N ASSA U AND BAHAMA ISLANDS LEADING NEWSPAPER Jobless youth up by a third Volume: 108 No.61WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2012 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 WEATHER CLOUDS& SHOWERS HIGH 83F LOW 69F By SANCHESKA BROWN Tribune Staff Reporter s email@example.com THE NATIONAL unemployment rate has risen 2.2 per cent in five months and youth unemployment is up by more than 30 per cent,a ccording to the latest labour survey released by the Department of Statistics yesterday. The survey, which was conducted in November of last year, shows increases in both New Providence and Grand Bahama, pushing the coun trys unemployment rate to 15.9 per cent. In the case of New Provi dence, the rate increased from 13.2 per cent to 15.1 per cent and in Grand Bahama from 15.4 per cent to 21. 2 per cent. The last labour force survey was conducted in May of 2011. Kelsie Dorsett, director of the Department of Statistics, attributed the 2.2 per cent increase in the unemployment rate to a decline in the informal sector and a larger num b er of young people becom ing unemployed. She said : The data survey from May showed a number of person sought employment by engaging in informal sectora ctivities. These people, like fruit sellers and phone card vendors, saw their businesses fail a few months later. When that happened they withdrew themselves from the labour force and joined the ranks of the unemployed causing an increase. In addition to a reduction in the number of persons engaged in the informal sec tor, which declined by 19 per cent, there was also a decline in the number of selfemployed persons. In May, self-employed persons accounted for 14 per cent of the total employment, but in the latest November survey Unemplo yment r ate rises by 2.2 per cent CHICKEN McBITES N E W The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST LATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM By CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter c firstname.lastname@example.org BAHAMAS Hot Mix has been awarded at least $77 mil-l ion in contracts over the last 10 years, according to the Minister of Works. N eko Grant tabled a list of a ll government contracts issued to Bahamas Hot Mix in Parliament on Monday, inr esponse to questions by Golden Gates incumbent Shane Gibson. Not included in the estimation of the total was a contract jointly awarded to Bahamas Hot Mix and Bethells Trucking and Heavy Equipment for $13.5 million for roadworks in the wake of Hurricane Frances, as it is unclear how the funds were split. By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com A MAGISTRATE delayed her ruling in a $100 million attempted fraud case yester day to inquire from Supt Ellis ton Rahming why prison offi cers disobeyed a direct order from her court to take one of the accused to hospital for treatment. In yesterdays proceedings in Court 10, Nassau Street, Magistrate Guilimina Archer was annoyed that prison offi cers did not take Steve DeGruiter, a 60-year-old American resident of Indonesia, to hospital after she had issued the order on the advice of prison officials. DeGruiter, with Carol Collins, 50, of Massachusetts and Japanese co-defendants, Hirofumi Tanabe, 57, and, Katsuichi Yufu, 72, were supposed to have received the verdict in their attempted fraud case which began on their arraignment in July 2010. The four are accused of attempting to obtain $100 mil lion cash by false pretences from E F G Bank and Trust through a forged JP Morgan cheque. The crimes were said to have been committed in New Providence on July 8. However, prior to yester days proceedings around noon, prison officials sent a notice to the Magistrate indicating that DeGruiter was not in a fit condition to appear in court. And the Magistrate, having seen the accused being R EPORTS reached T he T ribune l ast night of a stabbing that has left one man dead. Police sources say the m an, who is believed to be in his late 30s and named K evin Burrows, died around 4pm at the South Beach Clinic after being stabbed in the left side of the chest. He was reportedly s tabbed during an argument w ith another man on Mars hall Road. According to Sgt Chris lyn Skippings, both men i nvolved in the altercation were suffered stab wounds. They were rushed to the South Beach Clinic, whereo ne was declared dead. The other is in critical condition. P olice investigations con tinue. MAN STABBED TO DEATH IN ARGUMENT S S U U P P E E R R B B O O W W L L C C E E L L E E B B S S ALLTHESTARS, ALLTHESTYLE SEE ARTS8C BIGYOUTH OFFTOAGREATSTART SEESPORTSSECTIONE THE Government yesterday recovered 5,825 acres of land with the signing of a revised Heads of Agreement with the I-Group for its Mayaguana development project. Tourism Minister Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace praised developers for their willingness to cooperate with the government to bring the $1.8 billion project in line with its revised Family Island model. Mr Vanderpool-Wallace said the sizeable recovery of prime waterfront and inland acreage was equal to getting the island of Bimini back. ROW OVER HOT MIX C ONTRA CT S DEL AY OVER $100M FRAUD RULING LAND RECOVERY DEAL SIGNED 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 9 9 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 9 9 im lovin it HAITI PRESIDENT VISITS THE BAHAMAS HAITIPRESIDENT Michel Martelly waves after arriving in the Bahamas. He was greeted by thousands of Haitians living in the Bahamas as he began his official visit. Turn to page eight for more. Photo: Derek Smith /BIS
LOCAL NEWS PAGE 2, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2012 THE TRIBUNE S TAFF f rom Doctors Hospitail called in at Centreville Primary School yesterday. T he students were given talks about how the hospital works, how it aims to help thep eople of the Bahamas, and s hown some of the tools of the trade. Students even got a chance t o look around the inside of an ambulance and see the equipment that is used by the e mergency crew. The staff aimed to give the Centreville students a glimpsei nside the complex world of m edicine, and an understand ing of how medical staff try to help people. RYAN WILSON SR shows students of Centreville Primary School the inside of he ambulance and the tools he works with in his work as part of the emergency crew. P hotos: Felip Major /Tribune Staff Medical school
