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Charges withdrawn over armed robbery at Davis’ home By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

THE two remaining defendants who were awaiting trial in connection with the gunpoint robbery of Deputy Prime Minister Philip “Brave� Davis at his home have had the case against them withdrawn in the Supreme Court. Tyrone Knowles, 25, and Marc McCartney, 21, were due to stand trial before Justice Vera Watkins on December 5 concerning the December, 2013, incident. However, in a hearing on Monday, Crown prosecutor Patrick Sweeting produced a nolle prosequi signed by the Attorney General asking that the charge be discontinued against the two accused.

It is unclear why the Office of the Attorney General dropped the case. Lawyer for the accused Geoffrey Farquharson was also served with a copy of the document. The Office of the Attorney General could bring the case against Knowles and McCartney again at any time in the Supreme Court, but it is unlikely. The Christie administration has come under fire from the Free National Movement for issuing nolle prosequi orders in controversial cases. The two men were accused of robbing Mr Davis of jewellery worth $93,000, a jewellery box worth $200, Baraka gold jewellery

By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMAS Power & Light (BPL) denied yesterday that the company is shortchanging Bahamians by spiking electricity prices - while last night many residents were affected by a widespread power outage. SEE PAGE SIX

HO HO HUM?

CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS GET THE THUMBS DOWN - AS FORMER MINISTER GETS THE CONTRACT

SEE PAGE SIX

MAN ACCUSED OF ROLE IN KILLING VIA CAFFE OWNER

By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net

A MAN accused of having a role in the recent fatal shooting of a restaurant owner and other serious offences, including rape, was arraigned twice in Magistrate’s Court yesterday after the initial arraignment was brought to a halt by the chief magistrate. Kendeno McDonald, 21, was flanked by armed policemen as he was escorted into the Nassau and South Street building to stand before Magistrate Derence

A COMPANY owned by former Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Neville Wisdom has been given a contract to erect Christmas decorations in downtown Nassau and Arawak Cay, as the ministry prepares to launch a series of holiday themed events to attract Bahamians and tourists to the area. The Christmas decorations are provided by Florarama, a company owned by Mr Wisdom, who served in the first Christie administration. When questioned by The

By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

BPL DENIES RISE IN PRICE OF ELECTRICITY AFTER STORM

Rolle-Davis on a murder charge. After verifying the accused’s date of birth, the magistrate proceeded to arraign McDonald in relation to the November 13, 2016 killing of Albert Rahming, 52, owner of the popular downtown nightspot Via Caffe. He was charged with murder under Section 291(1)(b) of the Penal Code, which does not attract the discretionary death penalty if a conviction is reached at trial. SEE PAGE FIVE

SOME of the Christmas decorations up near Arawak Cay yesterday.  Tribune yesterday, Mr Wisdom did not reveal how much the contract is worth, but he emphasised that numerous Bahamians are being employed to help outfit the area and to design the decorations. The extravagant display, however, has prompted criticism from some. Yesterday, Free National Movement East Grand Bahama MP Peter Turnquest said: “Didn’t we just have to borrow millions? Where are they getting the money from?� Others have criticised the aesthetics of the display on social media, calling the decorations a “catastrophe.�

“I passed through there this morning... they look horrible,� one resident wrote on Facebook. Another person wrote: “They spent all the VAT money. That’s all they could afford.� In a press release yesterday, the Ministry of Tourism said decorations will remain in Pompey Square all month, “giving locals and visitors a great opportunity to take the family out for photos and fun�. “The festive display,� the ministry said, “will run from Bay Street to the Bahamian Christmas village on Arawak Cay where the Ministry of Tourism will

Photo: Aaron Davis host ‘Christmas on Da Cay’ every week in December.� Arelene Ferguson, director of culture and heritage tourism, said: “The Ministry of Tourism saw the opportunity to lift spirits around the country after a devastating hurricane and we moved on it. This holiday season we hope to spread a little joy and remind Bahamians of the true meaning of Christmas. At the same time we are exposing visitors to an authentic Bahamian Christmas experience while stimulating the economy.� SEE PAGE TWO

ANGER AT LACK OF ‘REAL $4M SUSPECTED COCAINE GOVT PLAN’ ON MURDERS SEIZED IN GRAND BAHAMA By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net

FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday lamented the recent spate of murders in the past few days, as he called on the Christie administration to “bring forth a real plan� to address crime. According to The Tribune’s records, 12 people

have been murdered in November, compared to ten in October, and six in September. Despite a spate of killings over the past few days, murders have trended down compared to 2015, which set a homicide record of 146 homicides. Up to press time, the murder toll stood at 97 for SEE PAGE SIX

By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter dmaycock@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMIAN and US authorities made a $4m drug seizure and arrested one of four suspects yesterday in East Grand Bahama. According to police reports, officers of the Drug Enforcement Unit and US counterparts were on air patrol in the Sweeting’s Cay

Nassau & Bahama Islands’ Leading Newspaper

area around noon when they intercepted a boat with four men and four large packages of suspected drugs. One of the suspects, believed to be from Freeport, was arrested, but three others escaped. Some 170 kilos of suspected cocaine with an estimated street value of $4m were discovered and seized by authorities. Police are investigating.


