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ALICIA WALLACE: POLITICAL QUOTAS? BRING IT ON

Gibson wants PM as ‘vital’ witness By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis may be called upon to give testimony in former Labour and National Insurance Minister Shane Gibson’s bribery trial in September, an attorney revealed yesterday. Owen Wells, one of Gibson’s attorneys, said Dr Minnis possesses information that is “vital” to the defence’s attempts to stave off the 16 counts of bribery against its client. Mr Wells said the defence has requested the Crown to make Dr Minnis available as a witness. However, he said given the position the Crown has taken on the issue, Dr Minnis may have to be subpoenaed. The trial is set for September 23. In response to Mr Wells’ statements, Justice Carolita Bethel, who

inherited the case after her fellow judge, Indra Charles, recused herself last month, said Gibson’s attorneys should endeavour to ensure that Dr Minnis has “something to offer” from an evidential standpoint. “That’s all I deal with in this court,” she said. Meanwhile, prosecution attorney Terry Archer indicated that the Crown has retained British attorney James Guthrie, QC, to act as lead prosecutor in the matter. Meanwhile, Mr Wells indicated that the defence is reconsidering whether to forge ahead with Mr Guthrie’s compatriot and fellow attorney Edward Fitzgerald, QC, at the helm. Mr Wells said the defence is engaged in ongoing discussions on the matter, and may very well have a new lead attorney at trial.

A 37-YEAR-old security guard was murdered while on duty early yesterday morning during an armed robbery. Alfred Gerard Kemp, described by relatives as a humble, respectable man, had only been working as a security officer for five days when the tragedy occurred. Relatives say he was covering a shift at Commonwealth Brewery Limited’s JFK warehouse

SEE PAGE THREE

NATIONAL Security Minister Marvin Dames said murders are down 21 percent while overall crime is down seven percent compared with this time last year, two of many figures he announced during a data-heavy budget speech in the House of Assembly yesterday. As of June 11, there have been 37 murders. In 2018 the first period in nine years the murder count did not exceed 100 - 47 murders were recorded to this point. Mr Dames said police also believe they have increased the murder detection rate, with people charged in 24 of the murder cases this year. Additionally, he sought to contextualise the murder problem, arguing that killings often involve

DIALYSIS UNIT JOINS SERIES OF HOSPITAL UPGRADES

SEE PAGE FIVE

location for someone else. In response to the tragedy, Commonwealth Brewery Managing Director Jügen Mulder announced that location was closed for the day. It is set to reopen today. According to police, Kemp and two other security officers were on duty when the incident occurred. Police suspect there were about five assailants. “According to reports, shortly after midnight, three security officers

By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net

SEE PAGE SIX

By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net

SECURITY GUARD SHOT DEAD DURING ROBBERY By MORGAN ADDERLEY Tribune Staff Reporter madderley@tribunemedia.net

DAMES SETS BACKGROUND TO REALITY OF MURDERS

IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK

PICTURES showing FNM MP Frederick McAlpine walking with the PLP, including MP Chester Cooper (above) at the Labour Day march in Freeport have caused controversy. Full story, Page 2

HEALTH Minister Dr Duane Sands yesterday cheered several recent upgrades to Princess Margaret Hospital’s Dialysis Unit, calling the improvements pieces in improving the nation’s overall health sector. Dr Sands, in comments to reporters outside of Cabinet yesterday, said officials attached to the unit recognised operations there had not been “ideal” for quite some time. He said a determination was made to take a number of incremental steps to improve the unit over a period of time. SEE PAGE TEN

HOLY DISORDER OVER BAPTIST LEADERSHIP TECHNOLOGY By KHRISNA RUSSELL Deputy Chief Reporter krussell@tribunemedia.net

THE leadership of the Bahamas National Baptist Missionary & Educational Convention has come under scrutiny, with some in the body calling for the removal of “the most unprepared” and “unqualified” president the organisation has ever seen. Reverend Lloyd Smith was installed as the convention’s president a little

REVEREND LLOYD SMITH over a year ago and is well known as the owner of construction firm Holiday

Industrial Builders. With Rev Smith at the helm the body is now experiencing a leadership crisis, according to Dr Keith Russell who heavily criticised the president’s capabilities in a letter of resignation from the post of area vice president for the northern Bahamas district. His decision to step down, according to the letter, was triggered by “ineptitude” shown in the

Nassau & Bahama Islands’ Leading Newspaper

SEE PAGE SEVEN

HOLLYWOOD GETS A TASTE OF GAMING

SEE PAGE NINE


PAGE 2, Wednesday, June 12, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

REV FREDERICK MCALPINE, second right, with Progressive Liberal Party Senator Fred Mitchell, right, at the Labour Day march in Freeport.

McAlpine seen marching arm-in-arm with the PLP (but don’t read anything into it, says Pineridge MP) By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter dmaycock@tribunemedia.net A PHOTO circulating on social media of Rev Frederick McAlpine marching arm-in-arm with Progressive Liberal Party Senator Fred Mitchell and other PLP supporters at the Labour Day march in Freeport has created a buzz, with many wondering if the controversial FNM MP has switched sides. However, Mr McAlpine shot down the speculation and said the situation spoke to his political maturity, not affiliation.  Mr McAlpine - who is at odds with his party - has been critical of party leader and Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis on several issues. In particular, he voted against the increase of value added tax (VAT) which got him fired from his post as chairman of the Hotel Corporation in 2018. In Grand Bahama, at the Sir Randol Fawkes Labour Day March on Friday, Mr McAlpine, Free National Movement MP for Pineridge, was seen marching with PLP supporters, and was not with his FNM parliamentary colleagues, including Minister of State for Grand Bahama Senator Kwasi Thompson and MPs Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe and Iram Lewis. Later, at a rally site at the YMTA Centre, Mr McAlpine did not sit with them, but rather among PLP supporters who were dressed in their party’s colours.

When asked about the photo of him locked arm-in-arm with PLPs, Mr McAlpine told The Tribune on Monday that the event was about labour and workers of the country, not about political parties. “I was on the line walking on one end and they (the union organisers) asked us to lock hands as we were entering the labour rally site. Labour Day is about the people, and not political parties,” he explained. “It speaks to my political maturity; there was nothing political about it. I just happen to be standing in that vicinity when at that moment they asked us as we were entering the labour rally site to lock hands, and Senator Fred Mitchell was there at the time. “It is not an indication of my political affiliation,” said the FNM backbench member of Parliament.  When asked his feelings about labour issues in the country, he said: “I think there is so much union unrest in the country; they are dissatisfied with the government’s handling of matters, and my hope and expectation is that government seeks to resolve or remedy the many labour unrest throughout the country.” Aside from criticising the government over the VAT increase, Mr McAlpine also was against the gesture extended to Dominica by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis for hurricane victims to be temporarily relocated

THERE was nothing political about it, says MP McAlpine.

to the Bahamas following the widespread devastation caused there by Hurricane Maria in 2017. At the time, he said while Bahamians supported offering some form of assistance to Dominica, they wanted to be assured their needs would not be overlooked by their government in order to “cater to the needs of another country”. The Pineridge MP was also critical of the prime minister for calling other parties corrupt as Dr Minnis did regarding the PLP while speaking at an FNM meeting in Grand Bahama, earlier this year. And, he called Dr Minnis out for failing to address the situation about the involvement of National Security Minister Marvin Dames and Health Minister Dr Duane Sands in the Frank Smith extortion/bribery trial, amidst the government’s stance on anti-corruption. Mr McAlpine believed that a government preaching anticorruption should not have the appearance of corruption, and felt that the prime minister should have fired the ministers or asked them to resign. In February, Mr McAlpine also hit out at Dr Minnis, likening the nation’s leader to a coach keeping a “good player” on the bench due to “personal or petty” reasons. Despite his frustration with the FNM, Rev McAlpine insisted at the time that he is still a member of the governing party. 


THE TRIBUNE

Wednesday, June 12, 2019, PAGE 3

Security guard shot dead during robbery from page one were on duty at a wholesale wine and spirits company on John F Kennedy Drive, when they were accosted by a group of armed men who held them at bay and robbed them of personal items, before shooting one of them, then making good their escape from the property,” the Royal Bahamas Police Force statement noted. “Paramedics were called to the scene, attempted to revive the injured man; however, he was pronounced dead on the scene. The other two security officers were not injured during this incident.” Kemp’s home was filled with relatives yesterday

who described him as a devoted uncle, faithful church-goer, and respected community mechanic. His aunt, Glendina Nairn, fought back tears as she described how happy Kemp was to get this job - which he had for less than a week. “(He) just gone on that job,” Ms Nairn said. “All that time he was training, and I was so happy for him. He never bothered nobody. Nice, quiet and humble. Nice young man…very respectable. Never bother nobody, never trouble nobody. You wouldn’t hear a harsh word from (him). “I mean, if you hit him, he mightn’t even hit you back. That’s just how humble he was. Very kind. And he took care of his little nephews.”