By KHRISNA VIRGIL k firstname.lastname@example.org JOHN ARMSTRONG, the United States embassys a cting Charg dAffaires, said yesterday that the embassy has not been actively pursuing p ersons to revoke their travel visas, without cause. He was responding to c laims that the US embassy, has on many occasions, revoked visas, specifically for Bahamian women, who have returned to the country, after giving birth to their children in the United States. According to Mr Arm strong, if the Embassy detects that an applicant has not been truthful when applying for an initial visa, a cancellation would be warranted, which is the case for anyone has had a revocation. In that case, he said, the person sometimes says well I went to the US and I had a b aby. Our response is but you told us that you were going to be a tourist or gos hopping. Then they say well I know that but I went and had a baby. Q uestions then arise, he said, of how or if the person settled the cost of their med i cal treatment. In a lot of cases, we found that people go and they didnt pay for the delivery. They didnt pay for the medical care, but it was picked up by the the United States government, whether it was picked up by the national government through payments, or the state or local government, he said. Mr Armstrong said the applicants credibility might then cause their visa privilege to be cancelled for sometime. Were not revoking the v isas, but people are coming in and applying for them and they dont overcome thatq uestion of the purpose of travel, is it allowed under that type of visa and what is theiri ntention? A revocation would also be warranted if the embassyf inds the person has been charged with serious offences such as child molestation or armed robbery. The embassy, however, if it is at fault, would reinstate a visa once the applicant can present appropriate documentation that they settled all accounts. If they have evidence of credit card receipts or what ever it might be, theoretically, they could be issued a visa the next time they apply. That could soon be a fter their initial applicat ion. Mr Armstrong also emphasized that personss hould not see the embassy as a lottery. We try to be consistent a nd also the officer will have the notes from the pre vious officer so unless s omeone has significant new evidence to present they shouldnt come right back, he said. As for reported rude treat ment of Bahamians who have visited the embassy to apply for various types of visas, Mr Armstrong issued an apology. He added that no matter what serious offences a per son has committed that would cause a refusal of a visa, they should still be treated polite ly. By DANA SMITH email@example.com A YEAR after a fire ripped through the offices of the Bet ty K shipping company on Bay Street, fire officials have yet to determine what startedthe blaze. The Valentines Day fire consumed not only the Betty K building but an entire city block, causing more than $100 million in damage. They havent given us any reason or any cause for the fire, said Adrianne Wells, Betty K office manager. Up to this day, we still dont know. Officials reported last year, the massive fire started in an office on the second floor of the building around 7.45am and continued to burn throughout the day, aided by combustible material inside and heavy wind. Despite the efforts of firefighters, the Betty K building was not salvageable. All that was left was a charred shell. Fire Chief Walter Evans said yesterday that fire investigators know the fire was not intentionally set but the exact cause is still unknown. For all indications from the investigator standpoint, theres nothing there to sug gest arson was the cause for this incident, he said. The cause of the fire has not been determined as of yet. This year, the shipping company has plans to move its administrative offices from Bay Streets House of Mosko to the Arawak Key port development site, where it already has warehouses set up. Ms Wells said the govern ment assisted in getting the Arawak Key warehouse up and running, ahead of schedule. Definitely we have to move, Ms Wells said. That is the agenda. Were not rebuilding at our old location, said Tamaisha Fox, another Betty K employee. Theres no reason to move back there. The intense blaze was fought by at least 35 fire offi cers and 15 Airport Authori ty fire service officers, who were then assisted by 100 offi cers from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and 100 officers from the Royal Bahamas Police Force. The fire also damaged the Adderley Building, the con demned complex adjoining the Churchill Building, which houses the Cabinet Office. The Betty K building, erected in the 1920s, was a part of the Antiquities, Monuments, and Museum Corporations (AMMC sites. Following the fire, Orry Sands, AAMC chairman, said: It is a major loss because its the history of the Kelly people that goes along with it. Officials had hoped the building would be converted into a national museum once the shipping operations moved out. The building was named Betty K in honour of the daughter of the late founder C Trevor Kelly. It housed a company that originally transported lumber but eventually grew into one of the largest freight carriers in the Bahamas. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2012, PAGE 3 By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org AN ELDERLY Farrington R oad man, during his arraignment in the Magistrates Court yesterday afternoon, admitted that he had sexuallya ssaulted a nine-year-old girl. As a result of 65-year-old Paul Bullards admission to t he court, Magistrate Guilimina Archer, who called his actions despicable, for-m erly convicted him, telling him that he would be impriso ned for eight months if he f ailed to pay the $2,000 fine. Bullard was brought before t he Court 10 Magistrate on a charge of indecent assault that w as said to have been committed against the child on S aturday, February 4. T he accused told Magist rate Archer that he was not r epresented by counsel at the arraignment. M agistrate Archer asked for his plea to the offence after reading him the charge. Guilty, your honour, he replied. Uncertain that she had h eard correctly, she asked the a ccused to repeat himself. He a gain admitted his guilt. S he asked the police prosec utor to read the facts surrounding the incident in quest ion. The prosecutor said the incident took place in the b ack yard of the victims residence, also on Farrington Road around 5.30pm. T he nine-year-old girl was walking in her back yard tog et ice from an ice machine. On the way, she saw a man she recognised and knew asP aul Bullard near the ice machine sitting on a crate. Bullard pulled her by the skirt and touched her private parts. The incident was witnessed by the victims uncle w ho told her father what had happened. T he police were contacted a nd they arrested and cautioned Bullard. The accused man accepted the facts read by the prosecution and said he was thankful that he did not take his actions further. Im thankful that I didnt p ursue it. Im 65 years of age under the influence of drugs.I need help. You touched the young girl on her vagina? the magistrate asked. Yes, he said, and expressed his thanks for hav ing been brought before Magistrate Archer. Before sentencing him, the magistrate a sked if he had anything further that he wished to add. I put everything in your hands, your worship. I leave it in the courts hands, but I do n eed help, he said. He admitted that his last c onviction was some 35 years a go. M agistrate Archer said that consideration would be taken into the defendants immed iate plea of guilty and not h aving been in trouble with t he law for over 30 years. At the same time, she said, the seriousness of the offence cannot be ignored. What you