N ASSA U AND BAHAMA ISLANDSLEADING NEWSPAPER FNMready for election fight Volume: 108 No.42THURSDAY, JANUARY12, 2012 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 WEATHER SUN AND SHOWER HIGH 83F LOW 69F By PAUL G TURNQUEST C hief Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org THE FREE National M ovement will ratify its full slate of 38 candidates tonight, signaling the official start of their 2012 general electionc ampaign. The partys Candidates Committee will meet at 5pm today, followed by a 7pm meeting of the Central Council at the FNMs headquarters on Mackey Street where the full slate will be officially ratified during a closed session. On Sunday, the FNM will hold a launch for its Grand Bahama candidates during a live ZNS broadcast at 5pm. The partys remaining candidates for New Providence and the Family Islands will be launched the following weekend. As it currently stands, the party is expected to nominate the majority of their incumbent Members of Parliament, with a few exceptions. It is understood that amongst the list of new candi dates the FNM is expected to n ominate Darron Cash as their candidate for Carmichael, Pakeisha Parker for West Grand Bahama andB imini, Monique Gomez for Tall Pines, Heather Hunt for Marathon, Theo Neilly for North Eleuthera, Howard Johnson for South Eleuthera, and Norris Bain in Marco City, and Peter Turnquest for East Grand Bahama. Ronald Bostfield is expected to return as the partys standard-bearer in Mangrove Cay and South Andros, Kenyatta Gibson will be running in Southern Shores, Sidney Collie in MICAL, Dr Hubert Minnis in Killarney, and Tom my Turnquest in Moriah, with Zhivargo Laing being moved to Ft Charlotte, Dion Foulkes Party to ratify candidate list tonight TRY OUR DOVE RASPBERRY McFLURRY The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST LATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM I NSIDETODAY Y Y O O U U R R S S O O U U R R C C E E F F O O R R O O B B I I T T U U A A R R I I E E S S NOBODYBEATSTHETRIBUNE NEWS SPORT FASHION MOVIES TV MUSIC O NSALEEVERYSATURDAY S S A A V V E E S S A A V V E E S S A A V V E E W W I I T T H H C C O O U U P P O O N N S S By LAMECH JOHNSON email@example.com CHIEF Justice Sir Michael Barnett disagreed yesterday with his predecessors criticism of the jury system and suggestion that juries should be eliminated for criminal trials in the Supreme Court. Though the judiciary chief did not specifically name for mer Chief Justice Sir Burton Hall when commenting on the subject at yesterdays legal year opening ceremony, he talked of the necessity of the system by saying that jury duty is a part of the constitu tion as long as it remains there. Our constitution guaran tees a trial by jury for certain serious offences, he explained. Although some have argued that this entrenched right should be revisited, as long as it remains a constitutional right, serving on a jury is a fundamental right in our society. The response in the Supreme Court ceremony came a few days after senator and Attorney General John Delaney responded to comments from the former chief justice on the subject. The former chief justice, while speaking at a lecture series at the Harry C Moore Library hosted by the Eugene Dupuch Law School last week, recommended the Bahamas move away from a jury system as it is insuffi cient and costly. Sir Burton said the jury system in the Bahamas is not the BREASTCANCER is affecting Bahamian women at t he highest levels in the world. Researchers are holding out hope, however, and ares teadily working towards their goal to make genetic testing more accessible to high-risk Bahamian women. The highest prevalence of the BRCA1 gene mutation, out of any population in the w orld, are found in Bahamian women which puts them at greater risk of breast cancer. Aggressive strains of b reast cancer appear in Bahamian women at an u nusually early age. According to published reports, only 12 per cent of American women under 44 years olda re diagnosed with breast cancer, while 34 percent of Bahamian women are diag nosed at that age or younger. By SANCHESKA BROWN Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org ADRIAN LaRoda, the Democratic National Alliance (DNA MICAL, has removed himself as a candidate for the upcoming elections. Mr LaRoda said: I have withdrawn my candidacy, but I am still a member of the DNA. I prefer not to speak on the details and let the par ty speak but I will say this, It has nothing to do with the DNA. By SANCHESKA BROWN Tribune Staff Reporter s email@example.com FORMER Housing Minister Shane Gibson yesterday dismissed claims that he sin gle-handedly caused the debt of the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation to increase by more than $50 million under his watch. Mr Gibson was responding to claims made by chairman of the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation (BMC DNACANDIDATE WITHDRAWS GIBSON DENIES MORTGAGE DEBT CLAIM S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 9 9 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 9 9 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 9 9 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 9 9 BREAST CANCER AT RECORD LEVELS CHIEF JUSTICE Michael Barnett speaks to one of the female honour guard at yesterdays legal year opening ceremony. Photo: Felip Major /Tribune Staff CHIEF JUS TICE B ACKS JURY TRIALS im lovin it
MEMBERS of the legal f raternity pose with Chief Just ice Sir Michael Barnett out side St Francis Xavier Cathed ral on West Hill Street on Sunday, following the annualR ed Mass which is traditionall y held before the opening of t he judicial year. LOCALNEWS PAGE 2, THURSDAY, JANUARY12, 2012 THE TRIBUNE A prayer for the judicial year ahead