37-YEAR-OLD security guard Alfred Gerard Kemp.

Another aunt, Janice Lewis, told The Tribune Kemp was not scheduled to work that fateful night. “He was off,” she said. “That was not his shift. Someone called him in and asked him if he can do it, and he did it willingly. He was happy to go. Because he was so proud of his new job.” Kemp, who had no children, was also described by a cousin as being a skilled mechanic who also dabbled in yard maintenance. She added he took care of the cars of many people in the community. However, he decided to become a security officer to acquire a steadier income. Commonwealth Brewery addressed the tragic incident in a statement released yesterday.

“Early this morning, one of our security team members lost his life during an incident at our JFK warehouse location,” the statement reads. “The matter is currently being investigated by the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) and our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family during this difficult time. We wish to advise our valued customers that due to this unfortunate occurrence our JFK warehouse will be closed to the public until Wednesday.” Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to call Central Detective Unit at 502-9991/2, Crime stoppers at 328-TIPS (8477) or the nearest police station.

‘We are doing all we can to bring the bodies of the two men who died in Italy back as soon as possible’ By MORGAN ADDERLEY Tribune Staff Reporter madderley@tribunemedia.net PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis is assuring the families of the two young men who were found dead in Turin, Italy, last week that the government is doing “everything it can” to ensure that their bodies are returned to The Bahamas “as soon as possible”. Offering his sincerest condolences to the families, Dr Minnis also underscored that government officials are actively handling this matter and avidly following the investigation in Italy. The bodies of Alrae Ramsey, 29, and Blair John, 28, were found in the Po River in Turin on June 4 and 5 respectively. According to some Italian news outlets, results of the autopsies conducted Monday confirm both men died as a result of drowning. However, John’s family has told The Tribune they have rejected the autopsy’s findings and are waiting for CCTV evidence that could give better insight into the situation. “On behalf of the Bahamian people and government of The Bahamas, I extend my deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of Bahamians Alrae Ramsey and Blair John, who were found dead in Turin, Italy, under tragic circumstances,” Dr Minnis said. “I spoke with the Ramsey and John families at the weekend and assured them that the government is doing everything it can to ensure that the remains of their loved ones are returned home to The Bahamas as soon as possible.”

POLICE in Turin where the bodies of Alrae Ramsey, top, and Blair John, bottom, were found in the Po River. Dr Minnis added that as a father, he cannot imagine the “unspeakable pain” these young men’s parents are experiencing. He went on to outline the efforts being made by government officials on the case. “From the outset, I have been in regular communication with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield,” Dr Minnis said. “The ministry and its

PM Hubert Minnis

representatives are carefully and diligently handling this very sensitive matter. “I note the reports received from His Excellency Ellison E Greenslade, high commissioner of The Bahamas to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, who has indicated that he is carefully following the investigation into the deaths of Mr Ramsey and Mr John. High

19-YEAR-OLD CHARGED WITH MURDER

By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net

A TEENAGER was charged yesterday with murdering a 22-year-old man in the Culmersville area last month. Javano Hall, 19, was charged before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt with

murdering Shaquille Rolle on May 30. According to reports, shortly after 10pm on the date in question, a man was standing in front of a residence on Shady Tree Street, Culmersville when a silver vehicle pulled up to him. The occupants of the vehicle subsequently

fired shots in his direction, injuring him, before speeding away. Paramedics transported the injured man to hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries. Hall was not required to enter a plea to the charge and the matter was adjourned to August 7 for service

of a voluntary bill of indictment (VBI). Bail was denied and he was remanded to the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDCS) in the interim. He has the right to apply to the Supreme Court for bail. Hall is represented by attorney Ian Cargill.

Commissioner Greenslade, a former commissioner of police, was dispatched to Italy on Saturday, 8 June, to make further inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the deaths. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to provide regular updates to the families and the public on these tragic circumstances. “I ask the nation to please keep the Ramsey and John families in their thoughts

and prayers during this very difficult time,” the statement concludes. Ramsey, a foreign service officer on study leave in Vienna, was reportedly in Turin on a break. He and his friend, John, were staying at a bed and breakfast establishment at Via la Loggia 2 in Turin. John, a 28-year-old Saint Mary’s University graduate student, was there to attend a psychology conference. The men both attended the same high school, Saint Augustine’s College, in New Providence.


PAGE 4, Wednesday, June 12, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

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The right man for the job? “NOT fit for office.” That’s the concern being raised amid an apparent crisis of leadership in the Baptist community here in The Bahamas. “Unprepared”, “unqualified”, “lack of facility with the English language” – these are the allegations being thrown at the president of the Bahamas National Baptist Missionary & Educational Convention, Reverend Lloyd Smith. The allegations come from Dr Keith Russell as he resigns his post as area vice president for the group’s northern Bahamas district – and he’s just as harsh about his own failings in agreeing to Rev Smith becoming president, saying “I am complicit in helping to elect the most unprepared and unqualified president in the history of Baptist, solely on the basis of money and favour. Moreover, I accepted the token vice presidency of the northern district. All of it makes me despicable and ashamed. May the Lord have mercy on my wretched soul.” It’s disconcerting stuff – with Dr Russell complaining of integrity being thrown out of the window and a lack of ethics, saying that “any Tom, Dick, Harry or Sue” can buy a doctorate degree and “parades around calling themselves doctors of theology”. There is some way to go to get to the bottom of concerns in the community – but readers may find that Rev Smith’s name rings a bell. He has in fact been closely linked with Shane Gibson MP in the past – officiating at the funerals of Hollywood actress Anna Nicole Smith and Mr Gibson’s father, King Eric Gibson. In 2007, Shane Gibson resigned his post as immigration minister amid allegations he fast-tracked Ms Smith’s application for residency in The Bahamas. More than that, readers may remember stories covered by The Tribune in which concerns were raised about his company, Holiday Industrial Builders International (HIBI). In 2008, his contract for the construction of the Attorney General’s building was terminated under the Ingraham administration amid claims of cost overruns. Former Prime Minister Ingraham tabled documents claiming defective work, overpayments and more. Under the Christie administration, then Deputy Prime Minister Philip ‘Brave’ Davis said HIBI had been thoroughly investigated and declared competent by the Ministry of Works, part of Davis’ portfolio. He said the Attorney General’s building contract

had been wrongly terminated. Rev Smith was awarded $700,000 after legal arbitration. HIBI was then awarded a contract to construct a new building for the Ministry of National Security in 2014 – announced by Shane Gibson and sparking an uproar. That contract too was terminated after the FNM was elected and given to a different company. And now this is the man whose role is apparently causing more uproar within the Baptist community. Dr Russell says one of the reasons for initially supporting Rev Smith was because “the convention was in financial trouble and that Rev Smith had the ability to bail us out”. It would appear that the Bible’s lesson about the love of money being the root of all evil has been forgotten. We hope the Baptist community will not be blinded by the need for funds – and that it can find peace, and the right leadership, to carry it forward. Toms, Dicks, Harrys or Sues, it seems, need not apply.

Keep up pressure on crime

MINISTER of National Security Marvin Dames had good news to share as he addressed Parliament yesterday – a reduction in the number of violent crimes and the number of murders. Sometimes such good news seems so far away – especially those times when there are spates of murders in a short time – but the progress is there and officers are to be applauded for that. It is a hard-won success, brought about by concerted effort on the part of the police force, but what it adds up to is saving lives. There are still too many murders, of course. Even one is too many. But from a time when the figures seemed to be moving ever upwards, things have turned around and are on the right path. This is no time to let up, however. The pressure must always be kept on to drive the crime figures ever lower – through good policing, high detection rates, and close work with the community. Every member of the community who looks on the police as an ally is someone who will call the police when they see something wrong, who will turn to the authorities to perhaps help stop crime before it starts. So we say well done to the police – now let’s keep going.

Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom EDITOR, The Tribune LET me clarify that I am an advocate of corporal punishment and not abuse. I do not advocate hitting children in the head or breaking their bones or “blacking” their eyes. I do see nothing wrong with a child being beaten with a belt or cane on the legs, hips or arms.  Again, sometimes cut hip leaves a mark and yes I am “fa real”.  Again I find it so amusing that so many “educated” persons think they know it all. They think because they have travelled and received an education that they know everything. But like the Bible says,” The wisdom of the world is

LETTERS letters@tribunemedia.net foolishness to God”. God in his wisdom said, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child and the rod of correction drives it out.” No, corporal punishment is not the answer to crime, but the US has no corporal punishment and their crime is worse than ours. In addition, Minister Lloyd used to run the “YEAST” programme and so he should understand the need for discipline and corporal punishment. In fact, I am disappointed that because

of his background he has not brought a better standard of discipline to our schools. However, I have learned that politics causes many people to change. God’s word and wisdom trumps that of man any day. No one is advocating beating children for sport. However, corporal punishment is needed in our land and should remain. By the way, I am “educated” too.  “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”. An advocate for corporal punishment… CORPORAL PUNISHMENT Nassau June 5, 2019

Two wrongs don’t make a right EDITOR, The Tribune THE real story about the North Andros Airport terminal and the exorbitant rent was that it took the good Minister 24 months to discover and even seemingly after not finding a lease Government continued to pay. Two wrongs don’t seem to make a right! Tourism…What is the rent at Number One - Bay whilst the old George Street Office building still is unfinished? Nassau Flights Services…Minister you gestured to dig at a Minister on the front bench but hasn’t this deal been done a long time ago? My natural guess it will be Odyssey Flights Services and

they will get management of Marsh Harbour and Exuma International…it would appear to me that  money and favoritism talks. LPIA…Remake of runway…I have to presume BHM have the deal? Port of Nassau - hmm pray Minister Cayman Government embraced the Cruise Line money for their port and influence on cruise schedules and Ports of call…Let’s see who has the better analysis of the sector… Cruise Lines control where their ships go… not Port Managers. J HUGGINS Nassau, June 7, 2019

Thanks, but we must decline offer EDITOR, The Tribune IN response to an article published June 3, 2019 titled “Wilchcombe wants GB seat in next election”  The past generation (40 years) has seen human beings in the free world race toward a brighter, more productive future. Progressive ideas of growth, technological advancements in all fields, new developments daily in science and medicine, all continue to give way to tides of change. Notable global pivoting, redirection, restructuring and even conversations about retribution have come to head in an effort to empower all citizens of earth.  Thirty years (three decades), of that forty-year span of global leaps and bounds, as the world embraced change and charted an unapologetic path toward a brighter day…West Grand Bahama stood still; stagnant! How has this come to be?  The once bustling community of West Grand Bahama died a slow and painful death after the Jack Tar hotel left in 87’, hopeless. In the spirit of ‘cultural normalcy’, representative after representative sought to merely maintain infrastructure, smiles and contentment.

Half the time of this bitter social devour (fifteen years), Obie Wilchcombe former Member of parliament, reigned victorious over this stagnation. Consistently securing more than 50% of the constituency voting bloc. Now, how has this come to be? Aside from our current representative’s recent victory, no other candidate was given a second look if the people of West End and Bimini were not satisfied: • Moses Hall- 77’-87’ (two terms)  • David Wallace- MP 92’ (one term); 2002 lost by 405 votes; 2007 lost by 298 votes • Pakeisha Parker-Edgecombe2012, was washed out in the rip tides and defeated by 644 votes  Despite many victories at the poll, hardcore, irrefutable facts show that the former Member of Parliament has failed the people of West End and Bimini more substantively than any of his predecessors;  • Ginn Sur Mar- unearthed the West and left  • Bimini- marine life lost to excessive dredging  • Highest unemployment among young people  • No social/recreational developments 

• No focus on development • No entrepreneurial enlightenment/ aid  • No avenues of empowerment  Our once lively community has suffered tremendously, steadily declining. In a great way, we regressed under the self-absorbed, self-indulgent leadership of the former infamous parliamentarian, Obadiah Hercules Wilchcombe.  More often than not, susceptible politician’s hearts and heads are detached as they approach the political altar. Perception smothers convictions and focus shifts to feed that ever growing “green monster” called ego.  The former MP for West Grand Bahama & Bimini’s middle name is befitting in this matter, as he has morphed into the ‘Hulk’, destroying all that he touches. All in an effort to reach the pinnacle of some self-imposed aspiration. I’m inclined to say that he has forgotten the core purpose for his nomination, by a party that perpetually boasts of its love for country, his eventual election by a hopeful people who thirst for productivity and his solemn declaration to “do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of The Bahamas without fear or favour, affection or ill will”. 

Every relationship that the “distinguished gentleman” and politician forged over the past two decades has been due to the access afforded to him by the people of West Grand Bahama and Bimini. Every introductory handshake with his name at the forefront (proprietor) followed by his title “Member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini” (us, the enablers) gave him a seat at the table. This should have translated to “us”, West Grand Bahamians and Biminites, interest being addressed at said table…but it was not so! The former Minister has travelled the world and the seven seas, globe trotter, time and again on a ticket purchased for him by the people of West Grand Bahama and Bimini. I’m convinced that he has forged relationships on nearly every continent on this planet... all this and he hasn’t thought once to bring his people one single souvenir back. No memorabilia to say he cares;  • No souvenir from Singapore to show how they’ve advanced in diversification and development  • No South African insight on export, trade and the like  • No European ideas for health

care and social service reform • No East Asian ideas on renewable energy, tech and green developments  • No Canadian ideas on employment, inclusion and diversification  • No North American ideas on Border patrol… (wait, never mind)  • Definitely, No Cuban intel on how to get the cruise ships going our way  West GB & Bimini has gotten absolutely nothing, from a man that radiates such an international aura; he exudes such a global glow.  • A man whose name is known up and down the Eastern Seaboard of the United States of America,  • A man that can pick up the telephone make a call and have 15 trailers sitting in West End at any time.  • A man that can have the cabinet of the Bahamas and an entourage of 200 men, women and children on a post disaster Site inspection/ FAM trip of West End.  • A man that can make a call to Pat Riley for the Heat, Dan Marino for the Dolphins, Rick     SEE PAGE TEN


THE TRIBUNE

Wednesday, June 12, 2019, PAGE 5

SIR ARTHUR FOULKES HEADS AWARDS CEREMONY LIST FORMER Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes heads a list of some of the country’s most outstanding personalities for the 2019 RE Cooper Sr National Meritorious Service Award. The award ceremony will be held at Government House on June 21 with a second ceremony set for July 26. These awards, named after the late Dr RE Cooper Sr, were established in 1983 to recognise outstanding nation builders.

“Dr Cooper gave the ecumenical address at the country’s independence celebrations in 1973 and charged the Bahamian people to become nation builders,” a press release from organisers noted. “However, he recognised that education was key to developing our new nation and single-handedly set about educating hundreds of Bahamians through scholarships to US colleges and universities. As a result

many of our outstanding leaders today are the benefactors of this true nation builder. “The legacy of Dr Cooper Sr, has been perpetuated through his family, headed by Dr RE Cooper Jr, through these awards ceremonies. Honorees are chosen because of their role in helping build our nation through their respective fields. This year, the group of outstanding honorees are led by former Governor

General Sir Arthur Foulkes.” Other notable persons who will be honoured for achievements in areas such as business, education, media and philanthropy, etc are Chris and Terry Tsavoussis; Francis Crothers; Mark Holowesko; Janet Brown; Thelma Grimes; Darrel Rolle; Franklyn Butler II; Darold Miller; Llewelyn Astwood Sr; Leonard “Skeeter” Dames; Rev

SIR ARTHUR FOULKES Timothy Stewart; Merisa Mason-Smith; Kirk Williams; Rev CB Moss; Susan Roberts; AG

Gibson; and Rev Dr Philip Rahming. “Several international celebrities will be in town for the event which is definitely historic,” event organisers said. “Father George Clements, the subject of a (made for TV) movie, will be in attendance as he was an honoree at the last event. Also TV personality and gospel host Bobby Jones, will also be in town to receive his award from the last event in which he was not able to attend.”

Gibson wants PM as ‘vital’ witness LEFT: former Labour and National Insurance Minister Shane Gibson; right: Prime Minister Hubert Minnis

from page one The case was adjourned to July 4 for further case management. Justice Bethel said she expects issues such as disclosure between the two sides would be ironed out by that time. Gibson’s bail continues until that time. On August 3, 2017 Gibson was arraigned in a Magistrate’s Court on 36 bribery and extortion related charges: one count of misconduct in public office, 16 counts of bribery, two counts

of conspiracy to commit bribery, two counts of conspiracy to commit extortion and 15 counts of extortion – all concerned with Jonathan Ash. The number of bribery and extortion related charges were later decreased to 31, though the amount he was alleged to have solicited from Mr Ash remained the same.  The Crown later announced its decision to drop all the extortion charges against the former Golden Gates MP, with Director of Public Prosecutions Garvin Gaskin stating at the time

FIRE REPORT CORRECTION IT was incorrectly reported in an article last week, under the headline “Beloved Couple Perish in Blaze”, that Ben Rose was the owner of the Silver Reef Health Spa in Grand Bahama.  However the spa was owned by the late Cay

Gottlieb and his wife, Andrea. Rose’s wife Judy was a chef at the spa for many years. Ben and Judy Rose are believed to have died in a house fire in Emerald Bay last week.  The Tribune apologises for the error. 

that the decision was for the Crown to devote a “singular and simplified focus” on Gibson’s bribery charges. About an hour after his initial arraignment, Justice Cheryl GrantThompson granted the former Golden Gates MP $40,000 bail with two sureties on the condition he does not reoffend and attends his trial. She did not impose any travel restrictions on Gibson, and neither was he required to surrender his travel documents or check into any police station.

