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The Tribune

Volume:116 No.201, OCTOBER 11TH, 2019

Established 1903



THE PEOPLE’S PAPER: $1 art books film fashion


Chipman abandons FNM dismayed by party politics MEMBER of Parliament for Centreville Reece Chipman had been contemplating severing ties with the governing Free National Movement to represent the constituency as an independent since January. Grappling with what he described as “fake democracy” and “dictatorial cognizance”, the MP’s decision to leave the party came yesterday, ten months later. The MP told reporters he was further compelled to resign because of partisan politics and the administration’s handling of post-Hurricane Dorian efforts. These issues were what largely solidified his

A DAY after Social Services Minister Frankie Campbell said 1,208 are still unaccounted for following Hurricane Dorian, National Security Minister Marvin Dames clarified that police have reports of just 282 people still being missing. Two hundred and fiftytwo of them are from Abaco and 20 from Grand Bahama, he said. During his speech in the House of Assembly on Wednesday night, Mr Campbell said 1,003 people

Coral Farmers pages 14 & 15



decision to leave the FNM. Although he could not say exactly how many constituents supported the move, Mr Chipman was adamant this was not the beginning of the end of his career in politics. At 10am yesterday, Mr Chipman sent letters to the party’s Chairman Carl Culmer and House Speaker Halson Moultrie outlining his grievances, largely based on a “huge disconnect between the Parliament and the people” that he was no longer able to sit back and allow. He also suggested that the administration’s leadership was “insecure” and did not mesh well with an increasingly educated society. SEE PAGE FIVE

were missing in Abaco and 205 in Grand Bahama. The Ministry of Social Services moved to publish an advertisement in The Tribune today featuring the names of 1,208 missing people. However, the ministry pulled the ad yesterday evening amid confusion about the correct figures. Mr Dames stressed that official missing persons lists must come from the police in part because if there is a need to involve the Coroner’s Court to declare someone dead; police represent the government at such proceedings. SEE PAGE THREE

Pages 4 & 5


By RIEL MAJOR Tribune Staff Reporter POLICE are investigating another shooting incident that left a man dead yesterday afternoon, the fourth killing since Tuesday. According to police, shortly before 3pm, a man was shot in Gamble Heights off Baillou Hill Road. Details on this incident were scarce up to press time however, the victim was taken to hospital where he died of his injuries.  SEE PAGE SEVEN



Diving deep to save the Caribbean’s damaged reefs


By KHRISNA RUSSELL Deputy Chief Reporter


October 11, 2019 music food history puzzle s nature animals


By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor

CENTREVILLE MP Reece Chipman resigned from the Free National Movement yesterday and hosted a press conference at his constituency office in Centreville. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

THE Grand Lucayan resort will re-open on Tuesday, its chairman revealed yesterday, in a move that will return 200 staff to work. Michael Scott, head of the Lucayan Renewal Holdings Board, said the resort may open some rooms in the long-shuttered Breaker’s Cay property as well as the Lighthouse Pointe. FULL STORY - SEE BUSINESS


PETER Nygard was convicted of contempt of court yesterday for breaching an injunction preventing him from publishing emails that were stolen from environmental group Save The Bays. The Lyford Cay fashion mogul now has just 14 days to file written submissions on why Justice Ruth

CANADIAN fashion mogul Peter Nygard at an earlier hearing. Bowe-Darville should not impose a custodial sentence on him for the breach.

Nygard is ordered to be personally present on November 14 for the mitigation and sentencing hearing. He is also ordered to pay the costs of the committal proceedings, which were launched by STB. Previously, lead attorney for STB, Fred Smith, QC, said a number of emails containing client/ attorney information were stolen from his law firm, SEE PAGE SIX

Nassau & Bahama Islands’ Leading Newspaper



PAGE 2, Friday, October 11, 2019



FORMER Cabinet Minister and BAMSI chairman Tennyson Wells laying in state at Parliament yesterday as his family mourns. Photos: Terrel W Carey Sr/Tribune Staff

Respects paid to Tennyson Wells AN official funeral will be held for former Cabinet minister and businessman Tennyson Wells today. The funeral will start

at 11am at Christ Church Cathedral on George Street. Interment will follow the service at Woodlawn

Gardens Cemetery, Soldier Road. The body laid in state in the foyer of the House of Assembly yesterday.


Friday, October 11, 2019, PAGE 3

A MODEL of the Family Relief Centre’s dome structure that will include plumbing, drainage, a sewer system, and electricity. 

Photos: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

Domes unveiled to house 1,000 people in Abaco By RIEL MAJOR Tribune Staff Reporter THE family centre relief site in Abaco that will feature dome housing structures capable of withstanding 180mph to 200mph winds will accommodate 250 domes and about 1,000 people, according to co-chair of disaster and reconstruction committee, John-Michael Clarke.  Speaking to reporters during a NEMA press conference yesterday, Mr Clarke said the first shipment of domes will arrive next week.   He said: “Each dome is 20 feet in diameter, it’s 12 feet high and each dome can accommodate up to four to five persons. …the family relief site is located just next to the Spring City subdivision in Abaco.   “The site has already been cleared and the infrastructure for the site and the materials for the infrastructure of the site will be down on Wednesday the 16th and we will start to install the infrastructure next week Thursday the 17th. …over the next five weeks we will be getting dome shipments every week until the site is fully built up.”  He added: “The reason the dome structure was chosen is one, we are very early in the hurricane season and two if you look at the level of devastation

DORIAN MISSING CONFIRMED - 282 from page one On September 11, NEMA said 2,500 were reported missing following the storm. That dropped to 1,300 on September 12. During his address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said the number of people still missing was about 600. Earlier this month, NEMA said 424 people were still missing. in Abaco, the recovery will last maybe two or three years or more. We settled on the dome structure because it’s a resilient structure.” When asked for a timeline for the people staying in the domes, he said the Department of Social Services along with government policy makers are going to determine the protocols for the persons who actually go into the family relief centre.

JOHN MICHAEL CLARKE, chair of the Disaster Relief and Reconstruction Committee of NEMA, speaking yesterday.

A LOOK inside the dome structure. “It is meant to be temporary; all of the discussions about establishing the family relief centre at the particular juncture is that the centre is meant to be temporary. In terms of timeframe that temporary has not been defined but it’s not definite,” he explained. Mr Clarke said by next week Tuesday the first shipment of 100 recreational vehicles (RVs) will arrive in Abaco to house government employees. “These are currently being loaded in the port of Palm Beach. Each one of the RVs can house between three to four public servants. When they are all on the ground it’s anticipated between 300 and 400 government workers can utilise these trailers,” he noted. “When we say all agencies, we mean all agencies, so we had meetings this week and we have tasked the agencies with giving us these staff complement. The idea is to get the government up and running again in Abaco as soon as possible.” He added: “The RVs will be housed on the fields of the public schools, primary school and the high schools. Of course, they’ll have the necessary security, each RV will have its own, these will be outfitted with furniture already and appliances. They would have their own water and waste supply.”  To date, there are 895 persons in eight shelters in New Providence, according to Deputy Director of

Social Services Kim Sawyer. She also said the shelters in Grand Bahama and Abaco were deactivated; along with the All Saints shelter. She said: “Those persons from the All Saints were moved to the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium. Today we will deactivate the Fox Hill Centre and there are 120 persons in that shelter, and they will be moved to the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium. “Tomorrow, which is October 11, we will deactivate the shelter at the Pilgrim Baptist Church and those 47 persons will be moved to the Kendal G L Isaacs Gymnasium. To date we have 310 persons in the main gym, 58 in tent A and 62 in tent B and we will consolidate those and move those into the gym to accommodate persons being moved from the other shelters.” Captain Stephen Russel, NEMA director, said the agency’s key concern in Abaco and Grand Bahama is to continue the clean-up operations in those districts that would have been impacted. Capt Russell said: “A number of contracts would have been awarded to persons to help with that clean-up operations in Abaco and Grand Bahama as mentioned. As they go through the clean-up operation their always mindful that we are still in the search and recovery mode for deceased persons that maybe in the rubble that are in those areas.

