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Serious crime down by 26% Greenslade: Drop in murders, rapes and armed robbery in 2016 By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net

SERIOUS crimes in The Bahamas declined by 26 per cent in 2016, the most significant year-to-year drop since 2004, Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade revealed yesterday. Describing 2016 as “extremely productive” for police, Commissioner Greenslade, addressing his annual meeting with the press, said: “We aligned ourselves with all of those action points in the policing plan that we put to you in 2016 and those actions that we took in a collaborative fashion produced extremely good dividends.” He added: “Are we really satisfied that we are where we should be? Absolutely

not. We still have far too many of our young sons and our relatively young daughters who are not behaving in a manner which brings any pride to us as a country or to us as family members.” According to police, the overall decrease in serious crimes was influenced by double digit decreases in almost every category of crime, he said. This included a 24 per cent drop in murders, falling from a record 146 in 2015 to 111 in 2016, according to police statistics. The murder total last year was the lowest since 2012, though it continued to conform with the concerning high murder rate trend that began within the last decade.

THE Royal Bahamas Police Force’s investigation into allegations that Lyford Cay resident Peter Nygard orchestrated a murderous plot against his billionaire neighbour Louis Bacon and lawyer Fred Smith, QC, “is not going anywhere,” Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade said yesterday. Although the allegations were contained in the hundreds of pages of affidavits

By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net THE country recorded another homicide last night - the sixth of the new year according to The Tribune’s records - after the lifeless body of a man was discovered near the intersection of Kingston and Denver streets, off Kemp Road, with multiple gunshot wounds. According to Chief Superintendent Kendal Strachan, officers responded to calls of gunfire in the area around 6.40pm and once on the scene discovered the lifeless body of an adult male, near the side of the street. CS Strachan said responding officers summoned EMS personnel who, on arrival, declared the man dead.

LOOMING IS ILLEGAL, SAYS COMMISSIONER By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net

SEE PAGE EIGHT

filed by directors of Save the Bays last March, those making the claims never made an official complaint with the RBPF, the police chief said. “No one has given us a complaint against those two men on record,” Commissioner Greenslade said, referring to Wisler “Bobo” Davilma and Livingston “Toggie” Bullard, the two men who were allegedly hired by Mr Nygard to engage in criminal activities. SEE PAGE EIGHT

BODY RIDDLED WITH BULLETS FOUND AT ROAD JUNCTION

SEE PAGE NINE

NO PROGRESS IN INVESTIGATION OF TOGGIE AND BOBO CLAIMS By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net

CE

JANUARY 12, 2017

Biggest And Best!

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Volume: 113 No.35

The Tribune The Established 1903

COMISSIONER Ellison Greenslade held a press conference with the media to give the annual crime report. The comissioner said that “We have turned our faces from the face of God”. Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff

LOOMING, a popular activity likened to a Ponzi scheme, is illegal, Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade said yesterday, warning that those who participate in the scheme could find difficulty receiving remedies through the justice system when problems arise. Looming has become a cultural phenomenon with many Bahamians joining such a scheme under the promise of being able to receive more money than one contributes. “Turn $100 into $800” posts have become commonplace on social media recently, as the phenomenon made its way into the country from the United States. SEE PAGE NINE

LINCOLN BAIN RUNS FOR DNA AS AG INSTRUCTED TO SEEK TO LIFT FNM UNVEILS LATEST CANDIDATES SEAL ON BAHA MAR DOCUMENTS DOUBLE THE BACON DOUBLE THE CHEESE

By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE Free National Movement ratified two candidates in Family Island constituencies for the next general election last night, as the party faced more internal turmoil with the resignation of officers from its Pinewood Association. The resignations came shortly before controversial talk show host Lin-

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coln Bain, who had unsuccessfully fought for a nomination from the FNM for that constituency, was announced as the Democratic National Alliance’s (DNA) candidate for Pinewood. Last November, the FNM’s Pinewood Constituency Association branded the party “deceitful” and “disrespectful” amid accusations that FNM Leader SEE PAGE SIX

By KHRISNA VIRGIL Deputy Chief Reporter kvirgil@tribunemedia.net   AFTER months of fierce scrutiny levelled at the government over the sealing of documents related to the new deal to open Baha Mar, Prime Minister Perry Christie told reporters yesterday that Attorney General Allyson MaynardGibson has been directed to have the records made public at the “earliest op-

portunity”. The prime minister added that his administration has no difficulty in accounting for what it negotiated to facilitate the opening of the shuttered $3.5bn West Bay Street mega resort. Once the documents are placed in the public domain, Mr Christie said Bahamians will see that what is contained in them will reveal the “most brilliant” SEE PAGE NINE


PAGE 2, Thursday, January 12, 2017

THE TRIBUNE

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TIFFANY Dennison (right) and friends at the John Legend Live concert at Atlantis on December 30.


THE TRIBUNE

Thursday, January 12, 2017, PAGE 3

Conviction rates rise by 4%, says Attorney General By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter ljohnson@tribunemedia.net ATTORNEY General Allyson Maynard-Gibson yesterday boasted of the success of the reimplementation of Swift Justice, claiming a four per cent increase in conviction rates for 2016 compared to the previous year. Mrs Maynard-Gibson, QC, in addressing Chief Justice Sir Hartman Longley and legal officials gathered at a ceremony to celebrate the new legal year, said the Office of the Attorney General had a 67 per cent conviction rate in 2016. She said this “has more than doubled from 2012 when it was 31 per cent.” She added that last year, the conviction rate for murder trials was 75 per cent. Last year, at the 2016 legal year opening Mrs Maynard-Gibson said that the conviction rate for 2015 was 63 per cent, compared to 31 per cent in 2012. “The administration of justice in our country has

seen a major transformation over the past four years as a direct result of Swift Justice,” Mrs MaynardGibson said. “The new process for the review of files before persons are charged has resulted in a 67 per cent conviction rate – which has more than doubled from 2012 when it was 31 per cent,” she said. “We think that persons should be charged with offences only if the prosecution believes that, based upon the evidence at the time of charge, a reasonable jury will convict. With the leadership of the director of public prosecutions, collaboration with the Royal Bahamas Police Force and other justice system stakeholders, this new approach and these dramatic results will make our streets and homes and communities safer. Over the last year, in 2016, the conviction rate for murder trials was 75 per cent. “In the past, witnesses to crimes and the families of victims were victimised again, forced on an

emotional roller coaster, because of successive adjournments of hearings, including trials,” she added. “That has changed, in a big way: the time to present a voluntary bill of indictment (VBI) has decreased to 67 days in 2016 - down from 344 days in 2012. In pursuit of justice, the team of prosecutors in the Office of the Attorney General has been working diligently to move cases forward swiftly.” Mrs Maynard-Gibson added that the new criminal courts and new systems of preparing cases for trial “are ensuring that closure comes more quickly for the victims of crime and their families” and that “trials that occur six to 10 years after charge have become a thing of the past.” “I am proud to say that new systems and having ten criminal courts sitting concurrently resulted in 110 more cases being heard in 2015 than 2012. And that in 2015, 40 matters were heard in the same year as charge (2015).” She said that there is rea-

son for optimism if the disposal of matters is the yardstick by which the efficiency of the administration of justice is measured. “Aside from last year during which there were setbacks like Hurricane Matthew, the number of cases disposed of has increased year-by-year since 2012. In fact, 2015 was a landmark year, as the Supreme Court disposed of 232 matters.” “My Lord, I respectfully suggest that 200 should be set as the minimum number of matters annually to be disposed of by the Supreme Court. This is a reasonable expectation. Anticipating 40 working weeks per year, with the cooperation and collaboration of all stakeholders, the court can achieve it by efficiently managing its time and resources, and accepting that properly case managed trials should not take longer than two weeks.” “In fact, given what was achieved in 2015, surely 200 cases disposed of is a conservative target,” the attorney general said.

ATTORNEY General Allyson Maynard Gibson QC. Photos: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff

CHIEF JUSTICE SLAMS PARLIAMENTARY RESPONSE TO JUDGE’S PRIVILEGE RULING By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

CHIEF Justice Sir Hartman Longley yesterday denounced an attempt by Parliament to determine whether a Supreme Court judge should be held in contempt of the House of Assembly for her landmark ruling on the limits of parliamentary privilege. Last August, Justice Indra Charles ruled that Marathon MP Jerome Fitzgerald infringed on constitutional rights when he tabled the private emails of Save The Bays in Parliament, and therefore could not be protected by parliamentary privilege. Justice Charles ordered Mr Fitzgerald to pay $150,000 in damages for the breach, and granted a permanent injunction barring parliamentarians from accessing or making public the personal information of the non-profit organisation. In Parliament last year, Mr Fitzgerald moved a resolution for the House Committee on Privilege to determine whether Justice Charles, STB Director Fred Smith, QC, and lawyer Ferron Bethell should be held in contempt of the House of Assembly. Mr Fitzgerald also subsequently filed an appeal to have Justice Charles’ ruling overturned which raised speculation of whether there would be a conflict given that the matter was now under judicial consideration. On November 30, 2016, however, Parliament’s Chief Clerk Maurice Tynes confirmed to The Tribune that the Committee on Privilege had decided to postpone its probe into this matter until the Court of Appeal makes a ruling on Mr Fitzgerald’s appeal. Addressing scores of legal officials at the 2017 Legal Year opening ceremony held in the Supreme Court yesterday, Sir Hartman addressed the controversial issue. “It is my hope that all and sundry will come to accept, in a real way, the principle of the independence of the judiciary, not just by paying lip service,” Sir Hartman said. “I sat in my office the other day and watched in dismay (as) the judgment of Justice Indra Charles was assailed publicly. Matters sub judice are not generally made the subject of comment in Parliament or elsewhere. That is a rule of long standing that is observed

CHIEF Justice Hartmen Longley inspecting officers at the start of the Legal Year yesterday. See page 15 for more photographs.  Photos: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff In her landmark ruling on tial correspondence, prethroughout the Commonwealth and in most civilised August 2, Justice Charles cious to his heart, should said it was unquestionable not be the subject of pubcountries. “I have said repeatedly that a resident’s private cor- lic discussion and scrutiny. the courts exist to address respondence should not be The second respondent grievances and disputes. the subject of public discus- (Fitzgerald) made unsubAnd since we deal with a sion and scrutiny, let alone stantiated allegations about multi-tiered system, when in the House of Assembly. the first Applicant (STB) “The courts are given which he portrayed as a one is aggrieved by a decision at one level may pursue an exclusive jurisdiction to money-laundering organijustice at another level of adjudicate in and to super- sation. the system. We should not vise breaches of the Con“These statements are reberate and try to demonise stitution by the executive grettable since it had nothand threaten, with impris- and the legislature,” Justice ing to do with the mid-term onment, judges who are do- Charles said. budget debates which were “Parliament cannot ongoing at the time,” the ing their best,” he added. Sir Hartman’s view ech- change the scope or divest judge stressed. oed that of former Chief the court of its ‘original ju“In the Bahamas, the Justice Sir Michael Barnett, risdiction’ by legislation. In Constitution is the supreme who in September, called addition, it is for the court law of the land and the the defiant response of Mr and not Parliament to de- Court is the guardian of the Fitzgerald to the landmark cide on the scope and ap- Constitution. ruling alarming and regret- plication of parliamentary “Parliamentary privilege table. He called the sugges- privilege,” she added. is trumped by breaches of “As a general rule, the the Constitution and altion that Justice Charles could be summoned to court should not med- though Parliament is suParliament to defend her dle in the internal affairs preme, it is not as supreme judgment an “affront to the of Parliament and should as the Constitution. Thereseparation of powers and leave it to regulate its own fore, Parliament cannot the independence of the ju- internal affairs. The court use its privileges to trample also recognises that the au- on the constitutional rights diciary.” In March 2016, Mr thority and dignity of Par- of an individual. In conFitzgerald, the minister of liament would be seriously struing constitutional proeducation, accused STB of compromised if it were to visions, a broad and generbeing a political organisa- interfere arbitrarily in the ous approach is required tion seeking to “overthrow” internal procedures of Par- to give individuals the full the Progressive Liberal liament. measure of the rights and “But if a person alleges freedoms referred to in Party government under the guise of an environmen- that his/her constitutional the Constitution,” Justice tal group. In the House of rights have been or are be- Charles ruled. Assembly, Mr Fitzgerald ing infringed in order to Justice Charles ruled read private emails from establish that infringement, against Save The Bays in STB members and others, the court would be entitled its case against Mr Mitchwhich he said bolstered his to carry out an inquiry to ell concerning breach of determine whether there the group’s constitutional claims. Additionally, Fox Hill was indeed a breach.” rights, ruling that it had not “It is axiomatic that, a made out a case in this reMP Fred Mitchell claimed Thursday, 12th January confidenin Parliament in March man’s private and gard. 2017 2016 that some $8.25m has been filtered through various organisations connect"Head on in to Bay ed with STB – locally and Street Garage internationally - from 2013 to 2015. whether its for Those details were highservicing, parts, lighted in an affidavit filed accessories or by STB’s Communications Director Paco Nunez, on 'Castrol' lubricants... which the applicants had extend the life of your relied to prove that the reDowdeswell Street spondents were, in fact, vehicle's engine!" in possession of private emails.