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PAGE 6, Wednesday, June 12, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

MORE THAN 500 CELL PHONES CONFISCATED BY BDCS By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net

STAFF of the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services confiscated 502 cell phones during the 2018-2019 fiscal period, an increase of 12 percent compared with the previous period when 449 phones were collected, National Security Minister Marvin Dames revealed yesterday. He credited increased from page one

people who know one another rather than happening randomly.  He said: “The reality is that 17 of the current 37 murder victims were known to the police. Six of the victims were on bail for various offences, including murder, and four of them were being electronically monitored for murder. In other words, in most of these incidents, the victim is known to the attacker. Nothing justifies a senseless killing, but we cannot turn a blind eye to these facts.” Mr Dames said 507 people are presently in the system for murder, including 174 serving time at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services, 212 on remand awaiting trial and 121 on bail being electronically monitored. And of the 37 people murdered this year, 91 percent died by gunshot wounds, he said, adding that 163 firearms and 1,914 rounds of ammunition have been seized by police so far.  “Included in these figures are 11 high-powered rifles, such as the AK-47 assault rifle,” he said. “This is a concern for us as there were a number of shootings where these high-powered weapons were used, resulting in multiple injuries, sometimes death, to those targeted.” Crime in general is trending downward, he said, adding armed robbery reports have decreased by 20 percent, rape by 29 percent, unlawful sexual intercourse by three percent and robbery by nine percent. He said housebreaking reports have decreased by 37 percent, shop-breaking by 16 percent and stolen vehicles by 27 percent. Mr Dames said stealing is one category that has increased though he did not say by how much. The Mount Moriah MP said police have issued 11,869 tickets to motorists for infractions, an increase of 28 percent over the same period last year. Regarding drugs, he said police have interdicted 4,280 lbs of marijuana, 104,807 marijuana plants and 14.46 lbs of cocaine. He said 2,492 ecstasy tablets, 1,029 oxycodone tablets and 5,968 alprazolam tablets have also been seized. Drug enforcement officers recovered 43 marijuana cookies, 20 marijuana brownies and one marijuana cake, with Mr Dames adding that 667 persons responsible for these offences were arrested with 541 of them subsequently charged. Mr Dames highlighted the Minnis administration’s investments in technology, equipment and infrastructure. When the Free National Movement came to office, he said, it met 193 of 243 CCTV cameras dysfunctional and a system that was

staff vigilance and searches for the lack of prison escapes in the past year as well. Mr Dames spoke about the persistent problems at the BDCS and said there are plans to address a bed shortage and overcrowding at the facility. “The incessant complaints from officers, inmates, the general public and human rights groups, alike, about the decades-long problem of

overcrowding and the practice of slopping in the Maximum Security Unit have not fallen on deaf ears with this Hubert Minnis led government and this minister of national security,” he told the House of Assembly. “Maximum Security was built in 1952 to accommodate a maximum of 432 inmates but the current population stands at 894,” he said. “As a measure to reduce the level of

overcrowding within the facility, BDOCS will continue its work with the Citizen Security and Justice Programme, Correctional Service Canada and other global partners to prepare for a parole system as a measure to reduce the level of overcrowding within the facility. We cannot effectively address rehabilitation without first correcting the problem of overcrowding. I am not suggesting that parole

implementation is a panacea for the countless years of previous administrations not addressing the problems in Maximum Security. The problems that exist will not be fixed overnight but this initiative demonstrates that we remain ‘The People’s Government’ and are committed to criminal justice reform and to improving the physical environment at BDOCS for those employed there and those that are incarcerated.

“To address the shortage of beds, $365,000 is allocated for the manufacturing of 300 beds by inmates during this fiscal period. This manufacturing by inmates is two-fold whereby, it will provide the customisation for the beds to be 71 made in the appropriate size to adequately outfit cells; and it will also provide inmates with the opportunity for practical application of their technical skills.”

Murders fall 21%, reveals Dames as detection rate up

MARVIN DAMES, Minister of National Security.  Photo: Terrel W Carey Sr/Tribune Staff plagued with bandwidth issues that prevented reliable capture of footage. Since then, he said, 200 of the cameras have been fixed and 43 are in the process of receiving necessary updates. He said the administration has committed to expanding its CCTV programme for $5.9 million. A local company, Proficient Business Services, will be responsible for procuring 507 cameras, 100 of which will be equipped with licence plate recognition capabilities, another 100 with facial recognition capabilities and a further 120 with pan tilt zone capabilities to capture evidential information in real time, he said. Mr Dames said the administration’s investment

in Shot Spotter technology has borne fruit with the system alerting authorities to 187 gunshot incidents since March while recording a total of 572 rounds that have been fired. After the murder of 11-year-old Marco Archer in 2011, a law was enacted allowing authorities to send notifications alerting the public to missing children. Mr Dames said the government has committed $3.05 million over three years for a Marco’s Alert System and a contract has been awarded to Multimedia Technology to facilitate the system. Mr Dames also said regulations relating to a sexual offences registry, also part of Marco’s law, have been

reviewed by Cabinet and will go out to the public for consultation. “It is expected that a decision is anticipated sometime during the third quarter of this year,” he said. “An electronic registration would also need to be established that has the ability to track and monitor convicted sex offenders and has the ability to notify the public of their home addresses and information about their convictions. The system will use a combination of biometrics, information technology and tracking technology to monitor in real-time, register/check-in and record all information on sex offenders inclusive of location, photo ID, residences,

aliases, offences and so much more. With such a system in place offenders will now be able to re-register periodically and/or check-in using kiosks which will identify them via biometrics. As such, the Ministry of National Security will issue a request for proposal sometime during the third quarter of this year to invite potential vendors to provide a Sexual Offenders’ System Software for The Government of The Bahamas.” A registry was introduced as an amendment in 2013 to the Sexual Offences Act after Archer’s murder by a serial child predator. The previous Christie administration never created the registry and observers have

questioned elected officials’ commitment to the registry. Mr Dames said last year that the government would establish the registry before the end of 2018.  The national security MP also said the government intends to recruit 263 new officers in the upcoming fiscal year; it recruited 35 new officers in 2018 and 135 in May 2019, he said.  Overall, the total number of police officers recruited under the administration by the end of its third year will be 533, Mr Dames said. “This figure would represent 120 more officers the former administration would have recruited during their entire term in office,” he added.   Editorial View - Page 4

RBDF APPREHENDS MORE THAN 1,000 MIGRANTS IN A YEAR By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE Royal Bahamas Defence Force has apprehended 1,013 illegal migrants––mostly Haitians––this fiscal year, National Security Minister Marvin Dames said yesterday. “This number reflects a significant decrease when compared to the previous cycle in which 2,130 migrants were apprehended. The decrease in apprehension of illegal migration can be attributed in part to the efforts made by the agency to improve strategic policies, increased and expansive patrols in commonly used migratory routes, intelligence gathering, and deterrence effects from the installation of a long-range radar

that provides better detection capabilities,” he said. During his budget speech, the Mount Mariah MP also revealed that 194 poachers were arrested and 11 ships confiscated this fiscal period, an increase over the previous period. “The marine resource products seized were 109,639 lbs of fisheries products, which resulted in fines amounting to $8,437,000,” he said. “The numbers are up significantly from last year when the Royal Bahamas Defence Force arrested six poachers, confiscated six skiffs, and despite no fisheries products being seized the fines amounted to $66,000. It is duly noted that operational efforts this fiscal period resulted in the largest interdiction of poachers from the

Dominican Republic in a single year, who were awarded a fine in the amount of $8.4 million. This amount represents the largest fine not only in the history of the Defence Force, but also in the history of The Bahamas.” Mr Dames said the government is already bearing fruit from the $2.1 million long-range coastal radar donated by the United States. “Since the installation of the radar and reconnection on March 4, 2019, we have experienced a 43 percent drop in Haitian migrant landings and a 63 percent increase in migrant vessel detections when compared to last year in the same time period,” he said. “The reduction in landings and increase in detection can be attributed in part to the deterring and

detecting capabilities gained with the implementation of the new long-range coastal radar system. The second radar is expected to cost $2.6 million and preliminary construction is scheduled to commence in August of this year. It is anticipated that it will be fully operational in early 2020. Meanwhile, efforts are being made to secure a third radar, which will be installed in the central Bahamas.” Mr Dames said Cabinet has approved a contract award to SWIFT Engineering Inc of $17.7 million over a three-year period to buy 55 unmanned aerial vehicles for the national drone programme. The short and medium range drones will assist in interdiction and surveillance efforts, he said. He also said local contractors

in Inagua have been contracted to demolish and construct three units at the defence force base for $573,000. The units will consist of two houses capable of housing six people and one medical unit to improve healthcare accommodations for people at the base. “With reference to Ragged Island, the government recently approved $899,000 for the purchase of 33 mobile accommodation units and ancillary equipment from VanOord Dredging Company,” he said. “These self-contained units will be used initially as a subsidiary base in Ragged Island to assist with sustaining of maritime operations in the area of the eastern Great Bahama Bank until the main base is constructed.”


