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Cabinet says no to tax on alcohol L! ADS SEL PHOTO 351 002 / 502-2


Cruise passengers may be charged more to help pay for hurricane damage By KHRISNA VIRGIL Deputy Chief Reporter AMID fiery criticism levelled at the government over Prime Minister Perry Christie’s suggestion that there could be a special tax to assist the country in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, Cabinet yesterday discussed the feasibility of a sin tax on tobacco and alcohol to accumulate the necessary funding for repair and recovery efforts, The Tribune was told. However, according to high-level government sources, this idea was rejected by the majority of Cabinet ministers who believe that to raise money, the Christie administration should consider avenues that free Bahamians from

additional taxation. Among these is the suggestion of a cruise ship passenger tax, which would ensure local taxpayers are not subject to further tariffs, the source explained to this newspaper. Cabinet has not made a final determination on the issue, The Tribune was told. But while the possibility of a new hurricane tax was met with backlash yesterday by Bahamians who voiced their concerns on social media, the idea was welcomed by staunch Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) members who praised the prime minister for advancing a suggestion that could be the country’s solution to recovering from the devastation caused by Matthew. SEE PAGE SIX


OPPOSITION Leader Dr Hubert Minnis said the Free National Movement is opposed to any possible attempt by the Christie administration to implement a new tax to cover the cost of damage from Hurricane Matthew. Prime Minister Perry Christie told the media Monday that the government may have to consider introducing such a tax, noting that the country’s finances are strained and the Bahamas faces credit downgrade threats.

The Tribune understands a tax introduction was discussed in Cabinet yesterday, though no final decision was made. Government insiders also said a “sin tax� on items like alcohol and tobacco has been considered. Bahamians, nonetheless, reacted with anger across social media yesterday at the idea that a tax would even be contemplated. And for his part, Dr Minnis said: “People are suffering enough. They have VAT and we can’t account for how it is being spent. The Bahamian people cannot SEE PAGE SIX

MAN SHOT DEAD AND CHILDREN HURT AS GUNMEN FIRE ON CAR By KHRISNA VIRGIL Deputy Chief Reporter A MAN was murdered and children injured after three gunmen opened fire on the vehicle they were in on Amos Ferguson Street, off Cordeaux Avenue last night. Police said five children were in a white Toyota Corolla with the victim when SEE PAGE FIVE

Here come the reinforcements

POWERSECURE bucket trucks arrived in Nassau yesterday to be inspected and licensed as they get ready to assist Bahamas Power and Light in restoring power on the island. See story on page three. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff


FOR 14 days now, Francita Strachan has been cut off from family and friends whom she imagines are concerned about her well being, as she’s been unable to make and receive phone calls or even take a proper bath because she lives on the half of Sea Link Avenue that has yet to be energised by Bahamas Power and Light (BPL). Mrs Strachan said these days, apart from longing for breeze to cool her off as she sits on her porch, she hopes to see at least one BPL truck on her street. This, Mrs Strachan told The Tribune yesterday,

FRANCITA STRACHAN would give her optimism that she and her neighbours will have power soon. Sea Link Avenue is in southern New Providence. “We have no phone, no

light and no water,� she said. “So this very much so affects me. We are next to okay in the day, except for the heat, but at night with no light and no water it’s rough. I have to struggle to lift that big heavy thing of water to flush my toilet. I’ve also lost several hundred dollars worth of food from the two large freezers that we have. “I can’t call anyone so I hope, I hope, I really hope that BPL would come and get us on soon.� Right next to Ms Strachan’s residence, sat a frustrated Thisley Frazier. He’s been living in his home since 1982 and said this ordeal has been hard to live through, especially with family, including a young

grandson, to worry about. He said having to tote water in a large barrel every night was the least of his concerns, as he fears mostly for his family’s safety. “The light is everything here. There is no water, no phone, no nothing. Right now it’s either getting water from friends and family, but mostly I go to the government pump in the Grove or anywhere nearby. “I am frustrated of course. I have kids and I have a grandson and all that. Water is essential for everyone. Like later on tonight I will go and get that (water) drum right there and I will refill that hopefully.� SEE PAGE TWO


FREE National Movement Deputy Leader K Peter Turnquest yesterday regretted that Bahamians were only “bit players� in the ongoing Baha Mar saga, as he decried the sale of Baha Mar’s assets to a company created by the $3.5bn project’s financier, the Export-Import Bank of China (CEXIM).

Mr Turnquest warned that it was unwise for one entity to hold such a major stake that it could impact the country’s GDP overnight, referring to the collective investment in both New Providence and Grand Bahama by governmentowned Chinese companies. “We know in the terms of the significance of the investment, it is significant to us as a country, our SEE PAGE EIGHT

By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter

THERE have been no additional confirmed cases of the Zika virus in New Providence in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, with a senior health official claiming there have been fewer reports of mosquito bites in the wake of the category four storm. Chief Medical Officer Dr Glen Beneby told reporters

Nassau & Bahama Islands’ Leading Newspaper

yesterday there have been no new confirmed cases of the virus since October 3, when the Ministry of Health, via its official website, reported that the number of confirmed cases in New Providence had risen to 17. Dr Beneby said since the passage of Hurricane Matthew, he and another “senior physician� have had discussions about the virus, SEE PAGE EIGHT

PAGE 2, Wednesday, October 19, 2016



ONE irate New Providence business owner left without power in the wake of Hurricane Matthew has opted to redirect her frustration with Bahamas Power and Light to art, hoping her new welcome sign could attract the attention of the company’s technicians. The sign affixed to the door of the Fox Hill Nursery reads “12 days of no POWER! We are trying run a business! Please help.” Amanda Myers, of the nursery on Bernard Road, said her new welcome sign marks her last-ditch effort to get the attention of anyone associated with BPL. “Weary and worn out” by the company’s inability to restore power to her business two weeks since Matthew pummeled parts of The Bahamas, Ms Myers said she has done it all in her journey to “save her business.” She is also frustrated be-

cause several other businesses on the same street have had electricity restored since the hurricane’s passage. “I am depending on rain at the moment, and I feel bad saying that because we know there are still so many persons around our community with roof damage and the rain isn’t helping that,” Ms Myers said. “I feel bad for those persons because they don’t need the rain, but I do. I just want someone from the power company to come and communicate with me, the exact problem with my supply, because it is a guessing game at this point.” Ms Myers said she believes extensive damage to electrical nods on the pole that provides power to her store is evident. She claimed that she has brought the fact up to BPL representatives to no avail. “And that is what is so frustrating to me and so many other people, the fact of not knowing what is actu-

ally going on,” she said. “It would be great, but nobody has stopped by to talk to us and give us an explanation on what the heck is going on. “I have actually gone out and stalked the trucks. I have found trucks in Fox Hill and all over and I have spoken to the young men, trying to convince them to come back and work on the poles near my store.” As if the situation were not bad enough, moments prior to her interview with The Tribune, a procession of nearly a dozen BPL service vehicles could be seen going west on Bernard Road. “We just stood here in the parking lot and saw ten trucks drive by, they stopped and read the sign but none could offer help in our case,” she said. “See, I needed this attention. I have done all I could. I have called the command centre over and over, followed all the protocols and still nothing; I have used the Facebook page over and

AMANDA MYERS, right, with her sign calling for assistance. over again - nothing.” Yesterday, in a press release, BPL CEO Pamela

Hill said more than 12,000 New Providence customers were still without power.

BPL hopes to get most customers back on the grid by the end of the week.

Left without power for 14 days

from page one

The Tribune then visited neighbourhoods in the eastern end of the island where residents expressed similar

frustrations. Lloyd Ranger, of Sea Fan Drive, said he doubts that under the old Bahamas Electricity Corporation, power supply would have been disconnected for so

long. He said the heat has prevented him from taking a good night’s rest and also has him terrified to leave his home at night. “They turned us off on the Wednesday night (October 5) when the storm came so from week before last and I haven’t seen any BPL trucks despite them having put up two new poles round the corner. “I am tired of this. It is so frustrating. This a bunch of foolishness I don’t understand this. I am really not coping well. “I haven’t slept a good night or had a good meal from the current went off. I want the power on man. I am afraid to come out at night because there is no power.” He continued: “Listen I believe that if it was BEC the way it was before we would have had power already. These people just don’t know what they are doing you know.” Another resident, Burkett Dorsett, said he understands that BPL faces some challenges, but he would have liked to hear more from the electricity provider. Mr Dorsett said: “I understand the situation, but someone should have come around and said something. We should be told on a daily basis not reading in the newspaper when they work in this area. Putting it in the papers is easy to say, but we actually need to see the people working. Someone should come around

THISLEY Frazier told The Tribune said he feared for his family’s safety. and say something that this is the situation and why it’s taking so long then we will understand that.” BPL said yesterday that more than 12,000 of its customers in New Providence remain without power, with electricity expected to be restored to most customers by the end of the week. Crews were said to be working in the following areas: Nassau Village, St Andrew’s Beach, Carmichael Road (Sunset Park), Arawak Cay Port, Coconut Grove (surrounding areas), Andros Avenue, Wilson Tract, Eastern Road, Wulff Road (surrounding areas), Seabreeze, Imperial Park, Adderley Street, Marshall Road, Coral Harbour and Ferguson Subdivision.

LIOYD Ranger says he is terrified to leave his home at night.