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PAGE 4, Thursday, January 12, 2017

THE TRIBUNE

The Tribune Limited NULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI “Being Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master”

LEON E. H. DUPUCH,

Publisher/Editor 1903-1914

SIR ETIENNE DUPUCH,

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A young man of principle leads a movement IT WAS refreshing to hear a young Bahamian tell his followers that they could not expect “an administration to be accountable and follow the law, if we ourselves are not going to follow the law.” Bahamians, fed up with the injustices they have had to endure for too many years, were participating on Tuesday in the second “WeMarch Bahamas” demonstration under the leadership of lawyer Ranard Henfield. The first “Black Friday” march – organised in November to show government that Bahamians had had enough of being kept in the dark about the affairs of their country – was such a resounding success that the organisers were encouraged to plan a second march for Tuesday – Independence Day. The marchers, embracing every segment of Bahamian society, are no longer prepared to accept the word of politicians, blindly following them without knowing the direction in which they are being led. As one enthusiastic Eastern Road housewife commented yesterday after the march: “The camaraderie was tremendous, the speakers were terrific, especially Dame Joan Sawyer a (former Chief Justice).” And others would add that so was the music and the presence of calypsonian Ronnie Butler. “WeMarch Bahamas is a movement inspired by the shared desire of a people to be free of petty politics, political mischief and bad governance amongst other things,” said Mr Henfield in describing the purpose of his movement. The tremendous success of the first march demonstrated the power of a people who had at last found their voices, and had suddenly discovered that their voices had more power than those of the politicians. “Over the month of December the planning efforts for the WeMarch January 2017 demonstration have been subject to much redirection, frustration and general political hocus pocus,” said Mr Henfield. “These petty attempts to subvert the democratic expression of the people have bordered on desperation; from announcing a competing ‘political march’ to rival the people’s march, to arbitrarily switching a holiday observance date from January 9th to January 10th, to now denying the people’s four week old request to assemble in Rawson and Parliament Squares. “Despite these distractions,” he said. “WeMarch Bahamas will not be de-

terred. Our right to peacefully assemble is a sacred one that has been guaranteed by our constitution and we will not allow any government to refuse to hear the Bahamian people’s voice or to take our rights away.” The plan was that the marchers, dressed in black, were to peacefully proceed to Rawson Square on Independence Day where the people’s “demands for progress were to be enunciated.” Mr Henfield had earlier forecast that the march would signal “the inevitable tsunami of change that is coming to sweep over this Bahamaland.” However, the group was denied a permit to march to Rawson Square. Instead they were given permission to occupy Pompey Square — an area too small for the followers attracted to the march. However, Pompey Square, named after the slave who, in 1830, had led a revolt in Exuma, had more historical significance. Seeing that the area was too small, a segment of the marchers insisted on continuing on to Rawson Square without police permission. Pastor CB Moss insisted that although the permit was for Pompey Square, the size of which was inadequate, and Rawson Square was “free and available”, the marchers should proceed to Rawson Square. FNM leader Dr Hubert Minnis was also among those who headed for Rawson Square. “They march for a future, and they want to be heard,” he reasoned. It was at that moment that lawyer Ranard Henfield stood out from the crowd. “When we arrived at Pompey Square, someone suggested that we continue on to Rawson,” Mr Henfield explained. “I said no we have to do things in decency and order, so I went to the (police) inspector and I said we have permission to come to Pompey Square could we walk down to Rawson and make the block and come back, but he said no we can’t. “So I told them no we can’t,” Mr Henfield said, “we can’t expect an administration to be accountable, to follow the law, if we are not going to follow the law. John (Bostwick II) and I agreed, we can’t be breaking the law, you can’t be asking for the government to be law-abiding and accountable, just because the crowd is angry.” With such solid principles — which we have not heard enunciated in a long time — Ranard Henfield is indeed a leader to watch as his united movement points to the future.

Knighthoods and independence EDITOR, The Tribune. IS it ironic how the majority of those who correctly led the social and political movement for correct political reform in The Bahamas accepted awards of the Colonial masters except for probably Hon Arthur D Hanna and Hon Hubert Ingraham? Look at the knighthoods - still awarded and even with the new National Awards can still be awarded to the Governor General – the Chief Justice to me after 43 years of Independence and still holding onto the vestiges where our Head of State re-

mains as pre-Independence the Sovereign Monarch of the United Kingdom. Those who led the march to where the first political party in The Bahamas, the PLP, all were granted knighthoods - Pindling, Milo Butler, Wallace-Whitfield-lsaacs (to an extent)Foulkes - Dame Doris I have to smile as did these leaders really deceive the people as to the cause of that time? They seem to approve of the British titles. 43-year later The Bahamas through my eyes is Independent, but not sovereign and I have to ask why and why we,

Stop messing around EDITOR, The Tribune.

READING a recent edition of the Spectator magazine I came across an article about Pakistan entitled “How to beat Terrorism”. I know we do not have terrorism in The Bahamas but we have what can be described as local terrorism by way of murders. Anyway in 2013 there were 2789 murders in Karachi and 51 bomb blasts. In September 2013 the then Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif,  called a cabinet meeting and said “Enough is enough, this has to stop” and formed a special task force to eradi-

cate crime - the Rangers. For the year to  November 2016, the number of murders in Karachi was down to 592 and the bomb blasts two - the daily murder rate is down from up to 100 a day to two. The Rangers under a very able General were given carte balance to remedy the situation and did. Mr Christie - how about a cabinet meeting and saying “Enough is enough, 100+ murders a year is unacceptable.” PATRICK H THOMSON Nassau January 5, 2017.

official Bahamas, still bow and scrape to the trappings of the Colonial era? Listen to when the current Prime Minister is introduced anywhere - you don’t even hear that title being used in England. It always amuses me at official functions when the first speaker goes through a litany of so-called Officials we are supposed to show respect - to me laughable and not used anywhere else but here this old tie to colonial rule lives and lives strongly concluding with that crazy phrase ..... Protocol having been established! We will not be a true sovereign people till when we have an appointed President and we are a Democratic Republic. It is now the PLP desperately wish to retain these colonial trappings which I find so amusing and hypocritical to say the least. 50 years on after the PLP party won the election have we really in the most serious area of our governance moved one inch forward as we seem to embrace, love the Colonial trappings we so earnestly wished to cast off? History certainly is ironic and hypocritical. L BAKER Nassau, January 9, 2017.

Jamaal Rolle is on holiday

Paediatric care in The Bahamas EDITOR, The Tribune. I READ with interest the editorial written by Ms. Eileen Dupuch Carron, “Foundation started for paediatric health care”, on Monday January 9th, 2017. I would like to state emphatically that my heartfelt sympathies go out to the Carron family during this time of family illness; and I hope that Aidan will quickly recover and have a normal and healthy life. I have also had near death experiences with a family member and truly empathise with the Carron family. I would also like to say that I admire and respect Mrs Carron for her firm stance on all things ethical and the adherence of The Tribune to similar standards. There are many issues with the article and hopefully medical consultation was sought prior to Mrs Carron writing the editorial. First, the epidemiology of Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH): 1) A review of the medical literature would show that HLH was described as early as 1939 (77 years ago) in J Blood Med. 2014; 5: 69–86. Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis: review of etiologies and management Melissa R George). 2) The incidence of HLH is really unknown and underdiagnosed in all corners of the globe. The incidence of HLH has been estimated to range from 1 in 50,0000 births to 1.2 per million persons worldwide. 3) Please note that the above article also states that the long-term survival rate for HLH is less than 4 per cent. 4) The incidence of HLH seems to be higher in Asians. A literature review of one study of over 2000 HLH patients revealed that over 50 per cent were Asian 5) Most diagnoses are made at less than three months of age. 6) Due to the rarity of the disease it is under-diagnosed worldwide. In her editorial, Mrs Carron stated that due to our nation’s small size, “…many of our doctors do not have the luxury of going off on refresher courses to keep them up to date or to learn what mysteries foreign doctors are uncovering…”. Mrs Carron should note that it is a requirement for medical licensure in the Bahamas to have an annual minimum of twenty Continuing Medical Education units (CME’s). This requirement is far and above many Western Industrialised Nations. In addition, most consultant physicians trained in the last twenty years have to study and take written tests to maintain their memberships in professional organizations such as The American College of Surgeons and The American Society of Anesthesiologists, to name a few. In addition, many of our consultant physicians (admittedly not all) do CME training far and above the minimal requirement to remain on the cutting-edge of medicine: training in ultrasound diagnostics, for example, that will enable faster, more definitive diagnoses to be made at the point of care. Despite our efforts as a profession to maintain the highest standards of training and education, Bahamian doctors must continually fight against the layperson’s assumption that Florida healthcare systems are some sort of panacea. Just because Florida institutions are abroad does not equate with them being better. Not every Florida institution equates to the quality of topnotch institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic (which by the way has trained more than a few of our physicians.) We appreciate Mrs Carron’s efforts to emphasise that “At no time [has The Tribune] inferred that our

