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This is the second part of my response to a recent column by Philip Galanis in which he describes the PLP as "The Bahamas' first and some would argue only nationalist party", and proceeds to list some "accomplishments" of the PLP.
Efforts at making propaganda fact Galanis lifts a list of accomplishments from some PLP election propaganda sheet which even the PLP leadership must not believe and he attributes them to the Perry Christie government between 2002 and 2007. Only a blind sycophant could give any credence to the list.
Galanis' rose-tinted glasses do not admit failure by his political party. He claims that the first Christie government attracted some $17 billion in foreign direct investment, some $2.5 billion of which became tangible or real. Attracting investment that is not real is a most peculiar concept. It is more peculiar, in fact, than Galanis' failure to accept that the five-phased development of Atlantis was approved by the FNM in its first term in office and is an FNM accomplishment.
Galanis claims Baha Mar as a Christie government accomplishment without acknowledging that the agreement signed by Christie's government (with U.S. partners and financiers) faltered and was rendered void, and that a new agreement (with Chinese partners and financiers) had to be negotiated by the FNM government after 2007.
Galanis claims that the Christie government created 22,000 jobs between 2002 and 2007, about half the number created by the previous FNM government. He forgot to say that the jobs created during the PLP's term in office were overwhelmingly created on projects left in train by the FNM - at Atlantis, in Abaco and in Exuma.
Indeed, in Exuma, it was just the ribbon-cutting that was left for the PLP to do at the Four Seasons. When that operation faltered in 2006 it was left to the FNM returning to office in 2007 to find a new hotel owner and operator in Sandals. If Galanis can find an anchor project undertaken in Rum Cay or in Eleuthera during Christie's first term in office he should advise Bahamians where they might find them.
Galanis is silent on Grand Bahama where the FNM attracted Hutchison Whampoa to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the development of the Transshipment Port, in redeveloping the Grand Bahama International Airport, and in the construction of the Our Lucaya Hotel.
Also on the FNM's watch mega ship care and repair was developed in Grand Bahama, the Pelican Bay resort was constructed and new investment and technology was introduced into the island's oil storage and transshipment facilities. Christie's legacy in Grand Bahama continues to be the closure of the Royal Oasis Hotel following the 2005 hurricane, a resort he was proud to open with the police band in tow, weeks after coming to office for the first time in 2002.
As Galanis seeks to give credit for development in The Bahamas he would do better to glance through the pages of the 40th Anniversary of Independence book assembled by Jones Publications. The book records, among other things, the infrastructural developments of the past 40 years of independence. The pictorial representation is incomplete but still if one were to stamp PLP or FNM on the lasting permanent improvements in our infrastructure they would overwhelmingly be stamped FNM.
Nationalists who promote the wellbeing and glory of one's own fundamental values In three non-consecutive terms in office the FNM shaped the infrastructural landscape of our country: the new town centers in South Beach, Carmichael Road and Elizabeth Estates; the new government ministry complexes - education, health, customs headquarters, new courts in New Providence.
Then there are the Judicial Complex, Police Headquarters, and new C. A. Smith government administrative complex in Grand Bahama.
The new taxi call-up system at Prince George Dock and the hair-braiders' pavilion also at the Prince George Wharf, the National Art Gallery and the Junkanoo Expo are all FNM accomplishments as are the extension and or upgrade of electricity, telephone and water services throughout the Family Islands, new community health clinics on eight Family Islands including Grand Bahama, Bimini, Abaco, Spanish Wells, Harbour Island and San Salvador and another in South Beach, New Providence; new schools, primary and secondary, in New Providence and also in Grand Bahama, Abaco, and Long Island, and expansion of other existing schools around the country. A new airport terminal building and runway were constructed at San Salvador and the airport at Rock Sound, Eleuthera was acquired, the runway resurfaced and a new terminal building constructed.
A new international sea port, the new airport terminal building in Marsh Harbour, Abaco, the new government administration complex and the new community hospital nearing completion in central Abaco were all FNM accomplishments. And the FNM dredged and deepened Nassau Harbour (over the objections of the PLP), built the new Nassau straw market, constructed new magistrates courts and acquired and began restoration of a new judicial complex in Nassau; commenced the three-phased redevelopment of LPIA opening the new U.S. Departure terminal and leaving the International Arrival Terminal to be opened weeks following the 2012 general election.
The new library and communications center at COB was realized by the FNM as were the new national stadium, the 20-corridor-plus New Providence roads and utility upgrade project and the new four-lane Airport Gateway Project. The new adolescent and child care facility at Sandilands Hospital, the new emergency and operating theater wing at Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama; the new Critical Care Block now under construction at Princess Margaret Hospital, and new community hospitals under construction in Exuma are all FNM accomplishments. The list is unending.
Social conscience in government
Socially the FNM has been responsible for fulfilling the PLP's unfulfilled promise in virtually every sector of Bahamian life.
Since 1992 the FNM freed the airwaves and licensed private radio broadcasts, made access to cable television possible and introduced live T.V. coverage of meetings of Parliament from gavel to gavel. The FNM introduced elected local government in its second term in office - a promise first made by the PLP in the 1950s while in opposition and reiterated again in 1968 as government but never brought to fruition.
The FNM privatized BTC and liberalized the communications sector.
The FNM also increased old age pensions, established a resident Court of Appeal and appointed Bahamians as justices in that court for the first time. They established the Industrial Tribunal, introduced minimum wage, introduced sick leave and enhanced maternity leave benefits, established minimum standards and conditions of employment, reduced the work week from 48 to 40 hours, increased the school leaving age from 14 to 16, removed discrimination from our inheritance laws and provided in law that all children, regardless of the marital status of their parents, have two parents. And the FNM created the Eugene Dupuch Law School where Galanis' wife is proud to serve as principal.
