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Volume 11 © BahamasUncensored.com 2013
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The site is compiled and edited in The Bahamas by Russell Dames, with writer Claire Booth

19th April , 2014
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THE TIPPING POINT

JUNKANOO AWARDS IN GRAND BAHAMA SOLOMONS GIVE GAMBIER SCHOOL A TREE
THE MISSIONS ABROAD AT WORK CAT ISLAND GETS A BOOST
SECURITY MINISTER AT THE WHEEL OF THE NEW VESSEL PLP MINI CONVENTION
BRADLEY PLP CHAIR ALL OVER THE FNM THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES BATON IN NASSAU
GUARDIAN EDITORIAL ON MITCHELL AND THE SPEAKER  
Interesting Places...
 

 

 

 

Click on a heading to go to that story; press ctrl + home to return to the top of the page.

Bahamasuncensored Search Feature


SIDNEY POITIER, RICK FOX: the former basketball star and now broadcaster Rick Fox who is of Bahamian and Canadian roots dropped in on  lunch with Sir Sidney Poitier the Bahamian icon who was the first African American male to win an Oscar way back in 1963. He brought his son Kyle who just turned 19 to introduce him to Sir Sidney.  It was a great moment for two men who had made good overseas for and on behalf of their country.  It was good time had by all.  Our photo of the week is that of Rick Fox and his son Kyle with Sir Sidney Poitier in Los Angeles, California at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Wednesday 16th April. 

 

COMMENT OF THE WEEK

THE TIPPING POINT

There is a point when things reach a critical mass and then tip over the balance and there is no return. Malcolm Gladwell made the expression famous in his book of the same name as the headline.  It makes sense and it behooves political parties when in power to think about it.

You would think that the PLP would be masters at this.  They have trod the road before. In 2007, the party found itself out of power with a vibrant economy and loads of good works which everyone found out about after the PLP lost office.  The fight back to power was a long, bitter and difficult struggle.  So you would have thought given all of that, the PLP would be expert at looking out for the tipping point.

There is cautious and steady recovery going on.  The climb back is underway.  The employment situation is headed on the right trajectory. The country’s international reputation is generally good.  What is not clear is whether anyone feels this, or whether there is a disconnect.  There is just too much sourness which is going unanswered.

People tend to put it down to bad public relations.  That the party does not spend enough, or pay enough attention to answering the opposition.  The disbanding of the war room an invention of the campaign after the campaign was over was said to be a major fault.  The soldiers in that room scattered to the four winds and in some cases they themselves soured by how long it took to have them properly placed.

We suspect though that public relations is just part of the issue. Another part is simply midterm blues where everyone is dissatisfied about something that they thought should have happened and didn’t happen.
 What we also think though is that there are some little things that need to be done which would quiet all this amongst the party’s own supporters.  It would work magic in turning the sourness into gladness.

Given that this column is watched by friend and foe alike that is as far we want to go.  We do not want anything to be wildly be misinterpreted as antithetical to the government given all the doom and gloom which is being pedaled out there by the mainstream press.  But there is enough said here we think to get the point.

The general point is that there comes a time when no matter what you do, the balance has been tipped into a direction for which there is no turning back.  All we say is on the second anniversary of an amazing victory in 2012 let’s watch it.


Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 19th April 2014 up to midnight: 172,622
Number of hits for the month of April up to Saturday 19th April 2014 up to midnight: 426,179;
Number of hits for the year 2014 up to Saturday 19th April 201 up to midnight: 2,843,660.

 

 

HAPPY EASTER



 

 

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PLP CALLS FOR MINNIS APOLGY OVER FLIGHT 370


Minnis must be man enough and apologize

Bradley B. Roberts
National Chairman
Progressive Liberal Party

 

If Minnis believes the hype and rhetoric of his own party, then he should take his party’s advice and publicly apologize for his ill-conceived analogy just as his party called for an apology from MP Leslie O Miller when Mr. Miller used an analogy to make a larger political point that some found offensive. To use the tragedy of 239 innocent souls on Malaysian flight MH370 to grandstand and posture was disgraceful, in poor taste and I call on Dr. Minis to publicly apologize for that unfortunate analogy.

I submit that what is good for the goose must be good for the gander; there cannot be double standards and Dr. Minnis cannot have it both ways by just explaining away this incredible error in judgment from a person who holds a constitutional position as leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

The Bahamas has had its share of aviation tragedies ranging from the airplane crash in Abaco that took the life of R&B singer Aliah; the Chalk’s crash just off government’s cut in Florida and the Le Air crash in Mayaguana, which is still fresh in the minds of many Bahamian families. It would have been highly inappropriate and in poor taste for any foreign leader or personality to use those tragedies involving The Bahamas and the loss, pain and suffering of so many Bahamian families to score cheap political points. 

There is a time and place for everything and Dr. Minnis should know better. Having had sufficient time to reflect on his comments, he should have recognized his folly and do the right thing and offer a public apology to Bahamians and the foreign governments and people affected by the Malaysian airline tragedy. 

There can be no skirting, deflecting or dancing around this issue. Just man up!

 

 

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FRED MITCHELL IN HONG KONG AND LOS ANGELES


Fred Mitchell spoke in Hong Kong at the South South conference held there on 14th and 15th April.  He spoke to the issue of cooperation in developing world.  In his concluding remarks, he indicated that the privatization of the telephone company in The Bahamas had led to universally disappointing results. That remark made the headlines in The Bahamas.  You may click here for the full statement.  Stan Burnside, the cartoonist, thought that it was important enough to chronicle and there was a letter writer to the press ( see below) who took issue with Mr. Mitchell on something which was plain and obvious, although they did not have the courage to sign their name to the letter.  While in Hong Kong, the Minister and his delegation met with the representative for Bahamar Gregory Djerejian on 15th April who briefed the Minister and his delegation on Bahamar’s plans for the future. The minister also met with the Bahamian community in Hong Kong in search of a new Honorary Consul for The Bahamas to represent our interests there. The photos show the delegation’s visit to Bahamar and with the Bahamians there: Shane Stuart, Robin Roberts, Mrs. And Mrs. Andre Carey. The delegation with the Minister Desmond Taylor, Foreign Service Officer, Ronnie Ferguson, aide to the Minister and Alrae Ramsay, Foreign Service officer. Following the visit to Hong Kong there is a transit stop in Los Angles where he and the delegation were hosted by Sir Sidney Poitier.


 

 

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FACTA APPROVED


Bahamas FATCA Agreement Reached
Press Release
Ministry of Financial Services
17th April, 2014

The Ministry of Financial Services is pleased to advise that the Cabinet of The Bahamas approved, in principle, the Model 1 Agreement between the Government of The Bahamas and the Government of the United States to implement FATCA following a productive round of negotiations with the United States Treasury Department on 8th April, 2014. The Ministry has conveyed this approval in principle to the United States Treasury Department, who will now deem The Bahamas as having an agreement “in effect”, thereby allowing Bahamian financial institutions to register on the IRS FATCA Portal as Model 1 Participating Financial Institutions.

The Ministry will be issuing further guidance on the FATCA due diligence requirements.

The Ministry invites all affected Bahamian financial institutions to register with the IRS Portal to receive a Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN) by 5th May, 2014. Bahamian financial institutions may also wish to review the IRS Announcement 2014-17, “Update on Jurisdictions Treated as Having an IGA in Effect and on FATCA Financial Institution Registration” found at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/a-14-17.pdf.

The Ministry thanks the other Government agencies and The Bahamas financial services industry that have worked closely with the Ministry in achieving this positive outcome. 

 

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A NEW PARTY ASKS FOR REPARATIONS

This story appeared in The Tribune on 14th April in the ongoing debate about reparations for slavery in The Bahamas:
 
THE African People’s Socialist Party-Bahamas has requested that the National Reparations Commission consider and adopt its case against Europe for Reparations for the genocide of the indigenous people and the enslavement and colonisation of African people in the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

The APSP-Bahamas said they recognise that the reparations issue has to be the property of the masses if it is to be a significant political question.