THE TRIBUNE

Wednesday, June 12, 2019, PAGE 7

Minister leaps to Rolle’s defence in McAfee row By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net

NATIONAL Security Minister Marvin Dames yesterday lauded the integrity of Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle amid corruption claims levied against him by Bitcoin millionaire John McAfee. Mr Dames in an interview outside of Cabinet yesterday emphatically backed Mr Rolle, of whom he said he had the “utmost confidence”. The Mount Moriah MP went on to dismiss Mr McAfee’s claims as “outlandish” and void of facts, telling reporters that current social norms permit people like the BritishAmerican businessman to “pop up from nowhere,” make unsubstantiated allegations and malign the name and character of persons without merit. He challenged Bahamians and the local press alike to be more mindful in such situations, and allow for all the information relative to such matters to come forward. In a firestorm of tweets over the weekend Mr McAfee made several damaging claims about corruption in the US government and among Bahamian officials. Mr McAfee, who is described on international

MAIN picture: Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle and, left, John McAfee’s Twitter page yesterday. He has 961,000 followers.

news sites as a “fugitive of the law” for US tax evasion, named Mr Rolle and Royal Bahamas Defence Force Commodore Tellis Bethel in his tweets. In response, Mr Rolle, who presently serves as head of the Royal Bahamas Police Force’s Anti-Corruption Unit, threatened to take action against Mr McAfee. For his part yesterday, Mr Dames said: “Unfortunately, this is the world we are living in today. Who is this guy? “People pop up from nowhere, make these outlandish allegations with nothing to support it. There

is an avenue, a means by which, if you have information and you feel that this information is legitimate, you come to the authorities and you report it,” he said. Mr Dames continued: “This is part of the danger of social media. Anyone can pop up and say anything about anyone and all of a sudden, it becomes a headline. Mr Paul Rolle, the acting deputy commissioner of police, is an upstanding citizen of this country who I have known for a very long time and continues to give of his best every day. As far as I am aware, his integrity precedes him, ok? “If this man, whomever

he is, has any information that he deems credible then there is a process. “To take people’s name and just throw it out there without any supporting facts or evidence is very dangerous, and it is something we all have to be careful of because we all are, in a sense, public figures and anyone can jump on social media and say anything. “It happens every day. It happened to me and I’ve seen it, and I’ve been a victim of that. And I want to be extremely careful here, as I said before, there is a process. And if someone has information that they deemed as credible, then there is a process by which they can communicate that and it can be acted upon. “But to just throw people’s name out there, it is very disconcerting and has the potential to damage good people. We have to be careful with that,” he added. When asked by The

Tribune if he had spoken to Mr Rolle about the allegation put forth by Mr McAfee, Mr Dames contended: “I haven’t spoken to Mr Rolle yet, but he knows exactly how I feel. I have the utmost confidence in his integrity, he has worked with me for many years and has never ever, I have never come across anyone maligning his integrity and character.” Mr McAfee is reportedly onboard a private boat presently sailing in waters adjacent to The Bahamas. In new tweets yesterday, Mr McAfee responded to comments Mr Rolle gave to The Tribune on Monday, at one point even posting a copy of the article on his Twitter feed. Despite several attempts by The Tribune yesterday to contact Mr Rolle, he could not be reached for comment these latest developments. Mr McAfee, a BritishAmerican businessman and programmer, founded software company McAfee Associates in 1987 and

ran it until 1994 when he resigned. In January, he tweeted that he had not paid US taxes in eight years. He also announced at the time that he planned to run for the US presidency. In his Twitter rant over the weekend, he warned the US government to leave him alone or he will “f***ing bury” them. He claimed the US Department of Justice is compiling a bogus case against him for money laundering, racketeering and murder. He tweeted: “From friends in the State Department: The DOJ trumped up charges against me for murder, money laundering and racketeering…A conspiracy is unfolding. Proof coming.” “I’ve collected files on corruption in governments. For the first time, I’m naming names and specifics. “…If I’m arrested or disappear, 31+ terabytes of incriminating data will be released to the press,” he added.

HOLY DISORDER OVER BAPTIST CONVENTION LEADERSHIP

from page one

organisation of the body’s most recent convention. He said an “appalling” disregard for the sacredness of the the holy house, total indifference to fundamental procedures concerning the convention’s finances and the absolute abandonment of biblical and theological preaching was on display. Others within the convention, who did not want to be identified, have told The Tribune this has been a “bad” year for the body. “I was shocked and dismayed regarding the proceedings at the recent Bahamas National Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention,” Dr Russell - pastor of First Baptist Church in Freeport, Grand Bahama - wrote in his twopage letter. “What is even more disconcerting, we had a number of persons who were willing to stand to the floor and defend this chaotic, unspiritual nonsense, spewing their rancid and meandering drivel. Obviously, for a particular constituency of Baptist, this is all a game. No standards are required. “Integrity has been thrown out of the window; ethical boundaries have been erased. Any Tom, Dick, Harry or Sue buys a doctorate degree out of the

back trunk of someone’s car or from some street peddler or some bogus school then parades around calling themselves doctors of theology. Most of them can hardly string together two coherent sentences. It is scandalous. “We Baptist now give any jackleg preacher power and responsibility. . . Historically, with all our flaws, Baptists have been better than this. What happened to us?” He then attacked Rev Smith’s ability to provide proper leadership to the organisation, which has at least 200 churches under its umbrella. “In this present critical moment, what we Baptist appear to want to ignore is that we have a crisis in leadership. It is quite apparent by now, even to the dullest among us, that our president, Rev ‘Dr’ Lloyd Smith, is not fit for this high office. From my uncelebrated observation, he has neither the temperament, the theological depth, the understanding of matters relating to the sacred house, (or) the people skills. . . to hold such a position,” Dr Russell continued. In an effort to offer full disclosure, he said he had every intention of voting for Rev Smith in the past election had an actual vote occurred, but was convinced by a friend that he was the best choice for the

convention. “My friend’s reasoning was that the convention was in financial trouble and that Rev Smith had the ability to bail us out. I objected, pointing out Rev Smith’s lack of training at a legitimate institution of higher learning and his lack of facility with the English language, among other unmentionables. “Perhaps, it was Rev Smith’s offer to me of becoming president of the Baptist College upon his ascendency that silenced my prophetic tongue and inflicted me with hysterical and spiritual blindness. So I acquiesced. I compromised. I yielded. I now repent, in contrite tears. “I am complicit in helping to elect the most unprepared and unqualified president in the history of Baptist, solely on the basis of money and favour. Moreover, I accepted the token vice presidency of the Northern District. All of it makes me despicable and ashamed. May the Lord have mercy on my wretched soul.” Several attempts to reach Rev Smith were not successful yesterday up to press time. In 2014, he was forced to defend work he did under a $20m contract to build a new Ministry of National Security building on John F Kennedy Drive. He was

awarded the contract by the last Christie administration. This came despite a 2008 termination under the Ingraham administration of his firm’s contract to build what is now the Attorney General’s Office, due to costs reportedly ballooning to $14m, but Rev Smith maintained this was “politically motivated”. When the agreement was ended, he had only completed about $10m worth of the necessary work. The situation had at the time been brought into public view by former Free National Movement MP Hubert Chipman, who asserted that Rev Smith and former National Insurance Board Minister Shane Gibson appeared to

