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The Tribune

Volume:116 No.220, NOVEMBER 8TH, 2019

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By KHRISNA RUSSELL Deputy Chief Reporter THE Union of Tertiary Educators of The Bahamas is demanding a lump sum payout of $3,500 and a salary increase of seven percent for all of its faculty members - a new proposal the University of The Bahamas said yesterday it was not prepared to fulfil. According to UB yesterday, their solution included immediately paying each member $1,000 and implementing increases ranging from two to six percent, while extending the top of the salary scales. The university claimed that UTEB’s president Daniel Thompson initially proposed this and agreed to sign a contract formalisation on November 10, to


MINISTER of Works Desmond Bannister said yesterday investigations are being carried out into the debris fires in Abaco, after it was reported large mounds of debris were being “intentionally” set on fire in areas devastated by Hurricane Dorian. The matter was brought to the public’s attention on Tuesday by a local human rights watchdog, Rights Bahamas, who warned that if bodies are being burned amid the debris it would be “unforgivable”.


for healing page 13



THE Progressive Liberal Party has accused Minister Lanisha Rolle of “abuse of power”, insisting her recent conduct warranted resignation or dismissal. Following Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis’ intervention in two controversial issues involving the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Opposition said it was clear to all that Cabinet does not support Mrs Rolle’s conduct.


“(We) have become aware of several photographs of large debris fires which our contacts on the ground claim are intentionally being set,” Rights Bahamas said in statement on Wednesday. “If these fires are indeed being set at the behest of government officials, we denounce this in the strongest terms, cry shame on all involved and demand they cease and desist immediately.” Recently, Environment Minister Romauld Ferreira noted to reporters that the

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which it agreed. However, the union then submitted a new proposal this week. “The University of The Bahamas regrets the latest turn of events regarding the Union of Tertiary Educators of The Bahamas,” UB said in a statement yesterday. “The university has remained transparent in all discussions with executives of the union. It was agreed that since UTEB presented its financial counter proposal to the university after the board of trustees had approved the 20192020 budget, the union and the university would work together on arriving at a solution regarding financial compensation. “The solution included paying each faculty member an immediate $1,000 lump



Diving deeper

Artist looks beyond the surf ace

University rejects lecturers’ 11th hour $3,500 wage claim

Friday, November 8, 20






AN endangered species is getting a new chance at survival thanks to the birth of two new baby hutias at Ardastra Gardens zoo. The family of rodents are pictured above with, inset, one of the new arrivals. Full story - Page 7

THE Ministry of Health and The Public Hospitals Authority signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday with Carnival Corporation & PLC to support the restoration of the Rand Memorial Hospital following Hurricane Dorian. Health Minister Dr Duane Sands said the partnership will provide SEE PAGE SIX


ELECTRICITY consumers criticised Bahamas Power & Light (BPL) after the company announced an additional charge will be added to their monthly bills.  The Tribune was out on the streets yesterday to ask the public what they felt about the adjustment to their bills via an extra charge. Sherwaine Arthurs,

SHERWAINE ARTHURS consumer, said being charged an additional fee is not a good feeling. He

said: “We haven’t received any positives from BPL. The service is still not good, when you look at the entire country, we are still having outages in different points and time. We are no longer in the summer months it was cool and yet still we are having power outages.   “I don’t see the point of the change. My thing is if you’re going to add something to my bill, I must

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VICTIM IS ‘SERIOUS BUT STABLE’ AFTER SHOOTING POLICE are hunting for a gunman after a man was injured in a shooting on Wednesday afternoon. Officers said that the victim was on Arawak Avenue, off Jerome Avenue, when he was approached by a man said to be known to him. Police said the man shot the victim then got into a white Honda Accord and sped away. Paramedics took the victim to hospital, where he was reported to be in serious but stable condition. Officers are also

investigating a series of armed robberies that took place on Wednesday. In the first robbery, a man was mowing a lawn on the side of Faith Avenue South when he was approached by two men at about 2pm. One of the men was armed with a firearm and robbed him of his cleaning equipment before the pair got onto a motorcycle and sped away. In the second robbery, shortly after 6pm, a man was sitting in his vehicle

near the water’s edge on West Bay Street when he was approached by two armed men, who robbed him of cash, a cellphone and jewellery before getting into a white Nissan Cube and escaping. In the third robbery, shortly after 9pm, a man was inside a home on Essex Street, off Shirley Street, when he was approached by a man armed with a knife, who robbed him of cash and keys before running away.


Friday, November 8, 2019, PAGE 3


On Wednesday, Dr Minnis admitted in Parliament that government should not have paid for medals featuring a photograph of Minister Rolle on them. However, he said, Mrs Rolle would reimburse the government $582.40 – the cost of the medallions. The prime minister also addressed another controversy involving Mrs Rolle and the Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence (JCNP), saying

nothing will change with the parade, which is just about seven weeks away. However, he said, the minister, the JCNP and all relevant agencies will have a discussion in February as to the way forward so that by the end of March issues would be resolved. It came after the JCNP expressed frustration that the minister was overstepping her authority and showed them disrespect by announcing a new Category B group that was denied membership due to their late application.

Under such circumstances, the PLP said Westminster conventions require Minister Rolle to resign her post as Cabinet minister or be dismissed by Dr Minnis. “It is not enough for the prime minister to publicly reverse a decision made by his Cabinet colleague Lanisha Rolle on Junkanoo,” the party said in a joint statement by Mangrove Cay and South Andros MP Picewell Forbes, shadow minister for culture and sports, and Senator JoBeth

Coleby-Davis, Opposition spokesperson on youth. “Further, in publicly calling for Minister Rolle to reimburse the government over the National Youth Award medallion controversy, the prime minister concedes that his minister is guilty of abuse of power. “Additionally, there is a specific legal and regulatory regime governing the use of the country’s national symbols, therefore, personalising the Coat of Arms requires official permission. If Minister Rolle failed to secure the requisite

approval, she is in gross violation of the law. This is all the more reason for the prime minister to take further and decisive action. “It is clear to all and sundry that the Cabinet does not support and repudiates Minister Rolle’s policy decisions and ministerial conduct.” The statement continued: “In the circumstances, Westminster conventions require Minister Rolle to resign her post as Cabinet minister or be dismissed by the prime minister. “In the past, Prime

Minister Minnis hid behind Westminster conventions in dealing with three other members of his caucus who were subject to the whip of the executive. Lanisha Rolle is also subject to the executive and cannot make decisions and conduct her office in a manner that brings Cabinet into ill repute. “In light of the foregoing, Minister Rolle must resign or be dismissed by the Prime Minister.” Calls and messages to Mrs Rolle for comment yesterday went unanswered up to press time. Photos: Donavan McIntosh

Junkanoo fans just want to have fun By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter JUNKANOO groups rushed on Bay Street last night in an event billed as a rebuke of Youth, Sports & Culture Minister Lanisha Rolle. However, many of the 400-or so performers and spectators said they showed up simply because it’s Junkanoo and they wanted to have fun. The Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence had accused Mrs Rolle of trying to undermine their management agreement without consultation. In particular, they said she tried to include a new group in the “B” category and restructure the parade management committee. Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, however, announced that no changes will take place to Junkanoo ahead of the upcoming parades and that a meeting between the minister and Junkanoo officials about possible changes will take place next year instead. JCNP President Dion Miller said last night: “We wanted to come together as a Junkanoo community, put down our

group affiliation, everyone just come with their drums, their cowbells, their whistles, their horns, as one unit to show that we are together, we are not divided. Junkanoo has had a rough week and a half in our relationship with the ministry of youth sports and culture where attempts were made to change aspects of our agreement with the government. Since then the prime minister has spoken and he’s communicated that those changes will not happen and that Junkanoo will be respected and next year we’ll all come to the table and move Junkanoo forward.”Mr Miller was indirect on whether the JCNP wants Mrs Rolle’s removal as minister. “It’s difficult to have a higher level of trust when there doesn’t seem to be any willingness to compromise, and that’s our difficult with the minister,” he said. “Like I said, the prime minister reasoned with us, we weren’t getting that with the minister. The prime minister would have to say if the minister stays or if the minister goes but we want someone who’s willing to work with Junkanoo, who is willing to respect us as men and women, if that’s this minister, that’s this minister, if that’s someone else, then it’s someone else.


