N ASSA U AND BAHAMA ISLANDS LEADING NEWSPAPER Mega resort threat closer Volume: 108 No.41WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 WEATHER CLOUDS ANDSUN HIGH 82F LOW 71F By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org L EGISLATION to bring three Las Vegas-style casino mega resorts to South Florida and in direct competition with Bahamian hotels has been passed by a US Senate committee. Florida lawmakers began their examination of the Bills yesterday after a 7-3 vote in the Senate Regulated Indus tries Committee on Monday. Last year, Kerzner International Bahamas' managing director George Markantonis expressed concern about the proposal. He said the establishment of high-end resorts in the immediate area and on US soil would be a problem not just for Atlantis and Baha Mar, but the entire tourism industry of the Bahamas. Since then, the Bills have been substantially reworked according to The Sun Sentinel newspaper and now require each county to put the option of a destination casino beforev oters. F acilities in Miami-Dade and Broward are allowed slotmachine "racinos," but can'th ave Blackjack and craps tables. If approved, the Bills would allow smaller opera tions to open full-scale casinos as well. According to reports, Malaysian-based Genting Group has already purchased waterfront property for a proposed $3.8 billion casino resort in Miami, designs for which have already been released. In New York, governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced plans to build the worlds largest convention centre and hotel complex at New York City's Aqueduct racetrack. The $4 billion venture would also be funded by the Flor ida casinos Bill appr o v ed by USsenate TRY OUR DOVE RASPBERRY McFLURRY The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST LATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM FEATURES L L A A U U G G H H I I N N G G W W I I T T H H T T A A P P SEEARTSSECTION C BASKETBALL R R I I N N G G S S F F O O R R T T H H E E C C H H A A M M P P I I O O N N S S SEESPORTSSECTIONE By DANA SMITH email@example.com FISHERMEN were left stunned after hundreds of fish were washed up dead or dying on to the shores of Montagu beach, yesterday. Octopus, parrot fish, grey snappers, and barracuda were among the species found dead by fish vendors sometime after 10am. Seagulls had gathered around the harbour, eating the fish that appeared disorientated as they swam along the surface of the water before making their way to the shore. Michael Brennan, director of marine resources, visited the site and reported a considerable amount of dead marine life. He called the sitBy DANA SMITH firstname.lastname@example.org A NUMBER of prominent people gathered at RM Bailey Senior High School for the Bridging The Gap sympo sium, an event organised by the school in honour of Majority Rule Day. Event organiser and RM Bailey guidance counsellor, Rev Christopher Roberts, said the event came about because he has always been concerned, working in the system, about the apparent lack of appreciation among our students for what it means to be Bahamian. He said Bridging The Gap By CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com THE PLP labelled the c laim that it collaborated with t he FNM in keeping the details of the Atlantis sale from the public a nonsensea ssertion. Denying reports that the PLP has remained silent ont he sale of Atlantis, chairman B rave Davis said the party made numerous attempts to see the details of the agreement, which transferred ownership of the Atlantis resort from Kerzner International to hedge fund Brookfield Asset Management. If they were collaborating HUNDREDS OF DEAD FISH W ASH ASHORE S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 2 2 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 8 8 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 8 8 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 7 7 B y KHRISNA VIRGIL firstname.lastname@example.org DO you recognise this m an? If so, you could help police catch a brazen robber w ho burst into a West Bay Street gas station armed with a gun. ROBBER CAUGHT ON CAMERA BRIDGING GAP T O THE Y OUNG PLP DENIES P A CT CLAIM S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 5 5 im lovin it
G enting Group, who will operate the video slot machine centre at the race t rack. T he Florida Bills face con siderable opposition, includ ing from tourism giant Dis n ey, as well as the Florida Chamber of Commerce. According to Associated Press, a new university poll indicated that Florida voters approve of bringing Las Vegas-style casinos to the s tate by a small margin and nearly three-fourths say gam bling is not morally wrong. T he random telephone sur vey by Quinnipiac Universi ty polled 1,412 register voters last week. Yesterday, Robert Sands, senior vice president at BahaM ar, said the Bill still has a long way to go. H e said: The Senate Regulated Industries Committee took up the Destination Resorts Bill yesterday after noon. The committee passed the bill with a 7 to 3 vote. The bill still has to pass through the Budget Committee and the Rules. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 2, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012 THE TRIBUNE f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e MEGA RESORT THREA T CLOSER Photos from Resorts World Miami
By SANCHESKA BROWN Tribune Staff Reporter s email@example.com B AMBOO Town MP B ranville McCartney appointe d himself leader of the DNA d espite suggestions that he was elected internally, former p arty member Whitney Bast ian has claimed. In an interview with The T ribune Mr Bastian said he cannot accept the official sto r y of how Mr McCartney became leader of the party because it was he, Mr Bastian, who had made up that story in the first place. H e said: I advised them to tell to people the elections were over, when the truth ist here were no elections. He appointed himself leader. When we had a meeting w ith potential members, we told them there was an elec tion and the leader post was t aken, but that was not true, h e said. dare him to say other wise. He knows he appointe d himself. If he says he didnt, let him produce the min utes of this so-called meeting w here he was elected. Where was it? When was it? Who was there? He couldnt tell you b ecause there was no elec tion. Mr Bastian said he origin ally planned not to say any thing, but because Mr McCartney refuses toa cknowledge that the former South Andros MP helped start the party, he feels com-p elled to speak out. I did not want people to think just because I did not get the nomination I was bit t er and was making up things about Mr McCartney. I was just going to let him get beat up from the PLP and the FNM, but he started thiss o Ill finish it. He is still a novice in poli tics and he still has a lot to learn. He seems to forget I went to the Parliamentary Commissioner to negotiate on behalf of the DNA to use the l ighthouse as the symbol for DNA. I didnt do that as a p otential candidate, I did that as a partner. He seems to forget