Photo of the week
  • THE QUESTION IS WHAT WERE THEY SAYING AND THINKING. Peter Ramsay captured this interesting photo at the House of Assembly on Wednesday 23rd July. The setting: the House had just adjourned and members Fred Mitchell and Bernard Nottage are discussing something that obviously elicited great laughter. Not so for the Prime Minister Perry Christie who can be seen in the background in quite a ponderous mood. What were they saying? What was he thinking? Renward Wells to resign? VAT to be passed? Will the “vimin” vote yes for the referendum questions? A lot to think about. But the song says. Don’t worry! Be happy! Our photo of the week that of Bernard Nottage, Fred Mitchell and Prime Minister Christie in the House of Assembly on 23rd July by Peter Ramsay.

  • A FAR COUNTRY: the Foreign Ministers of Caricom have held their first meeting as part of the consultative process between Caricom and Turkey which was agreed by Memorandum of Understanding in 2011.  Foreign Ministers of the region met in Istanbul from Thursday 17th July to Monday 21st July to discuss an ambitious agenda of support for Turkey’s bid to become a Member of the Security Council of the United Nations and the outreach of Turkey to the region in development assistance.  Fred Mitchell MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Bahamas represented the country at the meetings.  Our photo of the week then is the usual class photo of the Foreign Ministers of Caricom with their Turkish counterpart (at the centre) Ahmet Davutoglu.  Mr. Mitchell is second from the right. 

Comment of the week

OPERATING IN SILOS (HOW NOT TO RUN A GOVERNMENT)

07/27/14 1:17 AM

The princes of the realm used to be an expression connected with feudal times. It portrays a situation where in one kingdom there are many princes and basically within their principalities they do what they like. Only rarely do they come together and operate as one kingdom.

In modern times, management text books would probably describe it as managing in silos. It’s the same point: each individual power structure or group just operates within their own confines and no one interferes with what they do and no one wants any interference in what they do. In fact, they don’t even pay attention to what the other centres of power are doing.

The way the modern government of The Bahamas is set up, it is easy for people to act as if they are princes of the realm, that there are principalities, or silos and never the twain shall meet.

It is easy given the way power operates around you when you become a minster of the government to live in a bubble. Ordinary tasks seem too mundane for you, the real life of people around you disconnected from you; you simply don’t connect with it or them.

It is a point made in the film “ The Paper”: never to mix up your temporary exposure to all this high life and power with what real life is. There is a difference between your real life and the life you live when you are a minister. Do not confuse the two.

Lynden Pindling admitted to that disconnect when he lost office after 25 years. He said that he did not realize that people were suffering the way they were when he lost. The loss therefore took him by surprise. It was a surprise to everyone, one guesses but himself, and the princes who surrounded him. To the bitter end, they were insisting that they would win in 1992.

The same thing happened recently to Baldwin Spencer down in Antigua. To the bitter end when people could see that the government of Antigua under his leadership was totally lost, he could not see it. He admitted after the fact that little things he had noticed in the waning days of power but ignored or dismissed at the time, were in fact signs that people had abandoned him.

Patrick Manning in Trinidad and Tobago inexplicably called a general election in 2010, two years before time. Most people think that it was the soothsayer that he had as his spiritual advisor who talked him into that. He caught his party flat footed. They all thought it was foolish but there was no counterbalancing or countervailing power within the party to say look: this is a train wreck and we need to stop and think a moment. Just like lemmings jumping off the cliff, they marched behind Mr. Manning and lost big time.

That unfortunately seems to be in the nature of political parties. It is difficult when you have a strong personality, who has had a run of luck and good fortune that has led him always to fortune which can if you are not careful can give the impression that what he says and does comes from God.

As the PLP nears the midterm, this column has warned of the signs all around us, that notwithstanding all the good news of what the PLP is doing, there is a disconnect. The unemployment figures for example, good as they are, simply do not translate into the homes of people on the ground. There is still too much suffering. Given the way we run our election campaigns, the people think that you can deliver everything and now the general election is long past, and reality is here; the job has to be lowering the expectations and keeping them on board if the PLP is to survive.

The late PLP MP Jeffery Thompson used to say that one of the reasons the PLP was so successful in the run up to the general election in 1967 was that they actually liked each other, they spent time with one another, always around exchanging ideas and information. That all changed once they became ministers of the government. Three years after the glorious 1967 revolution of 10th January 1967, the party broke up and they were warring with one another. It only goes to show.

We used expressions before: the tipping point, death by a thousand cuts, now we say operating in silos, or as princes of the realm. Once again as the robot said in Lost in Space: Warning. Warning, Warning.

Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 26th July 2014 up to midnight:244,844;
Number of hits for the month of July up to Saturday 26th July 2014 up to midnight:623,753;
Number of hits for the year 2014 up to Saturday 26th July 2014 up to midnight:5,134,059.

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Editorial

SIGNING THE AGREEMENT WITH THE DR

07/27/14 2:18 PM

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration the Hon. Frederick A. Mitchell (right) and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon. César R. Dargam Espaillat shake hands after signing the Basic Agreement on Technical Cooperation Between the Governments of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the Dominican Republic, on July 24, 2014, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Bahamas, on Cable Beach. (BIS Photo / Eric Rose)

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THE WORK OF THE MISSIONS ABROAD

07/27/14 2:04 PM

MIAMI, FL – The Bahamas Consulate General hosted a dinner in honour of Reverend Dr. Timothy Stewart, on Tuesday 22nd July, 2014 at the Ancient Spanish Monastery, North Miami Beach, FL.

Reverend Dr. Timothy Stewart is vying as a candidate for 1st Vice President during the upcoming Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC) in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, August 3rd – 9th, 2014. The election is scheduled for August 7th, 2014. He currently serves as the 2nd Vice President, the first international person to hold this position at the Executive Board level.

The PNBC began in 1961 as a movement which reflected the religious, social and political climate of the time. Its membership was undergirded by such leaders as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who for many years was the champion for the civil rights of African Americans, and Rev. Dr. Gardener C. Taylor, who later became one of the early presidents of the PNBC. Its mission was to transform the traditional African American Baptist Convention as well as society as a whole. The PNBC now comprises over 2.5 million members, (1.5 million in the United States and over 1 million around the globe). The PNBC is a Christian movement which incorporates an array of social and political concerns embodied in its founding principles of fellowship, progress, peace and service.

The dinner, hosted by Consul General Ricardo Treco, was attended by noted Bahamian members of the clergy in South Florida, who pledged their support in assisting Reverend Dr. Stewart in his endeavour.

If you are interested in attending the convention for spiritual empowerment, or supporting Reverend Dr. Stewart with a physical presence at the elections, please contact The Bahamas Consulate or The Bahamas Tourism Office – Plantation, for further information.

Pictured: Consul General Ricardo Treco with Reverend Dr. Timothy Stewart and members of the clergy.

 

 

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GENEVA -BAHAMAS PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO UNITED NATIONS OFFICE IN GENEVA CALLS ON UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

 

On Friday, 25 July, 2014, H. E. Rhoda M. Jackson, paid a courtesy call on Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.  The High Commissioner expressed appreciation for the increased presence of Caribbean representation in Geneva calling for greater participation in the work of the Human Rights Council.  She noted the need to collaborate on human rights issues both at the political level in New York and the technical level in Geneva.  Among those matters discussed were the rising operational costs of addressing inhumane situations in many of the conflict areas around the world, including places like Gaza and the Sudan, despite the limited resources available.  On the matter of migration and human rights, Ambassador Jackson took the opportunity to inform the High Commissioner of the challenges faced by The Bahamas in dealing with illegal migration and also highlighted the difficulty in accessing financing as a middle income country.

The High Commissioner reiterated the commitment of her Office to assist The Bahamas in meeting its treaty obligations particularly with respect to the training of experts and the preparation of national human rights reports.

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THE AG’S OFFICE AT WORK

07/27/14 2:01 PM

agofficeStaff of the Office of the Attorney General and members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force recently participated in a Plea Bargain/Workshop.

The two-day training programme was coordinated by the Office of the Attorney General, the Embassy of The United States of America and the National Centre for State Courts (NCSC) and held at the British Colonial Hilton.

Garvin Gaskin, Acting Director of Public Prosecutions in the Office of the Attorney General, said the programme was designed to impart detailed knowledge about plea negotiation strategies to prosecutors, defence counsel and other members of the legal arena, in order to obtain a more effective judicial system.

He expressed confidence that the facilitators would effectively demonstrate the procedures, methodologies and the efficacy of plea negotiations in their country.

“I hold the view that our collaboration on training, in matters of mutual interest, morphs into material benefits to the administration of justice in both of our countries,” he said.

Lisa Johnson, Charge de Affaires, US Embassy, was the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony and JoAnne Richardson, a senior programme manager at NCSC presented the closing remarks. Cynthia Gibbs, permanent secretary attended the event.

A team of four criminal justice experts conducted the workshop including NCSC’s senior programme manager; a former prosecutor and defence attorney with experience in training on plea bargaining, and three U.S. active criminal justice professionals, Judge William Arthur Webb, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Ann Moore, and Federal Public Defender, Debra Graces. Ms. Richardson served as lead facilitator.