did was despicable. The innocence of a lit t le girl has been taken away. Why would you want to place your hands on a little g irls vagina? Children are supposed to be loved and taken c are of, not used and abused. You are a rusty, grey, old man! With all of these women out here, why would you prey o n a child? Your actions are totally unacceptable. S he informed him that even in the circumstances of his early plea of guilt and near clean record, youre just not g oing to get away with it. You are to pay a fine of $ 2,000 or you will spend eight months in prison. The choice is yours. The handcuffed man was e scorted from the court by police. INDEPENDENT candidate for Englerston Alex Morley will host a communityc onvention on Saturday, February 11, and all constituents a re invited. Mr Morley plans to use the event to fully explain his platform and invite residents to assist in formulating a solidp lan that addresses the needs o f the Englerston community. The event will be held at Englerston Park on Cordeaux Avenue and Lincoln Blvd from 2pm to 10pm. Presentations will begin at 5pm. T he convention will allow residents to hear from Mr Morley first-hand about his plans for the community plans that include initiating e conomic development prog rammes, improving the educational facilities and a ddressing citizenship rights i ssues. The convention will also a llow local residents to participate in designing solutionst o the problems they face. I n addition, several attorn eys will give presentations on knowing your rights when dealing with the police and t he law, and citizenship rights. MYSTERY REMAINS OVER BETTY K BLAZE INDEPENDENT TO HOST CONVENTION Man, 65, admits sex attack on nine-year-old PAUL BULLARD, 65, of Farrington Road leaving court after he was given the option of paying a $2,000 fine or facing eight months at Her Majestys Prison on pleading guilty to indecently assaulting a nine-year-o ld girl. EMBASSYRESPONDS TO CLAIMS OVER VIS A REJECTIONS FOR BAHAMIAN WOMEN
EDITOR, The Tribune. Reference is made to the Tribune headline dated January 31, 2012.I do hope that you will consider my letter for publication because after reading the above-mentioned headlineabout what the PLP leader said about the Prime Minister, it caused me to turn red inside and outside. I would like him to answer to the shameful tactics/antics in which he and his members participatedwhen the FMN was installed as the governing party in 2007. Letter writers complaining about this atrocious behaviour had to use tame language when other more forceful terms should have been used to decribe their behaviour which was broadcast to the nation. For tunately, the government proceeded with the nations business and they accomplished quite a lot. I do believe that we are reaping the rewards of this unusual rudeness, as youngsters copied this bad behaviour. This is partly the reason for many of the criminal activities plaguing our land today. A BAHAMIAN VOTER Nassau, January 31, 2012. E DITOR, The Tribune. THE Free National Movement (FNM hornets nest by holding its forum on a Sunday in GrandB ahama at the Grand Lucayan Resort. The event, dubbed Take 5 was held on January 15. At this political event the FNM officially introduced its five candidates for Grand Bahama. The governing party had also held its National Candi-d ates Launch for Nassau on S unday, January 29. I have heard several critics and even supporters of the Ingraham a dministration voicing their disapproval of the FNM holding a political event on a Sun d ay, of all days. I too have been c ritical of the FNM for holding political rallies on Sundays. I dont believe the governing party should be holding any political events on Sundays. I believe that the FNM is i n danger of alienating its Christian base by holding ral lies on the Lords Day. The F NM must appreciate the fact that there are tens of thou-s ands of regular Sunday c hurchgoers in this country. A t a time when many political clairvoyants are saying that the political pendulum is swingi ng in the direction of the PLP, the FNM can ill afford to anger its evangelical supporters. Butw ho are we to judge the Ingrah am administration? The church in this country has lost its moral authoritya nd witness. That is why par ty leaders from both sides of the political divide dont r espect us anymore. In his groundbreaking book entitled The Church Before the Watching World, the late D r Francis A Schaeffer said: When those who claim to be Gods people turn aside fromt he Word of God and from the Christ of history, this is far more heinous in the sighto f God than the worst case of infidelity in marriage, for it destroys the reality, the great central Bridegroom-brider elationship. It is interesting that The Bahamas Christian Council has y et to issue an official statement condemning the FNM for holding the Take Fivef orum on the Lords Day. They should have said something. Perhaps the members of the Council are thinking that t he church in this country is in n o moral position to be telling a secular organisation that it should not be holding its rallies on Sundays. Also, the members of the C ouncil probably thought that if they were to condemn the FNM for holding political e vents on a Sunday, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP would have used that to gainp olitical mileage. For years, the church, especially the Baptist church, has been used by the Opposition party in order to stay in power. But I think there might be a nother reason why the Council h as remained mum on this issue. The church in this country has been rocked to its found ation by several sex scandals in the past several years. I personally know of one C hristian brother who conf ided in me that he was propositioned by a prominent pastor in Grand Bahama. The pastor, by the way, is a man. The recent high profile cases involving two men of the clothi n New Providence and Grand Bahama are only an infinitesimal tip of a colossal iceberg. I have been in the church for m any years and I can tell you that we are very good at sweeping our dirt under the rug. T hat is why I don't believe that the church, collectively speaking, is in the moral posi-t ion to chide the FNM about h olding rallies on Sunday. I am not saying that I agree with the FNM in this regard. I dont. A holy day, according to the Old Testament Prophets Isa iah and Hosea, means absolute l y nothing to God when people are living immoral, unholy lives. And that includes the people of The Bahamas. T he Bible says in Hosea 6:6 that God desires mercy and not sacrifice. In fact, Hosea a lso said in the second chapter that God will cause the Sab bath days to cease. Also, the P rophet Samuel said in First Samuel 15:22 that to obey God is better than sacrifice. E ven the Apostle Paul said in Colossians 2:16 to let no m an judge you in meat, drink, h oly day, new moon or the Sabbath day. We commemorate the Lords resurrection, the Advent of the Holy Spirit and the formation of theN ew Testament church on the Lords Day, Sunday. To be sure, Sunday is not the Sabbath day, Saturday is. At least it