DR KEITH RUSSELL have close ties. Mr Chipman noted Rev Smith officiated at Hollywood star Anna Nicole Smith’s funeral and that of Mr Gibson’s father, “King” Eric Gibson. Mr Gibson resigned his post as immigration minister in 2007 amid allegations he fast-tracked Ms Smith’s

application for residency in The Bahamas. Rev Smith said then that he could not understand the public backlash and criticism over the Christie administration awarding the contract, because during the FNM’s 2007 to 2012 term in office, he did not receive any work or major contracts. “Minister Gibson is my friend, but I am saying it has nothing to do with the contract I was awarded. I do support the Progressive Liberal Party and I suppose they will put me on the list for any job. That doesn’t mean that I will or won’t get the job,” Rev Smith said of the situation. Editorial View - Page 4


PAGE 8, Wednesday, June 12, 2019

L

AST week, when questioned about the lack of representation of women in parliament, Leader of the Opposition Philip “Brave” Davis said 30 to 40 percent of the Progressive Liberal Party’s 2022 slate of candidates will be women. He noted the best proportion could be higher, but it depends on who makes themselves available. Both the Progressive Liberal Party and the Free National Movement both had outrageously low numbers of female candidates in the 2017 general election. It is clear political parties in The Bahamas are not paying enough attention to issues of gender, how they contribute to them, or the ways they can bring transformation. Public sentiment about political quotas has been negative over the past few years. The topic draws commentary from people who are not only annoyed by conversations about gender equality, but do not understand how quotas work. Political quotas are not about arbitrarily putting women in seats. They are about creating environments in which women have the opportunity to receive the necessary training, education and experience, present themselves as candidates, receive party and public support to run for winnable seats and represent their constituencies well. Quotas encourage political parties to make adjustments that result in increased access for women. If every political party has to ensure 30 percent of its slate is women, they will have to invest in better recruitment and training practices because they want to win. Their wins are inextricably tied to the performance of individual candidates and women should be included. It is important to dispel the most widespread myth

THE TRIBUNE

Political quotas? - bring them on The

Alicia Wallace

column

about political quotas. We do not advocate for a political quota only to see a high number of women candidates in a general election. We want great representation. Our support will go to exceptional candidates who show understanding of issues of national concern, critical thinking skills, ability to develop solutions and other characteristics and relationships that ensure they will be effective (such as the full support of the political party and its leadership). Today, we are not convinced candidates with the greatest potential truly have access. Can they engage in the process to become candidates? Do they have the support they need, especially if they are not already well-known? How can they compete with people who embody what so many believe a leader to be, just by being men? Women, feminists and women’s rights advocates want true representation and are as concerned about the quality of candidates as everyone else, if not more. We have seen what appointing a woman just

because she is a woman can do. We want excellent candidates. A political quota would help us to ensure such candidates are able to participate and not blocked because it is more politically expedient to run someone who is more readily seen as capable because he is a man. We have to intentionally make space for women and, by doing so, change the way we see women, leadership and women in positions of leadership. In some countries, there are political parties that have instituted quotas. Voluntary quotas have been adopted by political parties in Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Canada, Germany, Kenya and Malta among others. If the Progressive Liberal Party is serious about ensuring women are given equal opportunity to participate in frontline politics by responding by the inequalities in systems and practices, it has the opportunity to set a precedent. It can be the first political party in The Bahamas to reserve a proportion of its slate for women and develop a process for

PHILIP DAVIS said 30 to 40 percent of the PLP’s 2022 slate of candidates will be women. recruitment, training and campaign management that accounts for gender relations. This needs to happen and it is imperative it is not a one-time deal, but is embedded in the party’s constitution, pushing others to do the same. The political quota

is not the only need, but will prompt the systemic changes we need in order to move toward gender equality more broadly and proper representation in frontline politics in particular. When we begin to see women as leaders and as

effective representatives, we will no longer need a political quota. For now, it can only help us to move further along with people in parliament who look like us, live like us, understand us and can advocate for our specific needs as a constituency.

ONE of the most difficult things to watch over the past week has been the commentary about the two young Bahamian men who were found in a river in Turin, Italy. There has been some sympathy for the family, calls for justice, demands for Bahamian authorities to apply pressure to ensure Italy is doing all it can not just to bring the case to a swift close, but to uncover the truth. In addition to this, however, there have been assumptions, guesses, conspiracy theories popping up everywhere, from comments on news websites to social media posts. We have all watched enough movies and episodes of crime television shows to string together terrible plots, be less than stellar as US district attorneys and confidently tell a unbelievable story with minimal information. This does not mean we have

the skills to solve crimes and it definitely does not mean we are entitled to state our opinions or cobbled together stories as facts in the middle of a family’s grief and search for the truth. One of the most troubling aspects of these frequently occurring situations is that many people are curious, but not caring. Some try to position themselves as people interested in the welfare of their fellow Bahamians, but their behaviour betrays them. They have the burning need to know that we call nosiness, but give little or no thought to the people affected by the questions, accusations, and far-fetched conclusions they careless throw around. This is embarrassing, hurtful and unnecessary. Cable television and the internet provide countless ways for us to entertain ourselves. We do not have to use one another’s misfortunes.

You do not have to be a troublemaker to find yourself in a bad situation. You do not have to be reckless to get sick. You do not have to be bad with money to be cash poor. We do not always deserve what we get. The people left to take care of us, or responsible for handling affairs when we are gone do not need the added burden of stigma, conspiracy, or fabrications that only serve to feed the imagination of strangers. Two mothers have expressed their sadness at the death of their sons and many others mourn with them. While we are right to demand answers and to press the Bahamian government to do all in its power to get to the truth, it is not our place to judge the young men and not our right to use them for entertainment. If we are not already better than this, now is the best possible time to figure out how we can get there.

Don’t rush to judge without knowing the truth

To advertise in The Tribune, contact 502-2394


PAGE 10, Wednesday, June 12, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

DIALYSIS UNIT JOINS SERIES OF HOSPITAL UPGRADES from page one

“Well, we are trying to do a little bit each day,” he said, insisting the effort is predicated on making things “better for the patients.” Dr Sands added: “And so, it has had a bit of facelift; there are all brand new chairs, we are about to get brand new machines and when we are prepared to put them into commission we will invite you to join us for that celebratory event. And this is all as we get ready to move the Dialysis Unit to a brand new site. So, we have heard the concerns. We recognise that the unit has not been ideal. And one day at a time, one piece at a time, we are trying to make the health system better for our patients.” By KHRISNA RUSSELL Deputy Chief Reporter krussell@tribunemedia.net RENOVATIONS and technology upgrades are planned for the House of Assembly in the upcoming fiscal year, according to Speaker Halson Moultrie. He was asked by The Tribune to explain a notable increase in the budget for Parliament outlined in the government’s draft estimates of revenue and expenditure 2019/2020. The House of Assembly is set to receive more than $6.5m, when it only received a little over $2.2m in the 2018/2019 budget year. This expanded budget will be used to upgrade the old and outdated Hansard system, renovate the ground floor of the Senate building to accommodate new offices for the speaker and his deputy and the establishment of a library and research division at the House. New flat screen monitors are also to be installed for real time playback during sessions to ensure accuracy when there are disputes in debates. However, none of the increased budget will go toward fixing accessibility issues for persons with disabilities that are evident at Parliament. Speaker Moultrie explained the building is simply too old to do this. “The first is the Hansard equipment, (it) needs to be upgraded. Right now, we’re still in analogue mode and so we’re moving to digital mode and we’re also intending to put up some flat screens so that the members can actually examine what they have said,” Speaker Moultrie told The Tribune. “For example if a member gets up and accuses another member of something, we’re trying to put a system of instant replaying - similar to what they have in basketball and football and so on - so that an immediate reference can be made to the statement as opposed to the system that we have now, where the complaint would be filed based on a member denying an allegation and then we have to go and get the Hansard record transcribed and that takes days,

Last September Dr Sands described PMH as grappling with an ongoing “crisis” in its dialysis unit. “Dialysis has been a huge challenge for more than 10 years,” he explained at the time. “We have a dialysis unit at (PMH) that was designed for 125 patients.”

The hospital caters to nearly 200 people who need renal therapy, he said. Yesterday, Dr Sands suggested the number had fallen in recent months to 163, as he revealed that officials were comfortable with the current patient to nurse ratio within the unit.

“As of today, we have 163, I believe, dialysis patients and we have more than enough dialysis nurses for the time being. “But, yes, we are trying to not only recruit, but retain specialty nurses across the system. So compared to the challenge that we had a few

CLINIC CLOSES AFTER PROBLEM WITH PAINT FUMES By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net THE decision to utilise an oil-based paint in repairs at the Flamingo Gardens Clinic led to its closure yesterday, according to Health Minister Dr Duane Sands. After investigations, it was confirmed the facility would re-open today.