A release from NCSC states that the experts assisted in identifying best practices and challenges that will inform institutional policies, promote change where necessary and broaden approaches to the administration of justice. Discussions also addressed legislative gaps and potential amendments to the existing legislation which have impeded the use of plea bargaining in The Bahamas. The team also facilitated interactive exercises through the use of hypothetical cases to guide participants through negotiation and validation of plea agreements under The Bahamas’ legal system.

The workshop concluded with the adoption of a set of recommendations to ensure the effective implementation and increase the use of plea bargaining in The Bahamas.

 

 

 

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THE COMMUNITY OF FOX HILL CELEBRATES 41ST INDEPENDENCE WITH ITS 9TH ANNUAL ECUMENICAL SERVICE AND FLAG RAISING CEREMONY.

07/27/14 2:01 PM

The welcome address delivered by the member for Fox Hill, the Hon. Fred Mitchell in addition to captioned photos of the Ecumenical service and flag raising ceremony. The Rev. J. Carl Rahming delivered the independence message during the ecumenical service. This public event took place at Fox Hill’s Freedom Park on Friday, 25th July 2014 at 7pm. Click here for the address.

 

 

The local chapter of the Boys Scouts performed the ceremonial flag raising honours.

The local chapter of the Boys Scouts performed the ceremonial flag raising honours.

 

 

Cutting the ceremonial 41st birthday cake are Mrs. Evangeline Rahming, wife of the Rev. J. Carl Rahming; Rev. J. Carl Rahming, pastor of St. Paul's Baptist Church who delivered the independence message during the ecumenical service; Charlene Marshall, member of the organizing committee; the Rev. Emily Demeritte of Coke Memorial Methodist Church; Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell; Pastor John Carey and noted local attorney Godfrey 'Pro' Pinder.

Cutting the ceremonial 41st birthday cake are Mrs. Evangeline Rahming, wife of the Rev. J. Carl Rahming; Rev. J. Carl Rahming, pastor of St. Paul’s Baptist Church who delivered the independence message during the ecumenical service; Charlene Marshall, member of the organizing committee; the Rev. Emily Demeritte of Coke Memorial Methodist Church; Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell; Pastor John Carey and noted local attorney Godfrey ‘Pro’ Pinder.

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MARION BETHEL HONOURED AT GOVERNMENT HOUSE

07/27/14 2:01 PM

Melanie Griffin, the Minister responsible for Gender Affairs is shown at Government House on Friday 25th July in honour of Marion Bethel, the producer of Womanish Ways, a film about the fight for the right for women to vote in The Bahamas, and the holder of the Caricom Triennial Award for Women. The photos show Mrs. Griffin, Bernadette Christie, wife of the Prime Minister, Prime Minister Perry Christie, Dame Marguerite Pindling, Governor General, Mrs. Bethel, her husband Alfred Sears and daughter Nia.

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photo by Peter Ramsay of the Bahamas Information Services

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NASSAU VILLAGE WITH THEIR MP PHOTO

07/27/14 2:01 PM

 

This photo shows Dion Smith, the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Nassau Village as he joined his constituents at the House of Assembly.  The young people were all part of his summer youth programme and he wanted them to experience a visit to the House which he provided for them on Wednesday 23rd July.  He posted this picture on his Facebook page.

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GOOMBAY SUMMER FESTIVAL ENDS

07/27/14 2:00 PM

(photo spread by Derek Smith)

 

(There is a cultural war going on in the press of The Bahamas.  On the one side is pitted the high powered committee of government appointed officials who are to design and execute the Bahamian carnival as a post Lenten Festival into which the government has pledged to spend 9 million dollars.  The idea is for that Festival to  provide additional attractions for tourists in the Bahamas and increase spending on the tourism product and cause tourists to spend more.  They have decided after much research to call it a Carnival, saying that i Carnival is recognized around the world, whereas Junkanoo, the local Festival is not.  This has caused a furious row amongst the Bahamian cultural community.  Led by the singer Kirk Bodie aka KB, there has been a back and forth in the press. KB stoutly opposes the idea of a Carnival and says the government is using public monies to trash Junkanoo. KB’s latest salvo in the press was to challenge the Minister of Culture to a debate on radio.  No answer from the government.  So we present the final day of Goombay Summer, a festival sponsored each Friday by the Ministry of Tourism and marking 50 years of the Tourist Ministry.  The photos of the event are by Derek Smith of the Bahamas Information Services. It is all about Junkanoo. It seemed to many that this Summer Festival proved the point that KB was making.  Editor)

 

 

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MISS BAHAMAS

07/27/14 11:08 AM

It is that time of year again when the young women start lining up to see who is the fairest in the land.  The shots have started showing up on the web and here we see a group shot with the Current Reigning Miss Bahamas Universe and the 2014 Miss Bahamas Universe Contestants.

