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HIGH79ºF LOW66ºF Volume: 113 No.36

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Being Bound To Swear To The Dogmas Of No Master

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JANUARY 13, 2017

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By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday scoffed at Prime Minister Perry Christie’s recent assessment of his administration’s term in office, accusing the nation’s leader of being “disconnected from reality” in the face of crime, vexing unemployment and “secret” deals negotiated by his government. While suggesting that Mr Christie had no reason to celebrate, the Killarney MP also castigated the prime minister for taking a “victory lap” over the sale and remobilisation of Baha Mar, while still not reveal-

Page 11

Bearing fruit Food, page 7

ROAD TRAFFIC RUNS OUT OF STICKERS IN FREEPORT By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter dmaycock@tribunemedia.net

AFTER running short of inspection stickers and decals in Freeport, Acting Deputy Controller of the Road Traffic Department Ken Ferguson revealed that a new digital system will soon be implemented in Grand Bahama to prevent such issues. SEE PAGE SIX

ST JOHN’S COLLEGE CELEBRATES 70TH ANNIVERSARY

ing the hidden details of the agreement. “After reading today’s headlines, I am not sure what country the prime minister is living in,” said the FNM leader in a statement yesterday. “The prime minister cannot be talking about the same country that you and I know, where crime is still destroying families, where unemployment and underemployment remains abysmally high, where negotiations are done in secret to the benefit of Chinese over Bahamians, and where the red carpet is rolled out for foreigners while Bahamians are wrapped up in the proverbial red tape. SEE PAGE SIX

PLP TO COMPLETE RATIFICATIONS BEFORE START OF CONVENTION By KHRISNA VIRGIL Deputy Chief Reporter kvirgil@tribunemedia.net   THE Progressive Liberal Party announced that the party will complete its candidate ratifications next week ahead of the party’s national three-day convention slated for later this month, as party officials pledged to accept whatever the outcome of the event may be. The convention, planned for January 24 to 26, will be held at the Melía Nassau Beach Hotel on West Bay Street. Officials would not reveal the cost associated

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with holding the event. So far only former Cabinet minister Alfred Sears has made public his intention to challenge Prime Minister Perry Christie for the leadership post of the PLP. Labour Minister Shane Gibson, who is also convention chairman, said that lingering questions on various national issues, including Baha Mar, will be discussed at the highly anticipated event. The $3.5bn West Bay Street resort will be open by May 2017, Mr Gibson also said. SEE PAGE SIX

ST John’s College held its annual founder’s day service yesterday under the theme of “celebrating 70 years of education, dedication and praise”. See page two for the full story.  Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff

SAVE THE BAYS CONTRADICTS GREENSLADE OVER CLAIM THAT COMPLAINT WAS NOT FILED By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net

ENVIRONMENTAL advocacy group Save The Bays yesterday denied claims by Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade that the group has not filed an official complaint with the Royal Bahamas Police Force against Lyford Cay resident Peter Nygard for allegedly orchestrating a murderous plot against his billionaire neighbour Louis Bacon and lawyer Fred Smith, QC.

COMISSIONER Ellison Greenslade The allegations are contained in court documents

filed in the Supreme Court last year. STB Chairman Joseph Darville, in a statement, said the group is “stunned and dismayed” at Commissioner Greenslade’s utterances, charging that he “cannot fathom” how the commissioner could say such a thing “when I and four others sat outside his office for more than two hours to meet with him in 2015 and filed a complaint that included nearly 100 exhibits” in February 2015. Mr Darville said that complaint included “state-

ments, photos and DVD recordings.” He called on Commissioner Greenslade to “act on the original complaint,” adding that he and STB would “welcome the findings once we understand that the complaint was treated with the seriousness with which it was prepared and submitted.” On Wednesday, Commissioner Greenslade said the RBPF’s investigation into the matter “is not going anywhere”. SEE PAGE THREE

COCAINE SEIZURES UP BY HALF 13 POLICE OFFICERS FIRED By KHRISNA VIRGIL Deputy Chief Reporter kvirgil@tribunemedia.net   COCAINE seizures in The Bahamas increased by 56 per cent last year when compared to 2015, according to Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) narcotics statistics. The latest numbers were the result of statistical data

recorded by police from January to December, 2016. In those 12 months, police said 3,531.77lbs of cocaine were confiscated. This is up considerably from the 1,536.28lbs taken into police custody in 2015. However, there was a small discrepancy in these cocaine statistics as one SEE PAGE THREE

By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net

POLICE Commissioner Ellison Greenslade fired 13 people from the Royal Bahamas Police Force in 2016 for misconduct and betrayal of the public trust. His comments came as the crime statistics the Royal Bahamas Police

Force (RBPF) released Wednesday also revealed that 167 complaints were made against police officers by members of the public in 2016, an 11 per cent decrease from 2015. “Again this year I had to send home what I call a significant number of rogue police officers, and I make SEE PAGE THREE


PAGE 2, Friday, January 13, 2017

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FORMER principal of the class of 1980-1988 Reverend Canon Harry Ward gave the sermon.

ST John’s College held its annual founder’s day service yesterday. 

SIDNEY WALLACE, the first head boy of St John’s in the class of 1947.

70 YEARS OF ST JOHN’S COLLEGE By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net

ST John’s College’s present head boy, Justin Sweeting.

CHERYL MAJOR-BAZARD, head girl of the class of 85.

Photos: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff

ST JOHN’S College yesterday celebrated its 70th anniversary of existence, an occasion various school alumni said highlights the “pivotal role” the Anglican institution played in grooming persons in local positions of authority and enhancing national development. At St John’s College’s annual Founder’s Day Celebration held in the school’s auditorium, a number of notable alumni, such as Bishop Neil Ellis, and former Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Senator Cheryl Bazard, all praised the school for not just the role it played in their lives, but also that of a number of noteworthy people in society. “I really enjoyed my stay at St John’s, it really served as a foundation and a rock for everything else that was to come in my life,” Bishop

Ellis said. “This year my class is celebrating 40 years. So for me to be celebrating 40 years graduating from here and the school celebrating 70 years of existence, that’s really a duel celebration for me and a milestone for both me and the school.” Mrs Bazard, meanwhile, credited St John’s College for the role it played in developing many of the nation’s leaders, such as Fort Charlotte MP Dr Andre Rollins, Central and South Eleuthera MP Damian Gomez, and Minister of Financial Services Hope Strachan. “When you look around, you look in the room, and you look at these people where they are in society today and you will find a St John’s graduate at the top in most corporations, in most government agencies, our ministers, a lot of our ministers in government are St John’s College graduates, like Ken Dorsett, he’s one of them. And so you see

St John’s College in every walk of life now in the Bahamas, and it makes you glad that you’re a product of this school.” Sidney Wallace, St John’s College’s first head boy (1947) also said: “On looking back I see a whole lot of graduates from St John’s College who have made a mark in this community. “A few of them have died but most of them are still around and making very concrete contributions to the whole Bahamas.” Reverend Laish Boyd, bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, called yesterday’s celebration a “tremendous” milestone in recognising the primary and high school’s rich history. “This indicates to us just the distance we have come, and we’re grateful that these persons along with a number of other persons who were there in 1947 could be present,” he said. “The An-

glican Church prides what it does with respect to education, and we always say that the school is church, and the church is the school.” Bishop Boyd also called for school alumni to “give back financially” to St John’s College “so that some other child can enjoy and benefit from that which the alumni would have experienced.” “As the bishop, next week I’m going to be in touch with every alumnus for whom we have a contact, and every member of our school staff of all our schools. But I’m going to be asking our alumni in particular to look back and to give back. Look back at the school that nurtured you, and give back with your interest.” He added: “All of us sit in the shade of a tree that we did not plant, and all of us plant a tree whose shade we will never enjoy. That’s how we pass on from generation to generation that which we have received.”