Dr Sands said the decision to close the clinic was made as a precaution after staff there had challenges with inhalation of fumes. He said the move was made out of an “abundance of caution”. Dr Sands said: “…We don’t want to subject our staff to this type of exposure. What it now means is that despite trying to take

precautions to have the work done well ahead of the reopening today, it was not done as specified and so we are now going to have to decompress those clinics to all of the surrounding facilities. “It is unfortunate, but we are not prepared to take any chances with the health of either our staff or the patients,” he added.

months ago, today, the 11 of June 2019, at least in dialysis, things are going pretty well,” Dr Sands said. According to an internal memo leaked last year, dialysis treatment has been a huge challenge for more than 10 years at PMH. As of last year, the public dialysis service provided renal replacement therapy to almost 600 patients — with roughly some 400 being divided among private dialysis units in New Providence, Grand Bahama and Abaco. The memo also highlighted a lack of nurses in the unit and called for a weekly charge rate of $150 for transport to and from the dialysis unit three times a week. A 25-year-old man died in December after it was

DR DUANE SANDS claimed he was turned away from the unit days earlier because of a staff shortage. The hospital later revealed that he was “non-compliant” with his treatment schedule up to the time of his death.

Expanded budget for renovations at House of Assembly

THE HOUSE of Assembly and, inset, Speaker Halston Moultrie. so sometimes we don’t get the response in four to five days, or into the following week and by that time the story is dead. It has already been printed in the newspaper and if the member was wrong, the retraction doesn’t do justice.” He continued: “And then the other area is we’re looking at renovating the ground floor of the Senate building. The speaker’s office which is now in the Bay/Parliament building

right across the road will be moved to the ground floor of the Senate building. “There will be a new office for the deputy speaker. Right now, there’s no office for the deputy speaker, as well as some of the staff will be moved. “We’re seeking to establish a library and research division so that members, when they are seeking information, we have a staff (member) identified who will be able to send them

the information directly during the session. “And so, some of the increases that you may see will also be for additional staff that will be required. Also, what we’re seeking to do is to get the Parliamentary Channel on 24-hour programming.” To do this, officials plan to produce new parliamentary shows. “We’re planning to put some shows together. For example, round table

discussions with speakers and former speakers, ladies of Parliament, this week in Parliament and so just a number of different shows we’re trying to put together, some educational aspects, historical information, so that the channel can be more educational as opposed to just seeing the live broadcast of the sessions and then we revert on the channel to death announcements.” Regarding accessibility

issues in the Parliament building, Speaker Moultrie said it really boils down to needing a new facility. As it stands, Parliament only has a wheelchair ramp that allows access to the ground floor of the House of Assembly and Senate. However, there is no wheelchair accessibility to the second floor of the buildings. “Now I am recommending really, and a number of other members of Parliament are all of the view that we need a new Parliament building because it is almost impossible (and) impractical to convert this structure that we have in any way, particularly, except for the outside ramp to make it more accessible for the disabled. “It’s almost impossible practically impossible - to do anything with the staircase coming out and the structure is so old it just wouldn’t be economically feasible to renovate it that way,” he said. As for the host of other changes, Speaker Moultrie said officials plan to use the summer recess to complete much of the plans.

Thanks, but we must decline offer from page four

Fox for the Lakers and countless others, to negotiate deals to have them come to New Providence, the capital All this, while West Grand Bahamians are broken.  • Lives are distraught  • Relationships severed, from social withdrawal  • Businesses failing from economic stagnation  • Our community culture lost to the “I lookin’ out fa’ me” mentality • House damage Is superficial, many of us have lost our homes… the love and warmth we knew we could count on to greet us at the door left us  • Greetings and social outings with friends turn to unqualified counselling sessions  • Stubborn cultural pride holds our children back from school because of lack; “no uniforms, no money”  • Social service lines are wrapped around the building 

• Baby’s nickel and dime savings robbed by a mother who had a ‘clear dream’ last night and needed to play this lil’ number • Eclipse Beer rebranded; “pop down” dollar beer. The most Affordable Antidepressants medicine  Endless promises, conversations, connection, contracts and convincing went on all around us, yet the former Member of Parliament and two-time Cabinet Minister, with prime ministerial delusions of grandeur, was unable to convince the jobs that once lived here to return home. As our community shifted in its deep sleep because of our aches and pains, we awoke in 2017 to the fact that a warm smile and familiar face deceived us. The cold hearted, violent tactics of looking a man in the eye and misleading his very soul, with articulation and rhythmic words that beat on the hallow surface of his desperation, is absolutely shameless. My God…Enough Is Enough!!  Oblivion has consumed the

former parliamentarian once again, dismissing the crushing defeat at the polls both he and his party suffered in May 2017 and currently dares return, within less than two years of his separation, seeking yet another nomination from the same people who have yet to recover from the decade and a half long ‘abuse’ he visited upon them. Unlike his party’s executive council, Mr Wilchcombe ignores that internal mechanism that nudges an experienced man to prune, knowing his season has come to an end. Dying and diseased branches must be removed to help prevent the further spread of decay throughout the body of the organism. Pruning promotes healthy new growth, it provokes introspection by revisiting its core tenets, restructuring for aerodynamics and reviving core values that may have been left in the distance as a result of self-promotion.  As I measure Mr Wilchcombe’s fruits, I conclude that he has never known the divine purpose

of his appointment. He is now and has always been oblivious to that energy which continues to vibrate in the words penned by Timothy Gibson, words that speak of a common loftier goal. The opportunity to socially ascend to a national seat of power bears a significantly weighty responsibility; a responsibility that will forever reach far beyond party lines, into the hearts of a people that continue to ‘trod’ this proverbial road to our divine purpose. I am inclined to agree with the notion that Obie’s relentless commitment to the Progressive Liberal Party, his long suffering and climb since his entrance into politics, his fearless nature to defend and deflect, his zealous pride for party and the arrogance of his convictions that boast, he alone holds the “answer” to West Grand Bahama and Bimini’s woes, are the culprits that drives the former minister of Tourism to the brink of political insanity, if he thinks he is both wanted and needed by the constituency.

In short, sir, with the greatest degree of respect, you are not. You have served with a peculiar grace and commitment, all too familiar in our era’s representatives. While we cannot dispute your value and contribution to our political landscape nationally, the people of West Grand Bahama and Bimini have had their fill. As the nation prepares for a changing of the guard ceremony, even your party, steeped in stiff necked traditions recognises that there is a New Wave approaching…  As a West Grand Bahamian with family ties in Bimini, I speak on behalf of my home which I love dearly; thank you for your commitment and availability but we must graciously decline the offer. God’s speed, we know that you will enjoy much success in the private sector and we continue to pray your strength in the Lord.  HOWARD R GRANT Nassau June 5, 2019


THE TRIBUNE

Wednesday, June 12, 2019, PAGE 11

RUSSIAN JOURNALIST FREED AFTER POLICE ABRUPTLY DROP CHARGES MOSCOW Associated Press IN A stunning turnaround, Russian authorities yesterday abruptly dropped all charges against a prominent investigative reporter after a public and media outcry over his arrest, and they promised to go after the police who allegedly tried to frame him as a drug dealer. The release of Ivan Golunov marked an extremely rare case of security officials admitting a mistake. It also highlighted the difficulties that Russian journalists routinely face when reporting

on sensitive topics like graft, corruption and President Vladimir Putin’s personal life. The 36-year-old Golunov was stopped last Thursday by police on a Moscow street and taken into custody, where his defence team said he was beaten and denied a lawyer for more than 12 hours. The journalist, who works for the independent website Meduza, had been facing drug charges that could put him in prison for up to 20 years. Supporters mounted a nationwide campaign on his behalf, with journalists and others picketing Moscow police headquarters

for five days. More than 20,000 people signed an online pledge to march in the capital on Wednesday, a public holiday, to protest Golunov’s arrest. But Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev surprised the nation when he announced that all charges against Golunov were dropped after police found “no proof of his part in a crime.” “I believe that the rights of any citizen, whatever his professional affiliation, ought to be protected,” the minister said, adding that he will ask Putin to dismiss two police generals, including the drug chief of the Moscow police, and

RELEASED: Ivan Golunov

suspend the officers who detained Golunov. Speaking outside police headquarters, a shy and shockedlooking Golunov said he still couldn’t believe he was cleared so quickly. “I will keep doing investigations to justify the trust of all those who supported me,” he said. He added that he hopes the police will stop trying to frame innocent people, adding: “I hope it will not happen to anyone else in our country.” In an unusual broadcast, his release was shown live on a statecontrolled 24-hour news channel.