was in Old Testament times. To work on the Sabbath in Old Testament times was a capital offence. However, the Sabbath day l aws are no longer binding. T he Sabbath finds its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ. The church finds its rest in H im alone, not in a day (read Hebrews 4 and Matthew 11:28-29). Sunday is a symbolo f a new beginning. Y et that day in and of itself is not important. What is fundamentally important is obedience to Jesus Christ. God is a holy God; and He is looki ng for holiness and obedie nce to His Moral Laws among His people. Holiness does not charact erise this nation, however. That is why we are not in thep osition to be casting stones a t the FNM, or any political o rganisation for that matter for holding political events on a Sunday. W hen the church gets its act together, then will it be in the moral position tob ring reproof to the powerst hat-be when they step out of line. As it stands right now, we as the church aren ot in the moral position to be chiding the FNM for the January 15th or January 2 9th event. Having said that, I still believe that the FNM should have used discretion when d eciding on which day to hold its political events. To hold a forum or a rally o n a Sunday is not a wise political calculation. Sunday is the day Christians assem b le together to worship and take communion. I think the FNM should have held its events on eitherF riday or Saturday. To hold them on a Sunday, in my view, is not right. KEVIN EVANS Freeport, G rand Bahama. January 29, 2012. EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR P AGE 4, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 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 GREECES prime minister negotiated late into the night Tuesday with the countrys international creditors, finalizing a proposal for new austerity measures to a void a disastrous bankruptcy. P rime Minister Lucas Papademos kept talking with senior debt inspectors from G reece's bailout creditors other count ries that use the euro and the International Monetary Fund which meant his m eeting with Greek party leaders was postponed until Wednesday. The EU and the IMF insist that Greece must pass further harsh austerity meas ures including private sector salary c uts and civil service firings if it is to secure a second $170 billion bailout to a void defaulting next month and possibly leaving the eurozone. A government official said a draft agreement on the austerity deal would be finalised during Papademos meeting witht he debt inspectors and forwarded to party leaders for scrutiny early Wednesday. T he impending cutbacks have angered Greek unions, who organised a nationwide strike Tuesday that stopped train and ferry services, closed schools and banks and put state hospitals on short s taffing. Riot police fired tear gas in Athens to repel hundreds of anti-austerity protestersw ho burned a German flag and tried to break a cordon outside Parliament as they chanted Nazis out! T he EU, the IMF and other eurozone nations have been ratcheting up the pressure on Greece, which cant repay a March 20 bond unless it gets new bailout funds. O n Monday, Papademos government caved in to creditors' demands to cut civil service jobs, announcing that 15,000 p ositions would be cut this year out of 750,000. The decision breaks a major taboo, as Greek state jobs had been pro-t ected for more than a century to prevent political purges. The European Union and IMF are also pressing Greece to cut the $979 monthlym inimum wage to help boost the coun trys competitiveness. This reduction would also affect the private sector because p rivate companies base their salaries on the minimum wage and would even affect unemployment benefits. Greeces coalition party leaders held a f irst key meeting on the austerity mea sures then postponed the second round of talks on Monday so Papademos couldc omplete negotiations with EU-IMF debt inspectors. The leaders have already agreed to cut 2012 spending by 1.5 per cent of gross d omestic product about $4.3 billion; to improve competitiveness by slashing wages and non-wage costs and to re-capitalise banks without nationalizing them. The details remain to be worked out. Creditors are also demanding spending cuts in defence, health and social security. Unions and employers federations alike have deplored the measures as unfair and u nnecessary. Some 10,000 people marched T uesday against the austerity programme. Greece has been kept solvent since May 2 010 by payments from a $145 billion i nternational rescue loan package. When it became clear the money would not be e nough, a second bailout was decided last October. As well as the austerity measures, the second bailout also depends on separate t alks with banks and other private bondh olders to forgive $131.6 billion in Greek debt. The private investors have been l ocked in negotiations over swapping their current bonds for a cash payment and new bonds worth 50 per cent less than the original face value, with longer repayment terms and a lower interest rate. P apademos met late Tuesday with banker Charles Dallara, who represents p rivate bondholders in the negotiations. He also met Josef Ackermann, CEO of Germanys Deutsche Bank, and Jean Lemierre, senior adviser to the chairman of French bank BNP Paribas. G reek officials estimate private investors will take losses of about 70 per cent on the value of their bonds. Greekl enders and pension funds hold some 34 per cent of the countrys privately owned debt. T he EU-IMF bailout will also give the Athens $52 billion to buy shares in the Greek banks, thereby protecting them from immediate collapse. H owever, the bailout has to be secured for the deal with private investors to go ahead, as about $39 billion from the b ailout will be used to pay investors in the bond swap deal. A disorderly bankruptcy by Greece w ould likely lead to its exit from the euro zone, a situation that European officials have previously insisted is impossible because it would hurt other weak coun-t ries like Portugal. But on Tuesday, the EU commissioner Neelie Kroes, in charge of the blocs digital policies, said Greeces e xit wouldnt be a disaster. Its always said: if you let one nation go, or ask one to leave, the entire structure will collapse. But that is just not true, she told t he Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant. But EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso quickly stepped in toc ounter her remarks. We are in a very decisive moment regarding the future of Greece and the future of the euro. We want Greece in the euro, he said. The costs of a default by Greece, the costs of a potential exit of Greece from the euro would be a lot higher than the costs of continuing to support Greece. By Nicholas Paphitis, Associated Press FNMrisks upsetting the church LETTERS email@example.com Greek austerity meeting postponed again T T h h e e w w o o r r l l d d w w i i d d e e r r e e c c e e s s s s i i o o n n