I encouraged him to leave the FNM. I told him if he didnt t he Prime Minister would c hap him at the knee and kill h im politically. Mr Bastian said he was going to form a party on hiso wn, but Mr McCartney asked him to wait. We both decided that he w ould leave the FNM when t he BTC issue came up. When I went to Panama, he called me and told me he c ouldnt wait until then. I told him I would support him in whatever he decided. Aftert hat we began working on the D NA and having long meetings. He constantly asked my advice and I have emails tot he effect. Did he do that with every potential candidate? No, hed idnt, Mr Bastian replied. On Monday, Mr McCartney denied he started the DNA with Mr Bastian. In f act, he said, if Mr Bastian really did help form the DNA, he would have never been denied a nomination to r un on the DNA ticket in South Andros. I n response, Mr Bastian said he was denied because some members of the party were afraid Mr McCartney would not win his seat and if M r Bastian won, he would b ecome leader of the party. M r Bastian said he still considers Mr McCartney to be a brother, but said he could leth is involvement in the DNA be misrepresented. M r Bastian is now running i n the South Andros cons tituency as an independent candidate. Mr McCartney could not b e reached for comment last night. By LAMECH JOHNSON firstname.lastname@example.org AFTER pleading guilty to firearm and ammunition pos session, a Farm Road man begged the Magistrates Court for leniency, saying he did not intend to cause harm with the weapon. Before his sentencing yesterday morning in Court One,now located at the new Nas sau Street Court Complex, 24year-old Keno Williams was given an opportunity by Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez to explain his actions. Speaking of the .9mm Beretta pistol and three bullets, the Anderson Street resident said: I een had that on me to harm no one. He did not say why he had the gun, instead asking, Could you please be lenienton me? The chief magistrate replied: Unfortunately for you, the law has changed. Theres a mandatory fouryear sentence for possession of a firearm, and that is the minimum Im allowed to give. I could give more. He then sentenced Williams to serve four years at Her Majestys Prison for each possession offence. Both are to run concur rently, so thats four years, he explained. Williams responded, Four years sir? Chief Magistrate Gomez nodded and said, Thats the minimum. Your sentence is effective from the 5th of January. Williams was escorted from the courtroom in handcuffs and placed in a holding cell at the new complex before being transported to HM Prison. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012, PAGE 3 B y SANCHESKA BROWN T ribune Staff Reporter email@example.com UNION representatives for customs and immigration offi-cer did not show up for a scheduled meeting withL abour Minister Dion Foulkes yesterday. Sloane Smith, vice-president of the Bahamas Customs, Immigration and Allied Workers Union, said meeting w ould not have served any p urpose and might have even been counterproductive. It would have defeated the u ltimate goal, which is to r esolve all the issues. Nothing would have come from it. Quite frankly, the persons he requested to attend the meeting, the union controllera nd the immigration director, could not help us. In fact, the union met with them in October, November and December of last year and they told us they could not address all our issues andt he ones they could, they could only do it in part, he s aid. They don't have answers f or us, we only want to meet with people who can make decisions as it relates to the shift system and the health and safety of our workers. If the government was serious about fixing these issues, they do not have to meet with us to do so. It is their responsibility to correctly and appropriately address all the issues laid outi n the trade dispute. Mr Smith said the public w ould have to wait and see w hat the unions next move w ill be. Last month, Trade Union Congress (TUC Obie Ferguson confirmed that Mr Foulkes had scheduled am eeting to discuss contract negotiations for January 10, but he said the minister had acted arbitrarily, as the 16-day statutory period to resolve a dispute had already passed. A strike vote was passed by u nion members on December 2, 2011. I n an earlier interview, M inister of Foreign Affairs B rent Symonette said union officials seem to be unwilling to negotiate. Mr Symonette, who has ministerial responsibility forb oth departments, explained that during the last conciliatory meeting, the union gave the impression it was only interested in obtaining a strike certificate. The role of labour is reco nciliation. I trust in the new year, union officials will meet a gain with the department in a n attempt to discuss issues, h e said. Among the employees concerns are: that staff members are not getting hazard pay; that staff are not beingc onfirmed after years of probation without any credible reason; and that employees are repeatedly being disciplined for lateness although contracts state this should not occur more than four times am onth. By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org FREEPORT A 41-yearold man has been detained for questioning in connection with a robbery at Port Lucaya Marketplace. ASP Loretta Mackey said a man entered the offices of a tour company around 3.30pmon Monday and started screaming demands at the female employees. He then reached across the counter and grabbed some cash. When one of the employ ees attempted to stop him, the man punched her in the face, ASP Mackey said. Another employee ran for help, and the man restrained until the police arrived. Ms Mackey said officers recovered the cash, and a Ford Escape which was reportedly stolen earlier the same day from outside another business. She said the man is cur rently detained at the Diah Ward at the Rand Memorial Hospital. Police investigations continue. Union representatives skip meeting with Labour Minister 41-YEAR-OLD HELD OVER ROBBERY MAN C ALLS FOR LENIENCY, SAYING HE DID N OT INTEND TO HARM ANYONE FIVE men were taken into c ustody after they were a llegedly found with drugs a nd bullet proof vests. F ive men, ages 53, 49, 38, 36, and 32 were taken into c ustody after the Central Intelligence Bureau, with aw arrant, searched the Big B oys Cafe, Robinson Road o n Monday shortly before 5 pm. Following the search, police say they found two bullet proof vests and a substance thought to be marijuana. W hile at the Cafe, police also saw a 52-year-old man of Hope Gardens, Nassau Vil-l age acting suspiciously. When officers searched the w hite Toyota Windom that h e was driving, they discove red a quantity of marijuana. Police are actively investi gating the matters. FIVE ARRESTED OVER DRUGS BASTIAN BLASTS BRAN IN DNA ROW When we had a meeting with potential m embers, we told them there was an election and the leader post was taken, b ut that was not true. W W h h i i t t n n e e y y B B a a s s t t i i a a n n DNA LEADER Branville McCartney.