By RIEL MAJOR Tribune Staff Reporter

INDEPENDENT member of parliament for Centreville Reece Chipman yesterday criticised the Minnis administration’s new Disaster Authority Bill, saying it is a “no change” bill and a “no FNM” bill. The statement read: “The Minnis administration continues to destroy the very fabric of the Free National Movement, and FNMs ought to be concerned. Legislation that discourages independence, lacks accountability and transparency, and encourages corruption and conflict of interest, is not the Free National Movement I knew. “The decision to leave this new FNM continues to be justified as the road to 2022 needs to be more about you, the Bahamian people, not special interest and dictatorial legislation. Same ole, Same ole (sic). There is no way a minister should appoint an auditor where a corporate body is involved. It goes against corporate governance principles. The auditor’s responsibilities are too independent to be politicised.

Therefore, the legislation lacks independence. Section 11 of the Bill gives that authority to the minister.” The statement added: “The Bahamas National Recovery and Reconstruction Fund Trust to be established in Section 6, has no audit or reporting responsibilities to Parliament. But will be responsible for collecting funds, local and international, and in many cases responsible for the disbursement of funds. Lack of reporting and auditing leads to legislation that lacks accountability and transparency.” Mr Chipman said the bill is “corruption and conflict manifesting itself in legislation”.

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“Have not seen this before. The bill, section 11 in the constitution and proceedings of the board skirts around the conflict of interest issue by allowing board members to obtain contracts from the authority. The very organisation they govern. Wow, therefore the legislation encourages corruption and motivates conflicts of interest,” he said in his statement. “The Minnis administration is simply going in the wrong direction.” Last month, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis described the bill as one of many “bold steps” that will fundamentally change how the country prepares for and responds to hurricanes.

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No love from the public for BPL’s plan IF BPL wondered how their proposed additional charge to the monthly electric bill would go down, the Bahamian people have given them a swift answer. Ridiculous. Outrageous. Infuriating. Robbery. Just a handful of the comments from people spoken to by The Tribune yesterday. We warned in this column yesterday that BPL was walking a fine line – Bahamians have made clear in their comments exactly how fine that line is. As one person said: “BPL need to bring the light bills down, it’s as simple as that. They said the light bill was only high because of certain circumstances. Now that they got this new (engines), why the light bill going up? This is robbery.” Another said: “If you’re going to add something to my bill, I must be getting something in return.” That’s the dilemma that faces BPL as they proceed with their refinancing plans. The public has put up with a lot

from the company – and now they want the company to deliver in return. There’s no use crying about what went before in the management of the company – BPL knew, or should have known, what they were taking on in the transformation from the old BEC. Although while we talk about the history of power generation in The Bahamas, we have said before that rather than finger pointing without proof, the public could do with a full accounting of all that has led us to where we are. This column has called before for a commission of inquiry into the problems that have beset power supply in past years and through to the present day. We do so again today. A government so eager to point the blame at its predecessors should have no problem with exposing the decisions that brought about the problems at BPL. In the meantime, it’s over to you, BPL. The citizens of The Bahamas demand an end to outages and the lower bills we were promised. Will you deliver?

A deal despite Dorian WE HOPE the University of The Bahamas isn’t being opportunistic in blaming Hurricane Dorian and the costs it is going to have to bear in the rebuilding of its northern campus as it says no to the demands of lecturers and educators. In any dispute between employers and employees, there is often a gap between demands and what can be delivered, and the same holds true here. The educators are seeking a lump sum payout of $3,500 and a salary increase of seven percent, the university is offering $1,000 and increases ranging from two to six percent. The university has sniffed at the disruption to activities brought about by union action – but then that’s what union action usually results in, and probably should not be a surprise.

The reference to the northern campus is worrying, however – had the deal been done before the storm hit, where would the university have found the money for repairs then? Is it budgeting for such risks – including insurance for such possible damage? One thing is for certain – the union has the university’s attention now. So to both sides we say sit down and find a middle ground. It has been two years since the last industrial agreement expired – so it’s time to get a new deal done. A deal won’t likely give either side all of what they’re asking for, but such is the nature of deals. As a nation, we are proud of the many smart individuals working at the university. We are sure it is within the power to get a deal done.

Survival by any means EDITOR, The Tribune THE British parliament voted to delay the Brexit deal and require Boris Johnson, the prime minister, to ask for a three months delay. Mr Johnson sent an unsigned letter asking for an extension of the deadline, but he sent a signed letter that states that to delay would be detrimental. Both the European Union(EU) and Mr Johnson are

fighting for their political survival. In 2016 when the United Kingdom(UK) voted to leave the EU, there were political movements all over Europe following suit. Frexit, Italexit and many other European countries were likely to leave the EU. Brexit was an existential threat to the EU but because of the chaos the UK has experienced everyone is thinking twice. The UK will leave the EU,

but survival instinct for the human is powerful. This is a lesson Bahamian politicians must learn. People will survive by any means necessary. If it is difficult in the formal system, the informal system will grow. Do your job as political leaders and stop managing poverty, but aim to eliminate it. BRIAN E PLUMMER Nassau October 19, 2019

Calsey’s excellence EDITOR, The Tribune CALSEY Johnson, journalist par excellent dies at 82 years old. C – Caring attitude toward others. A – Always punctual. L – Leaning on the most high Lord. S – Sensitive to the needs of others. E – Excellent spirit in all he did. Y – Yielding towards the mark unto God. The late Calsey Willmore Johnson wasn’t only a journalist but a professional in every which way. A media expert, a committed family man; a child of the Lord Jesus Christ; parliamentarian, diplomat, his excellence will be

remembered for ions to come. In the early 70’s Mr Johnson along with Charles Carter, former FNM Senator Mike Smith bombarded the air waves with good news, programmes and melodious sounds. As time progressed and others, including Wendal Jones, Darold Miller, Fred Mitchell, Chrissy Love, Obie Wilchcombe, etc, joined the ranks. Additionally, after leaving ZNS Calsey entered the political arena as an executive and a senator within the PLP ranks. Calsey appeared on many talk shows over the years. Johnson had an infectious personality and every talk show host booked him to add his two cents on issues of the day at that moment.

Well done Mr Calsey Johnson, condolences are extended to his wife Dulcena Johnson and the immediate family; to God be the glory, great things he hath done. Calsey is spending his 83rd birthday in heaven. Gone, but definitely not forgotten. It could have soon been expected, but news of Johnson’s passing shocked the nation and struck a great blow. Johnson played a major part in things when the ZNS facility was unveiled later on. He was a faithful soldier and trusted enough to have a 14 year managerial span. Gone, but not forgotten. LOXSLEY L BASTIAN Nassau November 4, 2019

Catch and release is inhumane EDITOR, The Tribune WE HAVE had an illegal Haitian problem for decades. During the 1940’s to the early 1960’s the emerging Bahama Islands, now the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, required massive foreign labourers (usually of Haitian background) for the agriculture industries principally in the Abacos, Eleuthera and parts of Grand Bahama. Theses islands, historically, have been inundated ever since with illegal and legal Haitian migrants and immigrants. Now, having collectively allowed this almost unchecked situation to grow from a tiny infant into a huge monster, successive administrations have sought to solve the issue by a series of carrot and stick approaches. In the days of the late Sir Lynden O Pindling, we had the dreaded “Daddy Roker” a/k/a the Hon Loftus Archibald Roker who held sway at Immigration. He took a hard line approach but, on balance, very little was accomplished. In Ingraham’s heyday he appointed several individuals to “look into” the Haitian problem. Mrs Elma Campbell-Chase, Attorneyat-Law, was drafted by his administration to “audit” the illegal and undocumented Haitians, et al, with a view to rationalising the problem. No one seems to have ever heard the results of the audit or the recommendations that would have been made, if any. Later Ingraham appointed the Hon Branville McCartney, the then FNM MP for Bamboo Town as Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration and Foreign Affairs.  McCartney is a good man, I am sure but his public ego is a spectacle to behold. Having self confidence and suave, as we both have, is admirable, but one does not