THE TRIBUNE

Friday, January 13, 2017, PAGE 3

‘NO DISPUTE OVER COMPENSATION FOR POLICE OVERTIME’ By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net

POLICE Commissioner Ellison Greenslade rejected the idea that the Royal Bahamas Police Force has a dispute with the Police Staff Association over compensation for officers who worked 12-hour shifts during separate periods in 2013 and 2014. After the Supreme Court ordered that the officers be compensated for the overtime, Commissioner Greenslade decided last year to compensate them by giving them time off, as

opposed to recommending that they receive some form of financial remuneration. The PSA, represented in the case by attorney Wayne Munroe, has expressed concern about this decision. PSA Chairman Inspector Dwight Smith has said that it poses a logistical challenge for the country, since it’s unrealistic to believe thousands of officers could take a potentially substantial amount of time off within the 12-month period in which the court set for the compensation to be realised. In addition, Insp Smith has said that police depart-

ments keep poor records of when officers come and leave work, making Commissioner Greenslade’s plan to use registers to determine how much time individual officers should get off unfair. Commissioner Greenslade seemed to hint at how this would be resolved on Wednesday, saying: “There was a matter involving overtime that was taken before the Supreme Court in the Bahamas. The court ruled on the matter; the matter has been resolved to the extent that time is given back to the officers. What that would

mean is, if you have 2,800 serving officers in the force and none of those officers wrote in a time sheet, time in, time off or anything of that nature, then you just have to grandfather everybody and give everyone a week off.” It’s unclear when the compensation period will begin. Insp Smith said yesterday that he has been waiting for an official response from Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson and Commissioner Greenslade concerning the compensation method before proceeding. Commissioner Greenslade emphasised,

however, that he personally is unconcerned about working overtime. “I worked constantly,” he said. “I don’t write down for time because I can’t be petty with the people I serve. I don’t want any time back or any money.” He stressed that there is “no feud” between himself and the PSA. “I have a lot of respect for the chairman who has demonstrated to me since I came into office the greatest measure of respect. I gave him a good looking cheque just before the Christmas break. I ain’ supposed to talk his business. It wasn’t a

little bit of money. I gave it to him for free. That sounds like a feud? Now if you really feel you want to call my bluff, you sit me and Mr Smith down and ask him how much Mr Greenslade gave him.” Yesterday, Insp Smith said he could not recall receiving such a cheque. Nonetheless, he agreed that he and Commission Greenslade enjoy a “cool relationship.” He stressed that the overtime compensation matter is not resolved or settled, however, and that he would discuss with Mr Munroe how to proceed.

Save the Bays contradicts Greenslade over claim that complaint was not filed from page one The Commissioner claimed that “no one” from STB has given the RBPF a complaint against Wisler “Bobo” Davilma and Livingston “Toggie” Bullard, the two men who were allegedly hired by Mr Nygard to engage in criminal activities. Commissioner Greenslade suggested that “another group”, likely referring to Mr Smith and other members of the Grand Bahamas Human Rights Association (GBHRA) is “everywhere telling the world they are in fear” of “the harm that’s going to happen to them” while not filing an official complaint. The commissioner also said that when RBPF officials attempt to reach out to members of STB, they “duck” the police officers, which he suggested was akin to “playing games.” “I have the greatest respect for our Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade, but I cannot fathom how he could have reached the conclusion that no complaint had been filed when I and four others sat outside his for more than two hours to meet with him in 2015 and filed a complaint that included nearly 100 pages of exhibits,” Mr Darville said, adding that the complaint was filed “following what was to be a peaceful gathering of peo-

seriousness with which it was prepared and submitted.” Last year it was revealed that former FBI agent John DiPaolo, along with a team of retired FBI and Scotland Yard professionals and Bahamian investigators, conducted a lengthy investigation into claims that Mr Nygard contracted two “criminals”- Bullard and Davilma - allegedly to harass, intimidate and cause physical harm and property damage to four directors of the STB organisation, as well as Reverend CB Moss and several others. On March 14, 2016, however, Commissioner Greenslade questioned how Mr DiPaolo came into the country to “work without any reference to the Royal Bahamas Police Force.” Commissioner Greenslade said at the time that he COMMISSIONER Ellison Greenslade with the annual crime report at a a press conference on Wednesday.  Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff would be speaking to Immigration Director Wilple pressing for a true Free- included statements, photos first mistake in what esca“...We are stunned and we liam Pratt “to see if he has and DVD recordings. One lated into what appears to still would hope that now anything on file” regarding dom of Information Act.” “We were on Charlotte of our members who has be some sort of (alleged) that this is out in the pub- Mr DiPaolo’s entry into the Street with all the neces- done a lot of pro bono work murder for hire plot,” Mr lic view the commissioner country. sary permits and a stage for law enforcement and Darville added. “I do not will act on the original Mr Pratt later said that set up with entertainers raised significant amounts know those two men whose complaint filed in February Mr DiPaolo never had a singing, people speaking, of funds for police over the names have been men- 2015,” he said. “We invite work permit to conduct his good fellowship,” he added. years sent numerous emails tioned but I do know that him to do so and would wel- investigations, and that the “Instead, the event was hi- and finally got a meeting, several of us were victims of come the findings once we Fort Lauderdale investigajacked by a group of aggres- not with the commissioner, hate actions and the police understand that the com- tor had entered the country sive protestors whose intent though, but with someone elected to ignore us.” plaint was treated with13th theJanuary Friday, 2017 as a “regular visitor.” Mr Darville subsequently was to disrupt the peace else who said bluntly that and create an intimidating the hate actions that victims called on Commissioner felt threatened their secu- Greenslade and the RBPF atmosphere. “...We went to the police rity were just ‘a spat among to honour STB’s initial "Turn your complaint in order to proimmediately and filed the neighbours.’ steering wheels “The lack of taking that vide for some movement on complaint later when we got no action. The complaint complaint seriously was the the investigation. to 'Castrol'...

13 POLICE OFFICERS FIRED IN 2016 from page one

no apologies for that,” Commissioner Greenslade said. “Thirteen officers who were frauds in my view wore our uniform under false pretence with criminal ideas, behaved in an unethical fashion, ceased to become efficient police officers and betrayed my trust and the public’s trust. I sent them home and I took your uniform, Bahamian public, away from them and asked them not to enter headquarters again or any other precinct that’s owned by the RBPF. I asked them to depart from us, we know them not.” He added: “There are many cases before our tri-

bunals. Those tribunals sit on a daily basis, headed by chief superintendents. After the assistant commissioner has done his due diligence on matters and we are satisfied there is sufficient evidence to proceed, just like in criminal matters, those matters are sent to a tribunal and these officers would be the first to tell you, notwithstanding my very pleasant disposition I’m always nudging at the deputy commissioner and asking what happened to the matter that I saw that was going viral of some fight, what happened to the matter where an officer lost my duty gear, just reminding him that I have not forgotten because I have to

hold in trust for you as a public the fact that we are going to (be) above board and we are going to deliver every day in a professional and ethical manner.” Commissioner Greenslade did not reveal precise reasons for firing the 13 officers. Public complaints against police officers last year included 101 complaints of assault, up from 86 in 2015. They also included 15 complaints of unethical behaviour, 12 of missing property, five of extortion, seven of unlawful arrest, four of threats of harm and five of causing harm. One hundred and one of the complaints resulted in complete investigations

in some form, the statistics show. However, in 37 of the cases, officials found the complaints unsubstantiated while in a combined total of 11 cases officials found the complaints either unfounded or lacking sufficient evidence. In only one case was an officer fired as consequence of a complaint. In six cases, it was recommended that the complainant be reimbursed and in nine cases it was recommended that the complaint be taken before a court of enquiry and a tribunal, indicating that a serious offence had been alleged. In 18 cases, the complainant withdrew the complaint.