EDITOR, The Tribune. J ust when you think the economy in Grand Bahama couldnt get any worse, it has. Like many Grand Bahamians, I was very disappointed to hear the heartrending news that Hutchison Whampoa had t erminated 70 of its employe es at the Freeport Harbour Company, the Grand Bahama Airport Company and theF reeport Container Port in t he last week of December. T hats another 70 Grand B ahamians who have been added to the already crowded u nemployment line. The unemployment rate in Grand Bahama has to be ine xcess of 20 per cent. The question that everybody might be asking is this: Where will these terminated persons find work in Grand Bahama? Many of these persons were the breadwinners in theirh ouseholds. Doubtless, several of them might opt to leave Grand Bahama for New Providence in search of work. This recession is causing many families in the nation's s econd city to split up. T hese Grand Bahamians are left with few alternatives. Its either that or poverty andd estitution. Further, these terminations will add more burden on the g overnment. Thousands of struggling Bahamians are already living off variousf orms of government welfare. I n the December 30 edition of The Nassau Guardian, Julian Russell, the Progres s ive Liberal Party (PLP d idate for the Central Grand Bahama Constituency, stated t hat many companies in Grand Bahama have closed their doors under the Free National Movement (FNMg overnment in the last few years. According to Russell, these companies include: Fenestra tion Glass Company, the Home Centre, Freeport Concrete, the Yamaha Dealers hip, the Bowling Alley, Stone Crab Restaurant, three restaurants operated by RickH ayward, the Native Hut Restaurant, Papa Johns Piz za, a McDonalds franchise,a nd countless other stores. I t is interesting to note that none of the PLP candidates (Dr Michael Darville, JulianR ussell and Gregory Moss) said anything about the clo sure of the Royal Oasis Resort and Casino in September of 2004 under the Christie administration. Approximately 1300 Grand Bahamians lost their jobs. This island continues to reela s a result of the closure of that resort. In fact, I personally know a few families who were employed at that resort. T hese former employees of Royal Oasis have yet to recover financially. R ussell further stated that a PLP government intends to aggressively implement mea-s ures which will put this islands future back on a path to success. If the PLP wins the 2012 General Elections, it would b e very interesting to see how they will restore Grand B ahamas ailing economy in a global financial crisis, the worst since the Great Depres-s ion of the 1930s. What measures, Mr Russ ell? Perhaps the PLP plans t o pull a rabbit out of its hat. A s I read the article about the PLPs response to the layoffs on the front page of TheN assau Guardian, I began to wonder if Russell was blamingt he Ingraham administration f or the terminations at Hutchison Whampoa. He did accuse the FNM government of having a lack-a daisical attitude towards the nations second largest eco nomic sector. I agree that the FNM gove rnment should have been more aggressive in Grand Bahama. T hat being said, with so many American and foreign investors apprehensive about i nvesting their hard-earned dollars in the United States, Europe and Asia, it is very difficult to envisage many of t hem investing in The Bahamas at this juncture. I say this because Russell w as reported as saying in The Nassau Guardian that we must urgently take the initia tive in crafting a successful tourism formula and attract ing more investments to the island (Grand Bahama I dont believe that the F NM is disputing this. All are agreed that Grand Bahama desperately needs foreign capital investments in order to rebound to financial health. Russell is not the first politician to say this, however. In fact, I think the Minister of State for Finance Zhivargo Laing has said the same thing on numerous occasions. With respect to Russells statement about crafting a successful tourism formula. Why didnt the PLP craft one while in office between 2002 and 2007? It seems as if everyone has ideas on how to fix the economy in Grand Bahama while in the opposition, but when in government, they are all of a sudden bereft of those grandiose ideas. According to the Decem ber 29 edition of The Freeport News, the reason why Hutchison Whampoa decided to lay off the 70 workers is because its biggest client, the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC has cut some of its stops here. The terminations had noth ing to do with the Ingraham administration. I have been to the Freeport Container Port just recently and I can tell you that business is very slow there. In addition to declining business at the Container Port, the Grand Lucayan Resort, which is Grand Bahamas largest resort, con-t inues to struggle financially. About three months ago, 37 workers who were members of the Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU abruptly terminated at that r esort for allegedly engaging i n a protest in the front of tourism stakeholders from the United States. T he Grand Lucayan Resort i s also owned by Hutchison W hampoa. In light of the d ecision by MSC to cut stops at the Container Port, it is v ery difficult to see what the Ingraham administration could have done to makeM SC executives change their minds. These people are really only concerned about their bottom line. All the same, the terminations couldnt have come at a more inopportune time, espe c ially for the FNM government. Even Zhivargo Laing has admitted to The Nassau Guardian that Grand Bahamas economy is still v ery challenged. C learly, this unfortunate incident has troubled the FNM Parliamentarians on thei sland. Many of their constituents are struggling to make ends meet. W hile I appreciate the fact that the PLP, as the Official Opposition, has a duty tok eep the governments feet t o the fire, so to speak; I believe, though, that the party was wrong to use the ter m inations to gain political m ileage. Fingerpointing wont put t hose 70-plus workers back on the job or put bread on their tables. Sometimes I won der if the PLP is elated that G rand Bahama and the rest of the country is doing bad financially so that they can get back into power. These politicians need to stop rowing and try to fix the economy. M