N ASSA U AND BAHAMA ISLANDS LEADING NEWSPAPER Police fears for missing family Volume: 108 No.85TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 WEATHER SUNNY AND ASHOWER HIGH 81F LOW 72F P OLICE are extremely concerned about the safety of a family of five after they dis appeared without a trace over t he weekend. Marsha Hepburn Peters, 34, and her four children J oel,12, Shamar, 8, Charis, 6, and Zion, 2 b ecame the sub ject of a widespread police search after they went missing on Sunday between 1am and 6am. Few details became available before press time last night, but senior officers said there may be cause to worry. Anyone who may have information concerning the whereabouts of the Peters family, who live on Lottie Tynes Boulevard in Millenium Gardens, is asked to call police urgently on 502-9991, 502-9910 or Crime Stoppers on 328-TIPS. Officers are also investigating a shooting that has left one man in hospital. The victim was at a busi ness establishment on the corner of Key West Street and Cordeaux Avenue at around 4pm yesterday, when he was shot in the upper body according to police. He was taken to hospital in a private car. His condition could not be determined last night. Police said they are unsure of the circumstances sur rounding the incident and appealed to anyone with relevant information to come forward. It was also announced yes Sear c h is on for mother and f our children TRY OUR DOUBLE M cFISH The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST LATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM W W O O M M E E N N S S D D A A Y Y H H O O N N O O U U R R F F O O R R J J O O Y Y C C E E SEEWOMAN PAGE11B PRATT FALTERSINTENNISOPENSEESPORT By CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com PRIME Minister Hubert Ingraham accused The Nassau Guardian of behaviour unbe coming a newspaper following a nit-pick ing article about murder conviction statistics. The article, published yesterday, claimed Attorney General John Delaney provided inaccurate figures to the public, in particular By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Staff Reporter a firstname.lastname@example.org PRIME MINISTER Hubert Ingraham yesterday said he does not plan to takea dvantage of the 90-day period available to him after the House of Assembly is dissolved before he calls the general election. As he remained tightlipped o ver the actual date voters will head to the polls, Mr Ingraham maintained the House will be dissolved on orb efore May 23. According to the Constitution, Parliament must be dis s olved five years after the first sitting of the House. The first meeting of Parliament aftert he May 2, 2007, election was o n May 23. By SANCHESKA BROWN Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com DOCUMENTATION tabled in the House of Assembly revealed the government spent $12 million to build two new facilities at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, nearly double the original contract signed under the previous administration. While answering questions fielded by the opposition in the House of Assembly, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said the govern ment contracted Telco Enterprises Ltd for the completion of construction of the Robert Smith By KHRISNA VIRGIL firstname.lastname@example.org DESPITE the Governm ents assertions to the con trary, DNA Montagu candi date Ben Albury again insisted foreign companies are already looking for oil in Bahamian waters. Appearing on a radio talk show yesterday, Mr Albury said despite the moratorium on oil exploration, one com pany has already been given permission to drill. He said: Bahamas Petroleum has permission to explore, and when they are ready they can go ahead with drilling without seeking the NOW HELPUS T OREACH TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN HELP OUR BREAST C AN CER C AMP AIGN TURN T O OUR CENTRE SPREAD WEVE RAISED $1M $205,000 PM HIT S OUT AT NEWSPAPERARTICLE S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 1 1 0 0 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 1 1 0 0 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 1 1 0 0 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 1 1 0 0 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 1 1 0 0 MARSHA HEPBURN PETERS, 34, and her four children Joel, 12, Shamar, eight, Charis, six, and Zion, two, in a photograph issued by police searching for the missing family. The family went missing on Sunday between 1am and 6am. PM WILL NOT TAKE 90 DAYS FOR VOTE $12M BILL FOR CENTRE DNAPERSISTS ON OIL CLAIMS im lovin it
B y CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com T HE Democratic National A lliance said it is concerned about the ongoing airport labour dispute but defends the rights of public servantst o protest poor treatment. D espite being warned to stick to their shift system by Prime Minister Hubert Ingra ham, customs and immigrat ion officers at the Lynden Pindling International Airport have for weeks refused to w ork outside the 9am-5pm work day outlined in the General Orders for public ser v ants. T he DNA said it had hoped that by now the stand-off would be resolved, buti nstead it appears as if there is and was a serious lack of information exchangeb etween the hierarchy and management of the customs department. According to the govern m ent, the process of intro ducing shifts for customs and immigration officers began in1 996. The DNA said in 2006, there were discussions and possibly an agreement between the Public Service Union, the government and the customs and immigration departments for the imple mentation of the shift system, but General Orders were never amended to accommodate the change. DNA candidate for Sea Breeze, Alfred Poitier, said it is important to note that even if the General Orders were amended, the new shift sys tem should have only affected new staff unless existing employees collectively agreed to honour it. Mr Poitier said he understands that in employment let ters for customs officers hired since 1996, shift work wasi ncluded as part of the terms of employment. Unfortunately, as the G eneral Orders did not support shift work, they were subjected to work nine to five, Monday through Friday, and anything outside of that was overtime, he said. The question then is since these individuals have been given this benefit (overtime from the inception of their employment, through no fault of their own in some cases for almost six years, is the government now able to revoke this benefit without a bilateral agreement? He said that according to the International Labour O rganisation and local labour laws, employers cannot take a benefit away from an employ ee unless the change is bilate rally agreed upon. Customs and immigration officers have been disgruntled s ince last year, when it was announced that the overtime payments would cease, andt hey would have to work on t he shift system according to their employment letters. Mr Poitier also addressed c omplaints of illness due to poor working conditions at the airport. I f true, he said, the com plaints point to another breach of our labour laws and no government should be c aught breaking the laws par ticularly if they have been made aware of it. M r Poitier said: If these are the main issues affecting the labour situation with cus toms and immigration offi cers, then they have a legitimate right to protest within the confines of the law. However, the government should not have allowed these two matters to escalate to this level, as the law is clear on both issues. The DNA is asking the government and the union to hastily resolve the issue, as immigration and customs offi cers are vital to the national security of the Bahamas and the governments revenue col lection efforts. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 2, TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012 THE TRIBUNE DNACANDIDATEBACKS CUSTOMS WORKERS IN ONGOING AIRPORT LABOUR DISPUTE ALFRED POITIER, DNA candidate for Sea Breeze. STUDENTS MEET THE EMERGENCY SERVICES R OYAL Bahamas Police Force officers visited students at the Freeport Gospel Chapel School on Monday. Officers from Fire, Traffic and K-9 units gave brief presentations and interacted with the students.