However, they added that reparations are due for slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism and for the “ever-expanding discrepancies in the conditions of existence between Europeans and Africans in the Bahamas, Caribbean region, and worldwide”.

 “The APSP-Bahamas believes that The National Reparations Commission must look at the material conditions faced by the African working class in the Bahamas and the Caribbean because it is the African working class that bears the full brunt of slavery, colonisation and neocolonialism,” a statement from the group read.

 “The African working class in the Bahamas is faced with a deteriorating capitalist based social system that has led to job losses, high rates of unemployment, failing small businesses, endemic poverty and crime. At the end of last year, the Department of Statistics reported that the national unemployment rate in the Bahamas is at 16.2 per cent and unemployment among youth (people aged 15-24) is at 30.8 per cent with the youth jobless rate for residents of New Providence and Grand Bahama considerably higher than any other age group.

 “In 2012, it was reported that just over 4,000 private homes in the Bahamas make use of outside toilets, unconventional toilet facilities or are without toilet facilities at all. That same year a local newspaper reported that government statistics show that the number of Bahamian households surviving on less than $5,000 per year has increased by 83 per cent in the past four years. And a recent international report indicates that the Bahamian life expectancy at birth is on the decline, and violent crime and disease are two major components of this decline.”

The group has asked that the National Reparations Commission adopt in its case against Europe for reparations for the genocide and enslavement of indigenous and African people in the Caribbean the following recommendations:

• A full apology by Europe and Europeans in the Bahamas for the crimes of genocide, slavery and colonisation against the indigenous and African people in the Bahamas. Public spaces must also be created to reflect the historical and cultural significance of the indigenous and African people of the Bahamas and Caribbean region.

• Reparations for the hundreds of years of slavery, colonial oppression, exploitation, terror and deprivation that continue to be experienced in the Bahamas by African people to this day.

• Monies received by Bahamian slave-owners – as compensation for their loss of free African labour following the Emancipation Act of 1833 be paid to Africans in the Bahamas. This payment can be in various forms, including money, land and valuable assets in the Bahamas, for instance. This payment must also be used to ensure that the basic necessities of proper and adequate food, clothing and shelter are controlled and/or owned by every African in the Bahamas.
• An end to the parasitic relationship that exists between Europe and African people in the Caribbean. For centuries, European companies have fed off Africa and African people without putting anything towards African development. These global companies are allowed to operate in the Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean and they are made to pay little or no taxes and no social responsibility is imposed on them. These companies must be required to pay taxes that will benefit the people and be required to develop social programmes for the development of Africans in the Bahamas and the Caribbean region. These companies must also be required to pay African workers living wages.
• Free health services and an immediate upgrade to the healthcare system in the Bahamas to deal with the colonially based plethora of illnesses and diseases that afflict our people subsequent to slavery and during the continuing colonialisation of African people and the abrogation of their right to self- determination.

• The immediate removal of all European intelligence and military forces from the Caribbean and Africa and an end to all counterinsurgent interventions in the Caribbean, Africa, and South America.
• European governments, corporations and financial institutions renounce any claims of debt from the Caribbean and Africa, which has been responsible for the development of the European economy.
• That the British Museum and all museums throughout Europe return all the artifacts that were stolen during the genocide of the indigenous people and during the enslavement and colonisation of Africans.

• That reparations be paid to Haiti by France as repayment for the billions of dollars that Haiti was forced to pay France following the struggle for abolition of slavery and the creation of the First African Republic in the Western Hemisphere on January 1, 1804.

• That Europe discontinue any involvement in the economic quarantine and imperial aggression against Cuba.

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CHRIS BROWN MEETS THE CHILDREN BACK HOME


http://thetribune.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/photos/2014/04/14/chris_brown_t670.jpg?b3f6a5d7692ccc373d56e40cf708e3fa67d9af9d
14th April 2014
The following story appeared in The Tribune about the athlete Chris “ Fireman” Brown.  There is no doubt about the fact that he is a favourite of this column.  Here is a man with talent to scrap and keep going. He is the kind of example we want for the young men of the country and we wish him well.  Brent Stubbs wrote:

NORTH Eleuthera — The International Amateur Athletic Federation’s “Day in the life” of quarter-miler Chris ‘Fireman’ Brown came to a close on Friday with school visits to North Eleuthera High, Spanish Wells All-Age and Harbour Island All-Age Schools.

Anna Legnani, the deputy director for communications in the IAAF, organised the three-day trip to Eleuthera for a group of international and local journalists to discover Brown’s development on his birthplace on the island of Freedom.

While the first two days were geared towards Central and South Eleuthera, including his original residence in Wemyss Bight, the group got a complete tour of the island, known for its pineapples as well, as they witnessed an over pouring of support for Brown.

It was his first visit to the island in two years and it came a few weeks after he captured his fifth medal with a silver performance in the men’s 400 metres at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland.

 “I think it was a fantastic experience,” said Legnani before she took the group to Puerto Rico for the third leg of their relay trip through the Caribbean, starting in Jamaica two weeks ago and ending up in Trinidad & Tobago later this week.

 “We had such a wonderful experience here that everybody was saying that for the day in the life of Chris Brown, we should have two weeks in the life of Chris Brown because it was such an amazing trip.”
In every stop that they made, Legnani said she was quite impressed with the level of appreciation that the people of Eleuthera had for their son of the soil, who is by far the most decorated Bahamian athlete, having won more than 30 medals, individually and as a member of the relay team combined, during the course of his 20-plus years as a world-class athlete.

 “We visited the island where he was born, where he started his running, where he went to primary school to high school and it seems as if the island of Eleuthera has a very special place in his heart,” she said.
 “To witness all of the outpouring of love for him was just amazing. People wanted to see him, to congratulate him. There was a lot of enthusiasm displayed for him and I really think he deserved everything he got and more.”
When asked what impressed her the most, Legnani was modest in her response by stating: “everything. When you got some place, you say this was fantastic. But when you go somewhere else, it was something different. They all put in a lot of work in their activities, so the whole trip here was just wonderful. Every school had something special for Chris ‘Fireman’ Brown.”

Just as he closed out the second day of the trip with the Junkanoo music at Governor’s Harbour on Thursday, Brown opened the final day at the North Eleuthera High School where he was entertained by their marching band.
From there it was off on a ferry boat ride to Spanish Wells where Brown was asked if he ever had a chance to run against Usain Bolt. When he asked who they think would win, one young girl said she believed Bolt would. But Brown assured them that he would beat the Jamaican double sprint world record holder “all day.”

He was also asked if his feet caught fire when he’s running. To that question, Brown said he hopes to “bring the fire to his feet” when he competes for the Bahamas at the IAAF World Relays May 24-25.
Brown, who was entertained by the Island Boys, a group of students - Kevin Symonette and Kendal Underwood - on the steel drums - was challenged to a race by James Boykin and Angelina McKenzie. He eventually lost the 25 metre sprint race. Maybe it was just too short. And from there, he took another ferry boat ride to Harbour Island where he was picked up on the dock and driven to the school on a motorcade for a very brief ceremony that ended up with a Junkanoo rushout.

He was entertained by three male students of the school drama team on a “Fireman” experience.
But the trip was too short and a group of girls didn’t get a chance to read a poem.

One of the visiting journalists, Michael Bascombe, said he was overwhelmed by the entire experience, both in New Providence where they started last Monday by interviewing World and Olympic champion Tonique Williams and

“Golden Girl” Eldece Clarke.

 “I think it was a once in a lifetime experience for us to get to know Chris Brown,” said Bascombe, who hails from Grenada but currently works out of New York. “We had a chance to go to Jamaica two weeks ago, but it was nothing like this one. It was like Chris Brown opening his life to us. His mother, his father and his entire family, including his wife and daughters, we got to know them all a lot better off the track,” Bascombe said.

 “I think the IAAF should be commended for this opportunity because we get to cover the athletes at their track meets, but never had the opportunity to discover what it is that brought them to that stage and how they keep themselves going.”