oreover, at some point the Opposition will have to admit to the Bahamian people thatt he global recession is adversely affecting our economy. Blaming the Ingraham a dministration for our econ omic woes is wrong. Rather than putting the Ingraham administration in their politi-c al crosshairs, members of the opposition should lobby the Grand Bahama Port Author ity (GBPA Whampoa instead to lower their exorbitant fees at the airport and the harbour. Travelling to Grand Bahama is just too costly for many lowand middleincome American families. If the two companies are unwilling to lower their exorbitant fees, then the best solution for either an FNM or PLP government would be to build an airport and a harbour in either West End or East End, Grand Bahama. This could help the ailing tourism sector. But to use the plight of the 70 displaced workers for political mileage is not the thing to do. As Zhivargo Laing said in the December 31 edition of The Freeport News regarding the three PLP candidates who took the FNM government to task over the terminations, at some point one must decide if it is more important to be human than political. I could nt have said it better. KEVIN EVANS Freeport, Grand Bahama January 2, 2012. EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR P AGE 4, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012 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 RUSSIA expressed regret and concern Tuesday about Iran's launch of uranium enrichment up to 20 per cent at an underground facility, but urged all parties i nvolved in the nuclear standoff with Tehran to avoid hasty moves. T he Russian Foreign Ministrys statem ent mixed cautious criticism of Iran, an important trading partner, with a call for m ore talks a fine line Moscow has walked in the past. T he Foreign Ministry said in a statem ent that the launch of the work at the f acility near Irans holy city of Qom demonstrated that Tehran was continuing to ignore international concerns about i ts nuclear programme. It added, however, that Iran had notified the International Atomic Energy Agency in due time of itsp lans for the bunker. We hope that Tehran will listen to our opinion about the need for a further close cooperation with the agency and a quick s tart of serious six-way talks on the Iranian n uclear programme without any preconditions, it said. T he IAEA confirmed Monday that Iran has begun enriching uranium up to 20 per cent at an underground bunker at the For do site near Qom. Even though Tehran a nnounced the move months ago, it increased international fears that Iran is determined to move closer to the ability to make nuclear warheads despite its assur ances that its programme is aimed exclusively at producing reactor fuel. U S Secretary of State Hillary Rodham C linton said Tuesday that Tehran is break ing its international obligations and demonstrating a blatant disregard for itsr esponsibilities, adding that enrichment at t he Fordo site was especially troubling because Iran previously sought to hide the facility from UN monitors. She said there is no plausible justification to enrich to 20 per cent and that the step brings Iran closer to nuclear weapons c apacity. The Russian Foreign Ministry, mean while, said Moscow was urging all parties involved in the Iranian nuclear standoff to a void ill-considered and abrupt moves, which could undermine prospects for talks with Iran. We confirm that all problems linked with the Iranian nuclear programme mustbe solved exclusively through talks and dialogue based on mutual respect, gradual m ovement and reciprocity, it said, adding that Russia is ready to help the negotiations. Russia had treaded a similar path over recent years, alternating criticism of Irans intransigence with praise for some of its moves and readiness to continue the dialogue. Iran has insisted that its uranium e nrichment programme is aimed at civilian power generation and research, but Weste rn nations suspect it of serving as a cove r for a nuclear weapons bid. Moscow backed some of the previous U N sanctions against Iran, but in recent months has firmly rejected imposing anyn ew sanctions and called for dialogue. R ussia built Irans first nuclear power p lant in the southern port of Bushehr, which began producing electricity in September. Russias nuclear chief said last N ovember that Iran would like more Russian-built reactors. Britains Middle East minister Alistair B urt on Tuesday called on nations opposed to Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons to increase pressure against Tehran. A few weeks ago the British govern m ent imposed tough new financial restrictions against Iran. These new sanctions m ake it illegal for any financial institution in the UK to have any dealings with any institution in Iran, including the Cen tral Bank of Iran, Burt said, in a speech t o the Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. They are the toughest of their kind. And we will build on them, getting others to follow suit. We are working with the EU on sanctions against Iranian oil, hes aid. I talys foreign minister on Tuesday said his country would support a gradually imposed embargo on Iranian oil. G uilio Terzi di SantAgata met with his F rench counterpart, Alain Juppe, in Paris. Afterward, Terzi said his government favours an embargo imposed gradually, over several months. President Barack Obama approved new sanctions against Iran a week ago, target i ng the central bank and its ability to sell petroleum abroad. The US has delayed implementing the sanctions for at least six months, worried about sending the p rice of oil higher at a time when the global economy is struggling. Iran has responded to the Western pressure with threats and military posturing. A senior commander of the Revolutionary Guard force was recently quoted as saying Tehran's leadership has decided to order t he closure of the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic oil route, if the country's petroleum exports are blocked. By Vladimir Isachenkov, Associated Press LETTERS l email@example.com Russia concerned about nuclear Iran Temple Christian High SchoolENTRANCE EXAMINATION2012 2013 Temple Christian High School will hold its Entrance Examination on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY4TH, 2012 at the school on Shirley Street from 