By LAMECH JOHNSON T ribune Staff Reporter l firstname.lastname@example.org A THIRD witness to the F ebruary 2006 murder of b usinessman Keith Carey took the stand yesterday as the retrial of the case contin u ed. The witness, who was out side the Bank of the Bahamas o n Tonique Williams Darling Highway on February 27, 2006, testified that she saw a masked gunman hold up and s hoot Carey on the steps of the bank's entrance before fleeing in a white Maxima. Prosecutors claim Jamal Glinton shot Carey, who was attempting to deposit $40,000 from the Esso Service Stationw hich he operated. Glinton, alias "Bumper", was unanimously found guiltyof the murder and armed robbery of Carey on April 9, 2009. H e had been charged along with Dwight Knowles and Sean Brown, who were unan-i mously convicted of robbery a nd conspiracy to commit robbery. However, Glinton's con v iction was quashed by the Court of Appeal, which ruled that Senior Justice Jon Isaacsw as wrong to remove the charges of murder and armed robbery against the two coaccused. S enior Justice Isaacs had directed the jury not to consider the charge of murder in the cases of Knowles and Brown. That direction was one of 17 grounds of appeal filed byG linton's attorney Craig Butler. The appellate court ruled in Glinton's favour, though they ordered a retrial and remanded him to Her M ajesty's Prison. However, he was granted bail in the Supreme Court. D uring yesterday's proc eedings, the witness, a teacher, said she went to the bank around 10.30am to uset he ATM machine. When she realised the machine was not working, shew ent inside to speak with a customer service employee. Exiting the bank with her son, she went to her four-doort ruck with the intention of leaving. After strapping her son in, the witness said she was about to buckle her own seat-belt when she heard shots go off. I looked up because it s ounded like tyres had just burst but I looked over my shoulder and saw a robbery taking place. She saw a man holding a gun, taking up a bag, and t hen saw the man shoot Carey again. She said the gunman, who w as of dark complexion, slim b uild, and had a visible scar on his right elbow, got into a white Maxima parked neart he banks entrance. The car windows were tinted but she was able to remem-b er the licence plate number, 80654. She gave this information and a statement to police aftert hey secured the scene of the robbery. During cross-examination, Mr Butler suggested the wit ness never saw a scar on the gunman according to her initial description. The witnessd isagreed. In your statement you never mentioned scars, he retorted. You were traumatised but you remembered the licence plate. No memory of s cars though. She replied that the scars were the only thing she forgott o mention, because of her s hock and fear over what she witnessed that day. The trial resumes today at 1 0am. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012, PAGE 3 B y DANA SMITH email@example.com INVESTIGATIONS into the cause of last Fridays Long Island plane crash are ongoing. S outhern Airs nine-seater K ing Air aircraft crash landed at Deadmans Cay airport around 2.30pm. No serious injuries were reported and all nine passengers walked away from thep lane alive, but shaken up. T he flight was enroute to Long Island from Nassau. Hubert Adderly, Flight Standards Inspectorate manager, said investigators looked at the aircraft on Saturday morning to gather informa-t ion and conduct preliminary inquiries. We are now compiling information, he said. Itss till too early to have any conc lusive cause. Mr Adderly said it could take months to determine the c ause of the crash. Nathaniel Gibbs, Southern Air general manager, con-f irmed investigations were ongoing and said the company is not prepared to give a statement at this stage. Witnesses blamed faulty l anding gear, describing how as the plane landed on the r unway, the landing gear collapsed, sending the aircraft swerving across the tarmacb efore crashing into nearby bushes. T his crash landing is the s econd for Southern Air since 2 004. On October 22 of that year, a Southern Air 19-seater f light was forced to make an emergency landing in the sea off South Beach. It was enroute to Nassau f rom Cat Island when both of the planes engines failed. Reports later surfaced that t he plane ran out of fuel. None of the 10 passengers were seriously injured. By DANA SMITH firstname.lastname@example.org THE Bahamas can now boast yet another national park to add to its list of nearly 30 with the creation of the F owl Cays National Park. Environment Minister Earl Deveaux announced the monumental event yesterday afternoon at the Bahamas National Trust, where he also a nnounced the expansion of t wo existing national parks: the Conception Island National Park and the Andros Westside National Park. He also told the press the creation of this new park andt he two expansions will cost the government minimal. By these three acts weve expanded the national park system by just over 875,000 acres and its going to cost the g overnment $3.00 a year, Dr D eveaux said. However, he pointed out, the government has also given the Trust one million in endowments over the last three budgets. We hope that continues. It is based on resources, it is not a fixed sum (and likely to go up... The Bahamas National Trust also raises significant sums of money to p rovide for permanent and s ustained management of the park, he said. At the event, Dr Deveaux highlighted the various land and sea life that make these protected areas their homes,i ncluding iguanas, snakes, butterflies, corals, sponges, flamingos, turtles, sharks, groupers, lobsters, crawfish, and crabs. Protecting their habitat for t heir continued existence is o ne of the key reasons behind the establishment protected parks. Wherever large concentrations of wetland exists we ought to protect those areasa nd preserve them, Dr Deveaux said. Those are what create the islands, those are what support the marine Witness saw gunman shoot Care Fowl Cays joins list of national parks Fowl Cays joins list of national parks E NVIRONMENTMINISTER E arl Deveaux announces the creation of the Fowl Cays National Park yesterday at the Bahamas National Trust headquarters. PLANE CRASH PROBE MAY TAKE MONTHS S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 1 1 2 2