LETTERS have to wear them on one’s shoulders. His personal ambitions seemed boundless, as they should be, but, McCartney sometimes, in my considered view, over rates himself. He resigned and left the FNM in a huff. Later he formed the Democratic National Alliance (DNA).  That entity had great promise and did well in the 2012 general elections receiving a little over eight percent (8%) of the votes. This feat led to the demise of the Ingraham led FNM and the return of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP). Ingraham went into voluntary political retirement and, as the Most Hon Prime, Dr Minnis (FNM-Killarney) blurted out “The Ingraham era is over”. Now it is being speculated that Dr Minnis has reached into the political graveyard and maybe resurrecting McCartney a/k/a “Pretty Boy Floyd”. I welcome his return, if it happens but I would caution the PM and the FNM to keep McCartney on a tight leash. He has demonstrated his ability to break party ranks, while lambasting the same and its leadership cadre. In my view, he has an ungrateful streak and may suffer from a mega ego. In addition, while he will bring colour to a lackluster cabinet, he will, I submit, leave the FNM before the end of this term in office. That is just the nature of most political environments. The big question, however, is: ‘What did he accomplished’ as Minister of State for Immigration’? Apart from making stentorian pronouncements (which made little, if any sense) and flying around in helicopters, what was achieved except the introduction of a “catch

and release” semi-public policy? There will never be a viable solution to the so“called Haitian problem unless and until we address the following: 1) The elimination or reduction of shanty towns to the irreducible minimum; 2) A progressive and realistic approach to the vexing questions of work permits; residency and citizenship. If we have to amend the constitution, let’s do so and stop kicking the can even further down the road. The catch and release policy is wrong in law and a gross breach of the essential human rights of fellow human beings. We should not be talking about rounding up people, willy-nilly, except there is a gross breach of the criminal laws and/or national security issues. In addition, even when suspected illegals, inclusive of Haitians, are apprehended they are entitled to due process and an appearance in the courts. 3) An amnesty period into January, 2020. And so, the knuckled headed policy announced by the Hon Elsworth Johnson (FNM-Yamacraw) and the administration relative to continuing round ups and deportations in the aftermath of Dorian is dead wrong in law and is an affront to decent Bahamians and the international community.  Everybody almost rushed to our assistance following killer Dorian. Strangers have been exceedingly kind and generous towards us now we are displaying the darker nature of some Bahamians? Catch and release is inhumane and an affront to Christian principles. Step back Dr Minnis, at least for the foreseeable future. To God then, in all things be the glory.   Jr

ORTLAND H BODIE, Nassau October 22, 2019


Friday, November 8, 2019, PAGE 5


sum and implementing increases ranging from two to six percent, while extending the top of the salary scales. This is what was proposed by the president of UTEB. The UTEB president also proposed a contract signing for November 10, 2019. The university agreed. “Both sides also agreed that going forward with the next industrial agreement, all financial negotiations would be completed up

front to allow for proper annual budgeting throughout the term of the new agreement; instead of waiting for the end of the contract negotiations to discuss finances, as has been the practice.” UB also said: “The University of The Bahamas can no longer conduct business in the manner in which it operated in the past. “There must be complete accountability at all levels and budgets must be strictly followed. The university is not able to meet these new demands of the Union of

Tertiary Educators of The Bahamas; particularly given the anticipated expenses associated with restoring University of The BahamasNorth campus in Grand Bahama which was severely damaged by Hurricane Dorian. UTEB executives are fully aware of this.” Yesterday, Mr Thompson said the university’s account of events was “full of inconsistencies and untruths”, adding he was disappointed that UB made public the union’s new proposal. UB also accused the union of withholding faculty

participation at key meetings that affected the holding of its academic senate. “Prior to Thursday, October 31, the university and the executives of UTEB had arrived at an agreement. However, on Tuesday, November 5, some union members led by the executives, staged a demonstration and provided the public with erroneous information. “On Wednesday, November 6, at 11.06 am, the president of UTEB issued a faculty-wide email reminding faculty that they were

to abide by the following: non participation in school meetings; non-participation in department meetings; non-participation in Academic Senate meetings; and non-participation in faculty board meetings. “So far, several university events have been affected and the UB Act mandated “Academic Senate” meeting had to be postponed because faculty senators did not attend.” This is the latest development since UTEB staged a demonstration on Tuesday at UB’s main entrance.

The protest was sparked by faculty’s anger over UB’s proposal to offer them a meagre salary increase of 82 cent per day or roughly $300 per year. UTEB said it was also angered by UB’s lack of urgency to finalise an industrial agreement that expired in 2017. UB denied there had been delayed industrial agreement negotiations, insisting there were ongoing attempts to close the negotiation. Editorial View - Page 4

Customers anger over new BPL levy THE TRIBUNE questioned the pubic yesterday on BPL’s decision to adjust bills with an additional charge. Left: Sherwaine Arthurs; above: Sydney Sylvester; right: Rawle Springer. Photos: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff from page one be getting something in return and I’m not getting anything in return so it’s pointless.” One consumer, who asked to be identified as Mr Stubbs, said his light bill is already high and suggested BPL work with the people. “I feel like BPL need to work with the people. BPL wasn’t working properly from I was small. I went to work and for a whole eight hours the electricity was off. That’s ridiculous, that don’t make no sense and

they want to increase the price,” he said. Rawle Springer said BPL charging more money is infuriating. Mr Springer said: “It’s infuriating considering the last couple of months things wasn’t on all the time. Now all of sudden they have another charge, it’s a bit frustrating. My light bill doubled last month and that was infuriating. I didn’t understand that because my usage didn’t go up.” Sydney Sylvester said even with all of the power outages his light bill remains high. 

He said: “They need to bring that down, talking about charging people more money. They crazy! BPL need to bring the light bills down, it’s as simple as that. They said the light bill was only high because of certain circumstances. Now that they got this new (engines) ‘why the light bill going up?’ This is robbery.   “How can you go up if people out of light? I’ve paid so much money on my light bill I said something must be wrong. I even went to get my meter read because something had to be wrong for me to be

paying that kind of money and the power always off. I have a problem with that.” Another consumer, who asked to remain anonymous, said BPL has to be kidding.   “These bills are already outrageous in our region for service you can’t even use, with charges that make no sense and you want to pull some wool about a deposit. BPL alone is enough to make anyone hate living here,” she said. Another person said we are paying for years of mismanagement. “Wow, so ‘we are to expect higher electricity bills?’ This Bahamas is in a

huge mess with no relief in sight,” he said. Yesterday, electricity consumers were yesterday told to brace for an “adjustment” to their bills via an extra charge as Bahamas Power & Light confirmed plans for its mammoth $650m-plus refinancing. Dr Donovan Moxey, the state-owned utility’s chairman, promised that the proposed Rate Reduction Bond issue will ultimately result in “better outcomes” for all Bahamian households and businesses even though the “structure” of electricity bills will change. A BPL statement

quoted Dr Moxey as saying the new billing structure would “function as a short-term deposit” that will ultimately enable consumers to enjoy longer term savings from reduced fuel costs and more efficient generation plant. However, legislation to facilitate the Rate Reduction Bond (RRB) issue makes clear that BPL’s customer base will be relied upon to service what is essentially a doubling of the debt burden associated with the utility to secure its financial future. Editorial View - Page 4


A GRAND Bahama attorney is concerned that the island would not be able to support any significant sustainable investment projects or developments “without a properly functioning airport”. In a press statement, lawyer K Brian Hanna said: “I do not see our elected officials moving with any sort of urgency to solve the crisis here in Grand Bahama.” He said the airport is an essential element to the development of Grand Bahama. “Given the conditions in Grand Bahama, people would have expected that the Grand Bahama Airport would be up and running by now or at least some explanation given by our elected officials when it will be fully operational.” “What is the point of announcing to the public that the Grand Lucayan Hotel and Casino will open soon or the construction of a medical school when there is no port of entry for investors to utilise?” Mr Hanna asked. In October, the government also announced that it signed an HoA with Western Atlantic University School of Medicine for a new multi-million campus in Freeport.