PAGE 2, Wednesday, November 30, 2016

THE TRIBUNE

HO HO HUM?

SOME of the decorations put up for Christmas along the stretch of road beside Arawak Cay. Photos: Aaron Davis

from page one

“Bahamian artisans from around The Islands of The Bahamas are looking forward to great business in the Christmas village and cultural performers are looking forward to putting on a good show. We invite everyone to come and experience ‘Christmas at Da Cay.’”

Events will take place in the designated areas every weekday. For example, the first 100 children in the area will get to choose a gift from under the Christmas tree each evening. In addition, the village at Arawak Cay will feature various entertainment events, including gospel music performances and Junkanoo events. “The Ministry of Tour-

ism wraps up its Christmas celebrations on the eve of Christmas Eve. On December 23 all roads lead to the Thomas A Robinson Stadium for the most exciting Christmas football game, the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl.” The ministry will hold a special tree lighting ceremony and the unveiling of Christmas decorations Thursday at 6pm.

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THE TRIBUNE

Wednesday, November 30, 2016, PAGE 3

Lightbourn doubts there will ever be a report on BTC sale

By SANCHESKA DORSETT Tribune Staff Reporter sdorsett@tribunemedia.net MONTAGU MP Richard Lightbourn yesterday expressed doubt that the newly formed select committee to probe the controversial sale of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company Ltd will ever produce a report. In an interview with The Tribune, Mr Lightbourn said he “would not be surprised” if nothing comes out of the “unnecessary” probe, rather he believes the formation of the committee was just a “distrac-

tion” by the government. Last week, the government moved a resolution in Parliament to establish a select committee to probe the sale of BTC to Cable and Wireless. Suggesting the 2011 sale was essentially a “give away”, Minister of Labour Shane Gibson called the decision to privatise the telecommunications provider “damaging,” as he pointed to BTC’s revenue generation abilities. The Golden Gates MP was also adamant that some inconsistency might exist between the cost at which the FNM government sold

BTC and what CWC actually paid for it. BTC was sold to CWC for $210m, but Mr Gibson highlighted that in CWC’s audited financial statement, the company said it purchased the company at a cost of $204m. Mr Gibson is the chairman of the committee, whose other members include South Beach MP Cleola Hamilton, and Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller, who are PLP, and Long Island MP Loretta Butler Turner and Mr Lightbourn, who are FNM. “We have not met yet,” Mr Lightbourn said on Tuesday.

“That is not unusual since the committee was just formed, but personally I would not be surprised if nothing ever happens. I don’t think the government has any intention of proceeding with this. We will meet a few times but we probably will not have a report. This will all just be a distraction to divert attention away from the situation in Andros and the government giving away our land. This is nothing but a smoke screen.” The PLP, then in opposition, was seriously opposed to the sale of BTC. It vowed to take back the 51 per cent majority share stake from CWC

if it was elected to office. When the party defeated the FNM in the 2012 general election, a committee was formed to deal with the matter. Later, in 2013, Sir Franklyn Wilson, lead negotiator in the take back negotiations, said that due to “shocking revelations” that pointed to an “horrendously bad deal” it was recommended to Prime Minister Perry Christie that a select committee be appointed to probe BTC’s sale. He also suggested that the deal benefited the company and not the Bahamian people. After lengthy negotia-

THE PROTEST staged yesterday at the Freeport Industrial Park.

tions steeped in controversy, the prime minister in early 2014 announced that his government was successful in wrangling two per cent of the BTC shares from CWC’s hold. These shares were to be placed into the newly created BTC Foundation. However, CWC retained board and management control of BTC and the foundation owned the two per cent equity stake that CWC relinquished. This left both CWC and the government with matching 49 per cent equity stakes in BTC. It was perceived to be a “face saving deal”.

RESIDENTS PROTEST OVER HEALTH FEARS FROM INDUSTRY By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter dmaycock@tribunemedia.net

A GROUP of concerned residents staged a protest in the Freeport Industrial Park area on Tuesday over the alleged ongoing industrial pollution that they feel affects the nearby communities in which they live. A coffin was put on display while protestors chanted and held placards along West Sunrise Highway, near Pharma Chem, Buckeye/ BORCO, and the Grand Bahama Power Company’s new generation plant. Due to inclement weather, the protest was slightly delayed but got underway shortly after noon, and several police officers were on standby. Some passing motorists honked their horns in support of the protestors. Employees at Pharma Chem and BORCO could be seen outside at their respective plants watching the protest as residents called for the government, Minister for Grand Bahama Dr Michael Darville, and the Grand Bahama Port Authority to “protect the people”. Some of the signs read: “Government neglecting residents,” “Relocate Residents Now,” and “Stop Reckless Waste Dumping.” For more than 30 years, the residents of Pinder’s Point, Lewis Yard, Hawksbill, and the surrounding communities, have complained of exposure to strong chemical odours, as well as alleged oil and chemical spills in the area. They believe that years of exposure have resulted in the deaths of residents in their communities, many of whom have died of cancer. Additionally, they complain of respiratory illnesses, skin, nose and eye irritations. In 1989, two schools were relocated from the area, and about two years ago, the Lewis Yard Primary School was moved by government to Hunters after teachers and students continued to become ill from ongoing emissions. The Grand Bahama Environmental Association (Pinder’s Point/Lewis Yard Environmental Com-