EDITOR, The Tribune. A FAMILY spokesman said the winning ticket was kept in Whites Bible whichs he then slept with until she could get to a bank and put it in a safe deposit box. White chose to accept the lump sum payment of $210 million, rather than the 30 annuity payments paid out over 29 years. White will pay about $52.5 million in federal taxes and $14.7 million in state taxes. The aforementioned is a quote from a NY newspaper.I t seems that the USA churches have no qualms about gambling being against God, and in God they trust. The amount of tax to be paid on lottery winnings is a huge boost for the economy. If we legalized numbers/lot tery like other God-fearing nations, think of the benefits we could reap. How many schools could we build and staff for $14 million? Even one would be a benefit to all of us. Please stop letting the C hurch keep this country in the dark ages. It may have worked during medieval times when people were isolated, brainwashed and ignorant, but this is the new world. Lets start living like it! APPLETON Nassau, March 7, 2012. EDITOR, The Tribune. Regarding St Patricks Day March 17: F or most people, St Patricks Day is a day of parades, parties, leprechauns and green beer. But just as Christ m as is about more than com mercialised fun, so too does St Patricks Day have a deeper m eaning. St Patricks Day began as a religious holiday honouring S t Patrick a holy bishop sent to Ireland in 433 AD by Pope Celestine I to draw its people into the fold of Christs uni v ersal church. Upon his arrival at Irel ands shores, St Patrick encountered many setbacks and persecutions by thes uperstitious Druids who had employed magicians to maintain their sway over the Irish race. D espite severe trials, St Patrick was able to convert all of Ireland and conquer p aganism. He is thus credited with driving the Celtic snakes out of Ireland. S t Patrick is credited with many miracles and is responsible for the building of several Catholic schools, monas t eries and churches through out Ireland. H e is known for his powerful expositions of the prin ciples of the Catholic faith. H e even employed the ordinary, little, three-leaved shamrock plant to teach people about the Blessed Trinity. He w as called to his heavenly reward on March 17, 461. St Patrick was a humble, p ious, gentle man, whose total love, devotion and trust in God should be a shininge xample to each of us. PAUL KOKOSKI Canada, M arch 6, 2012. EDITOR, The Tribune. ABOUT 50 years have passed since Pastor H W B rown gave politicians in the Bahamas the insight that God was involved in the affairs of m en. The saga of the Hebrew People as outlined in the book of Exodus was so clearly exposited by Pastor Brown, t hat the political leaders at t hat time saw a dynamic para llel between the oppressed m asses in the Bahamas and the people of Israel, and even to this day, we call our leaders Moses or Joshua, and v ote for any leader who promises to deliver us. However, there is a point in the Exodus road where we choose to get off the path and head out into the wilderness. T he story was about letting my people go, so that they may serve me, but like t he present Pastor at Bethel r eminded us at the recent M ajority Rule Service, politic al leaders set us free so that we can serve the political party of our choice. A s we survey what is going on during the season of Lent, we need to reflect upon what being free to serve means; e specially in a socio-political c ontext. For some very ungodly reas on, even some of our spiritua l leaders do not know where to draw the line in their political involvement. I t is as if the demonising influences that come with political involvement has anu nbreakable stronghold in the lives of these men of God. S ome of them seem to do well for four and a half years, but when the silly season starts,w e wonder if we really know these pillars in the community. Maybe the words of the f irst Prime Minister are still r elevant, when he reminded the group of Baptist Pastors who had opposed the initial broad scale introduction of gambling, telling them that they did not know their peop le. H e was right, because most o f those Pastors remained s ilent as one of their own was hung out to dry by that administration. But the recent events bring forth a deeper question, and that question is one of us knowing ourselves. M uch of the present political propagandising has focused on Bahamians believing in themselves and this is commendable. However, the true requirement is that we know what we believe about ourselves a nd my submission in this lett er is that if you have enough s ense, do not allow any politic ian or religious personality to define that for you. Lent is about reflection and change. Maybe it is time to crucify s ome of the old habits of convenience that have kept us off the road to our freedom as citizens in our own country. Perhaps this is the election where those who lead begint o understand that it is not about the stifling status quo that most political and reli g ious leaders seek to sustain o r become a part of, and the e xpense of a nations common s ense. EDWARD HUTCHES ON Nassau, March 7, 2012. EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR P AGE 4, TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012 THE TRIBUNE The Tribune Limited NULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI Being Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master LEON E. H. DUPUCH, Publisher/Editor 1903-1914 SIR ETIENNE DUPUCH, Kt., O.B.E., K.M., K.C.S.G., (Hon. Publisher/Editor 1919-1972 Contributing Editor 1972-1991 EILEEN DUPUCH CARRON, C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B. Publisher/Editor 1972Published Daily Monday to Saturday Shirley Street, P.O. Box N-3207, Nassau, Bahamas I nsurance Management Building., P.O. F-485, Freeport, Grand Bahama TELEPHONES S witchboard (News, Circulation and Advertising) 322-1986 A dvertising Manager (242 S PEAKING at the opening of Golden G ates constituency office, Prime Minister Ingraham said that the New Providence Road Improvement Project couldh ave been completed six or seven years ago if it werent for the incompetence of t he former PLP administration. F or one thing, he said, the road works c ould have been continued in 2002 and c ompleted for $56 million, instead of the now estimated $206 million. At that time, he said, the price of oil, cement and plastic was lower, the price of oil was about $20 a