LETTERS letters@tribunemedia.net Bahamian doctors are unqualified.” Unfortunately, however, that is not the message that comes across. To insinuate that Bahamian consultant physicians may not be up to scratch is truly insulting. In addition, for a physician in Florida to second-guess a physician in Nassau is truly unethical. Barring gross malfeasance, such judgments are difficult and dangerous to make. Making comments such as “Aidan should have been admitted to hospital on the day his mother was agitating…”, “the evidence all pointed to an overload of vaccines..”, etc. in hindsight is something that a physician should never do. If that/those physicians had made similar comments about a U.S. based physician(s) they would have immediately been either taken to court for libel, had their privileges suspended or worse. Perhaps they feel safer making such statements about foreign physicians – but that doesn’t make it okay. We have had many Bahamians go to Florida Hospitals for treatment. More than a few have returned home to receive the proper medical care needed. Others have returned home “in a box”. To make a point with regards to training and qualifications, even a small sample of our consultant level physicians (including paediatricians) indicate training received at some of the most prestigious medical institutions in the United States, including: the University of Miami, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Johns Hopkins University, Temple University, and New York University, to name a few. In emergency situations, treatment often appears frankly horrifying to the layperson, especially when distraught at the condition of a loved one. Referring to the tech assigned to pull a blood sample, the article stated that “Obviously, with no vein available, she dug down too far in search of a vein, leaving a large blood filled haematoma that took up most of the baby’s forearm”. With regards to the attempt to take a blood sample, this event would not be uncommon given the situation at any hospital – anywhere in the world. In fact, readers need to understand that there are many places in the world where the outcome of that incident would have been much worse. Despite what was admittedly a highly charged, emotional situation, let us take a step back and examine the criteria with which the Bahamian doctors were faced: 1) The child was most likely dehydrated after having a fever and vomiting. 2) The child was most likely not of Asian descent. 3) The parents were obviously distraught, as well they should have been. 4) The child has a condition that is under-diagnosed worldwide and is still not fully understood. 5) The incidence of the disease has been estimated to be anywhere between 1 in 50,000 to 1.2 in a million. 6) The child was seven months old and the diagnosis of HLH is usually made in infants less than three months old. By Mrs Carron’s own admission, the doctors at Miami Children’s Hospital were puzzled by Aidan’s condition. It was not until the next day that they felt able to diagnose his condition – and still required the results of tests, sent from Cincinnati weeks later, for confirmation. Has anyone watched the film “Sully”, the movie documenting arguably the great-

est landing in commercial aircraft history? The group making decisions in hindsight was terribly wrong and almost sullied (no pun intended) Captain Sullivan’s pristine career. A similar situation seems to be happening here where family members and foreign physicians who had the benefit of excellent communication from top notch Bahamian physicians, proper laboratory studies and most of all – the luxury of TIME - are now passing judgment in hindsight. Mrs Carron states in the final paragraph of the article that “we decided that the only way to make certain that it never happens again to another child is to set up a foundation that will open the doors for our practitioners to benefit from a wider vista in medicine”. Again, I applaud this effort and wish the Foundation every success in attaining their goal. However, what Mrs Carron is doing is looking at healthcare in a vacuum. I don’t know if Mrs Carron realises it but the primary reason that the outcome was successful was due to the family’s financial resources plus the expertise and vigilance of our Bahamian physicians. Had Aidan been without the family’s financial and other resources the outcome might have been very different. This now begs the question “How do we ensure exceptional healthcare for all of our Bahamian citizens and residents and not just children?” Our public health system is truly in a state of disarray and as with any solution there must be a short, medium and long-term plan. The discussion of National Health Insurance (NHI) has taken front stage recently and the question of how to fund it and have it remain sustainable and successful is an even bigger question. Bluntly speaking, NHI is a form of socialised medicine, which globally has not had a long-term history of success. In the short term, I believe an NHI scheme is a stopgap measure that can be successful if funded without putting the nation further in debt. However in the medium and long terms, the problems of proper governance, crime, education, diversification of the economy, excessive taxation, reduction of government interference, etc. all have implications for the delivery of health care, and must be addressed. Healthcare does not exist in a vacuum. The only way to achieve Universal Healthcare is to have Universal Employment consisting of meaningful, proper paying jobs, good governance and the rule of law. The Tribune’s continued participation in the dialogue surrounding health care and NHI is important and valued, as all stakeholders strive to raise public awareness and invite discussion. I urge Mrs Carron and members of the media to visit the upcoming Medical Association of the Bahamas’ Annual Conference, where we will feature the Bahamian Diaspora of medical professionals. In addition, I would like to invite the recently formed Foundation to sponsor a speaker to discuss Paediatric Autoimmune Diseases at the upcoming and/or future Medical Association of the Bahamas Conferences. Again, I extend heartfelt regards to the Carron Family and truly wish Aidan a rapid and full recovery. SY COOLIDGE PIERRE, M.D. Dipomate of the American Board of Anesthesiolgy Fellowship, Adult & Pediatric Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology (New York University) President, The Bahamas Medical Association


THE TRIBUNE

Thursday, January 12, 2017, PAGE 5

PM says his govt has done an outstanding job for Bahamians By KHRISNA VIRGIL Deputy Chief Reporter kvirgil@tribunemedia.net   DESPITE a term in office defined by controversy and criticism, Prime Minister Perry Christie insisted yesterday that his administration has done an “outstanding job” for and on behalf of Bahamians. While the nation’s leader said he wouldn’t describe himself at this point as “confident” headed into the impending general election, Mr Christie said he believed that if justice is done Bahamians will see that the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) has earned their confidence in being able to govern the country for the next five years. Asked whether he was any closer to announcing a date for the 2017 general election, he suggested that the Constituencies Commission has prevented him from making the decision. He went on to urge Bahamians to register to vote. He was responding to a question from The Tribune during a press conference to announce that The Bahamas successfully negotiated ownership of its own airspace from the United States. He was asked whether this development or movement with the Baha Mar resort made him confident headed into election season.

PRIME Minister Perry Christie giving his official address at the Majority Rule march.  Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff “Constitutionally the prime minister has to play a role in the redistricting, if it takes place, of the Constituencies Commission. Ultimately the report goes to the prime minister who has the responsibility of reviewing it and if necessary using his own powers that exist to make decisions with respect to what has been recommended,” Mr Christie said yesterday. “That process for example has not been completed and you could not even conceive of having election until we have reached a point where we have determined which constituencies will exist as is and what constituencies will change. That’s a process that the Constituencies Commission is now involved in.

“We anticipate (it) will soon be brought to a conclusion and so therefore the second point that I’d like to make is to urge people to recognise that it is important that they register. That the prime minister and the government obviously has an agenda that is rapidly arriving at its completion stage and that there are no secrets to what time we have left between the month of January and the month of May. Therefore people are best advised if they want to exercise their constitutional right that they could only do so if they are registered and that is what I would say in respect to that.” On Monday, House Speaker Dr Kendal Major, who is also chairman of the Constituencies Commis-

sion, said he was “disappointed” that the group has not completed its report, while revealing that several factors, including low voter registration numbers and “contention” among members, delayed its progress. He explained that the contention among the rank and file of the commission was sparked by the leak of information into the public domain and published in local newspapers and social media. This, he said, was displeasing. Mr Christie continued: “As to confidence you know we are observers as a government of what is happening in the country. We read and we listen. We attend to our duties as members of Parliament as best we can. We believe that regardless to what has been said and what is believed by some, that we have done an outstanding job for and on the behalf of the Bahamian people. We believe in the fullness of time that it is our responsibility to allow the Bahamian people to see why we are able to say that we think we have done a great job for them. That is our duty and our job to do that. My colleagues know that we are unable to control opinions of the written press nor should we be. People have the right to arrive at their own conclusions and their own recommendations.

PUBLIC FIGURES URGED TO BACK UP THEIR WORDS ON SEX EDUCATION WITH ACTION By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net

ACTIVIST Terneille Burrows yesterday said while The Bahamas “needs to do a better job” at providing access to sex education programmes and institutions, certain “pastors” and “politicians” should not give an opinion on the topic unless willing to “prove that they’re worth their salt” by actively working to remedy the issues. She was contacted for comment a day after Anglican Archdeacon James Palacious, during the end of a march to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Majority Rule on Tuesday, said “black people breed too much” and that Bahamians “should stop having babies” they cannot afford. Ms Burrows, in an interview with The Tribune, said although she concedes that “reproductive health and reproductive rights are important and we shouldn’t be irresponsible with them”, she is not going to allow “prominent figures” to “soapbox and then feel like they gave a good speech” about preventing unwanted and unplanned births without implementing “some sort of programme towards facilitating this happening.” Ms Burrows said if they do that, then “I could take them seriously believe that they’re worth their salt in terms of actually stepping up to the plate and doing something about it.” However, she said, “more often than not the burden of responsibility seems to fall at the feet of mothers for whatever reason,” when the “burden” of sexual responsibility should be placed equally on both men and women. She also called on persons from all levels of civil society to be responsible about “how we mention (reproductive rights) in public.” On Tuesday, the archdeacon said while Montagu MP Richard Lightbourn’s July 2016 proposal for statesponsored sterilisation of women was “most unfortunate,” he agrees with the principle of what Mr Lightbourn was trying to say. Archdeacon Palacious said unless “we find a way to control out reproductive processes” The Bahamas will be stuck recycling poverty. Regarding women spe-

TERNEILLE BURROWS cifically, the archdeacon said: “You have children on the lunch programme right now mothers, and you going having some more, come on man. Give me a break, give yourself a break. God didn’t put you here as any baby machine, he put you here to be a productive citizen of this country. That is what we need.” In response, however, Ms Burrows said: “I don’t want them to just say these things standing up, soapbox and then feel like they gave a good speech, him or Richard Lightbourn. I want to know if they’re going to team up and get together and help to create awareness on these issues and provide better access to contraception. “I take note that he specifically mentioned mothers versus fathers. So I take slight with that component that mothers were singled out. But generally reproductive rights are important, they’re human rights, they should be respected. “I’m not going to allow the people that say these things to get off and just say these things without calling for them now to either work with existing institutions like what used to be called the Bahamas Family Planning Centre,” she added. “If I see a partnership between those agencies, this pastor, that politician, or anybody else, any other man who feels like this is something they want to speak on, then I could take them seriously and I could believe that they’re worth their salt in terms of actually stepping up to the plate and doing something about it.” She added: “More often than not the burden of responsibility seems to fall at the feet of mothers for whatever reason. And clearly the mother will carry the child

to birth, and that means that the mother is directly responsible from before that point onward, because the mother would have had that incubation period. But where does the responsibility lie with fathers in our society? “Have we just accepted that because the rate of single parent homes which are usually single mothers are so high and has been since the ‘70s, that that’s just fine and the mothers are where we should place the brunt of the blame?” She added that the country needed to place more emphasis on education on reproductive health. “And Bahamians need to actively seek out contracep-

tives and things like that, those that believe in usage of that stuff. It’s not like we don’t have these things available, sometimes we don’t know where to go.” Last year, Mr Lightbourn proposed that the country adopt legislation that mandates unwed mothers with more than two children have their “tubes tied” in an effort to curtail the country’s social ills. Mr Lightbourn’s comments drew the ire of many people, with some parliamentarians, local advocacy groups, and Archdeacon Palacious himself swiftly condemning him for his statements. Mr Lighbourn has since apologised for his remarks.

“All I would do is urge my colleagues to understand is that we have a responsibility for ensuring that the people of The Bahamas understands the truth as we see it so that there is balance in what people are able to decide upon and that’s our obligation as well to ensure that whatever assets we have as a government to enable people to arrive at a fair and just decision about events in their countries. “We do not hesitate to use them to the maximum advantage to enable people to have access to information such as this what we have done, such as Baha Mar what we have done, without it being clouded by a political opinion and negative political conclusions, which will come about by people who are partial to their point of view,” he said. “So I don’t think confi-

dence for me is the word I would use at this stage. I happen to have a conviction that if justice is done that the people of the Bahamas will see that we have earned the right for their respect in how we have gone about governing and that we have earned their confidence in their being able to determine that we ought to be given an opportunity to form a new government after the next general election. “What I want to conclude with is that we have protected the democracy during our term and that we have a wonderful democracy in our country and every day that we have the privilege to govern ourselves feel privileged that the Bahamian people have given us the opportunity at this stage in our history,” Mr Christie said.