The FNM also established the UWI Medical School faculty in The Bahamas, introduced unemployment benefits, introduced a prescription drug benefit and enacted a Freedom of Information Act. It is only left for the PLP to sign the appointed day notice to bring the act into force.
The FNM appointed the first Bahamian directors of Legal Affairs and of Public Works since independence, appointed the first women to the Bahamas Cabinet since independence, Doris Johnson having been dismissed prior to 1973. The FNM was also responsible for the appointment of the first female chief justice, the first female president of the Court of Appeal, the first female speaker of the House of Assembly, and since independence, the first female president of the Senate. In its second term in office the FNM caused 50 percent of the Senate to be comprised of women.
Galanis seems to believe that the PLP has a legacy in public housing. In reality the Pindling PLP government struggled to complete housing developments under development by the UBP government in Yellow Elder and Big Pond.
It was not until 1982 and the appointment of a young Hubert Ingraham to Cabinet that the PLP undertook new government housing projects - at Elizabeth Estates, Flamingo Gardens, Nassau Village and Palm Tree Estates in New Providence, and housing estates were undertaken in Freeport and in Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama and in Cooper's Town, Abaco. Ingraham was dismissed from Cabinet two years later and the new government housing initiative stalled. It did not resume until after the FNM's 1992 election victory after which new housing projects were undertaken at Millennium, Jubilee, and Emerald Gardens. The pace was improved under the first Christie-led government but the overall poor standard of construction of that government's housing program dramatically curtailed its benefits.
Unfinished agendas Yes, Galanis, there is an unfinished agenda for development in our country, but it is the FNM that has such an agenda. It is an agenda of the 'good' who, having been too young to be a part of the first revolution and having been forced out of the ruling party, became intent on their watch after 1992 on realizing the new long-awaited second revolution which they sought to achieve through improved social policies, enhanced economic opportunities, broadened Bahamian ownership in the economy and open, transparent and accountable government. The agenda of the PLP and in particular of this Christie led-PLP government is an unfinished agenda of obtaining privileges and benefits for a select few. It is an unfinished agenda that suggests that holding up those heroes of the first revolution imperfect - though they be - is sufficient. That is why Perry Christie could travel to Washington D.C., and talk about social justice on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech but remain silent on the shameful mismanagement of an investigation into alleged abuse in a Bahamas government detention center at home.
Yes, Galanis, the PLP is in dire need of new causes to champion. They can begin by recognizing the right of the opposition to a voice in Parliament. They can begin by championing open, honest accountability and transparent government.
They can begin by committing themselves to fiscal restraint, abandoning wasteful expenditure on useless or unnecessary expensive foreign travel, and on the granting of government contracts to politically-connected but unqualified contractors.
They can begin to act to create real jobs. They can begin by stopping the politicization of crime. They can begin by acting so as to bring honor to our name internationally.
Finally, in the spirit of championing causes and promoting transparency, Galanis might begin by telling the Bahamian people why he was denied his party's nomination to return to the House of Assembly and why, following so promising a career start, he elected to leave the engagement of the renowned accounting firm which had trained and groomed him for leadership.
The government is preparing to relocate staff in the General Post Office building, which has had structural problems over the last several years, Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin said.
The decision was made after air condition challenges led to severe flooding in the building on East Hill Street.
"We have made a determination as a matter of policy that we are moving people out of that post office," Hanna-Martin said.
She said officials from the Ministry of Works assessed the building this week and identified challenges.
"We have been looking at alternate locations for the short to medium term establishment of general post office services which include the entire spectrum of service, including the savings bank, parcel post and also the mail sorting aspect of it," she said.
"We are hopeful that over the next few days a building will be identified and people will be redeployed from the General Post Office to new accommodations."
In meantime, employees are working fewer hours, Hanna-Martin said.
"We want to limit the time they are in that building until we find alternate accommodations," she said.
In February, post office employees claimed that a large concrete slab fell from the ceiling and nearly hit a worker.
At the time, Bahamas Public Service Union (BPSU) Secretary General S. J. Miller said the building posed "serious health and safety problems" for employees.
Hanna-Martin acknowledged that the building has fallen into a state of disrepair over the years.
"The post office was built in the 1970s and it has gone through a process of deterioration and this is where we are now," she said. "It has become necessary to move the post office from that building to a new location."
Hanna-Martin said there are also air conditioning issues at the Elizabeth Estates, South Beach and Grants Town post offices.
As Ministry of Works officials work to address those issues, Hanna-Martin said the people employed at those offices are also working fewer hours.
"We can not require people to stay in conditions of that nature," she said.
The General Post Office also houses the Office of the Attorney General.
Minister of Labour Shane Gibson told reporters in February that the AG's office will be relocated to a government building on John F. Kennedy Drive once renovations are completed.
By NEIL HARTNELL
A BAHAMIAN shipping company has recovered its vessel from US custody after agreeing to pay $75,000 to the Palm Beach Steamship Agency to settle an alleged unpaid debt.
Dean's Shipping Company regained possession of its M/V Legend II vessel last Thursday, with the US District Court for southern Florida dismissing the case brought against it by the Steamship Agency. An intervening lawsuit brought by Caterpillar Financial Services, which alleged that Dean's Shipping had breached the terms of a $2.67 million loan by allowing the M/V Legend II to be seized and have a lien placed over it, was also dismissed.
A March 16, 2011, court order obtained ...
A WOMAN was stabbed to death yesterday in an alleged domestic dispute in South Beach.