mittee) led by Chairman cated that there is no enviBerthram Pinder, said that ronmental or health risks to residents have been taken the residents by the indusfor granted for too long by trial companies, has been government, the Grand Ba- rejected by the residents. hama Port Authority, and At Tuesday’s protest, the industrial plants. Shuffel Hepburn was very When asked the signifi- critical of the industrial cance of the coffin, he said: plants and the government. “It is symbolic of all those The association, Mr persons who have died from Hepburn said, has written our communities of cancer to Prime Minister Perry and other related diseases. Christie outlining their It is just to draw attention concerns, but has received to the industrial plants, the no response for more than government, and the Grand a month. Bahama Port Authority They have also written that we as residents have to Buckeye asking for the had enough and we want to company’s standard operatsee results. ing procedures. “We have been taken for “They too have not regranted, put on the back sponded; all we want to burner, and they have done know is how they plan to nothing over the past 35 protect our people when years simply because we they have chemical spills, have been tolerant and pas- oil spills, and hydrogen sive, and it is now time for sulfide in greater concentraus to be a little more vocal tions than legally allowed,” and a little more outgoing, Mr Hepburn said. and that’s what we intend He added that people in to do over the next few the affected communities months, and even the year are discouraged. to come,” Mr Pinder said. “This has been going on The residents want some for so long without any resort of settlement for their sults and some of them have land and to be relocated given up, unfortunately, but from the area. They feel we are reawakening their that the issues have not energy by their desire to been sufficiently addressed see this problem solved,” he in the past by successive said. governments, which have Representatives and sebeen aware of residents’ curity officers at BORCO complaints of living in close had placed rubber cones proximity to the industrial and security officers at its plants. entrance to prevent any In December 2014, the possible access to its plant government contracted by protestors. Police officWorld Health Organization ers were also stationed at (WHO) and Pan Ameri- the entrance of the Pharma can Health Organization Chem plant. (PAHO) to conduct an environmental and health risk assessment study of the Pinder’s Point/Lewis Yard area. The year-long study ended on November 30, 2015. 30th November 2016 The report,Wednesday, which indi-

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RESIDENTS make their point with placards yesterday.


PAGE 4, Wednesday, November 30, 2016 

THE TRIBUNE

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Moise wins Haiti vote but challengers protest A POLITICAL newcomer backed by Haiti’s previous elected leader has easily won a presidential election re-run against 26 rivals, according to preliminary results that have been quickly questioned by several losing factions. Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council said Jovenel Moise won 55.6 per cent of the votes in the November 20 election, apparently avoiding a runoff. Turnout was just 21 per cent. Moise had been the leading vote-getter in the first-round of presidential balloting last year, but the official results were annulled after a Haitian commission called for the election to start again from scratch amid widespread fraud allegations. This time, Moise, an agricultural entrepreneur and candidate of former President Michel Martelly’s Tet Kale party, led his nearest competitor by over 35 percentage points. Moise was surrounded by jubilant, cheering supporters at a Petionville hotel after results were announced late on Monday. With his wife, Martine, at his side, he thanked Haiti’s citizens and all his political competitors in the deeply polarised country. “It’s together we will change Haiti,” said Moise, who was identified by Martelly in 2015 to be his successor. Supporters of at least two other presidential candidates took to the streets in pockets of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince to protest the results, burning tyres and throwing rocks at riot police who dispersed them with tear gas. But there were no reports of serious violence. Second-place presidential candidate Jude Celestin, of the Lapeh political party, had 19.5 per cent in the preliminary count, trailing Moise by over 385,000 votes. He led an opposition alliance and boycotted campaigning for a runoff after coming in second to Moise in last year’s scrapped results. Celestin and the third and fourth finishers quickly rejected the preliminary tally and said they would file challenges. “We’re going to fight this. We’re asking the population to stay mobilised while we conduct the fight through the law,” Celestin said on a local radio station. Political parties can challenge the results before Haiti’s electoral tribunal before winners are certified on December 29. The new election was needed to restore constitutional order in Haiti, which has been led by a provisional government for nearly a year because Martelly’s mandate expired before elections could be completed. The recent balloting will also complete Parliament as voters picked a third of the Senate and the 25 remaining members of the Chamber of Deputies. The results of those races were not immediately clear. Former Senator Moise Jean Charles had 11 per cent of the November 20 vote,