8:00 a.m. 12 noon for students wishing to enter grades, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Application forms are available at the High should be completed and returned to the school by Friday, February 3rd, 2012. For further information please call 394-4481 or 394-4484 No worse time for job layoffs EDITOR, The Tribune. Yes, the Bahamas is unique! I know of no other country composed of so many islands having the largest flock of flamingos outside of Africa, and dogs and a street philosopher called Potcakes (no relation And there is a small restaurant in Sandyport called SPRITZ, seems to be the name of an Italian drink, not only on the waters edge but above it! The floor is made of wooden planks giving it a rustic air! Very nice! Only those planks are so far apart that any one dropping a credit card accidentally can kiss it goodbye! So it seems to be the only restaurant in the world on top of the watery grave of credit cards! I would advocate renaming SPRITZ SPLASH Only in the Bahamas! WALTER ABSILs Nassau, January, 2012. A A S S p p r r i i t t z z w w i i t t h h a a s s p p l l a a s s h h
LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012, PAGE 5 THE Democratic National Alliance used the occasion of the 45th anniversary of Majority Rule to emphasise the importance of change. In a statement issued yesterday, the DNA said it acknowledges what Sir Lyn-den Pindling and many like him realised as they fought for a new Bahamas that change is necessary for the preservation of our peopleand for the progression of this nation. The statement said: This anniversary comes on the heels of Sir Clifford Darlingshome going; he was among a fearless slate of young men who played a pivotal role in garnering the majority sup port. Among other great feats, these two men represent what Bahamians often overlook they represent the common man that believes in his abili ties and, moreover, believes in a better Bahamas. Therefore, the DNA joins all Bahamians, wherever their political allegiance lies, who believe in this countrys potential and the part they must play in recognising our forefathers, their sacrifice and the rights that we enjoy today. Bamboo Town MP and DNA leader Branville McCartney said that Sir Lyn den and Sir Clifford are symbols of the fact that average Bahamians from the col lege graduate to the taxi dri ver can inject significant change into the country. Today, we stand on the wings of these great victors and their ability to soar with excellence, bearing the heat in the burden of the day and when the odds were against them, they remained focused and resolute in their conviction that a change of the guard was necessary, Mr McCartney said. The DNA leader said he hopes Bahamians will reflect on the Bahamas that these men sought to create on the day we honour as Majority Rule Day, and resurrect Sir Lynden, Sir Clifford and likeminded men in our own selves. That, in itself, would be the best way to honour them. Only then would their efforts not be in vain, he said. DN A MARK S ANNIVERS ARY WITH C ALL F OR CHANGE Police want to question the man in this photo, a still frame from the stations CCTV cam-e ras, about an armed robbery t hat took place almost two w eeks ago at the TexacoWells Service Station. According to a relative of the stations owner, who wished to remain anonymous,t he incident took place just b efore 3pm on Wednesday, December 28, 2011. The gunman, who looked to be in his early 20s, madeoff with an undetermined a mount of cash. T he source turned over the p hotos and full video of the robbery (which can be seen on tribune242.com) to The Tribune as they had yet to" hear anything from police." H e said: "We just want to catch him. Since it happened,w e have not heard a thing from police, we don't know if they caught anyone or what they are doing." The video shows the robb er, dressed in a grey sweatshirt and sweat pants, posing as an unassuming customer. After selecting a drink from the cooler, he made his way to the check-out counter, where he waited for the c ashier to serve gas attendants outside. As the cashier picked up his drink to ring it up, the rob-b er pulled out a silver c oloured hand gun and a bag. The cashier is then seen g iving money to the gunman, who makes his exit. S enior officers could not provide an update on their i nvestigation or explain why t he matter was never reported to the press for publication. H owever, a police source said no one has been taken i nto custody in connection with the incident, and investigators want to question them an in this series of photos. Anyone who recognises him, or has information concerning his whereabouts, should call 919, 322-3333, the Central Detective Unit on 502-9910 and 502-9991, orC rime Stoppers on 328-TIPS. Meanwhile, police are also investigating the shooting anda rmed robbery of a phone card vendor. Shortly after midnight last n ight, the 31-year-old vendor was approached by a gunman moments after arriving at his home on Alocasia Avenue,N orth of Soldier Road and East Street. Police say the victim was r obbed of his cell phone and an undetermined number of p hone cards. The robber then shot the vendor in his upper body. T he victim was taken by ambulance to hospital where h e is in stable condition. Watch the video of the robbery on www.tri-b une242.com. ROBBER CAUGHT ON CAMERA By LAMECH JOHNSON l firstname.lastname@example.org T WO men were granted b ail in the Magistrates Court after they were arraigned in connection with separate burglary and attempted burglary charges. S teven Rolle, 21, of Jubilee G ardens was given bail after h e pleaded not guilty to a charge of housebreaking and stealing before Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez in Court One, now located in the newN assau Street complex. The prosecution alleged that on November 17, 2011, Rolle broke into the home of Kaneesha Sealey at Firetrail Road and stole two lap tops, a surge protector and a digital cam-e ra, together valued at $1,270. R olle denied the allegation a nd was given a bond of $3,500 b y Chief Magistrate Gomez. H e was ordered to report to the Carmichael Road police s tation every Saturday before 6pm as a condition for bail. He returns to Court 10 on M ay 22 for trial before Magistrate Guilimina Archer. Another man was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Gomez, this