 

On Sunday July 20th Miss Bahamas Organization officially introduced this year’s contestants for Miss World Bahamas, and Miss Universe Bahamas. The 13 contestants wow the crowds, and everyone enjoyed the elegant evening at John Watling’s Distillery.

 

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GRAND BAHAMA ON THE MOVE

07/27/14 11:03 AM

At the official opening of Svitzer’s Regional Training Centre on the island of Grand Bahama, which is now home to the latest navigation simulator stations, used to train marine pilots and tugboat captains from around the world and exposing them to real-life situations, in a safe maritime environment.

 

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GGYA BASE 2014 VISITS INAGUA FOR INDEPENDENCE

07/27/14 10:51 AM

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What better way for the Governor General’s Youth Awards (GGYA) to commemorate the 41st anniversary of Bahamian Independence than by visiting the southernmost island in the Bahamian archipelago, Inagua.

Scores of GGYA participants packed their backpacks for the trek in Inagua, marking the first time that the programme took BASE (The Bahamas Award Scheme Expedition) to that island. BASE 2013 brought 60 young people to the island of Exuma.

Denise Mortimer, GGYA National Executive Director expressed excitement about taking the programme to its furthest location thus far. She thanked the team of staff and volunteers, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and all those who helped to ensure that the medal-seekers had a safe and adventurous hike that complied with all the international standards set for the youths to achieve.

Not only do the participants, ages 14 to 25, learn survival skills, they also learn how to foster cooperation, insightfulness, resourcefulness, innovation and community mindedness. BASE participants gain practical knowledge, social and leadership skills that will last them a lifetime. They also have the support of their fellow medallists and participants worldwide. BASE 2014 is a culmination of physical recreation, community service and skill development activities that go on throughout the year.

Embracing the island life and culture of the warm, friendly people of Inagua, learning about island living, exploring the natural beauty of the island, and listening to the wisdom of the elders are some of the ways that GGYA participants celebrated Independence while on their journey. They also paused to give God thanks and also to cut an Independence cake decorated in the colors of the Bahamian flag – golden yellow, aquamarine, and black.

It takes six months for those seeking a silver medal to get to this point, and they must have successfully completed a three-day, two night expedition. Those already holding a silver medal must apply themselves for an entire year, and then successfully complete a four-day, three-night hike, followed by a second one lasting five days and four nights in order to achieve the gold. A group of trained GGYA support staff were always alert and on hand to assist the hikers.

The Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture and GGYA have a three-year partnership titled the G.O.L.D Initiative – an acronym based on the ministry’s mandate to instill greatness, provide opportunities, develop leadership and support development amongst the nation’s youths. The partnership paved the way for GGYA to register more youths and disburse more Awards than ever before in its 26-year history.

 

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MINKY ISAACS ADDRESSES THE PLP WOMEN

07/27/14 10:46 AM

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The New Providence Women’s Branch of the PLP held its first meeting of the new year on 7th July. They invited Chair Emeritus Irrington “Minky” Isaacs to make a presentation on unity at the meeting. Mr. Issacs also spoke of his recollections of his mother and others being a part of the Women’s Branch. Elections of officers for the year 2014-2015 were held. The office holders are as follows:
Chair – Sherene Poitier-Johnson
1st Vice Chair – Laverne Archer-Crawley
2nd Vice Chair – Jeannie Minnis
Secretary – Nichola Sands
Asst. Secretary – Lillis Zonicle
Treasurer – Utha Butler
Asst. Treasurer – Iris Hudson
Chaplain – Ann Taylor
Asst. Dorothy Curtis
Sgt at Arms – Altamese Issacs
Asst Sgt – Deniece Sands
Public Relations – Sharon Coleby

Executive Officers:
Geralane Fisher
Deloris Knowles
Magnola Brown
Sharmie Austin
Pamela Johnson
Terry Alleyne – Asst Public Relations

 

 

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THE AILMENTS OF BAHAMASAIR

07/27/14 10:35 AM

( a call to replace these old Bahamasair planes)

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The airline is as old as the nation, having risen out of the ashes of the failure of Bahamas Airways and the alleged double crossing of its owners the Swire Group and Out Island Airways and Flamingo Airways. It has never turned a profit.  It has in conventional terms always been a losing proposition.  The best any manager could say was that he had minimized the losses.  It has never had a female manager so maybe that might make a difference but we doubt it.  We believe that it now has competent management and staff; it just doesn’t have enough money and equipment.  Its shareholders, the government have so far refused to do anything more than run a maintenance programme of the status quo.  In the process, the airline called Bahamasair seems to be in deep trouble.

At one time, the airline was the butt of a slogan: “if you have time to spare fly Bahamasair.”  For a time that changed because the airline had a run there when it was reliable and on time.   What many people said about the airline in its defence was never mind the question of time, the issue was Bahamasair was safe, having never lost a customer in a flight accident or ground incident.