THE Bahamas has recomm ended improved co-operation between the Caribbeana nd the United States in the f ight against the trafficking of g uns and narcotics throughout the region. C A Smith, Bahamas A mbassador to the United States, made this statement as he addressed the US Senate C aucus on International Narcotics Controls hearing on US-Caribbean Security Cooperation on February 1. T he hearing was also attended by Carl Smith, Permanent Secretary in the Min i stry of National Security; Missouri Sherman-Peter, con sultant to the government; and Kimberley Lam, second s ecretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Smith thanked the chairman of the Caucus for inviting him to participate in a discussion on the fight againstt he global illegal drug trade. In particular, he was keen to discuss the security chal lenges the trade represents to t he countries in the Caribbean, including the Bahamas. In his address, Ambassador Smith underscored the impor tance of strengthening ties and co-operation in the fight a gainst the illicit trafficking i n arms and narcotics, and recommended a more robust exchange of information and intelligence, close co-operation in surveillance and recon naissance and continued targeted joint operations. The region urgently needs to address trafficking in guns and gun crimes, and it is reco mmended that we strengthen co-operation, regional capac-i ty and counter measures in t his critical area, he said. H e told the Caucus that the Bahamas is on the front line of drug control and has been f or more than 40 years because of the serious trafficking problem it faces, andb ecause of its commitment to national action and bilateral, regional and international cooperation in this area. There is an intrinsic link between the Bahamas current national security prob l ems and the illicit drug trade, he said, also referring to serious challenges stemming from arms trafficking, h uman smuggling, illegal migration and the prospects for trafficking in persons. Regarding the countrys highest ever murder rate of 127 in 2011, AmbassadorS mith said that guns have become the weapon of choice in the perpetration of these crimes, which has become ac ause for grave concern. As a result, he said, the Bahamas parliament recently passed amendments to strengthen the capacity of its criminal justice system so it cand eal decisively with drugs and g un crime and soon, a wideranging five-year National AntiDrug Strategy will be launched. We are determined that drug trafficking, crime and criminality should not jeopardise the economic, social and political stability and development of our country, the ambassador said. T he contribution of $1.6 million by the US governmenti n the first fiscal year of the C aribbean Basin Security Init iative has contributed significantly in terms of upgrading the technology, assets and e xpert capacity of the police and Defence Force, he said. The state-of-the-art craft d onated under Enduring Friendship and the US Coast Guards co-operation in OPBAT are both vital, Mr S mith added. T he Bahamas also looks forward to the United States co-operation in the strate g ic development of bases throughout the country, espe cially on the southern and northern borders the points of depar t ure for illicit drugs destined for the United States, he said. The Bahamas was honoured to host the Caribbean Basin Security Initiatives second Caribbean-United States Secu r ity Co-operation Dialogue in Nassau on November 10, 2011, the ambassador said. There, a Plan of Action was a dopted which allows all involved to concentrate efforts where they will have the most impact. We would recommend that in this framework, fur-t her investment be made in t he acquisition of maritime assets in particular, to patrol the territorial waters of Caribbean states, he said. We would therefore recom mend co-operation to further strengthen national and regional security bodies and arrangements in the region. The region urgently needs t o address trafficking in guns and gun crimes, and it is rec-o mmended that we strengthen co-operation, regional c apacity and counter-measures in this critical area, thea mbassador said. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2012, PAGE 5 100A woman who is admired for her unwaivering devotion to her Saviour Jesus Christ our Lord and loved for her generosity and kindness. Family and close friends are invited to honour her very long and rich life with a birthday celebration to be held at: Montagu Gardens Restaurant Sunday, February 12th, 2012 2:00 to 6:00 pm Written or oral memories of time shared with Sybil/ Granny are welcome.Dress: smart casual Celebrating a Century of Life Sybil Carey TrecoHappy 100th Birthday! J AZZTELL wireless serv ices joined forces with Baha Mar and the Cable Beach Hotel Association to upgrade the safety of the new Cable Beach strip through the installation 13 wireless IP CCTVc ameras. T he cameras were installed on both the interior and exterior the new Cable Beach Marketplace. Live video of the entire market can be v iewed remotely in the monitoring room at the new Cable B each Police station. And, the security system in place before the redevelopment of the strip is being reinstated. Once again, camerasw ill be placed on top of lamp posts on the Cable Beach Median running from the Sheraton to the police station. In addition to the market place, new areas being cov-e red include the staff car park and taxi stands. In the near future, the partn ership plans to place came ras throughout the new West Bay Street area. MINISTER of Works Neko Grant dismissed North Andros and Berry Islands MP Vincent Peets claim that the New Prov idence Road Improvement Project has failed to properly install BEC infrastructure. In the House of Assembly yesterday, Mr Grant respond-ed to questions regarding the installation of utilities and to a statement attributed to BEC, which reportedly warned the corporation will have to dig up roads after the project is completed. While confirming that he was aware of the statement in question, Mr Grant defend-ed his ministry, and said no one has dropped the ball big time on the project, contrary to Mr Peets assertion. He said: There has been no failure in addressing the utility infrastructure components of the New Providence Improve-ment Project. The underground utility infrastructure rehabilitation and installation of ducts for future expansion of this infrastructure will mitigate future road excavation to address utility failures and infrastructure expansion. Mr Grant said his ministry is satisfied with the job doneby project contractor, Jose Cartellone Construcciones Civiles, in installing BEC infrastructure. He said the work has been completed in accordance with contract specifications and other guidelines. Closer links to USin drug fight GRANT REJECTS BEC CL AIM CCTV TO MAKE CABLE BEACH A SAFE PLACE PICTURED during a discussion about the project are (l-rB ethel, director of the Cable Beach Association; Ioan Mitulescu, Baha Mar IT department; Robert Sands, Baha Mar; Leslie Pindling, JazzTell; Richard English, president of the Cable Beach Association; Marvin Dames, VP of Security at Baha Mar; Orvil Smith, JazzTell.