barrel. Today, itso ver $100 a barrel. What happened to the road improve ment project was unfortunate. If there h ad not been a change of government in 2002, the road project although it met with a major disaster midstream could p ossibly have been completed on time. I n 1994, the Ingraham government engaged a Canadian firm to prepare a transportation development plan for NewP rovidence. This plan formed the basis of the IDB-funded New Providence Infrastructure Improvement Project. F our companies were prequalified and submitted bids on June 9, 2000. Two of the bids did not comply with the requirementso f the bidding document. The other two p rovided enough information to enable an assessment of the adequacy of their proposals. G overnment agreed to do business with Associated Asphalt, the lower of the two remaining bidders. It awarded AssociatedA sphalt (AA million lump sum contract to undertake the project. The contract contained no price escalation clause. At the time, the p rice of oil averaged US$20 and US$21 a barrel today it is more than $100 per barrel and rising. A A was required to provide two bonds an advance payment bond of $7.6 million and a performance bond of $7.8 million.T he project was estimated to cost $66 million and was to be funded by a loan from IDB for $46.2 million with Government providing counterpart funding of $19.8 mil l ion. Work started on April 2, 2001 with a completion date of February 10, 2003. Fifteen months into the contract, AAs p arent company went into receivership. A ll work stopped. By then, the Charles Saunders Highway, the Milo Butler Highway and the Gladstone Road Realignment,v alued at $11.4 million, had been complet ed. Excluding the advance payment of $7.6 million, the contractor was paid $8.3 million and was entitled to be paid for $2 million in unpaid certified invoices. W hat would normally have happened w as that the next lowest acceptable bidder a Netherlands company whose bid was about $8 million higher than AAs hould have stepped in to complete the job. However, the bondholder believed t hat the lowest bidder, a Canadian comp any, should be engaged instead. The I ngraham Government and IDB did not a gree. In the meantime, the PLP became the g overnment. In November 2002 they cancelled AAs contract and demanded that the bondholder pay the sums owed undert he performance bond and advance payment bond. The bond holder refused. The matter went to court. The Attorney Gen-e ral had to advise the PLP government that it could not sue on the performance guarantee bond because the final date on w hich a valid demand could have been m ade February 9, 2004 had passed. The PLP governments failure to act in a timely manner had cost the country $7.8m illion. On July 15, 2005, the PLP government was again in the Supreme court demand-i ng that the advance payment bond be paid. Again, the bondholder refused. This time, the bondsman claimed that thenW orks Minister Bradley Roberts in a m eeting on October 2, 2002, attended by several company representatives and Kendal Funkey Demeritte, describedi n court documents as a political assistant, had claimed that the FNMs award of the contract to AA was tainted. MrR oberts suggested political interference and corruption. The defence filed by the bondholder was that as Mr Roberts had said corruption in the transaction was u nder investigation although he had refused to disclose the details of the investigationit had no intention of paying on a n illegal contract. Again a loss to Bahamian tax payers. However, when the Ingraham govern m ent was returned in 2007, the bondholder, agreed to discontinue relying on Mr Roberts unfounded allegations. It paid $5.25 million in settlement of both bonds. I n the meantime, time had been lost. Had the Netherlands firm been allowed to complete AAs contract, said Prime Min i ster Ingraham, the project would have b een completed by mid-2005 with sub stantial cost savings and the benefits to the economy and the benefits of the projectw ould have been realised much sooner. The country is now in the predicament it is in with escalating costs for road works because, as usual, the Christie government was slow to act. Silly season casts doubt on leaders LETTERS l email@example.com Christie government was slow to act The legacy of St Patrick M M o o n n e e y y f f o o r r n n o o t t h h i i n n g g EDITOR, The Tribune. PLEASE permit me space in your valuable column to make two brief remarks on statements made by a female DNA candidate and one by the Hon Perry Christie a few weeks back. Several weeks back, a former PLP Womens Association President said that she was dissed by the PLP because she was a woman and had left that party because it seemed to have little respect and regard for women. I fully agree with the good doctor but why did it take her so long to find this out. As a former PLP Womens Association President, where was the good doctor in 2001 during the referen dum on eliminating all dis crimination against women from our constitution and our land? Her beloved party back then raged a relentless, and successful, campaign to deny women their full rights as Bahamian citizens... should nt that have opened your eyes then, lady? I honestly dont under stand how any intelligent women in this day and age can support a party who just a few years back waged a successful war against them in their fight against discrimination. Only in The Bahamas, huh? My next comment is on the part of a speech the Hon Perry Christie gave to his partys supporters in support of the nomination of their candidate for North Andros. He said that Dr Gomez has made valuable contributions and given service to his country all his life. Here, too, I agree with Mr Christie that, just like the Hon Desmond Bannister and Mr Randy Butler who have made valuable contributions and given service to their country all their lives, so has Dr Gomez. And therefore the good people of Elizabeth this time around should vote for the candidate who has given his service and has made out standing contributions to his country all his life. It is sad how little the PLP think of the people of Elizabeth that they would put someone who it is said have never even voted in the Bahamas to be their candi date and representative. PJ BLACK Jr Nassau, March 9, 2012. H H o o w w c c a a n n w w o o m m e e n n s s u u p p p p o o r r t t t t h h e e P P L L P P ? ?