Wednesday, Wednesday, October October 19,19, 2016, 2016, PAGE PAGE 3 3

$700,000 bill to repair major healthcare facilities By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter REPAIRS to the country’s three main public healthcare institutions in the wake of Hurricane Matthew will cost more than $700,000, Public Hospitals Authority Managing Director Herbert Brown said yesterday. Mr Brown said repairs to both the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) and Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre in New Providence, as well as The Rand Memorial Hospital in Freeport, Grand Bahama, will cost an estimated $740,000. Mr Brown said the PHA

is currently seeking to solicit the necessary funding to cover the expenses. However, he said the PHA has made “temporary repairs” to the roofs of each of those facilities in the interim. Mr Brown also announced that the planned renovations to PMH’s Maternity Ward will be placed on hold until after repairs are made to remedy the damage the hospital sustained from Hurricane Matthew. He said the PHA is currently utilising its contractor for the Maternity Ward to also assist with repairs to the hospital’s roof. Mr Brown also said the

clinic in West Grand Bahama that was severely damaged during Hurricane Matthew has since been “taken out of operation.” However, he said the PHA has identified another facility for use and that clinical services for West Grand Bahama will be restored by next Monday. In the interim, Mr Brown said the PHA has consolidated the services for both the West End clinic and the Eight Mile Rock clinic. Residents of West End will have to use the Eight Mile Rock clinic until repairs to the area’s clinic have been completed. Mr Brown also said Davies House in Grand

Bahama, which is responsible for mammography and opthalmology, had also sustained “some manner of damage” as a result of Hurricane Matthew. However, Mr Brown said repair work has already commenced on that building. “We could have had much more severe damage if we didn’t have a plan in place prior to the storm,” Mr Brown added. “And I think it was as a result of the plan we’ve always had in place. We started our hurricane preparation since May of this year, and as a direct result of the plan we were able as you can see to be in a position to restore services almost

THE NEWLY arrived PowerSecure bucket trucks in Nassau yesterday. 

to assist its road crews in completing work in several communities. Also arriving Tuesday morning were four BPL vehicles which included three bucket trucks and one digger derrick. A bucket truck and the digger derrick were sent to Andros on Tuesday afternoon to assist crews there in their restoration efforts. The other two bucket trucks will be added to BPL’s permanent fleet of vehicles in New Providence. “These vehicles are an important part of our plan to get close to 100 per cent restoration within the next few days,” BPL CEO Pamela Hill said in a press release. “Our BPL team with the help of local and international partners have substantially restored supply to many of our customers; however, we still have more than 12,000 New Providence customers without power. “We are using the most aggressive approach we have available to us to ex-

pedite power restoration for these consumers. Our plan is to deploy these vehicles in earnest across the island and saturate the areas where we still have some challenges to get the power back on as quickly as we can,” she said. BPL said it had originally anticipated that the utility vehicles would have been on island sooner; however, adverse weather conditions, including 9-foot seas, prevented the ship from leaving port in the US. “Our goal was to get the vehicles here not only in a timely manner but while ensuring the safety of the sailing crew and the cargo,” said PowerSecure President of Utility Infrastructure Ronnie Brannen. “Even without the trucks, our crews worked around the clock restoring supply to different parts of the island. Now that the trucks are here, we can work more efficiently to get the power back on to those customers who lost supply after Hurricane Matthew.”

BAHAMAS Power and Light has doubled the number of personnel working on restoring electricity to customers left in the dark after Hurricane Matthew.

CRUISE SHIP TO VISIT BIMINI AFTER DAMAGE TO FREEPORT RESORTS World Bimini (RWB) and Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line (BPCL) announced yesterday that the line’s 1,800-passenger vessel, MS Grand Celebration, begins sailing to Bimini this week. The Grand Celebration, which sailed to Freeport prior to Hurricane Matthew, will now make North Bimini its port of call in the Bahamas instead of Grand Bahama due to the extensive storm damage. The ship will sail from West Palm Beach, Florida, to Bimini every other day

until January 2017, when a review of the service will take place. RWB President Ed Farrell said the new service will enhance Bimini’s position as a leading destination in the region. “This new service is a boon not only for the resort, but for the island as a whole,” Mr Farrell said. “The Grand Celebration will make it possible for additional visitors to experience the beauty of Bimini and all that the island has to offer. The result will ultimately be a boost for the

local economy.” RWB has recently been awarded several hospitality honours, including the Caribbean Journal’s New Hotel of the Year and the Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor. RWB will manage the Grand Celebration’s disembarking process and will provide a complimentary tram service for passengers wishing to explore Alice Town and other attractions on the island. “We’re excited to have this new port of call and beautiful resort option to

our contractors were mobilizing for the maternity ward. So they’re trying to do both at the same time. So we’re very pleased with the progress we’re making so far.” Last month, the government held a contract signing ceremony for major renovations for the Maternity and Male Surgical Wards as well as the Legacy Entrance at PMH. The contract, valued at nearly $15m, was signed with a Texas-based company headed by a Bahamian architect and will begin the process of bringing PMH up to world standards, according to Prime Minister Perry Christie.

Photos: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

BPL DOUBLES MANPOWER AS IT AIMS TO COMPLETE RESTORATION OF POWER WITH more than 12,000 New Providence customers without electricity, Bahamas Power and Light Company Limited has doubled the manpower on New Providence but also its fleet in its effort to complete restoration as soon as possible, the company said yesterday. BPL, with the help of local contractors, CARILEC teams, and PowerSecure, has an aggressive plan to be close to full restoration by the end of the week, the company said. BPL expects that past this date, only a small number of customers may still be affected and the company will continue its aggressive campaign to reach 100 per cent restoration. Yesterday morning, 24 utility vehicles arrived in the capital from the US to assist BPL in restoring supply across the island. BPL’s management company, PowerSecure, brought in 20 utility vehicles including pick-up trucks, bucket trucks, and digger derricks

immediately following the storm. So we are very happy.” When asked by a reporter for an update on planned renovations to the Maternity Ward, Mr Brown said: “Of course the hurricane set us back a little bit, because what we’re doing now is we’re using the contractor that we’ve had for the Maternity Ward to assist us with some of the repairs to the roof. “So our focus now is being able to repair all of the damages that we’ve had and once that’s done we will then focus again on the Maternity Ward.” He added: “I must say that even up to yesterday

offer our passengers,” said Glenn Ryerson, executive vic-president of sales and marketing for the cruise. “We’re offering twonight cruise rates starting at $129 for an ocean view cabin to get as many people as possible to experience this exciting new destination for us.” Bimini’s Local Government Council quickly took steps to ensure that the island was prepared to receive the new visitors. Chief Councillor Robbie Smith said: “This couldn’t have come at a better time,

and we wish to thank all who made it possible. The people of Bimini welcome this cruise with open arms.”

PAGE 4, Wednesday, October 19, 2016 


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Again we ask PM Christie - whose side are you on? ON MONDAY, we posed the question here to Prime Minister Christie: Whose side are you on - the Bahamas or Beijing? That question is still on the table. In a statement, released to the press on Monday - ostensibly drafted by Sir Baltron Bethel, Mr Christie’s senior policy advisor - a letter sent by Baha Mar’s original developer, Sarkis Izmirlian, to the Export-Import Bank of China (CEXIM) chairman, and copied to Mr Christie, was described as having contained “some extraordinary statements”. “Normally,” said the statement, “the government would not respond to such a letter and statement but so far as it impacts on what the government has achieved, which is well documented, in ensuring that the Baha Mar development is finished and Bahamian creditors paid, the government is compelled to give this statement.” Certainly a lot of bungling has been accomplished since that fateful day when the Bahamas government blocked Mr Izmirlian’s attempt to save the project and its creditors - both local and foreign - by invoking Chapter 11 of Delaware’s bankruptcy court. Government claimed that it blocked Chapter 11 to protect the Bahamas’ “sovereignty”. It appears that The Bahamas’ sovereignty is more threatened today than if it had been protected by Chapter 11 and left in the hands of a private investor who had become a part of The Bahamas. We agree with the view expressed by former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham in the House of Assembly on November 18, 2010, that it was an “untenable position to permit any foreign state to own land in The Bahamas”. He said, at that time, that should the project not succeed and if he were still Prime Minister, his government “would not agree to foreclose on these properties (previously Crown land) to any foreign state or any entity which is owned by a foreign state”. When Mr Christie was about to block Mr Izmirlian’s move to Chapter 11 with “sovereignty” as the bogey man, Mr Ingraham on two occasions wrote privately to advise him against such folly. Mr Christie and his government seemed miffed that Mr Izmirlian had not taken them into his confidence about his planned appeal to Delaware. Mr Christie, a lawyer, must know that such a move had to be shrouded in the utmost secrecy, because if the most insignificant creditor got wind of it, he could have blocked the application by putting in an adverse claim. In making a Chapter 11 bankruptcy move one does not even trust a Prime Minister, particularly one seemingly so close to the Chinese group, whose construction team, by its actions, appeared hell-bent on preventing the resort’s opening. And so here we are today, shuffling around in circles with a government that thinks that by paying off Baha Mar’s now jobless Bahamian staff it has accomplished its mission. But what about the larger creditors, including the foreign companies? Not to pay these would be to torpedo this country’s reputation as a sound investment centre. It is bad enough to have Moody’s and