LAWYER K Brian Hanna Earlier this year, RCL and ITM Group signed a letter of intent with the Bahamas Government to purchase the hotel and redevelopment of the harbour. Negotiations are continuing between them and the government. The project is expected to attract millions of visitors to the island when completed. However, Mr Hanna asked how visitors would get to Grand Bahama, “or what it will cost them to visit our beautiful island that we so willingly gave up for someone else to control and care for who are not elected officials”. The Grand Bahama Port Authority and Hutchison Port Holdings are joint owners of the Grand Bahama Airport Company, which operates the GBIA. Hutchison has said it will not spend any money to restore the airport, which was ravaged by Hurricane Dorian. The terminal buildings were underwater

and sustained extensive damage as a result of storm surge. Temporary facilities have been set up at the airport to accommodate domestic and international flights. Mr Hanna asked what is the point of investing in the tourism industry when the government is not in control of how tourists would arrive. “Why would any government give up control of their borders? I propose that if they can together with a comprehensive plan going forward to construct an airport on Grand Bahama out of the Port Zone that they are fully in control of and have full ownership of,” he stated. The attorney said that Grand Bahama is an “unbelievable” state. He noted that the island has so much potential for sustainable development. “It is a pity that we are not utilising our resources. Our elected officials have to be more aggressive and be prepared to make decisive decisions and follow through to the end,” he said. “They are the ones who asked and campaigned for the job to represent us. They are the ones who made all the promises of a better Grand Bahama with jobs for everyone yet people are leaving Grand Bahama daily not just because of Hurricane Dorian, but

because of lack of jobs,” Mr Hanna claimed. “They are the ones who claim that a considerable amount of investments are coming to Grand

Bahama (that has yet to be seen). Mr Hanna claims that elected officials have not been moving with any urgency to solve the crisis

in Grand Bahama. “Quite frankly, they have not done anything whatsoever otherwise than to make announcements one after the other,” he said.

PAGE 6, Friday, November 8, 2019



clean-up of debris in Abaco has already begun, adding that the process was being spearheaded by the Ministry of Works. “Once that debris is removed, collected and removed. It’s being sorted on site. In other words, the place where the debris is being cleared from, it’s being sorted there and it’s By SYANN THOMPSON Tribune Staff Reporter CLEAN-UP crews working to move debris in The Mudd have revealed how they have found two bodies and at least one firearm. Forty-two Abaconians have been able to get back to work thanks to the clean-up operation after Hurricane Dorian. Bahamas Striping, a local company in Nassau went looking for Abaconians at shelters and others staying with family members, to be part of their CPS clean-up crew in Marsh Harbour. CPS, a subsidiary of Bahamas Striping, is responsible for the mammoth task of cleaning up at The Mudd, one of the largest shanty towns in The Bahamas. Senior vice president of business development Dominic Sturrup told The Tribune there were Abaconians who just wanted to go back home to work and be part of the rebuilding efforts. He said: “We found that residents were eager to get back home to Abaco and get working. We put up flyers on social media, Facebook and Whatsapp and got a favourable response. We met with them and explained what the job would entail, the safety equipment we provide and also we wanted to give them a realistic view of the conditions on Abaco.” The company was able to house their workers at Friendship Tabernacle in Central Pines fitted with a generator, air conditioning unit, 42 airbeds washers, dryers and outside showers with running hot and cold water. President of Bahamas Striping group of companies Atario Mitchell, an Abaco native, said the burden is on his CPS team to get the clean-up done in a timely manner so that Abaco can begin the rebuilding process. He said: “Everyone is anxious to start the rebuilding process and for that to begin the clean-up phase must be completed. The burden is on me and the CPS team to get the cleanup done in a timely manner so that Abaco can begin the rebuilding process.” Halfway through its three-month contract, they have sorted and discarded tons of waste, including fridges and stoves, electronics, trees, and construction debris - as well as two bodies.  “We wanted to ensure that the work we were carrying out was not just a

going to lay-down sites,” he said. “When it comes down to the lay-down site, that’s when the Ministry of Environment and Housing takes over, sort of with the final solution for it which will be a combination of mulching, some will go into the landfill, some will be exported and some will hopefully be recycled and be reused.” But, according to Roscoe Thompson, chairman of Marsh Harbour/Spring City

Township, the debris is not being properly disposed and separated as officials claimed. “There is no process. You just go around and dump your stuff and nobody is separating the debris. All of it is going to one area and that’s it. They’re burning the stuff and covering it and filling it in an area. I don’t think the government is doing this, but whoever got the contract for the pushing is doing it,” he said.   

However, speaking to The Tribune yesterday, Mr Bannister suggested that if debris was indeed being burned at the sites, it was being done without the approval of the Ministry of Works. Hurricane relief and redevelopment co-ordinator Algernon Cargill said: “I would find it very credulous to believe that the government would be advocating the burning or sanctioning


the burning of debris, particularly without sifting the debris for remains or any other chemicals or toxins.” “Before the debris is removed, the debris has to be collected according to standard and part of the removal of debris would call for a search while its being removed and in the instance that the debris has been burnt, it has to be that the debris has already passed the first test.”

Two bodies found as people get back to work in Abaco

MAIN picture: Getting to work moving the debris. Below: Abaconians Victor Paul, Jerone Mitchell, Davonté Russell, Giovani Rolle and Zaviago Russell. Photos: Caribbean Pavement Solutions

rushed process but one that allowed us to meticulously and carefully sort through the debris and ensure that we were not just bulldozing and carrying away what might be human remains,” said Dr Allen Albury, BSGC’s managing director. “Everything discovered is handled with dignity. A protocol was established from the very beginning as to what would be the steps taken if there were any significant discoveries on the site.” Leonard Minns is one of the thousands of hurricane evacuees who was transported to Nassau after the hurricane. He was able to work as a dump truck operator with CPS. The Abaco native and Murphy Town resident said: “It was hard finding employment in New Providence. I sent my resume’ to a few places. They said they would call, no one did. It feels good to get back to work. Working with CPS has made me feel as if I’m part of the

solution. It makes me feel proud, like we are achieving something.” Zaviago Russell once managed and co-owned a 45-fleet car rental company, now he is overseeing logistics for the CPS cleanup crew. Russell said it is a slow process but everyday there has been progress. The Abaco native and Crown Haven resident said: “This is my way of giving back to home. I wanted to be hands on with the cleanup. I tried relocating, but it didn’t feel right. I felt

like I had to come back. Working at ground zero is a humbling experience and I am proud of the work that we are doing out here.” Dump truck operator Victor Paul, like the other Abaco workers, said he is just trying to rebuild his life and attempt to find some kind of normalcy. He said: “Whatever savings I had, I had to live off while in New Providence the two months I wasn’t working. Thank God for my friend Brian Williams who took me and family into his home in South Beach.”

“This is something you might see in a war-torn country, perhaps somewhere experiencing civil war,” said CPS project manager Peter Bascom, a civil engineer. A former deputy director for the National Recovery and Reconstruction Unit which dealt with Hurricane Matthew in New Providence and the Family Islands, Mr Bascom said not even in pictures has he witnessed devastation similar to Dorian’s. Further complicating

matters, The Mud provides the worst possible working conditions for the necessary heavy equipment cleanup. “There is a layer of mud that sits underneath the ground. Residents of The Mud placed fill dirt on top of that to build. There is a way to reclaim land and this is not done properly,” he said. “When we first came, we brought a lot of big, heavy equipment like the D8 and the 345 excavators. Those machines were too heavy for this geotechnical environment. We had to change course, bring smaller machines and send them ahead to conduct explorations. If we were to just drive over it, the machines would fall in. That was a lesson we learnt the hard way. We had a D8 tractor stuck for three days.” With corpses, hazardous materials such as gas tanks and sink holes to watch for, CPS has had to proceed slowly all the while praying the weather holds. Heavy rains would make their  work near impossible,  quickly saturating The Mud, which sits at watertable level, according to Mr Bascom. CPS provides three hot meals per day and the company also purchased laptops, pool tables and a 40-inch flat screen TV to provide some comfort for their staff during the cleanup project in Marsh Harbour which is scheduled to be completed on December 20th, 2019. “This is not just a pick-up and drop off to the landfill job,” said CPS project manager Anthon Deveaux. “We must clear, sort and then drop off, proceeding with caution every step of the way. This is sensitive operation. This is what we do. We all have a sense of personal responsibility to not only be a part of the clean-up but to get it done right.”


funding for flood damage repairs at the Rand and will also assist with the replacement of damaged medical equipment. “At the Rand Memorial Hospital, one of the major healthcare facilities in The Bahamas, there was a significant problem with black water flooding, so much so that we have had to take out of commission about 75 per cent of the square footage,” he told reporters during a press conference at the ministry yesterday. “Recognising the challenge with the Rand Memorial Hospital and health services in Grand Bahama in general (the Carnival Corporation & PLC) have decided to partner with the Minister of Health and the Public Hospitals Authority to help us remediate the challenges at the Rand.”