Bascombe said he was more than thrilled by the warm hospitality of the Bahamian people, especially in Eleuthera where he felt they were treated like “kings and queens” for the short visit.
Francis Friend, who headed the local organising committee in Eleuthera, said they accomplished their goal, which was to ensure that the visitors got an appreciation of their affection for Brown.
 “It was a wonderful opportunity for those of us who live here in South Eleuthera, especially,” she said. “We were just pleased on the whole island to have the journalists here visiting Chris Brown.
 “It was a wonderful trip. I think everybody enjoyed Eleuthera, the hospitality of the people and more importantly, meeting the family of Chris. It was a lot of fun for me to do this. He is my god brother and I told him whenever he needs anything, just call me and as long as I’m alive, I will try to get it done for him.”


Friend, who coordinated the committee with Johnny Butler, said this will be one of those experiences that both the locals and visitors will definitely not forget.

 

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A PHOTO EXHIBITION FOR LATE VALLEY LEADER


Winston “Gus” Cooper, the fallen leader of the Valley Boys Junkanoo group passed away in the early days of January 2014, 5th January to be exact.  He was an icon and not to be forgotten for his contribution to the cultural life and heritage of The Bahamas. There was an exhibition about his life and times at the National Art Gallery Of The Bahamas and Peter Ramsay was there to capture some of the glory of that event.


 

 

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KHAALIS ROLLE ON INVESTING IN THE BAHAMAS

The Investments minister explains how The Bahamas intends to get on the right track

 

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LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION’S BIRTHDAY PARTY

Leader of The Opposition Dr. Hubert Minnis spent his birthday with the children of the Gambier Primary School on 16th April.  The school is in his constituency.
Hubert A. Minnis's photo.

Hubert A. Minnis's photo.

Hubert A. Minnis's photo.

Hubert A. Minnis's photo.

Hubert A. Minnis's photo.

 Photos by Yontalay Bowe

 

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UN OFFICIAL PAYS CALL ON MINISTER OF HEALTH


United Nation Assistant Secretary-General, (ASG) Deputy Executive Director, (DED) Programme, UN AIDS, Dr. Luiz Loures made a courtesy call on Minister of Health Dr. Perry Gomez, Thursday, 10 April  2014.

United Nation Assistant Secretary-General, (ASG) Deputy Executive Director, (DED) Programme, UN AIDS, Dr. Luiz Loures made a courtesy call on Minister of Health Dr. Perry Gomez, Thursday, April 10, 2014. Pictured from left: Director of Nursing, Mrs. Marcel Johnson; PAHO Representative Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, Dr. Gerry Eijkemans; Permanent Secretary Ms. Hyacinth Pratt; Minister Gomez; Dr. Loures; Senior Advisor (programme) UN AIDS, Ms. Reeta Bhatia; Chief Medical Officer Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis; Director of Public Health, Dr. Pearl McMillan and Deputy Permanent Secretary Mrs. Bridgette Stuart. (BIS Photos/Raymond Bethel)

United Nation Assistant Secretary-General, (ASG) Deputy Executive Director, (DED) Programme, UN AIDS, Dr. Luiz Loures made a courtesy call on Minister of Health Dr. Perry Gomez, Thursday, April 10, 2014

United Nation Assistant Secretary-General, (ASG) Deputy Executive Director, (DED) Programme, UN AIDS, Dr. Luiz Loures made a courtesy call on Minister of Health Dr. Perry Gomez, Thursday, April 10, 2014

 

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GG WITH C.C. SWEETING STUDENTS.



Governor-General Sir Arthur Foulkes is pictured with members of C. C. Sweeting Senior High School's Work Base Learning Programme during a courtesy call at Government House, April 11, 2014. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)

Governor-General Sir Arthur Foulkes is pictured with members of C. C. Sweeting Senior High School's Work Base Learning Programme during a courtesy call at Government House, April 11, 2014. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)

 

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BISHOP PAYS A CALL ON MINISTER FOR GRAND BAHAMA

Bishop Robert Schaefer of the Evangelical Church in America paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Grand Bahama, Dr. Michael Darville, April 11, 2014. Bishop Schaefer heads the Florida/Bahamas Synod of which Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Freeport is a part. Pictured left to right: Rev. Clifford Lewis, Pastor of Our Saviour Lutheran Church; Bishop Schaefer; Dr. Darville; and Rev. Jaime Dubon, assistant to the bishop. (BIS Photo/Vandyke Hepburn)

Bishop Robert Schaefer of the Evangelical Church in America paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Grand Bahama, Dr. Michael Darville, April 11, 2014. Bishop Schaefer heads the Florida/Bahamas Synod of which Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Freeport is a part. Pictured left to right: Rev. Clifford Lewis, Pastor of Our Saviour Lutheran Church; Bishop Schaefer; Dr. Darville; and Rev. Jaime Dubon, assistant to the bishop. (BIS Photo/Vandyke Hepburn)

 

 

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SOUTH ANDROS DEMO PROJECT BY THE UN
11 April 2014

 

South Andros Association Awarded International Grant
By ERIC ROSE
Bahamas Information Services

 

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SOUTH ANDROS, The Bahamas – Stakeholders pose on the proposed site after the Official Launch for the South Andros Coastal Restoration, Land Degradation and Coconut Project, on April 10, 2014, in Long Bays Cays, South Andros.  Pictured (from left) are Chief Councilor Mr. James Pratt, Representative of Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in The Bahamas Mr. Manuel Messina, Bahamas High Commissioner to CARICOM and Member of Parliament for South Andros His Excellency the Hon. Picewell Forbes, South Andros Handicraft and Manufacturing Association (SAHMA) President and Manager of the project Mrs. Emily Rahming, South Andros District Administrator Ms. Stephanie Rahming and Global Environment Facility (GEF) National Co-ordinator in The Bahamas Mr. Deon Stewart.  (BIS Photo / Eric Rose)

SOUTH ANDROS, The Bahamas – The South Andros Handicraft and Manufacturing Association (SAHMA) officially launched the South Andros Coastal Restoration and Coconut Project on April 10, 2014 at the South Andros Craft Centre in Motion Town, Long Bay Cays, South Andros.

The initiative is a Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) funded project for the community.

“We are very happy to be here today,” said GEF National Co-ordinator in The Bahamas Mr. Deon Stewart.  “It didn’t go without a lot of hard work on behalf of SAHMA and the community of South Andros and also on behalf of the committee that actually reviews and improves projects here (in the Bahamas).”

“The GEF Small Grants Programme likes to work with communities like the South Andros community to produce what we intend to show as – more or less – demonstration projects; but demonstration projects that add to improving the environment, the type of demonstration projects that add to the sustainable livelihood of a community.”

Representative of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in The Bahamas, Mr. Manuel Messina said that ever since his organization came to South Andros, they saw the enthusiasm, determination and willingness to work together in the community.

“In many communities in the whole Bahamas we go and we find many people who want to do things; but many people want to do things on their own and sometimes it’s hard to get the community to work together,” Mr. Messina said.  “I think that (unity) is the key and that is what I have seen so far here and I hope that continues.”

Also partnering in the initiative are The Bahamas National Trust, IICA, the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology South Andros High School, Ministry of Environment and Housing Forestry Department, South Andros Chamber of Commerce, South Andros Farmers Association, South Andros District Council of Local Government and Natures Hope for South Andros.

Bahamas High Commissioner to CARICOM and Member of Parliament for South Andros His Excellency the Hon. Picewell Forbes applauded the work of all involved in the implementation of the project, especially because of what any community development means for the area.

“This coconut plant is a big effort for our community,” His Excellency said.  “I want to encourage those who want to try and make our community a better one.”

South Andros District Administrator Ms. Stephanie Rahming said that she welcomes the opportunities that the project will bring to the community, especially “economic empowerment”.

“South Androsians, this is a community project,” Ms. Rahming said. “I appeal to you, South Andros, let us take ownership of this project. We must buy into this project. This is for us as South Androsians and the benefits are wide and far-reaching.”

According to GEF in officially released information, the project is for the “Restoration of Native Coconut Habitat through Promoting Sustainable Agriculture and improved community livelihoods through the production of coconut craft and products.”