Standard & Poor’s threatening to reduce our credit rating to junk, but to fail to pay all creditors involved in this enterprise would completely destroy the Bahamas’ reputation. From the beginning, Mr Izmirlian has made several offers to CEXIM, all rejected because it was claimed that they were made outside the Receivers’ sales process. However, obviously failing to find anyone making a high enough offer, the Receivers have had to go outside that process themselves. Now there is no longer any excuse to exclude Mr Izmirlian. If Mr Izmirlian’s offer had been accepted, Baha Mar would probably have been opened for business by now, the more than 2,000 Bahamians would be at work, all creditors would have been paid, and government would be free to concentrate on rebuilding the Bahamas after Hurricane Matthew. Instead, a shell Hong Kong company - Perfect Luck Holdings Ltd, a private company set up in 2014 - will buy Baha Mar’s assets. They will be held for sale to the highest bidder. Using this means the purchaser will be assured that the property is free of all encumbrances. For this transaction, the Receivers are legally bound to accept the highest bidder. So far, Mr Izmirlian is satisfied that he is that bidder. The rumour now is that one of Asia’s largest property empires is interested in acquiring Baha Mar. However, the founder of that empire, Cheng Yu-Tung, died this month at the age of 91, leaving a fortune of $15 billion. For the past four years his son has headed his empire. However, the Cheng name has been sullied through alleged partnerships with persons involved - so it is claimed - in crime. Stanley Ho, said to be a long time associate of Mr Cheng, is often “identified as an ‘associate’ of organised crime by dint of his ownership - with Mr Cheng - in SJM, which gave free rein to China’s criminal groups known as the Triads. And so it goes on in even greater detail. Regulators around the world, including Australia, Canada and the Philippines, have rejected Stanley Ho as “unsuitable” to hold a gambling licence. Many authorities have described Mr Ho himself explicitly as “a member of organised crime”. After pulling out of the hole that we had dug for ourselves as a “nation for sale” during the drug years, are we to get this small nation into an even worse situation with the Triad gangs - the criminals of Macau? No, Mr Christie, you and yours might not like Mr Izmirlian, but he is a decent, honest young businessman - no underthe-table dealer - who is known in these islands and who loves and is loved by his staff. He certainly will not scandalise this country. Are you going to bypass this opportunity and introduce the seedy life of Macau to these shores? And so we ask you once again Mr Christie - who are you for? Your own Bahamian people or Beijing? Sir Baltron’s statement, released in your name, ran circles around the question. Now is the time for straight answers.

Can we have BEC back? EDITOR, The Tribune I THOUGHT that with the arrival of Bahamas Power and Light, we were supposed to have improved service at a lower price, delivered through a modern system. After all, they are a big American company and are supposed to have experience in cutting edge service. However, after my experience following Hurricane Matthew - and that of all my relatives and friends I can tell you, BPL can go back where they came from as far as I am concerned. Please give us the old BEC back! I understand that you cannot change the whole system overnight and it will

take years and serious investment to get the power system to where it needs to be. But for goodness sake, we should not be going backwards. This is, without a doubt, the worst response to a hurricane from BEC that I have ever seen in my 57 years on this earth. People at BEC say that arrogance is the cause, that BPL managers think they know everything and don’t want any advice from Bahamians with experience, because they feel they are superior, better educated, etc. Personally, I have been in a similar situation myself with a foreign boss and the results were a disaster. We may not be on the cutting edge of everything, but there is nothing that can re-

place local knowledge and on-the-ground experience. Bahamians know their country and how it works. They know their jobs and the industries in which they are employed. And BEC workers with decades of experience know what needs to be done after a hurricane. Of course, things need to improve, but you don’t get there by throwing the baby out with the bath water. So BPL, if we really have to be stuck with you, please try and learn a lesson from this and next time, try mixing your modern expertise with some good old fashioned local experience. PRETTY MOLLY Nassau October 18, 2016

Hurricane tax plan... say what? EDITOR, The Tribune FOLLOWING the disastrous aftermath of the monster Hurricane Matthew and the need for hundreds of millions of dollars “to fix the country”, it is unbelievable to hear talk about the possibility of a “hurricane tax” to be levied on us, the already suffering public, when we have been constantly bombarded with evidence of the blatant, irresponsible spending by government of our monies over the past several years. For example, travelling first class here and there all over the world with huge entourages of useless friends, families and lovers whilst staying in the most expensive hotels and wining and dining on our dime; spending millions over budget for carnival foolishness; losing millions upon millions in government ministries from “tiefing” public servants with no recompense or prosecution; and the list goes on and on like there is no tomorrow, whilst we are teetering precariously on the financial cliff of ruin! Reality check, government: there is no such thing as a money tree - it is time to climb out of the rabbit hole! You will be the main cause of the financial disaster that will send this country into ruin because you continue to spend like crazy, rather than tighten the country’s

LETTERS purse strings. Has anybody heard any mention of an immediate strict government budget, or plans for stringent cutbacks yet? What happened to the plans for hurricane aftermath funding following Joaquin last year? Have there been any statements saying that due to extreme financial constraints all foreign travel by ministers, public servants and their entourages as of now will be cancelled, (including any more delegations taking “assessment” trips to the hurricane ravaged islands for photo ops)? What about a hiring freeze? Are MPs and Ministers willing to take a pay cut? What about cancelling the allowance for constituency offices since most of them are hardly used anyway? Where is the notice being circulated to all Government offices with suggestions of how to cut expenses, eg using less electricity, government cars not being used for personal use, no more gas allowances, no more drivers for ministers? We, the Bahamian people have been burdened with the extra weight of VAT which, we have been told, has placed more money

than expected in the Public Treasury. Yet we still have not received any detailed information as to where and how these millions of dollars have been spent to cut down the country’s debt, because according to the figures, spending is continuing unabated! So instead of trying to tax us again - you, government, need to take a hard look at yourself in the mirror, and step up and do your part! All of the Ministers were present at the big time Baha Mar press conference the other day at which we were subjected to a lot of talk, but received no real information. It’s been over two weeks since Matthew - when was the emergency post-hurricane Cabinet meeting held to devise an immediate concrete, common sense plan? Matthew was a powerful and salient reminder of what the National Development Plan should entail – plans that should be developed by harnessing the resources of the sensible, thinking minds of civil society and the private/public sectors. The government’s track record in this regard is abysmal. Our country is in crisis and we, the Bahamian people, are sick and tired of empty talk. We want to see some positive action! PAM BURNSIDE Nassau October 18, 2016

Dangerous poles on St Michael Rd EDITOR, The Tribune ST MICHAEL Road serves as a main route for drivers commuting from Prince Charles Drive to Soldier Road. As has been reported, the pole nearest to the junction of St Michael’s Road and Prince Charles Drive (one way road) is broken at the base and is leaning across the road

and being held up only by the electrical cable. Since this road has high traffic at all times, should the electrical cable give way whilst cars are passing this could be fatal to the driver and pasengers. This, in my view, is dangerous and hazardous. Urgent attention should be given by the Bahamas Power & Light Company to secure or replace the pole,

or at least the road blocked until the repair can be done to prevent any serious incident of loss of life. It should also be noted that this pole is in front of a pre-school. I hope this matter is taken seriously and dealt with urgently by BPL. JAMES AND GWEN BAIN Nassau October 18, 2016


Wednesday, October 19, 2016, PAGE 5

Former senator’s appeal to be heard in December By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter FORMER Free National Movement senator John Bostwick II’s appeal against his conviction for possession of ammunition will be heard in December. The 45-year-old lawyer, who was convicted of the criminal charge last December, is seeking to have the Court of Appeal quash the conviction concerning a magazine clip that was found in his luggage during a check by security at the Grand Bahama International Airport in May 2014. He and his lawyers, Wayne Munroe, QC, and Lisa Bostwick-Dean appeared for a status hearing yesterday before Justices Dame Anita Allen, Jon Isaacs and Roy Jones. Mr Munroe informed the court that the transcripts from the trial were, based on information he received, two weeks away from being

FORMER Senator John Bostwick pictured outside of the Court of Appeal speaking to lawyer Wayne Munroe, right.  Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff complete after necessary corrections were made and the documents signed. The appellants and Crown respondents, he said, had agreed to have the substantive hearing of the appeal on December 13. The appellate court accepted the date and fixed it on the court’s calendar.

