Comment of the week
The Michael Pintard we know wouldn’t stand for it. Never mind that he has the face of an angel. What you have is a terror in nice clothes there. In a political sense there. So we wonder if Frank Watson, the eminence grise of the FNM, actually knows what he is messing with. Mr. Watson attacked in the Nassau Guardian on Monday 18th May (that is a gentle word) Mr. Pintard the FNM Chairman and said in response to Mr. Pintard’s statement that Frank Watson, the former Deputy Prime Minister under the FNM, didn’t bring his complaints about leadership of the FNM internally before taking them outside that Mr. Pintard was in a word talking “nonsense” and “out of the loop”.
He went further to say that he was deeply disappointed in the Opposition’s performance, That he and others like former Ministers Janet Bostwick and C A Smith had tried to help the present Leader of the Opposition Hubert Minnis but to no avail. He said that Mr. Minnis had even been by his home, he counseled him but nothing has happened. He said that the FNM is not ready for elections. Them’s fighting words on any account.
You will remember now that this is coming from the man who Hubert Ingraham, the former Prime Minister , described as the man he could trust. When the last effort was made to remove Tommy Turnquest as the leader who succeeded Mr. Ingraham after his last retirement, the attack on the successor began the same way. Mr. Watson went on radio to say that in his opinion some people have it and some don’t and that Mr. Turnquest simply didn’t have it.
Now he has pounced on Hubert Minnis, the now FNM leader. There is no one who is reading the tea leaves who does not think that Mr. Watson is the stalking horse for Hubert Ingraham’s return. The conchy joe elements in the party are saying the reality is that Mr. Minnis cannot raise money, that Hubert Ingraham has the ability to do so and that if Mr. Ingraham wants to come back, the FNM is his for the taking. Like one of those ladies of the night.
True to his style Mr. Ingraham isn’t saying, save for one brief outburst to the Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell at Government House on the last night of Sir Arthur Foulkes’ stay there. Mr. Ingraham said yes he was coming back. In his words, the PLP was doing “too much shit” and then he quickly added he was only joking.
A couple of things are different this time. The first thing we believe is that Hubert Minnis is not Tommy Turnquest. Remember Mr. Ingraham told Mr. Turnquest the night that he took the reins back that Mr. Turnquest was born with a silver spoon in his mouth: translation, you can’t relate to ordinary people.
Hubert Minis told the Fox Hill Constituency Association at a meeting one night that he started out selling Tribunes to earn his keep as a child, then he packed groceries at Supervalu. Then he said every time school opened at St Augustine’s on the first day, he was called to the office and was out of school for a week because his fees were not paid and until they were he was out. It got so bad he said that when the children saw the priest come in the first day of school, they would say “ Well Minnis time for you to go”. Translation, you can’t embarrass him or treat him like Tommy Turnquest. He’s been there and done that.
Now to the present. If they think they will simply dispense with Hubert Minnis like a discarded stone, think again. Michael Pintard in his new gentle manner told the press that the leadership that now heads the FNM will lead it into the next general election. That as far as they are concerned is that. Mr. Minnis does not have to stop them. He has only to delay them. If they (the Ingraham group) take him out, they will pay a high price for it.
The only group that benefits from this must be the PLP and its leader who must look on with amusement as the FNM turns on itself. We wouldn’t get too comfortable though. Voters have been known to elect stranger and less talented people than Mr. Minnis.
We also add that Hubert Minnis has a brother named Cyril, a great tactician. If you try to mess with Hubert Minnis they will pay the price.
So we translate all of this action and back and forth within the FNM and the dare and double dare of Frank Watson and the response of Michael Pintard and the Minnis supporters to Hubert Ingraham into Bahamianese: “ If you bad, bring ya black ass.”
Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 23rd May 2015 up to midnight: 607,221;
Number of hits for the month of May up to Saturday 23rd May 2015 to midnight: 1,585,194;
Number of hits for the year up to Saturday 23rd May 2015 up to midnight: 9,667,186.