By KHRISNA VIRGIL firstname.lastname@example.org THOUSANDS of dollars in stolen merchandise are in police custody after officersf oiled various house break-in rings in a number of communities, the latest, yesterday morning. Southwestern Division s uperintendent Wayne Miller confirmed during a press conf erence at the Carmichael Road Police Station that a l arge number of fenced goods were seized during the o perations. He said: Officers conducted an operation which recov-e red a number of laptops, e xpensive jewellery, flat s creen televisions, DVDs, and a shotgun was seized in that o peration. The items, he said, will be held at the station for a weekb efore they are taken to the exhibit room. Anyone whose items might have been stolen are urged to bring identification, receipts, i nvoices, or serial numbers, to v erify ownership. O ther police seizures, he said, yielded stolen cars as well as vehicles involved ina rmed robberies. Police can also confirm a c onnection between yesterd ays crackdown and other i nstances on the island. This ring, officers were able to connect their activit ies to a number of house break-ins in the east and in the western area where pers ons were able to positively i dentify items. In retrieving the items, Mr M iller said police were also able to follow substantial leads from persons taken into custody. We have in custody a number of persons who are assisting us in our investiga-t ions and these persons would have taken us to a number of residences where they would h ave fenced these items. H e added that all of the persons are in their 20s, including one woman. According to Mr Miller, house break-ins continue to spiral because of a willingness ofp ersons to receive stolen items. We have a number of cases where people just on face value could look at the individual presenting the item and clearly know that this item m ust have been gotten from s ome illegal means. We will continue to target the receivership market. The proliferation of crime continues because there are too many people willing to receive. P olice, said Mr Miller, want t hose who receive stolen goods to know they could face hefty penalties. The receiver is just as bad a s the thief and it is up to the magistrate to sentence persons, but we've seen thems entenced for hefty times, said Mr Miller. Mr Miller said investigators h ave noticed a trend among h omes that have been broken into. Thieves tend to operate, in most cases, between 7am and 3pm on homes that are not secured, have no bars to the windows, front or backd oors and no alarm system. He offered advice to home owners that will help safeguard them. We are telling the public to buy an alarm, harden your t arget. Thieves will target homes that are unsecured, the longer they have to stay on the scenet o get into your house they probably won't bother. BY DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter email@example.com FREEPORT Four Bimini men were taken into custody in connection with a drug seizure in Lucaya on Tues day. Asst Supt Loretta Mackey reported that Drug Enforcem ent Unit officers executed a search warrant on a home in that area just before 5pm. The officers found 13.5 pounds of marijuana. The four men, who are all between the ages of 20 and 32, were taken into custody for questioning. Police investigations continue. LOCALNEWS THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, JANUARY12, 2012, PAGE 3 Items worth thousands in police custody S UPT WAYNE MILLER a nd Assistant Supt Lula Dean show some of the stolen televisions in storage. THE family of missing 21year-old Krishanna Higgs has announced a candle-light vigil in observance of the one year anniversary of her disappearance. The vigil will be held on January 12 in Freeport, at the Torii Gate in the Internation al Bazaar at 6pm. The family hopes the event will raise awareness about the growing problem of violence against Bahamian women. FAMILY HOLD VIGIL FOR WOMAN F OUR HELD OVER DRUGS SEIZURE MORE of the stolen items recovered by police.
EDITOR, The Tribune. THE Commissioner and the entire cadre of officers oft he Royal Bahamas Police F orce (RBPF ly commended for an outstanding job during the year 2011, in spite of the challenges, many of which were b eyond their control. T he projections for 2012 are encouraging and the list s hould help us as Bahamian citizens to appreciate the untiring efforts of thosea ssigned to promote and maintain law and order in our country. T he areas for focused attent ion presented by the Commissioner, as we should note are what we consider minoro ffences for the most part. Further, while we know it is not practical to list all of thea reas, there are however, a few additional ones which need to be given consideration in 2012. These are suggested not to be critical but to hopefully help in addressing adverses ocial issues which seem to be the order of the day. Many of the minor, overlooked or no big deal issues we fail to address are resulting in continual disrespect for the p erson and property. The m ind-set toward minor infractions is carried over by offenders toward majori nfractions. An example may shed some clarity on what I am try ing to explain. N ot many years ago, as a youngster, I recall that there were clear distinctions b etween the various establishments that served alcoholic beverages. I n addition, there was and s till is a requirement whereby the owner/operator of certain establishments where liquori s offered for sale must obtain a licence to allow music and dancing on premises. I n those days (as it is even now), the following types of licences were/are available by law and anyone who meets t he criteria may make application: Wholesale (package Restaurant and Bar and R etail liquor establishment and Music and Dancing where desirous by the own e r/operator. Let us look at a brief description of these operations: 1) Wholesale Bar the sale of alcoholic beverages to be sold in sealed container (bottles/cans t he case. By law no cons umption is allowed on the p remises; 2) Restaurant and Bar the sale and consumption of food and alcoholic beverages ont he premises; and 3) Retail Bar the sale of alcoholic beverages alone m ay be sold on the premises. ( Although not a practice in The Bahamas, usually bread, biscuits and/or similar snacksa re available by law for consumers). In this 21st century B ahamas in which we now r eside, it would appear that the law has been changed but to my knowledge over the past 40 years there have been no changes regarding these t ype of operations. I can recall back in the s and early s when a bottle of liquor was pur-c hased from a wholesale bar you dare not expose that bottle which was served to y ou properly wrapped if o nly in newspaper. The