Today, while that has not changed thank God, the issue of safety looms in the minds of many a customer and staff member as they lose confidence in the airline’s ability to get them to their destinations on time and without numerous delays when there are so many alternatives today to get to their destinations.  In fact one executive asks the question when seeking to reshape Bahamasair, with 81 licensed airlines who serve within The Bahamas, with 31 flights going into Eleuthera alone from Nassau every day why is Bahamasair continuing to take two and three passengers a day to destinations in Eleuthera.

In times of plenty, no one would hardly ask the question  but in today’s world when the country is scrapping for resources, putting additional taxes on the Bahamian people, and having already put half a billion dollars into the airline  in subsidies since its founding in 1973, it is a pertinent question.  The question is whether or not Bahamasair can continue to go the way it is going, with the country dumping money down an endless black hole.

To us the answer is it depends.  We look at Bahamasair like the roads.  We have to maintain them.  The roads don’t make you money but you have to maintain them.  Same thing with Bahamasair, there is no other way to get up and down an archipelagic country efficiently than by air.  If no one else provides a service, then a government airline must do so.  Similarly for the international traffic, without Bahamasair, we would be at the mercy of foreign carriers who set prices and when they leave we would have no tourist airlift.

There is some tweaking that can be done in between.  One of them is stripping it of routes that private carriers within The Bahamas can do.

On Thursday 24th July, flight to Freeport from Nassau, scheduled departure 12:30 p.m.  Get on the plane, doors close.  Engines start up. Plane rolls off.  Stops. Turns back to the gate.  There is something wrong with the front nose wheel.  They tell the passengers stay on the plane.  They fix it within half an hour.  Doors close again and roll off, take off.  Midflight, somewhere near the Berry Islands, plane descends, pilot announces due to engine trouble, the plane must return.  Get safely on the ground, transfer to another plane, take off safely reach the destination, two hours later than scheduled.   Next morning return flight, plane is late arriving for the departure of the first flight from Freeport.  Pilot is gesticulating on the ground.  Delay is announced because of a problem which will require trouble shooting from Nassau.  Fifteen minutes after, board the flight return safely to Nassau.

This was without incident but with a reported engine fire a few weeks ago, and another report of having to turn back, and the chronic lateness and unreliability of the service,  this must be affecting the confidence of the staff and the public in the consumer satisfaction sense.  The issue is: when does it cross the line from a consumer satisfaction issue to a safety issue.  It is also a matter of time before the public starts to blame the PLP as Bahamasair becomes more unreliable.  Then it is a political problem.  One more in the death by a thousand cuts scenario.

 

The Dash 8 Fleet of Bahamasair is old.  They have some 76,000 landings on them.  Their time is simply up; too many problems with old aircraft and pretty soon given the odds, there will be an accident with unfortunate consequences. The shareholders need to act as the shareholders have in the case of Trinidad’s National Airline and in the case of LIAT that all bought the Dash 8s the same time as Bahamasair did.  Both those airlines have replaced their fleets within the last five years with brand new ATRs from France.  There are other alternatives available but before there is an accident at Bahamasair, we are asking the government to make the decision to act to replace these old airplanes.  If we make the decision, the cost can be as little as 22 million or as high as 100 million but make it we should and must. Each day, the last state becomes worse than the first.

 

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MELANIE ADDRESSES MYRON ROLLE’S ACADEMY

07/27/14 10:02 AM

Melanie Griffin, Minister of Social Services, addressed the Leadership and Wellness Academy of Myron Rolle in the College of The Bahamas Auditorium, Thursday, 17th July.

The Academy is expected to become an annual event and Minister Griffin applauded Mr. Rolle for his efforts. Mr. Rolle is a former Rhodes Scholar who is the son of former Bahamian athlete and banker Whitney Rolle.

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BAIC OPENS ITS NEW HEADQUARTERS

07/27/14 9:13 AM

BAIC

Thanks to Prime Minister Perry Christie BAIC gets a spanking new home.  Chairman of the Bahamas Agricultural Industrial Corporation (BAIC) Arnold Forbes MP welcomed the Prime Minister at the official opening of the new building on Thursday 24th July, one year after the groundbreaking.  Congratulations. The building is solar driven and state of the art in terms of technology. The wife of the Prime Minister Bernadette Christie and the Deputy Prime Minister  Ann Marie Davis did the honours.