Police found the woman lying on her back with multiple stab wounds "all across her body" in an apartment complex on Bougainvillea Boulevard.
She became the country's 38th homicide victim, and the second woman in two weeks to be murdered. Police would not confirm what weapon was used to inflict the wounds, although onlookers claimed it was a cutlass.
Superintendent Theophilus Cunningham said a man is helping with inquiries.
Tribune sources claim the man was taken to the hospital by ambulance, as he was "cut up real bad".
It is unclear if the wounds were self-inflicted, or whether they resulted ...
The Bahamas added another notch to its quickly climbing murder count yesterday morning when a woman believed to be in her 40s was stabbed to death in a South Beach apartment, in what police called a domestic dispute.
Since the start of 2011 there have been 38 murders.
Officer in charge of the South-eastern Division of New Providence, Superintendent Theophilus Cunningham, said the woman was found lying on her back in the apartment on Bougainvillea Boulevard with multiple stab wounds all over her body.
He said immediately after police received the call of the stabbing, a 45-year old man was picked up for questioning in relation to the death.
Cunningham said the stabbing appeared to be a domestic disput ...
Measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria - Genea Barry ensured that her children had all of their required immunizations as infants, be she never thought about having her pre-teen daughters vaccinated against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV is a common virus that is passed from one person to another through direct skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity.
According to the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC), the HPV infection is most common in people in their late teens and early 20s. And there are about 40 types of the virus that can infect the genital areas of men and women. The CDC site reports that most HPV types cause no symptoms and can go away on their own, but some types can cause cervical cancer in women, and other less common cancers - like cancers of the anus, penis, vagina and vulva (external genital area of the female) and oropharynx (back of throat, including base of tongue and tonsils). Other types of HPV can cause warts in the genital areas of men and women. Genital warts are not a life-threatening disease, but they can cause emotional stress and their treatment can be very uncomfortable.
Who will get HPV
Most sexually active people will get HPV at some time in their lives, though most will never even know it. Annually in the United States, 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 4,000 women die from the disease.
The CDC recommends that girls as young as 11 be vaccinated against the virus and that the vaccine can also be given to girls beginning at age nine years.
"I still don't know how I feel about my daughters being vaccinated against HPV. I mean they shouldn't be having sex in the first place which is how it is contracted, but from the information I am hearing now I see that having the vaccine should be a good precaution from developing cervical cancer. I take regular pap smears and I know checking myself out is good in order to prevent developing this cancer so I would be a hypocrite not to want my daughters to have the best opportunities as well," said Barry.
Any female who is sexually active is subject to acquiring HPV and should get an annual checkup from the time she becomes active, according to Dr. Mildred Hall-Watson, gynecologist and obstetrician at the Health Care Center for Women.
She said contracting HPV does not have to be life-threatening if women take precautions, and are diligent about their health. Once detected, the disease can be carefully monitored and successfully treated so that more serious illnesses like cervical cancer don't develop later on.
"HPV is a sexually transmitted disease, but due to research we have been able to define this illness a bit more. Within diagnosing HPV there are several sub types which vary from low to high association with cervical cancer. This means that not all types of HPV can develop into cancer if unchecked. In fact, some strains can be virtually harmless while others can cause venereal warts which can develop on the outer lips, inside the vagina or on the cervix itself. But once appropriately treated, there are usually no long term negative side affects," she said.
Reduce the risk
To reduce the risk of getting HPV, it is suggested that couples be monogamous in their sexual relationships and use condoms, especially if they aren't. Even if one is not sexually active it is still recommended that young ladies start their pap smears at the age of 21 since cervical cancer can still develop as a result of other factors.
The Princess Margaret Hospital opened its first HPV laboratory recently, and with the help of the PMH Foundation and Rotary Club International, the necessary equipment and reagents were able to be purchased to set up the lab.
"HPV screening is now much easier for local physicians due to the latest addition to the Princess Margaret Hospital, the HPV lab which was donated by many corporate, charity and individual sponsors in particular the Rotary Clubs of The Bahamas. This means that there will be more testing opportunities available. Prior to this time we didn't have certain equipment, space and reagents to properly prepare test slides, so while it's a really great step for HPV testing in our country, I do hope more people will be encouraged to get tested so that cervical cancer can be reduced and eventually not exist at all in our country," said the doctor.
Sixty-nine-year-old Sylvita Carey, said she wouldn't think twice about ensuring her granddaughters get vaccinated against such a preventable STD.
"As a parent I would want to think that my underage grandchildren are not out there sexually [but] I can't bury my head in the dirt and pretend, so I definitely would get my girls vaccinated," she said.
Dr. Hall-Watson said much like other cancers, cervical cancer can take years to develop, but with routine checkups and pap smears, changes in the cells of the cervix can be detected earlier and result in more effective treatment.
"Many women are afraid to get a pap smear or avoid it entirely, but this should not be. Recent statistics in the country about the numbers of women doing their annual pap smear has decreased and in some islands there are no reports of women doing their annual cervical checkup at all. This is by no means a reflection of a lack of availability or resources as efforts and equipment have been provided to do these things. So it is more so a lack of interest or education on the importance of doing this exam that is a major component in these exams not being done in my view. So we are really pushing for more women to be aware that cervical cancer is very real and very painful and also very preventable," she said.
A pap smear (a procedure in which a physician swabs a woman's cervix during a routine gynecological checkup in order to collect samples of the cervical cells) can be uncomfortable but virtually painless. It takes less than a minute to conduct, and can cost between $30 to over a $100 depending on the type or specificity of the test required, according to Dr. Hall-Watson. But she said the small price to do this annual test is far less expensive and time consuming than avoiding it, and then possibly having to go through the stresses of developing cancer then having to do a surgery which is around $40,000 and undergoing the physical and emotional stresses of chemotherapy treatments. She said it can also eliminate potential familial strains that can often result from long term cancer treatment.