time on a charge of attempted housebreaking. It is alleged that 18-year-oldJ ohn Louis attempted to break into the house of Julian Elliot at Silver Gates Estates with intent to steal. This incident, allegedly committed by Louis, occurred on October 20, 2011. He pleaded not guilty. H e too was granted bail $3,000 and ordered to report to the Carmichael Road police station every Saturday before 6pm as a condition of bail. He returns to court for a f ixture hearing on Thursday, J anuary 26. MEN GRANTED BAIL OVER BURGLARIES THE ROBBER at the service station. THE ROBBER brandishes his gun during the robbery. f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e B y DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter email@example.com F REEPORT Just over 21,000 persons were registered on the new voter regis ter as of Tuesday in Grand Bahama, where five voters card distribution centres haveb een activated. Assistant Parliamentary Commissioner Denise Pinder reported that there has been a steady distribution of voters cards at all of the centres, particularly at their main office in the National Insurance Building in Freeport. All of the centers are distributing at a steady pace and we are also registering new persons, Mr Pinder told The Tribune In Freeport, persons may collect their voters card at two locations, the Parliamentary Registration Department and the Post Office. O ther locations outside of F reeport are: The Adminis trators Office in East Grand Bahama, the Local Govern-m ent Office in Eight Mile Rock, and at the YMTA in the Hunters/Lewis Yard/Pin ders Point area. The general elections must be called no later than May2 012. The constituencies on Grand Bahama have been reduced from six to five. The Marco City and Pineridge constituencies have remained, however, there have been changes to the High Rock, Lucaya, Eight Mile Rock and West End and Bimini constituencies. The four constituencies will be replaced by the new constituencies of East Grand Bahama, Central Grand Bahama and West Grand Bahama and Bimini. Ms Pinder reported that there are just over 21,000 persons on the new register for t he five constituencies. S he noted that while the dis tribution of voters cards has been good, they are also gettinga number of persons coming in to register. This morning we had quite a bit of persons regis terand in some instances persons who have moved since they last registered are coming toh ave the information changed on their cards, she said. Ms Pinder said persons in the East Grand Bahama and Marco City Constituency can collect voters cards from the Post Office Building on Mon day, Wednesday, and Friday. The voters cards can be collected at Parliamentary Department on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We have two sites at NIB, the old office site and our main office. Ms Pinder said the Eight Mile Rock centre is opened every day from 10am to 3pm, and from 5pm to 8pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 21,000 SIGN UP FOR NEW VOTER REGISTRATION
STUDENTS and teachers a t C H Reeves Junior High S chool will soon have several extra classrooms at their disposal. The government has awarded a $345,932 contractt o Bruce Rahming Construct ion for a two story, eightc lassroom building on the Robinson Road campus. The contract includes construction of a library, restrooms and an administra-t ion office, as well as demolit ion of some existing buildi ngs. Education Minister Desmond Bannister along with senior government officials including permanent secretaries Elma Garraway andC olin Higgs, director of Public Works John Canton and chief architect Livingstone Forbes attended the signing event on January 9. M inister of Public Works and Transport Neko Grant said the classroom building is long overdue and is part of t he governments master plan for upgrading the school. He explained that in 2006, contracts were awarded to theN ew Day and Leon Roker c onstruction firms to build two eight-classroom buildings on the schools campus. New Day Construction completed the building for which they were contractedt o the satisfaction of my mini stry and the Ministry of Education, said Minister Grant. However, the same was not t he case with Leon Roker Construction. This contractor made numerous constructione rrors and before completion o f the building abandoned the project. The contract was terminated in July 2007. Reg Hunt Construction was later contracted to undertake remedi a l and correctional works to the classroom building, Mr Grant said. We expect that the construction works will be of a consistently high standard with on-time completion and w ithin budget. We look forward to the classroom blocks completion, he said. M r Grant expressed appreciation to Mr Forbes and other staff in the min i strys technical team for their assistance in advancing the project. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 6, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012 THE TRIBUNE HOLLYWOOD actress Sharon Leal has added her name to the list of filmmakers and industry insiders who count the Bahamas as one of their favourite places to work. Ms Leal ( Dreamgirls, Soul Men ) filmed the Tyler Perry movie, Why Did I Get Married Too, on location in Eleuthera. It was wonderful, she said. It is great when you get to do a movie and it is technically work but you actually get to go to these wonderful ly exotic places and you get to enjoy a bit of vacation. So we all got to come out here and experience the ele ments and get away from our big city living and enjoy the weather and enjoy the peo ple and the culture. It was a wonderful experience. Filming in the Bahamas was filled with rewarding experiences, Ms Leal said. It was just great to wake up and take a swim in the ocean, she said. The ocean is absolutely stunning. Really, it was just a change of climate and the environment the food and mango daiquiris and the fish. It was just wonderful to be some place else and to work in an environment that is different than what we are accustomed to. We werent in a big studio lot or someplace in the city but we were really in paradise. Ms Leal recently completed filming of a Bishop TD Jakes project, On the Seventh Day. The movie, in which she costars with veteran actor Blair Underwood ( Posse, Madeas Family Reunion ), will be released this