Fred Mitchell MP is seen in Runway Bay, St Lucia with the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Japan Yasuhude Nakayama ( centre) and High Commissioner to Caricom Picewell Forbes in the margins of the 18th meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations of Caricom called COFOCR on 22nd May. The Minister pledged support for Japan as a non-permanent member for the Security Council of the United Nations and renewed the invitation to the Prime Minister of Japan whose honeymoon was in The Bahamas to make a return visit to The Bahamas as guests of the government of The Bahamas.
HAITI– This was posted on the Ministry of Culture of Haiti’s Facebook page on Friday 22nd May:Festival des Arts de la Caraïbe (#CARIFESTA) en août prochain en Haïti.
“Meeting with the ambassador of The Bahamas accredited in Haiti, Godfrey G. Rolle, around the planning of the visit to Haiti a delegation of young Bahamians in order to discover the cultural heritage of Haiti and on the participation of his country at the festival of the arts of the Caribbean (# Carifesta) next August in Haiti.”
CHICAGO – Bahamas Honorary Consul to Chicago Michael C. Fountain attended the City of Chicago Inauguration Ceremony at the historic Chicago Theatre on Monday, …May 18, 2015. He was accompanied by his wife Mrs. Tanya Fountain. Honorary Consul Fountain was invited as a member of the Chicago Consular Corps to represent The Bahamas as Mayor Rahm Emanuel was sworn in for his second term along with the City Clerk, Treasurer and 50 Aldermen elected to serve Chicago’s 77 communities and 2.7 million residents. Honorary Consul Fountain continues to strengthen his relationship with the Mayor’s office to better serve the needs of Bahamian residents living in the City of Chicago and outlying areas. In the first photo Mayor Emanuel (left) is pictured being sworn in by the Hon. Timothy Evans, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, as Mrs. Emanuel looks on. Honorary Consul Fountain and Mrs. Fountain are pictured in the photo at right.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mrs. Idena Burrows, President of the Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Retirees Association (BCPORA), presents a gift to Mrs. Paulette Zonicle, Bahamas Consul General to Washington, D.C., during a visit by 47 members of the BCPORA to the Bahamas Embassy Consular Annex, 1025 Vermont Avenue, N.W., on Wednesday, May 20, 2015. The group is on their annual retreat trip, which also includes visits to Baltimore, Maryland, and New York City. Looking on at left is His Excellency Dr. Eugene Newry, Bahamas Ambassador to the United States, who was also presented with a gift, and in the background are Deputy Chief of Mission Chet Neymour and Ms. Faith Maycock, Third Secretary, Embassy of The Bahamas Consular Annex.
ATLANTA, Georgia – Bahamas Consul General to Atlanta Randy Rolle was among the hundreds of celebrities, dignitaries, business leaders, family and friends who gathered Sunday night, May 17, 2015, at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta for a gala 83rd birthday celebration for former Atlanta mayor and U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young. Consul General Rolle is pictured with Honorary Consul of Jamaica to Atlanta Jewel C. Scott Esq. and Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall.
Atlanta, Georgia — Mr. Archie Nairn, a former Permanent Secretary with the Bahamas Government who is currently on a private visit to Atlanta, visited the Bahamas Consulate in Atlanta on Monday, May 18, 2015, and was welcomed by Bahamas Consul General to Atlanta Randy Rolle and Deputy Consul General Monique Vanderpool. After spending 43 years in public service, Mr. Nairn retired in February of 2014 as Permanent Secretary to the Office of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Legal Affairs. Pictured in the photo above from left to right are Deputy Consul General Vanderpool; Ms. Andrea Coakley, Office Manager, Ministry of Tourism; Mr. Nain; Mr. Eddie Archer, Manager of the Ministry of Tourism Atlanta office; and Consul General Rolle. In photo below from left are Gianne Demeritte, Troy Taylor, Tereasse Maddox, Deputy Consul General Vanderpool, Mr. Nairn, Consul General Rolle, Vice Consul Mia Ferguson, Antonia Mann, and Tisha Archer.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – His Excellency Dr. Elliston Rahming, Permanent Representative of The Bahamas to the Organization of American States (OAS), was among those paying tribute to OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza during a Protocolary Meeting of the Permanent Council of the OAS on Friday, May 22, 2015, in the Hall of the Americas at OAS headquarters on 17th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, to bid farewell to the outgoing Secretary General.