COCAINE SEIZURES UP BY HALF from page one

RBPF chart reports a grand total of 3,539.55lbs overall and another reports 3,539.46lbs. Further breakdown by island revealed that in New Providence, ecstasy tablets and marijuana were the highest recorded illegal substances to be confiscated. There were 4,859 ecstasy tablets and 3,766.64lbs of marijuana seized by police. Authorities also said 267.04lbs of cocaine were found in the capital. In addition 11 marijuana capsules and 29 plants were taken. In Grand Bahama, while there were no ecstasy finds, 1,985.28lbs of cocaine and 215.53lbs of marijuana were recorded. Police added that in the family islands 1,287.23lbs of cocaine and 95.35lbs of marijuana were seized. There were also 26 marijuana plants in Grand Bahama and 258 plants in the family islands.

Police said a total of 1,532 were also arrested and held accountable for these drug discoveries. According to these latest statistics, 100 people were taken into custody for cocaine - 35 of these arrests were for possession of the drug and 65 were for possession with the intent to supply. Four people, the records said, were arrested for possession with the intent to supply ecstasy. When it came to marijuana, police said 1,346 people were arrested for matters related to the drug. Authorities said 799 people were taken into custody for possession of marijuana, 537 for possession with the intent to supply, eight people for cultivating marijuana plants and two others for possession of capsules containing marijuana. Seventy-one people were arrested and questioned regarding dangerous drugs, but they were not charged, police said.

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PAGE 4, Friday, January 13, 2017

THE TRIBUNE

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Rise of nationalism no threat to world peace WITH THE congressional hearings for President-elect Trump’s cabinet nominees already underway and the world’s attention focused on Washington for those and for next week’s inauguration of a new leader of the free world, another issue of international concern is the rise of nationalism in Europe. This has grown inexorably while the European Union (EU), increasingly regarded as a flawed organisation, has started to falter - not only following Britain’s decision to leave the bloc but also because of the refugee crisis and the effects of open borders and related terrorism together with the structural weakness of the eurozone. Rather than uniting EU member states, imposition of the single currency across countries of varying sizes and with vastly different economies has resulted in the impoverishment of many millions in the poorer countries of southern Europe, in particular Greece, so that this has precipitated the divisions which the EU project itself was designed to prevent. The likely emergence of the far-right in coming elections in France and the Netherlands may create further problems because of growing anti-EU sentiment there as well as in other EU countries which are increasingly asserting their sovereignty and independence as nation-states. The current surge of nationalism is a result of the public perception that globalisation and multi-national systems, which have progressively come to dominate the West since the Second World War, are not working for the general good. Overall, there seems to be growing resentment that the political classes are not listening to ordinary people and do not even share their values. In Europe, the view has developed that the EU’s institutions have failed to function in the interests of all in solving existing serious economic problems and in dealing effectively with immigration and terrorism. The grand project of European integration stemmed from the determination

of the founding fathers to secure lasting peace on the continent after years of strife. The EU’s fundamental principle was that war is caused by nationalism, though in modern times this is debatable given that the clash of ideologies - for example, communism, fascism and Islamic fundamentalism - has been responsible for so much armed conflict. The resurgence of the nation-state and nationalism has come about without revolutionary violence. It constitutes a return to the origins of liberal democracy - self-determination and the right of people to decide their own national interest through chosen leaders who are accountable to an electorate. Patriotism, a shared heritage and identity, common values, love of country and a sense of belonging, also plays an important part. Although it should not be confused with fascism, which is rule by dictatorship and means, invariably, a police state, a ban on opposition political parties and denial of the right to self-determination, free speech and assembly, nationalism is seen by some as a threat because it can result in excessive promotion or assertion of a country’s rights and values; and this can affect the interests of other nations, particularly in relation to territorial disputes. But, in a democracy, political leaders can be held to account not only by voters but also by a free and strong press - a process in an open and free society requiring constant protection against abuse of power. Fears about the rise of nationalism emanate primarily from events in Europe. Not necessarily itself a threat to international security, much depends on the motivation of political leaders and how they are constrained by their own people. What is a greater danger is the spread of trans-national ideologies, including Islamic fundamentalism and any return to 1930s-style fascism, which could precipitate new conflict and, in times of instant communication, easily escalate to endanger world peace.

Launch of NHI EDITOR, The Tribune. IF all the advertising and promotion is accurate we are supposed to be in the midst of the launching of the much heralded NHI but… The promotion for NHI at the initial stage register for the smart card has to be questioned. One of these advertisements you see a lady who is a senior member of the NHI Secretariat says that her mother on Inagua will be able to receive the same medical care and services as if in Nassau. Unless Ministry of Health has improved the island clinic I suggest this is inaccurate information spreading false facts, news and should be discontinued. Sort of funny when the

Jamaal Rolle is on holiday

chief spokesperson who we must acknowledge cleared up all the mess when NHI was first talked about is also a spokesperson - well if he doesn’t support NHI why should we? I am very worried that my mother and her sister, all pensioners, will have their current concessions reduced if not taken from them - it would be reassuring if the Minister of Health could confirm nothing changes for pensioners? Free care, free services, including surgeries and free meds. I am sorry for the employees working for the Government bush crack their global health policy is gone. CYNTHIA JOHNSON Nassau, January 12, 2017.

Time to pass baton has gone EDITOR, The Tribune. IT is with utter amusement that I listened to the Prime Minister speak of the passing of the baton during his Majority Rule Day remarks. Yes, the same man who at age 73 and after 40 plus years in public life believes that he is the only Bahamian capable of being Prime Minister at this time. He vowed that he would pass the baton “at the right time” and stated that Sir Lynden passed the baton to Hubert Ingraham who passed the baton to him. For the record, neither Sir Lynden nor Hubert Ingraham realised the “right time” to pass the baton and neither does Prime Minister Christie.

LETTERS letters@tribunemedia.net They both were humiliated and embarrassingly rejected by the Bahamian people. I am certain that Mr Christie can recall the demeaning way in which the Bahamian people treated Sir Lynden after his humiliating defeat. Mr Christie, who is 11 years older than Sir Lynden was at the time of his defeat, is headed towards the same fate clutching to the baton of power. Selfless leadership is about paving the way for others to take the country to the next level. If I recall correctly during the last general election, two and a half years into

this present term was the “right time”. It is amazing how delusion and power changes perspective. Unfortunately, we are stuck with leaders who are more concerned with retaining power, egos and trying to carve out a legacy than national interest. Perhaps the late Rev Myles Munroe was prophetic indeed when he shared his vision of the leader dying clutching the baton of power. Mr Christie here is your chance to leave on top and to act in the national interest. It would be a shame to end such a long political career rejected by the Bahamian people. ANDREW BUTLER Nassau, January 12, 2016.

Spinning the news EDITOR, The Tribune. BOY these Ministers love to spin news and pretend things are okay - Swift Justice... Editor isn’t it logic if you rush serious cases to the Supreme Court cases that are winnable you will see a considerable improvement in the processing of cases? Of course, no one is telling us about the other cases. Contrast that spin to the advertising of held-over cases, I believe appeals some are as old as 10-14 years! Imagine the stress on a witness having to recall evidence from that far back? Bail - the Commissioner of Police constantly talks

about how the leniency of granting of bail to career criminals, the most violent is the root cause of our witnessing such a high murder rate. Surely the AG can draft a more restrictive Bail Act to put an end to the criminal revolving door? Is there an acceptable solution by initiating high cash Bail for crimes of murder and use of guns? Bail so we are now going to have some biometric system to police those on bail - the question I have to ask is a simple but serious one - usually a grant of bail requires the person to report one-two-three times a week to a Police Station... is anyone checking if any of those on bail