PAGE 6, Thursday, January 12, 2017

THE TRIBUNE

CHIPMAN CONSIDERING RUN AS INDEPENDENT IN ST ANNE’S By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net

ST ANNE’S MP Hubert Chipman said yesterday he is considering running as an Independent candidate in that constituency, claiming that campaigning on the Free National Movement’s ticket in view of his vote of no confidence in party leader Dr Hubert Minnis is “not an option”. Last year, Mr Chipman withdrew his name from consideration for a renomination by the FNM for St Anne’s, at the time saying that it was clear that Dr Minnis no longer wanted his contribution. Mr Chipman, in an interview with The Tribune at his home in eastern New Providence, appeared to backtrack from his October 2 decision to withdraw his name from consideration from the upcoming election. Mr Chipman said his

ST Anne’s MP Hubert Chipman. reluctance to “close the door” on his constituents was largely the result of him being “bombarded” with a number of emails, phone calls, and personal house calls by various members of the St Anne’s constituency who urged him to consider running as an Independent, as well as discussions with his family following his announcement. Mr Chipman said a decision on whether he will run may come by the end of this month. However, he said,

his reluctance to align himself with any other political party after having devoted 45 years of his life to the FNM, along with his vote of no confidence in Dr Minnis, makes it all the more likely that he would campaign independently. Mr Chipman is a member of the “rebel seven” parliamentarians who, on December 7, 2016 sent a letter to Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling expressing no confidence in Dr Minnis and asked that he be replaced as Official Opposition leader by Long Island MP Loretta ButlerTurner. A three-person tribunal has been appointed by the party to decide the fate of those MPs. “I haven’t given any thought about aligning myself with a party,” Mr Chipman told The Tribune. “As you know on December 7 we expressed a no confidence vote in Dr Minnis, and since then what

has transpired is I think we are before the disciplinary committee, so I think the FNM is not an option. I’ve been an FNM for 45 years. I don’t see myself joining another party, so if I’m expelled, suspended or whatever, then I would probably consider running Independent, if I run.” Last October, various residents of the St Anne’s constituency, many of them long-time FNM supporters, expressed how unsettled they were at the FNM’s decision not to renominate Mr Chipman in the area and had urged him to run as an Independent candidate. At the time, The Tribune reported that the residents expressed outrage at what they saw as centralised groups like the Executive Committee of the party ignoring the consensus within the constituency without providing a credible reason for doing so. “I have developed a very good relationship with

the people of St Anne’s, throughout St Anne’s, whether it’s in the Johnson Road area, whether it’s in the Winton area, whether it’s in the Camperdown area or San Souci, Nassau East,” Mr Chipman said yesterday. “So I am considering, I’m listening to the people. I have not made a decision. I want that to be very definitive. I have not made a decision that I would offer. They want me to run as an Independent candidate. I have not made a decision on that yet. “I care about the people of St Anne’s, and I think over the years I have attempted or visited most homes in St Anne’s,” he added. “I developed some serious relationships with these people. I constantly do work in St Anne’s. I’ve fixed roads, I have made sure all of the lights were on, anything that needed to be done in St Anne’s. I’ve actually built a gazebo on Sapphire Ridge Park with a

grill, I have put some playground equipment in the back of my headquarters on Johnson Road which is a mini park with a basketball court. The basketball court itself has been redone. I’ve had summer schools for kids, and I think if you go back to my October 2 letter it’s all detailed as to what I have done in St Anne’s. “So as a result of that I wouldn’t close the door on these people. I’ll probably make a decision by the end of January, so I continue to listen to them.” Mr Chipman also said that if he decides to run as an independent candidate, this would likely not hurt his chances at being reelected in the area, given his rapport with members of the eastern New Providence community. “It would probably be more difficult,” he said. “However, my work speaks for itself. I think the people in St Anne’s can identify with me.”

BAIN CHOSEN BY DNA FOR PINEWOOD THE Democratic National Alliance unveiled nine general election candidates last night, including talk show host Lincoln Bain for Pinewood. Mr Bain had vied to become the Free National Movement’s (FNM) candidate for that constituency but was passed over in favour of Rueben Rahming. The list of candidates unveiled last night also includes DNA leader, Senator Branville McCartney for Bamboo Town; DNA Deputy Leader Chris Mortimer for Sea Breeze; Nassau Guardian columnist and lawyer Arinthia Komolafe for Killarney; occupational therapist Charlis Robins for Yamacraw; contractor and Royal Bahamas Defence Force officer Cyril Miller for South Andros; businessman Derek Smith for South Eleuthera; civil servant Ruth Flowers for South Abaco and lawyer Wallace Rolle for Nassau Village. The ratifications were announced before a crowd of supporters gathered at the DNA’s headquarters. According to her biography, Mrs Komolafe has a successful career in law, banking, policymaking and corporate administration. “In her most recent role, Mrs Komolafe served initially as consultant to and the managing director of the Bahamas Development Bank; a post she held for almost four years,” her biography said. “Prior to returning to the private sector, she spearheaded the restructuring of the bank and cleaning up of its loan portfolio. She also participated in high level meetings involving the United Nations, Inter-American Development Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, Caribbean Export Development Agency and Inter-American Insti-

LINCOLN BAIN, who is to run in Pinewood for the DNA. tute for Cooperation on Agriculture among others.” Ms Robins was described as “an advocate for occupational therapy in the Bahamas since 2001 and has served as a professional mentor to many young rehabilitation professionals.” Among his other accomplishments, Mr Smith has served as a reservist stationed at the Central Detective Unit and international law enforcement agencies for many years. Ms Flowers spent 32 years in the Department of Local Government. She presently serves as manager of the Passport Office within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration on the Island of Abaco from October 2014 to present. Mr Rolle, a former police officer, served as a prosecutor in the Office of the Attorney General. In 2000, he started his own law firm. The DNA plans to unveil a full slate of candidates to contest the 2017 election.

FNM candidate for Mical Pastor Miriam Reckley-Emmanuel flanked by FNM deputy leader Peter Turnquest and FNM leader Dr Hubert Minnis at last night’s ratification.  Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

LINCOLN BAIN RUNS FOR DNA AS FNM UNVEILS LATEST CANDIDATES from page one

Dr Hubert Minnis broke assurances of support for Mr Bain as the party’s standard-bearer for the area and chose Reuben Rahming as the candidate for the 2017 general election. Several of the constituency association’s members protested Mr Rahming’s ratification outside FNM headquarters last year, holding signs which criticised Dr Minnis. Mr Bain was also a part of that protest. Yesterday in a letter sent to Dr Minnis, which The Tribune has obtained, the association members said they did not think Mr Rah-

ming nor the FNM leader have the ability to address Pinewood’s complex issues. “The members of this association are longstanding, long suffering members of the FNM, some of whom were here from the very beginning,” the constituency association wrote. “We have sacrificed and toiled for this party over the years, many times leaving our families at home to walk the streets campaigning on the party’s behalf. “ . . .It therefore saddens us to see the weakened and broke state to which you have allowed to our once great party to decline. The FNM and unity are now distant strangers.” The association members said they chose to stand

with their “chosen candidate,” Mr Bain. After the association protested last year, some members of the FNM said Mr Bain did not pass the party’s vetting process. He and nine others are facing prosecution stemming from the destruction of a fence blocking an access point to Cabbage Beach last year and are expected to appear in the Magistrate’s Court this month for the start of their trial. Last night, the FNM ratified engineer Navarro Bowe for the Exumas and Ragged Island constituency and pastor Miriam ReckleyEmmanuel for the MICAL constituency. In Mr Bowe, the FNM continued the practice of putting particularly young people on its ticket. Mr Bowe is 28. Dr Minnis said in a statement: “(Navarro Bowe) was born to Sonia and Godfrey Bowe of George Town, Exuma and grew up in George Town, attending George Town Primary and LN Coakley High School. After graduating as a top student from high school, Navarro was fortunate enough to attend and graduate from Marquette University in Wisconsin with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and then went on to receive his master’s degree in structural and geotechnical engineering. “After working in California for several years, Navarro was able to return to his hometown of George Town to work as CEO and CTO for his company remotely. Navarro continues the promise I have made to bring more of our young people into our political process.” Speaking about Ms Reckley-Emmanuel, Dr Minnis said: “Miriam con-

siders Salina Point, Acklins her home, as that is where her family is from. Miriam has been the pastor and director of church operations for Good Samaritan Kingdom Ministries since 1989. Through her church she has had the privilege to minister throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, including the entire MICAL constituency, for which she is very well known and has made many connections. Miriam’s connection to the community and the church is part of the FNM’s plan to return the government to the people.” Dr Minnis added: “The Bahamian people are demanding change to how business has been conducted in The Bahamas for decades and the FNM’s ‘change team’ will disrupt the politicians’ entrenched status quo. Our two new candidates will work with us to return the government to the Bahamian people. They are ready to bring an open, accountable, and transparent government to The Bahamas - one that is not built on secret backroom deals that sell out the Bahamian people. I invite all Bahamians to unite with us at the FNM; together we can rid our beloved country of the inept PLP, a regime that has been responsible for bringing this country to the brink of disaster and financial ruin. With God’s help, and your support, we will rescue this nation from the downward road and put it on a path of peace and prosperity.” Businessman Walt Saunders was the FNM’s ratified candidate for MICAL but withdrew from consideration last year for health reasons, according to FNM Chairman Sidney Collie.


THE TRIBUNE

Thursday, January 12, 2017, PAGE 7

US woman alleges rape and kidnap 20 years ago during Bahamas visit By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net AN American woman has taken to social media to detail her quest for justice over an alleged “kidnapping and rape” she claims occurred in The Bahamas some 20 years ago at the hands of a local parasailing boat operator. Alicia Conte-Blackwood, a native of California, United States, in several public posts and videos uploaded to Facebook this week, outlined her journey back to The Bahamas with the intent of filing a formal po-

lice report of the incident she said occurred on Athol Island, near Paradise Island in the late 1990s. In her main post, which has been shared more than 1,200 times, Mrs ConteBlackwood claimed she had long contemplated making her alleged abuse public but was scared off, adding that now her “fear judgement” could no longer outweigh her need to “warn” persons visiting Paradise Island. In the post, she alleged: “I was kidnapped off the shore twenty years ago in front of the Atlantis hotel by a parasailing boat driver that took my family the day

before. He offered to take me for free I thought it was a good idea.” “He took me to an abandoned island and raped me,” she further alleged. “He told me if I told anyone he would kill me and my family. I was so scared I never told for many years. I had pictures of the man all these years. “Last week, the timing felt right and God spoke to my heart and said it was time.” Mrs Conte-Blackwood said she travelled back to The Bahamas this week, along with her husband and a family friend, to file a re-

port of the alleged incident and prevent similar attacks in the future. However, her efforts to make the matter known to local authorities were also the subject of the social media post, as she claimed it took several trips to various police stations to file her report. Describing that ordeal she wrote: “The way I was treated by police would have steered away most women and would have caused them to not report. Not me, I pushed them until I was able to make the report.” Furthermore, Mrs Conte-Blackwood said she then

travelled back to the beach she was allegedly taken from and was shocked to see the same “lack of security and safety for Americans” as she did 20 years ago. She added: “I took a boat to the island he took me to hoping to get closure but it didn’t work. So we went to the beach where he abducted me and the oldest boat operator we saw. “Five men identified the picture, I figured out where he worked and his name,” she claimed. She said the US Embassy in The Bahamas was working with her to find her al-

leged abuser, however, the claim could not be verified with the embassy. Inquiries made by The Tribune to local authorities with regards to Mrs ConteBlackwood’s claims have all been unsuccessful. The US Embassy has on several occasions warned Americans in The Bahamas of patronising water sports operators, stressing that the industry has been unregulated for some time. The warnings came after a number of incidents where tourists where reportedly assaulted by operators. Several alleged attacks occurred last year.

FRENCH-CANADIAN WOMAN ACCUSED OF SEX WITH 15-YEAR-OLD BOY By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

PEDALLION MOXEY, 23 charged with murder.

HOSNELL SAMUEL, 39 charged with murder.