SIXTY-YEAR-OLD Abaco resident Samuel Will B ethel lay on the operating t able undergoing major surgery and it became quickly apparent that in order to g et him through, surgeons were going to require immense amounts of blood. A fter 30 years in Marsh H arbour, he and his wife Kimberley no longer had a large pool of friends and family members in the capital to call on to donate blood and so his daughter Bianca and h is brother-in-law hit the streets. Literally. They stopped in at every business place on the way up t o ZNS to get it put on the radio and down the other side of Collins Avenue to all the other offices and to Radio House to get it put on the radio stations there and thent hey literally stopped people in traffic to try and get them in to give blood for him. He was on the table at that p oint and all the blood they had was already in the operating room, explained his w ife Kimberley. His daughter, Bianca, lives in the United States and saidi t was scary to realise that h ere in the Bahamas, when blood supplies are low, the only way to get more is to convince people to donate. Still, she was touched by the way people responded to her desperate efforts. Reaction varied, but most p eople were quite supportive. We had quite a few people stop their cars and come in. O thers said they couldnt donate but promised to call people they know and get thew ord out. Businesses we stopped in at along Collins Avenue said theyd email everyone in their office and see if they could get people to come in, she recalled. It was pretty amaz i ng to see how supportive everyone was, not knowing us at all, but just that someone needs help, what can I do k ind of response was great. The Doctors Hospital Blood Bank collected 20 units that day as a result of the extra effort, but despite the heartwarming goodwill ofs trangers, Will still required additional transfusions and so Doctors Hospital Blood Bank supervisor Zonja Bain made as uggestion. She told his wife that if they would drum up the home t own support, she would organise a team to fly into Abaco the next morning andh old a blood drive. S o at 5am the following morning, four Doctors Hos pital technicians, including Zonja, were at the airport ready to fly themselves and all the equipment needed for a major blood drive at a priv ate clinic in Marsh Harbour. W ord travelled fast and from the moment they landed until they had to pack up and fly b ack home, the Doctors Hos pital team took blood non-stop. Of the 50 people who were s creened and tested, 36 peop le were able to donate blood to help save Wills life. Another 56 hopeful blood donors were turned away because the team simply ran out of time. M rs Bethel got teary eyed as she talked about how much it meant to her family to have people come out in such large n umbers to help. I just love them all. It was clear how they feel about him and us in the way they showed up to donate blood and it really just means som uch, she said. The extra effort on the part of the hospital did not go unnoticed either. Its great that these islands are like that. Its about the patient, the individual and not a bout the organisation. Just the fact that they were will ing to do that send four peop le from the blood bank here d own to another island for a whole day just to get blood for him was amazing, said Bianca, herself a healthcare worker. Zonja said while some may s ee what her team did as going well beyond the call of duty, she sees it as just parto f the job. Our main concern is for the patient and we do any thing we can to help them. Well do whatever it takes to help save a life. It gives you great joy to see that because of the extra effort we were able to help save his life and not just that, w e were able to put his family at ease by doing what we did as well. T hanks to the large turnout in Abaco, the people who responded to Biancas street-s ide pleading, and the 12 peo ple who were able to donate at a blood drive held at the law firm Glinton, Sweeting,O Brien on Friday, Will got all the blood he needed and the Doctors Hospital Blood Bank was able to provide a patient from Spanish Wells with all he required as well asa number of other patients who came in through the weekend. Glinton, Sweeting, OBrien responded to a corporate pro g ramme Doctors Hospital Blood Bank has put together to encourage companies to host blood drives and encourage their staff and customers t o donate. Far too often, families like the Bethels find themselves in the position of trying to c onvince anyone they know to donate blood. Doctors Hospital Clinical D irector Dr Michael Darville said as a physician he is often frustrated because he has tod elay medical intervention simply because there is not a sufficient supply of blood available. Its frustrating not only from the medical standpoint but also from the emotional standpoint knowing that something as simple as a transfusion plays such a huge decision in life and death decision making. This is all about altruistic behavior. Money doesnt make the difference here, its all about the com m unity coming together and doing their part, he said. Having seen firsthand how critical it is for Bahamians to donate blood on a regular b asis, Mrs Bethel said: If you can, by all means do it. Because you just never know when it might be you or s omeone in your family who needs it. Many of us cant give b lood, but to those who can, I urge you to give blood regu larly because it makes all the d ifference. If all those people hadnt come in to give for Will, we probably would be telling a very different story. T o inquire about becoming a blood donor or to learn more about the Doctors Hos pital Corporate Blood Donor Programme, contact Zonja Bain at 302-4750. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012, PAGE 5 Man is alive today thanks to blood drive BLOOD BANK SUPERVISOR Zonja Bain tests the blood of a Marsh Harbour woman who came out to the emergency blood drive in support of Samuel Will Bethel. P HLEBOTOMIST L evanda Stubbs tests the blood of a Marsh Harbour man who came out to the emergency blood drive in support of Samuel Will Bethel. DOCTORS HOSPITAL collected 36 units of blood in Marsh Harbour during an emergency blood drive for Samuel Will Bethel but more than 100 residents came out to try and donate.