spring. Meanwhile, Ms Leal hopes to work in the Bahamas again in the near future. ACTRESS Sharon Leal with Bahamas Film Commissioner Craig Woods. DREAMGIRL SHAR ON FILMS IN BAHAMAS Extra classrooms for school EXTENSIVE repairs to the Customs WarehouseB uilding on John F Kennedy Drive are underway. The government signed a $557,942 contract with Pro Construction to reconfigure a nd carry out general repairs to the building. P ublic Works and Transport Minister Neko Grant said the building is in a serious state of despair and in urgent need of rehabilita-t ion. Mr Grant said 10 contractors were invited to bid for the job. Nine responded, three of whom submitted a b id that fell within the range of the ministrys in-house e stimate. He said a technical evaluation determined that Pro Construction submitted the best. We expect that the construction works will be of a consistently high standard with on time completion and within budget, the minister said. T he project has already begun and is expected to take s ix months to complete. Employees will be temporarily relocated. MINISTER of Public Works and Transport Neko Grant presenting t he contract to complete an eight-classroom building at C H Reeves to Bruce Rahming. Also pictured, from left: Colin Higgs, permanent secretary; Education Minister Desmond Bannister; Elma Garraway, permanent Secretary. $500,000 CONTRACT WILL SEE CUSTOMS WAREHOUSE REPAIRED THE GOVERNMENT has awarded a contract to Pro Construction to conduct extensive repairs to the Customs Warehouse Building
is meant to explain the Majority Rule fight to students and show them what it meant to us then and what it means to us now. St Cecilia MP, Cynthia Mother Pratt, former National Security Minister and former Deputy Prime Minister, was one of the speakers. She said it was b ecause of Majority Rule that it is possible for her to be w here she is today, and relate d a similar message back to t he students. I shared with them the fact that Majority Rule made it p ossible for them to be able to sit where they are today ando ne day, can become a leader i f they so desire, Mrs Pratt said. The sky is indeed the limit for them and it is because of our forefathers who fought for justice and fairp lay. She acknowledged that stu d ents generally do not have a n interest in history, explain ing its because they dont know where weve comef rom. Mrs Pratt continued: Let me just say I feel that we have not done a good job in reallys ending the message and explaining to them history and thats why they have very l ittle interest. Because we have not done a good job in dictating to t hem what really happened, a nd where we have come from, and where we are today ... that has to be changed. Thats what Im trying to do, teach our children our histo ry. L ady Pindling, widow of the first Bahamian Prime Minister, the late Sir Lynden Pindling, offered students ah istory of how the Bahamas gained independence. She told The Tribune : We just happened to be thei nstrument at that time when Majority Rule came into being, so Im very proud. L ady Pindling told students to show pride in themselves and in their country and to do their best and strive for the hills. We were British subjects prior to independence, she said, and after independence we became proud Bahamiansowning our own passports, our own flag, our own coat of arms and we are somebody.W ere Bahamians and that alone should make us very proud, today. The other speakers includ ed: Elwood Donaldson, William Thompson, RubyAnn Darling, Leonard Archer, Arlington Miller, AD Hanna, Italia Johnson, Cherly Albury, ArlingtonB utler, and Drexell Gomez. Each figure visited a classroom and spoke to tenth grade students on the signifi cance of Majority Rule. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012, PAGE 7 OFFICE SPACE $800.00457-4911 BISHOP DREXELL GOMEZ addresses students. HON ITALIA JOHNSON during the visit. S TUDENTS o f RM Bailey point at a picture of Sir Lynden Pinding, one of the forces in Majority Rule. FORMER Deputy Prime Minister Cynthia Mother Pratt talks to students. FORMER GOVERNOR GENERAL A rthur Hanna speaks to students o f RM Bailey. THE REV Ruby Ann Darling shares her views. D R ELWOOD DONALDSON s peaks to students L ADY PINDLING t alks to senior prefect Antonio Smith. Photos: F elip Major / Tribune Staff Bridging gap to the young f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e
uation a complete mystery a nd believes contaminated w ater may be the cause. Fisherman and vendor Milt on McPhee said when he arrived to work in the morn ing he noticed a lot of fish lying on the shore. When I took a closer notice, I saw that the fish were a ctually dying. They were diso rientated and acting as if they were oxygen-deprived, M r McPhee said. You see even more on top o f the water swimming in circles and on to the shore as if something is chasing them, thats a sign of disorienta-t ion. We tried putting them b ack but they just circle for a m inute or two and then die, he said. A lan Brown, of the Mon tagu Vendors Association, s aid: When I came out, I noticed a flock of birds out to sea just picking the fish off the water. N oting the number of dead species on the shore, Mr B rown said: We want to find o ut whats going on this isnt normal. We need to know w hats causing the fish to die and if its a danger to human c onsumption. A lot of fish are dying. You only see whats on the top, but if you dive into thew ater, the whole bottom of the water is covered with fish. All over the shores, in the water just covered with fish. Another fisherman said: Something scary could be o ut there. They jumping out the water like they dont want to be in the water. M r Brennan has no idea a s to what might be the cause of the dying marine life, but said the Department of Marine Resources will be gathering information. Some of them appeared a s fish sometime appear if t hey are exposed to some kind of contaminant, he said. The numbers (of dead fish were considerable large numbers, it certainly does from appearances look like a contaminant. Mr Brennan said the Environmental Health Department is responsible for collecting water samples for testing and confirms they were notified of the situation. The beach is presently undergoing renovations which led some fishermen to specul ate something from the cons truction site could be