LOCAL NEWS PAGE 6, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2012 THE TRIBUNE M AKING a trek across the central and southern Bahamas, the PLPs deputyl eader and incumbent for Cat I sland, Rum Cay and San Sal vador was greeted by supporters in Old Bight as hem oved through his con stituency. Philip Brave Davis told Cat Islanders that the PLP is ready to govern from d ay one. He said: Much of what they stopped, cancelled andr eviewed against your best i nterests will begin immedi ately when the PLP is returned to office. We carea bout people. And when your Progressive Liberal Party is elected as the next government of the Bahamas not long from now, y ou will have a government that puts people first. Mr Davis assured Cat I slanders that when the PLP i s in power, they will not have a government that only responds to community needsd uring election time. You will have a PLP government who will be fight ing for you all the time, he said. Suppor ter s g reet PLPcandidate PHILLIP BRAVEDAVIS g reeted by supporters as he enters the Old Bight terminalo n Cat Island. SUPPORTERS outside the Old Bight terminal await their incumbent. SUPPORTERS at a social with Phillip Davis. PHILLIP BRAVEDAVIS meets one of the younger members of the reception committee.
THE PLP has accused the governing party of running a gutter campaign against opposition leader Perry Christie. The party claims the FNM is resorting to low political tactics to distract Bahamians from record levels of violent crime and an economy failing to keep pace with that of regional neighbours. A government confident in its own accomplishments would not be forced to turn to distortions and recycled lies to make their case for re-election, but, in fact, this FNM government is well aware of how often and how far they have fallen short, said the party in a statement. The PLP said that while FNMs brag about their infrastructure improvements in the middle of a recession, these were only accomplished by hiring foreign contractors and workers to build Bahamian roads. The roadworks in New Providence, financed by heavy borrowing from abroad, have been plagued by poor planning, conflicts of interest, shoddy work, long delays, and cost overruns to the tune of tens of millions. Residents and small businesses have suffered terribly, the party said. The PLP also accused the party of failing to prevent crime, prosecute suspects and punish offenders. They have failed to invest in at-risk youth. They have failed to keep schools safe. They have failed to protect witnesses. They have failed to stem the avalanche of illegal weapons. They have failed to adequately patrol our borders, the statement said. It claimed that during its last stint in office, the PLP created 22,000 jobs for Bahamians, pioneered awardwinning programmes like Urban Renewal to fight crime, built more than 1,400 homes, constructed a record number of classrooms, built reverse-osmosis plants in the Family Islands, invested $25 million in Bahamian entrepreneurs and introduced new programmes to help first-time home-buyers. The FNM has failed on crime. They have failed to put Bahamians first. And they have made the recession much worse, with short-sighted policies and epic misman agement leading to international downgrades of the Bahamian economy. Not only do they have their hands in the cookie jar, they have both feet, too. From start to finish, their campaign is a reflection of their contempt for Bahami ans. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2012, PAGE 7 By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org F REEPORT The Prog ressive Liberal Partys northern branch is claiming permanent workers dismissed from Hutchisons operationsi n Grand Bahama are being replaced by participants in theg overnments Job Training P rogramme. T he PLP also said foreign nationals are now being given first priority when it comes toj obs on the island. Party officials released a statement demanding thatg overnment not only revisit t he poorly implemented Job Training Programme, but also look into the hiring practiceso f certain businesses in Grand Bahama. The Progressive Liberal P arty is perturbed at reports w hich indicate that once permanent employees at reputable Grand Bahama establ ishments, like the Container Port and the Grand Lucayan Resort, are being replaced byp articipants of the Governments Job Training Programme. It has also been brought t o our attention that permanent employees in certain Departments at the GrandL ucaya are being asked to train the government job trainees and then in an unacceptable measure, the perman ent employees are being let go by the resort, the state ment said. The PLP said it believes the job training programme is providing free labour to cer t ain businesses in Grand Bahama at the expense of tax payers and to the detriment of job security. This is clearly a poorly thought-out scheme by the Ingraham administration, which has bungled every economic decision thus far in the face of the worst recession since the great depression, a nd the remnant of that recess ion. How does one justify the termination of qualified Bahamians reliant on full salaries from private entities,b eing replaced by temporary untrained workers, who in them ain are FNM cronies and t heir family members? T he statement further claimed that employees at some hotels who were senth ome last year as part of a downsizing exercise were brought back on speciallyn egotiated three month cont racts with fewer hours and therefore less pay. The PLP claims that with t hese contracts set to expire, those employees, who haveb een notified that their cont racts will not be renewed, are n ow being asked to train the government workers to fill their jobs. Could this also be the reason behind the terminations of the 70-plus workers whow ere sent home from the Container Port? Just how much will this plot thicken? the party asked. We call on the government to speedily look into the human resources affairs atc ertain Grand Bahama busi nesses not just the poorly implemented Jobs Training Programme, but this unusual o ccurrence in Grand Bahama of foreign nationals being giv en first priority for jobs. We also call on the gov ernment to be open and trans parent, as it is our understand i ng that Rev Lindy Russell, former FNM Member of Parliament for Eight Mile Rock, has been appointed to oversee theJ ob Training programme here in Grand Bahama. On the eve of an election we would hope that Rev Russell has not been mandated, especially in these difficult times to either look out for c ronies, or use the temporary j obs as an inducement for vuln erable Bahamians to support the Free National Movement, said the statement. The PLP said that it will i mplement a more fair and efficient job training pro-g ramme by launching Career A cademies throughout the B ahamas. These will train Bahamians to compete for 21st centuryj obs in a rebounding Bahami an economy, and equip them for new opportunities aso pposed to secretly training t hem to take existing jobs from worthy Bahamians, the party said. A dditionally, the PLP said that if elected, there would bei mmediate measures to put Grand Bahamians first, i ncluding: A significant hike in work permit fees for jobs Bahamia ns are qualified to perform. A programme to identify local replacements for for-e igners already on a work permit, once the current permit has expired. In instances where qualif ied Bahamians are not available, the provision of educa tional and training opportun ities to make them better candidates going forward. The advertising of all job vacancies with trade unions a nd employment agencies before any work permit is issued. A collaborative scheme with the Grand Bahama Ship Yard and others to reduce then umber of non-nationals working at these companies. The expansion of the Bahamas Technical andV ocational Institute (BTVI on Grand Bahama help create more job opportunities for Bahamians. The Bahamas own street philosopher FNM RUNNING GUTTER CAMPAIGN PERRY CHRISTIE is the subject of a gutter campaign by the FNM ahead of the forthcoming election, according to members of the PLP. PLP: Sacked staff being replaced by trainees