Speaking to reporters yesterday, senior vice president of Carnival Corporation & PLC Captain Michael Kaczmarek said the company was grateful to offer help in the wake of this natural disaster. “We met with government and one of the things what the government told us was we would like ya’ll to do two things – to get your business restarted again and to start bringing cruise ships back to Grand Bahama island and we’d also like some help with the hospital,” he said. “We have a long relationship with The Bahamas, and we feel as partners that it just makes sense for us to be able to help out in these areas where we can so thank you for that opportunity.” In September, Dr Sands revealed that the total cost to repair the Rand will

LNG SHIPS ON WAY CARNIVAL Cruise Line has taken delivery of its first cruise ship powered by liquified natural gas – and is to be joined by two more. While in Grand Bahama, Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, revealed that the cruise line will soon deliver for the first time in North America the Carnival Mardi Gras, the first LNG propulsion ship. She was speaking on Wednesday at Girl Con 2019, hosted on the Carnival Glory at Freeport Harbour. “We are very excited and committed to continuing to do our job to reduce our environmental footprint, and to be committed to standards for environmental sustainability,” she said. DENISE MAYCOCK

roughly be around $19m. However, it is unclear what the total cost would be in assisting with the critical repairs of the Rand in view of this partnership. “The actual cost is uncertain, but it’s substantial and

we are pressed for time because of the potential for mould. We’re trying to combine a somewhat tight budget with a limited time in being able to do as much as we can. But it is a substantial cost,” Captain

Kaczmarek said. When asked about the labour efforts, Captain Kaczmarek replied that the majority of the labour workforce will be made up of volunteers from the Grand Bahama shipyard. “We will probably use some Bahamians and we have a few specialists coming in from Puerto Rico doing the same kind of work, but the majority of the labour effort will actually be coming from the Grand Bahama shipyard,” he said. The Rand Memorial Hospital is expected to be opened by the end of this year. However, Dr Sands said full remediation of the Rand is not expected to be completed until March 2020.  “If we are going to rebuild Grand Bahama, we have to have safe delivery of healthcare and people

are not going to want to remain in temporary facilities indefinitely and so we believe that the safe remediation and repair of the Rand is exactly what the doctor ordered. So let’s get back into a facility that is safe and reliable,” he added.   “We also believe that there should be a consolidation of the number of clinics in Grand Bahama. In the PAH system in Grand Bahama, we have nine facilities now, including Grand Cay. There’s probably no need for nine clinics and so the way forward, we imagine a leaner more effective system of clinics that are better designed, more appropriate to the threats and to the care that the public demands and deserves and more importantly, which is heavily focused on community outreach.”


Friday, November 8, 2019, PAGE 7

ARDASTRA GIVES ENDANGERED SPECIES HELPING HAND AN endangered species is getting a new chance at survival thanks to the birth of two new baby hutias at Ardastra Gardens zoo. The rabbit-sized rodents are the only land mammal native to The Bahamas – and come originally from Warderick Wells Cay in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. The mothers of the two new babies, Coral and Sunny, were brought

to New Providence last November, along with three males, Junkanoo, Warderick “Ricky” and Raphael. Animal curator Bonnie Young said: “We haven’t been hands on with the babies yet so we’re not sure of their sex.” “Most animals, when they make a move to a new area or are adjusting to a new habitat, it places stress on them. We really didn’t expect to start our breeding

IT MAY have been delayed because of Hurricane Dorian – but this year the Walk For The Cure returns for its eighth year. At 6.30am tomorrow, walkers will set from Goodman’s Bay to raise funds and awareness of the ongoing battle to defeat cancer. Walk For The Cure is CIBC First Caribbean’s largest cancer fundraising initiative, with funds going towards care and counselling for patients and their families, and to raise the importance of early detection. The event will be hosted by singer Bodine Johnson, with live music by Furze Entertainment, warm up and cool down sessions, a heath fair, and food and drinks. There are two routes – both setting off from Goodman’s Bay Corporate Centre. The long route goes to Sandals and back, while the short route goes to Melia and back. There will also be a brief ceremony in honour of cancer survivors. Vice president of the Cancer Society of The Bahamas Rochelle Wilkinson said: “Cancer spares nobody, and we never know who’s going to be next. Therefore, we’re happy for initiatives like the walk that enable us to provide our services to people to alleviate some of the stress that would be associated with taking treatment.” Helen Rolle, secretary of the Sister Sister breast cancer support group said: “In our organisations, you always wonder where the next dollar will come from, but we thank God for people who support causes like the Walk for the Cure - because of them we’re able to extend a ray of hope to the wider community.” CIBC walk manager Kizzanae Arthur said: “Despite some challenges, our loyal Walk for the Cure supporters have not been deterred and we couldn’t be more excited for the event that’s taking place this Saturday. We want the public to join us for this family affair, with activities, music, prizes, and various health and food vendors on site. You can visit any CIBC FirstCaribbean branch to sign up; or contact 302-6036 or 302-6085 for more information.” Last year, the walk raised $90,000 for eight cancer care organisations in New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco and Eleuthera. This year, the walk will take place only on New Providence and Eleuthera due to the effects of Hurricane Dorian.

program until next year. We thought it was going to take them about a year to settle in and get used to life in the zoo, but they had other plans,” said Ms Young. “They apparently like the zoo, the cleaning service and the company that they are keeping.” The first baby was born in July and the second in late August. Unlike other rodents who have multiple births, the hutia bears one

live young at a time after a pregnancy lasting between 85 and 120 days. The hutia is considered an endangered species and is protected by law. After being a food source for the Lucayans in years gone by, they were thought to be extinct until being rediscovered in 1966 on East Plana Cay, an uninhabited island east of Acklins. “The Bahama hutias are now only found in the wild

on two islands,” said Ms Young. “If one of those islands had been hit by Hurricane Dorian, they might have been wiped out completely.” The hutia babies are scheduled to have their first real human interaction, a doctor’s appointment, sometime this month. The vet check will reveal their sex. “Whenever we have animals born in the zoo, we try to intervene as little as

possible. Their best chance at survival is always going to be with their parents. As a prey animal, any type of handling could be very stressful for the animals and very risky for them, particularly with young babies,” explained Ms Young. “We want to make sure they have a very good start to their life and intervene as little as possible until later in their development when they are sturdier.”

Walk For The Cure is ready for the off

CIBC FirstCaribbean (Bahamas) raised over $100,000 to support cancer treatment and awareness with their 2018 Walk for the Cure campaign. More than 1,000 participants turned out to support the annual event.


