculture must be p loughed in, re-seeded, and replanted from the staff up e ven to the minister responsib le for the sector. The government must also be prepared to make ani nvestment in the infrastruct ure of farming, including: communications, access to farm areas, utilities education,a nd access to financial tools. Extension services must also be instituted, and musti nclude knowledgeable and practical staff, fruit and vegetable trials and demonstration plots, reforms to the pri m ary and secondary school systems, and of course, a wellstructured programme affiliated with the College of the Bahamas. Concessions must be offered to farmers on importa nd tax obstacles. These must genuinely encourage investment and growth in the sector. Again, conditions must be put in place that disavow favouritism and ensure transparency in the award policy. Strict monitoring must be the rule of the day. Other mea sures must include: duty free fuel and energy that will help accelerate the move towards mechanised and irrigated agricultural production by lowered costs. A spin-off of equipment use will be the lower cost of labour intensive grow-out, so assisting in reducing the farm gate price. All these measures are financially costly a minimum of $5000 per acre for start-up and so the government needs to create an environ ment where private sector investments and partnerships are encouraged. This again requires the removal of the spectre of political interference from the programme. The really interesting thing about this kind of scenario comes from the opportunities for free trade incentives for developing countries under the World Trade Organisa tion and the FAO of the United Nations. International trade conces sions can be made, and financial support is available for the design and implementation of green farming meth ods. This kind of support can, and should be, actively sought by our keyed-in public service on behalf of the Bahamian farmer. A ctive marketing strategies must be developed; as must s torage, transport and product standards, including pesticide u se, to ensure quality and consumer safety. Seminars between producers, the middlemen, and the consumer must be brought into play to develop a good dialogue. For some unknown reason, the public service is the least public oriented of our institutions, and much prefers to operate hidden away in cavernous offices where John Doe can only hear his own echo. As I have previously said, the Bahamian government in general, and the Prime Minister specifically, must take the bull by the horns over this policy issue and move from the subjective policies which exist today, well supported by and with overt political favouritism (at least that bit is transparent). This move towards an objective policy cast in stone will be open, accessible, and a source of motivation to the small agricultural entrepreneur. If the administration is serious, then it must first remove itself, and successive adminis trations, from the basic framework of farm production by putting a genuine and effective policy in place that cannot be interfered with by the politics of the day. There now exist a few spe cial pockets of more advanced agricultural development, including greenhouse pro duction at Lucayan Tropical in Nassau and field production by the North Andros farmers around San Andros. However, the vast majority of farms in the country still rely on the most basic prac tices which are essentially slash and burn. As a result, production is inefficient and y ields are minimal. How do the farmers them s elves develop a successful farming venture? F irstly, the farmer has to be realistic about the size of holding desired, thus seekinga lease for a land area he is capable of working; not dreaming about the big time, and money like dirt. Secondly, the farmer must realise the reality and effort needed to operate a business efficiently. Living out of a cheque book, or the money in the pocket, cannot build a successful venture. Thirdly, the farmer must ensure all the necessary tools are available, along with a sound and well structured business plan Finance is essential and we must realise that for the startup of a well structured field operation, a minimum of $5,000 per acre is essential. A good, solid, well-rounded education in farming prac tices, maintenance, and financial management is also required. Minister, by all means tell us again that: Farmers must become more competitive; but this time provide us with the right tools. An airy-fairy, wishy-washy, half-hearted agricultural plan is not the answer. Words do not germinate into any useful harvest, but actions and policies might just sow the seeds of a greener Bahamas. You hail from the most industrious and independent island of the archipelago. Make your fellow islanders proud of their native son. This is the second to last article of the series, but the final article will present an alternative view of farming and its history in the Bahamas The ironies of farming. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 8, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2011 THE TRIBUNE A Major Hotel has a vacancy for aHousekeeping ManagerResponsibilities includes: of up to 600 guest accommodations, p ublic and employee areas housekeeping and laundry staff plaints concerning laundry and house k eeping services The ideal candidate must possess the managerial level in an established h otel equivalent chemicals I nterested candidates should send resumes to: email@example.com No later than Friday, 16th December, 2011 Looking to farmings future JOHN HEDDEN holds degrees in botany from UWI Mona Campus and University of Reading UK and grad uated from Government High School, Nassau, Bahamas. He has worked as a horticulturalist for the USAID project BARTAD Andros and the Ministry of Agriculture. He is now trying to establish a modern demonstration fruit and vegetable farm. He lives on Abaco and has worked with farmers there for the past 25 years. G REENHOUSES a t Lucayan Tropical in Nassau, which is leading the way in the Bahamas in more a dvanced agricultural development. PRIME MINISTER Hubert Ingraham must take the bull by the horns o ver the issue of agriculture to move from the policies which exist today, writes John Hedden.
LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2011, PAGE 11 ON THE COUNT OF 1,2,3... investment phased over two years, is expected to cover the entire Bahamas by mid-2012. Geoff Houston, BTC's c hief executive, said: For us, i ts all about trying to build services that are relevant and services that our customers really want and right now its all about wireless broadband, right now its all about the lat-e st tablet. Thats what customers really want. Thats the future. Now The Bahamas can say, hey were there, were part of it. T he company has earmarked up to $10m for new stores, Mr Houston said, andp lans to roll out up to three stores per month over an 18month timeline. G rand Bahamians will receive the new wireless service next week. The network will be expanded to cover Abaco, Eleuthera, and Exuma early next year. In August, BTC eliminate d all connection charges for c ell phone calls made within the Bahamas, doing away with long distance connection charges between islands and creating a single domestic rates tructure. A t last nights launch, Mr I ngraham said BTCs continued progress was evidence of the bold decision making of his government to privatise the company. My government is motivated by one thing, to bring toc onsumers of The Bahamas t he best of what is available in t elecommunications globally, to ensure those services are r eliable and accessible at affordable prices throughout The Bahamas, he said. f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e GUESTS at the opening, including a Miss World contender, check for 4Greception after the switch-on. Photos: Felip Major /Tribune Staff MUSICIANS entertain guests at the store opening. GETTING R EADY for the 4G s witch-on. THEUNVEILING of the store at Marathon. PRIMEMINISTER Hubert Ingraham is welcomed at the new store. AGUITARIST in action at the event. PRIMEMINISTER Hubert Ingraham addresses the audience and the media at the opening of the new store.