Throughout his trial in Magistrate’s Court, Bostwick II maintained his innocence and claimed he was set up in a “vicious and diabolical” plan to tarnish his character and reputation. He testified that he went through the security checkpoints at the Lynden Pin-

dling International Airport in Nassau without any incident on the day in question before proceeding to the departure lounge to await the flight. He was en route to Grand Bahama to attend a friend’s wedding. He said when he arrived at the airport in Grand Bahama, he was approached by individuals and started talking to them. His bag was periodically between his shoulder and the ground prior to his arrival to the Our Lucaya Resort where he said he left the bag unattended in the room of the groom who was to be married on the resort property. The bag was also left unattended in the rental car when visiting the groom’s new home on the island prior to his departure flight, he said. Bostwick II said when he got to the airport, he was approached by people who said “they were excited to meet the future prime minister.” It was when he proceeded

through security screening after placing his backpack on the conveyor belt that airport security discovered the magazine clip. However, Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes rejected his claims that he was framed as “unconvincing and unbelievable” and highlighted inconsistencies between the former senator’s testimony concerning the day in question, surveillance footage and his statement in police custody. Bostwick II was fined $15,000 for the offence. He is the son of John Henry Bostwick, QC, and former Foreign Affairs Minister and Attorney General Janet Bostwick, the first woman to be elected to the House of Assembly. Bostwick II was sworn in as a FNM senator in February 2013. He was fired from the post in May 2014, shortly after he was arraigned. He ran on the FNM’s ticket in 2012 as the standard bearer for Bain and

Grants Town, but lost. He still maintains political aspirations and a successful appeal would make them possible. Article 48 (1) (f) of the Constitution notes that a person cannot be elected as a member of the House of Assembly who “is under sentence of death imposed on him by a court in the Bahamas, or is serving a sentence of imprisonment (by whatever name called) exceeding 12 months imposed on him by such a court or substituted by competent authority for some other sentence imposed on him by such a court, or is under such a sentence of imprisonment the execution of which has been suspended.” Under existing law, minor criminal offences remain on a person’s record for seven years from the date of conviction. Garvin Gaskin, director of public prosecutions, Eucal Bonaby and Cephia Pinder-Moss appears for the Crown in the appeal.


a black car approached and opened fire. It happened at around 7.30pm and marks the 79th murder in New Providence for the year, according to The Tribune’s records. Authorities said they were unsure of how many of the children were injured, with Assistant Commissioner of Police Stephen Dean adding that investigators were also unsure of whether their sustained injuries were the result of gunshots or shattered glass When The Tribune arrived, police had already cordoned off the scene with yellow crime scene tape in a bid to prevent scores of onlookers from accessing the scene. Some persons of the group could be heard screaming. “What we can tell you is that shortly after 7.30 tonight a man was driving a white Toyota Corolla vehicle through Amos Ferguson Street,” Mr Dean said. He was accompanied by five children in the vehicle when a black vehicle pulled up on the side of them and

opened fire on the vehicle. “The man was fatally shot. He was the driver of the car. We know that three children were taken to hospital. We are hearing that one or two of them were injured, but we cannot confirm this at the moment. We cannot confirm whether it’s gunshot wounds or from the glass of the vehicle. They are still being examined at the hospital to determine. “Right now we don’t have a motive for this shooting. Right now we are actively investigating this matter. Right now the detectives are on the ground with uniformed officers they are canvassing the area.” He added: “We have to make the regular appeal to members of the public who might have been traversing this area no matter how insignificant it seems we want you to contact the police. This matter is of paramount concern to us when innocent children become involved in these shootings and that is something that they should not experience.” This comes after a man was shot multiple times in the head and killed early

Monday morning as he pulled up to a residence in Pinewood Gardens. The killing happened shortly after 8.30am and brought the country’s murder count to 78 for the year, according to The Tribune’s records. Officer-in-charge of the Central Detective Unit, Superintendent Ashton Greenslade said the Police Control Room received reports that gunshots were heard through Thatch Palm Street. “When officers arrived, they met the lifeless body of a dark male, lying on the right side of the road,” Supt Greenslade said. “Information received is that sometime this morning, a silver Skyline came here at Thatch Palm and also a white van was parked on the corer. Once the Skyline parked, occupants of the white van came out, all armed with firearms and approached the vehicle. The driver attempted to flee but he was shot multiple times by the occupants of the vehicle. He collapsed on the side of the road and died,” Supt Greenslade said.

THE CRASHED car at the scene of last night’s shooting.


A MAN was remanded to prison yesterday after he was charged in Magistrate’s Court with having a role in a murder plot that was carried out in June. Daran Neely, 28, was flanked by policemen as he was escorted into the Nassau and South Streets complex to stand before Magistrate Derence Rolle-Davis to face a conspiracy to commit murder charge. It is alleged that he, on June 16, at New Providence, being concerned with oth-

ers, did agree with a common purpose to murder Kenyari Lightbourne. On June 21, Lightbourne was shot multiple times while walking through his neighbourhood of Woods Alley, off Market Street. Lightbourn died at the scene of the shooting. Two months later at an arraignment in August, 21-year-old Jahmaro Edgecombe was charged with Lightbourne’s murder. Neely and Edgecombe are now alleged to have plotted the killing days before the fatal shooting occurred.

Neely was told yesterday that he would not be allowed to enter a plea to the charge until he is formally arraigned before a judge in the Supreme Court where his matter will be tried. He was further informed that at his Magistrate’s Court reappearance on December 2, he would be served with a voluntary bill of indictment that would transfer his case to the Supreme Court. He was remanded to the Department of Correctional Services to await trial. However, he was informed of his right to apply for bail in the Supreme Court.

THE BODY of a man killed in last night’s shooting is taken from the scene.

PAGE 6, Wednesday, October 19, 2016



Among these was PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts. He was adamant that a “temporary tax” was the key to the dilemma the government now faces. “Should we pull the needed money from the skies? Do the critics have an alternative programme to raise the money we need? I can tell you that many of them don’t,” Mr Roberts said when contacted yesterday. “I understand that there were a lot of critics voicing their concerns today (Tuesday). We then have to ask if they are concerned about the restoration of our country. I am open minded to any suggestion of an alternative programme. “We’ve got significant damage and the money has to come from somewhere. With all we are facing now, are we then to forget our brothers and sisters whose lives have been turned upside down?” He added: “I want to hear some alternative programmes from these critics. It is traditional in societies like ours. It would only be a temporary measure to address the situation.” Former PLP Cabinet minister George Smith also welcomed Mr Christie’s special tax suggestion, but said he would go further to suggest that the government insure all of its buildings and spaces so that in the event of a natural disaster, there would be no disruption of the budget cycle. Mr Smith said: “I am delighted that the prime minister has put forward a suggestion. I think that this is the time for us to come up with innovative ideas. “I support something that was advanced recently by a columnist who suggested that Parliament should

PRIME Minister Perry Christie flanked by Michael Halkitis, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, left, and Kenred Dorsett, Minister of the Environment and Housing, pictured during their walkabout to view damage in the southern parts of the island on Monday.  Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff move for the appointment of a committee to have broad authority to travel from place to place to go wherever hurricanes have hit not just recently, but in the past so they could get a good clear appreciation of the damage and the long term effect of these damages.” He continued: “What about examining and ensuring all public buildings, public parks, public roads, public spaces and for the government to underwrite the hurricane damage particularly in places where people lack the ability in many of the islands where

they live on generation and other properties? “Where the government insures those houses and in the low lying areas, insure against flood and we pay a tax or add a percentage or use a percentage of the real property tax or a small national insurance tax towards paying for this insurance annually? “By doing this we can get quite a bit and ensure that the Commonwealth of the Bahamas’ public lands, public buildings, public parks and open spaces are covered,” Mr Smith said. “The government can underwrite the homes

for instance of less than a particular value of for example $30,000, $40,000 or $50,000 so that if a hurricane hits, the insurance comes.” On Monday, as he toured areas of New Providence that were hard hit by Matthew, Mr Christie said if a tax on “some item” were imposed, it would be done in a way that has a “minimal impact on people.” At the time he said: “We have to give serious consideration to a more effective way of financing the loss that the country has experienced because we’re

also paying now for Hurricane Joaquin and it may well be that we have to give consideration to a selective approach to raising money by taxing some item that would be of minimal impact on people. But it’s a matter we have to look at because it’s an enormous challenge to the country. We’ve been faced with downgrading. This is not an easy situation. We thought the way was clear with Baha Mar. But now we have Hurricane Matthew.” Mr Christie previously talked about the government’s intention to create a $150 million Hurricane

Reconstruction Bond that would assist people, as well as small and medium sized businesses impacted by the hurricane and to help accelerate reconstruction efforts. Mr Christie also announced on Monday that Urban Renewal 2.0 will be expanded to strengthen recovery efforts. Currently existing in only 11 constituencies, the programme will expand to the other areas in New Providence to help authorities gain command of the issues affecting residents and to provide fast response to their needs.


trust this government. We will not be inflicting more pain and suffering on the Bahamian populace. You cannot tax your way out of


suffering. “People can’t buy water, food, clothing and you want to increase (poverty) further?” Dr Minnis said the government should decrease public waste and control spending rather than consider a new tax. Mr Christie has estimated that the damage from Hurricane Matthew will cost the country three to four times more than the devastation left

Employment Opportunity

Operations Assistant

by Hurricane Joaquin last year, which was pegged at around $100m. Meanwhile, FNM Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest warned that even a sin tax could adversely affect the country. “While I don’t have a huge difficulty with a sin tax,” he said yesterday, “I also recognise people are employed in those industries. The extent to which we make products unaffordable, that will affect

businesses involved and unemployment could go up. While we can extract as much as we can from those, say, luxury items, we have to ensure we don’t put more on people than they can bear.” In a lengthy statement yesterday, the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) also rejected the idea of a new tax, saying the party isn’t comforted by Mr Christie’s pledge to ensure such a tax, if implemented,

Readers on tribune242. com had plenty to say in response to the Prime Minster’s suggestion of a possible hurricane tax. BahamaPundit asked: “What happened to all the VAT funds?” To which DDK re-

Duties & Responsibilities • Dealing with day to day IT issues • Scheduling and overseeing maintenance of plant, vehicles and property • Inventory control and ordering • Quality control • Assist in scheduling of staff Skills & Qualifications • Good working knowledge of Mac and Microsoft operating systems and servers • Proficient in the Microsoft Office suite • Excellent organizational and communication skills • Previous supervisory experience preferable • Flexibility to work additional hours, including weekends, as needed

no later than October 24, 2016

of tax payer funds and resources––all of which have gone unpunished––while millions of dollars in cost overruns for Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival have been dismissed as par for the course by organisers of the event. In the face of such financial ineptitude, how and why should Bahamians be required to pay an additional tax because of the government’s failure to properly plan for such natural disasters?”