By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter

NINE Haitians were collectively fined more than $4,000 by a senior magistrate yesterday for either illegally entering or overstaying their time in The Bahamas. Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes fined Sonson Pierre, Wilmonde Fils-Aime, Altema Dorsainvil, Dodo Pierre, Jacquelin Pierre, Jean Mack, and Maria Corgelas $300 each for sneaking into the country. Their fellow compatriots, Milou Valcourt, Ulner Meance, meanwhile, were fined $1,000 apiece for overstaying in the country. The total sum of the fines is $4,100. Magistrate Forbes ordered that all nine Haitian nationals serve one year in prison if they default

on paying their respective fines. He also ordered the group to be turned over to the Department of Immigration to be deported upon payment of the fines and/or completion of the sentences. According to immigration prosecutor Avia Beckford, Sonson Pierre and Fils-Aime were initially arrested by members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) for immigration purposes. Pierre was being held at the Elizabeth Estates Police Station, while Fils-Aime was being held at the Quakoo Street Police Station. When questioned by immigration officers, Pierre admitted to entering the country illegally on December 4 of last year, while Fils-Aime snuck into the country in May of 2017. Ms Beckford said Fils-Aime did apply for a work permit,

which was submitted but refused by the Department of Immigration on October 9 of this year. Dorsainvil, Dodo Pierre and Jacquelin Pierre were similarly arrested by police for immigration purposes, and when questioned about the respective statuses by immigration officials, Dorsainvil admitted to entering the country by boat in 2013; Dodo Pierre admitted to illegally entering in February 2017; while Jacquelin Pierre admitted to illegally entering in October 2018. Mack was also arrested by police for immigration purposes, having been detained at the Carmichael Road Police Station. When questioned by immigration officers, he admitted to entering The Bahamas illegally on a Haitian sloop in May of this year. Corgelas, meanwhile, was captured by immigration

officers in the Royal Palm Street area on November 5. According to Ms Beckford, while the team of officers was in the area, Corgelas, who was holding her fivemonth-old infant at the time, noticed them and fled. She was captured following a brief chase, and when questioned about her status, said she snuck into the Bahamas in May 2018 on an unregistered Haitian vessel. Concerning Valcourt and Meance, Ms Beckford said that at around 9:22am on Monday, a team of immigration officers went to the Wulff Road Police Station, where they met the two men who had since been detained for immigration purposes. After the men said they had no forms of identification on them, they were subsequently taken to the Carmichael Road Detention Centre (CRDC).


By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter

TWO Haitian men yesterday denied allegations that they hoodwinked their government into giving them Haitian passports, which police claim they both used in a bid to gain legal status in The Bahamas. John Doe aka “Ricardo Phillips”, and Joel Ceus aka “Ceus Joel”, pleaded not guilty to claims they fraudulently obtained Haitian passports bearing the names of their aliases earlier this year.

Concerning Doe, of Golden Isles Road, it is alleged he defrauded the Haitian consulate of a Haitian passport sometime between January 25, 2015, and October of this year. Ceus, of Prince Charles Drive, is claimed to have defrauded the Haitian embassy of a passport on July 17. Doe, 36, was further charged with being caught in possession of both a forged Bahamian birth certificate and a fake Uriah McPhee Primary School letter of attendance that bore his alias on January 25, 2015.

He was further charged with uttering those false documents to officers at the Department of Immigration on Hawkins Hill on the same dates. Then, sometime between January 25, 2015, and October of this year, Doe allegedly tried to obtain naturalisation from the government by fraudulent means. Given their not guilty pleas, Senior Magistrate Carolyn Vogt-Evans adjourned their matters to February 2020 for trial. Bail was denied and they were remanded to the Bahamas

Department of Correctional Services (BDCS) in the interim. However, given her uncertainty about their legal status, Magistrate Vogt-Evans said a status check needed to be made on both men, which would take place in the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Ceus’ attorney, Crispin Hall, indicated that his client was detained in the state’s custody from October 24, and as such a writ of habeus corpus had been filed in the Supreme Court against the government.

Checks of the DOI’s various systems revealed that Valcourt legally entered the country on June 15 of this year on an InterCaribbean Airways flight from Haiti. He was given a seven-day visit by immigration officers, but was granted no further extensions. He ultimately overstayed by four months and 12 days,

according to Ms Beckford. Meance, meanwhile, entered the country on a Pineapple Air flight from Haiti on June 29 of this year. He was granted a one month visit, which ultimately turned into an illegal three month and five day stay. Shandeshia Marshall assisted Ms Beckford.

Moniqua Latiska Adderley, 15 Jasmine Gardens died on Tuesday, October 29th, 2019 at the Princess Margaret Hospital. She is survived by her Mother: Monique Adderley; Grandmother: Erma Stevens; Aunts: Sheryl Johnson, Wendy Addderley and Phalisha Stevens; Uncles: Tyrone Adderley, Paul Adderley and Andrew Adderley I; Siblings and first Cousins including: Dwanye Adderley, Dwight Adderley, Andrew Adderley II, Dwonn Adderley, Noresha Adderley and Ebony Jules and a host of other relatives and friends. Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.

PAGE 8, Friday, November 8, 2019



Let’s hope Lanisha can take a joke THIS week another chapter in the lackluster, yet controversial political career of the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture and Sea Breeze MP Lanisha Rolle was written. And boy did it leave tongues wagging. YOUTH Rolle incurred the wrath of society and caused numerous eruptions on every social media platform possible with her decision to add her image to commemorative coins being awarded to young persons who participated in the Youth Parliament events last month. The cost of the pins featuring Mrs. Rolle was allegedly, initially paid for by the government. One of Rolle’s Facebook pages offered a rambling attempt at an explanation. “The photo with the minister of youth sports and culture is a commemorative coin provided by the office of the minister during a courtesy call by the 2019 youth parliamentarians. The coin has two sides: one side reflecting the 2019 theme and the other side with the photo of the minister issuing. The commemorative coin did not replace the usual youth award medals and pins that were issued to awardees during youth month. Whether it replaces the ‘actual’ youth award

associated with Youth Parliament or not, the alternate award shouldn’t have been created in the first place, let alone with the ministers ‘mug’ on one side, all while, tax payers money is footing the bill. SPORT I hope Rolle has a thick skin, which I imagine she does, considering her past ‘faux pas’ including speaking out of turn as a senator and inciting infighting within the FNM pre-election. Going on the record, stating that marital rape is a private matter between adults, all while serving as Minister of Social Services was another big mess up. Meanwhile, Social Services, the same ministry, whose staff didn’t budge or utter one farewell or goodbye when Rolle was transferred to her present ministry, after an unimpressive run as its minister is less controversial at the moment. Now, as minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, we have this ‘boo boo.’ I still can’t rationalize Rolle putting her image on the coin. Seriously, who does that? I don’t think POTUS Donald Trump would do that, and he ‘loves him some him.’

Couple this with a potential Junkanoo fiasco on the horizon, I expect ‘loon’ jokes from the comedians and creatives throughout the Bahamas about this ‘coingate.’ (Solo Made is recording another parody song as I write this column). We can only make “sport” of you, Lanisha, because you make it so easy. Sometimes you even write the material for us , and for that we thank you. Personally, you have filled the local political, comedic void left by V. Alfred Gray, and those are some big shoes to fill. So, since we’ve established Mrs. Rolle should be able to take a joke, considering her past track record and all, I expect her to be a good “sport” and pay back the $582.40 she put on the governments tab, just like “Doc” told her to. And, yes, PLP opposition senators, Mrs. Jobeth Colby-Davis and Mr. Obie Roberts have every right to chastise Mrs. Rolle and the present administration on the spending of the $582.40 and for Rolle’s failure to appoint a ‘Director of Youth.’ However, Jo Beth and Obie, and this is no defence of the FNM, but we all know, that from past PLP heists .. um, I mean indiscretions, that figure was

going to be way more than $582.40! Despite the fact, that the youth who attended this year’s Youth Parliament said they thoroughly enjoyed the event, which was highlighted with a luncheon at the Hilton with the minister, (the first time in nineteen years) with awards official and unofficial and all, hopefully moving forward, Mrs. Rolle will learn that old rule, that in life and politics, no one ever remembers the “good” you actually do, they only remember the “bad’’ and the “ugly.” I hope she will not be so narcissistic and ill advised, (somebody had to agree with her idea) in future endeavours. I could even go to bat for you Lanisha, if you were Halle Berry or Beyoncé’s doppleganger, but alas, we all know that’s not the case. “So stay off da chirren dem medals.’’