SAHMA Public Relations representative, Mr. Edmund Rahming Sr. said the project will be implemented over a 15-month period and is intended to address the issue of coastal erosion and land degradation of 25,500 square feet of a coastal area in Long Bay Cays, South Andros, where harvesting of coconuts was once an economic contributor to the local community.

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SOUTH ANDROS, The Bahamas – Stakeholders and residents attending the Official Launch for the South Andros Coastal Restoration, Land Degradation and Coconut Project, on April 10, 2014, in Long Bays Cays, South Andros. (BIS Photo / Eric Rose)

 

“The project will restore this coastal site by the removal of all invasive species (e.g. the casuarinas) and replanting native coastal-friendly plant species including coconut, to help stabilize the coastline and reestablish the coconut grove,” he said. “Resources from the restored area are expected to reinvigorate and enhance the local cottage industries of charcoal and agro-processing, resulting ultimately in sustainable livelihoods for community members.”

“The coal-making industry – by extension – is a very good thing for this community,” His Excellency commented. “You have all the trees (the casuarinas) here.

“Every weekend there are ‘hundreds’ of grill-outs going on around Nassau and we are right next door to New Providence.”

GEF stated that the planning grant sought to identify the most appropriate type of coconut species – disease resilience and fastest growth rate – suitable for The Bahamas, as well as the identification of species which ensure that the coastal erosion does not continue after replanting of the Coconut Palm trees.

The process will identify appropriate manufacturing and management strategies to ensure sustainability after the project implementation phase, GEF added.  Also, integrating the restoration/rehabilitation of the eroded coastal areas component into the overall project will direct greater focus on the land degradation component of the project. This integration will address the matter of erosion and how it has affected the coconut grove generally.

Further, the project seeks to address this in the areas being looked at for restoration and replanting of coconut trees.

Mr. Stewart re-iterated that the monies provided in the grant should be considered “seed monies.”

“We hope that from that seed or seed monies, great and larger things could grow that could be sustainable and help the community progress and move – as they say – from strength to strength.”

Mr. Stewart added that although the process, from the writing of the grant request and beyond, did not go without a few challenges. He commended SAHMA and the community for not giving up.

“That is what impressed me the most,” Mr. Stewart said. “Most persons would say, ‘Man, this it too hard and we don’t need to go on any further,’ but they continued. They persevered.”

“We are very happy to see the community in South Andros moving ahead and we would be simply willing to go along with you through all the steps that must be followed to better development in this part of the country,” Mr. Messina said.

“I look to see this being a very successful project, with your involvement, support and participation,” Mr. Stewart said to the community.

“There is something in it for everybody to benefit,” District Administrator Rahming said.  “Everybody could benefit from this project. We all need to get on board. I see South Andros on the move.”

“I want to commend you all for your efforts here,” His Excellency said.  “To GEF and your Small Grants Programme, I thank you for making our community all the better today.”

“I am very happy that we are a part of it,” Mr. Stewart added. “I am very impressed with your level of commitment and dedication to the project and I am really, really looking forward to see it be a tremendous success that we could replicate not only here, but also in other islands of The Bahamas – and then it will go global.”

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

 

SOUTH ANDROS, The Bahamas – Stakeholders pose after the presentation of the Certificate of Grant Award 2014 to the South Andros Handicraft and Manufacturing Association (SAHMA) for the project officially titled “South Andros Coastal Restoration, Land Degradation and Coconut Project,” on April 10, 2014, at the South Andros Craft Centre, in Motion Town, Long Bays Cays, South Andros.  Pictured (from left) are South Andros District Administrator Ms. Stephanie Rahming, Global Environment Facility (GEF) National Co-ordinator in The Bahamas Mr. Deon Stewart, SAHMA President and Manager of the project Mrs. Emily Rahming, Bahamas High Commissioner to CARICOM and Member of Parliament for South Andros His Excellency the Hon. Picewell Forbes and Representative of Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in The Bahamas Mr. Manuel Messina.  (BIS Photo / Eric Rose)

SOUTH ANDROS, The Bahamas – Members of the South Andros Handicraft and Manufacturing Association (SAHMA) and stakeholders pose during the Official Launch for the South Andros Coastal Restoration, Land Degradation and Coconut Project, on April 10, 2014, in Long Bays Cays, South Andros. (BIS Photo / Eric Rose)

 

 

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JUNKANOO AWARDS IN GRAND BAHAMA



The Grand Bahama Junkanoo Committee hosted the Prime Minister to the  Grand Bahama Junkanoo Committee's First RUSH Awards 2014.  They plan to make it an annual event.  The Chair of the Committee is Allison Smith and the PM was joined by Ministers Obie Wilchocmbe and Danny Johnson on 12 April.

Me & the Boss

Me & the Boss's at the 2014 RUSH AWARDS.

The RUSH Awards 2014

The PM Keynote Speaker At The GB Junkanoo Committee's RUSH AWARDS 2014

Karen Ferguson-Bain.

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SOLOMONS GIVE GAMBIER SCHOOL A TREEE

 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtfully committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”   -- Margaret Mead  A couple trees may not seem like much, but to the children of Gambier Primary School, it might as well have been a forest. After losing their beloved sugar apple tree a few years ago, the children and teachers of Gambier Primary School were ecstatic to receive a new sugar apple tree. We planted it in the same spot where the old tree had once thrived. Thanks to our friends at Lucayan Tropical, we were also able to donate a native banana tree near the school’s vegetable garden.   We did this in honor of Earth Day (which will be observed on April 22, 2014); a day when192 countries worldwide take the time to give back to our planet and our communities. Since the children will be out of school for Easter Break on Earth Day, we decided to plant a little early. But that’s ok, we don’t think anyone minded!

(on Earth Day 2014)

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtfully committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” -- Margaret Mead

A couple trees may not seem like much, but to the children of Gambier Primary School, it might as well have been a forest. After losing their beloved sugar apple tree a few years ago, the children and teachers of Gambier Primary School were ecstatic to receive a new sugar apple tree. We planted it in the same spot where the old tree had once thrived. Thanks to our friends at Lucayan Tropical, we were also able to donate a native banana tree near the school’s vegetable garden. 

We did this in honor of Earth Day (which will be observed on April 22, 2014); a day when192 countries worldwide take the time to give back to our planet and our communities. Since the children will be out of school for Easter Break on Earth Day, we decided to plant a little early. But that’s ok, we don’t think anyone minded!


 

 

 

 

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THE MISSIONS ABROAD AT WORK

 

NEW YORK -- Vacationing in New York for the Easter break, a group of 5th grade students from Queen’s College Nassau and their parents paid a courtesy call on the Hon. Forrester J. Carroll, Bahamas Consul General to New York, at Bahamas House, 231 East 46th Street. Consul General Carroll greeted the students and informed them of the duties and responsibilities of the Consulate General Office while serving the Bahamian population aboard.
 

Photo: NEW YORK -- Vacationing in New York for the Easter break, a group of 5th grade students from Queen’s College Nassau and their parents paid a courtesy call on the Hon. Forrester J. Carroll, Bahamas Consul General to New York, at Bahamas House, 231 East 46th Street. Consul General Carroll greeted the students and informed them of the duties and responsibilities of the Consulate General Office while serving the Bahamian population aboard.

 

 


NEW YORK -- The Hon. Forrester J. Carroll, Bahamas Consul General to New York paid his respect to former Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who died on April 10 at the age of 64, by signing the Book of Condolences at Canada’s Consulate Office in New York on Tuesday, April 15. Mr. Flaherty, who had Canada’s Finance Minister since 2006, resigned on March 18, 2014, to return to the private sector. He was Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s only Finance Minister since Harper took power eight years ago and was credited with helping get Canada back on track to a balanced budget after pumping stimulus money into the economy following the 2008 financial crisis. Consul General Carroll is pictured signing the Book of Condolences.