Due to technological advances in medicine there are several options when it comes to treatment. Some doctors will do an office-based procedure called the colposcopy where they look at the cervix through a microscope and determine where abnormal cells are and biopsy them. This will allow the doctor to see if things are as expected, better or worse than expected. Once there has been a determination, the actual treatment options include getting a cryosurgery which is basically the freezing of the affected part of the cervix in order to destroy the pre-cancerous tissue.
Another option is the loop excision, which uses a hot medical knife to cauterize pre-cancerous lesions. A cone biopsy, a procedure in which a cone-shaped area of the cervix is removed is another common option.
Hall-Watson said if a female is still in her child-bearing years the least invasive or damaging procedure is usually suggested.
There are two follow-up colposcopy centers for persons needing to keep on top of their health after getting positive results from their pap smears - the oncology center at the Princess Margaret Hospital and the other is located at the South Beach clinic.
Tuesday 25th September 2012 6:00 PM
Prostate Screenings September 25th – South Beach Clinic PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS History: - Established in the Bahamas on 20th April, 2001 under the auspices of the Head Office in Downers Grove Illinois. Objectives: - Give Support to Men afflicted with the disease; Educate the population on the effects of the Disease and Advocate Men to take action about Screening and early Detection of Prostate-related illness. Procedure: - Make Presentations at Health Fairs, Men Groups, Corporate Institutions and Religious and other Organizations on the Details and effects of the Prostate and the illness associated with it. Activities: - Organize an Annual Walk to create Awareness and Advocacy, entitled ‘1,000 Man-Walk’ and Four Annual Clinics in the Month of September, Screening Men of the Bahamas for signals, signs of Prostate Cancer. The screenings (PSA & DRE)* are held at the Government Poly-technical Clinics of Elizabeth Estates, Flamingo Gardens, South Beach and Fleming Street all in the Month of September. Additional screenings for General Health ailments mainly Blood Pressure, Glucose and Cholesterol in particular are conducted simultaneously. The General Health Screenings and the PSA and DRE are conducted by Volunteer Doctors, Phlebotomists and Other Caregivers and volunteer Coordinators, together with the Members of Us TOO Bahamas Chapter. Chapters: -Us TOO Bahamas has successfully established new “Chapters” in Freeport, Exuma and Cat Island and are progressively organizing several other new Chapters in the Archipelago, particularly Andros, and Eleuthera. Support: -Small tokens of appreciation are appropriate to the Volunteers and Care-givers and any ‘much needed’ Assistance (technical and financial) and/or new Volunteers would be welcomed and appreciated. Financial Assistance: -Contact and Donations to “Us TOO Bahamas” may be made through the Cancer Society of the Bahamas at our ‘Fixed Address’ attention Prostate Cancer or addressed individually as follows: Chapter Leader - Valentine Maura P.O. Box CB 11915 Telephone (393-4060; 636-9023) Secretary - Wendell Barry – P.O. Box N4671 Telephone (325-0823; 465-2235) Treasurer – Charles Sands - P.O. Box N 1503 Telephone (393-2439; 436-5117) Members – any of the active known-Personnel Meetings are held on the Third (3rd) Thursday of each Month at the Cancer Society of the Bahamas Complex, South of the ZNS Building, off Collins Avenue. PSA - Blood Extraction and Lab-Testing (prostate influenced) DRE – Digital Examination of the Prostate (finger & texture) Both save many lives as “Early Detection” of Cancer may be treated successfully before it progresses. On average, One (1) out of every Six (6) Men will get Prostate Cancer or at least an “Enlarged Prostate”. If appropriate, further testing – a Biopsy - will be made to confirm existence of the Cancer and determine the Stage – One to Four – of the Cancer and the Pace or Speed of its progress by the “Gleason Score” Grading. Consultation with a certified Medical Specialist – the Urologist should then be made to understand the Cancer, the Treatment available and the Method preferable and suitable, considering the Health of the Patient and other considerations, such as finance and age. An Oncologist after examination with evidence of Cancer treats the Patient with Chemotherapy and/or Radiation. A high number of the PSA reading (above) may not indicate Prostate Cancer and may conflict with the condition of the DRE. Likewise, an effected Prostate, resulting from the DRE (exam) may not show a high PSA Reading. Both are necessary for a clear indication on Prostate Examination. Us Too Bahamas Chapter Prostate Cancer Support, Education & Awareness
Hurricane Sandy has been downgraded to a category one hurricane, but has expanded tremendously and is taking its time as it exits the country.
Abaco is still getting hurricane conditions and the northwestern Bahamas, with the exception of Andros and Bimini, is still experiencing tropical storm conditions.
The storm is about 275 miles wide at this point and has slowed down to about 10 miles per hour, forecasters said.
Maximum winds are currently at about 80 miles per hour. Tropical storm conditions should ease up in New Providence by noon, but the storm won't leave the country until later tonight.
Meantime, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is trying to piece together exactly what the damage is in the aftermath of the storm.
According to NEMA's Lt. Sonia Miller there has been some flooding in New Providence, mostly along the coastline. Areas of The Grove out west, Sandyport Plaza and Nirvana Beach are said to be severely flooded, parts even submerged.
Also in New Providence, more than 50 percent of all BEC customers were without power up to 9am.
In Exuma, power poles knocked down during the storm were affecting power supply to the island, and in Williams Town three homes were reportedly damaged as well as the government school, which lost its roof during the storm.