Speaking on behalf of the CARICOM Caucus of Ambassadors, Dr. Rahming, who is also The Bahamas’ Ambassador to the United Nations, said that on “occasions such as this, I often reflect on the burdens of true leadership, the responsibility and obligations that come with executive management, the personal and professional sacrifices that often accompany authority, the thanklessness that is often all too common, particularly in respect of public service.”
“I also pause to consider the past decade and the myriad challenges that have threatened the well-being of the hemisphere and this organization,” Ambassador Rahming added. “Secretary General Insulza, certainly your decade of public service to the hemisphere has proved a testament to the mettle that is required for 21st century leadership in the global forum. You were inheritor of an OAS, and a hemisphere, that would have had to navigate uncertain times with respect to unprecedented threats against security and unforeseen economic recession.”
Dr. Rahming noted that over the course of Mr. Insulza’s decade of stewardship, the OAS “has maintained and enhanced its function as the political forum par excellence of the hemisphere and this has helped the hemisphere emerge from the past decade more secure, more united and more cooperative than before, in spite of the common challenges faced.”
“The strengthening of the focus on multidimensional security, the Secretariat’s tireless work to help defuse numerous political crises within and between member states across the Americas and the willingness to be a first mover on engaging in the necessary dialogue on intractable hemispheric issues such as the drug problem in the Americas and inequality all speak to an Organization whose relevance to our citizenry has been enhanced over the past decade,” Ambassador Rahming said. “The OAS has also been strengthened in areas of clear comparative advantage with other institutions such as electoral monitoring, facilitating economic and social technical cooperation and the provision of scholarships and inter-American training and exchange opportunities, which have all had the effect of bolstering democracy and development in the Americas. Under your watch, finally and historically, all members of the hemisphere sat around the table of the most recent Summit of the Americas, and this has been aided by your support for Cuban reintegration into the inter-American system. This must be commended.”
Declaring that Mr. Insulza “also inherited an OAS, which faced fiscal and structural challenges which threatened its viability, and required focused administrative reform,” Ambassador Rahming noted, “Your steady hands have overseen the historic development of a strategic vision for the Organization, much needed mandate prioritization and rationalization initiatives, and administrative reforms that enhance the accountability of the Secretariat to Member States and the wider public. While this process of reform is ongoing, you have certainly helped build a foundation for a more functional, effective and accountable OAS going forward.”
Ambassador Rahming added, “The CARICOM region, therefore, commends you for your stalwart decade of leadership, and the legacy of necessary reform that has characterized your tenure, the positive effects of which will reverberate throughout the hemisphere for years to come.
“Finally, now in my capacity as Permanent Representative of The Bahamas, I wish to extend the appreciation of my country for your decade of public service to the hemisphere and your penchant for robust, focused and fair-minded leadership. We are particularly pleased that this legacy has been documented for posterity and for reflection in your recently released book. Sir, The Bahamas and the region wish you every success in your future endeavors and, once again, please accept our gratitude for your decade of public service to the Americas.”
MIAMI, FLORIDA – The Hon. H. Ricardo Treco, Bahamas Consul General to Miami, paid a courtesy call on Lieutenant Governor of Florida, Carlos Lopez-Cantera to dialogue about the mutually beneficial opportunities between South Florida and The Bahamas.
Consul General Treco capitalized on the opportunity warm greetings to the governor on behalf of The Government of The Bahamas and the Bahamian Diaspora. He highlighted the great foreign relations and business development of both countries; each country plays a pivotal role by being committed to advancing the economic cooperation and trade between our two countries.
Geneva–Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr. Perry Gomez paid a brief call on The Bahamas Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Her Excellency, Rhoda M. Jackson. The Health Minister led The Bahamas’ delegation to the 68th World Health Assembly, held from 18 – 26 May, 2015.
Among those areas addressed at the Health Assembly were Non-Communicable Diseases, Women and Health, and Anti-Microbial Resistance. Health Ministers also exchanged views on the matter of Health in the post-2015 development agenda, and Implementation of the International Health Regulations.