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has a “minimal impact” on people. “Over the past four years in office, we the people of this country have watched as the Christie administration has overseen millions in government wastage, mismanagement and reckless spending,” DNA Leader Branville McCartney said. “Newspaper headlines have been littered with stories about theft and financial misappropriation



plied: “ALREADY GONE?????” C2B suggested: “Tax the numbers business. It is a tax on the poor that should be clawed back.” Bewildered quoted Sir Winston Churchill: “For a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket trying to lift himself up by the handle.” Naughtydread had this to say: “Why must the people always clean up after this incompetent PLP administration!? So I guess the group of cronies finally came to the conclusion that the ‘REAL”’ banks (not B.O.B) weren’t going to accept that ridiculous hurricane bond. WAKE UP BAHAMIANS, THE GOVERNMENT IS MANAGING YOUR PUBLIC FUNDS LIKE A BUNCH OF PRETEENS WITH DADDY’S TRUST FUND MONEY.” There was this from ThisIsOurs: “Is he serious??? Which people does he think it won’t have an effect on? Some people have damaged homes, some have businessed crippled with no power and some people are laid off cuz their employers have to close temporarily, anyone who says ‘it’s too early to talk politics’ is a fool. It’s too late they’re already proposing bonehead poli-

cies, hurricane tax, UR and Shane Gibson.” Honestman asked: “If it is to have minimal impact on people then why bother???” G98220338 said: “We need to rebuild our infrastructure but the people are already suffering from a weak economy, low wage inflation, increased cost of living (VAT) and now a hurricane. To layer another tax of any type will break a lot of people. Instead of adding a tax, maybe the government should consider repealing any tax breaks it has given.” Sheeprunner12 wondered: “What happens after the introduction of the hurricane tax? Did the government learn anything after they introduced VAT? NOOOOOOO . . . this government has put VAT on us but has done nothing to streamline public spending, cutting public sector corruption, collecting other government taxes and downsizing government bureaucracy. The PLP government is doing the absolute opposite, next we will see NIB funds consumed, our dollar devalued and our economy rendered to junk status. It is already in a depression by global standards.” • Don’t miss your chance to join the debate on


Wednesday, October 19, 2016, PAGE 7

National parks largely spared by hurricane HURRICANE Matthew may have caused widespread damage on North Andros, Grand Bahama and New Providence but it had relatively little destructive impact on the country’s national parks. The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) had recently moved its administrative offices from the Retreat on Village Road to new premises on East Bay Street. The Retreat garden is being developed to welcome more visitors, and will continue to be the top venue for BNT events and educational programmes. The centu-

ry-old wooden buildings at the Retreat - former estate of Arthur and Margaret Langlois - are being converted into a visitor centre, museum and shop. Many palms and large trees at the Retreat were toppled by the storm. Those that can be saved will be propped up and others will be replaced. The buildings sustained only minor roof damage. “The effect on the coppice at the Retreat was distressing,” said BNT Deputy Executive Director Lynn Gape. “But our terrific staffers reported for work

on Tuesday to restore the garden for the upcoming Wine and Art Festival.” Corporate partner Bahamas Waste provided dumpsters for the effort and hauled away the larger debris that was unable to be mulched. “Our 65 BNT staffers escaped with minor or moderate damage to their homes or offices, and no injuries were reported,” Ms Gape said. On Eleuthera, the Levy Preserve was spared the brunt of the storm and remains open. Warden Henry Nixon reported that park

infrastructure on Inagua survived the storm, and the flamingos have returned to Lake Rosa. The boardwalk and observation pavilion at Bonefish Pond on New Providence suffered some damage but they can be salvaged with a little work. There was no significant damage to the buildings at the Primeval Forest National Park on New Providence, but some of the safety railings need repair. The majestic, signature mahogany tree at this park survived the storm. Andros reported no dam-

age to the pavilions at the Blue Holes National Park. Warden Henry Haley was able to reach the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park on October 8 and reported no major structural damage. Grand Bahama was one of the hardest hit islands, and the three national parks there all suffered vegetative damage. The mangrove boardwalk at the Lucayan National Park will need repair. “We are fortunate to have suffered relatively little structural damage,” said BNT Executive Director Eric Carey. “Especially

since so many other buildings were severely damaged or destroyed on the most affected islands.” Clean up, repairs and damage assessments will continue over the coming months. New Providence and Grand Bahama parks will remain closed until further notice. BNT members are asked to support general hurricane relief efforts, especially on Andros, New Providence and Grand Bahama where many have lost their homes and are suffering greatly as a result of the storm.

MEMBERS of the Lend A Hand Bahamas team, who loaded up a 40-foot shipping container to send to The Bahamas.

VOLUNTEERS IN FLORIDA SEND SUPPLIES TO HELP LAST week, in a matter of only four days volunteers from Lend a Hand Bahamas in south east Florida collected supplies to fill a 40-foot shipping container to be sent over to The Bahamas to aid in the relief effort post Hurricane Matthew. “We loaded up tarps, food, thousands of water bottles, 30,000 bars of soap, building materials/supplies, clothing, chain saw, and many other items,” said Lucas Metropulos, president of Lend a Hand Bahamas. “The supplies will be dispersed by Lend a Hand

Bahamas in conjunction with the Salvation Army this week. The container was graciously provided by Christos Tsavoussis and shipped by Laser Freight to Nassau.” Lend a Hand Bahamas is also in the process of organising a potential second container to be sent to Grand Bahama next week, Mr Metropulos said. According to its website, Lend A Hand Bahamas is a Bahamian non-profit organisation that seeks to bring more activities and opportunities to disadvantaged areas of The Bahamas.

SUPPLIES are loaded up to send to The Bahamas.


EXECUTIVE Director of Great Commission Ministries International Minalee Hanchell, centre, receiving bananas from BAMSI. She said the agency typically feeds about 300 people a day, but they have experienced an increase in hose seeking assistance after the hurricane. Also pictured are BAMSI’s team members Devontae Thurston, left, and Cambridge Cooper.

THE Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) has donated 30 cases of bananas to local charities across New Providence to help those who experienced the devastating effects of Hurricane Matthew. Alaasis Braynen, BAMSI’s general manager, said in the wake of the category four storm which left many Bahamians struggling to put the pieces of their lives

back together, BAMSI moved to quickly support the communities it serves. The agriculture-based institute wanted to respond to the call for action in the best way it could: feeding those in need with healthy food, locally grown. Among the agencies that received bananas were the Ranfurly Homes for Children and Great Commission Ministries International.

BAMSI donated bananas to the Ranfurly Homes for Children, which currently houses some 26 residents. Pictured from left are Cambridge Cooper, of BAMSI, Judyanne Hepburn, supervisor with the Ranfurly Home, and Devontae Thurston, of BAMSI. Photos: BAMSI

PAGE 8, Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Honour for barrister on the rise A RISING young Bahamian barrister has been recognised by Lord Neuberger, who heads the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and is President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Barry N Griffin, 27, a junior barrister called to the Utter Bar of England and Wales, received a rare personal invitation from Lord Neuberger to congratulate him on his success as a law student and to thank him for his contribution to the legal community in the UK. Mr Griffin was an outstanding law student at King’s College, University of London, one of the UK’s oldest and most prestigious law schools. During his time at King’s, Mr Griffin was elected President of the Law Society and Editor of the ‘King’s Law Review’. He would have been one of

only a handful of ethnic minorities to ever hold either post at the university, let alone to hold both concurrently. As President of the Law Society in 2011, Mr Griffin had the privilege of inviting the keynote speaker to the law school’s annual black tie gala that brings together students with notable alumni and members of the legal fraternity. He invited Lord Neuberger, who was then Master of the Rolls, the second most senior judge in England and Wales. “As a first year law student, Lord Neuberger’s judgments captivated me and his legal reasoning piqued my intellectual curiosity,” Mr Griffin said. “I wanted to meet the man behind the judgments.” At the dinner, the two connected over their unlikely paths to the Bar. Lord

BARRY Griffin and Lord Neuberger at the King’s College law school gala dinner in 2011

Neuberger is Jewish and became a barrister at a time when Jews were all but shut out from work at the Bar. Mr Griffin said that he is the first person in his family to study law and that it was a bit unnerving to always being the only black face in classes or legal networking events and not knowing anyone in the legal profession. “It was refreshing speaking to Lord Neuberger and learning of the struggles in his early career. It really encouraged me to look past the things I couldn’t control and to work my hardest to perform at the highest levels,” he said. Mr Griffin performed so well in law school that he was recognised during the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations as a top law student and had the honour of ‘mooting’ before the Queen. Mooting is an oral presentation of a legal issue or problem against an opposing counsel and before a judge, perhaps the closest experience that a student can have whilst at university to appearing in court. Upon completion of his legal studies in 2013, Mr Griffin worked with Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Services, where he promoted the undertaking of pro bono work by lawyers and law students to assist people who otherwise