In Crooked Island, some flooding on the roads in Andrew's Point along with power outages were being dealt with.
In Acklins, power and communications are down and authorities there are dealing with flooding and leaks to several homes.
NEMA is still waiting on incoming information in order to attain exact damage reports.
BEC's General Manager Kevin Basden said BEC has commenced full assessment of power supply conditions throughout the Family Islands and in many of them, work has started in an ongoing effort to reestablish power connections as soon as possible.
Power outages in New Providence and other islands have begun to affect thousands of Bahamas Telecommunications Company customers as well.
Reports coming into BTC's hurricane command center indicate that residents in Flamingo Gardens and Gladstone Road in New Providence have lost landline service. In each area approximately 500 customers have been affected.
Earlier outages were reported in Miller's Heights and Faith Ave. The majority of the New Providence outages are concentrated in the southern area of the island.
BTC officials estimate that close to 4,500 customers were without service around the country.
That number may or may not include customers on Abaco, where approximately 20 of the 22 cell phone towers are down.
South Beach, FLORIDA -
and public sector figures from multiple jurisdictions will gather at
The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach in Florida next week for
The 9th Annual OffshoreAlert Conference.
aspects of conducting business in Offshore Financial Centers will be
discussed in 22 sessions based around three main themes: Fraud &
Asset Recovery, Money Laundering & Compliance and Investigations
60% of attendees who have registered so far live in the world's major
countries, with the other 40% residing in OFCs, including Anguilla,
Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands,
Switzerland and the Turks and Caicos Islands...
A Bahamian man has pleaded guilty to two counts of human smuggling in the United States and he could face 10-year prison sentences on each count.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida announced on Tuesday that Rick Davis, 31, made the guilty pleas on December 10. He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 18, 2011.
According to statements made in court, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was advised on November 3 by the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) about an alien smuggling attempt off the coast of Deerfield Beach, Florida. The operation originated in Abaco, according to the criminal complaint filed by the U.S. governme ...
Laverne Minnis, 53, of Melrose Avenue, South Beach Estates West died at Doctor’s Hospital on Monday January 17.
She is survived by her Daughter: Ashley Minnis; 5 sisters: Betty Rand, Monique Forbes, Eureka Glinton, Katie Longley, Jacqueline Russell; 6 brothers: Wellington Dorsett, Paul Glinton, D’Antone Morley, Rev. Ednal, George and Bernie Minnis; adopted children: Jermaine, Jevon, Alexanderia Stubbs & D’Andre Coakley Stubbs; numerous nieces and nephews and a host of other relative and friends including finance: Philip Stubbs.
Funeral Announcements will be announced at a later date.
Now that the so-called referendum on gaming is mercifully over, our leaders must now get down to dealing with the real issues before our beloved nation. The collective attention of The Bahamas has been literally hijacked for the past several months by the debilitating and corrosive debate on a non-issue, in my considered view.
The regulation of web shops and the taxation of the same are no-brainers. What we should have been talking about is the legislative regime and the level of revenue which should and must be generated by taxation and licensing fees, at some point down the road. That revenue should be placed in a dedicated and separate fund apart from the notorious Consolidated Fund, so as to ensure that those funds are spent on the declared purposes.
This may now not happen for the foreseeable future. I am not an FNM but the position taken by the leader, Dr. Hubert A. Minnis (FNM-Killarney), was appropriate. I also must give credit to the stance, albeit a late one, taken by the former prime minister and the leader of the DNA. A stark lack of information and government-generated public debate were instrumental in the massive defeat of the so-called referendum.
Crime and punishment are on top of the list as to issues which must now be dealt with. I would love to see the same intensity paid to this vexing societal and economic issue as would have been applied to the gaming opinion poll. I told the PM and his crew weeks ago that the process was flawed and bogus.
They paid me absolutely no mind and the rest is history. In fact, I went so far as to actually draft, prepare and file a Supreme Court writ of summons seeking to derail and postpone the conduct of a non-binding opinion poll. No one else, PLP, FNM or DNA had the fortitude to do so. I am able to claim credit for the defeat of the so-called referendum.
Web shops and numbers houses have served and will continue to serve a useful economic and societal purpose, despite questions of morality and possible addictions. It is what it is despite the rhetoric to the contrary. The PLP did it wrong and I am proud to have been a part of the process. Next time, that party will do it right and may even wish to consult with yours truly.
Unlike the majority of my colleagues on talk radio, I never appeared on a public platform in favor of the regulation of the industry. Yes, I do support regulated and properly taxed gaming by Bahamians but we have to do it with proper educational exercises and due respect to protocol and decorum. The PLP and the FNM are now between a rock and a hard place.
The appropriate legislation will now have to be drafted, submitted to Parliament for debate and eventually passed in both chambers and forwarded to the governor general for signature. Simultaneously regulations and by-laws will also have to be passed and implemented. Indeed, the sooner we get past these artificial hurdles the better for the way forward and to refocus on the proverbial prize. Gaming will not just go away.
Our educational plant is in dire need of reform and stabilization. There must be a greater degree of specialization in mathematics, the sciences and technological pursuits. While the liberal arts have their place, the way the world is moving forward demands that our students and even the more mature population position themselves on the cutting edge.
Affordable housing remains a vexing societal issue and needs to be addressed in short order so as to avoid even more meltdown and demarcation. Governmental incentives must be offered to real estate developers and to first-time homebuyers, especially here in New Providence. On each of the more populated Family Islands Crown land should be released into the public sector at realistic and affordable prices.
Land ownership is crucial to the economic empowerment of our people especially those in the lower classes and to those who aspire to enter the middle ranks. Land, historically, is power and gives one a sense of belonging to the social fabric. Home ownership is also important to developing sustainable local communities. Individuals who rent are not usually disposed towards properly maintaining their environments.
