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Eleuthera, Harbour Island & Spanish Wells

Harbour Island Spanish Wells Eleuthera

Volume 10, Issue 2, March 2017

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‘Displays’ - Effort & Determination abundant during 2017 HS Track & Field Championships

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Feb/Mar 2017

Ride For Hope

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returns for 10th Anniversary BY THE ELEUTHERAN NEWS TEAM

Scores of cyclists, amateur and seasoned, were out bright and early on Saturday morning, February 18th, 2017 in support of the Ride For Hope (RFH) event, which sees riders traverse as a many as 100 miles along Eleuthera’s rolling hills and gorgeous coastal scapes, all in an effort to raise vital funds towards fighting cancer. After a brief foray into New Providence for the 9th staging of

the Ride For Hope, Susan Larson and Stephen Holowesko, original founders as well as siblings, returned to the place where it all began in 2006 for the 10th Anniversary event, choosing to host it this time against the back drop of the Cocodimama property on Alabaster Bay (Brownie Beach). During an interview with Susan Larson on the morning of the event, she explained their main goals, saying, “We always have two main goals. Our first goal is to put on a

(L-R) Participating families, who came up from New Providence for the ride, in memory of their cherished loved ones who have passed on as a result of Cancer.

very memorable and safe event for our participants. Our second goal is to raise as much money as we can for a very critical cause.” Recognizing some of the invaluable people components of the event’s success to date, Susan highlighted, “We have so many people that help us, beyond the cyclists, an incredible group of volunteers. They give of their time and make the day very memorable for the participants. Also, our corporate sponsors, who for the past ten years have underwritten the cost of staging the event. That’s an incredible thing, because it has enabled us to commit 100 percent of the

funds that the cyclists raise to cancer causes. Not many events around the world can say they can commit 100 percent of those funds raised, and the only reason we can do that is because of the generosity of our corporate sponsors.” RFH, noted Susan, had grown bigger and bigger each year, however, there were concerns that had to be resolved, she shared, “Our event this year is by design, smaller than past years. We found that between year

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FORTY EIGHT (48) Years In Education Celebrated

Mrs. Merlene Clarke’s dedication to generations of children recognised BY THE ELEUTHERAN NEWS TEAM

Cars, Trucks, and SUV’s streamed from the motorcade starting point at the South Eleuthera Emergency Partners (SEEP) location into the main township of Tarpum Bay, on Monday morning, February 20th, 2017, sporting balloons and streamers, and carrying a very special lady - all in celebration of almost fifty years served in educating generations of children in Central and South Eleuthera. A generalist primary teacher who taught grades three through six for much of her career, Mrs. Merlene Clarke who began as a young monitor back in 1967 at the Tarpum

Bay primary school, before being formally confirmed in 1968, taught for most of that time in Tarpum Bay, but also spent time teaching in Rock Sound. Since her retirement date of September 19th, 2016, she was recalled by the Ministry of Education as a “supply teacher” - a retired teacher rehired to fill a temporary posting. So, she also served at Emma Cooper primary school during the 2016 Christmas term, and in January 2017 was again called in to teach at the Governor’s

Harbour primary school during the 2017 Summer term, where she continues to contribute her expertise. As the motorcade came to a rest alongside the Tarpum Bay primary school grounds, Mrs. Clarke was escorted out Continued On Page 7

Congratulations !

CONGRATULATIONS to Mrs. Paula Bethel who was sworn in as

a Justice of the Peace (JP) at the Administrative Office in Governor’s Harbour by Administrator Joseph Ferguson for Central Eleuthera on Tuesday morning, February 7th, 2017 at 11am. Paula has made significant contributions throughout the island of Eleuthera and was elated to be selected for this esteemed position, which recognizes her leadership role in the community and affords a greater opportunity to serve the people of Eleuthera. We are proud of you and your accomplishments. We are confident that you will continue with even more success.

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Ride For Hope 2017 Continued from pg. 4 was also joined by current President of the Cancer Society of the Bahamas, Mrs. Lovern Wildgoose. “Eleuthera is such a vibrant branch,” said Mrs. Roberts, adding, “And such a huge part of our Society. We’ve helped many Eleutherans, and it has a lot to do with the building here which was completed with funding provided by the Ride For Hope. We are very proud of what we’ve been able to do on this island, but it is because of the volunteers who work here, and people who help generally within the community. It’s made them so much more aware of cancer. We were here last week doing free pap smears and prostate screenings, and all of that makes everybody aware of their own bod(L-R) Susan Roberts, Founder of the Cancer ies, their health and the importance of it, and Society of the Bahamas in 1976 and President how vital early detection is. We have some of the Cancer Society of the Bahamas, Mrs. wonderful stories and people from Eleuthera who we meet and who are doing so well. It Lovern Wildgoose. makes us continue.” one and year nine, the amount of money that The Cancer Society of the Bahamas each participant raised was decreasing sig- also runs a Care Center in New Providence, nificantly. In fact, over that period of time it where they house people from the Family Ishad decreased by 70%. The cost of the event lands - free of charge - who travel into the was also increasing, so we had the wrong tra- capital for their treatments, also providing jectory going with expenses increasing and them with transportation to and from their funds raised individually decreasing. As the appointments, as well as general care. Mrs. popularity of the event elevated, the com- Wildgoose highlighted that the majority of mitment to serious fundraising was not also people going through the Center, come in there. So we wanted to fix that.” from Grand Bahama and Eleuthera. She continued, “We recognize that evMrs. Roberts expressed how grateful erybody has a choice of events to participate the Society was for the continued support in. When we first started the Ride For Hope from the Ride For Hope organizers, of this there were no cycling events that were rais- vital service. Future plans for the Care Cening money for cancer. Now there are quite ter in New Providence include a $3 million a few, so people who want to contribute to dollar extension, to provide hospice care as cancer causes have a variety of options now. well as daycare services to Nassau patients. So we raised the individual fundraising mini- With two hurricanes affecting the country mum this year to $500, and we focused on during the past two years, causing priorities people who have tried to meet that minimum to shift, Mrs. Roberts shared that they were goal and also raise more funds, and we want effectively treading water with regards to to celebrate the fundraising achievements of fundraising for the extension project during the cyclists. The people that are participat- those two years, however, with the start of ing, some 150 riders, are doing some serious a new year, a new thrust has also been seen. fundraising.” Mrs. Roberts, with a bright smile and unwavSusan Roberts, Founder of the Cancer ering optimism added, “It’s all good! We are Society of the Bahamas in 1976, was also going to get there. We have terrific, amazing on island in support of the Ride For Hope, faith between us all, and we know we are gowhich has contributed in major ways to the ing to do it!” ongoing work of the Society. Mrs. Roberts

Celebrating 48 years in Education Continued from pg. 6 to her awaiting seat of honour at the front of the special assembly by the school’s Principal, Mr. Herman Johnson. The school body of children and teachers were dressed in bright, cheerful green t-shirts, which also paid tribute to Mrs. Clarke and her 48 years as an educator. Each grade went on to give special performances for Mrs. Clarke, beginning with the K4 class, that brought a very special welcome message, continuing on up to grade six, which rounded out the songs, dances and poems with a skit. District Superintendent of Education for The Eleutheras, Mrs. Helen Simmons-Johnson gave remarks, ahead of the segment of the assembly where Mrs. Clarke was showered with gifts and tributes, before responding to the crowd of students, teachers and members of the local South Eleuthera community who had come to take part in

celebrating her contributions to education on the island. Principal Herman Johnson in a brief statement during the special Monday morning assembly said this of Mrs. Clarke, “She is a loving, very dedicated, and concerned individual - someone who you always wish to have around you, and as a part of your staff.” The special assembly and motorcade culminated a variety of activities held for Mrs. Merlene Clarke during the weekend, which also included a celebratory church service, held at the Wesley Methodist Church in Tarpum Bay on Sunday, February 19th, followed by a delicious Luncheon at Ingraham’s Beach Inn, where she fellowshipped with family members, invited guests and staff of the Tarpum Bay primary school.

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Feb/Mar 2017

Elections 2017

Eleuthera: Cards, Candidates, Boundaries BY THE ELEUTHERAN NEWS TEAM

With five years just about up since the May 2012 election, the time is fast approaching for the General Elections in the country and even admidst a lack luster pace of registrations the mechanisms are moving and necessary parts being put in place. A public notice released by the Parliamentary Registration Department on Friday, February 17th, 2017, stated, “The Parliamentary Registration Department wishes to inform the public that as a result of the Boundaries Commission Report, approved in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, all persons registering as of today, Friday, February 17, will receive the new voter’s card. All persons previously registered will be notified in the next few days on time and locations where you can collect your voter’s card.” In reference to previously registered Eleutherans, Senior Administrator for Central Eleuthera, Mr. Joseph Ferguson confirmed on Monday, February 20th, 2017, that voter’s cards would be available for pickup at Administrative Offices on island in early March 2017. The draft Revision of Boundaries and Redistribution of Seats Order 2017, was approved by resolution of the House of Assembly on February 15th, 2017. Contained in the order, is an increase in the number of seats in the House of Assembly from 38 to 39, with 24 constituencies in New Providence; 5 constituencies in Grand Bahama and Bimini; and the 10 remaining constituencies in the various Family Islands. Along with the new seat in New Providence, called St. Barnabas, the seat formally referred to as Montagu

has been renamed, ‘Freetown’. The order also includes a variety of changes to polling divisions and constituency boundaries in New Providence, Grand Bahama and Bimini, as well as in the Family Islands. Eleuthera, remains divided into 2 constituencies of North Eleuthera, and Central & South Eleuthera. However, the boundaries were changed, in regards to which townships are now included in each constituency. The townships of Hatchet Bay and James’ Cistern, which were included in the North Eleuthera constituency, now in the 2017 order, have been added to the Central and South Eleuthera constituency. Controversy has surrounded this Boundaries Revision report nationally, in reference to the late timing of the tabling of the order, the lack of inclusion of information on voter registration and voters per constituency numbers, as well as typical accusations of ‘gerrymandering’ that surface when ever the invisible lines of a voting constituency are shifted for political favour, real or perceived. Candidates formally ratified to date for the two constituencies in The Eleutheras include: Mr. Clay Sweeting for the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) in North Eleuthera - unchanged from 2012; Mr. Ricky Mackey for the Free National Movement Party (FNM) in North Eleuthera, replacing the 2012 FNM Candidate and current MP Theo Neilly; and Mr. Stephen Hank Johnson for the FNM in Central and South Eleuthera. Mr. Clifford ‘Butch’ Scavella is believed to be the pick for the PLP in the Central and South Eleuthera District, however, his formal ratification was still pending at press time.

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Education Beat

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Contestants in the 2017 competition stand for a group photo with Eleuthera District Supt. of Education, Mrs. Helem Simmons-Johnson.

Boys Rule at the 2017 Eleuthera District Spelling Bee Competition BY THE ELEUTHERAN NEWS TEAM

The atmosphere, during the penultimate round of the 2017 Eleuthera District Spelling Bee Competition was electric, as parents, teachers, coaches and other students watched the three final competitors duke it out for bragging rights as the best speller on the island. Although, the audience had to remain as quiet as possible, many leaned forward with bated breath, not wanting to miss the pronunciation of each word, and the exhales as each competitor moved forward through the stiff competition, were almost audible. Three boys - Torii Knowles, a seventh grader from Central Eleuthera High School (CEHS); Johnathan Randall, also a seventh grader from CEHS; and Brady Sineus, a sixth grader from Emma Cooper Primary School, were the last three standing from a starting pool of twenty two (22) students. After tackling words like ‘supererogation’, ‘recherche’ and ‘huguenot’, Emma Cooper’s Torii Knowles was taken down by the simple but tricky ‘trek’, bowing out in third place. The final round saw Johnathan and Brady sailing through the first six words thrown at them, until “monsoon” got the better of Brady; which Johnathan took advantage of by spelling it correctly and moved on, also correctly spelling his final word, ‘loiter’, to win it. The top fin-

ishers were Torii Knowles in third, Brady Sineus in second, and Johnathan Randall in first place. Earlier rounds during the very competitive bee saw a number of bright spellers doing extremely well. Eight schools were represented during the exciting contest; including Governor’s Harbour Primary with Alexandria Culmer, Kamia Darville and Rushae Stubbs; Harbour Island All Age School with Trishell Major, Armani Roberts and Raven Cash; Emma E. Cooper Primary School with Karlea Culmer and Brady Sineus; North Eleuthera High School with Kyle Collins, Arianna Dean and Lovens J. Francois; Tarpum Bay Primary School with William Goodman, Geordia Neely, and Selena Ingraham; P. A. Gibson Primary with Chervano Wood, Jamaal Isaacs, and Hannah Nottage; Wemyss’ Bight Primary School with Touraz Curtis and Garinique Delancy; and Central Eleuthera High School with Torii Knowles, Johnathan Randall and Vonzell Fox. Johnathan Randall will now go on to represent the Eleuthera district in the National Spelling Bee, scheduled to take place in New Providence in March.

L-R: Johnathan Randall, Brady Sineus & Torii Knowles

Operating without a business license Operation “Touch & Go” uncovers illegal business A visitor who allegedly illegally set up a retail store in Harbour Island was arrested by Police during an operation on that island on Monday, February 6th, 2017. A team of officers from the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Eleuthera Branch, led by Supt. C. Wright, conducted operation “Touch & Go” on Monday, that involved a walk-about on the North

Eleuthera Island and the holding of discussions with residents on “any concerns” they had that they wanted police to address in the ongoing efforts to keep the island safe. As a part of the operation Police also conducted a number of business license inspections, the renewal deadline for which passed on January 31st. The visitor, a 39-year-

old Haitian woman was discovered operating a shop from a home at Colebrooke Alley without a valid business license. Further inquiries also revealed that she had allegedly been admitted into the country on a visitor’s visa which had not yet expired. She faced charges under the Immigration Act for working without a valid work permit.