TWO MEN FACE COURT OVER SEPARATE MURDERS By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

TWO men were remanded to prison yesterday after being arraigned in connection with two separate murders. Hosnell Samuel, 39, of Carmichael Road was brought before Chief Magistrate Joyann FergusonPratt accused of intentionally causing the death of Leonard Joseph on January 6 and was charged with murder under Section 291 (1)(B) of the Penal Code. A charge under this section does not attract the discretionary death penalty if a conviction is reached at the end of trial. According to police reports, shortly before 10pm, officers responded to a report of an argument be-

tween two men at the rear of a residence off Carmichael Road near Golden Isles Road. When officers arrived at the scene they found the lifeless body of a man with a blunt injury. Joseph was pronounced dead at the scene. Chief Magistrate Ferguson-Pratt informed the accused that he would not be allowed to enter a plea because his case would be fast-tracked to the Supreme Court. This would occur through service of a voluntary bill of indictment, scheduled for March 14. However, due to the nature of the charge, he was denied bail and remanded to the Department of Correctional Services. He was advised of his right to apply for bail in the Supreme Court

In the second murder arraignment before Chief Magistrate Ferguson-Pratt, 23-year-old Perdallion Moxey of Jubilee Gardens was accused of intentionally causing the death of Asher Clarke. Shortly after 7pm on December 29, 2016 police received a report that a man had been shot in front of a home located on Vitae Road, Jubilee Gardens. When responding officers arrived on the scene they found the lifeless body of a man who had been shot. Clarke was pronounced dead on the scene. Moxey was also told that his case would be fasttracked to the Supreme Court for trial on March 14. He too was denied bail and remanded into custody because of the nature of the charge.

A FRENCH-Canadian woman was remanded to prison yesterday after she was charged in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a minor. Karine Gagne, 23, of Quebec, Canada appeared before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt facing a charge of unlawful sexual intercourse concerning an alleged incident on January 5 at Great Sturrup Cay with a 15-year-old boy who cannot legally give consent to have sexual intercourse. The arraignment required the aid of an interpreter as Gagne reportedly did not speak English. Gagne was charged under Section 11(1)(a) of the Sexual Offences Act, Chapter 99 which reads: “Any person who has unlawful sexual intercourse with any person being of or above 14 years of age and under 16 years

KARINE GAGNE, 23 of Quebec, Canada, charged with unlawful sex. of age, whether with or without the consent of the person with whom he had unlawful sexual intercourse is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for life.” The accused was told that she would not be allowed to enter a plea until she is formally arraigned before a judge of the Supreme Court when the matter is forwarded to the higher court through the presentation of a voluntary bill of indictment.

“This is a matter I don’t have the jurisdiction to consider bail and so I’m going to have to remand you into custody at the corrections facility,” the chief magistrate said. Gagne is to return to Magistrate’s Court on Friday, January 13, at noon for a status hearing concerning the Canadian Consulate’s facilitation of her legal representation concerning the charge. She has the right to apply for bail in the Supreme


PAGE 8, Thursday, January 12, 2017

THE TRIBUNE

Serious crime down by 26% from page one The RBPF’s record of murders in 2016 differs from The Tribune’s total of 114. However Commissioner Greenslade said some matters reported by police last year are before the coroner and have therefore not yet been classified. Nonetheless, 85 per cent of the murders last year were committed with the use of a gun, compared to 12 committed with a knife. Seventy-two of the murder victims in 2016 were adult men between 18 and 35 and seven were women. The crime statistics booklet provided to the press said: “Twenty-four of the murder cases were drug related, 23 were gang related, conflicts between persons accounted for 19 cases, and 14 cases were as a result of retaliation because of ongoing feuds between people known to each other.” It added: “The highest number of murders were recorded in the south-central division (19) and northeastern division (19), followed by central division in New Provi-

dence (13) and central division in Grand Bahama (13).” “Most murders (54 or 49 per cent) were committed on Monday nights between the hours of 4pm and midnight. Most murders were committed on the streets.” Commissioner Greenslade expressed concern about the detection rate of murders in 2016, saying it was “relatively low” compared to the past. He believes this is because witnesses to alleged crimes are intimidated by accused murders granted bail. Witnesses are also approached by “unscrupulous persons who convince them to file affidavits to recant their initial statements to police,” he said. Finally, he said the low detection rate is likely influenced by retaliation by associates of victims “who seem to have acquired a propensity to settle matters away from the courts.” The Commissioner again lamented the impact that granting bail to people accused of serious crimes has on policing efforts, as he gave examples of people who have continually been

REPORTED CRIMES - ALL BAHAMAS Crimes Against Person

2015

2016 %change

Murder 146 111 -24 Attempted murder 20 26 30 Manslaughter 2 1 -50 Rape 87 71-18 Attempted rape 16 15 -6 Unlawful sexual intercourse 123 144 17 Armed robbery 967 783 -19 Robbery 200 175 -13 Attempted robbery 12 15 25 Sub-total 1573 1341 -15 Crimes Against Property

2015

2016 %change

Burglary 191 162 -15 Housebreaking 1320 985 -25 Shopbreaking 799 725-9 Stealing 1280 1113 -13 Stealing from vehicle 2361 1250 -47 Stolen vehicle 951 669 -30 Sub-total 6902 4904 -29 Total 8475 6245 -26

COMISSIONER Ellison Greenslade at yesterday’s press conference to give the annual crime report.  Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff arrested and taken before the courts where they are then granted bail, only to return to criminal activity. “If we do not do something about re-offenders

REPORTED CRIMES YEAR BY YEAR Year%change 2004-27 20052 200611 200711 200812 2009-3 201013 20118 2012-4 2013-7 2014-18 2015-5 2016-26

who in a very short time after being arrested for serious crime are back in our communities re-offending, again committing serious crimes, we’re never going to solve the problems we have and we are going to lose the good reputation that we have,” he said. His characterisation of the bail problem came although Attorney General Allyson Maynard Gibson released statistics last year indicating that the rate of bail granted to people accused of serious crime has been on the decline because of the efforts of her office. Besides murder, many categories of serious crime saw double digit per cent decreases in 2016. Three exceptions were attempted murders, which rose by 30 per cent, 20 in 2015 compared to 26 in 2016; unlawful sexual intercourse, which rose 17 per cent from 123 in reported instances in 2015 to 144 in 2016; and attempted robbery, for which there were 15 reported cases, a rise from 12 from 2015. This represents a 25 per cent increase. According to the figures, there was a 50 per cent decrease in manslaughter, from two cases in 2015 to one last year; an 18 per cent decline in rape, from 87 in 2015 to 71 in 2016; and a six

MURDER DIVISION BREAKDOWN Division Total % New Providence Central 1312 Northeastern 1917 Southern 7 6 South Central 1917 Western 1 1 Southwestern 1211 Southeastern 1211 Eastern 6 5 Grand Bahama West End 0 0 Eight Mile Rock 1 1 Eastern 4 4 Central 1312 Family Islands 4 4 per cent drop in attempted rape, from 16 cases in 2015 to 15 in 2016. There was a 19 per cent decline in armed robbery, from 967 in 2015 to 783 last year. There was a similar decline in robbery incidents, from 200 in 2015 to 175 in 2016, a decline of 13 per cent. Across the board, a decline in crimes against property was recorded in 2016 as well, for an overall decrease of 29 per cent in this category.

This included a 15 per cent decline in burglary, from 191 to 162 in 2016; a 25 per cent decline in housebreaking, from 1,320 to 985 in 2016; a nine per cent decline in shop breaking, from 799 to 725 in 2016; a 13 per cent decline in stealing, from 1,280 to 1,113 in 2016; a 47 per cent decline in stealing from vehicles, from 2,361 to 1,250 last year and a 30 per cent decline in stolen vehicles, from 951 to 669.

NO PROGRESS IN INVESTIGATION OF TOGGIE AND BOBO CLAIMS from page one

“We’ve had those men in for questioning,” he said, referring to their arrest and subsequent release last year. “We’ve had no complaints against them. What do you like me to do? I found nothing with them in our discussions regarding criminal behaviour that we have any knowledge about. Those are issues I suspect you’ll hear about again in some other arenas, arenas that police don’t meddle in. “We have another group that is everywhere telling the world they are in fear, the harm that’s going to happen to them, but no complaint,” Commissioner Greenslade added, likely referring to Mr Smith and other members of the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association, who

sent a petition last year to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) requesting that the Bahamas adopt precautionary measures to prevent irreparable harm from coming to their lives. Commissioner Greenslade said: “When we attempt to see them, they duck us. I directed my chief of detectives to see an alleged complainant and we can’t find him. We come through the front door he goes through the back. This is true. We’re playing games. If you have a complaint, members of the public and you report it we will take a statement from you. If your statement is erroneous there’s a charge for it. And that is maybe why some people don’t give a complaint because if we write it down and you lie we gon’ charge you. If I write

it down and you’re found to be lying we will charge you.” As part of the “Bobo” and “Toggie” affair, it was also alleged in court documents that an investigator, former FBI agent John DiPaolo, was hired by Save The Bahamas to uncover the alleged murder-for-hire plot. Concerns were expressed by officials that Mr DiPaolo lacked a work permit to conduct his investigations. Commissioner Greenslade said yesterday that he is “not sure if (Mr DiPaolo)” actually came to The Bahamas. “I formally made an inquiry with our international partners based upon the allegation we received of some foreign person coming to The Bahamas and I never received a response,” he said.


THE TRIBUNE

Thursday, January 12, 2017, PAGE 9

BODY RIDDLED WITH BULLETS FOUND AT ROAD JUNCTION

THE BODY of a man is removed from the murder scene off Kemp Road last night.  from page one all unlicensed firearms in to allowed to be out there police. will do exactly this kind of “This latest homicide is activity on the life of some He said officers immedi- troubling to this nation as unexpecting individual.” ately launched their inves- we continue to sound the While police were unable tigation into the homicide, cry for persons to turn in to identify the victim, peoadding that police were ap- the guns,” said CS Stra- ple gathered at the crime pealing to the public to turn chan. “Every gun that is scene indicated to The Trib-

une that he was a resident of the Kemp Road community apparently in his 20s, with many identifying him by his alias “KJ”. The Tribune also understands that the victim was known to police and,

Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff according to residents of CS Strachan appealed to the area, was reportedly residents with any informareleased on bail in recent tion on the latest incident months. He was rumoured to contact police at 911 or to be connected with the 919, the Central Detective shooting death of a young Unit at 502-9991 or Crime man in the southern Kemp Stoppers anonymously at Road area in 2015. 328-TIPS.

LOOMING IS ILLEGAL, SAYS COMMISSIONER from page one

“Yes we are concerned,” Commissioner Greenslade said about the matter yesterday. “I am very pleased to tell you that the owners and operators of businesses where that was happening were quick to move in and declare what they deemed to be inappropriate behaviour, took all the right actions, and I want to

applaud that,” he added, referring to gaming house Island Luck, which locked numerous accounts pending further investigation because the people associated with those accounts were suspected to be participating in the scheme. “They didn’t hide behind it, they didn’t encourage it, they stepped up, were forthright and in fact took action.” He added: “We say to our public, nothing is free

and we say that for you to just believe that you can just give somebody one hundred bucks and you’ll just get a thousand is really not smart. At some point someone’s going to get gypped in that deal and it’s going to turn into something bad. I’m told we have people fussing about owing them money, saying ‘I gave you my money in good faith but I never got anything so can I have my money back’

and there’s all kinds of discussions as to how you can get your money. If it’s illegal, and it is, it’s going to be fraught with fraudulent behaviour and again I say nothing that’s worthwhile is free.” While he encouraged people to make complaints related to Looming, he cautioned that it’s difficult to get a desired outcome after participating in an illegal activity. “The difficulty you have

with these things is when you start from a position of illegality, it’s hard for you to report,” he said. “(Say) someone’s selling illegal drugs. A person walks up to the person that’s selling the illegal drugs and says right, can I get a $200 worth? Let’s say I get $200 worth. The person offers the illegal drugs. The person with the $200 snatches the illegal drugs, retains the $200 and runs off. Well the per-

son who sold that drug can’t make a complaint. It started illegal. You started an illegal enterprise. What do you do when you come to the police station? Someone stole my money? Right how did he do that? Once you start to take a statement, the person giving it has to find a lie to tell you for you to go behind that person for their money. And most of the time they will perjure themselves and lie.”