and the leader of the Lavalas Family party, Marysse Narcisse, had 8.9 per cent. Though his political enemies tried to discredit him as a puppet of Martelly, Moise campaigned vigorously and his support appeared to span the political spectrum among the sliver of Haitians who cast votes. Even before the results were announced, flaming street barricades were set up in a section of Port-au-Prince and some car windows were smashed by supporters of the Lavalas Family party, which was founded by twice-elected, twice-ousted ex-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. For days, Lavalas partisans have insisted that only “massive fraud” would keep Narcisse from the presidency and they have repeatedly demonstrated in the streets of Port-au-Prince despite a decree saying there could be no demonstrations until after the results were issued. Yesterday was no different as Lavalas partisans again marched through a patchwork of downtown slums where there is a well-worn street protest circuit. Celestin backers also burned tire barricades in the Port-au-Prince neighbourhood of Delmas 60. After the preliminary results were reported, gunshots rang out in a number of districts either in celebration or warning. But the capital was relatively calm overall, though there was a heavy police presence in spots and traffic was light. Seven senators from the Lavalas party and sympathetic factions sent a letter to the electoral commission alleging excessive irregularities during the November 20 vote, including voters unable to cast ballots due to the relocation of some polling centres. Robert Maguire, a Haiti expert who is an international affairs professor at George Washington University, urged Haitian electoral authorities to respond “quickly, clearly and fairly” to those contesting the result, said he hoped losing candidates would accept transparent and honest results. “Spoilers - with or without guns - still lurk in the shadows,” Maguire said. Prior to running as the candidate for Tet Kale, Moise was a little-known businessman who set up a banana plantation in Haiti’s north and founded a publicprivate project called Agritrans to export the fruit to Europe. His campaign nickname is “banana man”. Moise served as secretary general of the chamber of commerce in northern Haiti and his first business was an auto parts company in the Port-de-Paix commune. He also distributed drinking water in northern towns and his campaign literature said he started a project to bring solar and wind power to 10 communities. As president, he vows to improve education and create jobs. Associated Press

How our MPs reacted EDITOR, The Tribune.

THIS past Friday brought a new experience to our political life and it is funny how some politicians reacted and how others were darn silly. The organiser was rather irrational by sending a lengthy letter to the Prime Minister outlining the groups issues, premature as he had no idea how supported he would be - would 100 turn out or as did 2000+? I suggest they would have had far more impact if they waited and signed the Petition and Letter and then deliv-

ered it to the Prime Minister. What happened the PM seemingly disregarded the original delivery on the 8th and only took heed when Intelligence/Police advised him of the potential turnout as numerous NGO’s had become attached. The claim of showing disrespect to the PM could not have been levied. The Mitchell comment totally out of fashion as his CV contains hundreds of occasions throughout his political life where he was the archdeacon of protesting. I recall prior to Myles Munroe passing it was reported

he met with PM Christie into the night explaining the grips of the people - it seems the PM did not listen for a second as to what Mr Munroe said as what the Black Friday march was all about was precisely what Mr Munroe told - warned the PM about. You can’t sell a political manifesto on untruths or unattainable issues or policies which deliberately the government refuses to implement.

on the head as the march was entirely motivated by your government’s unsavoury style of politics and governance. The people of this country have clearly shown that they are very motivated to replace you and your associates as the government of

this country and the level of discontent on display on Friday was a clear indication as to what you might expect to experience at the polls next year.

M SAWYER Nassau, November 29, 2016.

Political motivation EDITOR, The Tribune. TODAY’S edition of The Nassau Guardian quotes the Prime Minister suggesting that the “We March Bahamas” event was politically motivated. Prime Minister, for once you’ve hit the nail squarely

IAN MABON Nassau, November 28, 2016.

We March assessment EDITOR, The Tribune.

AS a newly minted 50-year-old Bahamian who is currently a political independent I felt a sense of cautious optimism towards the We March effort. I felt that at the very least their efforts would result in the entrenched political operatives becoming more aligned with the will of the people and move legislation in that regard. I was encouraged by the lead organisers’ declaration that the march would not be political and that ALL persons were welcomed to participate. I was once a very politically motivated and zealous young man who believed that I could take anything that I conceptualised and make it a reality immediately even if the means ran counter to societal norms. I reserved judgment on this We March project because I wanted to see how the leader responded to the praises or criticisms that would inevitably result from the event. Having read his response I can say without fear of contradiction that he

LETTERS letters@tribunemedia.net has failed! If your objective was to effect national change and to prick the consciousness of the current ineffective leadership then why decline to meet with the duly elected leaders. Why even after you held what you deem as a successful demonstration did you decline the offer to meet with the country’s leaders. You held a march that drew less than 1 per cent of the country’s electorate but somehow got the attention of the leader of the country, but you declined the meeting. With less than 1 per cent what mandate is that. What concerned me even more was the position that the We March group would not meet with the current administration UNLESS their demands are tabled in the House of Assembly for debate. With the number of lawyers present surely they knew that several of the most

pressing legal demands that they are proposing require constitutional amendments ie term limits for prime ministers and recall of elected officials. My limited intellect suggests to me that the organisers are totally politically motivated and not as nationalistic as they purport themselves to be. My suggestion is that they form their political party of like-minded individuals and present their platform in the general elections of 2017. Otherwise we should just do away with our centuries old system of electing officials and just allow any fringe group to demand that their policies and ideas be implemented without the benefit of being vetted/ elected by the people. This sets a terrible precedent and I fear the group has burned a ton of currency with persons like me who are currently residing in the political wilderness hoping and wanting to be a part of legitimate change. AARON WOODSIDE Nassau,   November 29, 2016