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Feb/Mar 2017

Youth Violence

No school for youth badly injured in school fight the current term. Two young male teenagers were taken into custody by Police on Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 in connection to the altercation, and have subsequently been arraigned and charged with grievous harm. Both teenagers have been remanded at the Simpson Penn Center For Boys. BY THE ELEUTHERAN NEWS TEAM A fifteen year-old youth from South Eleuthera is home but not yet back in school, following hospitalization as a result of serious injury inflicted on him during a brawl on the grounds of Preston H. Albury High School in Rock Sound. The male suffered a blow to the head during a violent altercation at the school on Tuesday afternoon, January 31st, 2017 and had to be airlifted into New Providence later on Tuesday evening and reportedly rushed into emergency surgery. He was listed on Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 as being in the intensive care unit in critical condition. The young victim was later released from hospital during the week following the incident, however, he is said to require further treatment and is currently unable to return to high school to complete

“We are challenged with school violence and conflict resolution, so we all must partner together to monitor and speak to our youths to save the country’s future,” stated Superintendent Christopher Wright, Officer In Charge of the Eleuthera District, on Wednesday, following a visit by him and members of his senior executive team to the Preston H. Albury High School during a special morning assembly. Superintendent Wright and his team engaged with students at the school, speaking to them about school violence and conflict resolution. The senior executive Police team present at the morning assembly included: Inspector Franklyn Neely (South Eleuthera, ASP James Miller (Harbour Island), ASP Lawrence Adderley (North Eleuthera), Inspector Nigel Rolle (Central Eleuthera) with Superintendent Christopher Wright.

STATEMENT FROM THE HONOURABLE ALLYSON MAYNARD GIBSON ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND MINISTER OF LEGAL AFFAIRS February 21, 2017 Interception of Communications Bill 2017 The Interception of Communications Bill has two main purposes: the first is to ensure that the police have a critical crime-fighting tool in their arsenal, by modernizing the law that allows the police to intercept the planning and execution of serious crimes, including drug and gun trafficking, cybercrimes and other criminal activities; and the second is to add a new privacy protection for Bahamian citizens, so that from now on, independent judicial review would be required before a citizen’s communications could be monitored or intercepted. In my consultations with various individuals and organizations in civil society, it has been my experience that the more people learn about the legislation, the more they support it. That is because all Bahamians who are concerned about crime and security want to ensure that our police have a legal path to intercepting the communications of criminals. They also understand that the Listening Devices Act, first passed 45 years ago, long before electronic and digital communications became commonplace, did not keep pace with modern technology. In addition, contrary to many of the concerns that have been raised, the legislation adds, rather than removes, protection for private citizens. It does so by adding new protective steps – a judge in the Supreme Court must grant the police permission to intercept any citizen’s communications, if the judge finds that reasonable suspicion is justified and the Supreme Court sets a time limit for the duration of the interception. Any extension beyond that time limit must be granted by the Supreme Court. And the Supreme Court can also give instructions as to how and when those records should be destroyed when the threat is removed. These new protective steps safeguard citizen privacy in a way that meets concerns raised in a recent Privy Council case on the Listening Devices Act, which specifically recommended that consideration be given to providing greater protections to Bahamian citizens. Unfortunately, in this political season, most of the public discussion about the legislation has become completely partisan. Overheated and irresponsible accusations or alternative facts do nothing to further public education or engagement. In too many instances, the debate has been neither measured nor informed. Because we are concerned that the public has been misled very substantially about the content of this legislation, we have decided to add a period of public consultation, which will be led by the Office of the Attorney-General. During this period, we will work with civil society to ensure that Bahamians will have an opportunity to learn about and review the legislation, have their questions answered and their concerns addressed.

Ministry of Education

Partners with Education USA/ College Ready Bahamas to bring College Reps to Eleuthera On Wednesday, February 1st, 2017, the Ministry of Education in Eleuthera hosted a Mini College Fair at the Resource Center in Savannah Sound, in partnership with Education USA/College Ready Bahamas. The event was scheduled to begin at 9:30am and go on until 2:30pm, with 11th and 12th graders from across the district being given the opportunity to engage with representatives from various U.S. Colleges. Parents, said Superintendent of Education for Eleuthera, Mrs. Helen Simmons-Johnson, were specially invited to come and find out more about the opportunities available for their children about

to graduate from high school. Students who applied to any of the Colleges during the Fair, had their application fee waived. A number of the institutions were also offering special scholarship opportunities to eligible students. Visiting schools included; Western Kentucky University, Black Hills State University, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Florida State University, and Emporia State University. For more information, contact the District Education Office at 332-6211.


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March 12th, Sunday - Daylight Saving Time starts Spring Forward 1 hr March 20th, Monday - Spring/March equinox April 14th, Friday, Good Friday Public Holiday April 16th, Sunday, Easter Sunday Observance April 17th, Monday, Easter Monday, Public Holiday

highlights in march / april Scholarship Information Forum Ministry of Education - All Students and Parents are invited to learn about the New Online Scholarship Application and the many Scholarships available. (There will be a live streaming of the Forum on the Ministry of Education Facebook page. Visit: Ministry of Education Bahamas) Date: Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 Venue: Kendal G.L. Isaacs Gymnasium Time: 6:00pm to 8:30pm

under 100-days to the start of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017, members of the Local Organizing Committee said the new stadium will be ready to host thousands of local and international spectators. April 27 to May 7

foot of the Sir Sidney Poitier Bridge New Providence.

Founder of the Catch Jerry Chile race, Miska Clarke, is this year throwing out a challenge to all business owners or a worker designate who enters the race and beats him to the finish. If

beaten, Mr. Clarke pledges to donate an additional $200 to this year’s Catch Jerry Chile cause or to the charity of their choice. Up to five people are encouraged to enter this special challenge segment of the race. Contact: JC Discount Superstores at 335-6049 For more information.

Wednesday, March 29th to Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

Catch Jerry Chile FUN RUN WALK Sat., May 6th, 2017 Venue: Staged from the Cork Tree in James’ Cistern This local fundraiser, has funded the purchase of various vital medical and emergency equipment in Central Eleuthera, from portable defibrillators to portable jaws of life equipment, donated to clinics and the Police Force.

Mixed Relay Event New to World Relays Schedule By Local Organizing Committee IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2017 Organizers of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Relays Bahamas 2017 are hopeful that the newest feature on the schedule will garner a lot of interest, and create a lot of excitement, building on the momentum it gained from its inaugural run at the world youth championships two years ago. The mixed 4x400 meters (m) relay is being introduced on the senior level, and will be ran at this year’s IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2017, replacing the distance medley events. The IAAF World Relays is set for April 22-23, at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in The Bahamas, and the final of the mixed relay will climax the two-day global meet. IAAF Head of Competition Management Luis Saladie said that it is a new aspect of the sport that they hope catches on with the masses. “In the first two editions of the world relays, for the 4x1500 in 2014 and the distance medley in 2015, the participation was not too great, and the important names were not coming down to take part,” said Saladie. “In Cali (2015 World Youth Championships), there was great participation in the mixed relay, and also the ambience in the stands was great. We figured it would be great to introduce it at the senior level for these world relays.”

HACE Annual Fund Raising Event 2017 Date: march 4th, 2017 (new Date) Venue: Sunset Inn Time: 12pm to 2pm Music, food, drinks and a good time! Entry $30. A limited number of items will be auctioned, including a road worthy 1999 Sebring convertible car. All funds raised will be used to support HACE.

Eleuthera… All That Jazz 2017

17th Cacique Awards Will be held on April 8th, 2017 at the Baha Mar Convention Center on Cable Beach. Eleutherans have been nominated in several categories.

Catch Jerry Chile BUSINESS CHALLENGE

The Eleutheran | Feb/Mar 2017

The elimination of the distance medley races and the introduction of the new event reduces the number of events at the world relays by one, to nine – the men and women’s 4x100m, the men and women’s 4x200m, the men and women’s 4x400m, the men and women’s 4x800m and the mixed relay. The mixed relay gives 400m runners an added dimension to consider and explore. “For the 400-meter runners, this is a great opportunity for the ones who might not be in the top four for their country, to compete in an event,” said Saladie. “At this juncture it is too early to say who would be here for the IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2017 and who will compete in this event, but we feel it could only promote the sport and promote gender equality. It’s our social responsibility to integrate that into the sport. This is another step in that direction. We feel that this new event will create a lot of excitement in the stadium, and will be a wonderful addition to the world relays.” The United States easily won the mixed 4x400m relay at the world youth championships in Cali, Colombia, two years ago, and has dominated the first two editions of the world relays. They won the ‘Golden Baton’, which is handed out to the meet’s overall winner, in 2014 and again in 2015. With their depth in the sprints, particularly the 400m, they are expected to fare well in the mixed relay event at this year’s world relays. The competition is expected to be intense regardless.

Schedule of events is as follows: Mar.29 Wednesday 6pm, Wild Orchids, Rock Sound - $20 cover charge Mar.30 Thursday 5:15pm Jazz Vespers, St. Patrick’s Church, Governor’s Harbour 7:45 pm 1648 Restaurant, Governor’s Harbour - $20 cover charge Mar.31. Friday 7:15pm Jammin’ at Fish Fry, Governor’s Harbour Apr. 1 Saturday 10am Meet the Instrument, Haynes Library, Governor’s Harbour 7:15pm Levy Concert (tickets) Apr.2. Sunday 12:30pm On the Rocks Lunchtime Concert (tickets)

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School Events: Mid Term Break: February 22nd - February 27th, 2017 National Examinations: BGCSE Examinations Dates Practical Examinations Begin Thursday, 23rd March Practical Examinations End Friday, 5th May Theory Examinations Begin Monday, 8th May Theory’ Examinations End Tuesday, 6th June BJC Examinations Dates Practical Examinations Begin Tuesday, 25th April Practical Examinations End Friday, 26th May Theory Examinations Begin Monday, 29th May Theory Examinations End Thursday, 8th June GLAT Grades 3 & 6 Monday, 8th May to Friday, 12th May

Tickets are now available online or at Haynes Library beginning in early February.

Sporting Events: Eleuthera Bocce Championship An Eleuthera bocce championship is scheduled to take place this year at the Bay Front Park in Governor’s Harbour on March 18th.

National High School Track and Field Championships Scheduled for March 9th - March 11th, 2017 at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium - Nassau, Bahamas

Eleuthera Primary School Track and Field Championships The annual Eleuthera Primary School Track and Field Championships will take place on April 6th and 7th, this year in Rock Sound. For the first time ever, students from the School for Exceptional Learners are set to compete in the event.

The IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2017 Will be held on April 22 and April 23 at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium - Nassau, Bahamas

National Primary School Track and Field Championships Scheduled for April 26th - April 28th, 2017 at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium - Nassau, Bahamas

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FEAT U R E

Feb/Mar 2017

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An Eleutheran Profile:

Mrs. Merionette Hall By sherelle wallace

Introduction: “Experience in your life makes a difference in your life,” quips Mrs. Merionette Dorothy Sands-Hall; more affectionately known as Ms. Net. And this seventy-two year old has certainly had a lot of experience in her life, which has been colorfully creative yet tarnished by illness. Today Ms. Net maintains a mantra that she simply does what she needs to do and allows God to be her guide. And she thanks her husband of nearly fifty-one years, Mr. Kenneth Franklyn Hall, for being by her side along her journey. They both look forward to celebrating this milestone with their seven children, twenty-four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren on April 15th of this year. Ms. Net was born, raised, and still resides in Rock Sound, Eleuthera. She is one of eight children

born to her parents, who have since passed on. Her father died when Ms. Net was twenty-six, and her mother when she was fifty-six. In the years prior to her mother’s death, when blindness would overshadow her mother’s life, Merionette made it her mission to care for her mother; considering all that was done by this parent to care for her children. Early Days: Merionette’s earliest memories were going to Rock Sound Primary School at the age of five. She shared this about her childhood: “I remember at an early age going to the Methodist Sunday school and church every Sunday. I remember being dressed neatly. Hair well groomed. Ribbon in my hair. There were three Sunday schools going on at once. The first at one o’clock and the other two at three o’clock. When Sunday school let out at four, the Sunday school children got together and went for a Sunday afternoon stroll. I went as far as the shipyard while others went as far as the Rock Sound Club. The boys and girls walked together with no interference at all. What a nice walk we had together! When we came back we all went our different ways. When I got older I had to do chores

around the home. I had to help to take care of the smaller children. Before going to school I had to go for wood to cook with. I also had to go to the mill and grind corn. I had to crack the corn in the morning before school and fine (process in a machine) it later in the afternoon. I had to scrub my grandmother’s wooden floor with turbot skin until it was yellow (the fish skin had been left on the rooftop to dry and harden). If it was not cleaned good I had to do it over. I had to grate cassava and potatoes to make bread. I had to squeeze them in order to get the starch out of it, and the starch was used to starch cloths. My mother had a restaurant and I had to help her, by cleaning fish that came from Tarpum Bay. I used to fry fish in a wooden kitchen outside until two in the morning. I had to learn how to make bread and pastries at the age of twelve.” Career: And much too quickly, yet all-too-common to that era, the transition from childhood to young adult life, which meant earning a living, began. “I started to work in 1958 in Harry Newbold’s grocery store making pastries. When I got older, in 1963, I got a job at Bahamian Live Stock. I worked there for three years then went to work for Rock Sound Market place in 1983, owned by Mr. Albert Sands. I became head cashier and in charge of the other cashiers. I had learned a little about office work. I was left in charge of the supermarket when Mr. Sands went away. I had to make sure it opened on time and safely closed. A gentleman by the name of Mr. John Farrington was my bodyguard. It was a pleasure working with him and also working for Mr. Sands. I worked for him for twenty years. I then worked for the Almond Tree Gift Shop, owned by The Cotton Bay Foundation (Cotton Bay homeowners). The store was native craft operated by Mrs. Sylvia Cates of Rock Sound. Mrs. Cates did a lot of craft work. I have learned some things from her. I worked there for five years. Then I worked for Island Made Gift Shop owned by Mrs. Pamela Thompson of Gregory Town. I worked for her for about two and a half years until the store closed. Then I worked at Como Hill, also in Rock Sound, owned by Mr. Eris Moncur. Mr. Moncur also operates booths over at Half Moon Cay. I also went over there a few times. It was okay working for his company. I worked for him for five years and then moved on. I decided then to do craft work exclusively for myself.” Entrepreneurship: After six decades in the workforce, Ms. Net

has come full circle and is once again making her own creations. Her love and appreciation for the craft industry began when she was in school and was taught to knit and crochet. She continued to crochet and made many table and bed coverings, and scarfs over the years. Then she started to collect sea shells when she realized things could be made from sea shells. When asked what she loves best about the craft industry, she responded: “I am proud to know that I can do my own craft work. To be able to showcase to others knowing the product is neat and satisfying to my customers and to be able to make some money for myself. It is good to have customers come back again.” When it comes to sharing about the craft industry, a listener needs to have plenty of time on their hands because Ms. Net is generous with her time, knowledge, and encouragement. “Years ago you had to sell your craft work where you lived. But there have been many changes. Now you can sell your work at home and abroad. Crafters have made a big improvement in their work. The more they do the work the better they get. When BAIC (Bahamas Agricultural & Industrial Corporation) began to show the natives what to do, the things they can use to enhance their work; it has been a big improvement. Exporting makes a big difference.” Always enhancing her skills and believing that one is never too old to learn more and improve, Ms. Net took a course in Shell Crafting with BAIC about four years ago. The instructor was Ms. April Martin of New Providence, whom Ms. Net labels as the very best in the business. The raw materials that Ms. Net likes to work with most are: shells, driftwood, coral stones, buttonwood, conch spurs, coconut sack, and coconut straw. She collects these materials from Eleuthera beaches, purchases some from other Eleutheran collectors, and makes craft purchases from Nassau. Her collections include, shell center pieces, frames, drawings on driftwood, candle holders, jewelry boxes, shell rings, and napkin holders; all made of sand or shells. Ms. Net has displayed and sold her craft items in Nassau, Half Moon Cay, and she also was a vendor at Eleuthera’s Agro/Business weekend. Continued On Page 13