NEMA director Captain Stephen Russell and Social Services deputy director Kim Sawyer touring the dome structures. “They are employing a accounts from local, layer by layer approach in regional and international moving the debris and to partners. make sure that when they He said: “Right now we get to the bottom of there have tons and tons of food any deceased persons that supplies in warehouses in maybe there are removed Florida, New Providence, with decency and order.” Abaco and Grand Bahama Capt Russell also said so we are doing very some $5m in donations well with food and water were made into NEMA’s supplies.”

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So what’s next, Mr Chipman? IT’S been a long goodbye for Reece Chipman - but now the man who defeated former Prime Minister Perry Christie in his own seat has left the party whose red wave he rode to victory in Centreville. We say a long goodbye - because he says himself he had decided to leave the party ten months ago, in January. His time as an MP has hardly been smooth so far. His appointment as chairman of the Antiquities Monuments and Museums Corporation lasted until March last year, when he was given an ultimatum by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis to hand in his resignation or be fired. He defied the ultimatum. He was fired. Then he voted last June against the increase in value added tax - up from 7.5 percent to 12 percent. He wasn’t alone in that rebellion, joined by fellow MPs Vaugn Miller, Travis Robinson and Frederick McAlpine. In January - when he said he decided to leave the party - he voiced frustration at the failure of the Public Accounts Committee to act or investigate. And now off he goes, criticising the government’s handling of Hurricane Dorian, and saying he was ignored by Dr Minnis when he tried to air his concerns. We’ll confess that we cannot recall him being particularly outspoken about what could or should have been done differently. Our telephone at The Tribune has not been ringing out from his calls, and we suspect that a prime minister in the midst of a crisis wasn’t in a rush to return calls to a parliamentarian who didn’t listen to an ultimatum when it was given. Indeed, quitting the government in the aftermath of the hurricane rather than showing up and saying “What can I do?” might well attract its own criticism. But what now for Mr Chipman? What leadership will he bring that he feels is missing? We agree with him about the failure of the Public Accounts Committee - a problem that has gone on for more than one Parliament. It is a committee with great power to hold government to account, and to be a strong voice for citizens demanding transparency. Some of his other moves in office have seemed more self-focused, wanting action on fake news after being the subject of social media rumours, and wanting changes in the Quieting Titles Act while also talking about trying to resolve his family’s own land issues. Meanwhile, when talking to The Tribune in January, his words were equally

determined... in a different direction. “Absolutely I will remain in the FNM,” he said. As it turns out, absolutely not. We’re not quite sure what Mr Chipman wants to do with the rest of his term in Parliament. He will be an independent - at least for now - but he has yet to clearly express what he seeks to achieve next. There is a place for strong backbench or independent voices in Parliament to hold government or the Opposition to account. We hope Mr Chipman finds such a place for himself - and that his voice becomes a little clearer.

Confusion reigns Yesterday afternoon, The Tribune was preparing to publish a list of the people still missing after Hurricane Dorian. There were 1,208 names on that list. At the last moment, however, that advertisement from the Ministry of Social Services was postponed - and a different number surfaced from the National Security Minister, Marvin Dames. That number? 282. We are now nearly six weeks on from Hurricane Dorian - how can two government departments have such wildly differing figures? The Social Services total is more than four times higher than that held by the police. Which is right? As people point their fingers at government mismanagement of the response to Hurricane Dorian, this is the kind of thing that stands out. In trying to deal with such an emergency, people understand there are significant hurdles, but what should not be difficult is that the response is coordinated. Clearly, there seems little co-ordination between these two sections of government. It is this confusion that we hoped the new ministry for disaster response might tackle - but apart from a ceremony to appoint Iram Lewis as Minister of State, little else has been seen there so far. We don’t know if the new ministry has a budget, a staff or for that matter a voice, as Mr Lewis has hardly been to the fore since. There has already been plenty of confusion over the number of missing people - and concern over a death toll that is clearly still far lower than the final number. Reassurance that things are on the right track is not easy to find when we continue to see confusion such as this.

Shanty town law change EDITOR, The Tribune. THE government is unnecessarily embroiled in a discussions over the acquisition of property on which shanty towns existed in Abaco. One can only wonder if the Prime Minister is aware that the august body, of which he is a part, is the supreme law making institution under our system of government.  Even the Privy Council must bow to its power.  The government does not have to spend untold amounts of money, in these difficult times, trying to acquire land with questionable titles when it can simply amend existing laws in Parliament, to accomplish their objectives and then re-zone the land in

question so that no residential construction can ever occur there again.    In addition, it is ridiculous that in this day and age so-called squatters rights are not done away with.  The size of our population and the prices of land in this country makes it eminently unfair that one can hide in the bushes on a piece of land they do not own and gain legal possession of it if they can hide there long enough, while others have to save for a downpayment and pay ridiculous interest rates in order to own a piece of the same land.  This creates an unfair advantage for those who know how to hide, compared to people like me who do not.

Simply rewrite the law to do away with squatters rights and create fairness and then ban the construction in those areas, of any structure that does not have a building permit with hefty fines for the builder, while penalising landowners who allow shoddy subpar construction on their properties. Personally, I am tired of politicians spending money, either borrowed or directly out of taxpayer pockets because they refuse to think.  This country has a hard road ahead and politicians cannot just spend the people’s money as though it is business as usual. JB Nassau,  October 10, 2019.

Show pride in Ragged Island EDITOR, The Tribune. I AM a native of Ragged Island. In 2017, my home, located on one of the Ragged Island cays, had its roof blown off. I sought assistance from NEMA along with other residents of Ragged Island. Some of the residents of Ragged Island received financial assistance, but this was not extended to all. In recent times, a current resident of Ragged Island travelled to Nassau and stayed at Towne Hotel. In registering at the hotel, Duncan Town, Ragged Island was listed as the home address. The hotel clerk indicated, this address cannot be correct because no one resides on Ragged Island. This was a sad indication of the perception that Ragged Island is no longer inhabited or habitable in the sight of other Bahamians. Two years post hurricane Irma, there are no government administrative personnel (police, nurse, or teacher) on the island. Has the government given up on Ragged Island? Is there any intent or plans to assist in the restoration of Ragged Island so that its residents who truly desire to return home can do so? A clinic, school, and other administrative facilities are essential to the restoration. Ragged Islanders have always been passionate about their home. When trade was stopped between Haiti and Cuba, this precipitated residents migrating to Nassau. Many of them truly desire to return to their home and make it an active community within our archipelago. A number of Ragged Islanders had commenced efforts to return home. The destruction by hurricane Irma has adversely affected or halted these efforts. It is noteworthy that Ragged Islanders have

LETTERS positively contributed and continue to participate in the development of The Bahamas. I wish to enumerate just a few: First Bahamian to navigate from Liverpool, England, to the Bahamas was a Ragged Islander.Four Bahamians who served as the first captains at the inception of The Royal Bahamas Defence Force were from this island. A Ragged Island woman was a key member of the delegation to England and member of the Women’s Suffrage Movement that led to women being allowed to vote in The Bahamas. Leading surgeons and physicians in our country hail from this island. Lawyers, some ascending to ranks of QC, were born or are direct descendents of Ragged Island. Administrators, actors, artisans, educators, engineers, and the list can go on, are products of our beloved Ragged Island. Undoubtedly, Ragged Island merits more consideration than it is being given. In moving forward, dredging the channel and harbour of Ragged Island is vital. This task has been neglected for years. Attention to this matter would provide safe moorings for boaters and fishermen. An accessible harbour could bring increased economic benefits to the island. Many yachters who visit Ragged Island and the surrounding cays repeatedly from November through May are retired individuals. Access to the island via an adequate channel into a natural harbour would enable more people to come on to the island. Increased visitors result

in the purchase of necessary items from stores, patronising locals for meals, native crafts, seafood and a Bahamian experience, Ragged Island style! An accessible and safe harbour would be welcomed by hard-working fishermen from throughout The Bahamas in the event of bad weather. In addition to my petition and pleas for help in restoring Ragged Island, I wish to address hurricane preparedness on a national scale. Hurricane preparedness is an absolute, non-negotiable necessity! However, besides mandatory evacuations, information should be more specific to dealing with rising tides. Hurricanes are unpredictable and due to global warming more destructive. Instruction and practice utilising apparatus (ropes, life vests, boats and skills) about dealing with unusual tides as precautionary and relevant measures merits intentional attention. The recent scenarios in Abaco and Grand Bahama gives evidence of the disasters associated with rising and unusual tides. I wish also to suggest that a better job be done to maintain and manicure trees throughout The Bahamas. This is a means of preservation of our landscapes during hurricanes. Necessary preventative measures will aid to mitigate the scope and sphere of catastrophe. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! In closing I wish to reiterate, “Ragged Island” no pun intended - merits more consideration for the restorative process and is still a part of The Bahamas and a beloved home to many! EDWARD LOCKHART Nassau, September 24, 2019.  