LOCAL NEWS PAGE 8, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2012 THE TRIBUNE THEPresident of Haiti arrived last night for a twoday visit to the Bahamas as h e launched a bid to bring investment to his nation. M ichel Martelly and his delegation arrived at Odyssey Airport later than scheduled, before proceeding to the Church of God a uditorium in Joe Farrington R oad to meet with the Haiti an community. P olice estimate thousands of people were in attendance, a s Haitians who make their h ome in the Bahamas turned out to welcome their presi dent. T he centre was filled to capacity, with standing room only. He spoke of the changes t hat they are making in Haiti and implored people to supp ort him in the reconstruction process following the earthquake that devastated his country in 2010. The former musician, k nown by his stage name of S weet Micky during his music c areer, also spoke of his comm itment to reshaping Haiti in the international commun ity. P resident Martelly urged people to take a positive out look on Haiti and was look i ng to bring investors and jobs to Haiti. He spoke of building confidence in Haiti and of how the c ountry is making a turnaround since his election in A pril of last year. He also listed changes he wanted to make to the Haiti embassy, including opening the embassy on Saturdays and m aking it possible to have p assports issued at the e mbassy. T oday, his visit continues with a 9am courtesy call with S ir Arthur Foulkes, the Gove rnor-General, before a visit with Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette and Tom m y Turnquest, Minister of National Security. At 11am, he will meet with Perry Christie, leader of the P LP, before a meeting at noon with Prime Minister H ubert Ingraham. Following that comes one of his crucial meetings in the search for investors, as he meets with the President of t he Chamber of Commerce a nd businessmen of the B ahamas. T o round out his visit, he will meet with Vincent Vand erpool-Wallace, Minister of T ourism and Aviation, before a call at the Haitian Embassy prior to his depar t ure. Haiti president visits Bahamas H AITIPRESIDENT M ichel Martelly is welcomed to the Bahamas last night by Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette. Photos: Derek Smi th/BIS
LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2012, PAGE 9 Contrary claims that B ahamas Hot Mix is awarded the majority of government paving jobs to the exclusion of other private sector firms,M r Grant said just under $245 million in road contracts have b een awarded to private firms b etween 2007 to 2011. Of the 18 Bahamas Hot Mix contracts listed from 2002 t o date, 10 contracts were awarded through negotiation with the company, five contracts were awarded afterp ublic tender of the project a nd the remaining three t hrough invited or selected tender. The contract for the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre Redevelopment Project (phase 1A and 1B largest awarded to Bahamas Hot Mix, in April 2011 for$ 48.5 million through a public tender. The project is expected to be completed in January 2013. The second biggest contract was awarded in April 2006.A dditional funding approved i n April 2009 brought the t otal to $10.5 million for development of the Marsh Harbour International Airp ort. The opposition has repeate dly accused Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette of c onflict of interest, alleging that, despite his denials, he benefits from government c ontracts awarded to certain companies, includingB ahamas Hot Mix. Hotel Corporation chairman Michael Scott said that the sign ing represented the governments commitment to moving away from the mega resort tourism model to high-end low density resorts, which are less socially and culturally intrusive, and also limits the number of acreage offered to developers. Under the revised deal, published by Tribune Business last year, the I-Group will get enough land for its development, the rest would be made available for Bahamians to develop theirown straw businesses, retail outlets and straw markets in a bid to benefit from the spinoffs the developer and its partners would create. The I-Group will receive 2,912 acres of land for its initial phase, and has the option of acquiring another 2,913 acres maximum over eight separate development phases. This is a far cry from the original Heads of Agreement signed with the Christie administration, which granted the developer that collective acreage upfront and a similar amount in one fell swoop at a later stage for a collective 9,999 acres. Mr Vanderpool-Wallace said: Our policy is for us to make sure that we make as many opportunities available for Bahamians to develop acreage in their own ancestral lands. Its a very important part of us allowing more and more Bahamian families to becomea catalyst and a stimulus for the development of that. This is equivalent to getting Bimini back, getting Ragged Island back, getting little San Sal back thats the size of scope of what were talking about. The I-Group is looking at a $5-$10 million marina in the first phase of its revised project, tak ing total investment in this stage to between $24-$32 million. The marina is in addition to a $1.5 million new airport terminal for Mayaguana; a $7$10 million spend on upgrading the runway, aprons and associated airport infrastructure; $500,000 on community projects in Mayaguana; and a $10 million boutique hotel with a minimum of 25 rooms. Mr Vanderpool-Wallace said yesterday that enabling legislation detailing a range of investment incentives to be received by the I-Group would be tabled in the Senate today. Once supporting legislation is passed, the Boston-based developer is scheduled to restart upgrades to the islands airstrip and airport terminal. See business B1 for more. wheeled around outside from h er vantage point in the courtroom, agreed with the advice a nd ordered that the Indonesian be taken to hospital. She stood the matter down for two hours to get an updateon the request. W hen the matter was r esumed, DeGruiters defence attorney, Godfrey Pinder, told her that the accused had not been to the hospital, but had been returned to prison. Magistrate Archer asked a n earby prison officer the w hereabouts of his senior officer who was responsible for seeing that her order was relayed to prison officials and carried out. However, the officer told t he Magistrate that his senior had temporarily returned to Her Majestys Prison. As a result, he was not in a position to say why the order was not obeyed. The officer admitted that h e himself had to wheel the accused in a wheelchair. The Magistrate said she had seen this for herself. Magistrate Archer said that r egardless of the situation, prisoners are still to be treated with humanity. I need to speak with the Superintendent of the Prison about this, she said. A t this point, remanded prisoner John Forest asked for permission to speak saying that as the cellmate of the accused, he could possibly help the court understand the full situation behindD eGruiters condition. Forest said: Hes been deteriorating and Ive seen it since weve been sharing the same cell since Ive been at t he prison for a few months. A