issue of opening the bottle on the premises was entirely out of t he question. There are many examples of restaurant and bars most of us would be familiar with. T he typical retail establish ments (were those for ease o f reference operated o ver-the-hill by two promi nent liquor merchants com panies. These were Bethel R obertson & Robertson & Symonette. I stand to be corrected but I know of none of these establishments offering food for sale to the customers. Another troubling issue in o ur country is the so-called days illegal selling of alcoholic beverages. T his is a practice engaged in n ot only by Bahamians, but many illegal immigrants. None of these two groups seem to fear the law or the consequences of breaking same. O ne need only drive around New Providence, Grand Bahama or many ofo ur Family of Islands discover it is common practice to drink on premises, provide seating, and play loud music on premises where the law mandates it should not take place. One who does not know any better would conclude that there is no law in existence to deal with such matters. I recall the matter of in large measure, wholesale bars being operated ultra vires to the law being brought up with a prominent former Minister of Tourism. His response to the matter was that it was a Bahamian cultural thing. Sad to say he was very flippant about the matter, and acted as though no law existed to regulate such matters. In my humble opinion he was derelict in his duty, perchance he was on to some thing with regards his response, then as a member of the legislature he had a responsibility to recommende nforcement or changes in the l aw to facilitate the cultural or social changes. Mr Commissioner, you are right on target in proposing to focus more on the multit ude of seemingly minor i nfractions in 2012. Your office, sir, may a lready have any number of additional items to add to your list, but please indulgem e to suggest that attention be given the following: 1) School-age children wand ering the streets during the h ours of 9am to 3pm. (In such cases the parent(s held accountable); 2 ) Illegal side-road vending by Bahamians and nonBahamians alike; 3 ) Drivers that block up the streets with little consideration for other road-users; 4) Persons walking on the streets while consuming alcoholic beverages; and 5) Make driver responsible f or missile (cans, bottles, food packages and other material) thrown from vehicle of which he/she has charge. In recent times, much positive comments have been m ade regarding the successe s of Singapore. This country has made an apparent unprecedented turna round in its cultural, socioeconomic and environmental sectors. As a result many countries, i nclusive of The Bahamas, have sent personnel to Singapore in an effort to learn what s trategies were employed to bring about the acclaimed super turn around. Y es indeed, Singapore is a s uccess story and it is a model for many developing coun tries, but this state of affairs d id not occur overnight. I believe the basis for Sin gapores success relates to a ppropriate and comprehensive legislation and the sustained enforcement of same. If we intend to turn The B ahamas around from the crime and social mudslide it is currently on, then we need to i mplement the two planks mentioned above and make them foundational to any oth e r strategies that may be con sidered. In addition, we must become a more disciplined society. We have to enforce the law without fear or favour, especially the small infractions. This must be done before we can adequately deal with the bigger and, at times, more heinous matters. As Bahamians we must be mindful that it is always better to bend the oak tree while it is young and flexible otherwise it would be near impossible to guide its growth and development. This seems to be the dilemma of our present day Bahamas. Therefore we must all do our part beginning today. MICHAEL E TURNER Nassau, January 7, 2012. EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR PAGE 4, THURSDAY, JANUARY12, 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 IN A long letter published in Wednesd ays T ribune Kevin Evans, of Freeport wants to know whether Julian Russell, t he PLPs candidate for the Central Grand B ahama constituency, plans to also blame the Ingraham government for the recentl ay-offs of 70 employees by the Hutchins on Whampoa company. Recently, Mr Russell claimed that many G rand Bahama companies had closed t heir doors under the FNM government. M r Evans found it interesting that none of t he PLP candidates Dr Michael Darville, Mr Russell and Gregory Moss had anything to say about the closure of the Royal Oasis resort and casino in 2005 under the Christie administration, leaving a debt of $22 million and 1,200 B ahamians unemployed. Some of these families are still suffering. Mr Russell has said that if a PLP government is elected it intends to aggressively implement measures that will put G rand Bahamas future back on a path t o success. Having already had an example in the case of the Royal Oasis of how a PLP government handles such door-closures, it w ould be interesting to know how Mr Russell would deal with similar situations in the future. F or example, like Mr Evans, we wonder if Mr Russell is blaming the 70 lost jobs at Hutchinson Whampoa on the FNM or w ill he concede that those losses were the r esult of the global recession over which no government FNM or PLP would have control. If the PLP were the govern ment in this situation what secret formulaw ould it have, either to prevent the layo ffs or create new jobs for the dismissed H utchinson workers? Those let go by Hutchinson were main ly middle management and line staff from the airport company, container port and harbour company. It was reported that the lay-offs were part of Hutchisons international downsizing forced on it by the world recession resulting in the decline of business for Hutchisons group of companies. It was r eported that the same recession forced H utchinson to lay off about 400 of its s taff in the UK. Also Standard & Poors withdrawal of its A corporate rating from Hong Kong based property develop er Cheung Kong (Holdings which owns 49.9 per cent of Hutchinson Whampoa Limited, did not help the