NEW YORK -- The Hon. Forrester J. Carroll, Bahamas Consul General to New York paid his respect to former Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who died on April 10 at the age of 64, by signing the Book of Condolences at Canada’s Consulate Office in New York on Tuesday, April 15. Mr. Flaherty, who had Canada’s Finance Minister since 2006, resigned on March 18, 2014, to return to the private sector. He was Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s only Finance Minister since Harper took power eight years ago and was credited with helping get Canada back on track to a balanced budget after pumping stimulus money into the economy following the 2008 financial crisis. Consul General Carroll is pictured signing the Book of Condolences.

 

WASHINTON, D.C. – During his recent visit to Washington, D.C., Fred Mitchell, Bahamas Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, toured the  Embassy of The Bahamas’ new Consular Annex at 1025 Vermont Avenue, N.W., in downtown Washington, D.C. Mr. Mitchell was in Washington for a series of meetings at the U.S. State Department and with Members of Congress who serve on committees with oversight on matters of special interest to The Bahamas and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).  Seated from left to right during the Minister’s tour of the Consular Annex on Tuesday, April 8, are: Minister Mitchell; the Hon. Paulette Zonicle, Bahamas Consul General to Washington, D.C.; and His Excellency Dr. Eugene Newry, Bahamas Ambassador to the United States. Standing from left are Stephanie Rahaming, Consular Annex Financial Officer, and Deborah Harrison, Consul General Zonicle’s Private Secretary.

 

 

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CAT ISLAND GETS A BOOST

 

CV Hope Strachan Seabreeze's photo. CV Hope Strachan Seabreeze's photo.
CV Hope Strachan Seabreeze's photo.

Governments Seawall Project In Cat Island.

CAT ISLAND – Ministry of Works and Urban Development officials led by Permanent Secretary Colin Higgs and representatives of Urban Renewal 2.0 toured a seawall project in Cat Island Wednesday, April 16. The project initially started at a cost of $1.8 million and due to underground technical issues is expected to increase to approximately $2.4 million.


Eighteen residents of Cat Island are employed on the project which extends from The Cove to Smiths Bay and is now into its sixth month and anticipated to be completed by the end of May. Ezra Russell, contractor and president of Marlin Enterprise said the project has been progressing steadily. “We started in The Cove with seawalls and drainage and now we are in Knowles on the last leg,” said Mr. Russell. He explained that because of the increasing high water mark combined with the effects resulting from hurricanes it was discovered that roads were being corroded. Seawalls were needed to protect the road reservation. “They wanted to go down to bedrock. We went down 10 feet, 12 feet and in some part we went down almost 20 feet,” Mr. Russell said. “The walls got deeper but it cost more because of the level of concrete that you had to pour, the amount of man hours we had to put in and then the excavation because once you have to go deeper you have to excavate more so the costs will go up.”

 

 

 

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SECURITY MINISTER AT THE WHEEL OF THE NEW VESSEL


Minister of National Security Rt. Hon Bernard Nottage sits at the helm of HMBS ARTHUR DION HANNA along with Commander Defence Force, Commodore Roderick Bowe (right) and Lt. Commander Warren Bain , Special Projects and Acquisition Officer (left)

CV Hope Strachan Seabreeze's photo. CV Hope Strachan Seabreeze's photo.

 

 

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PLP MINI CONVENTION


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BRADLEY PLP CHAIR ALL OVER THE FNM


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
14th April 2014

FNM is divided and in a race to the bottom
Bradley B. Roberts
Progressive Liberal Party

When one considers the turmoil within the FNM, that organization is in a foot race to the bottom. Whatever role they are supposed to play in governance as the official opposition remains uncertain and unclear because it is overshadowed by their disjointed behavior and division generally. This spectacle is sinking opposition governance to the lowest levels this country has ever seen.

But since Darren Cash apparently suffers from selective memory, I am compelled to remind him of the behavior of the leadership of the FNM as HRH Loyal Opposition.

The Bahamian people know that the FNM, while in government, fully intended to legalize and tax the web shop gaming industry while in office only to have their leader Dr. Minnis flip-flop on this issue multiple times in opposition. Later, Chairman Cash agreed with legalizing web shop gaming only to be publicly attacked by Deputy Leader Butler-Turner, who agreed with legalizing web shop gaming, only to change her mind when she could not take credit for this reform. They went as far as to draft legislation as far back as 2010 but lacked the courage of their conviction to bring the proposed law to Parliament.
  
As if that wasn’t disgraceful enough, Dr. Minnis was so gung-ho about Stem Cell research and therapy that he granted approval for the same as a cabinet minister in the absence of any law or regulatory regime governing this new sub-industry within the field of medicine. Again he too flip-flopped on this policy issue while his deputy endorsed it. Dr. Minnis claimed that Bahamians lacked the capability regulate the industry. When he was suspended from the House, Dr. Minis was unable to persuade the full FNM caucus to join him, so the division continues.

On the issue of tax reform, the FNM, that supported VAT while in government, but flip-flopped again in opposition. While they are united in their opposition to VAT, they have failed to articulate a viable alternative to VAT even after Dr. Minnis admitted during the budget debate that the country is in need of tax reform. So even when the FNM is united on an issue, they are still in a bad way because they lack an alternative that will give them credibility.

As vocal as the FNM is on the PLP’s Mortgage Relief Plan, they have failed to craft an alternative and viable plan, let alone defend one. The closest they came to a Mortgage Relief Plan was to plan a demonstration in Rawson Square, but the deputy leader could not get the leader of the FNM to agree to the plan as he quickly distanced himself from her and her plan so the plan fizzled.

The FNM in opposition suffers from a credibility problem on three levels. Firstly, every single policy position they endorsed as the government, they managed to flip-flop on and oppose as the opposition. Secondly, the leadership has too many disagreements on policy issues and thirdly, the FNM has failed to offer one single solitary policy alternative to the ones advanced by the PLP government. They do not understand that credibility is built by crafting, then defending the alternatives to the policies they oppose. This organization has failed miserably on all three counts.     

Darren Cash is well advised that the FNM was given every opportunity by the Bahamian people to legislate and implement every single piece of legislation and public policy that they find so politically convenient to criticize. My advice to Darren Cash is to sit small while the PLP makes good on the empty promises the FNM made to the Bahamian people while in office.

 

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THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES BATON IN NASSAU

The Hon. Philip Brave Davis, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development is pictured receiving the Queen’s Baton from Wellington Miller, the Bahamas Olympic Association (BOA) President during a brief arrival ceremony and press conference held on Friday April 18 at the Lynden Pindling International Airport to officially announce the baton’s arrival. Also pictured in the background from left are Aaron Lewis, Fish Knowles, BOA members and Louise Martin, Secretary General of the CGF.

The Hon. Philip Brave Davis, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development is pictured receiving the Queen’s Baton from Wellington Miller, the Bahamas Olympic Association (BOA) President during a brief arrival ceremony and press conference held on Friday April 18 at the Lynden Pindling International Airport to officially announce the baton’s arrival. Also pictured in the background from left are Aaron Lewis, Fish Knowles, BOA members and Louise Martin, Secretary General of the CGF.

 

 

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GUARDIAN EDITORIAL ON MITCHELL AND THE SPEAKER

17th April 2014


We Bahamians are not good with time. In fact, we are so bad with punctuality that the term "Bahamian time" has emerged to indicate a time consistently later than when something should occur or when someone should arrive. Sadly, tardiness is a part of our modern culture.

This tardy culture has been the norm in our House of Assembly this time. The house is supposed to start at 10 AM. With a Progressive Liberal Party [PLP] majority led by Perry Christie, however, that almost never happens. The House could start at10:15 AM, or 10:25 AM, or 10:35 AM. It seems as if it starts whenever the politicians who are in charge of it want it to.

This is disgraceful, and it sets a bad example for a country and a people who are already poor with punctuality. We recall when the Free National Movement [FNM] won in 2007, then Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham emphasized that the House would begin at 10 AM, rather than the "Anytime culture" that existed under the Christie's PLP from 2002 to 2007.

The constant late starts at the House represent just one of the problems with the conduct of the chamber. Once the chaplain has spoken and the initial formalities are done, Speaker Dr. Kendal Major has taken it upon himself to start sessions off with an update from his constituency, Garden Hills.