Photo shows Ambassador Rhoda M. Jackson and the Hon. Dr. Perry Gomez, Minister of Health, at courtesy call at the Office of the Bahamas Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Geneva.
This was the ragtag group that led a demo in Freeport for the extra parliamentary group DNA. This got all the young PLPs on line agitated about the lack of a PR strategy in Freeport for the PLP and they said that there was no activism in the branches in Freeport. Change may be coming though. The PLP has looked to Stalwart Councilor George Curtis to reinvigorate the PLP Council . He was elected unanimously its leader on Thursday 21st May and he is supported by Betty Sweeting another Stalwart as his Treasurer. Congratulations to them all.
Almost a year and a half since the Committee on the Allowances and Benefits for House Members reported, the Speaker of the House Kendal Major spoke to the issue on the eve of the Prime Minister’s budget presentation which comes on Wednesday 27th May. Mr. Major said that there is a need to increase the allowance for office and staff and to increase the allowance which members have to spend in their constituencies. The amounts are 1500 per month now for an office and staff. The Committee has recommended that be increased to 2500 per month. The present spending allowance for MPs is 50,000 per year. The Committee has recommended that be increased to 100,000 per year, We agree and we think that it is long overdue. The whole thing got derailed by Candia Dames and the Nassau Guardian raising the red herring of MPs wanting to increase salaries. That too should be increased but no specific increase was recommended by the Committee. Things just take too long to get done in this country. Simple things.
The Bahamas has now acceded to three of three agreements which will facilitate the air passenger information system (APIS) which will allow the exchange of information to our border management agencies in advance of passengers getting on the plane to fly here. There were three agreements to allow this to be brought into force. Fred Mitchell MP and Minister of Foreign Affairs took the opportunity to sign the accession documents in Runway Bay, St. Lucia in the margins of the meeting of foreign ministers of Caricom on 22 May . The photo shows from left seated Alva Baptiste, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of St Lucia and Chair of the Foreign Minister’s Council (COFCOR) , Mr. Mitchell, Secretary General of Caricom Irwin Laroque and at the back Clifford Williams, Foreign services officer of The Bahamas and High Commissioner Picewell Forbes of The Bahamas.
Prime Minister Perry Christie painted a positive picture for the future of Eleuthera as he spoke at French Leave in Central Eleuthera on 21st May. You may click here for the full statement
We have made this point before that journalists of a newspaper of record are supposed to have standards of ethical conduct in dispensing their profession. We continue to be concerned about the comments being made by Nassau Guardian reporters on their Facebook pages which indicate that they do not have a view of their job that requires neutrality in public and therefore balance in reporting. They want to vent their spleens and rant like members of the general public. The latest example is that of Juan McCartney on Facebook. Recently the television commentator George Stephanopoulos in the US was denied the opportunity to host the Republican debate after it was revealed that he gave donations to the Hilary Clinton Foundation. Fair point. But in The Bahamas anything goes: “Like a beast, its brain fevered, its appetite rabid, lurching through the muck and mire of the nation’s underbelly on quaking limbs, the PLP’s attack machine scours Facebook seeking to brand as traitors anyone who dares question the supremacy of its rule.”–Juan McCartney
Last week, we reported the death of Jeffery St John, whose proper name was Jeffery Johnson. We noted the profile of the murder and its similarity with the murder of single men in The Bahamas in similar circumstances. We saw this letter in The Tribune. We agree with the letter in the sense that whether someone is gay or not has nothing to do with being murdered. However, it was important to make the point in this society that this is what happens. You get killed for being gay, it appears on the surface, and there is no resolution for families whose loved ones grieve without relief. The names we mentioned last week are just the short list. The relevance therefore in response to the writer is not whether he was or wasn’t gay but the fact that he is dead and it might be because some miscreants perceived that it was okay to kill him because he was gay or perceived to be that way. Please read the letter. It is every thoughtful. What also concerns us is that the society is so skittish about this that people once you put the word “” gay” or “ homosexual” in the text about someone, immediately start to shy away and want to be disassociated with the person even in death and even though you professed to be friends with the individual in life. Two prominent women though stuck with him in death: Sonia Hamilton Cox and former MP Juanianne Dorsett. That speaks volumes about them. This is quite sad. But there it is.