YOUR SAY By John Tomlinson WHEN a lender and a borrower agree a loan, they each agree that the borrower willb e able to service and repay the loan. Thus, when a borrower f inds himself unable to serv ice or repay the money lent, they have each made an error in judgment. S o, I must enquire: why do they not each bear the bur d en of their own error in judgment? Why should the cont ract be enforceable either way? If the borrower is honest, honourable and forthrighta nd circumstances beyond his c ontrol have rendered him t emporarily unable to pay, the lender ought simply to wait u ntil circumstances change a nd the borrower is once a gain able to resume payment which, because he is hone st, honourable and forth r ight, he will. I f, on the other hand, the borrower is not honest, honourable and forthright, the lender should never have m ade the loan in the first p lace. Surely, under these circumstances, the lender must b ear the full cost of any failed loan. There is no question in my mind that, when an economy turns downward, and people a re losing their jobs through no fault of their own, there s hould be no question of further financial pressure being brought to bear on an already difficult time for them. T hey should remain in their homes without fear of it being taken away. The lender must wait. After all, he didnt see t he downturn coming either. H owever, our current system doesnt work that way. If we want to make a real contribution to the Bahamian e conomy, we should be work i ng to change the system not to ask the taxpayer and the d epositor to pay for the errors made. They werent party to any of these agreements. Why should those on fixed incomes have either their i ncome or their capital, which is earning them income, d iminished? If either interest rates were reduced or the size of loans were to be reduced, it wouldb e savers who would be pun ished. It seems to me that this is not only patently unfair but also counterproductive to any e conomic recovery. Further, if the system were c hanged to embrace the changes I propose, two addit ional benefits would arise. First, banks would not be a ble to lend depositors funds with any certainty of return in time to meet a withdrawal. Second, the c haracter traits of honest, h onourable and forthright behaviour would once more be required in any business t ransaction. T oday, it seems, it doesnt m atter the character of any party entering and agreement s o long as each has a good lawyer. John Tomlinson, a former stock broker with Thom son and McKinnon and a merchant banker with OrdBT in Sydney, Australia, used to run Union Dock in Nassau and is well known by manyo f the older generation of Bahamians. His family have been resident here since 1963. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 8, TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012 THE TRIBUNE Getting the balance right over mortgages If we want to make a real contribution to the Bahamian economy, we should be working to change the system not to ask the taxpayer and the depositor to pay for the errors made.
LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012, PAGE 9 IT ISNT easy to surpass a resounding success, but the encore of Bizet-Broadway did just that enchanting newcomers and returning guest a like. O nce again, the audience was treated to the genius of world-class vocalists, who performed operatic classics and Broadway favourites, not from the restrictions of a s tage, but in the very midst of t he guests. The result was in intimate atmosphere in which the audience became part of the performance. Repeat guests were delighte d to see the return of tenor K eith Klassen and soprano G ianna Corbisiero, who all agreed transcended their first performance; and the addi tion of baritone Gordon Bintner and mezzo-soprano JulieN ezrallah augmented their talent beautifully. O nce again, they were mas t erfully accompanied by pianist Professor Michael McMahon, a top voice trainer in Canada, who also chose the evenings repertoire. This year's Bizet-Broadway was sold out well in advance a nd again raised $20,000 for a v oice scholarship fund. Several local students will be offered partial grants to further their studies and Wendy Nielsen from the University of Toronto, recognised as one of Canada'sl eading voice trainers, spent March 5-9 with aspiring Bahamian vocalists thanks to t he event. T he Old Fort Bay Club, w hich hosted the first event, a gain proved to be the perfect venue. Guests were treated to an elegant pool-side champagne reception, cour tesy of Youngs Champagne, followed by a sumptuousg ourmet dinner. Pioneered in Montreal, Canada, the concept was b rought to Nassau by the B izet-Broadway committee in c onjunction with the Nassau M usic Society. The team included: committee chair Cornelia Nihon, Elizabeth Covington, Melis sa Maura, Michelle White, Rosemary Alexiou, PatrickT hompson and Italia WakinsJan. They thanked corporate s ponsors, Winterhotham T rust Co Ltd; Serenity Point, A baco; Lombard Odier Dari e r Hentsch Private Bank and Trust; and Youngs Champagne, for their generous support. Anight at the oper a M EZZOSOPRANO J ulie Nesrallah and baritone Gordon Bintner perform for the audience. T ENOR K eith Klassen and soprano Gianna Corbisiero during the event. ORGANISERS and partygoers enjoy the atmosphere at the event, above and below. S TARS K eith Klassen, Julie Nesrallah, pianist Michael McMahon, Gianna Corbisiero and Gordon Bintner. SOPRANO Gianna Corbisiero performs.