Response to Moss and UPM EDITOR, The Tribune. GREG Moss and his UPM should be public ally called out for their cynical ploy of raising and inflaming anti-gay sentiments as a transparent attempt to score meagre political points on an unpopular administration.  Sadly, just because this ploy is transparent that does not mean that it will be ineffective. Locally and globally political figures have found that making the LGBT community a target has reaped political dividends.  Right-wing Christian activists have found that targeting gays with rhetoric and suggested policies that seek to criminalise gay relationships and deny basic rights to gays and lesbians in a range of critical areas, including employment, housing, and families, has increased their access to influence in countries like Uganda, Nigeria, Moldova, Poland and Russia. Locally, public statements and campaigns targeting LGBT persons have raised the public profiles of religious

figures like Pastors Lyall Bethel, Mario Moxey and Alfred Stewart and radio personality Kevin Harris. Sadly such efforts are often effective; the failure of all four questions of the recent referendum on gender equality is the most recent and, arguably, most successful example of this shameful tactic. Opponents of equal rights for women were able to successfully defeat the constitutional referendum by directly vilifying, dehumanising and stigmatising gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Bahamians. In light of this track record, I am not surprised that a few political figures have embraced this reprehensible approach to scoring political points.  I do not expect that this will change. I am, however, committed to pointing out when men and women should know better than to employ this shameful tactic of targeting an already marginalised minority in our nation for short term political gains.

are reporting in? I can’t believe the criminals are being sohonest and checking-in. Bail, ‘easy Bail’ as the Commissioner of Police commented is a serious negative as many times the criminal element intimidate the witnesses and suddenly for the fear of their lives they rescind their volunteering to give evidence so in many cases the person walks free. Swift Justice missed that. Bail has to be dealt with clearly if we don’t deal with it the chances of having a further reduction in the Crime Statistics is impossible. W THOMPSON Nassau January 12, 2017.

Not feeling any safer EDITOR, The Tribune. I DON’T  know about the rest of the population but I take cold comfort in the figures from the police commissioner and the Hon Attorney General which are apparently given to make us feel safer. Unfortunately as I and some of my friends have been robbed in public parking lots in broad daylight and some of my acquaintances have been terrified and injured in home invasions we need to hear more than statistics. We need to hear that the parties in power and the parties seeking power have a feasible plan to fight the scourge of crime gripping The Bahamas.  Only then would we be able to feel safe leaving or remaining in our homes which are now better barricaded than the Bastille.

PROF FROM THE FARM Nassau, January 5, 2017.

JEANNE THOMPSON Nassau, January 12, 2017.

We have giants to slay EDITOR, The Tribune. Forty-three years after Independence, our wonderful nation is still bedeviled and perplexed by racial and economic dislocations. Yes, we did achieve a measure of political independence but by and large we have regressed big time. Twenty-five per cent of the population “controls” the economy with the be-

nign assistance of the socalled “house” negroes. Large and medium sized businesses and assorted practices in the professions are still dominated by a minority, be it white or black. If you do not belong to one or the other of the two major political entities, you are relegated to stand on the outside while looking in. The unwashed masses are consigned to a life of meagre

existence and a whole bunch of “problems” throughout their “miserable” lives. In 2017, this must change or we have ourselves become agents of change and progress. There can be no other way. The PLP and the FNM could both have done more to assist our people in assisting themselves. Bahamians, by and large, are too passive and we have gotten used to the culture

of the bull and dependency. This must change in 2017. It is unfortunate that Majority Rule Day has come to be viewed as a political football of the PLP, exclusively, when it is, in fact, a celebration of the masses of Bahamians breaking the political and societal shackles which had us bound for hundred of years. The FNM, et al, of course, ceded that bogus

position to the PLP because none of them in opposition are ever really able to “celebrate” any event of national importance that they did not themselves promulgate. We are one or so we like to say God willing, I would like to see the creation and establishment of A National Heroes Park up at Fort Charlotte. We do not do a good job at recognising our national

builders. This, too, must change. We have travelled far but there is much more road to cover, many more mountains to climb and a lot more giants to slay, Happy Majority Rule Day! To God then, in all things be the glory. ORTLAND H BODIE JR. Nassau, January 5, 2016.


THE TRIBUNE

Friday, January 13, 2017, PAGE 5

US Embassy warns of scam calls By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net THE United States Embassy in Nassau has warned the American public of an apparent “fraudulent call” scheme, in which people were being coerced into transferring sizeable funds under the guise that the money would be used to aid family members travelling in The Bahamas. The revelation was detailed this week in a release by the embassy’s office in

Nassau, with officials warning people receiving such calls to verify either the information received or the embassy’s involvement in specific cases. According to officials, in most scenarios, the caller obtains information, often through social media, which confirms that a relative is travelling in or residing in The Bahamas and uses that information to try to convince a willing victim to send money to allegedly aid the relative. Officials said another

common practice recognised is the “Grandparent Scam”, which works to target the grandparents or other relatives of supposed travellers. In this version of the scam, the caller contacts the relative to ask for personal credit card information over the phone to pay medical bills for an injured relative that would facilitate their release from the hospital and/or departure from The Bahamas. Speaking about the reported scam, officials said:

wire service in which the recipient name is only that of the injured relative.” Officials recommended that people being contacted in this way immediately reach out directly to the reported injured relative or their parents and other relatives to verify the purported information. The embassy also said it recommends against transferring funds until some form of verification is obtained. Officials noted that this was the latest in series of scams that now face Ameri-

can citizens throughout the world. The report noted drug trafficking scams, romance scams and in some instances, lottery scams. Officials urged American citizens to use reputable banks, credit card companies, money transfer companies, the US Department of State, Western Union, express courier services or the US Postal Service mail. No information was provided by the embassy on how many people have been affected by the scam to date.

MALL READY FOR NEXT PHASE OF PROJECT

FOUR MEN ARE HUNTED BY POLICE By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net

POLICE are seeking the public’s help in locating several men they believe can help their investigations into serious crimes. The police circulated the public requests, along with photos of the men, on Wednesday. Police want to speak with 25-year-old Mark McKenzie of Blue Hill Heights, Worrick Street, for help in an ongoing murder investigation. McKenzie is a dark skinned male of slim build. He is about 5’3” tall. Police also want to speak with 21-year-old Caleb Arthur of Reeves Street, Fox Hill. They believe he can help with investigations into a number of armed robberies. Arthur is a medium brown skinned male of slim build about 5’3” - 5’5”. Police are also searching for 20-year-old Tevin Travis Johnson of Johnson Road, Fox Hill. They also believe he can help with ongoing armed robbery investigations. He has a medium brown

“US Embassy personnel will never ask for a family member’s personal credit card information over the phone or to be the designated recipient of a money transfer on behalf of a US citizen.” The advisory added: “For true medical emergencies, the US Embassy will only direct money transfer through an official account established through the Department of State’s Office of Citizen Services in Washington, DC, or through commercial money

MARK MCKENZIE, who is wanted in a murder probe.

CALEB Arthur

TEVIN Travis Johnson

complexion and is of slim build. Police also want to speak with 29-year-old Lorenzo Franklyn Stubbs, known as “X Box.” Stubbs, a dark brown skinned male of slim build, is of Sequoia Street, Pinewood Gardens. He too is wanted to help in relation to a number of armed robbery investigations. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 502-9991, 911, or 919.

LORENZO Franklyn Stubbs

THE major renovation of the Mall at Marathon continues this month with the next phase of the multiyear, multimillion dollar project. Yesterday, Mall at Marathon officials announced the start of the renovation and remodelling of the wing that extends from Center Court to Kelly’s House and Home as well as the entrances located at BEC/ BPL and QBC/BTC. “Although The Mall will be undergoing major changes during the renovation, all stores in the construction zone will remain open for business,” said Carla Moss-Fitzgerald, Marketing Coordinator. “The ongoing capital improvements is just another way that we continue to deliver on our commitment to provide a quality shopping experience to our shoppers.” The capital improvement project at the Mall, part of its multi-phased renovation and enhancement programme, began in Spring 2015. Last year, the Mall remodelled its

main entrance and a section of the mall corridor and added over 150 parking spaces as well as reconfiguring two parking lots and drive lanes, which has led to a major improvement in traffic flow according to Bob Stevenson, the Mall’s General Manager. Mr Stevenson said that additional road improvements will take place throughout 2017. The Mall, which houses over 110 businesses and opened in 1989, is the largest enclosed, air-condtioned shopping precinct in the Bahamas. The Cavalier Constructiuon Company has been appointed to undertake the

remodelling of the wing in the next phase, according to Ian Fleming, Architect at Bruce LaFleur & Associates. Mr Fleming said additional focus will be placed on the retail stores within the construction zone to undertake the installation of new prototype storefronts that will complement the overall ambience of the Mall. Parts of Cavalier Construction’s work will be done around the clock in order to keep all Mall stores in the construction zone open and the company has pledged to minimise interference during operating hours.