Vote buying EDITOR, The Tribune. THERE is a reason vote buying is illegal in every democracy, because it usurps democracy and encourages the rule of the well resourced – the rich or the one percent. Politicians in the developing world find ways to bribe voters and not have any problems with the law. The main difference between political patronage of the developed world is that the developed world caters to large groups such as elderly, women disadvantaged groups, etc, while de-

veloping world politicians cater to the individual. Developed world politicians offer health care, welfare, day care while third world politicians offer short term employment, materials for house and direct individual bribes. The policies incentives contribute to the greater good and has a far greater effect to improve the well being of a particular portion of the electorate. While in countries like the Bahamas the voting incentives are cosmetic and cater to instant gratification. To be crude it is the difference between courting a

A gift from above? EDITOR, The Tribune. Re: $2.1 bn Chinese Proposal A BAMSI ‘Complement’ The Tribune, November 10, 2016.

But was the heavenly gift accompanied by divine authorisation for it to be given, sold or leased to anyone else --- especially if they are officially atheist?

WE are sometimes reminded that “God gave The Bahamas to the PLP”.

KEN W KNOWLES, MD Nassau, November 13, 2016.

lady by giving her a meal or offering her to help build a more prosperous future. If The Bahamas is to become a developed nation, The Bahamas must get rid of nickel and dime political patronage such as vote buying and move towards far teaching social engineering. The people will benefit more and The Bahamas will be more prosperous. If the people are more prosperous the politicians will be more prosperous and be more respected on the global stage. The people that support them will be less capricious and more principled. Politicians will be less malleable to the developed world’s personal agenda because their supporters are powerful and strong. Politicians get their power from the people who support them. If the people that support them are powerful, they become more powerful. It’s a chicken and egg situation. BRIAN ELLIS PLUMMER Nassau, November 29, 2016.


THE TRIBUNE

Wednesday, November 30, 2016, PAGE 5

KENDENO McDonald being escorted into court yesterday. 

Photo: Lamech Johnson/Tribune Staff

MAN ACCUSED OF ROLE IN KILLING VIA CAFFE OWNER from page one

Rahming was shot dead and his bullet-riddled body found slumped in a black Mercedes Benz in the parking lot east of the Nassau Sailing Club on the Montagu foreshore around 7.30am that day. McDonald, like his 18-year-old accused Marco Davis who was arraigned last Thursday, was told that he would not be allowed to enter a plea to the allegation until formally arraigned before a judge in the Supreme Court. He was then told that he would return to the Magis-

trate’s Court on January 16, 2017 for the presentation of a voluntary bill of indictment, which will facilitate the transfer of the case to the higher court. However, in the process of arraigning McDonald in connection with an October armed robbery, Chief Magistrate Joyanne Ferguson-Pratt entered the courtroom and told Magistrate Rolle-Davis that she would be doing the arraignments, effectively halting the proceedings. Moments later, McDonald appeared before the chief magistrate who sought to clarify the apparent confusion.

“It is the chief magistrate who determines the arraignment of cases,” she said. Chief Magistrate Ferguson-Pratt was reinstated in her position after a sixmonth stint as an acting justice of the Supreme Court. She had been sworn in to the role in May but was replaced by Acting Justice Rene McKay earlier this month. “Now this morning I became aware that there was to be an arraignment of this matter. I was willing, I was ready and available to do it but I do not know by what means it went to another court,” Chief Magistrate

Ferguson-Pratt added. McDonald took the opportunity to raise allegations of police brutality during his time in custody concerning the police’s investigation into the murder of Rahming. The chief magistrate said she noted the complaint but that the proceeding was only concerning his initial arraignment. McDonald was then rearraigned on the murder charge, five counts of armed robbery and two counts of rape. It is alleged that on October 11 he robbed a 21-yearold woman of a $500 Kipling bag at gunpoint be-

fore proceeding to sexually assault her. It was also alleged that he robbed a man of a $500 Samsung phone at gunpoint on the same day. It is then alleged that on October 19, he robbed a man at gunpoint of $840 cash, a $400 Movado watch and two silver rings, each valued at $75. It is then alleged that on November 8, he and Marco Davis, robbed a 16-year-old girl of an iPhone and a $400 gold Michael Kors watch before sexually assaulting her. They are further alleged to have robbed a man of $2,000 cash, a $400 Sam-

sung phone and a watch on the same day. McDonald was told that all matters, including murder, rape and armed robbery would be transferred to the Supreme Court on January 26, 2017 when he is presented with a VBI. He was remanded to the Department of Correctional Services to await trial. However, he was advised of his right to apply for bail in the Supreme Court.