AG INSTRUCTED TO SEEK TO LIFT SEAL ON BAHA MAR DOCUMENTS from page one

set of negotiations in the country’s history. Notwithstanding what critics have said about the deal, the prime minister reiterated that his administration did not ask the Supreme Court to seal the Baha Mar deal. He repeated earlier comments that this was a “commercial decision” made by the lawyers representing the Export-Import Bank of China (CEXIM). Last month, Mr Christie announced the official sale of Baha Mar to CTF BM Holdings, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong conglomerate, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd. Apart from failing to reveal the cost at which the shuttered resort was sold, Mr Christie at the time spoke minimally of the details surrounding this development, adding that the deal was still sealed by the Supreme Court at the request of CEXIM. “I have spoken often about the need to get Baha Mar going,” Mr Christie said during a press conference at his office on West Bay Street to announce that negotiations were complete to allow the Bahamas to have control over its airspace from the United States. “We have negotiated at length on Baha Mar and notwithstanding what has been said we did not (and) we were not the principle persons to ask the court to keep the information hidden away from the Bahamian public. “That was a commercial decision made by the lawyers of the bank and our attorney general is under direction from this Cabinet that at the earliest opportunity the government of The Bahamas should move to have the documentation before the court made public. “We have no difficulty whatsoever of being able to account for what we have negotiated and I can tell you this, in the history of this country, that will go down as one of the most brilliant set of negotiations

ever done in advancing the cause of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.” Mr Christie further pointed to the positions of international rating agencies, specifically Moody’s, saying it had decided to side with the government in agreeing to wait for further developments before making pronouncements on the economy. “With respect to Baha Mar, again Baha Mar has announced that starting this month they’ll begin employment. We’ve indicated before that the difference between the government’s thinking and that of Standard and Poor’s, the rating agency, the government and Moody’s have to date taken the same position. “There are two rating agencies, Moody’s is one and Standard and Poor’s the other. The government and Moody’s have taken the view that let us look at the developments before we make a judgment of Baha Mar and we’re indicating that immediately in the year 2017 that The Bahamas will begin to feel the impact of the new ownership at Baha Mar through employment and through construction of Bahamian subcontractors who are on the site. “So, yes, we are anticipating that this is a meaningful economic development for the country and that my government when we look at what we have done can truly be pleased with major advances we have made in always addressing the major issues confronting governance in our country and never ever trying to hideaway or ignore the obligation to move our country forward. “And so I am pleased. I must tell you I am pleased with this because I have spoken often about the flight information region. I have spoken often about the need to get Baha Mar going.” Last September, the Free National Movement announced it was collecting signatures for an online petition to demonstrate the level of public “disgust” over the sealed Baha Mar deal.

At the time, FNM Chairman Sidney Collie urged Bahamians to endorse the petition, reiterating the party’s stance that Mr Christie was duty-bound to make the agreement public. He said: “This petition gives the people a tangible way to voice their disgust at how the prime minister shrouded his secret deal with the Chinese, unwilling to allow the people to review the contents and see for

themselves what has been decided about their future. “Bahamians if you are concerned about your future, the future of your children and grandchildren, the Free National Movement urges you to sign this petition.” However, the petition never gained solid footing. Mr Christie first announced that a deal had been reached between the government and CEXIM to remobilise the stalled re-

sort during a nationally televised press conference last August. The FNM has railed against the secrecy surrounding the deal, citing mounting public distrust in the Christie-led government amid speculation over the concessions given by the government. Mr Christie has repeatedly defended the move to keep the court documents sealed. Last year he main-

tained that such a process was standard and that global businesses cannot be expected to conduct their “sensitive negotiations” in the media. On the controversial issue of concessions, he said China Construction America (CCA) would be given the same concessions by his government that were given under the Hotel Encouragement Act by the former Ingraham administration.


PAGE 10, Thursday, January 12, 2017

THE TRIBUNE

‘For most of our son’s illness we were so sure he would be healed’ eATribune A1MAIN

S I came When Kevin and Valarie Seymour read through the door from last week about the battles of baby Roger work last week, Aidan M Carron against a little UNE242.CO T R I B me myE wife O N handed known life-threatening disease, it W SValarie N The Tribune and directed me to the front page article brought back memories of their son. entitled “From a Picture of This is a father’s moving account of Health to Death’s Door for losing their ‘promised child’. Baby Aidanâ€?. 50) Islands The article told the story therapy and falling platelet (Family at looked the$1. piece in over PRICE – $1 17 of Elizabeth and Robert 20 4, counts. Every story mir10 years, but, with minor Y AR NU JA Y, WEDNESDA iedsour own, but for three edits and updates I reproDupuch Carron and their ifrored s s a l er infant son, Aidan, Cwho duce it here: Tradexceptions: developed HaemophagoFirst, our son had LCH “My son, Kyle Ethan Ĺš cytic Lymphohistiocytosis and not HLH (although the ADER Seymour, my fourth TRwas IE IF CLASS childDSafter (HLH) and almost died. effects were the same); three daughS SINESmentioned E BUarticle SEThe Second, our son’s disease ters, and although I love that “like many Baha- progressed slowly and more my girls (including my latmiansâ€? the Carrons had insidiously so by the time est daughter, bringing the never heard of HLH. As he was diagnosed, much total to four), I have to adit so happens, my wife damage had been done; mit that I had been waiting DO WELLS ARson By RIC and I were among the few And third, our son lost for my for a rlong time. rte po Re ff Sta ne Tribu .net Bahamians who had in- his fight with this disease. medianame I’d had his picked tribune rwells@ timate knowledge of this Kyle died on Novem- out 20 CA years before en- he was nm iro env L A LO disease. will be the ber 26, 2002, at 19 months born. I was for when said heready talist has tractor atto stop anyshowed Our son Kyle developed old after three months at he firstfinally d up. It san ove rem to ng tempti a related strain of Histio- Miami Children’s Hospi- was to aid vain and chauvinistic, y ntr cou s thi from from ero - somecheIs believe cytosis called Langerhans tal (MCH) and Children’s I know, but Florida bea called on governhe as n, sio Cell Histiocytosis (LCH). Hospital in Chicago. Sever- thing in mostconmen demn wants ment officials to reports As I read, my heart went al years after Kyle’s death, that chance tos rec pass on his ational new intern eived that the US has out to the Carrons as they I wrote the following on a name. ngbri dy stu approval to theirfor 19 d to us related their experiences memorial message board to ian san Kyle was with ing Baham beaches. For mostE SIX with doctors at a loss for a help me sort out the loss I months. of that PAG SEE diagnosis, PICC lines, bi- was feeling. I hadn’t opsies, chemo-

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KEVIN and Valarie Seymour have learned that good health is to be cherished. Right, Kyle Ethan Seymour at about 14 months, just before his hospitalisation. time my wife and I made two weeks to see my wife plans for him, loved him and son. Every second visit, my wife would fly and cared for him. We ran from plane to We had noticed a chronic home, while I remained. plane to make our conscalp rash (which we took Our son went through bi- nections and arrived for ringworm) and Kyle was opsies and tests and chem- in Chicago shortly afotherapy. never a big ter midnight. We went He got an straight to the hospital eater. But ‘Kyle’s skin was implant to where my wife was in inwe weren’t allow easier tensive care with our now worried. He peppered with adminislearned to dark spots from his intubated son. tration of walk, sit up He was still alive, but blood that no longer drugs ... and his liver and kidneys had and climb. Then, at 15 clotted due to lack of meanwhile failed. He was bleeding his liver from everywhere. His months, he platelets. His bones his skin skin was peppered with developed were brittle from the and grew worse. jaundice, dark spots from his blood In No- that no longer clotted due lost weight chemotherapy - so and stopped much so that his arm vember, to lack of platelets. His 2002, af- bones were brittle from walking. had been broken. We ter three the chemotherapy - so We took and a half much so that his arm had him to sev- didn’t even know.’ months, we been broken. We didn’t eral doctors without getting a diagno- brought Kyle home for even know. sis, before one prescribed three days (the first time The doctors had induced a blood profile (a MAC since he was admitted and a coma to relieve his pain. 25, I think) and saw that the last time in his life). I He had had a cardiac arhis blood chemistry was flew back to Miami after rest earlier that day but all over the place. His pae- the short stay to continue had been revived. When diatrician still had no idea his treatment and the doc- I arrived in ICU, my wife what was wrong, but he rec- tors gave me the news. Our had already instructed the ommended we fly him to son was not responding to nurses to clean him up treatment and his liver was so I would be spared the MCH. We flew there immedi- deteriorating. They want- sight. She had used all of ately - concerned, but con- ed to transfer him to Chil- her considerable emotionfident and congratulating dren’s Hospital in Chi- al strength to do that and ourselves that we had the cago - an institution that I could see that she had HOW The foresight, diligence and re- specialised in liver trans- withdrawn and resigned Tribune sources to make this short plants. For the first time, herself to losing him. Still reported the the likelihood that our ... I could not let him go. trip to heal our son. case of Aidan After 10 days and a bat- son might die was raised. Not yet. Roger Carron tery of tests at MCH, the We had been praying for last week. Later that morning the doctor gave us the news. his healing throughout his hospital called to tell me Our son had LCH, a rare hospitalisation. my son had had another We flew Kyle to Chi- cardiac episode and asked blood disease, similar to leukaemia in that there is cago on an air ambulance me to come down. My wife an uncontrolled growth and arrived on a cold, grey stayed away. of histiocytes (a type of November afternoon and There, in the ICU, I said support, white blood cell used in checked into Children’s goodbye to my son and aulife on is he ht), ns (rig atio cin vac y, tine bod rou r tiny the auto-immune system), Hospital. As before, we thorised the hospital not week or so later afte disease ravishes his ng with health but a at monitors, clinging to life as a deadly uish - pages two and three Carron (left) bounci A mother’s ang except the cells are not planned for the healing to revive him if his heart CHEEKY Aidan Roger od and platelet transfusions and heartbe er Eileen Carron. blo oth rigged up to IV drips, r Elizabeth Dupuch Carron and grandm of our son. malignant. stopped watched by his mothe We met PAYOUTS BEGIN again and yle’s histiocytes with doctor ‘I asked the Attending left to wait. FOR OVERDUE were growing un- after doc- Physician if my son At SALARY OF controllably and tor before was going to die. 2.20pm, RS HE were attacking healthy one levelled PPLY TEAC S Kyle Ethan ndent and SU him to be indepe the regcells in his skin and then with us ... She looked at me, RICARDO WELL r of By d hea as ive Seymour ect obj porte GIL Re ff VIR s Sta NA ern ne gov RIS bu t By KH son not unkindly, but his liver. My son was being our ulatory body tha profes- Tri lls@ tribunemedia.net porter died. For al rwe leg Deputy Chief Re the country’s a.net attacked by his own body. was not re- with a professional kvirgil @tribunemedi most of his cial offi sionals. ion cat edu try I’m AN sponding to “T he only thing ed that Nevertheless, the doctors tional Na firm illness we con e o int Fre day f ter sel E yes my TH detachment and ing to ratify treatment s to ratify The the Department of Educa at MCH assured us that Movement expect for the were so sure is heaven,� he told que now che ed� s cur ate “se because his answered ‘yes’.’ tion has three candid those the prognosis was good. Tribune last year. n next he would be ent re- payments for 67 of 2017 general electio damaged “Being Bar presid e was told rs contracted Though rare, MCH staff che bun ndtea Tri e epe ply Th ind sup ek, healed. be we res me to uca qui Ed of try liver limwhen by the Minis yesterday. d saw three or four cases per and objective and pai el n ent lev Everybee h hig not a e to to hav g o going n wh Accordin ited the chemo dosages, thing we learned about I decide that I am f to run tio months, explaining that year and could treat it with is hoped for mysel party insider, it ce pla s or , out sirun pay Pre on but he could not be con- LCH suggested that it chemotherapy. ination, additional 71 that Bar Associati out� and accept a nom I will an Johnson, re being “worked ngs dent Elsworth We made more plans sidered for a liver trans- was not normally fatal. rone of the first thi n, no, I we later this week. Mi and ld nfie He the for Darren ON or Li- for my wife to remain do is resign. Until l be ofplant until his disease was We searched for reasons, ELSWORTH JOHNS thing.� Education Direct iam Emmanuel wil for the haven’t accepted any at the ds, speaking on the with our son, with me San l ed one add under control. I asked the meaning or a purpose for n ficially confirmed Abaco the source said. nso Joh ed Mr ort rep t Mr firs rth e , No I’m pay disput Yamacraw, Last September s that time: “If I decide that cies t week, rotating in from time-toAttending Physician if my this loss. As other parents las uen e stit bun e con ort Tri L Fre e rep CA Th the by for and MI Johnson denied ina- going to run son was going to die. She who have gone through SEE PAGE SEVENtime to give her a break respectively. was seeking a nom erhe E FIV com E to PAG es SEE M, und The party hop tion from the FN need for looked at me, not unkind- this know, we could find diand come home. We can of e slat l l critica plete its ful weeks, scoring the checked our son into the ly, but with a professional none. dates in the coming paediatric ward with the detachment and answered It has been five years other sick children. I re- “yes�. since our loss. We now have Returning home, I another son, Ethan Kevin membered feeling sorry for the other patients on made plans to return in Seymour, born August, the ward, most of whom two weeks while my wife 2004. Ethan looks just like had cancer or some oth- remained in Chicago at his namesake, Kyle Ethan, er deadly disease, and our son’s side. One week and we watch for every thinking how glad I was later, my wife called for rash, every cough, every that our son wasn’t so af- me to return right away. It fever. When Ethan was 19 was Monday afternoon. I months old, I couldn’t stop flicted. ing Newspaper ad Le pulled our then four-year- crying ...� For three and a half ds’ an Isl ma Nassau & Baha months we fell into a rou- old daughter out of school As it so happens, Ethan tine. I would fly over every and rushed to the airport. was diagnosed with an AuL! ADS SEL 351 PHOTO / 502-2 328-0002 NG AT STARTI