JUNIOR barrister Barry Griffin. could not afford to pay for legal representation. Attached to the employment tribunal and residential property tribunal, during this tenure he assisted hundreds of employees and tenants in the UK in actions against large companies and well-funded landlords. “I truly believe in using the law as a force for good. It was extremely rewarding to use my legal education to help others,” he added. When Mr Griffin received the invitation from Lord Neuberger, who is now the President of the Supreme Court and Head of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, he said he was shocked and excited. “It goes to show that you never know who

is watching you and that it pays to do your very best in all that you do,” he said. “Law school and the work I’ve done thus far has been extremely rewarding, but every day wasn’t a glamorous moot before the Queen. There were many hours of reading and studying. There were failures and disappointments and days when I had to push through when I didn’t feel like doing any work at all. But that fire in my belly was burning. “Success was the only option; so I did what I had to do. It’s incredibly humbling to know that the top judge in the English speaking world was watching my journey this entire time and that he has sought to personally congratulate me


and wish me well as I move on to another chapter in my career.” Mr Griffin, who is now based in London, plans to return to the Bahamas to practice law and he is scheduled to be called to the Bahamas Bar on October 29. “I have an unbelievable desire to come home and to give back to my country,” he said. Already he is volunteering to help hurricane relief operations in Andros, from where his father, Barry Griffin Sr, hails. His father and mother, Marie, live in Nassau. Mr Griffin was educated at St Thomas More Primary School and was graduated from St Augustine’s College in 2005 before going to St John’s University in Minnesota.


and are both of the view that the number of persons reporting mosquito bites is less than before. Dr Beneby attributed the decrease in reported mosquito bites to the storm’s “high winds,” which he surmised might have caused the adult Aedes aegypti mosquitoes - the virus’ vector - to either “take flight or

be blown out of the area.” However, he said that if the flooding issue in the capital isn’t dealt with as quickly as possible, New Providence will likely face “a rebound from the larvae.” Nonetheless, Dr Beneby said the Ministry of Health and other affiliated government agencies have “benefitted” greatly from the efforts by residents in local communities to try and clean up their surroundings

Funeral Service

Mr. Thomas Mabon of Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas and formerly of Selkirk, Scotland, who died at his residence on Friday, 14th October, 2016, will be held at Christ Church Cathedral, George Street, Nassau on Saturday, 22nd October, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. The Very Reverend Patrick L. Adderley, Dean and Rector, Christ Church Cathedral, Vicar General The Diocese of The Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands, assisted by The Right Reverend Laish Z. Boyd Bishop of The Anglican Diocese of The Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands, The Venerable Keith N. Cartwright Archdeacon of the Southern Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands,Rector of St. Christopher’s Church, Lyford Cay, New Providence and Reverend Father Colin Humes, Priest Vicar, Christ Church Cathedral, will officiate. Mr. Mabon, an Electrical Engineer, arrived in The Bahamas in 1952 and will be remembered for his many contributions to The Bahamas. Tom is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Eileen, children Ian and Athena Mabon, Susan and John Lawrence, Donna and Paul Knowles and Allan and Beth Mabon, grandchildren Thomas and Nicole Knowles, Alastair and Jacquelyn Knowles, Tara and Darren Ivens, Eric Mabon, and great granddaughter, Emma Knowles. Thomas’ immediate family Douglas Mabon, William and Jean Mabon, Charlie and Marjorie Mabon, brother-in-law Jack Knox (sister Joyce deceased). Brothers in law Basil Minns, Douglas Minns and Sister-in-Law Phyllis & Ed Scott. Additionally, he had numerous relatives, friends and colleagues throughout Scotland, The Bahamas and beyond. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cancer Society of The Bahamas, P.O.Box S.S.6539, Nassau, Christ Church Cathedral Endowment Fund, P.O.Box N.653, Nassau or Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association (BASRA) P.O.Box S.S.6247, Nassau, in memory of Mr. Thomas Mabon. Arrangements by Kemp’s Funeral Home Limited.

following Hurricane Matthew’s passage. Earlier this month, the MOH announced that 17 cases of the Zika virus had been recorded on New Providence, up seven from the 10 cases recorded as of September 6. “There are no new reports to be made at this time,” Dr Beneby said when asked yesterday. “What I would like to say is that you know and expect as part of a hurricane that you’ll have considerable water and collection of water. What we have observed is that communities have continued to work together and are cleaning up after the hurricane. And although that was not the intent in terms of looking at Zika because of the response of the community to clean up and to take receptacles away, we

are benefitting from that. “I’ve also had a conversation with one of our senior physicians on this matter, and since the hurricane, it would appear that the number of persons, patients, reporting mosquito bites is less. And so what we believe and we’re thinking about is that the high winds during the hurricane may have caused the adult mosquito to take flight or be blown out of the area. But at the same time, if we don’t clean up and get rid of the water, we are likely to have a rebound from the larva. “And so what we would like to say to the community and to the public, we thank you for your cooperation with us for helping the Ministry of Environmental Health and (Department of Public Health) in particular in cleaning up and paying

attention to cleaning up the environment. And this is a window for us to keep this vector away and by so doing keep the impact of Zika down. “And we are hoping that the number of cases of Zika will not increase but will decrease and in order for that to be true we have to be proactive and preventative in keeping the environment clean.” The Bahamas reported an initial case of the virus on August 10 in a man who had recently travelled to Jamaica. The man is a resident of Pinewood Gardens. Subsequently, on August 23, officials confirmed three more cases; two of which were reported in women and two of which were transmitted locally, via mosquitos in the area infected with the Zika virus.

A short time later, Health Minister Dr Perry Gomez reported four additional cases of Zika on the island. On September 6, Dr Beneby reported that two more women had contracted the virus. In its latest update on October 3, the Ministry of Health said based on the histories received from the cases it was determined that there was a “mix of travel associated and local transmission.” The ministry said all cases sought medical attention after having symptoms of the Zika virus. It said at the time that all patients had been treated for associated symptoms and were “doing well.” Last month, the government announced that it would spend $2.5m a month on combatting the Zika outbreak.


economy,” he said. “But it is not significant to the EXIM Bank or Chinese controllers, where if they don’t see any urgency in owning it, in operating it, we’re left to flounder. “Don’t think that it’s wise to have any one entity, whether Chinese or private, to have such a big stake in the economy that they have the power to affect your GDP overnight.” The government confirmed this week that Deloitte & Touche receivers

sold the resort to a special purpose vehicle (SPV) owned by CEXIM, Perfect Luck Holdings Limited. Once Baha Mar has been completed, under the ownership of the bank’s SPV, the ‘second’ or final sale will occur. Mr Turnquest, the FNM’s shadow minister of finance, said the latest move evidences that Bahamians are “powerless” when it comes to the embattled Cable Beach project. He noted that the acquisition also shores up claims by conspiracy theorists, who suggested that the bank’s “end

game” was to force out the developer and take ownership of the project. “Whether or not this was the case,” he said, “this was the result. Another significant investment owned by the Chinese government through the bank and we are powerless to do anything about it. With that investment and all the other investments they control here and in Grand Bahama we are at a disadvantage in terms of leverage in respect to ownership of our economy and being able to dictate what happens.” Mr Turnquest said: “The

reality is we ought to really have a look at that whole structure. It’s obvious inside dealing where the bank is selling to an entity that it owns or controls. Where is the objectivity? All the dealings have been secret. “We as Bahamians, and Izmirlian as a developer/ interested party has no idea whether it was fair and aboveboard.” He added: “We are bit players in this whole saga. At the end of the day we all knew that the Chinese were holding all the cards and would act how they will want to act.”


FORMER Deputy Prime Minister Cynthia “Mother” Pratt heads to Washington today to attend the Global Council of Women for Development’s (GCWD) First Ladies Forum and Economic Development Summit, where she will be honoured for her charitable work over the years. Notable people who will attend the summit and speak next week include former US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Dr Joyce Banda, the former President of Malawi.

The letter informing her of the award said: “Mother’ Pratt, your success in politics and your ongoing charitable efforts to improve the quality of life for Bahamians has received global accolades and attention. “We want to join in the chorus of those that have celebrated you in the past and would be tremendously honoured if you would accept us as the recipient of the Humanitarian Award during our Global Lady Icon Awards Gala on Friday, 28th October.” Mrs Pratt said yesterday: “To be considered and awarded with these giants, I’m really grateful and humbled.”

CYNTHIA “Mother” Pratt, Urban Renewal co-chair, comforting residents in Adelaide this week.