Child and Adolescent Centre and Special Education Unit at the Sandilands Rehabilita-t ion Unit for just over $12 mill ion. The original contract signed under the PLP in February of2 006 with Penns Renovations and Construction totalled $7.1 million. The PLP has contended the c ontract was cancelled by the FNM for political reasons and given to an FNM con-t ractor despite the company bidding nearly $1 million more than the other contractors. A fter cancelling the con tract with Penns Construction, the project was put to tender in August 2009. Five bidders were prequalified. However, accord-i ng to Mr Ingraham, two c ompanies withdrew their bids leaving Telco Enterpris es bidding $8.1 million, Inline P rojects Company bidding $6.5 million and Bro-Kell Construction bidding $7.4m illion. T elco Enterprises was awarded the contract. Mr Ingraham defended the governments decision to h ire Telco Enterprises say ing they were following the advice of the Quality Surveyor JD Chisholm and Associates. A document tabled by the P rime Minister said Bro-Kell c onstruction was disqualified due to non-conforming to the bid documents and InlineC ompany submitted the lowest bid and also submitted the shortest completion date of3 8 weeks. Telco Enterprises, a ccording the document, sub mitted the bid closest to the final project budget estimate and a schedule of 60 weeks a bid more accurately con formed for the expect completion cost of the project. Mr Ingraham also refuted claims that the original con tract with Penns Construct ion was terminated because o f political reasons but rather because their work was substandard, shortcuts were tak-e n and the project was not completed. Mr Ingraham said an indep endent report completed by G raphite Engineering indi cated the air conditioning system was not properlyi nstalled, the plumbing work was of poor quality and not completed and the electrical conduits installed in the ceiling spaces were an unsightly mess. In addition, an inspection by Mac Ace Engineering indi cated hurricane straps on the roof were incorrectly installed or missing and approximately 80 per cent of the roof r equires correction or removal. According to the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Works and Utilities in a letter dated December 8, 2005 alsoa dvised the then PLP governm ent not to accept Penns bid because it would run the risk of the contractor not com-p leting the project or shortcuts being taken resulting in a sub standard project. H owever, the contract was s till awarded to Penns Con struction despite the recommendation. M r Ingraham also said the initial budget awarded to Tel co Enterprises was increased from $8.1 million to $12.3 million to accommodate various works that were not included in the original scope of works. The project began in 2009 and has not yet been completed. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 10, TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012 THE TRIBUNE terday that in keeping with Commissioner of Police Elli-s on Greenslades policing p lan, Tackling Crime and Allaying the Fear of Crime, Cable Beach officers conducted Operation Roll Out in Gambier Village on Sunday between 5pm and midnight. T he operation resulted in 1 5 drivers being cited for various traffic infractions and 11 people being arrested. Two people were detained in connection with immigrat ion investigations and the o ther 9 are on outstanding warrants of arrest. O fficers also closed a night club in the area because it lacked the appropriatel icense. I must dissolve the House o n the 22 of May, Mr Ingraham said. If I dont dissolve on the 23 of May, the House will bea utomatically dissolved by itself by operation of the Con stitution. Mr Ingraham said: The day after, election must be called within 90 days, threem onths after the 22 of May. I d ont propose to take advantage of that period, the 90 days, so sometime betweenn ow and the 23 of May the House will be dissolved. government's permission. Right this second, they are exploring for oil. At a press conference yesterday, Environment Minis ter Earl Deveaux again denied the claims, saying the moratorium remains in place. When asked to comment on other, unconnected allegations made by the DNA candidate on the radio show, Mr Deveaux said: I have no intention on responding to someone who I am proposing to sue. He said he would request transcripts from Island FM, as he did not listen to the live broadcast. Mr Albury also warned Bahamians about the coun trys relationship with China. He said: In my opinion, this is the greatest heist of all time. We have gotten millions of dollars in infrastructure from China, just as Nigeria did, and have borrowed a lot of money from them too. Countries like China, who by the way is one of the poor est theatres of the environment, go into developing third world countries, like ours and exploit them. When they are done, and the country has already received the millions, in gifts, that country's hands are then tied. We are being exploited again. Mr Albury said the governments alarming rate of borrowing was the main reason why international agencies decided to downgrade the Bahamas financial rating. By being downgraded to two levels above junk, the international community is concerned that we won't be able to pay our debt. So it then creates the scenario that we have to go to a less savoury character like China, who will lend us the money at great costs. They are poised and ready, he said. statistics on the number of people convicted of murder under the FNM. But, Mr Ingraham said, while some of the convicts listed by Mr Delaney hadt heir conviction overturned or were found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter, they were all still convicted. H e said: I find this unbel ievable! I find this as a nitp icking exercise, if thats the basis of what you put forward in the story, thats a great distortion. In fact, a political party involved in a campaign wouldn ot put forward such a thing. T hats the height of propaganda and unbecoming of a newspaper. Mr Ingrahams comments came at a celebratory luncheon yesterday for the CC Sweeting High School basketball team, which won the 2 012 Hugh Campbell basketb all tournament in February. Mr Delaney also responded to the article, describing it as a distraction. He said regardless of the statistics, the murder conviction rate is not an accurate r eflection on how the criminal system is functioning. Using the conviction rate as a litmus test for the justice system is a wrong standard,h e said. He added that even if the i naccuracies listed in the article prove to be correct, the murder conviction would still be significantly greater under the FNM government than it was under the PLP who first sought to use the issue as a measure of judicial performance. M r Delaney said the list of c onvictions he provided to the Senate in February reflected the state of the Supreme Court records, but said The Guardians claims will be investigated anyway. Defending his government s crime record, Mr Ingraham said the FNM has exceeded its objective of having serious cases heard in two years, with every