F EAT U RE

Online at www.EleutheraNews.com

An Eleutheran Profile Continued from pg. 12

Nowadays you can view and purchase her items at The Rock Sound Market Place where she holds a table on Fridays and Saturdays. She has been generous enough to share her skills with others, serving as an instructor at: Rock Sound Primary School, Preston H. Albury High School, Police Camp, and at the South Eleuthera Mission. Work is often very therapeutic and it has certainly been a substantial outlet when illness entered Ms. Net’s life. It appeared with her mother first. When diagnosed with a brain tumor at a stage too late to prevent complete blindness, Merionette took her mother’s care into her own hands. It was like the parent and the child’s life had been reversed. But she thanks God for giving her the courage and strength to do what she did. Considering how her mother had not only cared for her own children, but the children of others, Ms. Net gave this message: “Please take care of your parents and make their last days happy. Think about what they did for you. And even if they didn’t do as they should, they are still your parents. You might get weary but ask God to be with you and He will bring you through and forever bless you.” Living Every Moment: Ms. Net instills this same message in her own children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Over the years she taught them how to have manners and respect for others and each other. She reminisced fondly of having her off-spring come to spend summers together and the fun they would always have. The family is very close and conversations normally end with “I love you”. Ms. Net insisted that she has some of the sweetest children that you can find. Ms. Net said that her message proved true when illness knocked at her own door. She added: “I, Merionette Hall, am blessed. I was sick with cancer and was blessed because God was on my side. I pray that God will continue to bless me. Many thanks be to Almighty God. Keep your heart in tuned with God. Keep your hands in the Master’s hand; he will bring you through.” After undergoing cancer treatments, Ms. Net said she felt no difference in her body. She only remembers she had cancer when she looks at herself in the mirror or someone reminds her of what had happened. “It is just like I had a dream and it went away. I had treatment four times. I only once felt not so good. Three days after returning home I returned to work. I turned myself completely in God’s hands and knew that he was with me and took care of me. I did not need anyone to do anything for me. Faith in God and self-will.” Ms. Net gave this advice: “When you are told you have cancer, it is not a death sentence. Boost yourself up and check to see what is what. Do not die before you live. Knowing that cancer is at high risk in Eleuthera, make sure you get as much information on or about cancer, to be educated. Attend cancer meetings. Watch what you eat and should not eat. Keep up with your mammograms. Exercise as much as you could. Keep trying to educate others about what you know about cancer, especially if you had cancer. I am cancer free by doing what I had to do.” Although having cancer isn’t a death sentence, fighting for your life is an expensive undertaking with this disease. Ms. Net is grateful that as a result of her consistent monetary donations towards cancer awareness and prevention before she began her own fight; a waiver of a four hundred dollar treatment kit was granted to her. She is an advocate for donations and volunteerism in our own local communities and causes. Donations are continuously being sought for ongoing cancer research and treatment and Ms. Net would like to make a public appeal toward this cause. She continues to donate; as she appreciates that because of the donations of others she was able to receive treatment and would like to do the same for someone else. Her dedication was honored with an award in 2016 by The Cancer Society and she hopes to one day attend the charity’s Big Ball. Ms. Net also shared about a few of the less fortunate women that she met during her battle; women who had unfortunately waited too late to begin their battle. Reasons stemmed from being ashamed to confront their illness to allowing a male partner to convince them that having a cancer infested breast removed would have a negative effect on their sexual life. Ms. Net maintains that when she learned she had cancer, she did what she needed to do to save her life. And she has had a very good life. She is still very actively involved in her craft, her church, and community services. This bubbly lady is determined not to die until she has lived every moment that she has been given. And she’ll do so praising God.

The Eleutheran | Feb/Mar 2017

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Local

Feb/Mar 2017

www. EleutheraNews . com Police Inspector Franklyn Neely 2278, with responsibility for the south Eleuthera Police team, announced on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017, the implementation of a new initiative, dubbed ‘Operation Riding South’. Assigned Police officers have been equipped with two-wheeled transportation to conduct bicycle patrols within crime hot spot areas and conduct necessary searches. Pictured above are Police Constable 1311 Renardo Brown with Woman Police Constable 4001 Timesha Russell.

RBPF Eleuthera Community Initiatives. By the eleutheran news team

The North Eleuthera Primary School experienced a break-in incident to their tuck shop sometime during the evening on Wednesday, February 8th, 2017, where a variety of lunch items were stolen. The Royal Bahamas Police Force team in north Eleuthera came together to help the school replace the stolen items by combining their personal funds, led by Assistant Superintendent Lawrence Adderley. A suspect was said to have been identified who was being sought. Pictured above are officers from the north Eleuthera Police team with the administration and students from the school.

Three pre-schools in Spanish Wells came together on Friday, February 10th, 2017 at the Children’s Place Pre-School on the island, as part of their ‘Occupations Week’ activities. Police Officer, Sergeant 2253 Pornell Brown, was invited to share with the youngsters on the day, and present on the role of the Police within the community. In keeping with the Commissioner of Police’ Plan 2017 of working with young people, the Police Department in Spanish Wells was delighted to interact with the children, and were said to have been well received.

“I Can Help”, written by Gabrielle Pratt, a fellow Police Officer, was the title of a book donated to the library of the Samuel Guy Pinder All Age School during their Literacy Week activities in February by Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Officer, Merrick Roker. Two dozen copies were given to the school by Officer Merrick as a private citizen, and he also took time out to read to the students of grade 5 at SGPAAS, as part of the RBPF’s initiatives outlined in the Commis- sioner’s Policing Plan for 2017 involving youth.


Local

Online at www.EleutheraNews.com

| Feb/Mar 2017 15


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Local

Feb/Mar 2017

Bahamas Sea Turtle Network cONSERVATION CORNER BY CEI The Bahamas Sea Turtle Network was established in 2016 as a collaborative effort to educate and provide a vehicle for reporting nesting,illegal poaching,tags,and fibropapilloma in sea turtles in the Bahamas. Partners include the Bahamas Department for Marine Resources, the Bahamas National Trust, B.R.E.E.F, Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research in Florida, Family Island Research and Education and the Cape Eleuthera Institute. Sea turtles are a vital part of the ecology of the Bahamas and also a star attraction for tourists who come to the Bahamas to dive and snorkel and enjoy the beautiful marine environment. Due to dramatic population declines around the world, the government of the Bahamas passed a law in 2009 that prohibits the harvest of any sea turtle in the Bahamas. The research at the Cape Eleuthera In-

stitute is aimed at better understanding the populations of sea turtles around Eleuthera, including their habitat needs and longer term population trends. It is too early to know how the 2009 ban is affecting sea turtle numbers in the Bahamas and since turtles are long lived animals (they take 30-50 years to mature and reproduce!) conservation measures take a long time to take effect. We do know that the turtles we see in our waters are from countries throughout the Atlantic and that protecting turtles here is valuable for many western Atlantic sea turtle populations. Aside from illegal harvest, habitat destruction, marine debris and disease (e.g. the fibropapilloma virus) are affecting sea turtle populations. If you have any information to provide or questions to ask please get in touch! Follow the Bahamas Sea Turtle Network and Cape Eleuthera Institute on Facebook!

www. EleutheraNews . com


Local

Online at www.EleutheraNews.com

Top local students recognized at Annual National Exam Awards By the eleutheran news team Three High Schools in Eleuthera were represented at the recent Annual National Exam Awards held in New Providence on Monday, February 13th, 2017, where top students who sat the 2016 national BJC (Bahamas Junior Certificate) and BGCSE (Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education) examinations were recognized for their stellar achievements. Of the 27 BGCSE subjects offered, 2 of the national top A result awards presented were captured by Eleuthera students, including Jason Pinder of Samuel Guy Pinder All Age School (SGPAAS) who received the top A result in Music; and Taneesha Underwood also of the Samuel Guy Pinder All Age School who received the top A result in Keyboarding Skills. Of the 11 BJC subjects offered, 1 of the national top A result awards presented was earned by an Eleutheran student, Ernie Kelly of North Eleuthera High School (NEHS) who received the top A result in Health Science. Safyha Bryan a 2016 graduate of Central Eleuthera High School (CEHS), for the second year in a row, earned the Best BGCSE results for the island of Eleuthera, having achieved 5 A’s, 1 B and 1 C. Adding these results to her 11th grade performance, she graduated in 2016 having earned 14 BGCSE’s in total (11 A’s, 2 B’s and 1 C). Ernie Kelly of North Eleuthera

High School walked away with the Best BJC 2016 results for Eleuthera, with 7 A’s. Students who received Honourable Mention awards for achieving five or more A’s in their national exams included: Ernie Kelly of NEHS - BJC (7 A’s); Allie Bliss Pinder of SGPAAS - BJC (5 A’s, 2 B’s, 1 C); Anna Danae Pinder of SGPAAS - BJC (5 A’s, 3 B’s); Merrick Megan Underwood of SGPAAS BJC (5 A’s, 3 B’s); Saiydah Bryan of CEHS - BGCSE (5 A’s); and Safyha Bryan of CEHS - BGCSE (5 A’s, 1 B, and 1 C). An individual Eleuthera high school was also recognized for their national performance as a whole. NEHS received a 2nd place award for Most Improved GPA in Government Schools (BJC - Category B: 101-500 student entries).

Merrick Megan Underwood, SGPAAS

Ernie Kelly, NEHS

Saiydah Bryan, CEHS

Allie Pinder, SGPAAS Anna Pinder, SGPAAS

Jason Pinder, SGPAAS

| Feb/Mar 2017 17


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Island “Buzz”

Feb/Mar 2017

Picture ThIS:

www. EleutheraNews . com

Eleuthera HS Track & Field Competition

Junior and Senior students from public high schools throughout The Eleutheras made the annual pilgrimage to the less than manicured field in Rock Sound to battle out with effort for victory in a number of track and field events. Races are done without blocks, shoe-less in some instances and on a bumpy surface. The youngsters give everything they have and they are facilitated by a dedicated team of teachers and assistants who organise the two day affair and record the outcomes for the tallying of points. It all happened on Thursday and Friday. February

9th & 10th, 2017. Preston H. Albury Stallions faced tough competition from Harbour Island and the North Eleuthera Lions, with Central Eleuthera High School periodically showing its potential and Samuel Guy Pinder All Age having some good individual performances. Overall results placed Preston Albury High in 1st with 1,307 points, North Eleuthera High School in 2nd with 1,236 points, Harbour Island All Age School in 3rd with 1,128 points, Central Eleuthera High School in 4th with 1,006 points, and Samuel Guy Pinder All Age School in 5th with 506 points.