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tism Spectrum Disorder. He is language delayed and has other challenges that sometimes make him a handful. Nevertheless, we are thankful for him and the fact that he is generally in good health. We learned in 2002 that good health is to be cherished and, over the years, we also learned that the passage of time soothes (but doesn’t actually heal) the worst of losses. In reading that article about little Aidan, I felt connected to the Carrons – so much so that I was genuinely able to feel joy and relief that Aidan won his fight against this disease. I thank God for His deliverance and healing through what I know was an ordeal for both Aidan and his parents. • Do you have a medical story to tell? Email your tale to ishare@tribunemedia.net


THE TRIBUNE

Thursday, January 12, 2017, PAGE 11

Walkout plans called off amid dispute at airport By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net BAHAMAS Public Services Union President John Pinder said yesterday that he called off plans to have employees at the Lynden Pindling International Airport “walkout” amid what he described as stressful working conditions that have persisted over the past four years. Mr Pinder, insisting that he was not a proponent of unwarranted industrial action, said the move to delay industrial action on Wednesday came as a result of a last minute call from Chairman of the Airport Authority Milo Butler Jr who invited him to a meeting in hopes of resolving several of the issues at the facility. Despite the invite, however, Mr Pinder said he thought it necessary to warn both the Airport Authority and the government through the press that if acceptable resolutions were not realised, he would again move to carry out industrial action. “Today the Fire and Rescue workers and the security staff would have met me here for us to do this press conference,” stated Mr Pinder as he stood just outside of LPIA’s domestic terminal. Mr Pinder said employees at the facility were in some cases being entrapped by management to “cut them just to get monies”. The union leader insinuated that the limited financial resources of the Airport Authority has led the entity to clamp down on employees on several fronts unnecessarily. He said the roughly 350 workers have been patient with both the government and management of the Airport Authority to date on the issues. “Keeping with good industrial relationships, we thought it necessary to accommodate the chairman to try to get these matters resolved,” Mr Pinder said. “We have decided today that we will do this press conference to sensitise the government and the general public in the event that industrial actions come against them, they cannot say that we are being unfair (or that) we didn’t follow the process. “We have warned the Airport Authority over the last two years that they are practising some things that are in violation of our industrial agreement.” According to Mr Pinder, staff at LPIA are now being penalised through pay cuts for tardiness, sometimes for as little as three minutes. Mr Pinder said the industrial agreement between the union and the entity stipulates that if an employee is late on more than three occasions, he or she should receive two verbal warnings followed by a written warning on the third offence. Mr Pinder said based on the industrial agreement, the infraction should be viewed as an impediment to a promotion and not a reduction in wages.

PEDESTRIAN DIES AFTER BEING STRUCK BY CAR A MAN died in hospital shortly after he was hit by a car on Tuesday, police said. According to police reports, shortly after 7pm a man was walking on Tonique Williams Darling Highway when a vehicle driven by another man adult struck him. The man was rushed to hospital where he later died from his injuries. Officers from the Police Traffic Department are investigating the circumstances of the death.

JOHN PINDER, The Bahamas Public Service Union (BPSU) president, is pictured during his press conference over a dispute with the Airport Authority at The Lynden Pindling International Airport.  Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff “So it cannot be double jeopardy. You cannot be withholding promotions from the staff because of tardiness and simultaneously cutting them,” he stated. “We have spoken to them about it, told them that they are in violation of the industrial agreement, please not to continue in that kind of action.” Further to that, Mr Pinder criticised the Airport Authority’s human resource department, claiming that the unit has opted to work in favour of the authority’s management team, instead of a “mediator between the subordinate staff and management.” “We have been asking them to please find a suitable person to manage the human resources department, somebody that we think has a little more compassion and will follow the industrial agreement and show a bit of humaneness,” stated Mr Pinder. “Persons are being de-

nied promotions. Persons are being put in positions where it is very difficult for them to perform.” In regards to the LPIA Fire and Rescue workers, Mr Pinder said promises to repair their facility after the passage of Hurricane Matthew have remained unfulfilled. Mr Pinder added: “What we really believe though is that the Airport Authority is struggling financially, so we want to ask the government to please assist them as best they can to subsidise them. “We believe that this is the reason they find these little small excuses to try to cut the staff, and try to suspend them without pay just so they can meet their budget for that particular month or period. We honestly believe that.” He added: “To try to set up your colleagues, to set up your employees in such a way that when they are late, sometimes persons have to attend briefings and they

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ily member because they may have been involved in some illegal activity. “I believe they are being set up, to the point I believe that they are even being followed to see if you will go to a certain family member’s house or have a drink with a friend; just so they can find an excuse to terminate these persons or suspend them without pay. “We want the government to step in and speak to the Airport Authority

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PAGE 12, Thursday, January 12, 2017

THE TRIBUNE

Grand Bahama residents join Nassau Majority Rule march By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter dmaycock@tribunemedia.net SOME Grand Bahama residents travelled to New Providence to march and celebrate the Golden Jubilee 50th anniversary celebrations of Majority Rule Day. Under the theme, ‘Retracing the Steps of History’, marchers walked the same route that the country’s forefathers did on January 10, 1967 when Majority Rule was attained for the first time. Melissa Forbes, of Grand Bahama, said that it was an overwhelming experience to have retraced the steps of the forefathers, like Sir Lynden Pindling and many others who were instrumental in bringing about Majority Rule. Freeport resident Ginger Moxey was also seen at the march. “I felt proud as a Bahamian to participate, marching the same route that the forefathers did back in 1967,” Mrs Forbes said. “It was a bit overwhelming just walking through the City of Nassau and seeing all the large paintings in Rawson Square of those persons who made an impact in the country. “It gives you an appreciation for the freedoms that we enjoy today. Going over and participating was such a momentous occasion to reflect on what our forefathers fought for.” She admires Sir Lynden, the country’s first prime minister, for his role in Majority Rule. “He was the father of the nation, he was a visionary, and a great leader; he also had his flaws like many leaders, but I think the country’s history is deeply rooted in his leadership and if it was not for him we would not be where we are today. I think for the most part he was very instrumen-

SOME of those taking part in the march to mark the 50th anniversary of Majority Rule.  tal in the social revolution and progress of this country,” she said. Mrs Forbes also noted that Maurice Moore, considered one of the Free National Movement’s founding fathers, was also among those instrumental in bringing about Majority Rule. When contacted, Mr Moore, a resident of Grand Bahama, said that he was indeed happy to have been a part of history. “I consider Majority Rule significant achievement and I am very pleased that government has made it a national holiday,” he said. “I am very happy that I was

alive and part of that history making election.” Mr Moore felt that while progress has been made since 1967, there are many more things that could have been done after 50 years of Majority Rule. “I am pleased with the progress we made, but one of the things that bothers me most of all is the level of disrespect the employers for the country have for workers,” he said. “Workers are the movers and shakers of your country, of your development and progress, and I am very to disheartened to see and hear the disrespect

employers have for their workers. “I am surprised at the political directorate as well. I was in the movement that brought about Majority Rule, and the movement was undergirded by trade union and the workers,” he explained. “I don’t think workers and trade unions are given recognition they should be given on the day in which we celebrate Majority Rule Day,” he said. “Here we are 50 years down the road and…certain things ought to have been done for the workers of our country. I cannot say

Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff I am satisfied with that that is my only complaint,” he said. Mr Moore said that the country has come a long way in terms of institutional development. He stated that the development of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, partial development in area of trade unions, National Insurance and the move toward National Health Insurance, are great achievements. Meanwhile, Mrs Forbes felt that Dr Hubert Minnis, the leader of the FNM, should have participated in the march. “This day is not only sig-

nificant for the PLP, but for all Bahamians. Majority Rule was ushered in under the PLP’s leadership, but we had a lot of persons who were instrumental like Maurice Moore. We have persons on both sides of the political divide who were instrumental in bringing our country to where it is,” she said. There have been previous Majority Rule marches in Grand Bahama. This year the march was not held for the 50th milestone, and persons from the Family Islands were invited to the jubilee celebration in Nassau.

NEW VARIETY OF INSECT DISCOVERED IN ELEUTHERA A NEW species of insect has been discovered at the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve in Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera - a katydid which belongs to the same group as grasshoppers and crickets in the order Orthoptera. Specimens of this new species were first collected in 2013 by Dr Paul A De Luca, an assistant professor in the Biology Department at the University of The Bahamas. He made the discovery while conducting a survey of arthropods (the animal group that includes insects, spiders, scorpions, centipedes and crabs) at the Preserve, the Bahamas National Trust’s (BNT) first national park on Eleuthera. “This find - a new species to science - is a reflection of how much there is still left to learn about insects in the Bahamas, and it only highlights the incredibly important function of habitat

THE NEW species of insect discovered in the Bahamas, Erechthis levyi. preservation,” Dr De Luca said. “We are definitely protecting many species that we don’t even know about yet.” To the layperson, katydids resemble grasshoppers, but are actually more closely related to crickets. Katydids are well-known

for the fact that males in many species produce acoustic songs to attract females. Dr De Luca’s collaborator on this project is Dr Glenn Morris, an emeritus professor from the University of Toronto and an expert in katydid taxonomy.