the contaminate. It could be a sewage line or some chemicals in the w ater there, Mr Brown said. The drain they dredged (on the construction site) was full with water so maybe whent he tide went out, that stuff went out with the tide and contaminated the water. Thats what some of the fish ermen are thinking. We need to know because its a seriouss ituation. C aptain Cyril Roker, the acting controller of the Port Department who spoke to thep ress at the scene, said the d epartment was still in its preliminary assessment, and would not offer any information on the situation. Weve called the relevant authorities so they can comed o their proper assessment, h e said. Assistant Port Controller, Craig Curtis, said that the dying fish poses a grave concern and it will be interest ing to see what marine biologists conclude. The Ministry of the Environment and the Department of Environmental Services B y DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org WANTED murder suspect William Leslie Forbes was captured on Tuesday after-n oon by police some 24 hours following the brutal stabbing death of 31-year-old Natacha Mondelus. Asst Supt Loretta Mackey confirmed that Forbes, 36, was apprehended in the early a fternoon hours in the area of Bahama Terrace, Freeport. Mondelus, 31, of Hanna Hill, Eight Mile Rock, was murdered on Monday. Her body was discovered just outs ide the door of a residence o n Jack Smith Corner shortly after 12.30pm. Reports are that she suffered a severe injury to the neck and upper body duringa n argument with a man with whom she had been involved in a relationship. M ondelus, who is of Haiti an heritage, is an American. She has been living in the Bahamas for many years withr elatives. Her death is the first homicide on Grand Bahama for 2 012. T here have been rumours o f continuing bickering between the couple for days leading up to her death. Police launched an intensive search for Forbes, a resi d ent of Amberjack Street, C aravel Beach. Forbes had been on the run since Monday midday. Police issued an all points bulletin for him. His days on the lam did not last long as officers, acting oni nformation, moved in and made the arrest without incident. ASP Mackey thanked members of the public for their support. Mondays tragedy has r ocked the small community of Hanna Hill, where many residents there described Mondelus as a very nice person. Some persons were overc ome with grief as her body w as being removed by morticians from the bloody scene outside a small pink wooden structure where she lived with her aunt. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 8, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012 THE TRIBUNE with the FNM, why would we be asking for the deal to be put forward and made public? Mr Davis asked. It is a nonsense assertion. Following the announcement of the agreement, Mr Davis said PLP leader Perry Christie personally called for the release of the asset and transfer agreement between the two parties. The four-year management agreement recently came under fire when it was claimed by the Democratic National Alliance (DNA if Kerzner International, which continues to manage the resort, fails to meet annual revenue targets, jobs could be lost. Earlier this week, the DNA claimed for a second time that a secret understanding exists between the leaders of the two major parties and hit out at PLP leader Perry Christie for not creating a stink about the agreement. At a press conference yesterday, Mr Davis said this is the fourth time the party has called for the details of the agreement to be revealed since the sale of the resort was announced in the House of Assembly on November 29. The failure of the government to release this agree ment demonstrates that they do not respect Bahamians and do not put the welfare of Bahamians first, he said. It is not enough for Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham to say there will be no jobs lost, as the employees of Atlantis have a right to know what is contained in the terms and conditions of an agreement that will affect them, Mr Davis said. He added: We call on the government to come clean. Bahamians want to know if there are any guarantees to protect and preserve their jobs, wages and benefits. When announcing the $175 million debt-for-equity swap, which saw Brookfield assume ownership of the Atlantis and One&Only Ocean Club in late November, the govern ment insisted the new own ers had no plans to make staff cuts and would continue to make the same level of investment in the second largest employer in the country, as prior to the sale. Responding to claims over the weekend, president and managing director of Kerzner International Bahamas Limited George Markantonis reit erated the statement made by Mr Ingraham that no employees will be laid off as a result of the ownership transfer of the Atlantis resort from Kerzner to Brookfield Asset Management of Canada. He said: "As the Prime Minister has stated before there will be no employee layoffs as a result of this transaction. The same management team continues to operate the property and, as always, the employment of labour will be based on the general global economy and, more specifically, how our occupancies are impacted. "We believe there are pos itive signs the trend will be upward, but time will tell," said Mr Markantonis. 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 HUNDREDSOFDEADFISHWASHASHORE PLP DENIES PACT CLAIM A TOURIST was taken to hospital yesterday after losing control of a rented scooter. The accident took place at about 3.45pm at Go Slow Bend in Nassau, along West Bay Street, where it appeared the scooter rider had lost control of the vehicle and struck the wall between the road and the sea. A number of other scooter riders were on the scene, along with an ambulance and a police car, before the ambu lance headed towards the hos pital with the injured tourist. P OLICE are questioning four men between the ages o f 25 and 29 in connection w ith a murder in Balls Alley over the weekend. T he incident occurred around 2am on Saturday. T he victim was shot in the stomach. The men being q uestioned were taken into c ustody on Monday and Tuesday. TOURIST INJURED IN ACCIDENT Wanted man captured FOUR QUIZZED OVER KILLING ADEADBARRACUDA washed up on the shore. Photo: Felip Major /Tribune Staff