Track Results

200m U14 Female Raven Cash (HIAAS) 1 Jasmine Falconer (PHAHS) 2 Male 200m U14 Amari Hall (PHAHS) Armani Roberts (HIAAS)

1 2

200m U16 Female Anthonique Smith (PHAHS) 1 Astralia Carey (HIAAS) 2 Male 200m U16 George Rolle (PHAHS) Caleb Bethel (CEHS)

1 2

200m U18 Female 1 Deshan Stuart (HIAAS) Carla Saunders (HIAAS) 2 200m U18 Male Junior Norvil (NEHS) Dimitri Rolle (PHAHS)

1 2

200m U20 Female Genanta Laguerre (NEHS) 1 Christtia Riley (HIAAS) 2 200m U20 Male 1 Robert McCoy (HIAAS) Peter Heastie (NEHS) 2 1500m U16 Male (NEHS) 1 Joshua Cash Sanchez Albury (NEHS) 2 1500m U16 Female 1 Lonisha Rolle (HIAAS) Laitlyn Cambridge (HIAAS) 2 1500m U18 Female 1 Genell Olince (CEHS) Melissa Higgins (HIAAS) 2 1500m U18 Male Andrew Pierre (NEHS) Howard Carey (PHAHS) 1500m U20 Male Tano Shepard(CEHS) Cargil Munroe (PHAHS)

1 2

1 2

1500m U20 Female 1 Shantia Black (HIAAS)

Kristianne Thompson (CEHS) 2 5000m Open Male Andre Piere ( NEHS) Marco Higgs (HIAAS)

1 2

3000m Open Female Diamond Roberts (HIAAS) 1 Shakara Knowles (PHAHS) 2 Male 800m U14 Alvano Winier (PHAHS) James Eugene (HIAAS)

1 2

800m U14 Female Deonique Ambrister (PHAHS) 1 Alissa Sienus (CEHS) 2 Male 800m U16 Rashad Knowles (PHAHS) Dion Miller (PHAHS)

1 2

800m U16 Female 1 Lonisha Rolle (HIAAS) Diamond Roberts (HIAAS) 2 800m U18 Male Tyler Sealey (CEHS) Jervito Johsnon (CEHS)

1 2

800m U18 Female Joenique Munnings (PHAHS) 1 Ashanti Sands (HIAAS) 2 800m U20 Male Carlos Tador (GSPAA) Janus Sherphard (CEHS)

1 2

800m U20 Female Krystalanne Thompson (CEHS) 1 Roseney Jacques (NEHS) 2 400m U14 Male Amari Hall (PHAHS) Omarion Davis (CEHS) 400m U14 Female Arianna Dean (NEHS) Jubilee Rodger (PHAHS) 400m U16 Male Rashad Knowles (PHAHS) Caleb Major (HIAAS)

1 2

1 2

1 2

400m U16 Female Diamond Roberts (HIAAS) 1 Anthonique Smith (PHAHS) 2 400m U18 Male Junior Norvil (NEHS) Tyler Sealey (CEHS)

1 2

400m U18 Female 1 Rachael Tador (NEHS) Trenesha Adderley (PHAHS) 2 400m U20 Male Elgin Gibson (PHAHS) 1 Carlos Tador (GSPAA) 2 400m U20 Female Saiydah Bryan (CEHS) 1 Genanta Laguerre (NEHS) 2 100m U14 Male Omarion Davis (CEHS) 1 Armani Roberts (HIASS) 2 100m U14 Female Jasmine Falconer (PHAHS) 1 Raven Cash (HIAAS) 2 100m U16 Male George Rolle (PHAHS) Caleb Bethel (CEHS)

1 2

100m U16 Female Anothonique Smith (PHAHS) 1 Carlissa Seymour (PHAHS) 2 100m U18 Male Junior Norvil (NEHS) Michelo Eluslourd (CEHS)

1 2

100m U18 Female 1 Deshan Stuart (HIAAS) Tavonya Thompson (HIAAS) 2 100m U20 Male Robert McCoy (HIAAS) Peter Heastie (NEHS)

2 1

100m U20 Female Christtia Riley (HIAAS) Genanta lagnire (NEHS)

1 2


Island “Buzz”

Online at www.EleutheraNews.com

| Feb/Mar 2017 19


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22

Education Beat

Feb/Mar 2017

www. EleutheraNews . com

On The Trac-

Details online at

www.eleutheranews.com/ ?p=9295

Lighting Up The Mind

-

Colourful & Immersive Literacy Week at SGPAAS in Spanish Wells. By the eleutheran news team

Literacy Week at the Samuel Guy Pinder All Age School (SGPAAS) began on Monday, February 13th, with ‘Show and Tell’ from grades one through six. Principal Chardel Brown-Gibson explained the benefits of this fun, and exciting activity, saying, “It helps with their speaking skills. They had to introduce themselves, and brought something that was special and

important to them. We had live dogs and turtles, someone brought a snakeskin, an animated dinosaur, books, and all sort of things they liked and enjoyed.” Inter-house competitions also took place throughout the week, between the “Turtles”, “Swordfish” and “Stingrays”. On Tuesday an inter-house spelling bee was held, for grades one through six (priContinued On Page 24


Education Beat

Online at www.EleutheraNews.com

-k & Field

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Education Beat

Feb/Mar 2017

Literacy & Character Creativity at SGPAAS Continued from pg. 22 mary) and grades seven through nine (junior high). Wes Underwood from grade two won the primary division (his second year in a row winning), and Connor Pinder from grade seven won the junior high division.

A senior high inter-house speech contest, with three competitors from each grade (10th, 11th and 12th) representing their respective houses, was hosted on Wednesday, February 15th. Daunte Bethel of the 10th grade proved himself as

the cream of the crop, taking the win, speaking on the topic, “Social media does more harm than good.” Winning the overall interhouse match-up was the ‘Turtles’ house, which won in both the spelling, and the speech competitions.

www. EleutheraNews . com On Thursday, the school hosted their much anticipated Literacy Week Book Fair, starting with an out of the ordinary assembly, where everyone involved were part of telling a story. The emcee was the ‘author’ and ‘illustrator’, there were also characters like fairy godmother, a princess, and a Mr. Literate, who talked about the importance of literacy and reading. Officer Merrick Roker of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, also made

a special presentation of a locally authored book called, ‘I Can Help’, to teachers of grades 4, 5 and 6, written by a colleague on the Force. Books for the Fair were sourced by Mrs. Rose Blanchard out of the U.S., who also took time out to speak to the student body during Fair day. Books were on sale for as low as $0.50 cents said Principal Brown-Gibson, explaining, “We tried to have them as cheap as possible so that the children would be able to afford them.” The exciting week climaxed on Friday, with an energetic and colourful character parade and banner competition, where

each class chose a book to bring to life, and dressed the part for the parade through the town, and designed banners around the theme of each book. Scores of students piled into the main thoroughfare from the school for the short march, dressed in characters from Dr. Suess, Charlotte’s Web, Beauty and the Beast, Pirates of the Caribbean, Super Heroes, The Little Mermaid, Alice in Wonderland and many more. Winners of the banner competition in both the primary and high school divisions were rewarded with a Pizza Party.


Education Beat

Online at www.EleutheraNews.com

| Feb/Mar 2017 25


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Local “Plus”

Feb/Mar 2017

www. EleutheraNews . com


National

Online at www.EleutheraNews.com

National politics

Summary Commentary EXCERPTS OF THIS WEEK IN THE BAHAMAS (13 – 17 FEBRUARY 2017) BY ELCOTT COLEBY Bahamas participates in 28th CARICOM Heads of Government meetings The Bahamas is taking part in the 28th InterSessional Meeting of CARICOM HEADS OF GOVERNMENT CONFERENCE currently being held in Georgetown, Guyana. Head of delegation Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration is shown along with the shadow Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Hubert Chipman M.P.; His Excellency Ambassador Stan Smith; Foreign Service Officer Mrs. Charlene Johnson, hidden is Dr. Monica Davis Bahamas Honorary Consul in Trinidad. Among critical issues expected to be discussed at the conference are the CARICOM Council for National Security and Law Enforcement and Implementing Agency for Crime and Security and the issue of correspondent banking in which The Bahamas has a vested interest. Minister Mitchell is also expected to raise other matters of specific importance to The Bahamas. Minister Mitchell also met in the margins with Mr. Jovenel Moïse, newly elected President of Haiti. The delegation returned to The Bahamas at the weekend, following the conclusion of the conference. In Passing… “Set goals, draft strategic plans to attain them and demonstrate fiscal prudence,” said Prime Minister Christie to public servants attending the 17th Annual National Public Service Week Awards Luncheon, on February 12, 2017, at Atlantis that the event’s theme, “The Public Service: In Pursuit of Productivity and Accountability.” He also told them to “be prepared to work in and out of Nassau, to interact with your international counterparts and to base your work, through research and sound data, upon the best practices suited to The Bahamas.” The select committee appointed to probe the 2011 sale of BTC is making “steady progress” despite a rocky start, according to Golden Gates MP Shane Gibson on Friday, 10th February. The Bahamas Olympic Committee President Wellington Miller, on Monday, applauded the Christie Administration for its “Intense and proactive approach” to sports development and commented that largely because of this central administration, the historic Commonwealth Youth Games will be a “huge” success” in The Bahamas. Sandals Emerald Bay General Manager Jeremy Mutton said Monday the occupancy rate at the resort is high and is expected to continue until the summer months, showing that occupancy is picking up to its normal pace following the resort’s closure after Hurricane Matthew. Attorney General Maynard-Gibson on Monday clarified the Interception of Communications Bill as an important anti-crime tool that would enhance the privacy of law abiding citizens rather than encroach upon it, as detractors claim. It enhances the privacy of citizens because the authority of the interception was taken away from the Minister in the case of the Listening Device Act and placed in the authority of the Commissioner of Police and the courts. The Attorney General’s statement was carried in the international press

with the Caribbean News Now! noting that Mrs. Maynard-Gibson addressed concerns about the Interception of Communications Bill, 2017 (ICB), by noting that the proposed legislation is a very important tool in the fight against crime, much of which is gang-related, transnational and involves guns and drugs. Prime Minister Christie likened The Bahamas’ crime situation to the “Wild West” as he said the recent wave of murders in the capital must solicit a “major” and “continuous” effort by his administration to “flood the streets” with officers in a bid to do “all that is necessary to bring this madness to a halt.” The Prime Minister also said that the criminal activity was confined to a small number of gang members. While acknowledging his administration’s efforts to deal with crime, Mr. Christie admitted that fighting crime “demands more” from his government and the general public. New cruise lines are looking at the Bahamian market, Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe told Guardian Business on Monday, as he and his ministry seeks to introduce upgrades to the cruise product in order to keep the country’s cruise industry attractive. Minister of State for Finance Michael Halkitis said recently that The Bahamas has arrived at a significant milestone in implementing the Electronic Single Window (ESW) in the “action phase” of a trade sector support program. The contract between the Ministry of Finance, Crimson Logic and the Customs Department was signed at the Ministry on 31 January 2017. Brian Moree, QC, yesterday backed calls for The Bahamas to switch to a ‘low tax’ business model, warning: “The survival of financial services is not an option.” He urged the OECD to “take notice” of The Bahamas’ progress in meeting its automatic tax information exchange commitments, adding that further attacks on this nation would “benefit no one”. As the Government begins to seriously consider privatizing Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival, the Bahamas Carnival Band Owners Association (BCBOA) is insisting it should get first opportunity at becoming the franchise owner of the festival. One carnival band owner has asked for $1million in government subsidy for the 2017 event. Air Canada Vacations (ACV) recently met with members of the Bahamas Tourist Board to enhance its current product offerings and explore the expansion of access to the island. Official Opposition members of Parliament took legal action against the Government over the recently passed boundaries report resolution, filing an application in the Supreme Court on Tuesday that seeks leave to begin judicial review proceedings of the order. The plaintiffs, Montagu MP Richard Lightbourne and Fort Charlotte MP Dr. Andre Rollins are represented by Attorney Michael Scott. Arguments were submitted on Thursday before Justice Ian Winder and a legal judgment is expected at 2pm on Tuesday, 21st February 2017. Yamacraw MP Melanie Griffin referred to the FNM as “weak and divided” as she urged Bahamians to entrust the PLP and Prime Minister Christie with another five years of governance. The “full-scale” taxpayer bail-out of Bank of the Bahamas (BOB) has deepened, with the Government taking up its entire $10 million bond issue amid a 51.3 percent increase in half-year losses. The Bahamas’ new mobile operator has pledged to “redouble efforts” to introduce number

The Eleutheran | Feb/Mar 2017

portability as rapidly as possible, after yesterday’s planned launch was pushed back to March 2017. Bank of the Bahamas Acting Managing Director Renee Davis acknowledged that the bank’s return to profitability is largely dependent on the performance of its loan portfolio, meaning a great part of the bank’s focus will have to be on resolving its non-performing loans. Obie Wilchcombe, Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), chaired his first meeting of the Council of Tourism Ministers and Commissioners since being elected chairman last September. Baha Mar has received more than 11,000 applications for employment as progress is being made with the hiring process, with the company’s new Vice-President of Human Resources Kristy Cowper yesterday expressing “excitement” with applicant turnout on the weeks since the once stalled hotel property resumed activities last month. Meanwhile, in an interview with The Miami Times, Graeme Davis, president of Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited’s (CTFE) Bahamas subsidiary, said the convention center, golf course, casino and Grand Hyatt hotel at Baha Mar will open on April 21. Davis also noted they are “in the process of hiring more than 1,500 associates and it will grow quickly. We are expecting over 5,000 jobs and more than that in the indirect and induced jobs which will be close to 10,000.” Calls to have labor laws in The Bahamas reformed to limit and repeal the powers of local trade unions by Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation’s (BCCEC) Chief Executive Edison Sumner earlier this month were branded as “disturbing” by the National Congress of Trade Unions Bahamas (NCTUB). Labor leaders struck back demanding that employers be held to the “same standard” over their calls for trade unions to be struck off if they are insolvent or fail to file their annual returns. Government lawyers argued in the Supreme Court Thursday that the court should reject the request from members of the Official Opposition for leave to begin judicial review proceedings of a parliamentary order on constituency boundaries because the judicial review attempt is doomed to fail even if leave is granted. As part of an ongoing collaboration, the IDB Group and the University of the Bahamas (UB) hosted the launch of ‘Development in the Americas’ on Thursday at UB’s Harry C. Moore Library Auditorium. The Government is targeting an extra $400 million within two years from its crackdown on tax cheats, a top official revealing enforcement efforts were already yielding mllions per month. The IDB grant funding portfolio for The Bahamas is well over $5 million, a bank executive noted on Thursday, hinting that plans for an historic and touristic attraction for San Salvador, which will bring focus to the European discovery of the new world by Christopher Columbus in 1492, are in the

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works. Central Bank Governor John Rolle on Thursday outlined several industries which will be afforded more flexibility to raise financing from foreign sources should the Central Bank’s latest proposed exchange control relaxations be approved. The Parliamentary Comissioner Sherlyn Hall has reported that voter registration is in excess of 111,000 as of Friday 17th February 2017. With the passage of the resolution to adopt the current Boundaries Commission Report, his office will begin distributing voters cards for the upcoming 2017 General Elections.