NHI talks to be held next week By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net THE National Health Insurance Secretariat will next week begin a crucial round of talks with medical providers concerning compensation and the primary healthcare benefits package, according to a statement from the secretariat yesterday. The “information sessions” will also focus on provider reimbursement mechanisms, fee schedule and the registration process for providers. This secretariat said these sessions mark the second phase of the NHI process: enrolment. The meetings will occur with primary care physicians on the islands of New Providence from December 6-7, Grand Bahama and Abaco on December 8. The secretariat said it has met with doctors and medical representatives in the past several months to “define and finalise” portions

of the primary healthcare benefits package, whose roll out will be the initial phase of NHI. “The purpose,” the secretariat said, “of these sessions next week is to serve as structured events to engage with the wider primary care physician community, on services that will be offered through NHI Bahamas, reimbursements models, including fee-forservice and capitation models, and to facilitate provider participation in the NHI Bahamas plan.” Dr Delon Brennen, NHI project manager, said: “We are aware that many providers are excited to register and provide serves to the Bahamian people. They will play a key role in shaping a health care system that is modern, affordable and accessible.” The secretariat added: “A number of principles were used to develop the reimbursement structure for NHI Bahamas to support the benefits package and ensure that physicians

receive compensation that is fair, simple, evidencebased, dynamic and offers choice to providers. “The NHI Secretariat is confident that it has achieved the right balance in developing reimbursement models that are in line with the government’s commitment to fund the primary care phase of NHI Bahamas at a cost of $100 million per year. “With these provider information sessions occurring next week, the Bahamian people are now one step closer to being able to select their preferred primary healthcare providers - in the public or private sector - and becoming recipients of benefits under NHI Bahamas. In order to participate in this process, the NHI Secretariat encourages members of the public to be sure to register for your new NIB smart card and stay tuned for more information on how to prepare for enrolment in the New Year.”

MAN ACCUSED OF ASSAULT ON POLICE By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

A MAN was remanded to prison yesterday after he was arraigned on aggravated assault charges. Saintera Pierrelus, 53, of East Street South appeared before Magistrate Samuel McKinney facing

two counts of assault with a deadly instrument concerning an alleged attack on two law enforcement officers. It is alleged that on Friday, November 26, he unlawfully assaulted immigration officers Corey Bonaby and Lavardo Wilmot with a cutlass. The accused elected to be tried in Magistrate’s Court

and pleaded not guilty to both charges when called on to answer to the allegations. He was denied bail and remanded to the Department of Correctional Services to await trial. However, he has the right to apply for bail in the Supreme Court. He returns to court for trial on January 24, 2017.

PHYSICAL THERAPY MANAGEMENT OF LYMPHEDEMA

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016 AT 6:00PM / DOCTORS HOSPITAL CONFERENCE ROOM, DOWDESWELL STREET

DR DEVONNIA BONIMYLEE DOCTOR OF PHYSICAL THERAPY CERTIFIED LYMPHEDEMA THERAPIST

Lymphedema is an abnormal collection of high-protein uid just beneath the skin. This swelling, or edema, occurs most commonly in the arm or leg, but it also may occur in other parts of the body including the breast or trunk, head and neck, or genitals. Lymphedema usually develops when lymph vessels are damaged or lymph nodes are removed (secondary lymphedema) but can also be present when lymph lymphatic vessels are missing or impaired due to a hereditary condition (primary lymphedema). Join us on December 1 as Dr DeVonnia Bonimy-Lee explains the various ways Physical Therapy can help manage lymphedema.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! Don’t miss next month’s lecture when Dr Tamara Dean talks to us about “What We Should Know About Our Medications.” Thursday, January 19, 2017.

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Isn’t Your Health Worth It?


PAGE 6, Wednesday, November 30, 2016

THE TRIBUNE

Minnis: March has made me a changed leader By SANCHESKA DORSETT Tribune Staff Reporter sdorsett@tribunemedia.net OPPOSITION Leader Dr Hubert Minnis said last Friday’s “We March Bahamas” protest has “opened” his eyes and he is now a “different, changed” leader. In an interview with The Tribune, Dr Minnis said the people want a new type of leader “who will listen to them and take action”. He said this is the “people’s time” and vowed that if elected prime minister during the upcoming election, he “will follow the instructions of the people.” The Killarney MP also chastised Prime Minister Perry Christie for failing to show up at the march and attempting to “arrange a secret meeting” with its organisers. On Friday, hundreds of Bahamians took to the streets to protest against the government for its ineffective management of the country’s affairs. Promoted as a silent protest, the event began at Arawak Cay at 1pm, with one estimate of up to 1,000 gathering at the meeting point. Dressed all in black, protesters faithfully marched from Arawak Cay to Rawson Square without inci-

THE PROTEST march on Black Friday in Rawson Square.  “The march was not just dent, occasionally singing the Bahamian national an- against the Progressive Libthem and chanting things eral Party it was against the like “the power of the peo- government as a whole and ple is better than the people against politicians. They were saying ‘this is what we in power”. Many of the protestors want, listen to us, enough is occupied Rawson Square enough.’ They want a new type of (politician) and until 1am Saturday. “The people are frus- want the same old way to trated and the people are stop. “I will be a different tired,” Dr Minnis said yestype of leader, the protest terday.

Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff opened my eyes. I will lis- 23 non-partisan demands ten to my employer and do to Mr Christie and several what is right for the Baha- other government minismian people. This is the ters. people’s time and I will Mr Christie, in a fivelisten to what they have to page statement on Thurssay.” day, said he was “painfulDr Minnis said he does ly” aware that the country not blame protest organ- has suffered tremendous iser Ranard Henfield for setbacks and invited the not wanting to meet with group to meet. However, Mr Christie. Last Tuesday, on Friday Mr Henfield Mr Henfield issued a list of said he had no intention

of meeting with the prime minister at the “ninth hour.” He also said that the organisers of the protest would meet with the nation’s leader once their demands are met. “The people don’t want a secret meeting, they want action,” Dr Minnis said. “They don’t want to talk and our prime minister is nothing but a talker. All he does is have secret meetings and secret deals in dark rooms and have secret contracts. That is why they don’t want to meet with Mr Christie. I don’t think he understands the purpose of the march, the people are frustrated and the government is acting as if they are employers as opposed to employees. Mr Christie has a record of not listening to people, but that will not be me.” Organisers of the protest have promised to stage a similar event on Majority Rule Day if the government does not meet their demands. The group is pushing for the government to table its long promised Freedom of Information legislation and provide a detailed explanation of how hundreds of millions of dollars in value added tax collection has been spent, among other demands.

DEPUTY PM BPL DENIES RISE IN PRICE OF ELECTRICITY AFTER STORM RAID CASE IS DROPPED from page one

from page one

worth $700, an opal top wallet worth $450, a Royal Bank of Canada credit card and a driver’s licence worth $15. They were also accused of robbing Mr Davis’ wife, Ann Marie, of $2,953, and Wilberforce Seymour of $10. Mr Davis was Acting Prime Minister at the time of the incident as Perry Christie was out of the country. A third accused, 25-yearold Jeffrey King, was to stand trial with Knowles and McCartney. However, in September, he was killed in a shootout with police in Yellow Elder Gardens. He was on bail at the time. Speaking to reporters days after the robbery in 2013, Mr Davis said he was left feeling “a bit shaken”, adding that the incident proved that no one is immune to crime. However, he said he was not afraid during the home invasion. “They don’t call me Brave for nothing,” he told reporters. At the time, Mr Davis said he did not think he was targeted. “From all accounts the invaders were not aware of the home that they were entering into,” he said. “They took my aide as the owner of the house [until] they got into my bedroom and saw me.” In June, 2013, one of Mr Davis’ police aides was shot during a reported botched armed robbery in eastern New Providence.

Many residents have complained recently about their higher-than-normal electricity billing in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. In a statement yesterday, BPL apologised for “any confusion” that exists about its billing practices. The company said it “would like to provide clarification relative to recent electricity bills, specifically October and November 2016.” “Firstly, BPL advises that there is no rate increase and that electricity bills have decreased as much as 50 per cent in some instances compared to May 2012. This is primarily due to fleet improvements, energy efficiency measures, lower fuel prices and other managerial initiatives.” BPL said it estimated the October bill because employees were working to restore electricity service to customers post Hurricane Matthew. “This estimate took into consideration historical usage data specific to each customer’s account. The November bill was calculated from the actual meter reading of the account,” BPL said. “When customers add the

units of electricity (kilowatt hours) consumed in billing periods for October and November, it reflects the actual amount of kilowatt hours used between the previous meter reading date and the most recent meter reading date.” Former Bahamas Electricity Corporation Executive Chairman Leslie Miller recently accused BPL of “increasing customers’ light bills” to pay “millions of dollars” to foreigners who came to help restore power after Hurricane Matthew, and BPL’s statement yesterday was an attempt to rebut such assertions. Mr Miller, who has emerged as a prominent critic of BPL and the government’s decision to provide a contract to PowerSecure to manage the utility provider, said the company doesn’t “give a damn” about Bahamians. He previously said the government should be ashamed for allowing the company to disconnect Bahamians for nonpayment when people are struggling with the aftermath of a major hurricane. Last night, there was an island-wide power cut - described by BPL as a “total system shutdown”. Workers were still in the process of restarting engines and trying to restore power as The Tribune went to press. A DOCUMENT issued yesterday showing bills to customers.