Major talks about the basketball tournaments and the walkabouts. He gives birthday wishes and sends condolences to the families of those who died; he tells the country what new plans he has for his area. Major's updates are inappropriate. He is the Speaker of the House. He should be an impartial judge of the proceedings of the chamber who ensures that the rules are maintained and members' rights are protected.

Once the Chaplain has said his brief remarks and the initial procedurals are conducted, Major should go to the list of the House business. He should not use his chair to push his "constituency news segment".

There is another issue we raise, when it comes to Major and impartiality. Major is a member of Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Dr. Myles Munroe is the leader of the church. Munroe is also one of Major's mentors.

Last month, Munroe and Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell engaged in a heated public debate on gay rights. It culminated in Munroe and his supporters coming to the house in strong numbers to sit in the gallery. Major spent considerable time lauding his mentor and his "message" before the house began. While Munroe signed some of his books for members while he was in the House, it was clear that the move was a show of strength to Mitchell.

When two high-profile figures, such as Mitchell and Munroe, are in a public spat, the Speaker using his chair to gush over one of the combatants gives the impression that he is taking sides. In this case, it seemed as if he was taking sides against a sitting member of our elected chamber. Again, the Speaker should attempt to be impartial. Major, instead, was an over-exuberant follower of Munroe that day.

Our Parliamentary system is old. It dates back to the 18th century. It has evolved along with our electoral system and Constitution to be more liberal, democratic, pluralistic and sophisticated. For this progression to continue, the men and women who lead our houses of Parliament must think of the greater good above narrow self-interest. They should not just do what they feel like just because they can.

Our leaders need to submerge themselves in the rules and practices of our Parliament and those of other legislatures in other Westminster jurisdictions. If they do this, parliamentary process will continue to progress. If they do not, future leaders will add to the bad habits that exist in our current House, debasing further the place where our laws are made and our democracy is represented.

 

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR TAKES ON “FRONT PORCH”


SIMON FRONT PORCH: THE QUINTESSENTIAL “DOG IN THE MANGER.”

Dear Editor,

Allow me space in your newspaper and your columns to comment on the following:-

One of the inherent and calculated dangers of dying first is that erstwhile survivors get to twist the facts, spin a fable and deceive with their cowardly concoction of the easily verifiable facts. If left unanswered, their unfiltered skewer of the events is allowed to ferment through time and by attrition become fact.

Editor, I am referring to opinion of Simon Front Porch; the faceless, nameless coward whose exhale in the Nassau Guardian is yet another attempt to rewrite history. When one reads the melancholy drift into revisionism penned by the “Front Porch Simon” on Thursday April 17th 2014 and headlined, “the numbers game: PLP repeating Bahamas Airways tragedy,” one can only suspect what rascality so called honourable persons would conjure up after a few
cocktails.

The plea in mitigation by Simon can best be summed up in the limerick of Edward Lear:-
“There was an old man who said, Well!
Will nobody answer this bell?
I have pulled day and night,
Till my hair has turned white
But nobody answers this bell.”

Simon apparently hails from the peculiarly distinguished school of pseudo Bahamian elites, whose singular claim and qualification to their standard of merit is that firstly, they fully endorse any foreign concept, foreign hatched or foreign based plan foisted on The Bahamian people. Secondly, people of the ilk of Simon strongly believe that the foreigners should then partner with these snooty Bahamian elites who feel that it is their divine lot to lord and master over the lumpen proletariat. Together, they will rule the proverbial plantation under the dishonest guise of a “share offering society.”

So it is that Simon, confusing oranges with bananas, draws an analogy between the PLP Government’s decision to move ahead with regularizing Web Shop style gaming in this country with a distorted and laughable argument about Bahamas Airways; a foray into a world so long forgotten that its history is insignificant.

Simon must have been chilling out with Rip Van Winkle during the age of Airline deregulation and obviously did not wake up during the folding up of Pan Am, the world’s oldest airline, or the gentle push into that good night of Eastern Airlines, and any other number of international air carriers that a generation removed once thought would last well into eternity.

In making this reprehensible argument, Simon preens all “her” character personification and inherent genetic flaws:

1.    Simon is opposed to “the Numbers Men” becoming wealthier under a regularized web shop industry. Of course this is because these so called Numbers Men are in Simon’s own words supporters of the PLP. Certainly we can’t tolerate that in The Bahamas.
2.    Simon is in hog heaven over what wonderful economic opportunities would have accrued to the Bahamian people if a 1967 deal with an Asian airline would have come to fruition under the former Lynden Pindling led government to partner with Bahamas Airways. How Simon is able to even relate these two separate and distinct issues into “her” argument is commendable but still foolhardy.
3.    Simon is aghast and horrified that a Bahamian, Everette Bannister, who happened to support the PLP, would have been given air line routes into Europe for his Bahamas World Airlines carrier as these were the choice routes that this Asian Airline consortium wanted.
4.    Simon opines that Pindling did a deal and double crossed the Asian group in favour of Bannister.
5.    Simon says two PLP Cabinet Ministers Arthur Foulkes and Warren Levarity were onboard with the Asian deal.

Now any first year student of the history of Majority Rule is more than aware of the short lived political life in the Cabinet of Lynden Pindling or Ministers Foulkes and Levarity.

As we said earlier, there is a disadvantage in dying early.
What a pity that Sir Freddie Laker, Richard Branson and other pioneers of low fare intercontinental travel are hailed and respected by their countrymen and the world over, but Mr. Bannister is demonized because he supported the PLP.

Here was an entrepreneur in Bannister, who long before Sol Kerzner ever conceived Atlantis or the Issas and the Stewarts of this world transformed Sandals or Breezes, pioneered the concept of low cost international jet travel and also owned and managed a West Bay Street hotel property.

The black crab syndrome in The Bahamas did not allow or impede Mr. Bannister’s success. Because he supported the PLP and was the recipient of “affirmative action,” he was demonized by a biased media and turned into a social pariah when all Everette ever did was negotiated and facilitate a number of major investments for this country.

Had he been a Symonette by genetic circumstance or claimed familial ties with the oligarchy of Bay Street and the Eastern Road, not one soul would have raised an eyebrow or lifted a pen in opposition to his business interests. The

Chamber of Commerce would have heaped its annual Businessman of the Year award on him and he would sit on the Board of any number of Insurance Companies and Banks. But he was Everette Bannister. And the side opposite needed a “bogeyman” and “whipping boy” on the back of Sir Lynden specifically and the PLP by extension.

What Simon Front Porch misses is that when  Hubert Ingraham came to power on the coat tails of the FNM in 1992, he promptly put the then Balmoral Beach Hotel and the Ambassador Beach Hotels on a fire sale fast track. They were quickly gobbled up by Mr. Issa and Mr. Stewart and today are hallmarks in their brands.

What Simon Front Porch should have opined is that long before Mr. Issa and Mr. Stewart knew where Goodman’s Bay was located, Everette Bannister, a Bahamian was operating a major West Bay Street hotel and an international jet service to Europe.

But this snooty elite crew will never give Bannister his “g’s” because it is in their interest to tear him down and sully his name because  out of this comes their attack on Pindling, Majority Rule and the economic empowerment of the Bahamian masses.

This is why Simon Front Porch is so proud to pontificate on how if this fictional deal with this Asian air carrier and Bahamas Airways had been allowed that the ordinary Bahamian would have been able to come along later and buy shares in this thriving business. I guess the era and casualties of airline deregulation were all lost on Simon.

Wait a minute. Simon’s pontification sounds eerily like a page out of the Ingraham economic empowerment Play Book that he affectionately called “share offering society.”

I offer a few examples that sound very familiar:

Find an investment group led by a penniless unheard of Canadian Businessman and give them exclusive rights to Cable Television and other internet services for the entire Bahamas. If the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas (ZNS) has the agreement with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for satellite feed – no problem, just tap into the infrastructure of ZNS free of charge and charge Bahamian subscribers for the cable feed complete with a fourteen year monopoly. Problem solved.