MORE FROM WEEK OF JANUARY 30th t o FEBRUARY 3rd UB Law degrees now equivalent to UWI Law Degrees Law students at the University of the Bahamas received some good news this week when Bahamas Attorney-General Sen. Allyson Maynard-Gibson announced at her office on Wednesday that the 2017 LL.B. graduates from the University of The Bahamas “will be granted automatic admission into The Eugene Dupuch Law School.” This is another milestone for the newly minted University of The Bahamas. Last week, Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, QC led a delegation to Jamaica and secured an agreement from the Executive Committee of the Council of Legal Education to recommend to the Council of Legal Education that the University of The Bahamas’ Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) program should be considered equivalent to the degree program offered by the University of the West Indies. Dr. Pandora Johnson, University of The Bahamas Vice President for Academic Affairs, called the announcement “a great day, representing a huge step forward.” The delegation to the Executive Committee meeting included Marco Rolle, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Legal Affairs; Antoinette Bonamy, Director of Legal Affairs; Justice Ruby Nottage (retired), University of The Bahamas LL.B. lecturer; and Dr. Pandora Johnson, University of The Bahamas Vice President for Academic Affairs. In Passing… Prime Minister Christie denounced a claim made by a reported American expert in security and terrorism that The Bahamas has terrorism links, suggesting that this country’s “tremendous collaboration” with US law enforcement would have provided ample forewarning of such a threat had the

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Perspective

Feb/Mar 2017

OP-ED By Sir Ronald Sanders www.sirronaldsanders.com

By Sir Ronald Sanders

(The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London and Massey College in the University of Toronto. The views expressed are his own)

A presentation by Sir Ronald Sanders On Friday 17 February 2017, At a Conference organised by Goethals Consulting Corp , In Panama, On “Widening the Pathways to Open Societies” I have been asked to speak on “The Future of Financial Services in the Caribbean” in the context of “International Tax Competition, Globalization and Fiscal Sovereignty”. As I speak, that future is bleak. Globalization has been a one-way street of impositions by powerful countries; fiscal sovereignty has been violated by the strong; and tax competition remains under threat from the mighty. Indeed, if the current pattern of incursions, restrictions and false labelling of Caribbean jurisdictions as ‘tax havens’, and the Caribbean as a region of ‘high risk’, is not halted soon and swiftly, not only will financial services have no future, but the Caribbean region as a whole could be relegated to the backwater of global existence. The evidence of the last 30 years speaks for itself. OECD CAMPAIGN It is clear that the major member states of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have been

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The Future of Financial Services in the Caribbean:

International Tax Competition, Globalization and Fiscal Sovereignty embarked upon a campaign to eliminate competition in financial services from Caribbean countries and other developing states, since the 1990s. That campaign has never waned. It has gained validation in the international community by seducing or coercing some developing countries into participation in groups, created at the behest of G7 countries, ostensibly to establish globally acceptable rules on tax information exchange, transparency, common reporting standards, anti-money laundering, counter terrorism financing and tax evasion. One such group is the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax purposes which claims 139 members and in which the countries of the European Union are over represented since they participate as individual nations and as a collective body. At the end of the day, the seemingly broad membership of the OECD Forum is window-dressing for the menacing objectives of the more powerful countries. The high number of members, masks the fact that no small nation can resist the candy-coated but bitters pills with which they are presented. In the end, sanctions hang like the sword of Damocles over the heads of those who participate. The entire process remains one of pushing the agenda of automatic access to tax information and ending tax competition in keeping with the prevailing ideology of European Union countries especially. SOVEREIGN RIGHTS IGNORED Despite all the rhetoric of ‘level playing fields’ and respect for sovereign rights, the world remains one in which might parades in the armour of right, and power camouflages itself in the clothes of justice. In this matter, there has been – and continues to be – the most blatant disregard for the rules of international law; rules that have been spelled out by the UN and upheld by the International Court of Justice. Those rules specify quite clearly that States cannot intervene in areas solely within the jurisdiction of other States, and international organisations are restricted from intervention within the domestic jurisdiction of states. Yet, the powerful nations of the world – clustered in the OECD – do precisely the opposite. And, weak and vulnerable nations are powerless to respond. In fear of sanctions, such as blacklisting by OECD countries and the European Union Commission, and penalties from the United States, they acquiesce; surrendering their sovereignty. At the conception of the United Nations, world leaders committed themselves to a world “governed by justice and moral law”, one in which they asserted the “preeminence of right over might and the general good against sectoral claims”. If, in the history of the UN, that commitment was ever respected, it has certainly been disregarded if not reversed in relation to fiscal sovereignty and globalisation. ‘DOGS OF WAR’ RELEASED And, in all this, the powerful nations

have seduced the international media into becoming participants in their campaign. As far back as 1834, a US Senator described this with prescient clarity. He said “power marks its victim; denounces it; and then excites public hatred and odium to conceal its own abuses and encroachments”. So, as one commentator put it: “The dogs of war have been released on Caribbean off-shore centres”. In the wake of the so-called “Panama Papers”, Panama has had its share of the snarling and bites of the war-dogs. The truth that dares not speak its name is that “automatic exchange of tax information”; false branding of countries as “tax havens “while the real tax havens continue to thrive and prosper; and sanctions against what is described as “uncooperative jurisdictions”, is a form of neo-colonialism. It is a campaign to dictate the tax systems and structures of other nations for the benefit of OECD member-states, curbing the rights of sovereign but weak states and autonomous jurisdictions. This campaign has been continuous and unrelenting, reaching an apex 17 years ago, when the OECD launched its socalled ‘harmful tax competition’ in 1999. NO UNIFIED RESPONSE FROM VICTIM COUNTRIES The campaign has persisted and has been successful not only because of the coercive might of the powerful States, but also because there has been no unified response from the countries and jurisdictions which are their victims. Indeed, there is still no unified response. The victim-nations lack the cohesion, the coherence and the capacity to formulate a common position and to stand-up for themselves. Instead, there is a scramble by individual powerless nations to salvage what they can of their financial services sector, and to avoid, at all costs, the sanctions and penalties of the powerful countries. So, they play the game as best they can, with their feet hobbled and their hands tied behind their backs. The upheaval against the discriminatory political order that we have seen within the affairs of nations has not yet taken root in the affairs between nations. There is as yet no leader ready to trump the abuse of the last three decades. In fact, the absence of cohesion and coherence by developing countries might be obvious in a recent decision by the government of Ecuador, as Chair of the G77& China at the UN, to work for an independent UN body that will eliminate tax havens and illicit financial flows. There had been no prior discussion with other developing countries on this effort, and no clear indication of which jurisdictions Ecuador regards as tax havens. The initiative might get the support of developing nations if the real tax havens are identified. As it is, more than a little suspicion now attaches to its motivation and its initiators, and that is unfortunate. But, in any event the OECD countries, including the US, would hardly support a

UN body over which they would have no control. They are far more comfortable with the OECD Global Forum on Taxation that they dominate and with their own unilateral actions such as the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the blacklists of countries they issue from time to time. CARIBBEAN NOT A TAX HAVEN It is well-known that Caribbean jurisdictions have been labelled as ‘tax havens’. There is this belief that we are rum and Coca-Cola societies that deliberately hide the ill-gotten gains of foreigners; help people to shield their taxable revenues from tax authorities; and have off-shore centres in furtherance of the Hollywood image of swashbuckling Pirates of the Caribbean. Nothing could be farther from reality. A ‘tax haven’ is an area or jurisdiction where payable tax is hidden, and where countries, in which such payable tax originates, are prohibited from receiving information on the such taxable assets. That is not the Caribbean; it is other countries – some in the OECD; but not in the Caribbean. Low tax or no tax jurisdictions are not ‘tax havens’. Low tax or no tax is not a measure of a ‘tax haven’. Countries pitch their tax levels in accordance with the imperatives of their economic and social development. For instance, with a corporate tax rate of 22%, Ecuador is 7% lower than the average of the Americas and considerably less than Europe. But Ecuador would not consider itself a tax haven. In the case of my own country, Antigua and Barbuda, we are a low tax jurisdiction; indeed, we abolished income tax completely last year on the strong belief in two things: first, that the costs of pursuing such taxes outweigh the benefits, and second that money left in people’s pay packet will promote economic growth through spending and saving. With growth of 4.3% last year, Antigua and Barbuda was the fastest growing economy in the Caribbean and the fourth fastest growing economy in Latin America and the Caribbean. But, Antigua and Barbuda, like most Caribbean countries, is not a tax haven. CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES COMPLY WITH RULES All Caribbean countries have had to make themselves compliant with the demands of the countries of the OECD as a group and individually. In this regard, every Caribbean country is compliant with the rules of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on money laundering and counter terrorism financing. They are also subject to regular reviews. In fact, they are more compliant than the US, which the FATF found to be noncompliant with ‘entity transparency’ and ‘gatekeeper rules’ in 2006, and which the FATF has chosen not to evaluate since. And, as far as the OECD Global Forum

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Perspective

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Future of Caribbean Financial Services Continued from pg. 28 rules on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes are concerned, the majority of Caribbean countries are on their way to full compliance. Notably, my own small country, Antigua and Barbuda, is fully compliant with the requirement for Common Reporting Standards (CRS), while the US has not signed-up to it. And the US has been the beneficiary as Trust structures move there to avoid disclosure. States in the United States, such as Delaware, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Colorado and Arizona, disregard OECD rules – and are practical tax havens, demonstrating why the US has not signed-up to the CRS. But, it is clear that the doctrine of ‘might is right’ continues; the principle of transparency applies only to the weak; and the notion of a level playing field for competition is a myth. US NOT ENFORCING TIEA’s IN THE US Incidentally, it is worth pointing out that, in 2015, a number of individual States of the US adopted legislation naming Caribbean countries, including my own, as ‘tax havens’. When, as Ambassador of my country to the US, I pointed out to the Commissioner of the US Inland Revenue Service that under the Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) which my country signed with the US in 2000, the US – and all its States – had access to automatic tax information and, therefore, the legislation adopted by Maine, Montana, Oregon and the District of Columbia was ill-informed and wrong, and that he should so advise them, the reply I received in writing was that “the IRS plays no role in the legislative process” of these States. Nothing was done. It makes one wonder what is the point of a TIEA with the Federal Government of the US, and whether, instead, we should have negotiated individually with all 50 States of the United States. What is clear is that, though the IRS won’t enforce the terms of the TIEA with its own States, it demands enforcement, upon pain of penalties, by Caribbean countries.

Added to all this, over the last two years, Caribbean countries have been facing a huge new threat not only to their financial services, but to their sustainable development and their ability to participate in the global financial and trading system. THE NEW THREAT – WITHDRAWL OF CBR’s - This new threat comes from a decision by banks in the US and the UK to withdraw correspondent banking relations from respondent banks in the Caribbean. As Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the IMF, points out: “Correspondent banking is like the blood that delivers nutrients to different parts of the body. It is core to the business of over 3,700 banking groups in 200 countries”. Without correspondent banking relations, Caribbean countries cannot pay for the goods and services that they buy from the US and the UK, including medical and education services. They also cannot receive payments for tourism or remittances from their diaspora that sustain the well-being of the poorest and most vulnerable in their societies. The consequences of this should be obvious, since the US and the UK are the Caribbean’s biggest trading partners. As I speak, the majority of banks across the Caribbean have lost their correspondent banking relations with US and UK banks. They have had to find expensive alternatives that have pushed up the price of bank transactions and the cost of doing business. Already heavily-burdened, open economies in the Caribbean are now faced with additional costs to import goods and services from the US and UK, and to receive payments for their own goods and services. It is not clear how long these alternative arrangements will last before US and UK banks shut them down under the present dispensation. And what is the present dispensation? Frightened by the huge fines and forfeitures with which they are threatened, particularly by regulators in the US, and conscious of the branding of the Caribbean as a ‘high risk area’ for financial services, banks that have done business and made

The Eleutheran | Feb/Mar 2017

profits in the region for over a century, are taking the view that the risk is not worth the rewards of the business. But what is the risk? No bank or other financial institution in the Caribbean has been a party in any of the cases of money laundering or tax evasion prosecuted in the US or the UK. It should be patently clear that the withdrawal of correspondent banking relations from the Caribbean is not due to any lack of compliance with the anti-money laundering, counter terrorism financing or tax evasion rules of the OECD countries, including the US. One is left to speculate, therefore, as to the real reason. An incongruous side note to this is that the World Bank has warned that around 50% of adults in the world’s poorest households are unbanked – in other words, they have no access to financial institutions. The World Bank says that it is “scaling up support to reach an additional billion people”. But, while it is doing that, 15 million people in the Caribbean are at risk of being unbanked by the withdrawal of correspondent banking relations. And, the response of the pre-Donald Trump administration to what should be an obvious wrong was that the Caribbean – already more compliant than the US with FATF and OECD rules – must strengthen their anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing regimes. That response demonstrates that the playing field is anything but level, and redress for injustice is not a matter of morality; it is a matter of might. LOOKING TO TRUMP It would be helpful if, committed as it says it is to less regulation, the Donald Trump government will be more open to the Caribbean’s argument that US regulators and correspondent banks should mitigate rather than avoid risk, and that, therefore, US banks should only terminate correspondent banking relations where money laundering and terrorism financing risks cannot be mitigated. But that is a mere hope; it is not an expectation. Nonetheless, it is a proposition that Caribbean countries collectively should explore with the Trump administration as soon as they are able to do so at all levels.

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So, what the future holds for correspondent banking relations for the Caribbean is very uncertain. What is clear is that if the present trends continue, the region will be in danger of losing even more sovereignty over its fiscal and banking affairs. If the indigenous onshore banks and offshore banks of the Caribbean are all deprived of correspondent banking relations, the region will be left with only the foreign-owned banks (mainly Canadian) that may be prepared to remain because they have their own headquarters correspondent relations. A NEW COLONIALISM But those banks can then form cartels that control the means of exchange in the Caribbean and determine interest rates, lending policies, and sectoral investment. The region will be gripped by a new form of colonialism and control – this time by foreign banks. A responsible international community should help the Caribbean to resist this growing cancer; other developing countries should be in the forefront of support, for the cancer can spread to them, as it has already started in Central America, including Panama, and Africa. Incidentally, nothing that I have said here should imply or suggest that Caribbean countries ought not to comply with the rules against money laundering, counter terrorism financing and tax evasion that are being set – albeit not by globally-represented bodies. They have to do so, and are doing so, at very high cost. For instance, in my own country, here is a list of the obligations that we have to finance: The FATF’s rules on anti-money • laundering and counter terrorism financing; • The OECD’s common reporting standards; • The US FATCA • Operation of Tax Information Exchange Agreements with over 25 countries; • Operation of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties with almost 90 countries. In the case of the US FATCA, small countries in the Caribbean are paying for the dubious privilege of being policemen for the US Inland Revenue Service.