PAGE 6, Friday, January 13, 2017

ROAD TRAFFIC RUNS OUT OF STICKERS IN FREEPORT from page one

The new system has been implemented in Nassau, and plans are also underway to move to an automated system in the Family Islands. On Wednesday, motorists in Freeport were inconvenienced when the department ran short of inspection stickers and decals when they went to have their vehicles licensed. Free National Movement (FNM) Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest said the nuisance to motorists was unacceptable. “The lack of proper planning and procurement in the Road Traffic Department is astounding and a spectacular failure on behalf of the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, as well as the Ministry of Grand Bahama,” Mr Turnquest said. “As this department is responsible for the administration of the road traffic licensing and inspection functions for which a fee is collected, we call on the government to provide value for money to the people of Grand Bahama who deserve first-class service in a modern society,” he said. Mr Turnquest called on the government to be accountable and to provide the resources necessary for the Grand Bahama Road Traffic Department to do its job effectively and efficiently. “The inconvenience to the Bahamian people is unacceptable and inconsistent with a safer, stronger, modern and more prosperous Bahamas,” he said on Wednesday. When The Tribune contacted Mr Ferguson yesterday he informed the newspaper that the inspection stickers and decals had arrived yesterday morning. “We have senior officers come from Nassau this morning with the inspection decals,” Mr Ferguson said. He noted that consideration must be given to the situation, as the government “is about to roll out the new system in a couple of weeks”. “It would be unwise to spend funding when inspection stickers and decals will soon be obsolete,” he said. Mr Ferguson said that licensing of vehicles is running smoothly, but expects that there will be “some hiccups” when the new system is rolled out.

THE TRIBUNE

Minnis: Nothing to celebrate for PLP from page one

“Is this the same Bahamas to which the prime minister was referring? How disconnected from reality can he be to utter such a flippant statement when the reality for so many of us is drastically different?” Despite a term in office defined by controversy and criticism, on Wednesday Mr Christie insisted 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. Dr Minnis, who has been constant in his demands for the court records and documents connected with the sale of Baha Mar be released to the public, yesterday contended that the Bahamian people wanted to know what Mr Christie was so enthused about. “The Bahamian people want to know what Prime Minister Christie is celebrating. The latest economic report reveals that this PLP government’s handling of the Baha Mar fiasco has cost our country $2.5bn in GDP and a loss of $410m in tax revenue,” Dr Minnis said. “Who but the embattled prime minister would look to celebrate those dubious

results? His latest statement only shows how woefully out of touch he is with the families and communities across our country. “The people are not celebrating; rather they are suffering under Prime Minister Christie’s inept government’s continued failures. This government’s mismanagement has robbed the people of jobs, our economy of true growth, and for many Bahamians, hope. “Losing $2.5bn in GDP has consequences at every level - from having junk bond status thrust upon us because of their fiscal malfeasance, to people forced to go without jobs for years. “Mr Prime Minister that is nothing to celebrate. Losing $410m in tax revenue as you exempt your Chinese allies from the oner-

ous VAT is nothing to celebrate,” he said, referring to The Tribune’s revelation last week that VAT payments would be exempt on Baha Mar’s completion. “This government and the embattled prime minister should be hanging their heads in shame for the level of incompetence they have subjected Bahamians to. Instead they celebrate. “The only celebrating the people are preparing for is when they rid our country of the PLP regime that has brought us so low,” Dr Minnis added. On Wednesday, Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade said overall serious crime fell by 26 per cent in 2016, compared to 2015, however crime and the fear of crime remains a concern for many Bahami-

ans. In December, officials from the Department of Statistics said the unemployment rate from October 24-30, 2016 was 11.6 per cent, a 1.1 per cent decline from May, when the previous study was done. The decline came as hundreds of Bahamians gained employment in the construction sector after Hurricane Matthew’s devastating damage. Officials could not assess the quality of the jobs created in the time between the two most recent surveys, such as whether they are likely to be stable or temporary jobs. The FNM has questioned the numbers, saying these jobs were likely temporary and did not give an accurate picture of the unemployment situation.

PLP TO COMPLETE RATIFICATIONS BEFORE START OF CONVENTION

MINISTER of Labour and National Insurance Shane Gibson annouces plans for the PLP convention. 

REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS Institution: The American Development Bank Country: The Commonwealth of the Bahamas Project Trade Sector Programme Sector: International Trade Abstract: Procurement of IPR Computer Equipment and Stationary Supplies Loan No.: 2756/OC-BH Contract/Bid No. :3.2.4.3A/B Deadline January 27th January 2017 at 4:00pm (Nassau, Bahamas Time) The Ministry of Finance of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas has received USD$16.5 million in funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) (Loan BH-L1016, Project No. 2756/ OC-BH), to implement a Trade Sector Support Program. The overall objectives of this program are to improve the operational efficiency of the Customs and Excise Department (CED) and to prepare the Government of The Bahamas for accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Registrar’s General’s Department of the Attorney General’s Office is seeking to procure Computer Equipment (3.2.4.3A) and Stationary Supplies (3.2.4.3B) to enhance its IPR operations. The selection process for vendors is guided by section “III .Other Methods of Procurement, paragraph 3.5 (Shopping) ” set out in the Inter-American Development Bank: Policies for the Procurement of Goods and Works financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (GN-2349-9) and is open to all eligible vendors as defined in the policies.

Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff from page one “It gives me great pleasure to announce plans for the Progressive Liberal Party’s National Convention which will be held from Tuesday, January 24 through Thursday, January 26 at the Melía Nassau Beach,” Mr Gibson said before a raucous crowd of supporters gathered at the party’s Farrington Road headquarters yesterday. He also said: “Despite efforts to keep Bahamians informed of our progress every step of the way, many questions linger about National Health Insurance (NHI), value added tax (VAT) and Baha Mar. These are all topics we plan to tackle at our upcoming convention. “For instance Baha Mar was rescued from bankruptcy by an experienced team. We worked tirelessly to make sure that Bahamian contractors and former employees were paid and we put Baha Mar in the

hands of a world class operator with successful hotels across the region and the world all in the best interest of the Bahamian people. Already construction has restarted and Bahamians will be hired in a matter of days. By May of this year, Baha Mar will be open and will be employing thousands of Bahamians.” Asked whether the party was willing to accept the outcome of the convention, where all positions are expected to be up for challenge, Mr Gibson said the party has always accepted the results of their internal elections. “We have always in the history of the PLP accepted the outcome of every election that we have ever held. We have never ever challenged trust and transparency and accountability in an election. We have always accepted the results and that is why we continue to have young dynamic visionary experienced individuals continue to come and step forward,” he said.

Interested vendors may obtain further information by emailing: customsproject@bahamas.gov.bs or janicadeveaux@bahamas.gov.bs . Bids can be submitted electronically at the address indicated below by January 27th, 2017 at 4:00pm (Nassau, Bahamas Time); Chairman Tenders Board REF: Procurement of IPR Equipment and Supplies Ministry of Finance, West Bay Street, P.O. Box N3017 Nassau, Bahamas Email: tendersboard@bahamas.gov.bs Email: keresahall@bahamas.gov.bs Email: tonyaferguson@bahamas.gov.bs Email: customsproject@bahamas.gov.bs

FIDELITY BANK (BAHAMAS) LIMITED

Notice is hereby given that Sir William Allen retired as a Director from the Board of Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) Limited on December 8, 2016.