Friday, October 11, 2019, PAGE 5

from page one

The FNM thanked him for his service and wished him the best. Mr Chipman’s political career, although short, has been a storied one. In March 2018, he was fired as chairman of the Antiquities Monuments and Museums Corporation after defying Dr Minnis’ ultimatum to either tender his resignation or be fired. The firing came a mere ten months into the Minnis administration’s term in office. Asked yesterday to reveal what really led to his firing, Mr Chipman said: “I was fired from the Antiquities Monuments Museums Corporation and based on the information I would have received from the individual that fired me, he said I was not getting along with the people. I can only give you what I was told why I was fired.” In June 2018, he along with Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller, Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine and Bain and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson voted against the value added tax increase from 7.5 percent to 12 percent.  And then in January, he resigned from the Public Accounts Committee out of frustration with the immobility of the traditionally powerful parliamentary sub-committee. Mr Chipman also released a press statement yesterday, saying if he knew then what he knows and is experiencing now, he would have fought even harder for the people of Centreville. “Today, Centreville says goodbye to institutional politics and will stand as an independent representative in the House of Assembly. Independent of partisan politics, independent of institutional mis-philosophies and independent of a system where dictatorship will continue to lead to regression. “…There is a difference when institutions build themselves on fake democracy, only to be reigned in with the practise of dictatorial cognizance,” Mr Chipman said.

Going it alone During a press conference at his small constituency office on Arundel Street, the first time MP said the current partisan system lacked integrity, truth accountability and transparency. Mr Chipman beat former Prime Minister Perry Christie in the constituency race during the May 2017 general election. It was a seat held by Mr Christie for more than 40 years. “It has been since January, once I had left the Public Accounts Committee, the thought process had began and basically giving my party an opportunity to show that the direction they were heading in was in the best interest of the people,” Mr Chipman said when asked by The Tribune how long he had contemplated resigning from the par. “At this point I have determined that it is not in the best interest of the Bahamian people based on the legislation that I have seen brought forward, based on lack of review of those legislation, based on the fact that you can just abuse the House rules and the law at the disenfranchisement of the Bahamian people. So it was a thought process and it began quite sometime ago. “…It was a big thing for me,” he said, in relation to whether government’s handling of Dorian influenced the decision. “When Bahamian lives are lost and the way you would have seen lives on the street, definitely there is some accountability that needs to take place from the government. We have a Disaster Preparedness and Response Act that should have been followed. “The act was in place since 2008. Had we done the annual review and the annual planning from 2008 - I’m not saying we would have saved all of the lives - but at the very least we would have done what we were supposed to do to ensure that lives were not lost.”

CENTREVILLE MP Reece Chipman with supporters as he resigns from the FNM.  However, Mr Chipman never got the chance to share his concerns with Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, suggesting he was ignored. “At the resignation and at various times I would make calls to have a meeting with him because I really wanted to let him understand because sometimes we look at these things and we don’t understand why we do what we do. “So I wanted to speak to him with regards to that, but of course I never got an audience with the prime minister and that’s fine. “The goal is to move forward and maybe at some point we will show him how it’s done.” The intention, Mr Chipman insisted yesterday, was to show the country that Centreville will flourish without party affiliation. He maintained yesterday that his family’s unresolved land matters had no bearing on this decision. “When I campaigned for the FNM it’s so different than what you see now. I am on the ground saying this and saying that just giving talking points, just to get people to vote for persons who are going to go in the House of Assembly and not represent them. “I didn’t understand that

at that time because I was only on the ground, having been in the house of Parliament and seeing the impact of partisan politics on our people, you’re passing laws that are hurting your brothers and sisters, and for what? A couple of dollars? “Well Centreville will show that we don’t need your money. We will make it happen and as an independent I will work with my private companies and my private persons to make sure that this community stays alive.” In a letter to the party dated October 10, Mr Chipman wrote: “At this time, I am of the belief that partisan politics is not helping the people of Centreville or the country at large. At this time I believe I can do more for the people of Centreville as an independent.” “This decision came with lots of conversations ad lots of communication with those with a stake in my political direction, and the political direction of our country – my God, my family, and friends and last but not least my constituents,” he said in a separate letter to Speaker Moultrie. “Institutional or partisan politics at this time will not work for the constituency of Centreville or myself

Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

as its representative. The deepening of democracy of the parties and of this parliament can only be the fragment of one’s imagination. But I hope that changes. “…I am not prepared to sit back and watch a Parliament not follow the very laws they enact, but yet dream of a lawful society and a lawful culture. “I continue to be baffled by the fact that the people would have presented two petitions to the House of Assembly that went unanswered (and) a ruling of the House with regards to the PAC that has yet to be fortified. “Standard committees of the House that go without report to the House or the people (and) bills being passed without accompanying regulations and lack of policy. (There has been) no question time as the rule book indicates. “This is yet another signal to the next generation to fix the Parliament by ensuring a real democratic process in the selection of their representatives.” The now independent representative also asked Speaker Moultrie to reseat him according to parliamentary rules. He also wants permission to address his colleagues for five

minutes at the next sitting of Parliament. The FNM released a statement yesterday morning calling the decision “unfortunate”. The party seemed to attempt to get ahead of the bad publicity that resignations bring. “Mr Chipman won a historic election in May 2017, defeating the sitting Prime Minister and then Centreville MP Perry Christie,” the statement said. “It is unfortunate that Mr Chipman decided to leave our party. The FNM is a place where young Bahamians can make their contributions to nation building. The FNM has the oldest youth political organisation in the country in the Torchbearers Youth Association. The FNM elected the youngest members to Parliament at the last general election. “Since coming to office, this Free National Movement administration led by Dr Minnis has been committed to addressing the major problems facing The Bahamas. During the FNM’s term the economy has returned to regular growth, crime has decreased and accountability has returned to Government after years of corrupt Progressive Liberal Party rule.”