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Pedro Miller’s Case

07/27/14 1:10 AM

Anyone who is a public official would know that the friendly face of the Grand Lucayan Hotel is that of Pedro Miller.  To the staff he was a man, perhaps the only one in the company, who actually knew the business of serving people and what a hotel business was about.  One by one Bahamian executives have been fired from Grand Lucaya, flimsy excuse after flimsy excuse but the Bahamian management has been stripped down.  No government has sought to inquire or do anything about it. When customers arrived on 25th July they learned to their dismay and chagrin that earlier that day Mr. Miller had been locked out of his office and dismissed.  So we ask the question, here is Mr. Miller a PLP who survived in the worse days of the FNM, how does he two years into a PLP administration when his government is in power lose his job?  You know that given his high profile nature, it will be impossible in the Freeport economy for him to get another such job. The Pindling days are obviously over.

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WHAT IS A LETTER OF INTENT BY ELCOTT COLEBY

07/27/14 1:06 AM

This letter comes in the wake of the controversy about Renward Wells MP and Parliamentary Secretary signing a  letter of intent:

 

A letter of Intent (LOI) is an interim agreement that summarizes the main parts of a proposed deal, or confirms that a certain course of action will take place in the future. It does not constitute a definitive contract but signifies a genuine interest in reaching a final agreement subject to DUE DILIGENCE, ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, or the fulfillment of certain conditions.

So a LOI is kinda like a first date. The parties met, talked and found that they had some things in common so the parties documented the meeting and agreed to remain in contact with each other and meet for more talks. Depending on what transpires in later meetings, things might get more serious and lead to a consummation with legal and financial implications (you know, like a marriage), or the parties go their separate ways with no commitments or liabilities to each other and no strings attached.

 

Personally, I fail to see how a Parliamentary Secretary could not sign such a harmless, bindless document of good faith. If the substantive Minister preferred somebody else to sign instead of the PS, then that is the Minister’s prerogative but I fail to see how that act becomes one of corruption. The accusers have not explained it and nobody is asking them to explain it either.

 

You know, this incident is reminiscent of the so called Korean Boat Scandal eight years ago. Everybody drew the conclusion from the media that Koreans were given permission by the Bahamas government to fish in Bahamian waters when the deeds for the boats were in the name of a Bahamian. How did that happen? It happened because the media and some other people screamed the word “CORRUPTION” often and loud enough until a lie became the truth and the salacious story got in the way of the facts – I mean ALL of the facts. This is a replay.

 

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AFTER YOUNG PLP’S CRI DE COUR

07/27/14 1:05 AM

 

(This letter appeared on the Facebook page of Sherwin Johnson, who worked in the PLP’s campaign on 2102 and complains that despite all that he has done he is still without regular work, and feels abandoned.

Editor)

 

Open Letter to the Prime Minister and His Cabinet

Dear Sir,

I must first commend you on a perfectly executed campaign during the 2012 general elections. You managed to convince the Bahamian people, including myself, that this time you had the best interest on the country at heart. Also, you were able to persuade the majority of the voting populous that this time around it would be about them.

As I move away though, from your successful marketing scheme, I can’t help but to dissect your “pajama” way of running this country. No, I am no professional and no, I don’t have a law degree from Harvard, however, blessed with common sense I can see that your form of governance will inevitably reverse any form of progress this country has had in its 40+ years of Independence.

You may say I am a bitter young man. In all reality you are correct. However though, my bitterness has only been fueled by the constant play on the ignorance of our people. I am bitter because our children are rushed through an educational system that waits until the final day to say “your child has a D average”. I am bitter because our children fill classrooms wall to wall for some 45 minutes and don’t receive the adequate attention necessary.

Allow me to elaborate more on why I am bitter. I am bitter and angry because as a young Bahamian, myself and my peers are overlooked daily and replaced with “friends and family”. I’m angry because our young men have to resort to stealing to make a comfortable life for themselves. I am bitter because the people that swore to serve the people they represent overlook them daily and serve the needs of themselves.

No Mr. Prime Minister, I won’t leave without saying thanks. Thank you for the increased hardship on single parent homes. Thank you for not proving opportunities for our young men so they don’t have to resort to violence. Thank you for investing in roads rather that education. Thank you for the schools you never built. Thank you for investing in new vehicles when our public transportation systems lacks structure.

Thank you for believing in young people but pushing them on the side to fulfill old promises to retirees. Thank you for single handedly planning the demise of an already struggling “middle-class”. Thank you for making home (The Bahamas) one of the hardest places to live.

Lastly, as we prepare for you to shackle us and throw us in the fields Massa, I want to say thank you for destroying our future. Thank you for taking away the hope of many. Thank you for allowing personal gratification to supersede your oath of service for your people.