Further, reject all bids from any Bahamian entity wanting to secure this lucrative concession.

But in the convoluted rationale of Simon Front Porch, ordinary Bahamians can buy shares and have an opportunity to own something.

This business model is conceptually similar to Ingraham’s deal with the owners of the Arawak Cay Shipping Port where the Bahamas government pumped some $26 million into this enterprise and civil servants were allowed to invest via salary deduction. And who could forget the liquor company the government invested in to ensure that the IPO was 100% subscribed.

When will we as a people get it that this is our country and we must own its economy?

Simon’s argument is that notwithstanding the obvious - that the “Numbers Men” are Bahamians - if and when their businesses become regularized under a PLP regime, this policy decision would somehow be wrong and will set a dangerous precedent. Never mind the easily verifiable facts that these enterprises thrived under the Ingraham administration and a 2010 draft of an online gaming bill together with the cabinet conclusion clearly outlined the intent of the
FNM government to regularize the very web shops Simon now finds so convenient to demonize. The PLP is advancing this policy initiative and I suspect this is the problem in Simon’s head. That cannot be good. This policy must be demonized at all costs.

This narrative is Everette Bannister and Sir Lynden Pindling all over again, only in the 2014 version of this story Pindling is replaced by Christie and Bannister is replaced by the so called “Numbers Men.”
Says Simon Front Porch, this sort of behavior must be in the PLP’s DNA. Well, using the financial resources of the poor to enrich foreign “messiahs” and FNM donors must be in the DNA of the FNM.
If empowering young Bahamians to lead and own an entire industry is in the DNA of the PLP, then I say more power to the PLP. We need more of this type of policy.
It is time we consign the back water anti-establishment thinking of Simon Front Porch to the trash bins of history.

Let the Bahamian John Issas, Butch Stewarts, Sol Kerzners, Peter Nygards, Joe Lewis’, and Izmaralin’s emerge and take their rightful place in this economy.

I urge Bahamians to leave Simon Front Porch booked on a Bahamas Airways Flight to a bygone era; tantamount to a pile of Manure on which no flowers will grow.

Yours etc.;
Alexander Laroda

LETTER WRITER QUESTIONS MITCHELL ON DIPLOMATS

EDITOR, The Tribune.

Enlargement of the Diplomatic presence in the US since 2012 has raised some eye-brows as to the effectiveness and requirement.
Since the appointments what we have seen of the appointees is a lot of meetings with only Afro-American people. Unsure whether anyone has deliberately set a policy but over the past 40 years of Independence the only thing we have witnessed from Afro-Americans who visit under the guise of investors is photo-ops and a lot of promises.

My question is Washington, DC and NY cover that regional area so why is HE Paulette Zonicle stationed in Washington and not in a mid-US State like Missouri-St Louis or Texas-Houston?

40-years under the belt, Minister Mitchell is so right that especially in Foreign Affairs we do not have a cadre of Foreign Affairs Officers qualified, not only with degrees, but with on the street experience - why? MFA is one area of the Civil Service where you enter and should stay for life providing professional support to the Minister. Surely the time should be gone when we have to transfer an inexperienced person into MFA to take on a position which they have never acted in especially when that appointment is purely supported by politics.

Successive governments since 1973 thought Foreign Affairs was not important – we still do not appreciate that area of government and criticise the work and travel of the minister.

If you watch the BBC - CNN you will see the European Foreign Ministers flying up and down to very important meetings... there is no difference with the requirement of ours and we should encourage the Minister and the staff of MFA to do their best for The Bahamas. This is an essential service. Much of the time of the European Foreign Ministers is concentrated on selling goods and services of their countries to keep their people in work. They obtain multibillion dollar contracts.

J H WILSON
Nassau,
March 25, 2014.

 

(The Minister explained that the Consul General is in Washington in part because of complaints from high profile Bahamians who live and work in that area that their interests are not being addressed.  In the meantime, the Ministry is also appointing Honorary Consuls in Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles, subject to U S government agreement—Editor)

 

 

LETTER WRITER PRAISES MITCHELL FOR GAY STANCE

EDITOR, The Tribune.

Hon Fred Mitchell is to be congratulated for his recent stance for lesbian gay bisexual and trans gender (LGBT) people in Trinidad.

He is right to let the world know that all we are doing is hiding behind sun, sand and sea, but we are really a very homophobic people. There is a market for gay tourism only if we would wise up and stop being a pack of fools. The world still considers us to be savages. We need to prove them wrong.

It is amazing how an educated man like Myles Munroe can be so ignorant, I cry shame. He may have visited 138 countries, but he is no wiser for it. One of these days when he has abandoned the flock he is going to meet an empty church building.

Robert G Ingersoll put it this way: It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense.

There is so much hate in the Bahamas; we need to start calling ourselves little Jamaica. In the words of the great Martin Luther King Jr. “I have to stick with love; hate is too great a burden to bear.”

However, I don’t fully understand that because we are straight, why do we want to deprive a gay couple of happiness? Happiness is one of Abraham Maslow’s (a great psychologist) hierarchy of needs. If they want to share each other’s lives, who are we to say no. Just because we are straight and holier than thou, yet behind closed doors we are sweethearting and living dual lifestyles. We need to get it right and fix it now and stop playing judge and jury and meddling in others private affairs.

Can’t we all just get along; to live and let live; to each his own. A word to the wise will suffice.

L L BASTIAN
Nassau,
March, 2014.

 

 

 

LETTER WRITER DISAPPROVES OF MITCHELL ON BTC

EDITOR, The Tribune.
“Mitchell highlights BTC’s disappointing service” –

The Nassau Guardian, 14th April 2014

Excerpt from this story; “Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell on Saturday highlighted the ‘disappointing’ service provided by [the] Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) since it privatization.
“Speaking in Hong Kong, Mitchell welcomed the end of BTC’s monopoly on the telecommunications market and suggested that competition would improve the quality of service.”

I find it odd that a seasoned politician and diplomat such Minister Mitchell would find this forum an appropriate place to voice his displeasure with BTC. I find it out of place and rather distasteful as a diplomat representing the people of the Bahamas. He is quoted as saying, ‘The main telecommunications player was privatised in our country, but the results have been uneven and universally disappointing in terms in quality of service and the delivery of the product,’ said Mr. Mitchell at the South-South Cooperation and Sustainable Development conference.”

Why is it that the Foreign Affairs Minister would feel that this was the appropriate audience for these remarks? It would be reasonable for someone sitting in the audience to draw the conclusion that the telecommunications company, after being privatised, has had most of its staff replaced, maybe even by foreigners. If there was anyone sitting in the audience that actually knew anything about the privatisation of BTC, then it would be reasonable to draw the conclusion that they, the Bahamas, was not to “foreign investor friendly”.

The long and short of it all is that when Minister Mitchell chooses to criticise BTC abroad he is really speaking to the service being provided by our very own people because BTC is still comprised of mostly Bahamians, I would dare say over 90 per cent. I do stand to be corrected and the technicians are the very same Bahamian technicians that have been in place before the company was privatized.

Minister Mitchell does tend to cross the line when he speaks, this being the third time that he has done so. He did so in the Cuban Detainee situation and also when bringing remarks on behalf of the government and the people of the country in a speech before a Caribbean forum earlier this year.

So what is Mr. Mitchell’s point in making these remarks, especially in this setting? Is Mr. Mitchell calling the person at BTC, the technicians and other service people, incompetent at their jobs and if he is why would he choose this international forum to do so? What message does this send to other foreign investors as he attempts to ‘bad mouth’ one set of foreign investors in front of the world?

 

VERY CONCERNED
Nassau,
April 14, 2014.