EDITOR, The Tribune.
I am probably going to catch some flak for this post but, frankly, I don’t give a crap!
My dear friend, Jeffrey (Johnson) St John, was murdered last Friday and the gossipmongers, including the media, are having a field day disparaging his name instead of concentrating on the ever increasing rate of criminality and the explosion of murders in our country. Jeff was a human being and, yes, he had a different sexual preference than most of us do, but he never tried to force himself or his lifestyle on anyone.
He lived his life privately and quietly, and conducted himself respectfully in the public and social arenas. He was a caring, considerate, loving person who willingly gave of his talents to help worthy causes and assisted those in need in whatever way he could. He gladly gave away clothes, food and money, whenever someone approached him with a need for those items.
That is the Jeff I knew, and that is the person on whom I wish that the newspapers and gossipmongers would focus.
I am wondering why the media or anyone else needs to refer to Jeff’s sexual orientation in discussing his murder anyway. The press never, ever mentions that a murder victim may have been an adulterer or fornicator, so why refer to Jeff as a homosexual? Does anyone really believe that, on Judgment Day, God will differentiate between heterosexual adulterers or fornicators and homosexuals? We will all be judged similarly for our transgressions because sin is sin, and the fires of hell await all who have sinned, have not confessed their sins, and sought God’s forgiveness.
This country is full of adulterers and fornicators, and many of the same people who are committing these sins are the ones who are disparaging Jeff’s name.
Well, I am angry enough to publish this letter because, in the same way that people feel that they are free to talk about my friend, whom most of them did not know personally, I feel free to express myself and defend him because I did know him personally and loved him like a brother.
I would like to refer to these four verses from The Bible: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye”, “Judge ye not lest ye be judged” and, finally, “Let him that is without sin cast the first stone”.
I will never understand why this island has blackouts because, with all the angels and saints that are residing in Nassau, the blinding light from their halos should be more than enough to supply all the light that New Providence needs.
Holier than thou hypocrites!
SYLVIA E RICHARDS (Ms.)
17 March 2015.
Minister for Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald circulated for public comment the draft reworked Freedom of Information Act to replace the tortuously expensively designed act that was advanced by the Ingraham regime and passed into law by Parliament but never brought into force. The FNM and its activist supporters have made this a centre piece of their opposition to the PLP. The drumbeat is always going on about a Freedom of Information n Act. Well it is said : “ be careful what you wish for”. A freedom of information act does not in any way guarantee that you will get government information. The best guarantee of government information is simply a Cabinet like this one that believes that the public has a right to know and just discloses the facts. But there it is, you have a Freedom of Information Act. Good luck to you.
You may click here for the act in draft.
Freedom of Information Bill, 2015 released
After more than one hundred amendments to the initial 2012 Act that never came into force, followed by its replacement with a new draft bill, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 2015 was released on Monday of this week for public consultation.
Foreshadowing the release and outlining the objectives of the new bill was Education Minister Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald who spoke from the floor of the House on Wednesday, 13th May 2015. Some of the objectives and parameters of the new bill are as follow:
Expanding the right of access to information by bodies with Bahamian interests;
Expanding the class of accessible documents to include certain policy documents;
Narrowing the class of documents that were previously exempt from disclosure;
Recommendations for a stand-alone whistle blowing legislation;
A review of the official Secrecy Act.
The Minister (meaning the cabinet) no longer has veto power over the disclosure of information.
The bill sets the frame work for the establishment of an independent Information Commissioner
The “Whistleblower” section of the bill protects a person from illegal administrative sanctions or employment related punitive acts of reprisals (broadly called victimization in The Bahamas) if he or she releases information in breach of that person’s employment obligation or in violation of company policy (or general orders) so long as the person was acting in good faith in protecting the health, safety and welfare of the general public – or more broadly, acting in the public interest.
Also worthy of note is the Act does not apply to the judicial functions of a court, the Customs Department, the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Immigration Department in relation to their strategic and operational intelligence gathering activities. This structure is ostensibly in the interest of country’s national security.