PELOSI SAYS DEMS ‘NOT EVEN CLOSE’ TO STARTING IMPEACHMENT

FOUR BODIES FOUND AS BOAT RAISED BUDAPEST, Hungary Associated Press

RESCUE crews raised a sunken tour boat out of the Danube River yesterday, shortly after four more bodies were recovered from the vessel involved in a collision with a river cruise ship nearly two weeks ago. Nineteen South Koreans and a Hungarian crewman have been confirmed dead, with eight people still listed as missing. Police spokesman Kristof Gal said although it was not yet officially confirmed, the Hableany’s Hungarian captain and a young South Korean girl are believed to be among the four bodies taken off the boat after it was raised to the river surface.

WASHINGTON Associated Press

A FLOATING crane lifts the Hableany (Mermaid) onto a barge at Margit Bridge, the site of the tragedy in the Hungarian capital.

Trump and Biden trade insults on Iowa visits MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa Associated Press PRESIDENT Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden spent yesterday trading insults — sometimes in virtual real-time — as they stumped across Iowa in split screen moments that could preview a ferocious fight ahead if the two face off for the presidency next year. Biden is atop the massive Democratic presidential field because of his frequent attacks on Trump, the president said. He also more explicitly linked Biden to his 2016 foe, Hillary Clinton. “People don’t respect him,” Trump said after touring a renewable energy facility in Council Bluffs. “Even the people that he’s running against, they’re saying: ‘Where is he? What happened?’” With a dose of exaggeration, the president added: “He makes his stance in Iowa once every two weeks and then he mentions my name 74 times in one speech. I

DEMOCRAT Joe Biden don’t know. That reminds me of crooked Hillary. She did the same thing.” At almost the same moment in Mount Pleasant, Biden noted that his criticisms of Trump from earlier in the day were playing on TV screens when Air Force One landed in Iowa. “I guess he’s really fascinated by

PILOT KILLED IN CRASH WASN’T CERTIFIED TO FLY IN BAD WEATHER NEW YORK Associated Press

The pilot killed on Monday when his helicopter slammed into the roof of a New York City skyscraper was not authorised to fly in limited visibility, according to his pilot certification, raising questions about why he took off in fog and steady rain. Tim McCormack, 58, was only certified to fly under regulations known as visual flight rules, which require generally good weather and clear conditions, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The rules demand at least 3 miles of visibility and that the sky is clear of clouds for daytime flights. The visibility at the time of Monday’s crash was about 1¼ miles at nearby Central Park, with low clouds blanketing the skyline. The crash in the tightly controlled airspace of

midtown Manhattan shook the 750-foot AXA Equitable building, obliterated the Agusta A109E helicopter, sparked a fire and forced office workers to flee. It briefly triggered memories of 9/11 and fears of a terrorist attack, but authorities said there is no indication the crash was deliberate. The crash, the second in Manhattan in a month, also led to renewed calls for restricting helicopter flights over the city. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who represents the area where McCormack crashed, said it’s “past time” for the FAA to ban “unnecessary helicopters” from the city’s skies. Fellow Democrat Rep. Nydia Velazquez said she wants tourist flights grounded. Last year, five passengers were killed when a sightseeing helicopter plunged into the East River .

me,” said Biden, who mentioned Trump by name about a dozen times during his first two events in Iowa. “I find it fascinating.” He started to say more but then stopped himself, quipping: “My mother would say: ‘Joey, focus. Don’t descend. Stay up.’” Pressed later by reporters about his earlier, repeated assurances that he wouldn’t openly criticise Trump while campaigning, Biden said, “By not talking about him personally — talking about where I disagree with him on the issues, why he’s doing such damage to the country — that’s totally different than attacking his character or lack thereof.” Still, the back-and-forth laid bare the rising political stakes for each man, even with the election about 17 months away. Trump has zeroed in on Biden as a potential threat to his re-election chances and is testing themes to beat him back. Biden, meanwhile, is campaigning as a front-runner, relishing the

one-on-one fight with Trump while making sure he doesn’t ignore the demands of the Democratic primary. “I’d rather run against Biden than anybody,” Trump told reporters on the White House lawn before flying to Iowa. “I think he’s the weakest mentally and I like running against people that are weak mentally.” Biden began the day in Ottumwa, the heart of Wapello County, a meat-packing and agricultural manufacturing center Trump was the first Republican to carry since Dwight D. Eisenhower. It’s part of Biden’s dual track approach: campaigning for the caucuses while projecting himself as someone who can win in territory Trump snatched from Democrats in 2016, such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. There, the former vice president hit Trump on the economy — an issue the president often promotes as his chief strength in a time of low unemployment.

BRUSHING back calls for impeachment, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said yesterday “it’s not even close” to having enough support in the House, while Democrats pushed forward on other fronts to investigate President Donald Trump. The House voted 229191 to approve a resolution that will allow Democrats to accelerate their legal battles with the Trump administration over access to information from the Russia investigation. At the same time, they’re convening hearings this week on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report in an effort to boost public interest in the findings of the Trump-Russia probe while digging into a legal strategy aimed at forcing Attorney General William Barr, former White House counsel Don McGahn and others into compliance with congressional oversight. “We need answers to the questions left unanswered by the Mueller report,” Pelosi said on the House floor ahead of voting. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy countered that the Democratic maneuvers are all “just a desperate attempt to relitigate the Mueller investigation.” He called it “an impeachment effort in everything but name.” Earlier in the day, Pelosi, pictured below, all but ignored questions about impeachment during a policy conference, saying the Democrats’ strategy is “legislating, investigating, litigating” — in that order. Pressed about Trump, she said: “I’m done with him. I don’t even want to talk about him.”


PAGE 12, Wednesday, June 12, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

Why one MP is taking against a blooming garden By RIEL MAJOR Tribune Staff Reporter rmajor@tribunemedia.net   PINEWOOD Gardens MP Reuben Rahming yesterday slammed the cultivator of what he termed as an unauthorised community garden in his constituency, hitting out at the man’s attempt to have him pledge $25,000 for the further development of the property. Speaking to reporters at the House of Assembly, Mr Rahming said he found Jerad Darville’s statement on the garden “amazing and quite frankly very offensive”. Mr Rahming said last week in his budget debate speech, he spoke about an initiative for a community garden but not the project Mr Darville is calling the Pinewood Community Garden.  His comments came after Mr Darville, who said he is co-founder of community garden, held a press conference in the area pleading for

MP Rahming to match the community’s $25,000 for further development of the area. “I take this as no joke and no game. I warned (Jerad) to stand down. They heard some of the plans that I would (have) wanted to be done in the community and I’ve been seeking out land for the last two years...Water and Sewerage owned land,” Mr Rahming explained.  “…The reason why the property near his house that he is now calling community garden is developed

JERAD Darville and family in the community garden. Photos: Terrel W Carey Sr/Tribune Staff

because, as he said in the statement, it (was) a dumping ground that became a hazard, so we had Water and Sewerage come and clean it down.” He claimed Mr Darville is using the land without proper approval. “. . .I warned him that no MP has the authority to give anybody use of a government corporation’s land. For that to happen you have to go through processes and the board.” He added: “This is political extortion. You think

you are going to embarrass me into funding a project that has no legs (and) no backing. I don’t operate like that. Once I would (have) done my preliminary research and there are plans being drawn and everything else for everything I’ve launched in Pinewood. I called a community meeting, I pull people in and I let the community pull their leadership together.” The Pinewood MP said the Pinewood Community Garden hasn’t been established yet and he would not “play with the emotions of the Pinewood residents”. He said: “How in

the world I can pledge $25,000 to Mr Jerad Darville because there is no such entity apart (from a) Facebook (page) called a Pinewood Community Garden. He got wind of it, (being) founded in the Pinewood Foundation that we are establishing and the Pinewood Association which is not political. “It is a structure that is designed for businesses for everybody to operate in Pinewood (and) that work is being done by Sears and Co. Why would I pump $25,000 or make a promise to pump $25,000 into an individual (using government) land when my advice

was stand down, don’t do it and it’s inappropriate?” He added: “Let me tell you something, this isn’t no joke. I will come at you any means necessary... I am sick and tired of this nasty, vicious politics ... I’m tired of it and I’m tired of seeing people manipulated.” Yesterday Mr Darville said the garden founders’ funds are exhausted and residents depend on the crops from the garden and he claimed Mr Rahming pledged financial assistance to the endeavour.  Mr Darville said: “With the financial pledge made to the community garden by our MP we were able to transform what once was a dump into an environment for persons in the community to depend on.   “Because of his financial pledge community members shared their money and time into the work, because we knew his financial pledge was on the way and we would replenish our accounts and work towards (our) next goal.”

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