PINERIDGE MP Frederick McAlpine supports Reece Chipman’s resignation from the Free National Movement but has no plans to follow suit anytime soon. Mr McAlpine has, along with Mr Chipman and Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller, been vocal critics of the FNM from within the party, occasionally voting as a bloc against priorities of the Minnis administration in Parliament. Mr McAlpine said he is no less disillusioned with his party than his counterpart from Centreville but is more “long-suffering”. “I’m still with the FNM because I’m trying my best to assist in making changes within,” he claimed. “I’m practicing one of the Bible’s fruits of the spirit which is long-suffering and I may just be more patient trying to steer them in the right direction.” Mr Chipman’s resignation, he said, proves the “FNM needs a come to Jesus moment” and should stop patting itself on the back. Like Mr Chipman, he said the party is disconnected from the wider public. Throughout Bahamian history, the consequences for people who leave the parties through which they got elected has varied. For example, Bamboo Town MP Tennyson Wells departed the FNM to become an independent in the second Ingraham administration and won re-election in 2002 despite no affiliation with a major party. He lost his second bid as an independent to

his successor Branville McCartney. When Mr McCartney later departed the FNM, he lost his seat in 2012 after forming the Democratic National Alliance (DNA). Chairman of the FNM’s Centreville constituency association, Juan Cartwright, 44, said yesterday Mr Chipman should have resigned from Parliament altogether. “The reason why he got elected was through the FNM association and through the FNM people who gave him a chance,” he said, “so it’s contradictory for him to keep one thing but not the other.” Mr Cartwright said in his two years as chairman he has never had a conversation with Mr Chipman. “The association is what has to engage with people on a daily basis when MPs aren’t around,” he said, “so it’s hard for you to say the party disconnected from the people when you disconnected from your association. You can’t argue about what’s right when you haven’t consulted people who helped elect you.” Throughout Centreville yesterday reaction to Mr Chipman’s resignation varied from indifference to support. Maggie Smith, 47, was watching her boyfriend fix their car when The Tribune found her on Royal Palm Street. She said she voted for the Free National Movement in 2017 in the Carmichael constituency but moved to Centreville two years ago and can’t imagine voting at all in the next election. About a mile away, a man who gave his name as Dowell, 51, agreed with Mr

Chipman’s criticism of the governing party but disagreed with his decision to resign because it leaves him without power to help his constituents. “Years ago the governments who were in power, they used to at least try and provide a way for us to make a little money,” Dowell said. “But this government that in power, the prime minister who in power now keeping away the money. Side jobs which we supposed to have and little contracts, that’s how we used to eat, but we ain’t getting it anymore. Reece resign because he see that and he don’t want lose face with the people, he rather resign to show us he ain’t a part of that. But as an independent person in power, knowing we have two parties, he don’t have much power, he just a face. I think he should’ve speak with them highly as best as he could, tell them what he don’t like but stay there and work.” In a statement yesterday, Progressive Liberal Party Leader Philip “Brave” Davis said he hopes his party will benefit from Mr Chipman’s “thoughtful counsel”. “We are not surprised that Reece Chipman MP has now resigned form the Free National Movement,” he said. “We have watched how a young professional Bahamian was deliberately misled, abused and frustrated by a leadership which disrespected him. As leader of the opposition I have watched his concerns. I thought that he was making genuine contributions to the common good of our commonwealth and did not deserve the disrespect.”

PAGE 6, Friday, October 11, 2019


Nygard’s contempt ruling - again from page one Callenders & Co, via some unknown means. However, they were later exhibited in an affidavit by Keod Smith, one of Nygard’s attorneys, which was in support of various applications by Nygard to set aside the orders Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson had made concerning the billionaire’s other contempt of court convictions and to be used in his own mitigation and sentencing hearing. STB, via its attorneys Harry B Sands, Lobosky and Co, consequently launched a new action before Justice Keith Thompson in pursuit of an injunction that would prevent Nygard and Keod Smith from perusing, publishing, or disseminating those correspondences. Justice Thompson granted the injunction in February. Subsequently however, one of Nygard’s attorneys in New York contacted Fred Smith and informed him that he had obtained some documents that appeared to have come from his file. Fred Smith subsequently requested that Nygard’s lawyer send him copies of those documents and that he not distribute them. Nonetheless, Nygard’s New York-based attorneys wrote to a judge in that city, requesting a pre-trial conference because they wanted to amend their claims based on those very same documents; they wanted to use the documents in the New York proceedings. Meanwhile, STB was unable to go back before Justice Thompson on the matter because he was busy writing a decision on whether or not he would recuse himself from the matter pursuant to Nygard’s and Keod Smith’s recusal

application. STB ended up appearing before Justice Bowe-Darville, and applied for leave to commit Nygard to prison for breaching the terms of Justice Thompson’s injunction by allowing his New York lawyers, whom STB asserts are his “servants and agents”, to peruse and attempt to publish those documents in the New York proceedings. Yesterday’s proceedings before Justice Bowe-Darville are the latest in Nygard’s various ongoing court battles with STB. In March, Fred Smith called on Justice GrantThompson to jail Nygard for two years for failing to appear in court to attend his own sentencing for breaching a court order prohibiting him from engaging in any illegal dredging near his Lyford Cay home. Fred Smith’s comments at the time came during proceedings that marked the fourth time Nygard had failed to attend his own sentencing hearings as ordered by the court.  At the time, Nygard was ordered to show cause why he should not be cited and committed to prison for contempt for failing to show up in court to be sentenced for dredging the sea bed near his Lyford Cay/Simms Point home between March and April 2015, and again in October of 2016, despite a June 2013 injunction barring him from doing so.   On January 29, Justice Grant-Thompson ordered Nygard’s “immediate arrest” for his failure to appear on three occasions up to that point to be sentenced for breaching former Justice Rhonda Bain’s order prohibiting him from engaging in any illegal dredging near his Lyford Cay home. Justice Grant-Thompson issued the bench warrant after saying she has “zero tolerance”

PETER Nygard outside court at a previous hearing. for the Lyford Cay resident the matter to an end. Nygard is also seeking to failing to honour her orders for him to appear in court have all further proceedings for his own sentencing in the action stayed pending the hearing of his constituhearings. At the time, she also tional motion, which was ordered that Mr Nygard, filed on January 28, con77, would have to show cerning the infringement cause for why he should not of his fundamental rights to be committed to prison for both freedom of movement failing to show in court on and detention. He further asserts that those occasions.  Grant-Thompson Nygard subsequently Justice appealed Justice Grant- erred in treating the conproceedings as Thompson’s order, and tempt is further seeking an criminal contempt proceedorder from the appellate ings, and that she erred in court that all matters in ordering the issuance of a the Supreme Court pro- warrant for his arrest, in ceed without him “being spite of or at the same time required or compelled by as ordering him to show the court to be present,” cause why he shouldn’t be and in “due consideration” committed to prison. Meanwhile, the appellate to an order made in 2018 which he asserts brought court recently struck out

Nygard’s appeal of his contempt of court conviction for breaching retired Justice Rhonda Bain’s order prohibiting him from engaging in any illegal dredging near his Lyford Cay home. In July of last year, the judge found Nygard guilty for the third time for breaching her June 2013 order prohibiting him from engaging in any illegal dredging near his Simms Point/Nygard Cay property. That came just over a year after Justice Bain convicted and fined Nygard $50,000 for breaching her injunction sometime in December 2014. If the fine was not paid by March 21, 2017, Nygard faced 14 days in prison.

He was further ordered to remove the excavated sand and return it to Jaws Beach by April 7, 2017 or face an additional $50,000 fine and a $1,000 fine for each day that order is not adhered to. Nygard paid the fine before the specified deadline, but has since appealed that ruling. Nygard, as of October 2, filed for condition leave to petition the London-based Privy Council in a bid to have that tribunal set aside the Court of Appeal’s decision to effectively affirm his convictions for dredging the sea bed near Nygard Cay between March and April 2015, and again in October of 2016, despite Justice Bain’s injunction.