situation. The global recession has had a ripple effect throughout this company, taking 70 Bahamian jobs with it. I f this were to happen on the PLP watch, how would Mr Russells government deal with it or would he blame it on the global recession? T he PLP are loathe to agree that the Ingraham government like most world g overnments is struggling to stay afloat, a nd, in fact doing better than many larger countries. O f course, the PLP are quick to a cknowledge a world recession when some of their decisions are called into question a s was Mr Christie when he was blamed f or the current problems at Atlantis. Mr C hristie, during his administration was b lamed for allowing Kerzner International to leverage the Atlantis property in order to secure loans to build in other countries. Mr Christies answer was that he made the decision he thought best at the time. H e blamed Kerzner Internationals debt crisis, not on his decision, but on the extraordinary impact of the world recession. Theres a world recession when it suits t he PLP, but its Mr Ingrahams problem w hen the same world recession slows our economy and forces business closures. What is the magic formula that Mr Russell talks about when he says we (the P LP) must urgently take the initiative in crafting a successful tourism formula and attracting more investments to the island. G rand Bahama was on a downhill slide during the Christie administration. At that time a Freeporter told us that he did not h ave high hopes for Freeports future. H e felt that the talk of hope was contrived to keep residents spirits up. But as far as he was concerned there was no future. During the Christie administration, F reeport was buffeted not only by indust rial unrest, but two devastating hurri c anes, and the death of Edward St George, the visionary who kept Freeport alive even in the worst of times. Freeport has been ona downward slide ever since. In the House of Assembly the closure of the Oasis resort in January 2005 was described as nothing short of a quagmire. When Bahamians voted the Christie government out in May, 2007, the Ingrah am administration inherited that quag m ire, since made worse by the worlds e conomic collapse. Mr Russell and his colleagues now want a chance to put Freeport on its feet again. We think they have a duty to tell Grand Bahamians how they plan to buck the world tide and pull Freeport out of that quagmire. Mr Christie could not do it during his administration, how do these political novices hope to do it now with the worldsp roblems an added burden? Bahamians have a right to know. These aspiring politicians have a duty to tell. Drink at the heart of issues LETTERS l firstname.lastname@example.org Whats the PLPplan to turn Freeport around? Distributed throughout the Bahamas byBWABahamas Wholesale Agencies Ltd. East West Highway, Nassau Tel: 242-394-1759 1 Milton Street, Freeport Tel: 242-351-2201 If itsFLOURs OKAY!A favourite of The Bahamas for many years! OK Flour is a Patent Flour-the highest quality flour available Enriched and versatile, OK Flour is well suited to many baking and cooking applications OK Flourbetter value per pound A T f OK OK OK F F F l lo ur i s a Patent Flo u
By LAMECH JOHNSON l email@example.com CHIEF Magistrate Roger Gomez is confident that the number of kinks there are to work out at the new Nassau Street Magistrates CourtC omplex will be dealt with w ithin the coming weeks. Speaking with The Tribune about the new facility that opened officially on Monday, the chief magistrate asked the p ublic to be patient and u nderstanding as they sort out t he issues with which they are currently dealing. Everybody, he said, is getting used to the building. Its a large building, a lot ofc ourtrooms. It takes a while to get used to exactly where e ach court is. Were still in the process of arranging the courts and making some changes to thed ifferent courts. A trial and error sort of thing. The new state of the art t hree-story complex, which h ouses 12 courts, has holding cells for prisoners appearing in court, offices for the respect ive courts, an elevator, and metal detector machines at the entrance to the groundf loor. Noticeably absent in the building, however, is the prosecutions office where police prosecutors deal with a great number of case files for the various courts. T he buzz about the new building faded when this and other problems arose on opening day. In the words of attorney Stanley Rolle, it was frustration galore. Its just not o rganized, he added. Others who did not want to go on record, said that thec omplex should have been opened for use when all problems had been dealt with. Chief Magistrate Gomez, s peaking about the first day said: It wasnt too bad, better than I expected. It was rough, b ut not too bad. When asked to compare the new location to BankL ane, he smiled and shook his h ead. Theres no compari son, no comparison. This is more or less palatial compared to Bank Lane. Were g lad to be in a state-of-thea rt building. G ratitude aside, he said that there are a lot of kinks t o work out, but I think eventually were going to get them sorted out. S ecurity was the main concern, while the other two were parking and phone lines. Were very concerned about it (security our location. At Bank Lane, we were protected by a greatd eal of police presence. Now that we have all the courts in one location, we w ould need more police. We also dont have telephones. We were promised t hat the lines wouldve been done by last week. That isnt the case so we have to use our cell phone. H e considered it a real handicap for the court because people were calling constantly, apparently wordd idnt get out that we were moving to Nassau Street. He said they will be dealing w ith cases and court should be in full swing and function al in the weeks to come. We ask that the public bear with us as we try to get everything sorted out, he s aid. LOCALNEWS THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, JANUARY12, 2012, PAGE 5 Kinks will be worked out at new Magistrates Court P RISONERS w ill be delivered directly to the court by a secure entrance. THENEW Nassau Street Magistrates Court SECURITYSCANNERS at the new complex. WORKERS pause for a moment during construction.