THE TRIBUNE

Friday, January 13, 2017, PAGE 7

Chief Justice: Public defenders to cut delays in judicial system By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

THE touted Public Defender’s Office is expected to reduce some of the delays in criminal trials before the judicial system, Chief Justice Sir Hartman Longley said. Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson, QC, confirmed on Wednesday that the Office of the Public Defender, which was part of a $20m Citizen Security and Justice Programme loan facilitated by the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB), will be formally opened later this month. Speaking at the recent opening of the 2017 Legal Year on Wednesday, Sir Hartman confirmed that office “has come on stream and it is expected that some of the delays due to unavailability of counsel will be reduced”. “This should augur well for the system notwithstanding the fact that the original group of public defenders is relatively small. Presumably in time, additional resources will be made available to ensure the steady growth of that office,” the chief justice said. “A protocol has been worked out with the Office of the Registrar to ensure that matters referred to the Public Defender’s Office are processed as quickly as possible given that a means test has been proposed in

CHIEF Justice Hartman Longley addresses the Bar at the start of the legal year.  Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff order to screen potential bility and it is that there will candidates. The public de- be a maximum fee imposed fenders system will operate of $10,000. In any event, in tandem with the system these improvements will of Crown briefs which is lead to greater efficiency of about to undergo some re- criminal justice and should vision. These changes are also induce senior counsel welcomed and they should who are generally reluctant redound to the benefit of to accept Crown briefs to the criminal justice system. enter the reservoir of talent “There is one rider, how- in this area,” Sir Hartman ever, which is intended to added. achieve greater accountaDuring the opening of

the 2015 Legal Year at the Supreme Court, Mrs Maynard-Gibson gave a report to then Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett on a study conducted of more than three dozen delayed cases in 2014 that provided insight on why matters were not going to trial in a timely manner. “In 2012,” she said at the 2015 sitting, “we identified four ‘escape routes’ that prevented matters coming to trial in a timely manner; unavailability of transcripts, inability to empanel juries, calendaring conflicts and lack of defence counsel.” “In fact, of the 43 delayed trials we’ve studied in the past year to determine the key factors contributing to the problem, we’ve been able to ascertain that 47 per cent did not proceed because of the inability to empanel a jury; 21 per cent did not proceed because the virtual complainant refused to pursue the matter; 16 per cent did not proceed because defence counsel was not available to appear in court; and another 16 per cent did not proceed because the defendant was unable to secure counsel,” Mrs Maynard-Gibson had said previously. “It is often said that awareness is the first step to recovery – and this is most certainly the case in relation to the primary causes of trial delays. So, while identifying these causes does not in and of itself

‘RESTORE MAGISTRATE DISCRETION ON BAIL’ By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

DISCRETION to consider bail in certain cases should be restored in the Magistrate’s Court, the country’s top judge has urged. Addressing scores of legal officials at the 2017 Legal Year opening ceremony held in the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Chief Justice Sir Hartman Longley addressed the issue concerning last year’s amendment to the Bail Act, which further restricted the powers of magistrates to consider bail in criminal matters. “Bail continues to be a sore issue,” Sir Hartman said. “Magistrates still continue to complain about the lack of jurisdiction in bail matters. I believe the system can be significantly improved if the jurisdiction of stipendiary and circuit magistrates in many cases of bail is restored. Precious time is wasted at both levels in matters that can and perhaps ought to be dealt with at the summary level. “This is a matter I have addressed with the Attorney General (Allyson

Maynard-Gibson) and I am happy to see the Office of the Attorney General shares our view. In fact, there is very little justification for the current situation of relieving magistrates of this jurisdiction particularly when one considers that magistrates represent the reservoir of talent from which most Supreme Court and appellate judges (are) drawn. If you do the calculations, you will find that magistrates and former magistrates make up 50 per cent of the Court of Appeal judges, 50 per cent of the Industrial Tribunal and more than 50 per cent of the Supreme Court judges. “Perhaps some attention will be paid to this as a matter of urgency,” the chief justice said. Last summer’s amendment to the Bail Act made charges of intentional libel, assault, stealing, and a number of other previously bailable offences nonbailable in Magistrate’s Court which resulted in an increase in the number of persons being remanded to the Department of Correctional Services and having to apply for a bond in the Supreme Court.

The amendment did not return the power of magistrates to grant bail for the offences of drug possession with intent to supply, certain firearms matters, rape, housebreaking, attempted murder and threats of death. On Wednesday, Attorney General Allyson MaynardGibson, QC, told the chief justice and legal officials that the launch of the biometric bail system - expected to be launched this year - and the amendments to the Bail Act facilitating the prosecution of those who breach bail conditions, “will close the revolving door on bail”. Addressing the 2016 Legal Year opening ceremony, she had urged the judiciary to be more hesitant to grant bail in cases of murder and other serious offences. Sir Hartman, at last year’s sitting, acknowledged public outcry on crime and that there was a perception of a revolving door on bail. However, the chief justice, like his predecessor Sir Michael Barnett, held firm that the granting and refusal of bail is a right entrusted to the judiciary alone by the Constitution. Court of Appeal Presi-

WORK

NOTICE

Sea Link Drive, between East Street South and Blue Hill Road South The Water and Sewerage Corporation advises the public, its customers and residents of Sea Link Drive, between East Street South and Blue Hill Road South, that the Corporation will commence improvement works on Friday, January 13, 2017 which are expected to end on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. During this period there may be interruption traffic in flow near the work area due to detours between the hours of 9:00 am and 3:00pm. The Corporation apologies for any inconvenience caused and appreciate your support as we work to improve our level of service.

Tel: (242) 302-5599 or Toll Free (242) 300-0150 Find out more on

or our website www.wsc.com.bs

dent Justice Dame Anita Allen had also challenged critics of the judiciary’s role in the fight against crime to provide researched data proving the correlation between the court’s decision to grant bail and escalating levels of violent crimes.

solve our problem, it is fair to say that the deep understanding we now have of this challenge will allow us to develop effective policies to address it.” The $20m Citizen Security and Justice Programme loan given by the IDB was to allow the government to “mobilise” the “public defender’s office” within the next 60 days and to help the government bring technology to bear on the justice system, with a “special focus” on the implementation of an integrated electronic system for case management, digital recording and scheduling. The funds were also to aid in the design of a restorative justice system. At this year’s Legal Year Opening, the attorney gen-

eral said that the “use of technology has amplified the effect of closing off the escape routes.” “Video-conferencing capacity exists in every court. And all matters between charge and trial can now be conducted by video-conference from the Department of Correctional Services at Fox Hill. This means that only persons being tried need to be brought down daily from Fox Hill to the courts on Bank Lane. The motoring public has already felt the positive effect of this change,” she said. Mrs Maynard-Gibson also said that jurors have applauded the use of digital projection of photographs and the recent inclusion of digital projection of documents.


PAGE 8, Friday, January 13, 2017

THE TRIBUNE

TRIBUTES PAID TO DORIS BULLARD AT FUNERAL THE funeral of Doris Bullard, the oldest member of St Joseph’s Catholic Church on Boyd Road, took place yesterday, eight days after she died aged 99. Mrs Bullard, a valued staff member of The Tribune for 53 years, headed many of the newspaper’s departments before retiring in 1998 as chief librarian. Photos: Derek Smith

THE BAHAMAS RESPONDS AS US ENDS CUBAN WET FOOT/DRY FOOT POLICY THE United States government has announced that its “wet foot/dry foot” policy with regards to Cuban immigrants “will come to an end”, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration. In a statement released yesterday, the ministry said this was communicated to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Fred Mitchell by the US Embassy in Nassau’s Charge d’affaires Lisa Johnson. “The United States told the foreign minister that the decision comes following the renewal of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the United States and Cuba,” the ministry’s

statement said. “The Bahamas government welcomes this decision, particularly as it believed that this policy was believed to be driving the rise in Cuban landings in The Bahamas.” The statement said The Bahamas repatriated 187 Cubans in 2014 and 196 in 2015. However, this number “spiked” around June 2016, with 1,179 repatriated last year. As of January 12 of this year, 114 Cubans have been repatriated, the ministry added. “The government is mindful however that the decision is taken just as the political administration in

the United States is about to change,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration said. “The government waits to see whether the policy will continue beyond the current administration before the government can determine what the policy’s full effects are.” US President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn in as that country’s next president on January 20th, replacing President Barack Obama. The policy allows Cuban immigrants who arrive in the US without a visa to apply for permanent residence, however those migrants caught at sea are detained and repatriated.