Overall, the objectives of the FIOA are to give further effect to certain fundamental principles underlying the system of constitutional democracy – mainly government accountability, transparency and public participation in national decision making by granting the public greater freedom and rights to access public records.
The Office of the Attorney General plans to host a series of town hall meetings to educate and actively engage the public on this important piece of legislation.
PM Christie on the passing on Mizpah Tertullien
She enjoyed a long and fruitful life well into her eighties and touching many lives along the way, but nothing can fully prepare us for the inevitability of death. The nation was saddened this week to learn of the passing of former Senator, popular psychologist, commentator and columnist of the famed “Psychologically Speaking,” Mrs. Mizpah Tertullien.
Expressing condolences on behalf of the government and people of The Bahamas was Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie who recognized her national service and remembered the former Senator’s engaging personality, erudition, eloquence and patriotism and one who embraced the finality of death the way she embraced life – with grace and dignity.
“Mrs. Tertullien endured a lengthy illness with grace and dignity” said the Prime Minister. “Although she had not been a part of public life for many years, Mrs. Tertullien will be remembered for her engaging personality, erudition, eloquence, and patriotism. She was a respected commentator on a wide range of matters affecting the social and mental health of our nation. She was well positioned to do so based on her training and practice as a psychologist and family counselor.” May her soul rest in peace.
Letters to the editor
The headline in the Nassau Guardian of Saturday 23rd May Emmanuel Komolafe, Chairman of Bahamas Insurance Association was reported to have said that the National Health will pose a risk to our way of life. We go no further. That on the face of it is nonsense. People risk making themselves irrelevant when in opposing something they use hyperbole to make a simple point. Okay you disagree with National health Insurance but with almost every country in the world having socialized medicine in some way, including the now Bahamas, how in the name of heaven will an expanded National Health Insurance scheme risk our way of life. This stuff couldn’t be written by a Hollywood script writer.
The scene was after the celebration of mass marking the 80th anniversary of the St Anselm’s Catholic Church in Fox Hill on Tuesday 5th May in Fox Hill. From left Senator Jerome Gomez PLP, Jerome Brown, Fox Hill resident, Arnold Forbes, Minister of State in the Ministry of Works; Fred Mitchell MP Fox Hill and Minister of Foreign Affairs; Hubert Chipman, St Anselm’s member, MP for St Anne’s and Opposition spokesman on Foreign Affairs.
Archbishop Patrick Pinder is shown kneeling and the new Deacon Richard Cartwright at his ordination to the deaconate on Thursday 20th May at the St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Nassau. The photo is by Peter Ramsay.
Last week, we saw political cowardice at its best proudly displayed. When the column went up at 2 p m last week there was a copy of a publicly released photo from a Facebook page widely circulated of Branville McCartney, Leader of the DNA political party, and his boys having fun at the carnival. One of them turned out to be a fellow named Patrick Robinson. He claimed later in the day that he owned the photo and had not given permission for this site to use the photo and so he wanted it “ respectfully” taken down. Quite apart from the legalisms of his claim, the matter is in the public domain and open for fair comment so that issue falls away This site is a not a profit site and matters in the public domain are open for use in Bahamian law for fair comment. We took it down. But we are constrained to point out how ridiculous the man made himself appear. In taking it down and our commenting on it, he drew more attention to himself and to his character The question was : why did he want to take it down? Was it because he did not want to be seen with Branville McCartney? Inquiring minds want to know.
Rolling out the Visa Prepaid Debit Reloadable Card for clients of the Horseshoe Drive Center 18th May at Golden Gates Outreach Ministries. 1,051 clients will receive the cards over the next two days and will use them on May 27th for the first time. The Department of Social Services – modernizing the system and preserving the dignity of clients! The Minister Melanie Griffin sitting in the front is to be congratulated for the revolutionary way this is being done and the smoothness of the effort.