few nights ago, he started throwing up blood on the floor. I called the correction officers and told them about it. They left and they returnedw ith Pepto-Bismol and they told him to walk to the medical ward. I told them that he could barely stand and we got into an argument. Forest said the prison offic ers returned with two inmates who were instructed to carry the defendant to the medical ward. They carried him on their s houlders like a sack of potatoes despite his obvious spinal condition. Im no doctor, but I know, we know that something is wrong with him. A fter the cellmate concluded his contribution to the discussion, Magistrate Archer expressed annoyance that despite the courts order for him to be taken to the hospital, he was taken to thep rison. She added: I want an explanation and I hope it is a good one because it was on their advice that the order w as made. She turned to the defendants and told them that the case would be adjourned to Monday, February 13. She said that hopefully, with allt hings considered, the ruling will be delivered. She advised Godfrey Pinder to follow up on the matter as she would do the same witha phone call to the chief of the prison. Y ufu and Tanabe are represented by Murrio Ducille while Mr Pinder represents the last co-defendant, Carol Collins. 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 L AND REC OVERY DEAL SIGNED DELAY OVER $100M FRAUD RULING Row over Hot Mix contracts that number decreased to 12 per cent. M rs Dorsett said a 34 per cent increase in the number of unemployed young people also contributed to a rise in the unemployment rate. In May when the earlier survey was conducted, most students about to graduate from high school and university were unlikely a part of the labour force, however, in November though some of them may have obtained jobs, others were likely awaiting responses from their job applications, she said. Also the young people that were working, when businesses started to fail, were the first ones to be let go or laid off. Its usually the last one in thats the first one out and in most cases its the young people who fall in that category. Mrs Dorsett said this is a t rend that will be monitored now that the survey is conducted biannually in May a nd November. N ew Providence experi enced a decline of 13 per cent in the number of discouragedw orkers while the reverse was the case in Grand Bahama where the numbers increased by 42 per cent. Mrs Dorsett said that in May Grand Bahamians were more optimistic about finding work but that their attitudes changed in November after months of searching for jobs with no success. The survey also showed a slight increase less than one per cent in the size of the labour force which is now 190,445 persons. The number of women declined by 1.4 per cent while the number of working men increased by 1.8 per cent. In New Providence the number of persons in both the l abour force and the employed labour force was almost equally distributed a mong the sexes. In Grand B ahama however, men out numbered women in both the labour force and thee mployed labour force and were fewer in numbers among the unemployed. Mrs Dorsett said the next labour force survey to include some of the Family Islands will be conducted in May 2012. She said this particular sur vey will use a more detailed questionnaire, which will allow for the collection of data on the informal sector, training and similar information. Additionally, a condensed questionnaire will be used with the major focus being the measurement of the labour force and the relevant indica tors participation rate, unemployment rate, and the like. JOBLESSYOUTH UP BYATHIRD f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e THECLAIMS over Hot M ix contracts are the latest in a series made by the opposition over contracts, alleging thatD eputy Prime Minister benefits from government c ontracts awarded to cert ain companies.
T HE Grand Bahama District of t he Scout Association of The Bahamas has initiated an ongoing programme to recruit and train new l eaders. T he programme is seeking adults w ho are willing and able to contribute to the holistic development and continuous education of the youth of the several communities on the island. The objective is to pro v ide healthy activities for boys while teaching them life skills that will posi tively impact them in the years ahead. The Scout Association caters to boys between the ages of six and 18 and is built on training based on the S cout Law and Promise while being guided by adult leadership. The advantages for the participantsi nclude: Leadership/character develop ment through working in small peer g roups; Outdoor activities which include hiking, camping and field trips; Spiritual growth which empha sizes making faith a part of daily livi ng and behavior; Responsible citizenship with a duty to country and community a long with environmental consciousness. On Friday, January 27, the latest group of individuals to have com p leted the introductory General Information Training Course, were presented with their certificates of c ompletion at a reception held at G enevas Restaurant. These persons will be assigned to schools and c hurches in the Freeport area which initially recruited them with a view to establishing a uniformed organization for boys at their respectivel ocations. During the evening, remarks were made by Mait land Cates, affec tionately known as the Grandfa-t her of Scouting i n Grand Bahama. He wel comed each indiv idual into the w orld-wide brotherhood of Scouts and thanked t hem for volunteering their time and t alents. He shared personal experiences t hat he has enjoyed since becoming a part of the movement and also some of the life-long international ties that he has managed to main t ain over the years. The leaders were given an overview of what the next few months will hold for them as it relates to Scouting activities. These include activities commemoratingF ounders Day on February 22, w hich is the date on which Scouts founder Lord Baden-Powell was born; National Scout Week will beo bserved during March when a num b er of community outreach activi ties are scheduled; plans are presentl y being formulated for the obser v ance of the centenary of Scouting in The Bahamas which will mark the 1 00th Anniversary of the Movement in this country and celebrations are being planned which will cover an entire 12-month period. T he start of the next training ses sion is imminent and will be held at the district headquarters in the Red Cross building, Jobson Avenue. Persons over 18 are invit ed to participate and both men and w omen are needed. The Cub Scouts a re allowed to have women as lead ers but all Scout Troops are led by men. F or more information, contact c alling 351-3307. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 12, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2012 THE TRIBUNE THE Saint Thomas More Troop 46 Bahamas Boy Scouts were hosted to a grooming session, courtesy of John Bull. The presenter, Ms Glenda Gooding, sales representative, had a very fruitful session illustrating for the 20+ boys how to properly hydrate and cleanse ones facial pores. The boys each carried out selfcleansing under Ms Goodings instruction and were excited to feel the effects of the product. Ms Gooding was present ed with a certificate of appreciation by scout Sergio Fernander. The session was so well liked that the scouts would like for John Bull to host another session. Scouting for leaders Y OUNG SCOUTSLOOKINGSHARP YOUNGSTERS try out the John Bull products. T HELATEST g roup of Scout leaders to have completed the general information training course, with Maitland Cates, left.