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National

Feb/Mar 2017

National Commentary Continued from pg. 27 claims been true. Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell has hit out at a “rubbish” statement made on a US television news show by a reported expect in security and terrorism who portrayed the Bahamas as having terrorist links. After facing backlash from angry Bahamians on his Twitter page, MSNBC correspondent Malcolm Nash, who said he has more than 35 years in US intelligence, apologized for his error. Speaking at the 25th anniversary of the West Grand Bahama Youth Development Association on Sunday 29th January, Prime Minister Christie noted that the country is “coming to grips with the reality that in an island community like Grand Bahama and the city of Freeport, and the sophistication of the industrial makeup of the island, we have to find a formula to continue with training.” Our young people. Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie was the special guest at the Monday assembly at the D.W. Davis Junior High School. The Prime Minister encouraged and challenged the students to be their best. He also cut the ribbon on a brand new school bus. Plans appear to be in motion for the establishment of a new political faction, with Official Opposition Leader Butler-Turner revealing that she is laying the foundation for an “organic grassroots movement” inclusive of the other six dissident FNM members of Parliament. In a confidential email obtained by The Tribune, ButlerTurner sent out a call for support to her political base, urging them to “take action to rid ourselves of the status-quo that governs our Bahamas”. This revelation angered members of the dissident seven who were unaware of this political move. The FNM turncoats, including two former Cabinet Ministers, who publicly pledged support for Prime Minister Christie must quickly prove the reasoning behind their move to avoid being branded “political parasites and opportunists”, said former Cabinet Minister George Smith. Former Prime Minister Ingraham branded their support for the PLP as “nothing.” The delayed Constituencies Commission report could be completed sometime this week giving every indication that all eligible Bahamians should register to vote now, Prime Minister Christie has said. The FNM announced the ratification of six more candidates for the upcoming general elections last night with leader Dr. Minnis revealing that the full slate of 39 candidates will be announced at the end of the week. At the Mackey Street headquarters, FNM Chairman Sidney Collie announced: Navarro Bowe Howard ‘Ricky’ Mackey Hank Johnson Darren Henfield Former FNM Chairman Michael Pintard FNM Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest Prime Minister Christie on Monday castigated FNM Leader Dr. Minnis for likening the PLP to a group of “drowning men,” calling the Killarney MP a “minor player” in the House of Assembly who should “try his best to keep quiet” after having his job as leader of the Official Opposition “taken” from him by Long Island MP Butler-Turner. Minister of State for Finance Michael Halkitis yesterday denied that he was being “disin-

genuous” when he stated, during a speech at the PLP national convention last week, that millions of dollars generated from VAT was being spent on projects for which the Government already borrowed money. The record clearly shows that for the 24 months following the implementation of VAT (January 2015 to December 2016), the government collected some $1 billion, but government expenditure during the same period exceeded $4 billion. Since VAT receipts represent just twenty-five percent of government expenditure, for every dollar the government spends to pay its bills, twenty-five cents are sourced from VAT receipts. The Central Bank financial reports confirm this. Prime Minister Christie, the keynote speaker at the 2017 International Business & Finance Summit (IBFS), said the government was committed to speeding financial services legislation through the system faster than any other laws, in a bid to respond effectively to the ever-evolving environment. As voter registration in the country remains sluggish – falling below numbers compared to this same period during the last election cycle – former Prime Minister Ingraham encouraged Bahamians to register notwithstanding the inconveniences they are facing. Government officials yesterday announced the launch of NHI’s primary care physician registration, which NHI senior officials said is a “critical milestone” that signals the “initiation” of a second phase of the government proposed program. Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald on Tuesday said the onus for recent violent incidents on school campuses must fall on the wider society, further lamenting that officials have done everything they can to stop school violence. A seventh grade male student of A. F. Adderley Junior High School brought a gun on the school’s campus Monday and was arrested by police, officials confirmed on Tuesday. Mrs. Donna Newton was sworn in as Acting Justice of the Supreme Court by Governor General Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling during a brief ceremony at Government House on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 Prime Minister Christie this week said the Government would soon make a full disclosure on the current affairs of the Bank of the Bahamas and Resolve Bahamas. Firing back at suggestions that such a disclosure would not come before the upcoming general election, Mr. Christie said: “The elections are not in the near future”. Amid calls for government transparency over VAT collections, a war of words erupted in the House of Assembly yesterday between government MPs and opposition forces that have rejected the Christie administration’s attempts to justify how the tax revenue has been expended. The House of Assembly began debate on Wednesday on the long awaited revamped Freedom of Information Bill, despite continued push back from civil society and opposition factions over the bill’s contents and potency. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has officially launched its new polycarbonate e-passport system. The launch of the system took place last Thursday at the Passport Office on Thompson Boulevard. Hundreds of hotel workers will be made redundant at the Memories Resort in Grand Bahama after the hotel operator, Sunwing Travel Group, and its landlord, Hutchinson Whampoa, failed to reach an agreement over hurricane restoration at the beachfront resort in Lucaya. The

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Government was locked in meetings Thursday seeking to bring a successful conclusion to negotiations with Hutchinson Whampoa over the embattled Memories resort, with Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe telling The Tribune that based on those talks he believes there is room for a “successful outcome”. Baha Mar’s scheduled opening for April 21 was yesterday branded “a political ploy” after it was confirmed that the acquisition by CTFE will not close until all construction work is completed. Robert Sands told Tribune Business that CTFE had agreed “to take possession and operate portions of the resort” until its deal with the China EXIM Bank could close. It was reported that the Christie administration has agreed to approve between 400 and 500 work permits, in addition to the transfer of existing work permit holders from Baha Mar to Strategic Property Holding Ltd and Neworld One Bay Street Ltd, developers of The Pointe, to facilitate the phased completion of the $200m Bay Street project. Meanwhile, developers of the $200m Bay Street project, The Pointe, are now in the midst of a regulatory process seeking the needed approvals from the Government for the next phase of construction, according to an official. However, Kendeno Knowles, CCA

Communications Director, did not reveal which approvals Strategic Property Holding Ltd and Neworld One Bay Street Ltd were seeking. Former Prime Minister and Leader of the FNM Hubert Ingraham called on Dr. Minnis, Loretta Butler-Turner and others who are fighting in the party to find a way to put their differences aside or face the possibility of the PLP winning the next election with a minority of votes. Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald has revealed that the Save The Bays emails he read and tabled in Parliament were printed out and delivered to him in a “sealed envelope”, adding that he did not know how the documents were accessed. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) delivered a presentation on the findings and recommendations of a local aviation audit to the Minister of Transport and Aviation the Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin and senior Ministry officials on Friday, 3rd February at the JL Center on Black Road. The government continues to move aggressively to reform the aviation sector and to bring every aspect into international compliance and consistent with international best practices.

Future of Caribbean Financial Services Continued from pg. 29 And, incidentally, the US has only promised to provide reciprocal information; it has not done so and shows no sign of doing so. But Caribbean nations – and all other affected countries – should strengthen their advocacy worldwide, enhance such representation as they have in the OECD Global Forum and at the FATF, and demand that every OECD country implements the same rules they impose on others. SUMMARY So, to summarise the themes of this presentation. In relation to Globalisation, the only global rules are those set by powerful countries in their own interest. Fiscal sovereignty as a right of individual States is largely ignored and up-ended by the doctrine of might is right. Tax competition has survived in part so far; but the OECD countries are unrelenting in their efforts to coerce other nations into mirroring the areas of their taxation, even though the economic imperatives of nations are vastly different. WHAT SHOULD CARIBBEAN NATIONS DO? What then for the future of Financial Services in the Caribbean? The prospects would be best served by the formation of alliances in every global forum to wrest control of financial services matters from the OECD which represents only a handful of nations in the world community. In the late 1990s, it was an alliance of Caribbean nations with Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Isle of Man and Jersey, that held back the OECD over its socalled ‘harmful tax competition initiative’; and it was the decisive intervention of the new Republican government of George W Bush, before 9/11 and the Patriot Act, that eventually pushed back the OECD. But, since then, the European jurisdictions retreated into the fold of the OECD,

and the Obama administration in the US strengthened the heavy-hand of regulation and extra-territorial laws such as FATCA. The Caribbean should now look elsewhere – to the countries of South and Central America, including Panama, and to Africa and the Pacific where nations are also subject to coercion, erosion of fiscal sovereignty and loss of competitiveness - to build alliances to counter the domination of global rules on tax matters by a few selfserving nations. A TRULY REPRESENTATIVE WORLD BODY NEEDED The Ecuadorian government is right - a UN body is needed. But not to chase after imaginary windmills of falsely-labelled tax havens. It is needed to create standards created by representatives of the entire world and not by a handful of elite countries; it is needed to establish rules that tax competition, like all other competition, is good for global growth; it is needed to enshrine the principle that setting levels of taxation is the sovereign right of each nation in the context of its own economic and fiscal imperatives. Alliances should also be sought with groups within OECD countries that recognise that high taxation and coercion of other nations do not make for a prosperous world or a peaceful one. That, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, the world will not survive half-free, and half-enslaved. There would be good reason for other developing nations and groups within OECD countries to join the Caribbean in such an undertaking. For, the small are the bully’s first victim; they are seldom the last. Thank you. Responses and previous commentaries: www.sirronaldsanders.com


Perspective

Online at www.EleutheraNews.com

my vote By: Andrew L. Burrows

andrewburrows1@gmail.com

If you want to be able to vote you must go and register! Why? Yes, why in this Bahamas must I present myself every five years to reregister myself? I am a born Bahamian, I lived in this one location all of my life, I am known by most; so why is every Bahamian required to

keep on presenting themselves to a Governmental place to say “yes” I am interested in voting again. It is just another gimmick employed by the very people we waste our time voting for and who’s big salaries we pay, to keep on wasting our collective revenues doing what is not needed, while what is desperately needed must wait forever to be done; like, just before an election! I have always believed in democracy, but what we practice is a fake model. First and foremost, the Bahamas is not an independent country, if we were we would have an elected President with elected upper and lower house members. What we have is a butchered form of who knows what! We swear loyalty to the British monarchy, maintain a Governor General, have party picked Senators, have a Defense and a Police force that is “Royal”. We Bahamians are not stupid, we live in a very open envi-

ronment, we know what takes place in other countries, we are not as ignorant as we pretend to be. It is high time that we stop encouraging the hype, and if we are going to waste our time reregistering and voting for party loyalists simply to make up the numbers. “God can’t help us”. We are doing it to ourselves. Party representation comes pre-packaged like over processed foods, when we vote for our party favorite there is no longer any need for individual or district representation. The majority party’s agenda is what you have. Stop promising me what you will do for me once you get a seat. That is not democracy. That is party patronage and disunity. I will not waste my time playing this grand “hamster in the cage” game. What we all must want is true democracy where each person who goes to represent us has an active role to perform in the Government, and an equal opportunity to represent us who are being truly represented. We are not stupid; our education will not be wasted. We have sense! When our elected President acts, it will be in the interest of us! Not the party or other beneficial interest, not local or for-

Dear Editor, Please allow me space so I may bring the country up to date on the State of Spanish Wells as we head into the next general election. The following may reflect similarly on every District in our archipelago, in fact I am sure it does. So, once you have had time to read and digest the following please have your Chief Councilor send in YOUR current “state”. Let’s get all the Districts to report in between now and the next general election. Budget! As most are aware, the Government over the past 4 years has been collecting more in taxes but giving less back. Our annual budget is prepared, then sent to Nassau where someone decides where the value for money is. They delete line items such as but not limited to “upkeep and maintenance of public buildings”, then it is sent back “Approved”. However, it doesn’t stop there. In 2013 the Government started retaining a percentage of the budget. For the past two years, they have withheld 12% of the approved budget. In our case that is $43,278. The past three years we have had the same budget approved despite the introduction of VAT. We have also had a recurrent deficit over the same period. This unfortunately has led to our contractual workers not getting paid in full; currently we are only able to pay them 50% of their monthly contract value because of the shortfall. As of the end of this fiscal period, we will once again be in the same situation as we have been for the past two budget cycles and will not be able to satisfy

our commitments. As referenced, our budget for 07/08 was $450,000.00; the last two years it has been roughly $317,000 less the 12% retention. This is available for all to see. It is public record and is a part of the National Budget. Graveyard! Digging up bones! That’s what we have been doing for the better part of 5 years. We are having to use an old cemetery plot that has lead to exhumation. Council started agitating for a new grave yard site officially in October of 2012. There have been several visits over this period and countless correspondence but as of the writing of this piece nothing has come of it. Clinic! Our clinic is in a deplorable state! The A/C is broken, the roof leaks during normal rain squalls, including in the emergency room. Most of the windows don’t work, there is mold and mildew everywhere. The morgue has been broken down for the better part of two years, in fact the last few persons that passed away onisland had to be relocated to Eleuthera. Shutters are falling off. Prior to December, there was no resident doctor to service North Eleuthera (including Spanish Wells and Harbour Island) for months. Patients could not get prescriptions in addition to other specialized medical care. We have a resident nurse that was just recently relocated to SPW (best one in the country), but now she may get evicted from her apartment because Government has let her rent fall behind.

The Eleutheran | Feb/Mar 2017

eign. When our elected member speaks on our behalf, our collective view and interest is to be presented. When was the last time an elected member of the House of Assembly, or a party appointed Senator was heard speaking purely on the interest of the majority who took time to vote for them? It does not happen, because it can’t happen; they must speak the party’s line or go independent. I want to vote, but I want a voice in my country. We Bahamians are such peace loving, hopeful and trusting hamsters in the cage. We know that the present system is against us, but we dare not acknowledge it to be so! So when will we ever learn that change must come from within!? Just like we wait for someone else to come and pick up our trash, we also wait for favorable changes to our collective problems to come from somewhere else. It is high time that we wake up and sense the deception that is all around us. Our country is being sold away to foreign owners, our own children have no land to build their own homes, plant their own gardens, and raise their own animals, and because we want to have many rich visitors come and sport fish

The administration of the clinic has failed miserably! Aforementioned issues (particularly maintenance and upkeep of the facility) were brought to light in September 2011. The District Council did a thorough walk through of the facility and reported the findings to the Administrator of Family Island Clinics. Despite continuous update and agitation to the hierarchy of the Ministry of Health, to date nothing has been fixed; the clinic continues to deteriorate. Roads! Many of the roads are filled with pot holes. There are several that are past the point of patching and need to be rebuilt. Most of the roads are starting to show their age as they were redone twenty-five years ago, the lack of a constant supply of perma-patch contributes to the deterioration. The abutment is continually breaking through. We have just recently had a team from the Ministry of Works visit the Island and they did a complete drive through to confirm the same. We are waiting on a final report. Bridge! The two-lane bridge “Roderick Newton Bridge” connecting Spanish Wells and Russell Island was destroyed in August of 1992 by Hurricane Andrew. A temporary single lane bridge was installed in October of the same year. The bridge is rusting and in a state of disrepair to the point of being dangerous. This bridge plays a vital role in our daily lives. It is in constant use. The public dump and power company is located on Russell Island along with other businesses and private residents. Russell Island is in a phase of continuous development. At least 60% of all construction being approved by the District Council is for Russell

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in our waters, we deny our own fishermen from cultivating and providing food for us, while we waste that same money importing canned and frozen sea products to feed ourselves and our visitors. Why should I waste my time reregistering all the time? It makes no difference who sits in the houses of government if they all prescribe to the statuesque. No! There must be change in how we do things in this our beautiful country. We must grow up and stop believing the lie. Our children must be the heirs to this land, where there is so much that is not available to them, and nothing is being done to correct it. If you are satisfied to see all things remain as they are at present it makes no difference who you vote for, we remain deceived, divided and destined to despair. Is it all as bad as I try to make it seem? I sure hope not, but we need to fix what is not working for us, and stop expecting the solutions to our national problems to fall out of the sky. Wishful thinking!