Business development and economic entrepreneurship are a must if our people are to get beyond this hellish position of political dependency. It is a bane to national growth for persons to be endlessly looking to the government of the day for employment and economic survival. There is only so much that the national purse is able to bear.
The laughable Bahamas Development Bank should be privatized and run by a consortium of private individuals and financial institutions. Of course the government should retain a minority stake in it and should have oversight but it should not be involved in policymaking decisions or the actual administration of the same. Only viable and feasible projects should be approved and should no longer be based on who you know or which political party you supported.
Local government must be introduced to New Providence and this rank discrimination, where one accepts the proposition that our brothers and sisters in the Family Islands are capable of input into the running of their communities but not those of us who reside in New Providence, must be eliminated. New Providence should be divided into four municipal areas and each one could elect a local government board run by a mayor and councilors.
The central government would still be responsible for basic necessities but mundane things like garbage collection, maintenance of parks and community-based initiatives would be the direct responsibility of the elected regional council. It is obvious that funding, with proper accountability, should be provided by the central government. The MP would still be required to provide parliamentary representation.
A hospital must be constructed in the South Western area of New Providence or there should be a huge expansion and addition to the current Flamingo Gardens, Elizabeth Estates and South Beach Clinics to include in-patient and operating theater facilities. Around-the-clock personnel should be identified and hired. It is dead wrong, in more ways than one, for residents in outlying areas of New Providence to have to rely on PMH in cases of emergencies or even for routine medical necessities.
A form of National Health Insurance in collaboration with local insurance companies and a partnership with Doctors Hospital must be considered, debated in Parliament and implemented. Some say that the cost of the same would be too much. Others opine that the can should be kicked even further down the road.
I say that the time is now to ensure that not a single Bahamian or resident should be subjected to a precarious situation which might negatively impact his/her health condition. Some might decry another new tax. I say that a reasonable income deduction is sustainable and appropriate once bolstered by a financial input from National Insurance.
We must now begin to focus on those issues which are crucial and of a non-partisan nature. The blame game and political one-upmanship are now passé and no longer conducive to nation building and development. Let us now turn the page in the book called The Bahamas and commence the writing of the next chapter.
To God then, in all things, be the glory.
- Ortland H.Bodie Jr.
Nassau Friday shooting incident, Police confiscate 2 guns in police involved shooting, DEU make drug arrest at LPIA EIA
Police seek suspect in shooting incident - An 18 year old male is detained in hospital after being shot to the leg on Friday 26th
Preliminary police reports indicate that around 10:20 am the victim was in the area of
West Street and Dorsett Alley when he was approached and subsequently shot by a
Police involved shooting....two handguns confiscated A 23 year old male of Pinewood Gardens is in hospital after being shot by police.
The incident reportedly occurred around 3:10 am on Saturday 27th April, 2013 in the
South Beach area
Drug Enforcement Officers make drug arrest - Three (3) people, two (2) females and a 31 year old male of Mayfield Park Grand
Bahama are in police custody after being found in possession of an estimated two (2)
kilos of suspected Cocaine.
The Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) is encouraging insurance companies to make it easier for farmers, whose crops were destroyed during Hurricane Irene, to claim benefits.
"We want to take this opportunity to make an appeal to persons in authority to ensure that those persons, farmers in particular in the islands who lost quite a bit of their vegetation, to have those restored because they rely on those as income for their family," BCC Vice President Victor Cooper said yesterday during a press conference at Cousin McPhee AME Church to announce a National Day of Prayer to be led by the council.
While seeking to help farmers, Cooper also said the council is organizing other relief efforts.
"Right now churches are in the process locally of raising funds to assist persons in our Family Islands whose homes were damaged in Irene. So the hurricane relief fund is going. Once we visited the island of Exuma, we got firsthand knowledge of persons needing help.
"And so we saw several homes that were damaged and immediate steps and efforts were put in place to secure funds to ensure that those homes could be restored."
Several islands sustained damage as a result of the storm.
BCC President Rev. Dr. Ranford Patterson said that despite the destruction on some islands, Bahamians are blessed in that no lives were lost during the storm.
The day of prayer will be on Wednesday and BCC officials will meet at 10 locations across New Providence between noon and 1 p.m.
The meetings are scheduled for Transfiguration Baptist Church, Market Street; Lynden Pindling International Airport; Potter Cay Dock; Arawak Cay; Rawson Square; Paradise Island next to the taxi stand; the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Base; Yamacraw Beach; South Beach Pools and Clifton Heritage Park.
That night at 7:30 there will also be a praise rally at Pinewood Gardens Park. Similar prayer sessions are scheduled for the Family Islands.
A judge yesterday postponed the sentencing of a man convicted of hacking his girlfriend to death.
Prince Hepburn, 50, appeared before Justice Indra Charles for the sentencing phase of the murder trial for the death of Nellie Mae Brown-Cox.
Charles adjourned the matter to May 30 because she had not received the psychiatric report she needed to determine sentencing.
Hepburn, who was married, allegedly told a policeman that he had to kill his mistress because she was unfaithful after he spent more than $1 million on her.
Brown-Cox's mutilated body was found in an apartment at Bougainvillea Avenue in South Beach on April 7, 2011.
According to Supt. Theophilus Cunningham, Hepburn confessed to the crime. Cunningham said he heard groaning after he saw a woman's body inside the residence.
Cunningham said he asked the person to come out and a man came through the front door and said, "I spend over $1 million on this woman. I left my wife for her and she scheme on me. I couldn't live with that. I had to kill her."