So now all the FNMs have weighed on the Carnival. Basically we get the idea: the FNM and its supporters do not support the Carnival. Not because it’s a bad idea but because the PLP thought it up. The objections are all red herrings. The latest to weigh in is Rev. Ranford Patterson, the head of the intrepid, anti-gay, anti-gambling Christian Council. This time they are anti the Carnival , on religious grounds of course. Rev Patterson said that he witnessed gyrating in public. Oh my God. You did? He thought that this was really bad form and that it was not what Bahamians are as a people. What was that that Stevie S sang: “ Shake your head and wind ya bungy”. Rev. Patterson is lost. His head is in the sand. The Carnival was great fun and that’s all it is. Sex infuses our culture as it does everywhere in the Western Hemisphere. Nothing wrong with it in itself. The FNM says they will get rid of the Carnival when they get in. We are sure that when his people are in power it will stop the gyrating that so upset Rev. Patterson.
Last week, we showed the new baby shortly after he was born. This is the happy couple: Clay Sweeting, Deputy Chair of the Bahamas Agricultural Industrial Corporation and his wife Delia and baby son. Nice!
Jennifer Isaacs Dotson, the Labour leader, gave this advice to a forum by the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce on 20th May. We agree with her comments:
“Many [workers] don’t possess soft skills, don’t have any idea of time and believe that they shouldn’t come to work because they had rough weekend. This is the reality of what we are working with, whether we like it or not. They have no respect for a job.
“We have a generation of workers unable to adapt, perform under pressure, have no work ethic, cannot manage time, do not think positively of themselves or others, cannot be a part of a team, cannot solve problems, lack self-confidence, cannot take or give criticism, are inflexible and lack communication skills.
“We must trace the root of this problem, I trace it back to the family, where we obviously have failed to develop our children into productive Bahamian citizens by not providing them with basic values, morals, standards and basic education, where they have literacy and numeracy skills or the ability to resolve conflicts, as well as build and maintain healthy relationships. We must make parents accountable for their children. They should take responsibility or suffer the consequences.”
The Cabinet Office announced today that a State-Recognized Funeral will be held for Mrs. Mizpah Tertullien, former Senator on Friday, 29th May at 10:00 a.m. at …St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, West Street.
Further, Mrs. Tertullien will lie-in-state on Thursday 28th May, 2015, in the foyer of the Senate, Parliament Square, from 9:00am until the body departs for the church on Friday.
Viewing for the general public will be from 12:00 noon – 6:00pm on Thursday 28th May, 2015. The general public is invited to attend.
Leader of the Opposition Hubert Minnis is at it again. The matter of Alfred Gray is dead and gone and whether or not he threatened a magistrate. Not so for Mr. Minnis it seems. Mr. Minnis told the press last week that the FNM intends to stop Alfred Gray from speaking in the House of Assembly. They have done this by banging on the table while Mr. Gray is speaking. The Minister cannot be heard over the din. The PLP has not found an effective way to deal with it and the Speaker of the House has not dealt with it save to ignore it. We find it incredible that the House of Assembly, which is supposed to be the freest forum in the country, where there are two privileges, the right of freedom of speech, and the right of access is now to be a place where free speech is prevented. The Leader of the Opposition is supposed to be one of the protectors of freedom of speech and here he is stopping a legitimately elected member of the house from exercising his right as a free citizen of The Bahamas and we do nothing about it.
Peter Turnquest, the Deputy Leader of the Free National Movement, had his say in the newspapers last week about the suggestion that payouts be made to vendors who lost money during the Carnival. He told he Tribune that he had lots of questions about the payout and basically he seemed to be against it. But then again maybe not because he also said that he can understand why payments had to be made and he was not necessarily against it. Hmmm. You can’t approbate and reprobate at the same time. You either eat your cake or you have it to look at. The fact is the FNM has been sniping about the Carnival and trying to walk back any idea that it was a success. So this is just another part of the anti carnival narrative.
Wonders will never cease. A year or so after Rupert Roberts, the owner of the only Supermarket Chain in The Bahamas Supervalu, promised to shut down his stores and go out of business if Value Added Tax ( VAT) was introduced, he is still very much in business, making money hand over fist since he has a virtual monopoly in the business and he has now inked a deal with the Bahamas Agricultural Marine Science Institute (BASI) complete with a front page picture with BAMSI head Godfrey Eneas in the Nassau Guardian on Friday 23rd May. The deal is to buy produce for his stores from BAMSI to market in Supervalu. Good for you Mr. Roberts. Blow me down. What a difference a year makes? 365 days.