case since 2011 setd own for trial within 18 months of the date of thec harge. He said: I am very pleased at the progress we are making with the judicial system of The Bahamas. The PLP has a distorted ad on the television that goes every 15 minutes. The facts are: we have now been able to cause serious c ases like murder to be set d own for trial within 18 months of the charge being laid in court. Its wonderful progress weve made. Check it. That may be a good story it may not get a headline, but it is f actual, he said. The PLP issued a statement yesterday, saying the inaccurate crime data is another example of the attor-n ey general and the FNM misleading Bahamians, ando f the governments unwillingness to produce accurate information on crime in an election year. It said: They have mismanaged and neglected the criminal justice system: they cancelled the PLPs Swift Justice programme, which h ad established a track r ecord for bringing matters swiftly to court; they built a new court complex, at considerable cost to Bahamians, which neglected to provide space for prosecutors, and they hired a foreigner to run p rosecutions, with terrible results. Violence and crime have skyrocketed records for murder have been set in thel ast four out of five years. Unable to defend theirc rime policies, the FNM has resorted to misleading the public. 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 f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e DNAPERSISTS ON OIL CLAIMS PM WILL NOT TAKE 90 DAYS FOR VOTE POLICE FEAR FOR MISSING FAMILY $1 2M BILL F OR S ANDILANDS CENTRE PMhits out at newspaper article PRIMEMINISTER Hubert Ingraham. OFFICERSpay attention to a traffic seminar held at Cable Beach police station yesterday by the Western Division of the Royal Bahamas Police Force. The seminar included a talk led by Sgt 1235 Rolle. Learning to tackle traffic BENALBURY
LOCAL NEWS PAGE 12, TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012 THE TRIBUNE B y LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org C ONVICTED paedophile Andre Birbal fired his lawyer yesterday, which led to anoth e r delay in his appeal against t he conviction and sentence handed down to him last year. Birbal is now scheduled to r eturn to court May 21 with a new court-appointed attor ney. The former art teacher informed the court of his decision about 10 minutes into the hearing, after it became clear the convict was not satisfied with the way it was going. The hearing started off tense, with Justices Anita Allen, Stanley John and Abdulai Conteh asking Mr Butler why he had filed his arguments late, on March 9, when he had an entire month to prepare. The attorney attempted to blame the number of cases on his agenda, but Justice Allen, the Court of Appeal Presi dent, said: I do not care. Once you take on a case, you have to be prepared to do what is necessary. Vinette Graham-Allen, director of public prosecutions, told the justices her team had been affected by the tardiness of the defence, but was prepared to proceed regardless. H owever, when Mr Butler i ntroduced the basis for appeal, Birbal spoke up and was given a chance to delib-e rate with his lawyer. After the discussion, Mr Butler said: Having con s ulted with my client, Mr Birb als wish is that he be assigned other counsel on his behalf. W hen Justice Allen gave Birbal a chance to speak, he said Mr Butler had not met with him since their last appearance in court on February 6. Counsel had sent two of his associates to visit me since the last meeting and we discussed three of the grounds for appeal, he said. Birbal said he gave Mr But lers colleagues documents and asked that they add several grounds of appeal, but none of this material had been used. I sympathise with the stress (Mr Butler do not think he is fit to represent me, Birbal said. The former teacher, who was convicted in the Supreme Court in January 2011 of having unnatural sex with two juvenile boys, is seeking to have the higher court overturn the ruling. He is also appealing against his 15-year sentence on one count, and the 20-year sen tences on five others. f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e 3 3 eco-system and those are what provide for the life oft he reef. National Trust president Neil McKinney also spoke, calling the new creation and expansions tremendous. These three parks are so important in our being ablet o maintain and preserve and enhance the marine life here in The Bahamas, he said. Its very easy to lose something and its much, much harder to get it back. It is so helpful that we h ave these areas now as our parks to maintain and keep, both for current generations (of Bahamians generations, so that when we look back and see what weh ave, we know these parks c ontribute all over the nation because of the diverse marine life that they have. Fowl Cays has long been i dentified on marine charts as a protected area but it wasnt so, Dr Deveaux said. Abaconians recognised t he area as special and it has l ong been a recreational site. T he new Fowl Cays National Part is approximately a 1 ,920 acre reserve located near the most central Abaco Cays. I n addition to various fish, r ays, and sponges, it is home t o the endangered stag horn a nd elkhorn coral as well as 12 other coral species. T he Conception Island National Park was placed in the national park system in1 964 and is one of the places w here (explorer, Christopher Columbus is reported to have landed, Dr Deveaux said. This park has enormous historical significance. The park is home to the l arge Montastraea reef and beds of Laurencia red algae which provide a key nursery h abitat for young Nassau grouper and spiny lobsters. Sea turtles and sea birds also make their nests in the p ark and the waters are home to Nassau groupers and Caribbean reef sharks. The Andros Westside National Park has the highe st concentration of blue holes, land crab habitats, two p ortions of the Andros Barrier Reef, pine forest, a portion of the extensive Andros freshwater lens, and a large areas o f the North Bight man grove/inertial wetlands, Dr Deveaux said. The (Andros h abitats for the rare Bahamian Boa, Andros Rock Iguana, Andros land crabs, and Atala hairstreak butterfly, and are also used by many migrat ory songbirds. Of all the protected habit ats, the coral reef areas in the Androsian parks are probably the most diverse and species rich, he said. C onch, sponges, bonefish and crabs all make their homes there. Fowl Cays joins list of national parks P AEDOPHILE FIRES L AWYER, APPEAL DEL AYED AGAIN A T THE B ahamas National Trust yesterday, it was announced that the Fowl Cays National Park would be created, while it was also announced that two other national parks would be expanded the Conception Island National Park and the Andros Westside National Park. These three parks are so important in our being able to maintain and preserve and enhance the marine life here in The Bahamas. Its very easy to lose something and its much, much harder to get it back. N N a a t t i i o o n n a a l l T T r r u u s s t t p p r r e e s s i i d d e e n n t t N N e e i i l l M M c c K K i i n n n n e e y y