FEARS surfaced yesterday that a fuel spill from a ship could be the reasonh undreds of fish washed ashore in east New Providence on Tuesday. The wife of a fisherman who frequents the Montagu area said: My husband came home after fishing and told m e a barge in the middle of the harbour was sinking andm en aboard were pumping water off the ship to stop it.H e said it was toxic smelling and reeked of gas and fumes. The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said: When I heard this morning about all the fish dying, my mind immediately jumped to what my husband told me. The vessel in question has been sinking for forever and a day, the woman said. On Tuesday night, another source who lives on the harb our told T he Tribune t here had been either a fuel or oil spill over the weekend. However, he could offer no further details. When contacted for comment, director of marine resources Michael Brennan said water contamination c ould be the reason for the fish acting disorientated and then dying. But, he a dded, he doesnt believe that contamination was created by s hip fuel. That doesnt seem very likely to me, Mr Brennan said. Its certainly very possible that a ship could leak fuel but gasoline and diesel are lighter than water so they would both float and wouldnt a ffect fish at the bottom. It also dissipates rather rapidly. Although it is injurious to fish, gasoline evaporates quickly and diesel. M r Brennan said his departments investigations i nto what could have caused the fish to die are continuing. H e said there are no conclus ions to report to the public as yet. LOCALNEWS PAGE 6, THURSDAY, JANUARY12, 2012 THE TRIBUNE Concerns that fuel spill may have killed fish GILFORD LLOYD, from the department of fisheries, inspects some of the dead fish. P hotos: F elip M ajor / Tribune Staff
By DANA SMITH firstname.lastname@example.org B AHAMIANS should agree to set a nationwide, self-imposed curfew and get off the streets by 10pm in an effort to reduce thec hances of becoming crime v ictims, Bishop Simeon Hall said. A statement released by the New Covenant Baptist Church senior pastor said: According to the latest crimes tatistics released recently by t he police, most of the crimes, i ncluding murder, take place at late night on Saturdays and some in or around bar-r ooms. B ishop Hall said it would seem obvious that persons living in those areas should embrace a self-imposed curfew and remove themselves from the streets. T he Bahamas is in a h ostage situation and criminals are holding civil society at bay, he said. I encourage Bahamians everywhere to get off the streets after 10pm. B ishop Halls comments follow yet another spate of s erious crimes most of w hich occurred at night or i n the early hours of morning. The first murder victim of the new year was stabbed in front of his home on StM ichaels Road on new years d ay. According to police, the man was found with multiple stab wounds shortly before 11.30pm. The victim was then taken t o hospital by ambulance, but h e later died. Mario Stuart, cousin of F NM candidate for Bamboo T own Cassius Stuart, was shot i n the stomach shortly after 2am on Saturday, January 7, in front of his home in Balls Alley. He was taken to the hospit al in a private vehicle where h e later died of his injuries. BEC technician Bruce Sands Jr was killed in a drive-by shooting on Christmas morning after he had just left an event at a local night-c lub. LOCALNEWS THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, JANUARY12, 2012, PAGE 7 Bishop calls for 10pm curfew B ISHOPSIMEONHALL
F REEPORT Merchants i n the Port Lucaya Marketplace are still smiling after Saturdays visit of the MSC Poesia. The 93,330 ton speciallyc hartered ship deposited more than 71 per cent of its 2,500 passengers onto shore to enjoy a day of fun and festivities in the Lucaya area. Keenan Baldwin, dock manager at Reef Tours,o ffered tendering services for the vessel. We spent the day transporting hundreds of passengers to and from the ship. Along with transportation, we offered drinks ands nacks and our onboard bar sold out extremely fast, he said. Conch stall owner Edroy Big Daddy Brown was all smiles after a stunning weeke nd of sales. Saturday was a lovely day. I had great sales, he said r epeatedly. Id like to see more ships like this come back, especially right outt here, so the passengers can come right off of the ship onto the island. D escribing Saturdays m uch-anticipated call by the ship as perfect, Lillian Miller, owner of Rum Run-n ers bar said: If the respon sible authorities can bring that ship in once per week,i t would be an unbelievable help for Port Lucaya and t he same for the whole island. For more on this story, see Saturdays Big T LOCALNEWS PAGE 8, THURSDAY, JANUARY12, 2012 THE TRIBUNE Poesia a boost for Port Lucaya AFTER canvassing five countries across the Caribbean and interviewing hundreds of persons, executives from Sandals Resorts International have chosen four team members from the Sandals Bahamian properties to take part in the resort chains innovative and inten sive Manager Trainee Programme. Christopher Davies in the accounting department and Delino Moss in the butler department were both chosen from Sandals Royal Bahami an, while Dwayne Johnson in food and beverage and Lorrell Taylor in the accounting department were both chosen from Sandals Emerald Bay. They won scholarships that will send them travelling throughout the Caribbean to the 21 Sandals and Beaches properties over the next two years. They will experience an intensive, accelerated and practical two-year learning and development programme, including exposure to all areas of hotel operations. On completion of the course, the graduates will be highlighted for management positions within the Sandals portfolio and will also have the chance to be a part of the opening teams for new prop