Bahamar’s failure to open on time has led to some pretty awful consequences. The Prime Minister Perry Christie was said to have been in meetings all week trying to get the matter resolved of who will pay who what and when so that the hotel can be opened. In the meantime the 3 billion dollars US project is an embarrassment to the nation. The Chinese government and the financiers must be mortified that this that was supposed to be a signature project is now bogged down in a silly public you say and I say. There is only one person to blame for this and that is Sarkis Ismerlian. He has engaged in one public row after the next over this. The latest is that the people who were hired in anticipation of the opening and now have nothing to do are to be lent to Urban Renewal to help clean up the island. Imagine that now. You left your good job for what you thought was a step up in life and a step up in salary only to now clean yards. Not bad in itself and good for the country but not what one would have expected. So the lives of a lot of young people are on hold. Then there is the man who reported to The Tribune that his wedding plans were ruined by Bahamar when they failed to open and he is unable to be properly compensated for it. He says the only way he will return to The Bahamas is to see the ruins of Bahamar. We know the feeling. But according to Mr. Ismerlian the delay is the contractor’s fault. So we hope that helps this man and his pain and suffering. We agree with the Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe, however, this project is too big to fail.
Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis leading a delegation visited Great Harbour Cay today speaking with developers on the island and visited the R. N. Gomez All Age School. Accompanying DPM were Ministers Berry Island MP Dr. Perry Gomez, Khaalis Rolle, Arnold Forbes and Kenred Dorsett 19th May.
No surprise here, the case had the then head of the Contractors Association on the front page in handcuffs. He was convicted of stealing electricity. Now it’s all reversed according to The Tribune of 21st May:
THE Court of Appeal yesterday quashed the conviction of a contractor found guilty of stealing electricity from the Bahamas Electricity Corporation.
The decision of Justices Anita Allen, Neville Adderley and Jon Isaacs came three months after former Bahamas Contractor’s Association president, Stephen Wrinkle, contested the magistrate’s ruling from January 2013.
Wrinkle has been on $2,000 bail for two years while awaiting the hearing of his appeal.
Justice Isaacs, who announced the court’s ruling on the matter, said the appeal was allowed because “we’re satisfied that the element of dishonesty was not made out … the crucial element of the charge”.
The judge noted that the panel’s reasons were set out in the judgment. However, the ruling was not available up to press time yesterday.
Wrinkle had been fined $1,000 and sentenced to a year in prison for dishonest consumption of electricity after being told that his actions between February and March 2011 were “inexcusable”.
Prosecutors alleged that he stole power for the Bayparl Building, Parliament Street, which he managed for Parliament Properties Ltd. Wrinkle had maintained his innocence from his arraignment in June 2011 to his conviction in January 2013.
When you are a young man, you do lots of interesting and exciting things. Put in this category that of Anton Brennan, who is a Young Liberal activist, and who took the notion of skydiving to his heart. He posted on Facebook this photo of him during the 15,000 foot dive near the Kennedy Space Centre in the United States last week. There was a safe landing and a full video to boot. ( He is the figure at the bottom of the picture)
Zephaniah Newbold who is the man and the local government administrator who claimed that his minister Alfred Gray threatened him and so he let a man go who had been according to him duly convicted. The Attorney General Allyson Maynard when she got the case against Mr. Gray declined to prosecute saying that there was a conflict in the evidence. Damien Gomez, the Minister of State, told the press and reported here last week that Mr. Newbold couldn’t remember exactly what Mr. Gray said to him. That set the stage for Mr. Newbold who clearly is a man who does not know when to leave well enough alone, and one has to question whether he is a fit and proper person to be in the public service, was back in the press last week to contradict the minister saying that he remembered very well what he said and the tone which Mr. Gray used. Time for Mr. Newbold to go sit, take time out and reflect.
Fred Mitchell MP poses yet again, for the 20th time, in front of the iconic Mayo Clinic sign in Rochester, Minnesota where he was for his annual physical. Up to is an additional photo in front of statues of the Mayo brothers that founded the clinic in the 19th century.
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