CLASSES RESUME AT UNIVERSITY OF THE BAHAMAS CAMPUS IN FREEPORT By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter THE University of The Bahamas North has reopened and resumed classes at its downtown centre in Freeport, a month after Hurricane Dorian destroyed the northern campus in East Grand Bahama. Dr Ian Strachan, vice president of UB North, said university officials have seen about 70 to 80 percent student returns, and revealed plans to secure a building for a new campus in Freeport to adequately accommodate students and faculty in the near future. At the moment, classes are being held at UB’s centre on West Atlantic Drive in the Teachers’

Salaried and Allied Workers Union Building, as well as at the Bishop Michael Eldon High School (BMEHS) in the evenings and on weekends.   Being able to start classes after a month-long interruption because of the storm, he said, is good news for their students. Classes started on Monday, September 30. In addition to three classrooms at its Freeport centre, UB has through partnership with the Anglican Diocese access to nine of their classrooms at BMEHS from 4pm to 10pm weekdays, and from 8am to 10pm on the weekends, as well as three of their laboratories. According to UB vice president, school officials were very surprised at the high percentage

of students returning. He noted 50 of their students have already went to Hampton University to study abroad, and just 50 are now matriculating in Nassau taking classes there.   “I was prepared for more like 50 to 60 percent return, but it has been higher than expected. So, it really confirms we did the right thing. I feel very happy we are able to do this, and that our seniors would be able to finish on time because they would have been really thrown off and unable to graduate,” he added. “It is a victory for the campus given everything we went through to have to change our timetable around, to have to deal with our own personal issues, and still be here for our students.” As a result of the devastation and trauma experienced during Dorian, Dr Strachan said UB is planning to hold counselling sessions for students. He noted that sessions were already held for faculty and staff last week by UB’s clinical psychologist who came to Grand Bahama. UB’s library at the campus in East Grand Bahama was destroyed. Although students still have access to the school’s digital resources, Mr Strachan said the university is a part of international system of libraries and so they are continuing to reach out to evolve and to regrow its collection. Prior to the storm, there were plans to name the library after former COB/ UB Vice President Dr Coralee Kelly, he said. “It is my hope is that in short order we will have a new and bigger space for the library,” he added. 


Friday, October 11, 2019, PAGE 7

Killings go on as another man dies from page one This killing pushed the murder count to 85 for the year, according to The Tribune’s records. Murders have increased compared to this period last year, when there were less than 80 killings reported at that time. There have been seven recorded murders so far this month and four of those killings occurred within the last three days.  About 16 hours before the most recent incident, police were investigating a shooting that left a man dead on Wednesday night.  According to reports, shortly after 10pm, a man was standing outside a bar in Kennedy Subdivision, when the occupants of a grey vehicle pulled up and opened fire in his direction, fatally wounding him before speeding away. Twelve hours before that, police were investigating a shooting that left two men in hospital and another dead.  Shortly after 11am Wednesday, the men were standing in front of a building on Taylor Street in Nassau Village when an armed man approached and shot them.  The assailant ran away, however the injured men were taken to hospital. Two of them were listed in stable condition, but the third, initially listed in  critical condition, died. The day before, police were investigating a daylight shooting

SUPERINTENDENT Shanta Knowles is pictured speaking to media on the scene of the Wilson Track killing on Tuesday.  that left one man dead in the Wilson Track area.   The incident took place shortly after noon at Spence Court off Wilson Track.  According to Superintendent Shanta Knowles, a man was sitting on a log when a small, grey coloured vehicle pulled up and the occupants, all armed, opened fire in his direction,

fatally wounding him before speeding away. Last Sunday, police were investigating another killing after a man was stabbed to death on East Street that night. According to reports, shortly after 9pm, the man was in the vicinity of Bahama Avenue when he got into an argument with

112 HAITIANS DEPORTED MORE than 100 Haitians were deported to Port-auPrince yesterday. The Department of Immigration said a Bahamasair flight departed Lynden Pindling International Airport


at 8.07am to Haiti with 112 Haitians, escorted by a team of law enforcement officers. This group included 91 males and 21 females. The immigration team was led

by Denaj Wilchcombe along with officers of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. Immigration officials did not say where the deportees were apprehended.


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two other men. The men stabbed him before getting into a pink coloured Nissan March and fleeing. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. On Thursday, October 3, a man and a woman were killed in separate murders.  In the first incident, a man died after he was shot in Fox Hill, police said.  

Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

While that night, a woman died after being stabbed. Earlier that week, on Monday, September 30, police were investigating a drive-by shooting that left one man dead and another one injured in hospital. Shortly after 4pm that day, two men were sitting outside a business on Charles

Saunders Highway and Buttonwood Street when two armed men, in a grey coloured car, opened fire in their direction, hitting them before fleeing the scene. One man died at the scene while the other was taken to hospital and is listed in stable condition. Investigations into these shootings continue.

PAGE 8, Friday, October 11, 2019



S wrestling fans throughout The Bahamas keenly watch the WWE vs AEW ratings wars, all while enjoying the weekly wrestling entertainment, the pro wrestling buzz has hit The Bahamas again, with the same fervor as days gone bye, when our generation were kids. It’s a win, win situation for them all the way around. Great entertainment and vast content and merchandise sales for various social media based, wrestling apps, blogs, web sites etc. Lately it seems our political scene is becoming the spitting image of pro wrestling, and it’s time to tap in and reap the rewards.

Night Raw’ playbook, Minnis cut a main event like promo in the middle of the House of Assembly. Challenging the Speaker of the House to “Clear the room, and cut off all the cameras, and I will tell (Davis) exactly what I mean.” I can’t lie, as soon as I heard the outburst, my mind went straight to the image of Minnis and Davis throwing down. This past Wednesday, live from parliament, a grudge match took place between Prime Minister Hubert Minnis and Opposition and PLP leader Philip ‘Brave’ Davis. The two heatedly exchanged words over the

new Disaster Preparedness and Response Act, with Davis labeling the proposed amendments a publicity stunt, to counteract the negative publicity in regards to the government’s management of Hurricane Dorian, before and after

the monster storm. “Indeed, the response of the government has taken on the semblance of the characteristic of Hurricane Dorian: it has been slow; it was erratic, rudderless and it has been disastrous.” “The Bill seems to include a compendium of the best ideas from a group chat either in Cabinet or at a stew fish gathering by a breakfast bunch, obviously, there are good elements; but, in fact, those are already in place in law.” Ouch! Obviously Davis’ scathing commentary got PM Minnis’ goat - and maybe his three birds too. Pulling a page straight out of the WWE’s ‘Monday

TOM AND JERRY At first glance, the two of them squaring off is reminiscent of the classic Tom and Jerry battles. ‘Doc’ as Tom, ‘Brave’ as Jerry, from a physical standpoint, the resemblances are spot on. (Just think about it for a second, see, I told you so.) ‘Doc’ tall and gangly, ‘Brave’ short and stout. A classic ‘Biggie’ vs ‘Smallie’ confrontation. Throw in some WWE theatrics, to go along with the ready made story line, and we have an international PPV event of epic proportions on our hands, with all proceeds going to the Hurricane Dorian recovery efforts.

‘Doc’ tall and gangly, ‘Brave’ short and stout. A classic ‘Biggie’ vs ‘Smallie’ confrontation.

I’ve already fast forwarded to the ending of the match, and the possible outcomes, providing either of the two lands their respective finishing maneuvers.

THE FIVE FINGERS OF FURY If ‘Doc’ were to lean on his medical training and hand size, and land his ‘Five Fingers of Fury’ to any part or orifice of ‘Brave’s’ anatomy, instantly the match would be all over. Either by submission or pin-fall.

BE BRAVE And on the other hand, if ‘Brave’ were to render ‘Doc’ helpless, by firstly blowing ‘Cat Island’ obeah powder in his eyes. Then mounting the top rope, and delivering his flying head butt, the ‘Be Brave’, with that pit bull like for head head of his, Davis would surely land ‘Doc’ in concussion protocol. Match over 1,2,3. This far fetched scenario has tons of potential. I’m off to call Vince McMahon and the WWE, ‘Doc’ vs ‘Brave’ in the ring at National Stadium... and we haven’t even involved the other members of the government and opposition. Call me crazy .... it could happen!