Island and will be that way for the foreseeable future. After Hurricane Sandy in 2012 the bridge was washed out on the south side. Eleuthera Construction was hired to make a temporary fix; to date they have not been paid. The Council has been agitating since March of 2012 to effect repairs/change to the bridge. We have just recently had another team from Ministry of Works visit the site; the Council is patiently waiting for a response. Water! Our water supply is pumped from a well field on Eleuthera, directly into the city system. We have a 100,000-thousand-gallon water tank that is supposed to be kept full, but there has never been a shut off system installed. So, once the tower is full the overflow goes into the harbour until such time as Water and Sewerage on Eleuthera can be contacted. The Council just recently sent a sample of city water to an independent lab in Nassau. Here is a sampling of the findings. Calcium 624.00, chloride 2,675.77, salinity 4.90ppt and there was also trace of coliform found. I am sure it is illegal to sell this water to the public, in fact, it’s probably illegal to give it away. The authorities have been aware of the water situation on Spanish Wells for many years. Despite continuous development on Russell Island, the public water supply does not extend to residents and businesses to the far West. The government built and paved the road, but didn’t put the infrastructure in place to provide water first, so of course the road will have to be ripped up to complete installation. This is the perfect example of poor planning. Businesses in the area affected are now being told by Environmental Health that the

Continued On Page 34


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Crime News

Feb/Mar 2017

www. EleutheraNews . com

Reports are printed to keep the public informed of the incidents of crime that are reported within our communities. All reports are to be treated as allegations only. Reports issued by the RBPF locally.

Police Contact Numbers

HeadQuarters (GH) Governor’s Harbour OR O/C Governor’s Harbour Gov.Harb. Airport Station Deep Creek Station Tarpum Bay Station Rock Sound Station

House Breaking and Stealing At 1:10pm on Sunday 19th February, 2017 an adult female , contacted the Governor’s Harbour Police Station and reported that sometime between 10:50am and 1:05pm on 19/2/2017 some unknown person(s) break and entered her residence and stole several items of food from her refrigerator. Entry was gained via a rear northern facing door. Police responded to the scene and commenced enquires which remain ongoing. Threats of Harm Reported with Arrest - At about 2:45pm on Sunday 19th February, 2017, an adult female came into the G.H.P.S. and reported that while in the area of the Blue Room a male known to her tried to stab her with a screwdriver putting her in fear for her life. Officers responded to the area and arrested an adult male in reference to Housebreaking, Stealing and Threats of Harm. Investigations are ongoing. Traffic Offence Report - On Saturday 18th February, 2017, while on mobile patrol officers reported two motorist for traffic infractions. They were informed of the offences and warned prosecution. Threats of Death report On Friday 17th February, 2017, sometime around 9:30am, an adult male came in to the Rock Sound Police Station and reported that sometime around 11:00pm on Thursday 16th February, 2017 , he was punched in the face by a male known to him causing pain and injury. Also the suspect further threatened him saying that he was going to kill him. The suspect was armed with a weapon which he clutched to his waist, placing complainant in fear causing him to sleep away from his residence . Police action was requested. Enquiries are continuing. Attempted Shop Breaking/Police Information On Thursday 16th February, 2017, an adult male reported to the Governor’s Harbour Police Station that sometime around 9:00 am on that date, his wife went to their business establishment and attempted to unlock the front entrance door and experienced difficulty getting the lock to open. On closer inspection she noticed that some unknown person/s had attempted to pry or jimmy the lock. He reported the incident for Police Information Damage Report: On Thursday 16th February, 2017, at 9:00pm, an adult male reported to the Governors Harbour Police Station that sometime around 8:00pm on the 16/02/2017 while at a club on Cupids Cay, some unknown persons caused damaged to his white Ford Ranger Truck by slashing two of his truck’s tires valued $50.00 each. He suspects three

332-3500 332-2111 332-2117 332-2723 332-2323 334-8207 334-4033 334-2244

young men who are known. Police action requested.

lent behavior. As a result she was medicated and referred to S.R.C for further attention.

Arrest reference to Taking Prohibited Things into a Lock Up: On Thursday 16th February, 2017, at 10:10pm, Officers reported that while at the Governors Harbour Police Station they observed a tall dark skinned male in a yellow Polo shirt approach the window to the cell block area of the station and communicated with one of the prisoners, after which handed him what appeared to be a soda, a can juice and a bottle of vodka through a hole, then walked off. At 10:30pm while at the Governors Harbour Police Station the culprit was arrested in reference to taking prohibited things into a lock up. He was processed and later charged with that offence.

Police Assistance Requested On Monday, 13th February, 2017, sometime around 6:18am, an adult female C/O Rock Sound Airport, contacted the Rock Sound Police Station via telephone and reported that a female believed to be mentally ill was at that location creating a disturbance and interfering with passengers. Police assistance was requested. Officers responded to the scene where they saw the suspect . She was asked to leave and left the area without incident. Area was left quiet.

Causing Harm Report On Thursday 16th February, 2017, sometime around 9:20am, an adult male came in to the Rock Sound Police Station and reported that sometime around 4:00pm on Wednesday, 15th February, 2017, while at Long Lane, Rock Sound, he was punched in the face by a male known to him, causing pain and injury. Police action was requested. The complainant was referred for medical attention. Investigations are ongoing Arrest reference to Possession of Dangerous Drugs with intent to Supply On Thursday, 16th February, 2017, at 4:30am the crew of Eskimo# 29 officers came in at the Governors Harbour Police Station with an adult male under arrest in reference to possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply. They reported that while searching the suspect and his residence, they found three small packages of suspected cocaine approximately three ounces in weight with $560.00 cash, suspected to be derived from the sales of illegal drugs. The suspect was later processed and charged with that offence. Prowler on Premises/ Mental Patient in Custody - At about 9:36 pm on Monday, 13th February, 2017, an anonymous caller contacted the Governors Harbour Police Station via telephone and reported that a unknown female was at their place of residence knocking at the door asking to be let in. Police assistance requested. Officers responded to the scene and arrested an adult female who appeared to be suffering from mental illness. The suspect was transported to the Local Clinic where l Doctor Wallace c/o Levy Medical Centre conducted a mental evaluation and ordered that she be held in Police custody for her safety. She appeared to be suffering from a mental break down and was displaying vio-

Police Assistance Requested The Principal c/o Rock Sound Primary School contacted Rock Sound Police Station via telephone and reported that an unknown female was in one of the classrooms tearing up papers and making the children afraid. Police assistance was requested. Officers responded to the scene and saw and spoke with the Principal who pointed out a female in one of the classrooms. She was seen sitting on the floor with a brown scarf wrapped around her shoulders and also around a post. She was spoken to and was escorted off the premises and taken to Rock Sound Police Station and left a short while later. She was collected by her mother and was escorted to the Rock Sound Clinic where medication was administered. Area was left quiet. Threats of Harm Report and Arrest ref. Threats of Death At about 1:15am on Monday, 13th February, 2017, an adult female reported to the Police that sometime at about 12:20am on that same date, while at the residence of her mother where she resides, she along with her boyfriend was in the front room talking when she heard what sounded like a disturbance coming from her mother’s bedroom where she shares with her live in boyfriend. After about five minutes later her mother’s boyfriend suddenly appeared in the door way with a silver hatchet in his hands, however when he was asked about why he was holding the hatchet he replied that he was going to work saying that the hatchet was for dropping bodies, he further went on to say that he just came out of jail on a mission to drop bodies. Further that he stated saying “yall trying to kill me in here, if I had buy this gas I would have blown all yall up in this &%&*%^*# house.” She reported feeling very afraid for her life. At about 1:50am on Monday, 13th February, 2017, Officers arrested and cautioned the suspect, an adult male in reference to threats of death. The suspect was later transported to the Governors Harbour Police Station for further inquiries. Investigations are ongoing

Rock Sound Sgt. Office Rock Sound Airport Station Lower Bogue Station (Airport) Harbour Island Station O/C Harbour Island Spanish Wells Station Gregory Town Station Hatchet Bay Station

334-2212 334-2052 335-1208 333-2111 333-2327 333-4030 335-5322 335-0086

Road Accident Report On Saturday, 11th February, 2017, at 3:40pm, an adult male came to the Governor’s Harbour Police Station and reported that sometime around 3:25pm on 11/2/17 while driving his Silver 2001 Honda Toreno Sedan south along Queen’s Highway in the vicinity of the Governor’s Harbour Airport, he attempted to answer his cell phone and ended up colliding into the steel railing along the western side of the road. He stated that as a result his vehicle received extensive front end damages. He suffered minor cuts and bruises as a result, and was given a hospital form and sent to the Levy Medical Centre for treatment. Officers also recorded all relevant measurements and the vehicle was towed. A Notice Of Intended Prosecution (NOIP) form was served on the driver. Investigations are ongoing. Drug Arrest On Thursday, 9th February, 2017, sometime around 8:10pm, Officers came in to the Rock Sound Police Station with two adult male suspects . Both suspects were arrested in reference to possession of Dangerous Drugs. The suspects were arrested at the Ocean Hole Park Rock Sound, Rock Sound sometime around 8:00 pm. Arrest ref. to Immigration Purpose At 12:15pm, on Wednesday, 8th February, 2017, Supt. C. Wright, along with a team of officers came to the Governor’s Harbour Police Station with one adult male Haitian National under arrest reference to Immigration Purpose. Housebreaking Report On 8/2/17, at 6:00pm, an adult female reported to Police that sometime on Monday, 23rd January, 2017, she traveled to Nassau, leaving the neighbor to look after her home. That on 6th February, 2017, she received a call that informed her that her house had been broken into. She returned to Eleuthera on Wednesday, 8th February, 2017, where she made a check of the residence and discovered that some person/s had broke into her home. The culprit searched and stole food items. Police action was requested and investigations are ongoing. House breaking and Stealing Report: On Tuesday, 7th February, 2017, at 8:05am an adult male contacted the G.H.P.S. via telephone and reported that sometime between 8.00.pm on 06/02/17 and 7:00.am on 07/02/17 some person or persons unknown broke and entered his home through a eastern bathroom window and removed $50.00 in cash from a black leather wallet that was on a table of the living room of the house. The culprit also ex-


Crime News

Online at www.EleutheraNews.com ited through a front door of the house. This matter is under active investigation. Burglary Report: On Tuesday, 7th February, 2017, at about 8:30 am, an adult male reported to the Governor’s Harbour Police Station that some unknown person(s) broke and entered his home sometime between 12:00am on 7th February 2017 and 6:30 am the same date. He noticed that his home had been broken into and $45.00 was missing from his black wallet that he rest on a desk in his dining room area. Further that bathroom supplies that were inside his northern bathroom window sill were removed after said persons appeared to have cut the screen to same. A black colored Americano bicycle valued at $250.00 was also stolen. Police Action is being requested. Investigations are ongoing. Possession of Dangerous Drugs: On Tuesday, 7th February, 2017, at about 6:35 p.m. while in the area of Hatchet Bay Dock - during a routine patrol/stop and search, Officers observed two males in the said area acting in a suspicious manner. The male in all black clothing ran from the said area upon seeing the officers. However, the other causation male clad in a blue shirt and a red short pants, was stopped and searched. Two clear plastic wraps with some grassy like substance were discovered in a tan back pack on his back, suspected to be dangerous drugs namely; Marijuana or Indian hemp. Further search revealed a glass, orange and blue smoking pipe was also confiscated. He was subsequently arrested and cautioned reference to same. Suspect Charged At 2:15pm on 8/2/17 Officers while at the G.H.P.S charged the suspect with possession of dangerous drugs contrary to section 29(b) and 29(2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act chapter 228. Trespassing/ House Breaking: On Tuesday, 7th February, 2017, at about 5:10 pm, an adult female reported to the Hatchet Bay Police Station, that a man she knows has frequently been coming on her property uninvited and talking to himself after she told him not too. She made a complaint to his mother on Monday, 6th February, 2017, about his actions; However, at about 12:45pm on Tuesday 7th February, 2017 he came back to her residence and attempted to enter her home by turning the door knob while carrying a stone in his hand putting her in fear of her life. Police action requested Investigations are ongoing. Arrest reference fighting in a public Place. At about 1:50pm on Monday 6th February 2017 Officers came in at G.H.P.S. with an adult male under arrest and reported that he was arrested around 1:15 pm for fighting in a public place. He appeared in good health. Damage/Stealing from a vehicle On Monday, 6th February, 2017, sometime around 4:30pm, an adult male came in at Rock Sound Police Station and reported that sometime around 4:30pm on Saturday, 4th February, 2017, he left a white 2013 Suzuki Carry van the property of Cable Bahamas parked on Queen Highway, Green Castle near the community park site which had broken down. On Monday, 6th February, 2017, sometime around 4:00pm upon making checks of the vehicle to have it removed, he discovered that some unknown person(s) had caused damage to it by smashing the