erties. Their accomplishment is truly remarkable considering that there were 700 persons interviewed and only 20 scholarships available. Sandals Royal Bahamian general manager Patrick Drake said he was elated that two members of his team were able to secure spots in the programme. I am the happiest general manager in the world. These young men are the next wave. They are the future of this company and the tourism industry in the Bahamas, Mr Drake said. Davies and Moss expressed their appreciation for the opportunity and promised not only to use their experience for the betterment of Sandals Royal Bahamian, but for the country as well. My personal maxim is never give up, and I never did. This is a great opportunity for me and my family, especially my greatest motivation, my two daughters, Mr Davies said. I feel awesome truly. I am very proud to take this as an opportunity to contribute to Sandals, the industry and the country, Mr Moss said. R UM RUNNERS w as one of many Port Lucaya bars reporting good sales during the one-day visit of the MSC Poesia. Owner Lillian Miller is optimistic about what the economic injection from visits of this sort could mean for the entire island. S ANDALS NAMES FOUR FOR MANAGER TRAINEE PROGRAMME CHRISTOPHER DAVIES, left, and Delino Moss
LOCALNEWS THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, JANUARY12, 2012, PAGE 9 Duane Sands, who said Mr G ibson was so adamant on building homes he did not stop and think of the debt thatwas piling up or the repercussions of his decisions. Dr Sands claimed that the sinking fund at BMC was grossly mismanaged under Mr Gibson and could not perform its function to make overdue bond payments. Speaking to the press, Mr Gibson said these lastm inute political season allegations were outright lies created to distract voters from t he FNMs record of failure. They complained that the sinking fund at the BMC was being under funded but Ic hallenge that. There has not b een one single instance w here the bond requirements needed to be satisfied and it wasn't satisfied in the BMC, he said. Every single time bond p ayments were due at the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation, those payments were able to be made. So for the Free National Movement to suggest bond payments were in jeopardy and couldn't bep aid it is an outright lie. Mr Gibson also denied c laims that he interfered with the issuance of mortgages for homes or that the PLP built government homes on private land. H e said: I have never d irectly or indirectly given d irectives to anyone, directly or indirectly, instructing them or suggesting to them whose mortgage they should approve or which mortgagea pplicants they should approve, I can also tell you definitively that the PLP government in 2007 never ever constructed 50 homes on lots that were privately owned and had to be subse-q uently negotiated for purchase. That never happ ened. Mr Gibson also accused the FNM of being hypocritical after criticizing the PLP for building homes on lots with-o ut infrastructure and then d oing the same thing. We stand here today on a lot in a subdivision that is being built by the FNM with no infrastructure. You would have heard over many monthsa nd up until a couple days ago, where the FNM highlighted the fact that in our haste to build the many homes that we built homes without infrastructure, he said. Well, you could see from Sunset Subdivision how h omes are being built with no infrastructure in place. Houses are being completed without any roads without any electricity and without anyw ater, he said. Something they comp lained about us doing but in their usual hypocritical fashion they are doing the same thing. In fact, Mr Gibson said, two o ther government subdivisions, Mackey Yard and Firetrail Subdivisions are also without infrastructure. He also said that 50 homes in Spring City, Abaco, have been completed but haveb een vandalized and battened up for over a year and a half b ecause they have no infrastructure. The investigation into the mismanagement of the BMC was initially launched in 2005a fter The Tribune published a s eries of exclusive articles q uestioning the expenditure at the Ministry of Housing and the value for money of the homes being built. An independent Value for M oney (VFM mer Ministry of Housing and National Insurance indicated that lack of process and process integration between the Ministry and the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation led to incon-s istencies in financial transfers, private lender risks, and disp utes over monies owed between the two entities. Findings on the preval ence rate of the hereditary bad gene were announced last year. Since then, theB ahamas Breast Cancer I nitiative Foundation (BBCIF steadily to facilitate furtherr esearch and prevention strategies. Securing a genetic couns ellor and data-base coordin ator is paramount to this initiative as it would allow lead researchers in the s tudy, Dr Steven Narod, of Toronto University, and Dr John Lunn, Medical Direc t or of the BBCIF, to undert ake critical follow-up projects. P riority objectives call for in-depth study of breast cancer presentation and treatment in the country; t he frequency of BRCA1 mutations; the effective ness of standard chemotherapy. Further studies will also s eek to identify risk factors for the development of breast and ovarian can-c er in women with the B RCA1 mutation and i dentify new breast cancer genes for Bahamian women. So convinced of the projects value, and the poten t ial for important discoveries, Dr Narod has committed 15 per cent of his time to the endeavour free of charge. The high prevalence of o ne of five BRCA1 mutat ions, which is a breast cancer susceptible gene, means the Bahamas is ana bnormally high risk pop ulation. According to Dr Steven N arod, who collaborated in the study, the global average is