Chipman resignation sparks reder debate THE news that Centreville MP Reece Chipman had resigned from the FNM prompted a lively reaction from readers on tribune242. com. OriginalBey had this to say: “Reece Chipman may your political career R.I.P.” Sickened posted this comment: “I wish we had about 10 independents in our house at all times. We should actually write it in the constitution in order to not only ensure meaningful debate on issues, but to also have more ideas voiced on the floor.” BahamaPundit said: “Hats off to Mr Chipman. The FNM should be run out of town after failing to fulfill their campaign promises. No Freedom of Information Act. No Campaign Finance Reform. No Anti Corruption Act. I wouldn’t trust this FNM with $100, because I know $98 is going to dey boys. This FNM is PLP 2.0., only difference is the PRESS turns a blind eye to their corruption, unlike the PLP.” There was this from The_Oracle: “Rats leaving a sinking ship. Not to correlate Mr Chipman to a rat but he may be the smart one. In addition to

none of the above legislation enacted they have now tabled and begun debate on the amendment to the NEMA act, a bill that could only be described as oppressive, unconstitutional and that would make Hugo Chavez and Morales proud. every Bahamian ought to read and understand it for what it is. Total government control of your person, your movement, your resources and private assets. And after Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis described the Disaster Preparedness and Response Amendment Bill 2019 as one of many “bold steps” that will change how the country prepares for and responds to hurricanes, Joeblow said: “Mandatory evacuations are only one part of this problem. After people evacuate, where will they go? Government approved shelters failed miserably. First responders have zero disaster

management training, so RBDF officers can only hand out bottles of water and not do much more. The focus should be on the colossal failings of NEMA, which had responsibility for training, planning and acquisition of equipment and supplies in the event of the ‘big one’. “They should address government’s failure to zone flood prone areas as unfit for construction, and address government’s poor response in the aftermath of the storm. Even worse is the government continuing to appoint people with no disaster management experience to lead disaster management organisations and efforts. Non enforcement of building codes and a lethargic post hurricane response by the government may have been responsible for the majority of the deaths caused during this hurricane. “We have idiots who cannot think strategically or problem solve leading us, that is the biggest problem! What bill will they propose to solve that?” • Don’t miss your chance to join the debate on


Friday, October 11, 2019, PAGE 9

Ash denies claim that he altered police statement By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter BUSINESSMAN Jonathan Ash yesterday denied that he altered a statement he gave to police concerning bribery allegations against former Cabinet minister Shane Gibson, despite previously claiming that he did. Mr Ash, while being interrogated by lead Crown attorney James Guthrie, QC, contradicted his previous assertions that he personally made “slight changes” to the statement he gave to police against Gibson in 2017. Mr Ash also denied that his testimony was influenced by a meeting in which a police officer said she would be “cutting out” whatever parts of his and a woman’s statements against Gibson that didn’t line up. To that end, Mr Ash also refuted suggestions that a lot of information was “cut out” of his original statement, instead asserting that only “some stuff, minor stuff,” like information about his father, was omitted. According to the evidence, Mr Ash gave a first statement to police on June 28, 2017, and a second statement in September of that year. During previous proceedings, Mr Ash said he had to give a second statement because “slight changes” were made to his statement. Though he couldn’t say how many “slight changes” were made, he said he was the one who made the changes. At the time, Mr Ash also said that a police detective was the one who decided that the changes needed to be made. He said just himself and the detective were

present when the changes were made. Concerning the meeting itself, the evidence thus far is that Assistant Superintendent Deborah Thompson arranged for a meeting to be held at the Central Detective Unit (CDU) on September 25, 2017 concerning the statements Mr Ash and a woman connected to Gibson— Deborah Bastian — gave to police against Gibson. Previously, lead defence attorney Keith Knight, QC, said ASP Thompson indicated that she needed to “iron out” the “ambiguities” in the statements provided by both Mr Ash and Ms Bastian, particularly as it related to the amount of money Mr Ash said he gave Ms Bastian to give to Gibson, which was $200,000. “Listen Mr Ash, you go through and give an overview or summary of what you told us transpired and if there’s anything you don’t agree with, with what he’s saying Ms Bastian, you let us know,” ASP Thompson is quoted as saying. The officer’s quotes were chronicled in a printout of a recording of the meeting in question. “Then I want you to explain to him what you (Ms Bastian) told us, and if there’s anything you don’t agree with, you let us know so we could clear this up,” ASP Thompson is further quoted as saying. ASP Thompson is also quoted as saying: “We need to iron this out because y’all are giving two different accounts as to what transpired leading up to the meeting.” According to the evidence, ASP Thompson was referring to the meeting Mr Ash, Ms Bastian,

FORMER MP Shane Gibson outside court previously.  and Gibson had at a “pink the meeting for that purbuilding” on Nassau Street pose. He acknowledged that ultimately caused Mr that there were differences Ash to make payments between his statements to Ms Bastian, allegedly and that of Ms Bastian, evion Gibson’s behalf, and denced by him saying: “I later directly to Gibson, in said some stuff concerning exchange for the former what happened. Deborah MP using his government Bastian said some stuff.” However, as he did position to ensure Mr Ash would be paid the $1m plus during Thursday’s proceedhe was owed for hurricane ings, Mr Ash said ASP Thompson called the meetclean-up work. Thus, Mr Knight sug- ing because “she wanted to gested to Mr Ash that know the truth” about what ASP Thompson arranged allegedly transpired. While interrogating Mr for that meeting with the express purpose of synchro- Ash yesterday, Mr Guthrie nising his and Ms Bastian’s referred to Mr Knight’s statements to remediate the cross-examination of the “ambiguity” surrounding witness on the issue, and asked the man if any alterthem. However, Mr Ash said ations were made to his he could not recall whether statement. Mr Ash replied: ASP Thompson called “No sir”.

Photo: Terrel W Carey Sr/Tribune Staff Mr Ash went on to say Then between January 30 that he had “no idea” that and February 28 of that the meeting in question was year, Gibson accepted sevbeing recorded, and neither eral cash payments from did he know who recorded it. Mr Ash totalling some Gibson is charged with $100,000. 15 counts of bribery. It is Between February 10 alleged that between Janu- and March 27, 2017, Gibson ary 16 and 19, 2017, and solicited and accepted a being concerned with Bas- total of $80,000 each from tian, he had solicited more Ash, but this time he was than $200,000 from Mr Ash not concerned with Basas an inducement to or a tian, the Crown maintains. reward for him giving assis- The Crown claims Mr Ash tance or using his influence initially made the payments in approving outstanding to Gibson through Bastian payments owed to Mr Ash for the first set of payments by the government. totaling $200,000, but made The Crown further them directly to Gibson for asserts that on various dates the remaining $80,000. between January 19-31, Gibson has denied the 2017, Gibson, still concerned allegations. with Bastian, consequently The case continues on accepted $100,000 worth November 11. Gibson’s bail of payments from Mr Ash. continues until that time.

PAGE 10, Friday, October 11, 2019


When it’s simply a matter of helping our neighbours

RABBI Sholom Bluming handing a toy to a child after Hurricane Dorian and, below right, hugging a Freeport survivor.

WHEN the Miami Herald ran a front-page story on the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian on September 27, instead of mountains of debris, homes without roofs and lives torn asunder, the image it showed was a bearded man, bent over at the waist, handing a child a toy. The man was Rabbi Sholom Bluming, a familiar sight among the small Jewish population in The Bahamas for whom he has served as an inspiration and spiritual leader for the past several years. What few outside that population

By Diane Phillips knew until the Herald story ran was how powerful the reach of the Jewish community was in times of crisis, thanks in part to the young rabbi’s leadership and in part to the history of a people who have spent an eternity finding a way to

HOLOCAUST survivor Eva Schloss with Rabbi Sholom Bluming.

triumph over tragedy. The rabbi does not have a public relations machine to tell the story of all the Jewish community has done or how he personally walked through the rubble in Grand Bahama talking to strangers, shaking hands with the men, hugging when hugging was needed. (His level of commitment in the Chabad community forbids hugging women with the exception of immediate family). Many of the people he saw as he tried to figure out the best way to appeared to be in shock. “I saw so many people whose eyes seemed empty,” he said. “When I walked around the shelters what struck me most was that despite the numbers, the children looked lonely. They were scared, they had lost everything that was familiar to them and they had nothing left.” He decided to focus on

toys and on creating a safe space for young ones to heal. “I gave a little girl a doll and she turned to her mother and said, ‘Look mommy, it’s just like the doll I left on my bed before the storm took our house away.’ It was heartbreaking,” he said. The outpouring of support from Jewish communities from South Florida to New York, from overseas and all the way from Israel, was overwhelming, the rabbi said. “Just today, we had four containers with cleaning materials. We’ve gotten in containers of food, water, hygiene products. Now we are getting building materials.” So many supplies that they’ve had to rent warehouse space. The Israeli government donated a water treatment system. Cash donations continue to pour in. Throughout the process, the rabbi has worked with 17 churches in Grand Bahama, each serving as a

WHAT IS IT ABOUT SMALL CARS? MAYBE it’s just me, but then again, others have said the same thing. Why do small cars think they can barge in, create a third lane on a two-lane straightaway, sneak out and around to run a light or in general terms, act like they own the road? The only reason I could think

of is because they are a lot like small dogs who think they own the place. They have no fear or at least act like they have no fear of the big dog they growl at, forcing an animal four times their size and easily capable of knocking them for a loop to cower in a corner and hope the moment will pass.