front right passenger window and stole a radio from out of the dashboard along with the (2) two rear wheel and tires. Value of same unknown at this time. Police action was requested. This matter is under active investigation. Traffic Offence Report Officers reported that sometime at about 3:25pm on Friday 3rd February 2017 while conducting a routine road check on Queens Highway Governors Harbour they reported an adult male for driving a white 1996 Nissan Sunny north along Queens Highway while it was unlicensed, not inspected and uninsured for the current year. The driver was informed of the offences and warned of prosecution. Traffic Offence Report On the 2/2/17 Officers while conducting a Traffic Check reported nine (9) persons for various traffic infractions. They were informed of the offences and warned of prosecution. Housebreaking Report On Wednesday, 1st February, 2017, sometime around 11;55pm, an adult male , came in to the Rock Sound Police Station and reported that sometime around 10:50pm, on that date, while making checks at the “Picket Fence House’ located Cotton Bay along with a security officer he discovered that a male known to him had broken into the residence and was sitting on a bed in one of the bedrooms. Further, upon speaking to the suspect , he opened the door for them and then ran away leaving several items behind. Nothing was reported stolen. Police action was requested. This matter was under active investigation. Suspected Illegal Immigrants being held at Governors Harbour Police Station On Wednesday, 1st February, 2017, at 6:20pm an Immigration Officer came in at the Governors Harbour Police station with two illegal immigrants under arrest in reference to breaching the immigration act. Both were temporarily being held at G.H.P.S. for deportation. Distressed vessel Reported On Wednesday, 1st February, 2017, at 6:20pm an adult male in care of a visiting vessel contacted the Governors Harbour Police Station via telephone and reported that he was currently north of Royal Island off North Eleuthera and received a distressed call on channel 16 from a Haitian vessel that is also north off Royal Island. Assistance is requested. The Royal Bahamas Defense Force was informed Stealing from a vehicle On Tuesday, 31st January, 2017, at 2:00pm, an adult female came into the G.H.P.S. and reported that sometime between 10:00am and 11:00am on the same date, she parked her Ford Station Wagon in front of the Bay Side Food Store and Hardware, when person/s unknown, went inside the vehicle and stole her wallet from out of her bag. The wallet contained her Driver’s License and $30.00 in cash. Police action was requested. Investigations are ongoing. Breach of Curfew/Ankle Monitoring Device On Wednesday, 1st February, 2017, at 12:00am, Security Operator c/o Migrafill Security; contacted the G.H.P.S. via phone

The Eleutheran | Feb/Mar 2017

and reported that an adult male , who is fitted with an ankle monitoring device, had broken his 9:00pm curfew. She then stated that he was being tracked by a local night club . Police assistance was requested. Officers visited the area and made a check of the mentioned establishment and the surrounding area for the suspect with Negative results in locating him. Enquiries continuing. Stolen Property Recovered: On Friday, 27th January, 2017, at 2:30pm, Officers came in at the Governors Harbour Police Station and reported that they about 12:15pm, on that date, they received information from an adult male suspect as a result they went to his residence, where he handed over (1) wooden box containing two black “Hitonics” 12 inch speakers and reported that he had received same from another male , the same was reported Stolen. Investigations are ongoing. Arrest Reference To Possession Of Dangerous Drugs: On Friday, 27th January, 2017, at 11:55pm, Officers came in at the Governor’s Harbour Police Station with an adult male under arrest. He was arrested and cautioned at 10:25pm while at a Bar located in Gregory Town in to reference to Possession of Dangerous Drugs. Arrest ref. to Causing Harm At 12:30pm on Thursday, 26th January, 2017, a juvenile male came to the Governor’s Harbour Police Station accompanied and was arrested and cautioned in reference to Causing Harm. A complaint made on 23/1/2017. At 1:15pm on 26/1/2017 Officers while at the G.H.P.S charged and cautioned the suspect with Causing Harm contrary to section 135(1) of the penal code chapter 84. He was later released on bail in the amount of $1,000.00 to appear before court at 9:30am on 30/1/2017. Threats Of Death On Thursday, 26th January, 2017, sometime around 8:20am, an adult male reported that in September 2016 while at his girlfriend’s restaurant, a male known to him came there and started taking photos of the area. Upon asking him what was the problem, the male told him that he does not like Rock Sound niggas and that he would kill him putting him in fear for his life. Police action was requested. This matter is under active investigation. Arrest Report: On 25/1/17 at 7:20am Officers came at Rock Sound Station with two Haitian Nationals under arrest, and reported that they were arrested and cautioned while in the area of the Rock sound homecoming site. The Department of Immigration was informed. Traffic offences Reported On 24/01/17 Officers reported the offender three (3) Driveres for various traffic offences . They were informed of the offences and warned of prosecutions. Damage Report: At 7:10pm, on Wednesday, 25th January, 2017,an adult female, contacted the Governors Harbour Police Station and reported that sometime around 5:30pm she discovered that some unknown person/s had caused damaged to the front door of her home by throwing an object thought the doors glass, however no entry was made Police assistance requested. Officers responded to the scene. Investigations

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are ongoing. Suspect Charged: On 24/1/17, at 9:46am, Officers charged an adult male Haitian national after he admitted to the offence of illegal Landing, He was further cautioned and Charged with Illegal Landing Contary to Section 47 A and B of the Immigration act chapter 191 of the Revised Version. He said nothing to the charges. Suspect Charged: On 24/1/17, at 10:30am, Officers charged an adult male Haitian National after he admitted to the offence of illegal Landing, He was further cautioned and Charged with Illegal Landing Contrary to Section 47 A and B of the Immigration act chapter 191 of the Revised Version. He said nothing to the charges. Arrest ref. to Disorderly Behavior, obscene Language & Unlawfully carrying arms - On Tuesday, 24th January, 2017, an adult male came into the Governor’s Harbour Police Station and was arrested and cautioned in reference to unlawfully carrying arms, resisting arrest, disorderly behavior in a public place and assaulting a Police Officer. The suspect was processed and charged with unlawfully carrying arms contrary to section 202(1), resisting arrest contrary to section 247, disorderly behavior in a public place contrary to section 206(1) and assaulting a Police Officer contrary to section 247, all of the Penal Code chapter 84. He said nothing in reply to the charge. Arrest Reference to Causing Harm/ Assault - A juvenile male came in at the Governors Harbour Police Station at about 7:35pm on the 24.1.17 along with his mother and was placed under arrest in reference to a complaint of Causing Harm and Assault made. He was informed of the complaint in her presence and cautioned. He was processed and subsequently charged with that offence. Suspect Searched/Traffic Offence Report - Officers sometime around 6:30pm on the 24.1.17 while on mobile patrol in Palmetto Point at the intersection of an unnamed road & North Shore Road, observed a white ford truck - New Providence registration, travelling in a westerly direction with a lone male driver with one head lamp burning, the driver looked in the direction of the officers and began to act in a suspicious manner suddenly increasing his speed through a narrow blind hill near to the Coffee Hill Heritage festival site forcing two vehicles off the road, the said vehicle was followed to the parking lot of the “Tippys Restaurant” the mentioned officers approached the vehicle and informed the driver that he was suspected of being in possession of Dangerous drugs and Fire arms. The Vehicle along with the driver was searched nothing illegal was found. The driver was reported for the offence of driving a motor vehicle with one head lamp burning, he was instructed to produce his driver’s license and insurance to the Governors Harbour police station in 48hrs and warned of prosecution.


34

Local

www. EleutheraNews . com

Feb/Mar 2017

Letter Continued from pg. 31 Health Code requires them to have access to public water, yet the same government has not made such provisions. Garbage Dump Site! This has been a sore spot for as long as I can remember. Like most, all the out Islands we push and burn the waste; food, plastics, electronics, household garbage, oil, tires, batteries, construction waste and just about anything you can think of. This is a concern and directly relates to the health of our community. I’m sure you have heard of “Environmental Levy Fees” charged at the border by Customs; what are these fees being used for? We need a proper recycling programme! The council has asked DEHS to send a team to assist with a better management plan. We have yet to receive a reply. Fishing! For years the fishermen of The Bahamas, particularly Spanish Wells, have been crying out to the government to protect the banks from illegal poachers. The response from successive governments has been like a slap in the face; from being told that fishermen were reporting “ghost ships” to sending Defence Force personnel in days after reports of poachers were made. Thankfully this last Crawfish Season saw better response from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, but one must ask, is this only because election is on the horizon? It is sad that the government only appears to be partial-

ly proactive close to election time. We have faith in Commodore Tellis Bethel and pray the government continues to allow him to do his job, whether it be an election or not. School! The school is on a constant money binge. They are raising money for everything you can think of, even toilet paper. The District Council entertains requests for funds several times a year despite an already exhausted budget. The school is always short on teachers especially at the onset of a new academic year. We are very thankful for and appreciate the new school classroom block that was completed prior to the 2012 General Election. The education of our children is a priority, but teachers need to be given the tools they need and students should not lack the materials or facilities required. Why is it that in 2017, our Public Schools do not have individualized budgets? Every institution should have a budget whose expenditure is ultimately executed by the District Superintendent, not one huge budget for a cluster of schools; that results in financial chaos and neglect of facilities. Finally, The District of Spanish Wells had a Crest designed 9 years ago. To date we have still not been able to get it Gazetted. The last correspondence with the Dept. of Local Government about the same was April of 2016. Once again, we requested that it be sent to the relevant government agencies

so that it can be Gazetted and officially recognized. What is being done with the 8-10 million tax payer dollars that the community of Spanish Wells pays to the Public Treasury annually? We receive a little more than 4% in the form of the District Council budget which in part is used to help maintain our community’s infrastructure. There are 1,600 residents and 600 homes. The Administrator’s Office which has the burden of collecting these taxes recently went for weeks on end without the ability to photocopy, print or register voters because of lack of office supplies. The Administrator’s Office has a balcony above the entrance way that is ready to collapse. Water comes through the concrete when it rains and the office stinks because of mildew and the damp carpet. It is not healthy for staff or customers. Spanish Wells has a history and reputation of paying its taxes on time and conforming to government regulations. If you want to get paid for a government job these days you must apply for a tax compliance certificate, yet government can go without paying its bills to the very people supporting them financially. Just recently a social media post on Facebook raised the issues of our roads and clinic. One of the comments implied that if residents expected the government to fix the issues, they should have voted for their candidate in the last election. This is the same mentality that has stunted growth in various

communities nationwide. I would say, our collective response to that is- if governments are going to take that approach, stop taxing constituencies that do not have Members of Parliament on the governing side. Let us retain and manage our own taxes locally; we’d be better off. If you’re going to make us pay, give us value for money! And should I mention, this same government’s candidate from the 2012 election is a resident of Spanish Wells and has again been ratified for the 2017 general election, yet conditions continue to worsen. Has he not had the ear of the Prime Minister or Cabinet Ministers for the last 5 plus years? Central Government is becoming more centralized; Local Government is hardly functioning because of the chokehold. All the while the Family Islands are being neglected and everything is Nassau centric. We supposedly celebrated 20 years of Local Government in 2016 but have less to celebrate now than ever before! I look forward to reading the responses from other Local Government Practitioners on the “State of ‘Our’ Union”. If only it was better. Sincerely, Robert Roberts Chief Councilor

Eleuthera Junior Junkanoo Parade 2017 Primary Schools Overall Results: A - Division (50 Students or more) 1st Place - North Eleuthera Primary - 1,165 points 2nd Place - Wemyss Bight Primary - 1,124 points 3rd Place - Emma Cooper Primary - 882 points 4th Place - P.A. Gibson Primary - 524 points B - Division (Less than 50 students) 1st Place - Green Castle Primary - 1,174 points Primary Schools Category Results: • • • • • • • •

Best Banner Winner - Wemyss Bight Primary Best Originality Winner - Green Castle Primary Best Music Winner - North Eleuthera Primary Best Costume Winner - Green Castle Primary Best Dance Winner - Wemyss Bight Primary Best Theme Execution Winner - Green Castle Primary Best Performance Winner - Wemyss Bight Primary Best General Impression Winner - Green Castle Primary

The competition was held in Tarpum Bay on Saturday, February 4th, in front of a good line of onlookers and without the participation of either Preston H. Albury or Tarpum Bay Primary, the two schools that in December traveled to New Providence to put on stellar performances. The Exceptional Learners were also a part of the event.

See photos on pages - 36-39 And online at www.eleutheranews.com


Education Beat

Online at www.EleutheraNews.com

| Feb/Mar 2017 35

More... High School Track & Field Championships

Students, with their school emblems on display, used the available spaces to battle each other for bragging rights. Teachers were on hand to encourage and support as seen here with the Central Eleuthera student, at the end of her race being physically assisted by one of her teachers. When not running, the onlookers lent their full verbal support especially in the relays which typically generate the most excitement. Johnny Butler, Director of the meet, commented that a majority of athletes taking part were not in condition, having done none or minimal sustained physical training to compete, but that those with natural ability were doing well. “The coaches have a lot of work to do to prepare the students for the National High School Track & Field Championships in mid-March,� he noted.


36

Island “Buzz”

Feb/Mar 2017

www. EleutheraNews . com

WEMYSS BIGHT PRIMARY @ Eleuthera JR JUNKANOO 2017

NORTH ELEUTHERA PRIMARY @ Eleuthera JR JUNKANOO 2017 - Best viewed with good internet speeds.

www.eleutheranews.com

Jr. Jun -


Island “Buzz”

Online at www.EleutheraNews.com

Scenes from High School Track & Field 2017

Kanoo 2017

These photos are online www.eleutheranews.com

| Feb/Mar 2017 37


38

Island “Buzz”

Feb/Mar 2017

NORTH ELEUTHERA HIGH @ Eleuthera JR JUNKANOO’ 2017

www. EleutheraNews . com


Island “Buzz”

Online at www.EleutheraNews.com

| Feb/Mar 2017 39

A Glimpse of the mix @ Eleuthera JR JUNKANOO’ 2017

More photos are online www.eleutheranews.com

PHotos by The Eleutheran

Elite Customs Brokers We offer: *Brokerage Services *Trucking *DHL Courier

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The Eleutheran Newspaper Vol 10 Issue 2 March 2017 - News, Information, Real Estate, Offers, Opinions, Events, Reports and more from Eleuth...

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