five to six per cent: 20 per cent of the B ahamian sample tested positive for the abnormal gene. In an earlier interview w ith T he Tribune Dr Lunn said: The next study were going to do is tom easure the genetic comp osition of people who go f or screening mammograms. That would tell us the frequency of the gene in the non-affected population,p eople who dont have breast cancer, that's important to know. Its important to know whether or not you have a genetic predisposition, then w e can see how if we can s top this gene from becoming active thats the next step but at least you cani dentify patients very early who are high risk and then you can prevent them fromg etting breast cancer, thats the idea. It's a big factor, when a quarter of your patients w ith breast cancer have a nasty gene thats huge, he said. I have some professional obligations that I must tend to that are preventing me from running an effective campaign. I h ave a very heavy job that would n ot allow me to put my best foot forward and I do not want to halfway. So I decided to stepd own and let someone who has the time to represent MICAL. DNA chairman Mark Humes s aid Mr LaRoda decided to step a side for personal reasons, but is still a member of the party in very good standing. He has explained his obliga tions to us, and we understand. He would like to keep his rea-s ons private, but he is still fully s upportive of the DNA and its mission, Mr Humes said. In an earlier interview with T he Tribune DNA leader Branville McCartney refuted claims that the party is falling a part at the seams. His comments came after Philip Thomas and Sammie Star Poiti er, the DNAs former candidates f or High Rock and South Beach r espectively, both had their nominations withdrawn. Mr McCartney said the DNA i s stronger than ever and the par ty had an over-subscription for candidates. B oth Mr Poitier and Mr T homas claim a series of arguments between themselves and the party leader led to them being ousted, but Mr McCartney said this was not the case. More recently, former DNA m ember Whitney Bastian accused Mr McCartney of lying for denying that the two of them had formed the DNA. Mr McCartney has denied that Mr Bastian was a co-founder of the n ew party. H e also said Mr McCartney appointed himself leader of the DNA. He was not elected to thep ost as publicly stated. Mr Bastian said he cannot accept the official story of how Mr McCartney became leader oft he party because it was he, Mr Bastian, who had made up that story in the first place. in Yamacraw and Shonell F erguson in Fox Hill. It was u nclear up to press time last night if MP Verna Grant was being offered a seat in whicht o campaign for the upcom ing election. Dr Duane Sands will r eturn in Elizabeth, and D esmond Bannister will be the candidate for North Andros and the Berry I slands. In the meantime, it is understood that the PLP rat i fied the last of their candidates last evening at their party headquarters on Farrington Road. Amongst those persons to receive a nomination were, Dion Smith for Nassau Vill age, Picewell Forbes for Mangrove Cay and South Andros, Dr Perry Gomez for North Andros and the Berry I slands, and Damien Gomez for South Eleuthera. Gibson denies claim over mortgage debt 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 f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e BREAST CANCER AT RECORD LEVELS FNMREADYFOR ELECTIONFIGHT DNACANDIDATEWITHDRAWS
By LAMECH JOHNSON email@example.com THE legal year was d eclared officially open yest erday by Chief Justice Sir M ichael Barnett who hoped that in 2012 the present lengthy delay in criminal matters will be reduced. However, he cautioned, members of the public s hould not be deluded into believing that delay will not be experienced. The traditional opening ceremony started with a march from the SupremeC ourt building on Bank L ane, onto Shirley Street to George Street where Justices, Magistrates and members of the Bar attended a 9:30am service at Christ Church Cathedral, to mark the opening of the judicialy ear. After the service, the group headed north on George Street onto Bay Street thent o Parliament Street to the S upreme Court, just as the R oyal Bahamas Police Force band made its entrance on B ank Lane. The Chief Justice declared the sessions officially opena fter highlighting the accomp lishments and challenges of 2011 and plans currently being revised to be implemented in the near future. In the past year, significant progress has been made i n increasing the size and personnel and improving the working environment, he s aid. H e said that the Supreme C ourt is conscious of the increased level of criminal activity and assured memb ers of the Bar that we are devoting increased manpowero n the criminal side of the c ourt. R egarding personnel, he noted Justice Roy Jones a ppointment to Justice in the S upreme Court in February 2 011, and the recent addition last Friday of Justice Indra Charles, who s erved 11 years as a Justice of the High Court of theE astern Caribbean Supreme C ourt. We are pleased that in 2012, the court will have two more justices than it had in 2 010, he said. H e spoke about the i ncrease in the number of courts to try criminal matters. This past year, the criminal side of the Supreme Courto perated in a maximum c apacity. There were four c ourts in New Providence and one in Freeport, Grand Bahama, fully committed to t aking to judicate criminal m atters. H e added: With the addition of Justice Charles, the Supreme Court will devote an a dditional fifth court to judicate on criminal matters. H e also noted that criminal m anagement rules were in e ffect to meet the continuing challenge of criminal cases. With the increased numb er of criminal cases, the rules committee has revisited criminal management rules and h ave met with attorneys from the attorney generals office and those practising criminall aw of the private bar. These rules are presently being finalised and will be implemented formally in the new court. LOCALNEWS PAGE 10, THURSDAY, JANUARY12, 2012 THE TRIBUNE C OMMISSIONER OF POLICE Eliston Greenslade. JUSTICES, magistrates and Members of the Bar at the cerem ony and, right, female mem bers of the guard on parade. ASP MARY MITCHELL leads chief justice Michael Barnett as he inspects the all-female guard. A POLICE CYCLIST w atches the p arade. Ceremony marks start of legal year