Under the assumption that not all small cars are created alike and some of them are actually polite as well as law-abiding, please accept my apology to those who do not take advantage of small size fits anywhere habits. And, of course, I realise it is not the car but the driver but some things don’t need stating.

distribution centre for food, water and supplies collected, and the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation. He praises Rupert Hayward, Henry St. George and others who have risen to the cause with hands-on help day after day even after he returned to Nassau to help his congregation celebrate the most religious holidays of the Jewish calendar year, the week of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Before Rabbi Bluming left Grand Bahama, with Jewel Major and Grace Community Church, the slim and wiry rabbi who brought smiles to the faces of children with something so small as a doll or a game made sure the children had a safe space to heal. That is now in Jewel Major’s hands. “There were a few people outside the religion who asked, ‘How did you get so much for Grand Bahama? There isn’t really a Jewish population there.’ And I explained, it’s not about Jews or non-Jews. These are our neighbours. In times of need, we need to be there for each other. That is the true meaning of love.”

CONGRATS ON NO TEXTING AND YES TO LEFT TURN ON RED LIGHT WHILE we are on the subject of traffic, congratulations to those who fought for legislation to forbid texting, talking and other device usage that is not hands-free and for finally allowing us to make left turns on red where appropriate. Now we need proper signage about where left turns on red are allowed, more info online and elsewhere about penalties for illegal texting and strict enforcement of the new rules. It didn’t take long for Bahamians who once resisted putting on seat belts to change their ways once they knew the police were getting serious about the law.


Friday, October 11, 2019, PAGE 11

$20m repair bill for Rand and Marsh Harbour Clinic By LEANDRA ROLLE

WITH cost of repairs to the Rand Memorial Hospital and Marsh Harbour Clinic said to be more than $20m, Health Minister Dr Duane Sands believes it is possible that the government will have to acquire additional loans to assist the recovery process in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. “The Abaco clinic is in excess to $2m, inclusive of equipment, damage to the structures, etc. In terms of the Rand (in Grand Bahama), we anticipate the costs of approximately $19m… so far, we (at the Ministry of Health) have calculated almost $100m in added costs,” he said. “Those costs don’t just come out of the sky. We have to identify cost savings. It is likely that the government of The Bahamas will have to get additional loans and I’m sure the minister of finance

and the prime minister will reveal that information,” he said. Speaking to reporters at a mental health conference yesterday, Dr Sands noted the Ministry of Health, like all other ministries, will have to review its budget and reprioritise spending as a result of Dorian. “Abaco and Grand Bahama play a critical role in revenue generation... we now have added expenditure, things that we could not have anticipated and, so, yes…..we have to determine what the priorities are for the next ten months,” he said. However, for the moment, Dr Sands said the ministry’s main areas of focus will be geared towards the remediation of healthcare facilities in Abaco and Grand Bahama. “You have to continue to provide primary care and acute care all over the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. That is priority,” he added. “We have been in discussions with strategic

partners, in particular the University of Miami through the chairman of the board of trustees, through the dean of their medical school, (and they) have offered to partner with the Marsh Harbour Clinic to get it back to lightning status and to ensure that all of the damage (is) remediated. “We are willing to accept the offer and we are in the process now of completing a memorandum of understanding. In a similar fashion, we have agreed for remediation to the Rand Memorial Hospital and a number of the clinics.” Dr Sands could not say when repairs to the healthcare facilities on Abaco and Grand Bahama will begin and therefore, be completed. According to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest, the government anticipates spending nearly $230m to assist with recovery efforts following Hurricane Dorian.

‘NATION WILL FACE A MENTAL HEALTH IMPACT FROM STORM’ By LEANDRA ROLLE AS mental health discussions rise to the forefront in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, Health Minister Dr Duane Sands said yesterday that there will be significant psychological impacts in the country as a result of the powerful Category Five storm. “While we have seen the vast destruction of infrastructure, businesses and homes, the thing that we need to be most concerned about is the psychological, psychosocial impact that weighs heavily on this nation,” he said. “Victims of Dorian continue to speak of loss of family members, friends, homes, jobs, and their livelihoods. We need to accept the fact that there will be significant psychological fallout from Dorian. That fallout will impact not just those we serve, but also me and those in the room.” Dr Sands made these statements yesterday during a conference on mental health in the workplace

held at the University of the Bahamas. In his address, Dr Sands recalled the many visits he made to the storm-impacted islands since Dorian, adding that the experience alone is enough to “make grown people cry.” “I have travelled to Grand Bahama multiple times and I’ve been to Abaco four times and I have heard, and I have seen the impact of Hurricane Dorian on people that can rock and has rocked me to my core,” he said. He continued: “Now more than ever, the Ministry of Health and all the mental health professionals in this country have to use this opportunity for several things – for one, to demonstrate the efficacy of mental health services, but also to demonstrate the importance of the need to service the psychosocial needs of our population.” One such psychological effect Dr Sands highlighted is post-traumatic stress disorder. “We need to recognise that post-traumatic stress disorder does not only

apply to those who experienced trauma but those who have witnessed it or know of somebody who has,” he said. “And so, we have not just 75,000 at-risk persons but we have 400,000 at-risk persons with PTSD.” Considering these psychological impacts, Dr Sands suggested that the need to protect and safeguard people’s mental health in the wake of Dorian is more urgent than ever. “We have never faced anything like Dorian and God-willing, we will never have to face anything like Dorian (again). So, our task now is indeed a massive one. Let us understand our mission and let us attack it with zeal,” he added. “There are many people who are hurting and there are many people who are suffering. So, while resilience is important, we can never downplay the significance of persons talking to a trusted friend or to a trained counselor or mental health professional to ensure that they’re coping after this storm in a healthy way.”


TWENTY-FIVE nurses received their job appointment letters from the Ministry of Health after waiting for more than a year. Speaking to reporters at a press conference on Wednesday, Health Minister Dr Duane Sands said it represented the end of an unfortunate era where the process of completion of training until appointment has taken far too long. He said: “I believe that particularly as it relates to nurses and I’ve said this a number of times that collectively now the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of the Public Service, the Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Education has to find a way to compress this process. “We are committed to it and it’s going to happen and certainly this group should be the last group that would have to suffer the indignity of having that very prolonged wait... it is a privilege and pleasure to welcome you to the Ministry of Health. Certainly, we recognise the sacrifice that

you have been making ever since you’ve completed your training.” Dr Sands added: “We realise that you have gone above and beyond and your efforts have not been unrecognised and…I simply want to say that it is a privilege and a pleasure to welcome you officially to the Ministry of Health and to be able to confirm you as a part of the civil service.” The minister said health officials would like to compress this process from a year to 60 days.  He said: “There is a level of diligence that is required in order to verify credentials and to make sure everything is in order. But to have persons working full time and to be expected to smile and work hard when inside they are suffering? (Being) concerned about not being able to pay bills, not being able to provide food for their children so on and so forth is really a problem.  “It is certainly something that has been really painful for me to see and I’ll tell you if I see another nurse in my office crying, it has been very sad that the system hasn’t been able to be responsive to needs.

‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can.’ “This is one of them that we can change. As trained clinical nurses or registered nurses await their official appointment, they continued to get a stipend. That stipend has occasionally not shown up when it should have. It might have been late and so on and so forth because of the way they would have entered the system.”  Dr Sands said before their appointments to the civil service the nurses were not entitled to national insurance benefits.  “These are some very serious issues that have to be resolved and so these are recognised but they are crosscutting and require a progressive view of how we engage and appoint professionals moving forward,” he said. “The difference between their final salary and their stipend is not insignificant. Hopefully all of that money is not hypothecated or spent because they are entitled to a significant amount of back pay.” Dr Sands could not give a price tag on the back pay.  

DR DUANE SANDS, Minister of Health. 

Photo: Terrel W Carey Sr/Tribune Staff

PAGE 12, Friday, October 11, 2019


ANTI-GOVERNMENT protesters forced captive police officers to carry a coffin containing the body of an indigenous activist, underlining anger directed at Ecuador’s government more than a week after rises in fuel prices set off nationwide unrest among indigenous groups, unions and others. Yesterday’s memorial service for an indigenous man said to have been killed during the clashes happened in the capital of Quito, the focus of protests that have plunged President Lenín Moreno’s government into crisis. “The future is very dark,” said economic analyst Fernando Martin. “I hope both sides realise that what they’re doing is hurting themselves and the country. This isn’t good for Ecuador.” Big jumps in the costs of gasoline and diesel after Moreno ended subsidies last week set off the upheaval, but other complaints have come out amid the protests, looting, vandalism, clashes with security forces, the blocking of highways and disruptions of Ecuador’s vital oil industry. Moreno does not appear to be in immediate danger of being ousted, but his political stature is badly shaken. While he has maintained support of the military and other state institutions, his decision to move government operations from Quito to the port of Guayaquil highlighted an image of an administration under siege. Crucially, Moreno has received statements of support from the Organization of American States and individual Latin American countries.


Florida men linked to Trump laywer charged WASHINGTON Associated Press TWO Florida businessmen tied to President Donald Trump’s lawyer and the Ukraine impeachment investigation were charged Thursday with federal campaign finance violations. The charges relate to a $325,000 donation to a group supporting Trump’s reelection. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, associates of Rudy Giuliani, were arrested Wednesday trying to board an international flight with one-way tickets at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, according to Geoffrey Berman, the US attorney in Manhattan. Parnas and Fruman were arrested on a four-count indictment that includes charges of conspiracy, making false statements to the Federal Election Commission and falsification of records. The men had key roles in Giuliani’s efforts to launch a Ukrainian corruption investigation against Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The indictments mark the first criminal charges related to the Ukraine controversy. While they do not suggest wrongdoing by the president, they raise additional questions about how those close to Trump and Giuliani sought to use their influence. Trump has dismissed the impeachment inquiry as baseless and politically motivated. As he was leaving the White House for a political rally in Minneapolis, Trump said he didn’t know Parnas or Fruman and hadn’t spoken with Giuliani about them. “We have nothing to do

with it,” Trump said. Giuliani said he couldn’t comment and that he didn’t represent the men in campaign finance matters. Records show that Parnas and Fruman used wire transfers from a corporate entity to make the $325,000 donation to the America First Action committee in May 2018. But

THIS Facebook screen shot provided by The Campaign Legal Center shows, from left, Donald Trump Jr, Tommy Hicks Jr, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, posted on May 21, 2018. Parnas and Fruman were arrested yesterday. wire transfer records that became public through a lawsuit show that the corporate entity reported as making the transaction was not the source of the money. The big donation to the Trump-allied PAC was part of a flurry of political spending tied to Parnas and Fruman, with at least $478,000 in donations flowing to GOP campaigns and PACs in little more than two months. The money enabled the relatively unknown entrepreneurs to quickly gain access to the highest levels of the Republican Party, including meetings with Trump at the White House and Mar-a-Lago in Florida. Prosecutors allege that Parnas urged a congressman to seek the ouster of the US ambassador to Ukraine, at the behest of Ukrainian government officials. That happened about the same time that Parnas and Fruman committed to raising more than $20,000 for the politician. The congressman wasn’t identified in court papers, but the donations match campaign finance reports for former Rep. Pete Sessions, a Texas Republican who lost his re-election bid in November. In May 2018, Parnas posted a photo of himself and his business partner David Correia with Sessions in his Capitol Hill office, with the caption “Hard at work!!” Parnas and Fruman appeared in court Thursday and were ordered to remain jailed as a bail package was worked out. They are due in court in New York next week. Kevin Downing, the lawyer who represented former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on charges that he hid millions of dollars that he earned in Ukraine advising politicians there, was representing the men for their initial appearance and declined to comment. Correia and Andrey Kukushkin, a Ukrainianborn US citizen, were also charged in the case. A federal judge in San Francisco ordered Kukushkin held on Thursday pending a bail hearing to determine whether he is considered a flight risk. Parnas and Fruman were arrested as they attempted to get on a flight to Frankfurt, Germany, according to a person familiar with the investigation. US authorities are looking at whether that was a first stop en route to Ukraine, said the person, who wasn’t authorised to

discuss the probe and spoke on condition of anonymity. Attorney General William Barr had been briefed on the investigation soon after he was confirmed in February, was updated in recent weeks and was made aware Wednesday night that the men were being arrested, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. The indictment says Parnas and Fruman “sought to advance their personal financial interests and the political interests of at least one Ukrainian government official with whom they were working” and took steps to conceal it from third parties, including creditors. They created a limited liability corporation, Global Energy Producers, and “intentionally caused certain large contributions to be reported in the name of GEP instead of in their own names”. Prosecutors charge that the two men falsely claimed the contributions came from GEP, which was described as a liquefied natural gas business. At that point, the company had no income or significant assets, the indictment said. Prosecutors allege that Parnas and Fruman conspired to make illegal contributions to try to skirt the limit on federal campaign contributions. The men are also accused of making contributions to candidates for state and federal office, joint fundraising committees and independent expenditure committees in the names of other people. The commitment to raise more than $20,000 for the congressman was made in May and June 2018. The lawmaker had also received about $3m in independent expenditures from a super political action committee that Parnas and Fruman had been funding. As a result of the donations, Parnas and Fruman had meetings with the congressman and Parnas lobbied him to advocate for removing the ambassador to Ukraine, Berman said. Trump referred to Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who was indeed recalled to the US, as “bad news” in his July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Sessions said in a statement tweeted by a spokesman that he

“could not have had any knowledge of the scheme described in the indictment.” Sessions wasn’t asked to take any action during the meetings with Parnas and Fruman and wrote a letter to the secretary of state about Yovanovitch after colleagues in Congress said she was “disparaging” the president, he said. The indictment also charges that Kukushkin conspired with the three other defendants to make political contributions, funded by a foreign national, to politicians seeking state and federal office “to gain influence with candidates as to policies that would benefit a future business venture.” An unnamed foreigner wired $500,000 from a bank account overseas through New York to the defendants for contributions to two candidates for state office in Nevada, the indictment alleges. Foreigners are not permitted to contribute to US elections. The indictment accuses the four men of also participating in a scheme to acquire retail marijuana licenses through donations to local and federal politicians in New York, Nevada and other states. America First Action said the $325,000 contribution will remain in a separate account while the court cases play out. A spokeswoman, Kelly Sadler, said the committee will “scrupulously comply with the law”. The AP reported last week that Parnas and Fruman helped arrange a January meeting in New York between Ukraine’s former top prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko, and Giuliani, as well as other meetings with top government officials. Giuliani’s efforts to launch a Ukrainian corruption investigation were echoed by Trump in the July 25 call with Zelenskiy. That conversation is now at the heart of the impeachment inquiry . House Democrats subpoenaed Parnas and Fruman yesterday for documents they have refused to produce to three House committees. The panels have also subpoenaed Giuliani. A whistleblower complaint by an unnamed intelligence official makes reference to “associates” of Giuliani in Ukraine who were attempting to make contact with Zelenskiy’s team, though it’s not clear that refers to Parnas and Fruman.

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