He determined that the new species belonged in the genus Erechthis as it closely resembles Erechthis gundlachi, a katydid that occurs in Cuba and Hispaniola, but not in The Bahamas. The new species was named Erechthis levyi, in honour of Leon Levy, after whom the Preserve is named. After Mr Levy’s death in 2003, his wife Shelby White wanted to commemorate her husband’s devotion to the island and his love of the native flora. She created the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve in partnership with the BNT. It opened to the public in 2011. The 25-acre Preserve promotes plant conservation and features the economic, medicinal, historical and agricultural importance of native plants. It has become an important visitor attraction on Eleuthera. As a national park, a major part

of it’s mission is to protect Bahamian biodiversity, and therefore the discovery of this new species is a testament to the Preserve’s goal of documenting the flora and fauna of the island. There are a number of characteristics that differ between E. levyi and E. gundlachi, but two of the most interesting are physical traits. The first is that E. levyi possesses a striking turquoise-coloured head that is lacking in E. gundlachi (see picture). The second is more difficult to observe with the naked eye. At the tip of the male’s abdomen where the genitalia is found, each species bears a curious structure the subgenital plate prong - which is a device used to remove rival sperm from a female’s genital tract prior to mating with her. The prong is markedly dissimilar in shape between the two species, which suggests

each one has a different way in which males physically “hook up” with females during mating. Future research planned by Dr De Luca includes mapping the full distribution of E. levyi in The Bahamas, which at present is only known from specimens collected on Eleuthera. “What is interesting about this find is that E. levyi does not appear to occur anywhere else in the Greater Antilles, which suggests it may be endemic to the Bahamas, making it the first truly Bahamian katydid.” The scientific article describing the new species can be downloaded at www. levypreserve.org. The BNT is a non-governmental, non-profit, membership organisation working to protect Bahamian natural resources by building a network of national parks and promoting environmental stewardship.

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PAGE 14, Thursday, January 12, 2017

THE TRIBUNE

Search for the treasure amongst the junk

Your Say By ROCHELLE DEAN THE Bahamas received a devastating blow at the end of 2016 with the downgrade to ‘junk bond’ status by the reputable credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s. While those familiar with economics should not be shocked by this, for the average citizen this reality provoked feelings of fear, uncertainty and gloom for an already stagnant economy. While this must be of major concern for all citizens who are stakeholders in the progress of the country, the leaders seem collectively united in everything other

ROCHELLE Dean than the economic growth of the Bahamas, what exactly a ‘junk bond’ status rating signifies and how it affects all other matters of national concern. The Bahamas continues to spiral into a place of hopelessness or, to the optimist, a place of change. The country has

experienced multi-dimensional poverty but must make the necessary reforms and corrective measures to boost the economy. While Moody’s also downgraded the Bahamas with a stable outlook, the country is forced to accept the recurring trend in both ratings - which is down. The Baha Mar project was highlighted as the reason for some stability for the country, but this project continues to be plagued with setbacks and irrational decision making and does not incite growth. With the ‘junk bond’ status relevant, the idea of a devalued dollar has been the topic of discussion for

many Bahamians. The Bahamas must recognise that it must first have a substantial trade agreement or dominate a market of export in order for a devaluation of its currency to take effect and aid the country in its financial woes. A floating exchange rate however will produce currency depreciation and the same effect, rendering a currency worth less than previously, but the country must also consider how the currency came to be valueless. They must now consider if it will concede to a self-imposed devaluation or a currency depreciation which highlights the country’s weak economic poli-

cies, chronic deficits and high rates of inflation. The Bahamas must realise it is in crisis! While this rings through the ears of Bahamians, the country has the opportunity to seek every measure for sustainable development by investing in key areas of export, as well as identifying other measures of poverty - outside Gross Domestic Product - to invest in its people. This will then give the government avenues to implement corrective economic policies. Recently the United Nations development report revealed that the challenges faced by the Bahamas have contributed to a record rise

in the poverty rate for the country, as well as the entire Caribbean collectively. Poverty alleviation begins with seeing the treasure (change) within the junk! • Rochelle R Dean is a Bahamian scholar, research fellow and peer-reviewer and a theory writer of economics presently completing a Bachelors of Science dual degree in economics and public administration with Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia. She is an Empower Women Global Champion for Change with UN Women. Comments to dean_rochelle@ yahoo.com

Elections are not won by chance Your Say By GEORGE A SMITH “Chance has never yet satisfied the hope of a suffering people. Action, selfreliance, the vision of self and the future have been the only means by which the oppressed have seen and realised the light of their own freedom.” - Marcus Garvey

W

ITH a general election just a few months away, we are at the dawn of the election season. So, brace yourself to be bombarded with partisan propaganda and visits by candidates seeking your vote, many of whom care very little for you and most of whom you will probably not see again for another five years until they once again solicit your support. Most of you have been through that before. For those of you who have not, be prepared to be wooed, persuaded and even cajoled into supporting them. Over the next few months, during the campaign, you will receive an unprecedented amount of attention. Enjoy it while it lasts but after the encounter, discuss the

real issues with family and friends who have earned your respect. Here’s my take on what we face. The people of The Bahamas, with a history of faith in God and an abiding love for each other and a blessed country, deserve to live in a peaceful society that creates stellar opportunities to improve the quality of life through economic empowerment. They have every right to expect that the affairs of this county, our country are administered economically and effectively by a government constantly striving to make life better for the average citizen. All Bahamians must become engaged in the national debate on the important issues, the challenges we face as a people and as a nation. We must have conversations wherever we congregate, in the food stores, shops, at the watering-places and after church services. I urge you to have honest and wide-ranging discussions about the future of the country. Forthright dialogue could only serve the interest of all who live in our Bahamas. You have heard that the 2017 election will be the

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A CROWD at a PLP rally during the 2012 election campaign. most important in our his- its prospects of forming and tory. It certainly is crucial. maintaining a stable govEvery election is important ernment are dubious. I firmly believe that the which is why all Bahamians at 18 and over should regis- PLP remains the best party ter to vote now and actually to provide the essential national stability and sound vote on election day. The political landscape leadership in Bahamian afhas never been so confus- fairs but can only do so if it ing, as manifested by the regains the respect, admirahistorically dismal low vot- tion and support of Bahaer registration, at this point, mians. The government must less than 45 per cent of eliaddress public concerns gible voters. People are disenchanted, about several vital matdisappointed, disillusioned ters. Among them are, how and, yes, generally discon- monies collected on VAT nected from the political have been spent and will be process. There is sufficient spent, allegations of malresentment for the govern- feasance, fiscal mismanment, the Official Opposi- agement, abuse in various tion, the PLP, the FNM and governmental agencies and the DNA for each to get plaguing allegations of high level corruption. their fair share. The PLP must present a The government has failed to live up to its pri- slate of candidates rooted mary pledge to “Believe in in the core principles of Bahamians”. The Minnis- the party and dedicated to led Opposition failed in its the service of all Bahamiperformance in the House ans, not only to the priviof Assembly and is arguably leged and entitled. The PLP the worst in recent memory. must have a comprehensive The PLP has failed to en- understanding of the issure that the government sues facing The Bahamas. remained faithful to many It must also demonstrate of the party’s campaign a deep appreciation of the promises. The FNM has need for economic recovfailed to keep that organi- ery and growth and more sation unified. The frag- importantly, must articumentation of the opposition late what must be done to forces is still unfolding and achieve these objectives.

The party must also demonstrate that it possesses the imagination, an enlightened vision for the future and an engaging ability to attract support in order to get the best result and benefits for the Bahamian people. It falls to the PLP to shoulder the burden of not leaving the results of the election to chance. The stakes are just too high to leave it to chance. The PLP must convince the Bahamian people that it is truly committed to promoting a progressive society that cares for its aged, poor, and infirmed and for a caring society that treasures its youth by nurturing and educating them so that they would be productive citizens. The PLP must protect and strengthen National Insurance and introduce a realistically affordable and comprehensively workable national health insurance scheme. The PLP must reject any suggestion of increasing VAT beyond the current 7.5 per cent. The PLP must commit to making public lands available to deserving Bahamians and simultaneously promote a wholesome awareness of the importance of the en-

vironment to the quality of life. The interests of Bahamians must always be at the centre of government policies and decisions. If the PLP reaches out to that great reservoir of Bahamian talent available to assist and reconnect with the people, it can again be the party that lifts our sights to a new horizon and elevates our hopes for a better tomorrow. In 1953, the PLP pledged its unwavering commitment to serve the Bahamian people who have vitally contributed to its many successes over the years. The PLP must again prove its worthiness over the other political parties. And it must be done to the people’s satisfaction. We must continue to demonstrate and believe that for The Bahamas, our best days are ahead of us, and that together we can make it so. We can do this by appealing to the patriotism and the better nature of the enduring Bahamian spirit. • George Smith is a former Progressive Liberal Party member of Parliament for Exuma and a former Cabinet minister.

READERS RESPOND TO ARCHDEACON’S COMMENTS AFTER Anglican Archdeacon James Palacious said during the Majority Rule Day events that “black

people breed too much” and that Bahamian women “should stop having babies” they cannot afford, readers gave their reaction on tribune242.com. Justthefactsplease said: “Shocking!!! How different from Lightbourne’s comment is his? They are both saying exactly the same things in a different way. Will there be an outcry against him or is it OK since he is black? I note that the people cheered his comments while Lightbourne was vilified. Don’t get me wrong . . . Lightbourne should have been treated exactly as he was . . . all I want to know is why are we not treating this comment with the same level of disdain.” Athlete12 had this to say: “People, not just blacks, have the right to have as many children as they want. However, if one does not have the ability to care (feed, clothe, emotionally engage, educate) for a child on a daily basis then they should not be having children. Yes the men are just as responsible as the women but our culture just does not work that way because women end up carry the weight of the responsi-

bilities. Women must take control of their sexual interactions.” Cobalt thought Archdeacon Palacious took a “cheap shot”: “The archdeacon is wrong for his comments. He took a cheap shot at black Bahamians at a time when morale is low. Not only is the Bahamas still considered a small country, but the generations of Bahamians before us conceived many children as well. Our population has become a melting pot of illegal immigrants merged with disenfranchised Bahamian citizens all confined to one small island simply because successive governments have failed to enhance the success of our country. The archdeacon should have addressed the real issues . . . not blow smoke. The simple truth is . . . our governments have failed us, and we as Bahamian people have failed one another.”

And there was this from DonAnthony: “It is best to leave race out of this discussion completely. It is inflammatory and diverts from the central issue. The better way to state the problem of unwanted and uncared for children is that the poor and uneducated have many more children than any other segment of society. High school dropouts have a higher number of children on average than high school graduates, who are higher than the college educated etc, right on up to graduate degrees. So as with so many intractable problems in this country it comes down to improving our educational system. This will take a long time and requires a sea change in our Bahamian way of thinking. “In the short run, government can make quick meaningful changes. Most importantly is to increase the consequences for these deadbeat fathers who refused to support their children. Laws need to be amended to increase the child support deadbeat fathers must pay.” • Don’t miss your chance to join the debate on tribune242.com.


THE TRIBUNE

Thursday, January 12, 2017, PAGE 15

LEGAL YEAR 2017

THE SERVICE inside Christ Church Cathedral.

THE ROYAL Bahamas Police Force Marching Band puts on a performance before The Chief Justice conducted inspection.

CHIEF Justices and Justices of the Supreme Court marched together towards Christ Church Cathedral for the official service to begin the legal year of 2017.  Photos: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff

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PAGE 16, Thursday, January 12, 2017

THE TRIBUNE

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01122017 News