Cunningham said he placed the man under arrest for murder and cautioned him against making further incriminating statements.
Hepburn, a building contractor, remains in custody.
By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
FREEPORT - Health Minister Dr Hubert Minnis was in Grand Bahama yesterday for the official launch of a 60-day pilot programme that allows digital diagnostic images to be viewed instantaneously at several clinics and hospitals in the Bahamas.
Through a partnership with the Florida-based Jackson Health System, four hospitals in the Bahamas, including the Rand Memorial Hospital and the Eight Mile Rock Clinic in Grand Bahama, and the Princess Margaret Hospital and South Beach Clinic in New Providence, will be part of a pilot programme using a new technology called PACS (Patient Archive and Communication System).
Dr Minn ...
Some members of the South Beach branch of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP)?are reportedly upset that the party chose Bahamas Nurses Union (BNU)?President Cleola Hamilton as its area candidate despite the branch voting to support attorney Myles Laroda for the nomination.
A party source told The Nassau Guardian that some South Beach branch members are considering resigning en masse as a result of the party’s decision to ratify Hamilton last Tuesday night.
The PLP’s constitution says that when there is a conflict between the recommendation of the branch and the decision of the party’s candidates committee, a joint meeting should be held including the branch and 10 members ...
Pinewood Member of Parliament Khaalis Rolle yesterday revealed that he is pushing for the government to grant an exigency order to bring relief to those persons who were negatively impacted by last week's storm that resulted in widespread flooding across the island.
Rolle, who is also the minister of state for finance, noted that his constituency was among the hardest hit by the storm which brought torrential rain between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
It is estimated that about 1,000 homes in that constituency were impacted by flooding as a result of the storm. Government officials said homes in Elizabeth Estates, Mount Tabor Estates, Lynden Pindling Estates and Joe Farrington Road experienced severe flooding.
Rolle said there needs to be an exigency order so that Bahamians whose homes were damaged can bring in goods duty free.
"This is a suggestion that I am pushing," Rolle told The Nassau Guardian.
He said he made the suggestion during a Cabinet meeting yesterday.
Rolle is also seeking a permanent solution to Pinewood's long standing flooding problems but noted, however, that every proposed solution that the government has considered to date would drain the public purse of tens of millions of dollars.
Last week's record rainfall once again renewed focus on the issue of flooding in Pinewood Gardens. Rolle said there is no easy fix.
"The problem is very, very extensive and the solution is very extensive and very expensive," Rolle said. "You're looking at putting in an entire drainage system that would run straight in to the South Beach area and that would cost millions of dollars to rectify," he said.
Rolle pointed out that the government has looked at several possibilities over the years. In 2009 an extensive study was done by a group of civil engineers who forwarded several recommendations on how to mitigate flooding in the low-lying area.
But Rolle said those suggestions would also come with a very hefty price tag.
"From a government [stand point], particularly during difficult economic times like this, I can't say the solution is readily available. There are some things that I'm going to look at that may provide temporary relief and may increase the standard of living."
Rolle said there will have to be a door-to-door assessment to ascertain the best course of action. He is also considering raising roofs and floors ahead of this year's hurricane season, which will begin next month.
But residents have said they want a more permanent solution, with some suggesting that the government should buy out homes in Pinewood, tear them down and fill in the area.
It's a strategy that is similar to one that was recently announced by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He revealed last week that the U.S. federal government would spend $200 million to buy out flood prone homes in the New Jersey area.
However, Rolle said that would be an expensive venture as well.
"It's difficult for me to say that those types of plans are easy to execute but I haven't had any discussion in Cabinet about that as an option," he said.
According to Dexter Williams, senior engineer responsible for drainage, the majority of drainage wells in Pinewood Gardens were either severely clogged or simply did not do what they were intended to during the torrential rain that flooded that area last week.
He said there was not much more the ministry could have done to alleviate flooding in the low-lying communities as New Providence's drainage infrastructure is "maxed out".
WEEK 16: 12-4
NFL WEEK 17
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles 1 p.m.
Even though they are officially eliminated from the playoffs, the Eagles have been playing inspired football lately. Michael Vick and company are determined to finish the season strong. I think that both Vick and Lasean McCoy will have over 100 yards on the ground in this game.
Eagles 27, Redskins 17
N.Y. Jets at Miami Dolphins
The Fins would love nothing more than to officially end the Jets' playoff hopes. Even with a win, the Jets wouldn't be guaranteed of a playoff spot. I think they'll struggle in South Beach on Sunday though. Led by Reggie Bush, the Fins are productive on the offensive end, and ever since week nine, their defense has been consistently shutting down teams.
Dolphins 30, Jets 23
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints 1 p.m.
The Saints are still alive for a first-round bye so I think that they won't ease up on the Panthers this week. Cam Newton and the Panthers have proven over the past two weeks that they don't intend to go quietly but the Saints are on a different level right now, especially in the Superdome. I think that Brees will go over 100 yards again, and the Saints will continue to roll.
Saints 34, Panthers 30
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers 1 p.m.
Now that they have that one loss out of their system, the Packers will continue to cruise into the playoffs. Despite a few minor injuries, the Pack is ready for the post-season and ready to defend their title. The Lions have already wrapped up a playoff spot as well, so I don't expect them to lay it all out on the line this Sunday.
Packers 37, Lions 27
San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams 1 p.m.
Led by their defense, the Niners are surging at the right time of the year. They are still battling the Saints for a first-round bye heading into the final game of the season. Meanwhile, the Rams are battling the Colts for the first overall pick. Both will have things work in their favor on Sunday.
49ers 20, Rams 6
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars 1 p.m.