Wednesday, October 19th,19, 2016, Wednesday, October 2016,PAGE PAGEA99




GOOGLE’S ambitious new smartphone, the Pixel, does not offer a lot that is new, yet it’s still one of the best out there. Google achieves that by pulling together the best features from Apple, Samsung and other phone makers and offering them at prices comparable to iPhones - starting at about $650 for the regular, five-inch model and $770 for the 5.5-inch “XL” edition with larger display and battery. Both versions go on sale tomorrow through Verizon, Best Buy and Google’s online store. The Pixel is not quite an iPhone replacement, as Google wants you to believe, but it might serve up a strong challenge to Samsung, especially as people look for alternatives to the fireprone and now discontinued Galaxy Note 7. THE CAMERA The Pixel’s image quality is superb, though purists may quibble. Colours in some shots look too strong and clean to me, thanks to software processing intended to reduce distortion and improve detail. But automation pays off in another way: the Pixel will automatically combine successive shots into an animated “GIF” file, offering a fun way to share a toddler’s steps or a dog jumping. For video, the Pixel’s stabilisation technology compensates for shaky hands and other movement, matching what the iPhone and Galaxy phones can do. The Pixel borrows a quick-launch feature from Samsung phones. Just double tap the power button to start the camera, even if the phone is locked. To switch between the front and rear cameras, just double twist the phone like a door knob - a feature Mo-

• AMAZON has launched a paid streaming music service, the latest entry in an increasingly crowded field. Amazon Music Unlimited is being positioned to compete against existing services such as Spotify and Apple Music. It will cost $8 per month, or $80 a year, for members of Amazon’s $99-a-year Prime loyalty program. Non-Prime members will pay $10 a month, the same monthly fee charged by Spotify and Apple Music. Owners of Amazon’s Echo smart speaker, meanwhile, will be able to get the unlimited music service on one device for $4 per month. The service is available in the United States and in the UK, Germany and Austria later this year.

torola, which Google once owned, has long offered. For low-light images, the Pixel does better than typical smartphones. Where the Pixel falls short is in extreme close-ups, such as shooting a flower petal or a small bug; photos were typically blurry. The Pixel’s selfie camera is also inferior, with no front flash or control over the focus. THE ASSISTANT Google’s voice assistant, simply known as Google Assistant, will seem familiar to those who have used Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa features. Google’s version goes further in offering daily updates such as weather and news. Google is also better at remembering preferences - for example, if you prefer temperatures in Celsius - and at integrating with its own services, such as Translate and Photos. But Assistant does not yet synch with a similar Assistant in Google’s Allo chat app and upcoming Home speaker. And it isn’t as proactive as the Google Now assistant already built into Android phones. Google Now, for instance, will look through your Gmail account for flight reservations and remind you when to head to the airport. Assistant waits for you to ask. Assistant holds up well compared with Siri and Alexa, but for more, swipe from left to right to get the old Google Now back. Google says Assistant will eventually get the Google Now functionality. OTHER FEATURES If you need help, you can reach Google’s customer support and enable screen sharing reminiscent of Amazon’s Mayday help feature. And the

Pixel will work with Google’s upcoming Daydream View virtual-reality headset, much as Samsung phones have Samsung’s Gear VR. Long-pressing an app icon brings up a menu of shortcuts, such as getting directions to home or launching the selfie camera. It’s similar to the iPhone’s 3D Touch. The Pixel also offers “Night Light,” a feature that tints your screen amber by filtering out blue light that might keep you up at night. Apple calls it Night Shift. Pixel owners get unlimited storage of photos at original resolution, which will make a difference for those who take video in ultra-sharp “4k” resolution, but the default setting is lower, at 1080p, which is already free at Google Photos.

PATRIOTS COACH TO DITCH TABLET ON THE SIDELINES NEW ENGLAND Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is admitting defeat in his ongoing fight with the use of tablets on the sideline during NFL games. Responding to a question yesterday about headset issues the Patriots had during last week’s win over the Cincinnatti Bengals, Belichick said he “can’t take it anymore” with the tablets, adding there is not enough consistency in the performance of the devices. He also railed for several minutes about on-going issues with NFL technology, including the communication system between coaches in the press box and those on the field, as well as the coach-to-quarterback play calling system, which Belichick said “fail on a regular basis”. Earlier this season Belichick was caught on camera slamming down a sideline tablet following a Buffalo Bills touchdown.



NEW ENGLAND Patriots head coach Bill Belichick studies a tablet device during an NFL game. (AP)

He said he is going to stick with low tech - printed images taken of plays during the game to help strategise on the sideline.

.GOOGLE COULD START NEW DOMAIN BOOM GOOGLE is helping to usher in a new way for companies to tout their brand names in the digital realm. Last month, the search giant began publishing a new website that uses the .google, rather than the standard .com, as its domain name. The new site,, consolidates 19 previously separate Google blogs. Google’s website is at the fore of an expected boom in websites taking advantage of a two-year-old change

in internet rules that lifted the limits for these suffixes, called top-level domains. That has brought .paris, .movie and .xyz to websites and email addresses. The new rules also can give brand names new prominence in internet addresses. Many companies have requested and received approval to use domain names including .kindle, .apple, .ibm, .canon and .samsung. It’s not just tech: also ap-

WHAT’S MISSING The Pixel will be OK if you spray it with water, but don’t drop it in the pool. You also can’t expand its storage with a memory card, though for $100 more, the Pixel’s 32 gigabytes of storage quadruples to 128 gigabytes, and the free online storage should take care of your photos and videos. The battery is not removable, though that’s true for most phones these days. Those looking for a Note 7 replacement will find the Pixel missing a stylus. If you’re an iPhone user, you’ll have to brace yourself for the switch to Android, which would entail buying new apps and learning new ways to navigate. ANICK JESDANUN Associated Press

proved are .ford, .homedepot, .delta, .nike, .hbo, .statefarm, .oldnavy and .mcdonalds. But what is fun for Google is a daunting financial commitment to others. A $185,000 application fee and annual $30,000 operation fee will keep momand-pop shops away from their own domains. STEPHEN SHANKLAND

5G MAY be in your phone sooner than you think. On Monday, Qualcomm unveiled the world’s first 5G wireless chip, the Snapdragon X50 modem. It’s initially aimed at smartphones and gear like home wireless networks. And it should be in devices in the first half of 2018. “5G is right around the corner,” Sherif Hanna, Qualcomm staff manager of technical marketing, said. The X50 represents the next baby step toward 5G, which is expected to be 100 times faster than current wireless technology and 10 times speedier than what Google Fiber offers through a physical connection to the home. Typically, when a new wireless technology becomes available, it first shows up in standalone devices like wireless hotspots. But Qualcomm is already working on getting it into phones. Qualcomm says the chip will likely appear first in phones on networks like Korea Telecom, in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. The X50 processor also has some limitations. It only connects to 5G networks, so to hook up to an older 4G or 3G network, you will need a second wireless chip. Qualcomm hopes phone makers will opt to pair the X50 with its Snapdragon line of processors that integrate the brains of the device with the wireless connectivity. Companies like LG and HTC use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line, but Apple does not. 5G uses very high frequency spectrum known as millimetre waves. They can carry large amounts of data and transfer signals with minimal delays. But signals travel only short distances and have difficult penetrating walls and going around corners, which makes designing 5G networks tricky. SHARA TIBKEN

• GERMAN carrier Lufthansa is the latest airline to impose a total ban on passengers taking the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone on any of its flights. The airline had previously banned the phone from flights in the United States and told passengers on other flights to keep the device switched off and unplugged. On Monday the Note 7 was banned from planes in the Bahamas. Samsung has recalled more than 2.5 million of the phones after faulty batteries reportedly caused the device to catch fire. • AN IDAHO company wants to transform thousands of miles of pavement into a new energy source. Solar Roadways recently unveiled its first public installation in a downtown plaza in the resort town of Sandpoint: 150 square feet of hexagon-shaped solar panels that people can walk and bicycle on. Solar Roadways has a US patent for its solar pavers and is the only company receiving federal highway research funds in pursuit of such a product. The company has received three grants from the Federal Highway Administration to help move the technology from the drawing board to the public installation. Now it’s working on proof that the tempered glass panels are strong enough and have enough traction to handle motor vehicles, including semitrailers. The business also is developing plans to charge electric vehicles as they drive on solar roads. • TWITTER is taking the smartphone shackles off its live-video service Periscope in its latest attempt to broaden its audience. The Periscope Producer feature announced last week will let media companies and other users pipe live video feeds directly into Twitter, without using a smartphone to record the images. During Producer’s testing phase last week, a Florida television station showing live video on its website used the new tool to redistribute the same feeds on Twitter. To start, Producer will be limited to a small group of media companies such as Disney’s ABC News and major brands such as Louis Vuitton. Piracy has been an issue dogging Periscope since people began using the service to broadcast live video of movies and TV shows with their smartphones.

PAGE 10, Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Activist calls for reform of immigration policy A LOCAL human rights activist is calling for a review of the country’s policy of detaining all undocumented migrants following a landmark regional workshop in Trinidad and Tobago. The event, hosted by the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights (UNHCR) and the International Detention Coalition (IDC), focused on identifying laws, policies and practices that allow persons to reside in a community while their case is being processed, without being detained for migration-related reasons. “Alternatives to detention (ATD) are becoming increasingly popular around the world,” said Paco Nunez, secretary of the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association (GBHRA) in a press release.

“The concept relies on a fundamental recognition that human liberty should be the norm and should only be violated when absolutely necessary. “Several countries have developed a number of fair, progressive and effective ATDs for people who lack regular status. The Bahamas could learn from these examples and become a leader in the region and an example to other small nations around the world.” Mr Nunez said it has been repeatedly proven that detention does not deter undocumented migration; is a continual drain on government resources; and poses a constant threat to a country’s international reputation through allegations of inhumane conditions, abuse and lengthy detention periods.