I WISH the exemplary job being done by St. Cecelia MP Shanendon Cartwright, could be the norm amongst MPs and not the exception. It’s obvious Cartwright is committed to serving all of his constituents, all while making positive changes in his constituency, with the results to match. Cartwright clearly has a bright future in politics, he gets it, and his constituents get him, regardless of their political affiliation. Good job Mr. Cartwright, keep up the good work.


THE Department of Marine Resources insists that international reports about damage to the spiny lobster industry in The Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian are exaggerated.  The department responded to an article by Forbes warning that the industry would suffer a huge loss – and while the department confirms fishermen in Abaco and Grand Bahama have been adversely affected, they say it is not to the degree that it would put a huge dent in the international export of spiny lobster. The Forbes article cited parts of a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on The Bahamas’ marine sector since Hurricane Dorian. However, that damage and need assessments report, facilitated by the Bahamas government, has yet to be issued publicly. Acting Director of Marine Resources Gregory Bethel told reporters on Wednesday that the government is continuing its damage assessment and while they do believe some marine habitats have been adversely affected, the article’s conclusion on long-term sustainability is premature. He said: “While the fisheries sectors in both Abaco and Grand Bahama have been adversely impacted, it has not been to the extent of the ‘huge loss to the spiny

ACTING Director of Marine Resources Gregory Bethel lobster fishery’ as implied by the article. The major islands of New Providence, Eleuthera inclusive of Spanish Wells, Long Island, Andros and the remaining southern islands where commercial fishing is prevalent, remains untouched. In fact, the majority of fishing for spiny lobster takes place on the Great Bahama Bank, which is well out of the impacted zone and remains fertile grounds for our fishers. Damage assessments of the Little Bahama Bank are continuing.” Mr Bethel’s assertions match those of the president of The Bahamas Commercial Fishers Alliance Adrian Laroda, who told The Tribune this week that despite the impact to Abaco and Grand Bahama fishermen, the spiny lobster industry will still be able to meet international demands. He said: “At the end of the year, the landings will show that we are still able to meet normal product demand and we will still be able to export the five million pounds that we do each year.” Mr Bethel admits that the

government did not issue a statement on the impact of Dorian on the marine sector as they are still gathering information from fishermen and their displacement is not making the process any easier. However, he said that the prime minister indicated that relief is on the way for fishermen who have been affected. The article’s concerns about the quality of spiny lobster and fishery products out of The Bahamas since the passage of Hurricane Dorian is unwarranted, according to Mr Bethel. He says the country not only meets international quality assurance standards, but that The Bahamas ranks among world leaders in quality assurance compliance and has good standing with international stakeholders. The department said fishing operations in parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama have resumed and that the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources plans to issue a detailed and comprehensive report once assessments have been concluded.


Friday, November 8, 2019, PAGE 9 RENEE ZELLWEGER, left and far left, plays Judy Garland, right, in a film about the singer’s life

JUDY’S REAL STORY A LONG WAY FROM BEING WIZARD SHE was America’s sweetheart, the pig-tailed peaches-and-cream skinned child who skipped through the Wizard of Oz and into hearts with her joy and naivety in the height of an era bookmarked by the Great Depression and World War II. Yet the behind-the-scenes story

of the making of Judy Garland is the antithesis of innocence. The studio that forced her to swallow pills to stave off hunger, the deprivation of a social life or the sensual pleasure of tasting a hamburger, issued with a stern warning and more pills, the attempted defiance by tasting a

single bite of a French fry and relishing the flavour interrupted by threats and more pills. All that and more is revealed in the recently released movie Judy, a peek into the sad, inhumane, slave-like conditions of studios of old. It is little wonder so many of Tinseltown’s greatest

talents became the tragic figures they did, producing fodder for others to play their characters in biographical screen pics based on true experience. It is interesting that the current year has produced three movies based on music icons whose lives have had as many high and low notes as their

best songs – the incredible Rocketman, based on the life of Sir Elton John, an Oscar contender in anyone’s book, Judy, based on the five-times married, hungry for love and a desire to ‘stay put’ Judy Garland and next week on November 11, The Gift, a Rolling Stones special on Johnny Cash. Would

their music have given us the great pleasure it did if they had not suffered the tragedies they did? Perhaps not and so all we can do is try to understand what made them who they were, forgive their frailties and thank them for the emotion they wring out in us every time we hear their voices.

Time for a revolution in our thinking and our schools O

NE of the brightest men I know was engaged in a conversation with another friend and myself on the subject of education when he remembered a quote, grabbed his phone and found the words he was looking for. It was a quote by Einstein on genius and how the misuse of teaching thwarts potential. Here’s what Einstein said: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” If Einstein, brilliant as he was, had the wisdom to boil education down to commonsense, why can’t we? Instead, we lament the fact that our national grade point average is pathetic, that just over half the population which starts school finishes, that our classrooms are overcrowded and our students unprepared for the job market. I say, who cares? Except for the last two – overcrowded classrooms and underprepared students – we are judging our education system by all the wrong metrics because the system itself is founded on all the wrong principles. Okay. I know this sounds like blasphemy and anyone in the system reading these words is likely to be thinking, what does she know about education? That’s the point – you don’t have to be an educator (though I did teach Economics and Sociology while in graduate school) to know that the reason we think we are failing is because we are failing to understand that we don’t have to teach a fish to climb a tree. Our education system, like many, is an attempt to throw everyone in the same pot of boiling water, fill it with academics from ancient history to geometry and ignore the fact the person who succeeds in today’s world may never need to know a single geometric equation but in fact would be a lot farther ahead

if he or she studied how to handle digital finances or install a toilet. This is not a dumbing down of the population. It is a frank acknowledgement of what it takes to keep cupboards full, hopes up, an economy bubbling and to stand a chance of competing in a world moving far faster than the study of ancient history can keep up. Ask why Germany has the best engineers or Finland the highest rate of library usage, or conversely why, with all the money the United States spends on education, it is not even on the list of the top 10 countries, yet tiny Israel is. A true education is one that prepares the educated for a productive life and a chance of success. A true education imbues hope and inculcates promise. A true education arouses curiosity and rewards where that curiosity takes you. A true education is not the one in which the child who is afraid to think for himself regurgitates the date in history when one side conquered another, but the child who asks why they fought and what happened later. A true education allows the educated to thrive not in a discipline chosen for them but one they are chosen for. In Germany, like many other cultures, excellence in trades is respected. Because of that respect and its concomitant social and monetary reward, students are proud to apprentice under craftspeople who excel and who demand excellence. Becoming an apprentice at Mercedes evokes as much pride, if not more, than earning an A in Algebra and it certainly earns higher pay and greater future opportunity. In Finland, long before children start academics, they experience the joy of learning in “forest schools” where nature educates and entertains without the confines of four walls. However, in The Bahamas where the education system has its head buried in the past, attempting to force-feed non-essential academics to a generation

that grew up on YouTube and Snapchat, the system implodes, leaving gaping holes in a labour force begging for advanced skills and progressive thinkers.

It’s time to take a new look at what we are trying to achieve. After all, a fish that does not know how to climb a tree does not lack genius.

So long as it knows which way the wind, currents and tides are taking it and the difference between predator and prey, it has a chance, at least, of success and

survival. A fish not knowing how to climb a tree is not an aberration. Survival tactics are the knowledge that matters in the world the fish inhabits.