THE TRIBUNE

Friday, January 13, 2017, PAGE 9

MIXED RESPONSE TO CRIME FIGURES FROM POLICE FORCE

ARCHDEACON James Palacious addresses supporters at the Majority Rule gospel concert. 

Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff

Marching in step and out of tune for Bahamaland A Comic’s View

By INIGO ‘NAUGHTY’ ZENICAZELAYA

T

HIS week, between the Majority Rule Day marchers and the We March marchers, there sure was a whole lot of marching going on. But while one group celebrated the past, the other focused their eyes squarely on the future.

Our goals may no longer be common or even lofty these days but, on Tuesday, I was proud to be a Bahamian. March on, Bahamaland.

AND NOW THIS

Now that we’ve established that both marches were important and well attended, can we talk about the comments made at one march in particular? Archdeacon James PalaI think most Bahamians would agree that we have cious, a well respected one of the best national member of the clergy in this anthems ever written. The country, had the honour of lines about lifting up our speaking at a Majority Rule heads and waving banners event this week. Unfortunately for me, and treacherous shoals have to be among the coolest. I was not there. I have And rhyming ‘trod’ with no idea what other words ‘God’? Well, that’s pure came out of the mouth of magic. But sometimes, even Archdeacon Palacious bewith the best music and lyr- cause, by the time Tuesday ics, patriotic songs may not afternoon rolled around, connect deeply with every all anyone was talking about was this little gem generation. As a boy, I grew up in a that did escape his lips: crazy time vortex where we ‘Black people breed too were taught both ‘God Save much.’ Now I could go on about the Queen’ and ‘March On, Bahamaland’ side by side. how this statement, on a As children in school, we global or local scale, is just Generation Xers were of- plain false. I could talk staten instructed to sing one tistics and census numbers and immediately segue into but no one wants numbers. the other like some weird Most Bahamians, especialAdele/Baha Men collabo- ly on social media, just want to know what ‘fly up in’ the ration. And since I’m being hon- good reverend to make him est, I might as well admit talk this way. For the rethat even cord, black though I pre- ‘I’ve heard all the people do ferred the ‘poor people’ and not ‘breed new national too much’. anthem I ‘cycle of poverty’ Whatever never really lines from the the revergot it. March good reverend’s end’s arbion? To trary definiwhere? For supporters. But tion of ‘too what? when did being much’ is. In my poor render a And even young mind, though I will ‘God Save person’s existence no doubt the Queen’ meaningless? What have to say was much happened to ‘the my Hail simpler. BaMarys for sically, the meek’ and their questioning song is just inheritance?’ a man of the asking Her cloth, wasn’t Majesty to continue ... breathing (which she has the first (and I mean literalbeen doing splendidly for ly the first) commandment 90 years.) Even the Ameri- God gave mankind somecans’ ‘Star Spangled Ban- thing about being fruitful ner’, with all of their rock- and multiplying? Someone has some exets and bombs and flags seemed straight forward plaining to do. I’ve heard all the ‘poor enough. Why was our anthem all about ‘marching people’ and ‘cycle of povon’ when I had never seen a erty’ lines from the good group of Bahamians march reverend’s supporters. But when did being poor render in my life? This past Tuesday, as we a person’s existence meancelebrated the historic 50th ingless? What happened to anniversary of Majority ‘the meek’ and their inherRule, there were two (some itance? This is all ‘Hunger say duelling) marches. One group, comprised mainly Games’-level strange stuff of hundreds of Progressive to me. And not just because a Liberal Party (PLP) supporters took time to honour well-known pastor chose an event from the past. An- the momentous anniverother group, comprised of sary of Majority Rule to adjust about everyone else in vise ‘black people’ to slow the country, railed against their role when it comes to the current PLP govern- breeding, but also because ment’s poor performance in even if - no, especially if he was targeting the poor, the present. Two different events. his comments become more Thousands of Bahamians in outrageous. This is probably why, like the streets marching at the beer and wine, politics and same time.

A SONG OF PRAISE

THE WE March protest.  Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff religion don’t mix. to scapegoat the least eduFar be it for a sinner like cated and most vulnerable me to ask the hard ques- amongst us. tions about family planning, a woman’s right to choose • Inigo ‘Naughty’ Zeand deadbeat fathers that nicazelaya is the resident the Church and the politistand-up comic at Jokers cians refuse to seriously Wild Comedy Club at the answer. Atlantis, Paradise Island, Instead, I will visit Faresort and presents ‘Misther Anselm at confession chief and Mayhem in da this Sunday and pray to AM’ from 6am to 10am, the Lord that children who Monday to Friday, and are here through no fault ‘The Press Box’ sports of their own are not polititalk show on Sunday from cised but rather prioritised 10am to 1pm on KISS over a wasteful government FM 96.1. He also writes a and a tacitly complicit consports column in The Tribgregation of ‘saved’ souls une on Tuesday. Comments who turn a blind eye to and questions to naughty@ failing institutions in order tribunemedia.net

THE news that serious crimes in The Bahamas declined by 26 per cent in 2016, prompted a mixed reaction from those commenting on tribune242. com. Athlete12 said: “Serious crimes being down 26% isn’t anything to talk about. Simply but if you had 10 serious crimes, you now have just over seven. “However the commissioner has a point. In most communities the people know who the offenders are, the thieves, murders, drug dealers etc . . . and don’t speak up out of fear or simply minding their own business until it hits home. Additionally our judiciary system comes off as lenient because these offenders are back streets within weeks. “I recommend the police hosting events in these communities to build relationships. From very young, our young men are being taught by friends and family in some cases that the police is the enemy, their oppressor. This in a sense is also understandable because how do you openly speak to some who only interact with when there is trouble? So naturally there is fear. “(The) Judiciary system needs to put in place a minimal holding time for these serious crimes especially murder and if this is against our laws, bring it to the vote of the people and make the necessary changes. Our system has no teeth and the criminals know that.” Sheeprunner12 took little comfort from the statistics: “Anyone can use statistics to prove a point . . . but if the threshold point is HIGH, a decline does not mean that the elevated rate has produced a safe environment . . . after a high of 140 murders, a 25 per cent decline would still produce over 100 murders. Where is the comfort in that?” John had this to say: “It is true that after a high of 147 murders last year the real reduction is just 10 per cent reduction of the annual average murders. Up until October this country had the possibility of keeping the murder rate under 90 mur-

ders which would have been 35 per cent below the average and 45 per cent below the 2015 figure. But apparently gang warfare broke in October and young men started dropping like flies. Obviously many were killed because they were associated with one gang or another or with a faction of the gang that is at war with itself. Many of them took no effort to protect because they didn’t suspect they were a target. And halfway into January and with six murders recorded the police still haven’t figured how to stop this wholesale killing.” And there was this from TalRussell: “Crime has a lot more falling to do to reduce the fear of crime in our neighbourhoods, communities and at our business establishments. The Commish will understand why there will be many who will suggest the crime statistics have only declined because victims of crimes don’t even bother reporting them. “Citizens, residents, business owners and workers will only begin to believe that they and their families are safer, once they’re satisfied that the released statistics are not just based on policeman’s facts and figures and were not compiled in consultation with the government as the influencing creative mathematicians. “Commish, we know your heart is good but you, we and your policemen - still have a heavy load haul to give citizens and residents the hope that the freedom of movement and to assemble as a community – without the fear of thugs robbing or killing them will indeed return back to their neighbourhoods and communities.” • Don’t miss your chance to join the conversation on tribune242.com.