Don't look now, but the Colts are on a two-game winning streak. Will they make it three in a row... only time will tell. I believe the Colts will play hard this Sunday though, and go into Jacksonville and leave with a victory.
Colts 20, Jaguars 17
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots 1 p.m.
The Bills got a big win over the Broncos last week, but they'll have to deal with the AFC East division leaders this week. Not to mention, the Pats are still looking for revenge after falling to the Bills early in the season. Tom Brady and company will have a field day this Sunday.
Patriots 42, Bills 20
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans 1 p.m.
This game will feature two of the better running backs in the league. Whoever has the better day will probably lead his team to victory. I think that Chris Johnson and the Titans will get the job done. The Titans is the more desperate team and the Texans have struggled in their past two games.
Titans 20, Texans 19
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings 1 p.m.
Despite not recording much wins, Christian Ponder is proving that he is the right man for the job in Minnesota. He should be their starting quarterback next season, and hopefully they'll have a healthy Adrian Peterson in the backfield. The Vikings always play the Bears tough, and this game will be no different.
Vikings 28, Bears 20
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns 4:15 p.m.
The Steelers are still trying to win the AFC North, so I don't expect them to come out and roll over against the Browns. There's no doubt that the Browns will try to end their season strong, but they're simply not on the same level as the Steelers right now. The 'Steel Curtain' defense will dictate the pace of this game.
Steelers 23, Browns 6
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos 4:15 p.m.
Will Tebow mania rise again? The Broncos have cooled down a bit after that six-game winning streak but they are still very much alive in the playoff race. A win this Sunday will lock down the AFC West and the number four seed in the playoffs for them. The Chiefs won't just give the game to the Broncos, but I think that Tebow will rise again and lead his team to victory.
Broncos 16, Chiefs 13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons 4:15 p.m.
The Falcons are trying to fine tune themselves going into the playoffs while the Bucs have pretty much packed it in and are calling it a season. I think that these teams will continue to go in opposite directions on Sunday.
Falcons 27, Buccaneers 13
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals 4:15 p.m.
This game could be a preview of what's to come in the playoffs. They could very well meet again. The Ravens play great at home but are subpar on the road. The Bengals, who along with the Niners, are the surprise of the league this year, will be looking to prove that they can compete with the Ravens. I think that it will be a physical, grueling contest, and the Bengals will have just enough to come out on top.
Bengals 23, Ravens 20
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals 4:15 p.m.
Both of these teams turned it on in the second half of the season, but it was too little too late for both of them. They were both eliminated from the playoffs last week. I think that Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks will come out on top this Sunday though. They came within an eyelash of knocking off the Niners last week, and will have enough in the tank to get past the Cards this week.
Seahawks 24, Cardinals 20
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders 4:15 p.m.
The Raiders have a division title within sight but will have to get through the Chargers this Sunday. I don't think they'll be able to get into the playoffs, but I think they'll get past the Chargers this week. The Chargers have been sporadic all season. They'll play hard on Sunday against their division rivals but they'll be hard pressed to stop the Raiders.
Raiders 27, Chargers 24
Dallas Cowboys at N.Y. Giants 8:20 p.m.
Game of the Week! The Cowboys and G-men meet in 'The Big Apple' on Sunday with the AFC East title and a playoff spot on the line. The last time these two teams got together, Tony Romo and the 'Boys blew a 15-point lead in the final quarter. They won't have that leverage this week, as the Giants will take control of this game early. Eli Manning and company will book their tickers for the playoffs and it will be another disappointing end to a season for the Cowboys.
Giants 30, Cowboys 17
Although Atlantis is concerned about the global economy, the resort's chief says two strong avenues of business are keeping heads above water - group sales and the Latin American market.
George Markantonis, President and Managing Director of Kerzner International Bahamas Ltd., told Guardian Business he expects, by year end, group business will have risen 35 percent compared to 2010.
"The outlook is grim, but I can tell you our bookings are not," he said.
Markantonis said companies in the U.S. and elsewhere have enjoyed improved business over the past year.
That rise in the bottom line has spilled over into corporate trips.
Unlike past years, Atlantis decided to not close it's Beach Tower this summer. The decision has paid off, according to Markantonis.
"It looks like our September occupancy will be 50 percent to 51 percent," he added. "That compares to 33 percent last year."
Another important source of revenue has been the Latin American market.
As part of their push to attract tourists from South America, and harness its exploding middle class, Atlantis has hired representatives in Brazil, Panama, Argentina, Columbia, Mexico and Chile.
Special events, such as concerts, have helped drive interest in The Bahamas.
"There is an excitement there," Markantonis said.
"They have heard about us, but don't know who we are."
Exploring new markets and finding creative sources of revenue have been paramount for the Nassau mega resort. With layoffs in the past and the lingering $2.6 billion restructuring of the mortgage at Kerzner International, corporate clients and Latin American tourists have proven to be an effective boost.
Meanwhile, as the construction of Baha Mar continues, Markantonis said the company, as always, seeks to remain fresh and competitive in the market.
He felt Baha Mar and Atlantis can complement each other, rather than being perceived as rivals.
"A threat is the wrong word," he said.
"What we are talking about is 2015. A lot of water will flow under the bridge between now and 2015."
The main concern, he added, is to ensure there is a sufficient market share for all stakeholders.
Baha Mar will add thousands of luxury hotel rooms to the Bahamian tourism landscape. Markantonis insisted there needed to be a comprehensive plan in place to deal with this rise in rooms, and talks are already underway with the government and Baha Mar to make this happen.
In other words, more work needs to be done to create infrastructure.
"It's one thing to build roads," he said, "what we need is planes."