PAGE 10, Friday, November 8, 2019



CHICAGO Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson yesterday announced he’s retiring after more than three years as the city’s top cop, a post he took over during one of the most violent chapters in the city’s history and amid public outcry over the release of a video showing an officer shooting a black teen 16 times. During a news conference in which Johnson announced his retirement, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said he’d agreed to serve through the end of the year. A successor


hasn’t yet been named. “These stars can sometimes feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world,” said Johnson, whose uniform includes four stars on each shoulder. “This job has taken its toll, taken a toll on my health, my family, my friends.” Johnson, who joined the force as a patrolman in 1988, signaled earlier in the week that he was mulling retirement because he wanted to spend more time with family. He said the decision would have nothing to do with an investigation into a recent incident in which he was found asleep behind the wheel of his SUV at a stop

sign and his admission to Lightfoot that he’d had a “couple of drinks with dinner” that night. He also has come under withering ridicule from President Donald Trump, both on Twitter and in a recent Chicago speech that Johnson boycotted to a national conference of police chiefs in which Trump called the city a haven for criminals. Johnson said none of that contributed to his decision to step down. He said the toll his job took on his family came into focus when he saw the pain on the faces of widows of officers who were killed this year, and in October

when he went on his first family vacation since becoming chief. “I saw how they missed me in that kind of setting ... and that’s pretty much what did it,” he said. “I can’t keep punishing them.” Johnson, a native Chicagoan, held just about every rank in his more than three decades career on the force. He was named superintendent in 2016 by thenMayor Rahm Emanuel, who had fired Superintendent Garry McCarthy after the release of the now-infamous video of Officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.


CHRIS BROWN HOLDS LA YARD SALE LOS ANGELES Associated Press SINGER Chris Brown held a high-end yard sale at his Los Angeles home, with hundreds of fans, gawkers and bargainseekers waiting for hours to try to get a piece of the singer’s stuff. Brown posted a flyer on his Instagram and Twitter accounts that included the address of his suburban mansion in the Tarzana neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley. A long line stretched for several blocks with some fans driving from as far away as Arizona, not caring what they walked away with as long as it belonged to Brown. Some fans were left disappointed though, as the queues proved too long and they left empty-handed.

Associated Press

PEOPLE line up around the block of singer Chris Brown’s home in Los Angeles. Inset: Chris Brown and some happy shoppers

Bloomberg sets his sights on president WASHINGTON Associated Press MICHAEL Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, is opening the door to a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, warning that the current field of candidates is ill equipped to defeat President Donald Trump. Bloomberg, who initially ruled out a 2020 run, has not made a final decision on whether to jump into the race. If he were to launch a campaign, it could dramatically reshape the Democratic contest less than three months before primary voting begins. The 77-year-old has spent the past few weeks talking with prominent Democrats about the state of the 2020 field, expressing concerns about the steadiness of former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign and the rise of liberal Sen.

BILLIONAIRE Michael Bloomberg Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren, according to people with knowledge of those discussions. In recent days, he took steps to keep his options open, including moving to get on the primary ballot in Alabama ahead of the state’s Friday filing deadline. In a statement yesterday, Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson said the former mayor believes

Trump “represents an unprecedented threat to our nation” and must be defeated. “But Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that,” Wolfson said. Bloomberg’s moves come as the Democratic race enters a crucial phase. Biden’s front-runner status has been vigorously challenged by Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who are flush with cash from small-dollar donors. But both are viewed by some Democrats as too liberal to win in a general election faceoff with Trump. Despite a historically large field, some Democrats anxious about defeating Trump have been looking for other options. Former Attorney General Eric Holder and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick have quietly had conversations with supporters urging them to consider

a run, but neither appears likely to get in the race. Bloomberg, a Republicanturned-independent who registered as a Democrat last year, has flirted with a presidential run before but ultimately backed down, including in 2016. He endorsed Hillary Clinton in that race and, in a speech at the Democratic Party convention, pummeled Trump as a con who has oversold his business successes. Bloomberg plunged his efforts — and his money — into gun control advocacy and climate change initiatives. He again looked seriously at a presidential bid earlier this year, traveling to early voting states and conducting extensive polling, but decided not to run in part because of Biden’s perceived strength. Biden did not address Bloomberg’s potential candidacy at a fundraiser Thursday night in Boston.

The UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly yesterday to condemn the American economic embargo of Cuba for the 28th year, rejecting US criticism of human rights violations there and criticising the Trump administration’s increasingly tough enforcement measures. The vote in the 193member world body was 187-3 with the US, Israel and Brazil voting “no,” and Colombia and Ukraine abstaining. Last year, the assembly voted 189-2 with the U.S. and Israel voting “no” and no abstentions. For the second year, Moldova did not vote. General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding and are unenforceable, but they reflect world opinion and the vote has given Cuba an annual stage to demonstrate the isolation of the US on the embargo. It was imposed in 1960 following the revolution led by Fidel Castro and the nationalisation of properties belonging to US citizens and corporations. Two years later it was strengthened. Brazil’s conservative government, led by President Jair Bolsonaro, was the first in Latin America to vote against the resolution in at least five years. “Brazil will stand alone with this in the region, and what that shows is that being close to the United States is a key priority, and basically that it is more important than voting together with other Latin American countries,” Oliver Stuenkel, an expert at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Sao Paulo said. Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said the Trump administration has “aggressively intensified” implementation of the embargo against other countries, and has tried to prevent the arrival of shipments to Cuba “by resorting to sanctions and threats against vessels, shipping companies and insurance companies.”


SUPPORTERS of a Texas death row inmate who is facing lethal injection in less than two weeks for a murder he says he didn’t commit are mounting a final push in the courts and on social media to stop his execution, which is being called into question by lawmakers, pastors, celebrities and the European Union. Rodney Reed is set to be executed on November 20 for the killing of 19-yearold Stacey Stites near the Central Texas city of Bastrop. Prosecutors have steadfastly insisted that Reed raped and strangled Stites as she made her way to work at a supermarket around 3.30 a.m. on April 23, 1996. Reed, 51, has long maintained he didn’t kill Stites and that her fiance, former police officer Jimmy Fennell, was the real killer. Reed says Fennel was angry because Stites, who was

RODNEY REED white, was having an affair with Reed, who is black. In recent weeks, Reed’s attorneys have presented affidavits in support of this, including one by a former prison inmate who claims Fennell bragged about killing Stites and referred to Reed by a racial slur. Reed’s lawyers say other recent affidavits corroborate the relationship between Stites and Reed. Reed’s efforts to stop his execution have received support from such celebrities as Rihanna, Dr. Phil and Kim Kardashian West, who last month in a tweet asked Texas Gov. Greg

Abbott to “do the right thing.” Reed’s attorney and his brother, Rodrick Reed, believe race played a role in the case, pointing out that an all-white jury convicted Reed and that the case touched on “old tropes” about interracial relationships. Reed’s attorneys in August filed a federal lawsuit to compel DNA testing of crime scene evidence. His lawyers say the testing, which has been fought for years by prosecutors, could identify someone else as the murderer. The lawsuit is still pending. “To execute Mr. Reed would be a grave miscarriage of justice,” said Bryce Benjet, an attorney with the Innocence Project, which is representing Reed. But prosecutors say Reed’s semen was found in the victim, his claims of an affair with Stites were not proven at trial, Fennell was cleared as a suspect and Reed had a history of committing other sexual assaults.

XINING, China Associated Press

THERE’S a building boom on the Tibetan plateau, one of the world’s last remote places. Mountains long crowned by garlands of fluttering prayer flags are newly topped with sprawling steel power lines. At night, the illuminated signs of Sinopec gas stations cast a red glow over newly built highways. Ringed by the world’s tallest mountain ranges, the region long known as “the rooftop of the world” is now in the crosshairs of China’s latest modernization push, marked by multiplying skyscrapers and expanding high-speed rail lines. But there’s a difference: This time, the Chinese government wants to set limits on the region’s growth in order to implement its own version of one of the US’s proudest legacies — a national park system. In August, policymakers

PEAKS reach toward the sky in Angsai, an area inside the Sanjiangyuan region in western China’s Qinghai province and scientists from China, the United States and other countries convened in Xining, capital of the country’s Qinghai province, to discuss China’s plans to create a unified system with clear standards for limiting development and protecting ecosystems. Zhu Chunquan, the China representative of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, a Switzerland-based scientific group, notes that the country’s economy has boomed over the past 40 years. But priorities are now

expanding to include conserving the country’s key natural resources. “It’s quite urgent as soon as possible to identify the places, the ecosystems and other natural features” to protect, Zhu says. Among other goals, China aims to build Its own Yellowstone on the Tibetan plateau. The ambition to create a unified park system represents “a new and serious effort to safeguard China’s biodiversity and natural heritage,” Duke University ecologist Stuart Pimm says.

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11082019 NEWS  

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