“Leadership is an opportunity to serve. It is not a trumpet call to self-importance.” Walters

Signed

YOUR FIELD SLAVE

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Letters to the editor

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In passing

Mike Darville Explains Customs Exemptions

07/27/14 2:18 PM

This fiscal year has brought in changes in the customs regulations for East and West Grand Bahama.  PLP candidates had campaigned in the last election on a customs relief programme to help the residents of West and East Grand Bahama to have the same or similar privileges as the people of Freeport.  The regulations have been changed to allow that.  Michael Darville the Minister for Grand Bahama was joined by  officials of the Ministry of Finance on Thursday 24th July to present the terms of the new programme to the residents at a town meeting at Eight Mile Rick at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church Hall.

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Dame Marguerite

07/27/14 2:03 PM

Governor-General Dame Marguerite Pindling welcomed the president of the Bahamas Basketball Federation, Charlie Robins, and other members for a courtesy call at Government House, July 23, 2014. Pictured sitting from left: Clifford Rahming, Mr. Robins, Dame Marguerite, Mario Bowleg and Sharon Storr. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)

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Latrae Speaks At Fox Hill Meeting

07/27/14 2:01 PM

Former Progressive Young Liberal Chairman Latrae Rahming spoke at the monthly meeting of the Fox Hill Branch of the PLP on Wednesday 23rd July, he told the branch: “For those of you who do not know who we are, tonight, you will know for the very first time. Despite the fact we would have appeared to have loss our way, despite the fact we may appear to have exclusionary instead of inclusionary…. We are the people’s party… We are a labour party… We are a farmer’s party… We are a middle class party… and …We are a small business man’s party. Our mission is the development of political, social, and economic policies aimed at attaining the basic objective of a truly democratic society. We have one interest as a party, and that interest is the protection of the interest of the common man. We, the PLP, will always believe that hardworking Bahamian men and woman should never be left to the ravages of poverty. We, the PLP can never compromise on these principals. We, the PLP can never fall short of our responsibility of providing a safety net for the Bahamian people.”  He was well received by his audience.

 

 

The photo shows from left: Lambert Rahming Jr.,  PLP Fox Hill Branch Chair Charlene Marshal, Fred Mitchell, MP Fox Hill, and  Hope Strachan , MP Sea Breeze.

The photo shows from left: Lambert Rahming Jr., PLP Fox Hill Branch Chair Charlene Marshal, Fred Mitchell, MP Fox Hill, and Hope Strachan , MP Sea Breeze.

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PM Tables Constitutional Bills

07/27/14 2:01 PM

The bills to amend the constitution have been tabled in Parliament and the first reading of those bill took place on Wednesday 23rd July.  They will seek to amend the constitution to provide gender equality in a number of ways: passing on the citizenship of women married to foreign men whose children are born abroad to those children; allowing the males spouses of Bahamian women to have a constitutional right to apply for citizenship; listing sex among the prohibited characteristics for which there can be no discrimination; allowing men to  pass on their citizenship to their children born out of wedlock.  The Prime Minister made the point that  same sex marriage will not be facilitated by any of these bills, and such marriage remain void.  The Leader of the Opposition Hubert Minnis spoke in the House supporting the measures.  Ruby Nottage, the retired Justice, will lead the public education campaign on the matter.   The vote is to be put to the country on 6th November.  You may click here for the Prime Minister’s full statement.

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VAT Bills Also Tabled

07/27/14 2:01 PM

Minister of State Michael Halkitis has tabled the bill to bring Value Added Tax (VAT) into force on 1st January.  Food and electricity are not exempt from VAT.  The announcement seemed to go down well because people thought that the tax has now been simplified.  The tax is to be 7.5 per cent.  Some 4000 businesses will be expected to be registered for VAT.  You may click here for the full statement of the Minister delivered in the House on Wednesday 23rd July.

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Representative Willie Davis Visits From Illinois

07/27/14 2:01 PM

 

Illinois State representative William Davis and his wife came to Nassau to celebrate their wedding anniversary.  It was his first visit.  Her second.  They stayed in town at the British Colonial Hilton.  Representative Davis was the co-host of Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell when he visited the state legislature last year to promote the opening of a Honorary Consulate in Chicago.  While in Nassau, he paid a courtesy call on Mr. Mitchell at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday 24th July.

 

williamdavis

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Fred Mitchell In Trinidad For Meeting With Japanese Prime Minister

07/27/14 1:22 AM

Fred Mitchell, Foreign Minister,  joined by Caricom Ambassador Picewell Forbes MP, and UNESCO Ambassador Elwood Donaldson are in Trinidad for a meeting of Caricom Heads of Government with the Prime Minister of Japan.  The meeting is to take place on Monday 28th July.  Prime Minister Perry Christie is unable to attend so he has deputized Mr. Mitchell to attend.  Foreign service officers Iesha Deveaux and Marchea Mackey complete the delegation.