PAGE 10, Friday, January 13, 2017

Cycling Club Bahamas Cycling Club Bahamas. - Membership fees are due for 2017, $75 for the year. Plans for a new cyclist ID card are in the works. A membership form will be sent by email. Doctor’s Hospital has a scheduled CPR/First Aid Course scheduled every third Saturday of the month, 9am-5.30pm. For January, the class will be held on the 21st (sign up date for January 17th.) The cost is $95.00 + 7.5% vat = $102.13. This is inclusive of book and certification card. Tea, coffee and sandwiches for tea break. Weekend rides: Saturday leaving 6am sharp from Harbour Bay Shopping Centre in front of First Caribbean Bank (Starbuck’s), 43 miles headed west. In order to complete this ride, it is recommended that you

have done some recent cycling. Leaving P/I bridges optional at the end. The pace will range from 17– 20+mph, three-hour duration. Sundays leaving 6am sharp from Harbour Bay Shopping Centre in front of First Caribbean Bank (Starbuck’s) 40-50 miles headed east. This ride is not recommended if you have not cycled recently or first timers. P/I bridges optional at the end. The pace will range from 17–20+mph, 3-3.5 hour duration (cyclists are invited to join in anywhere along the route). Weekday rides, east: Morning, Tuesday & Thursday leaving 5am sharp from Sea Grapes Shopping Centre, East Prince Charles Drive. This ride is a 17-mile loop to the Northbound Paradise Island Bridge and back again (both bridges are sometimes incorporated depending on available time). Open to riders capable of 18mph+ for 1 hour.

Lights are essential. Weekday rides, west: Morning, Wednesdays & Fridays leaving 4:45am sharp from Fidelity Bank Parking Lot (opposite Cable Beach Police Station), West Bay St. This ride is a 20-mile loop. The route is varied. Open to riders capable of 18mph+ for 1 hr. Lights are essential. Contact Shantell to confirm your attendance. Afternoon: Tuesdays & Thursdays leaving 5:30pm sharp from Old Fort Shopping Center east of Solomon’s Fresh Market. Intermediate Riders 17-22mph - see Spyda This ride is 18miles (faster group leaves North Side Lyford Cay roundabout, recommended for strong riders capable of 20mph+ for 1-1.5hrs. (23 miles) Lights are essential. Upcoming events January 17: Marathon Bahamas, http://www.marathonbahamas.com/ looking for Volunteers- contact robphillips@batelnet.bs.

MARTINA Lohrum sprinting to the finish line. February 18: Ride For two relay teams in the MarHope, Governor’s Harbour, athon Bahamas event this Eleuthera, http://www.ride- Sunday. Because the teams of forhopebahamas.com. Would you like to bike in three males and one female Asturias, in the West Coast don’t qualify for the official of Spain in July 2017? Con- marathon categories (all M tact club if interested. We or all F, or 2M and 2F) the are trying to gauge partici- teams will be competing against each other. pation to work out a price. Cheer on your favorite team when you see them Sands Hash along the race route sporting their “Sands Beer Jet House Harriers Packs”. One team is Sands and Sands Hash House Har- the other is Sands Pink riers. - The Sands Hash Radler. You are welcome House Harriers will have to stop by their tent which

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will be set up near the finish line. Look for the “Nassau Hash House Harriers” banner. They will have breakfast sandwiches, burgers, and refreshments available for a donation. Join the main group for a post marathon run on Sunday. They’ll leave at 11:30am from their tent for a three-mile run. The Hash are a social running club who meet at a different location in New Providence once a week for a fun run. Learn more at www.NassauHash.com.

TO ADVERTISE IN THE TRIBUNE, CONTACT 502-2394

Funeral Service For

Racharde Severe, 24 a resident of Brougham Street, Nassau, N.P., The Bahamas, will be held on Saturday 14th, January, 2017 at 2:00pm at Gospel Assembly Church Of God In Christ, Minni Street and Balfour Avenue, Nassau N.P., The Bahamas. Officiating will be Pastor Celiner Saint-Louis assisted by other Ministers Of The Gospel. Cremation will Follow. His Memories will forever live on in the hearts of his loving and devoted Father: John Tisson “Debo” Severe; Mother: Julia Fleridor; GrandMother: Louisa Severe; Grand-Father: Tissor Fleridor; Care-Giver: Anverdiere Pierre; Uncles: Jeffrey [Nellie], Jerry [Fraya] and Max [Marcia] Severe; Aunt: Ismae Severe; Cousins: Chanthon, Najee,Max Jr. and Maxon Severe, Arthur Carey, Aman Fernander, Geraldire [Jude] Haley, Tewisha, Tamika and Telia Fernander, Rashan Najzette and Queen Nepherfeti Severe, Remika Clarke, Aaliyah Fernander, Lexis Taylor, Gabrielle and Jewel Haley, David [Denise] Williams, Cleveland and Cossie Fernander, Yradieu, Skinfred, Leandro, Escan, Leandra Tehesoie, Mandirano, Moutrard, Vilda, Vildien, Brandon, Fred, Dsl, Diro Vil, Leah, Louis, Cindy Paul, Aline Alexander, Kenwica Phanor, Man Gabrielle, Ti Frevile, Montreville, Donal Doresiee, Yvener Jean Louis Severe, Suzanne, Johan, Viesonne, Tielian, Merlanne, Yxmex, Meme Edie, Sevelianne, Evena, Maselle, Vernnel, Meme Ajoutianne, Villima, Uoltere, Viller, Mme Villa, Luc, Icethy, Tidelivansse Severe.The Fleridor, Severe, Pierre, Nelson, Louis and Joseph Families; A Host of Relatives and Friends Including: The Entire Communities of Brougham Street, Deveaux Street and Mason’s Addition,Dr.Sands and The Animal Clinic, Judy’s Bread Shop and numerous other sorrowful relatives and Friends. Unless given permission by the family, Public Viewing will not be allowed.


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Friday, January 13, 2017, PAGE 11

COMEDIAN MARK B, who said “comedy is a job you do to live in your car or your girllfriend’s parents’ house, two years after you’ve broke up”.  Photos: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff

COMEDY GETS UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL AT RADIO HOUSE COMEDY got intimate last night as Radio House on Shirley Street hosted the inaugural event in the “Up Close and Personal” series, an evening of laughs and appreciation of the intricacies of stand-up comedy. The showcase featured presentations by three of the country’s foremost comedians - Radio House’s own Inigo “Naughty” Zenicazelaya, social media star “Sawyer Boy” and Mark B. JJ McKenzie, Radio House Director of Promotions/Online Marketing and lead organiser of many of the stations’ civic activities, said the event was designed as “something special for our listeners”. She said she viewed it as “an opportunity to give the audience a chance to get to know the comedians on a personal level, find out what inspires them, what it takes to write jokes and how to take it to the stage”. Naughty, host of KISS 96FM’s “Mischief in the AM”, said his inclusion was a ‘“no brainer” as he viewed

COMEDIAN SAWYER BOY, who said “jonsor ask me if i wanted to join his loom, turn twenty five cent to a half bottle vodka”. it as chance to bring the future of local comedy to public attention. Referring to Mark B as his protege and Saywer Boy as an up and coming star, Naughty said the intimate setting of last night’s event tested the mettle of all involved. “You know, it is easy to do videos and memes and so on,” he said. “It is comedy, but stand-up is a whole different breed of animal. It is just you, the audience and the microphone and you have to make the peo-

ple laugh.” A comedy veteran of 19 years, Naughty said that with practice comes comfort for comedians, and with comfort comes more laughter for fans. The event offered listeners to 100 JAMZ, KISS 96 and Y98 a chance to win exclusive invites to enjoy a night of comedy and complimentary cocktails from Bayrock Wines, Tito’s Vodka and High Rock lager courtesy of Bahamian Brewery.


PAGE 12, Friday, January 13, 2017

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