( This is an idle and silly complaint, obviously politically motivated.  We published Stan Burnside’s cartoon above which gets it right.  How can anyone disagree with the fact that BTC is a lousy company which gives lousy telephone service? The writer complains about eh forum.  If the person reads the full text of the Minister’s statement, he or she will see that the statement was made in the context of south/south dialogue which is designed to attract investment from south to south, developing nations.  The statement indicates that the BTC monopoly is gone and so other telephone companies can now apply to operate in The Bahamas and hopefully this competition will improve the service. Editor)

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IN PASSING


Dwight And Picewell At Dwight ’s Wedding


Last week on Saturday 12th April, Dwight Armbrister got married to the former Enid Smith.  We posted a picture of the wedding but then almost as good is this picture of Ambassador Picewell Forbes with the groom as a groomsman in the wedding. Congratulations again Dwight.

 

Hot Cross Buns On Good Friday

Te ej Grant gets all the luck.  The beautiful Gandhi Pinder presents him with the traditional hot cross buns just in time for Good Friday which was marked on Friday 18th April.


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Randy Fraser’s New Church
On Palm Sunday last Randy Fraser who was fired from Pilgrim Baptist Church following his conviction and jailing for a sexual offence was ordained as the new pastor of Palms of Victory Kingdom Ministry.  He was ordained by Bishop Michael Symonette of the St. John's Native Baptist Church.  Also present was Rev. Dr. J. Carl Rahming of Fox Hill's St. Paul's Baptist Church. This caused quite a stir amongst the high and mighty.  How could he do such a thing?  Bishop Victor Cooper of the Church of God said that he needed to do more penance before heading a church. Even that great moral arbiter Dr. Duane Sands who wants to be Leader of the FNM weighed in on the great moral imperative.  Must have been a  slack day for mending hearts.   Of course in a country where you are free to practice your religion, Bishop Fraser can do what he likes. He is a free man and he has served his time in prison.  He has the support of 200 members.  So since Christ is said to be a forgiving person what is the big deal?  Bishop Fraser apologized for his pastoral misjudgments.  The audio of his saying what he was convicted of doing with the young woman is floating around the web.   But for our part, this country is far too hypocritical about this.  Religion is a fluid thing and you believe what you want to believe. But let’s hope that those who have lessons to draw from this will do so and not let it happen again.

 

Hope Strachan’s Fun Run

Second Annual Fun, Run, Walk in the Constituency. "we walked through several streets of the Seabreeze Constituency from the Seabreeze Park. Winners in various categories received trophies and prizes. A Souse Out followed. A wonderful time was had by ALL.

Second Annual Fun, Run, Walk in the Constituency. 'we walked through several streets of the Seabreeze Constituency from the Seabreeze Park. Winners in various categories received trophies and prizes. A Souse Out followed. A wonderful time was had by ALL.

Miguel Taylor’s Take On Randy Fraser Back As A Pastor
(posted on Facebook)

Randy Fraser’s apology ( putin extract from the Nassau Guardian)
OK so the pastor allegedly had sexual relations with a youngin, sent to jail to appease the masses(let's be real...that's what it was), serves his time, and months later he restarts his ministry(after being dismissed from his previous holding), and now there is all this hooplah. Me-thinks that there is just too much crap to focus on nationally than this trivial distraction. Hmph

 

 

Chippie’s Father’s Funeral

Hubert Chipman was buried following a service at St. Agnes Church in Grants Town on Palm Sunday.  Mr. Chipman was the father of MP Hubert Chipman (FNM St. Anne’s) and former Consul General for The Bahamas to New York Rhonda Chipman. Photo by Rosemary Hanna.

Photo: At Hubert Chipman's funeral service held at St. Agnes Anglican Church, Blue HIll Road, Grant's Town, New Providence,The Bahamas on Sunday, 13th April 2014 Photographs by Rosemary C. Hanna Rosemary Clarice Hanna's photo.

Killing In The Course Of Dangerous Driving

The daughter of the late Kurt Tinker is rightly incensed that The Bahamas allows people to simply get away with killing someone in the course of dangerous driving for a small fine.  A whole life gone, her father’s, and just a fine, no jail time.  It happened again this time in Eluethera where a US citizen paid a five thousand dollar fine and was free to go after killing a pedestrian in Eleuthera.  Shame on us.  The report follows from the Houston Chronicle:

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) â€" Authorities in the Bahamas have released a U.S. tourist from jail after he pleaded guilty to killing a pedestrian and paid a $5,000 fine. Jack...


HOUSTON CHRONICLE

Police have charged 48 – year old Jack Christopher Botero of New York for the traffic death of 32 - year old Bobby Branville Thompson that occurred in Palmetto Point, Eleuthera on Tuesday 15th April 2014. Botero was arraigned before Island Administrator Marlon Leary in Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera today (Thursday 17th April 2014) on the charge of Killing in the Course of Dangerous Driving. Botero pleaded guilty and paid a fine of $5,000:00 after he was fined $5,000.00 or one (1) year imprisonment at HMP.

 

Nat Beneby Comments On Christie’s Intervention

Nat Beneby who heads the Royal Bank of Canada in The Bahamas told the press last week that the intervention of the Prime Minister on the mortgage of Ishmael Lightbourne was not unusual and did not threaten or undermine the Bahamian banking system.


The Life Expectancy Figures


After some bad news that life expectancy at birth had declined, the Department of Statistics now says it’s not so; that in fact there has been a slight increase in life expectancy, this despite the mayhem that these young men are doing to us by killing people before their time. The Tribune quoted these facts: Women are now expected to live 76.8 years, a gain of about one third of a year longer than in 2000. Bahamian men are now expected to live 70.6 years, six months longer than they were expected to live a decade ago.

During the 1979-1981 period, the average life expectancy for Bahamian men and women was 64.3 and 72.1 years.
During the 1989-1991 period, the life expectancy for men and women increased to 68.2 and 75.3 years.
For the 1999-2001 period, life expectancy increased to 69.9 for men and 76.4 for women.

 

 

The Government’s Unfunded Liabilities In Pensions


Sometimes we have to say it, The Bahamas is a sorry place.  It made big news last week that the accountant Raymond Winder says that the explosion in unfunded pension cost for government civil servants is unsustainable.  How long is it going to take us to do something about it?  This is a matter which the then Public Service Minister Fred Mitchell brought to the attention of the government during the CSME debate in 2006.  It is something contained in the Social Security Commission report, yet nothing done. Jesus. How long are we gonna talk about this?

 

Darold Miller Buries His Dad


When Henry Miller died week before last, he was a long way from the farm fields of Crooked Island   He left a full family and wife of successes in children and grandchildren  One of them a Permanent Secretary (Philip)  and the other a top radio talk show host (Darold).  A grandson (Viraj) a lawyer.   They gathered all after the funeral.


Hield Da Regulator's photo.

 

 

Third Traffic Fatality In Eleuthera


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Bahamaspres.com reports that there have been three traffic fatalities in Eleuthera  over the week end.  Harry Sands Jr. was the latest. The others Branville Thompsons,  a pedestrian for whom a tourist paid $5,000 fine for killing in the course of dangerous driving and the third is Pacino Simmons, 29, another motor bike rider.  Mr. Sands Jr. was 18 years old at the time of his death.  A motor bike rider.  The young ones who were his friends were stunned.  They of course believe you will forever. Here is what passes for love and affection from his peers as posted on his Facebook page and the song from Vybz Kartel, now in jail in Jamaica for murder was posted in tribute to Mr. Sands which they said was his “national anthem”:

Young Savage Mike posted to‎Harry Sands Jr.

my young blood gone dred muddaflip i love dis nigga 2 death he could of get me 2 do anything and vice versa but dawg i cant believe dis dred we done everyting together them days goin out beating the alti.bad muddaflip bey dawg bey y u leave me here dred u kno dis ain fear dawg Harry Jr. we kno each other from day 1 and ain never diss da production bey i cant even sleep nomore my head hurting dis shit eating my brains bey ine just sayn dis u kno i use 2 show u mad love i would of never thought it was ga be u dis shit get a nigga fucked up i cant even function wit sense bey u is a friend anybody would love 2 have dred i wish i could have my nigga back for 1 day so i could atleast say bye. i love u dawg GOD knows best. — https://fbstatic-a.akamaihd.net/rsrc.php/v2/yH/r/L_ex--_L5_D.pngfeeling down.


 

 

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