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Owen Arthur Resigns From The Barbados Labour Party

07/27/14 1:21 AM

It was announced on Friday 25th July that Owen Arthur, the former Prime Minister of Barbados and former Leader of the Barbados Labour Party, who led the country for 14 years has resigned from the party that he led.  He says that he will continue to sit in the Parliament as an independent.  Observers say that the hatred between himself and now Leader Mia Motley who he once appointed as his Deputy Prime Minister is palpable; that they barely speak to one another.  The Opposition is badly split now into the Owen Camp and the Mia Motley camp.  This damages their prospects for the next general election even as Ms. Motely led a massive rally against a new environmental tax in Barabdos last week.  People find the administration of Freundel Stuart to be feckless and ineffective.  The international lending agencies have said that Barbados’  foreign currency reserves is plummeting and there is possible problem with their currency values if the management of the economy continues to go downhill.

 

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Murder By The Israelis

07/27/14 1:20 AM

The death toll in the recent spate of violence by the Israelis against the Palestinians is disproportionate.  The Israelis under fifty, the Palestinians now one thousand.  Innocent women and children all dead  by Isreali munitions. This seems like murder to us.

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Panic At The College Over Lack Of Decision

07/27/14 1:19 AM

Last week, we reported a public spat between two camps in the PLP over the appointment of a new College President who it turns out is to be the old college President Rodney Smith,  once fired for plagiarism.  The search committee wants him back.  It has the support of the Committee headed by former Justice Ruby Nottage and Chair of the Council Alfred Sears.  No word from the government.  The College officials see the school year starting, the College is at sea because it has no leadership and no decision has been made.

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Finance Ministry In Reverse

07/27/14 1:18 AM

Bahamian businessmen are complaining about the new policies of the Ministry of Finance about payment.  They are saying that the procedures which require them to fill out forms for vendor numbers which they had already completed is affecting their bottom line.  One result is that vendors are refusing to supply goods to some government offices.

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How Many Anti-Gay Murders In The Bahamas

07/27/14 1:17 AM

Ever since the murder of Harl Taylor, the late fashion designer, took place followed by that of  Thaddeus McDonald ,the COB Professor,  both single men, their murders unsolved, there has been analysis done in The Bahamas about whether or not single men are being targeted in anti-gay crime in The Bahamas.  The country though tolerant on the face of it, is extremely homophobic.  At an official level it is represented that  there is no anti-gay discrimination but an analysis must be done behind the scenes.  There was a murder in Eleuthera last week, the young man was buried  yesterday, where some young men set upon an 18 year older and killed him.  The murder did not make sense.  The rumours soon started to surface that it was said to be retaliation for an alleged molestation of another young man by the dead young man.  One recalls the brother of a former FNM MP who was murdered and his killer got away because he ,mounted the defence that he was defending his manhood.  So we ask the question, how many of these murders or cases of abuse go unreported?

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The Gaming Bills

07/27/14 1:16 AM

The debate rages on in the public domain about the discrimination against Bahamians in the  gaming sector.  People keep asking what the PLP is doing?  One correspondent offered this to the this column: If the PLP isn’t careful there will be no one left to get a donation from in the next election.  By passing the bills in their present form this will hobble the very people who supported them in the last election.  Then you have Tennyson Wells who is pissed off because no one would return his calls.  He supported reportedly some four PLP candidates. The white boys will stick with the FNM because they want their country back.  And since the PLP came to power, not one Black businessman has been empowered.   Does the PLP really want to get re-elected? Even Nygard is pissed off. Where will they get the money?  Things that make you go hmmm!

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Ed Moxey Dies

07/27/14 1:09 AM

Edmond Moxey, the musician and cultural icon, died on Tuesday 23rd July.  The House of Assembly paid tribute to him for his role in bringing about majority rule.  He will have a state recognized funeral.

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What Is Renward Wells To Do?

07/27/14 1:09 AM

There was speculation in the press the day before the House of Assembly met on 24th July that Renward Wells, the Parliamentary Secretary accused of signing a 650 million dollar letter of intent without authorization was going to resign that day 24th July in the House.  The scene certainly seemed set for some kind of drama with Mr. Wells’ main generals and his wife appearing in the gallery of the House.    But nothing happened.  They all later left. Then there was the speculation that he said he will not resign but had to be dismissed.  The Prime Minister when asked about the matter said that he would have nothing more to say until he is ready to say something.

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Fire Kills Elderly Matron

07/27/14 1:00 AM

The sister of the well-known McCartney brothers George and Charles died horrifically in a House fire at her home on Collins Avenue on Thursday 24th July.  Collins Avenue was once the centre of Black middle class life but has since become an entirely commercial district with  their sister Maude one of the last homeowner holdouts.  Alas, she was burnt beyond recognition when she died at 76.  She was a former Ministry of Tourism employee.

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