LOCALNEWS THE TRIBUNE THURSDAY, JANUARY12, 2012, PAGE 11 most efficient process for the criminal justice system and is not worth the time and expense. Sir Michael did not see it that way, saying that with then umber of measures put in place five courts in New Providence to handle the increasing number of criminal cases brought before thec ourts, theres an increased n eed for persons to serve as j urors. He highlighted some of the measures done in 2011 and this year, such as the addition of two Justices, and new and recently renovated courts onB ank Lane, one occupied by S enior Justice Isaacs and two courts situated on the ground floor of the judicial building formerly known as Ansbacher House, are now ready for occupancy. W hile he acknowledged the g reat help that Justice Roy J ones has been since his a dmission to the Supreme C ourt in February 2011, and t he help that recently sworni n Justice Indra Charles will be, having served 11 years a s Justice of the High Court o f the Eastern Caribbean S upreme Court, he said that t hese measures would not be enough without the jurors. The public are again reminded that they have an important role to play if these e lements are to succeed. Our effort will not succeed if eligi b le persons continue to unreas onably excuse themselves from their jury duty, he added. The chief justice admitted t hat persons over the years h ave disregarded their civic duty to the justice system, u sing the importance of their job as an excuse. H e said: No matter how important yours may be, for all of our jobs are important, the obligation to serve on aj ury cannot be regarded as an inconvenience to be avoided. At the same time, it is not in the interest of justice for the s ame persons to repeat as jurors. f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e CHIEF JUSTICE B ACKS JURY TRIALS M EMBERS o f the bar at the service in Christ Church Cathedral.Photos:Felip Major/Tribune Staff THE COLOUR GUARD welcomes members of the legal profession. MEMBERS of the bar march on Bay Street.
A N enormous volume of tourism business will be done in the Bahamas when Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association hosts Market-p lace 2012 in Nassau and Para dise Island. The annual conference, which begins on January 22, w ill bring those who supply tourism products such as hotel rooms and airline seats together with those who buy them, such as tour operators. A lready, 12,236 appointm ents have been scheduled between buyers and suppliers for Marketplace 2012. This number far exceeds the total number of appointments scheduled at the same p oint last year when Marketp lace 2011 was held in Jamaica, said Alec Sanguinetti, director general and CEO of CHTA. Last year, the computer s cheduled 11,800 appointments, he said. So we have over 500 more appointments a lready scheduled. Mr Sanguinetti pointed out that preliminary informationf rom Caribbean Tourism O rganisation (CTO the region had more arrivals in 2011 than in 2010, which w as a record year for arrivals in the Caribbean. That is wonderful news b ut I just temper that and caut ion you that tourism is not about numbers in terms of visitor arrivals, he said. It is about really bottom line, what is left behind (in local economies). F rom 2006 to 2010, visitor spending in the Caribbean fell from $26 billion to $21 billion. Caribbean and global t ourism are still recovering from the worldwide econom-i c crisis, and the recovery process is an opportunity for the Caribbean to retool itst ourism industry, Mr Sang uinetti said. If we just continue the way we are, with all the challenges f acing us, then that tourism spend is going to keep decreasing, he said. Mr Sanguinetti said the Caribbean must look at thec ompetitiveness of its tourism p roduct in terms of value for money. Over the course of Marketplace 2012, that is one of the important things that will be examined, he said. M eanwhile, David Johnson, d irector general of the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, said the hosting of Marketplace could not come at am ore opportune time for the B ahamas. He pointed out that there is still uncertainty about the g lobal economic recovery, but the Bahamas has reason to be optimistic. M r Johnson said there are e ncouraging signs in the Bahamas and he believes that 2012 will be a strong year for t he economy if the pace of hiring in the United States is sustained for another fewm onths. Our room occupancies and average daily rates remain growing for a second year in a row, he said. Although we are seeing very modest increases in total aira rrivals, we are holding the line on our rates and our total visitor count is up in the Bahamas. Mr Johnson pointed out t hat Marketplace delegates will be able to see the devel-o pments taking place in Nas sau and Paradise Island among them the expansion ofL ynden Pindling Internationa l Airport, the Baha Mar Resort, and road infrastructure improvements. LOCALNEWS PAGE 12, THURSDAY, JANUARY12, 2012 THE TRIBUNE Marketplace event to bring extra business THE LEAD PARTNERS of Marketplace 2012. From left: Stuart Bowe, president of the Bahamas Hotel Association; Alec Sanguinetti, CEO of CHTA; David Johnson, director general of Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation; Frank Comito, executive vice-president of the BHA. Photo: Derek Smith /BIS