“We have to accept the realities: if a person needs to flee their country in fear for their life or to protect the safety of their children, they will go wherever they can and no criminal charge or threat of detention will stop them,” he said. “The result is a sector of society that exists outside the law. “But if you engage with these people, officially register them and issue temporary identification while they are screened as asylum seekers or possible victims of human trafficking, you will find that they have an interest in respecting the process and obeying the law. In many countries, compliance with such measures is very high – even when deportation ends up being the outcome.” Mr Nunez said he was impressed by the alternatives

being employed by other countries – from open reception centres and incentives in Spain, to freedom with regular reporting duties in Turkey, to temporary legal status with monitoring in Chile. He said these have proven to be far less costly yet still very effective strategies for dealing with undocumented migration. “Today, there is some form of alternative to detention in more than 60 countries and many are extremely successful with compliance rates well above 90 per cent and voluntary participation by migrants across the board,” he said. “National security is a serious concern when it comes to undocumented migration, but in a system where migrants have an interest or incentive for being registered, you know how it is in your country, for how long

and why.” Also representing The Bahamas at the conference were Donna Nicolls from the Bahamas Crisis Centre and Patrick Wells from the Eugene Dupuch Law School. “This was the first conference of its kind to be held in the Caribbean and the Bahamas was well and ably represented. It is hoped that this can represent the beginning of a change in perceptions,” Mr Nunez said. “To that end, I will seek a meeting with immigration officials to discuss how the Bahamas can update its policy to take advantage of these progressive ideas.” Mr Nunez said that of particular importance is establishing a safe and fair system to accommodate children born to foreign parents until their 18th birthday, when they are

entitled to be registered as Bahamian citizens upon application. “There used to be something called a certificate of identity which served as official documentation for children in this situation, however this was recently revoked in favour of the belonger’s permit. This, applicants tell us, is much more difficult and in certain circumstances impossible to obtain because of the heightened requirements. It is also unclear if any such permits have been issued to date, despite the fact that the change was announced nearly two years ago.” Mr Nunez thanked the UNHCR and the IDC for inviting him to the workshop, and pledged to continue do all he can to further the cause of progressive human rights reform in The Bahamas.


LOOTING has reportedly set in at West End, Grand Bahama, and there is also concern that relief items brought in from abroad are not being properly monitored or turned over to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for distribution to those most in need of aid. Joseph Darville, vice president of the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association, was concerned about the absence of law enforcement on the ground in West End during his visits there over the past two days. Mr Darville went into West End to observe the extent of the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew, which directly impacted the West End community on October 6. “There is almost total decimation of the homes there, and in my initial observation I saw no sort of law enforcement agencies or anyone in control of anything (down there),” he said. There have been reports of individuals looting from homes and businesses, taking whatever valuable items they find in unoccupied, damaged premises and properties of residents. Mr Darville said that he does not think the incidents amounted to “petty thefts” as reported by an official. “It is looting if you go into someone’s house whether it is broken into, and whether it is already damaged because of the storm,” he said. “You are taking things that do not belong to you - that is not petty theft. And they were going off with very valuable items, particularly owned by those who operated a business in West End, and there was no one people can make an appeal to because there was no law enforcement on the ground.” After contacting a high ranking officer at the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) in Nassau, the human rights activist said he was told that two officers would be immediately deployed to West End to prevent further looting of homes and businesses. He was also informed that a RBDF vessel would also be deployed there with additional officers to oversee exactly what

was happening. Another issue, according to Mr Darville, was the lack of monitoring of items arriving from abroad as relief items by plane and on board yachts at West End. “I observed something very curious when I visited West End yesterday. There are yachts coming in there, in addition to the planes that are flying in there, but there seems to be no monitoring of what is being brought in, whether or not it is being given to NEMA or the agency that is distributing goods to the people. And so the impression left on a lot of people there is that the distribution is not equitable and it is not appropriate,” he said. According to Mr Darville, there appears to be a lot of hoarding of generators, chainsaws, and other relief items. “In fact, one individual indicated to me that someone in some sort of authoritative position had a place that looked like Walmart - it was stocked up with items that came in. And these items were actually being sold to people all the way up into Freeport,” he claimed. “And so I appeal to government to get some control of the situation down there. When I did go back there today, in spite of the fact that seeing the yachts coming in and people coming there with lots of stuff and hoarding the stuff away from there, it did not end up in any of the normal distribution centres for storm relief. And so it is a situation that is really critical,” Mr Darville said. The human rights activist estimated that about 80 per cent of the homes in West End were totally destroyed and that many residents are going to be dependent upon charity from abroad. He indicated that the distribution of goods to residents must be put in the hands of “responsible people” so that it is fair. “It is not fair for people to have to go and buy stuff from individuals who are hoarding it when it should be given them free of charge,” Mr Darville said. “What we need in situations like this is the calling in of the National Guards like in the US to go into distressed areas. We should have a contingent of that as well,” he said.

MINISTER of Health Dr Perry Gomez at the PMH Laboratory Services accreditation ceremony yesterday.


THE Princess Margaret Hospital’s laboratory services were yesterday officially recognised by a regional accreditation body, something Health Minister Dr Perry Gomez yesterday said will further “strengthen the culture of excellence” in the public healthcare system. At a special accreditation ceremony at PMH’s Critical Care Block yesterday morning, Dr Gomez said being accredited by the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) is something that allows for PMH’s laboratory services offering to be better engaged in providing “high standards of patient care”.

According to Dr Gomez, JANAAC’s accreditation council had recently approved the recommendation from its accreditation evaluation committee to award an accreditation certificate for PMH’s laboratory as well as the “medical testing and evaluation field.” “The importance of laboratory services in the Princess Margaret Hospital to the overall public health system in the Bahamas cannot be overstated,” Dr Gomez said. “Not only does the laboratory support the diagnosis and treatment of patients here at our nation’s largest healthcare institution, but it serves as the primary source for the lab services and clinics across New Providence and the Family Islands.”

To the laboratory personnel present at yesterday’s ceremony, Dr Gomez said: “Because of your role as the lynchpin of our public health system, it is vital that the public health providers and patients have full confidence in the credibility and the veracity of our laboratory services.” He added: “The achievement of international accreditation of our laboratory facilities at PMH is not simply another feather in our cap. Accreditation and the improvements undertaken within the core lab are vital to enhancing our health systems across the public health platform, but more significantly, it advances our health system further, along the path of accreditation of all the critical care areas of all of our hospitals and health facilities.”


ACTIVIST Joseph Darville.

VETERAN educator and human rights activist Joseph Darville says the threat of climate change is real and hurricanes will continue to get more forceful with the increased rise in temperature. “Hurricane Joaquin hit the southern and central

Bahamas last year, and this year Matthew affected the central and northern Bahamas, and next year we might have it again,” he said yesterday. Mr Darville said it is important that the country look at reviewing building codes and moving people away from the coast. “We have to put in place stronger, more durable building codes. We have to

elevate because by the end of the century most of these islands will be underwater. And we have an obligation to protect future generations so that they don’t all be swept out into the ocean,” he said. He recalled the biblical story of Noah and the Ark. “Just like now it is a cycle of the earth and we are exacerbating it because of our carbon footprint,” he said.

Despite the devastation in West End and Eight Mile Rock wrought by Matthew, Mr Darville said he was pleased to see the amount of lobster being harvested from those communities. “It was a beautiful experience to see the many lobster and seafood that were harvested in those communities and persons are selling them at very reasonable

price,” he said. He noted that while we can no longer get fruit from the land, Bahamians have to take from the ocean. “We must train our young people to take care of the ocean and to harvest responsibly from the ocean because when the land can no longer provide the food support we need, we must rely on the ocean for that support.”

PAGE 12, Wednesday, October 19, 2016

FIREFIGHTERS battle a blaze yesterday morning at Budget Foods on Bernard Road.

Photos: Tim Clarke/Tribune Staff


THE country’s fire chief, Superintendent Walter Evans, yesterday pleaded with residents to take the dangers of fires in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew seriously, as reports have shown an increase in structural fires since the storm made landfall. Making his plea at the latest structural fire, an interior blaze at the Bernard Road Budget Food Store, Supt Evans said his office has been inundated with calls of situations in which entire homes are being lost in avoidable circumstances. Supt Evans, noting that yesterday’s incident still

had to be formally investigated to determine its exact cause, encouraged Bahamians to be critically vigilant to avoid these sorts of fires in the future. “We have responded. And we are asking individuals if they are using candles to ensure, make sure that they are not near clothing items, not near carpets, not near linen items. These items can easily burn and if you fall asleep, we are asking individuals before they go to sleep, to make sure to blow those candles out because it can be catastrophic,” Supt Evans said. He knows of at least three homes over the last week that have been lost due to the incorrect use of candles. He added: “We have also had a number of electrical

cords as well, so persons who have experienced water damage in their homes, we know that the Ministry of Public Works would be conducting the relevant inspections, but we want to encourage all individuals, if you have had any degree of water on the inside of your home, particularly near the electrical sockets, to have those things evaluated before it is being used.” Supt Evans continued: “Having suffered during Hurricane Matthew, it would be almost a double negative for individuals, so we are asking those persons to play close attention to those things.” Tuesday’s fire was reported around 9am. When firefighters arrived on the scene, units


FIREFIGHTERS tackling the blaze as the newly arrived PowerSecure trucks go by yesterday. and officers, as you can see that establishment was in the back are still fighting open for business at the this fire. This fire is con- time of the fire. There were fined to the interior. no reports of injury at the “At this point we don’t scene and employees could have a probable cause at be seen looking on as officthis stage, and at this stage ers extinguished the fire. an investigation has to be The upper level of the launched once the area is two-storey structure serves cleared. At this stage the as an apartment complex, area is still a hot zone and it with two units in use. is uninhabitable for persons Firefighters were able to to occupy,” he said. completely extinguish the The Tribune understands blaze around 11am.

saw heavy smoke billowing from the two-storey structure. “Immediately, all of the units on New Providence, which included headquarters and the truck which is stationed at Cable Beach, were called out to this fire,” Supt Evans said. “Additional resources were called in from the headquarters which were mainly human resources

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