ANGER AT LACK OF ‘REAL GOVT PLAN’ ON MURDERS from page one

the year, compared to the 136 recorded up to this point in 2015, according to The Tribune’s records. This represents a decrease of 29 per cent. However Dr Minnis, in

a statement, said the government has “nothing to celebrate” over its anticrime initiatives, as he said the country’s crime rate indicates a “failure of leadership” that “falls at the feet of this government that spends more time telling us that we are wrong

about the crime waves that are washing through our streets.” “Leadership is about solving problems, not flashy press conferences trying to ignore them,” Dr Minnis said. “It is time for this government to listen and learn. Follow the lead of our law enforcement community that has been offering solid ideas to address the crime problem. “Ignoring a problem does not make it go away. In fact, the PLP has proven it only makes it worse. So instead of criticising the ‘We March Bahamas’ marches, the PLP government should heed their calls and take immediate action on this epidemic. “The people deserve safety and security - it’s a basic necessity. It’s time for the government to finally bring forth a real plan to address the high crime rate in our country and stop talking about the issue only when they think it will benefit them.” On Monday morning, two men were killed in two separate incidents. According to police reports, in the first incident, officers responded to calls

of a male shot outside an apartment complex in the vicinity of McKinney Drive around midnight on Monday. Once on the scene, officers saw the lifeless body of a man and pronounced him dead. Hours later, at about 6am, police received reports of a fire near an abandoned vehicle on a service road off Graham Drive in Yellow Elder. Police Fire Services units responded and extinguished the blaze, resulting in the discovery of the lifeless body of a male. According to Assistant Commissioner of Police Stephen Dean, both matters are being investigated as murders. On Sunday, a man was found shot dead in the parking lot of the International Bazaar on East Sunrise Highway in Freeport, Grand Bahama. That killing, which marked the 17 murder for that island, came five days after a Freeport Harbour employee, who did not show up for work, was found murdered in his apartment in Freeport. Based on these incidents, Dr Minnis said he fears the murder count will again surpass those of previous

years, which he suggested has become a pattern under this PLP administration. “The murder rate has hit record highs year after year - over triple digits in each of those years and we are about to hit that dubious distinction again,” he said. “We sincerely hope that there is no further loss of lives and that the Bahamas does not set a new murder record this year. “Let me make this clear - the PLP government has nothing to celebrate when the murder rate continues to rob so many families of their loved ones. We will not remain silent as sexual predators target women at an alarming rate and when foreign governments continue to issue travel and crime warnings about our country. “People do not feel safe in their homes, or on the streets and it is adversely impacting business and our way of life. That is a failure of leadership and it falls at the feet of this government that spends more time telling us that we are wrong about the crime waves that are washing through our streets, rather than addressing the issue.”


THE TRIBUNE

Wednesday, November 30, 2016, PAGE 7

A PROJECT is to begin today, looking at ancient Lucayan remains in Long Island, it was announced at a press conference yesterday. 

Project aims to explore Lucayan past By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net AN excavation project for the discovery of additional ancient Lucayan remains in Long Island is set to begin today, with local and international archaeological experts yesterday touting the excavation project as a big step towards the redefinition and subsequent better understanding of recorded Bahamian history. Dr Keith Tinker, director of the Antiquities, Monuments and Museum Corporation (AMMC), along with Dr William Keagan, lead archaeologist at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said the two-week long joint excavation exercise effectively represents a “paradigm shift” in the way Bahamians view their own history, adding that it could very well result in the rewriting of the “preColumbus history of these islands.” The excavation effort, which will commence near Clarence Town, Long Island, will be executed by a 12-member team, comprised of AMMC officials, officials from the Florida Museum, as well as specialists from New York and Ohio, according to officials. A student of the University of The Bahamas (UB) will also participate in the excavation, The Tribune understands. The excavation project will continue until December 13, according to Dr Keagan, which is when the international component of the excavation team departs for the holidays. The announcement of the excavation project, made during a press conference at the Harry C Moore Library on the UB campus, comes after last week’s reported discovery of Lucayan skeletal remains near Clarence Town. “When many of us here were young, we were taught that there were Arawaks and Caribs that roamed these islands, and that the Caribs would prey on the Arawaks and eat them,” Dr Tinker said yesterday.

“What we are hearing now today is there is a paradigm shift in the interpretation of the history. And literally we’re speaking the language of Lucayans now we’re not speaking about Caribs, or anybody. We’re speaking about our early history. “And what it’s going to do, I personally feel it’s going to redefine how we interpret that history, so that no longer in my case and others, we hear misinformation. Now we hear new information and we can be properly guided.” Last week, this newspaper reported how the remains of two Lucayans, the people who inhabited The Bahamas from the year 600 to the 1500s, had been discovered in graves on Long Island. At the time, AMMC officials announced the historically significant discovery of ancient Lucayan skeletons--the first to be found in sand dunes--located in two distinct graves in what American archaeologists described at the time as potentially “the first prehistoric cemetery in all of The Bahamas.” Long Island resident Nick Constantakis found the first set of bones of what appeared to be an elderly Lucayan male, buried face down in the sand dunes near Clarence Town. Another discovery by Mr Constantakis and Anthony Mailis, of Clarence Town, revealed a second burial approximately 25 feet away from where the original bones were located. The second burial held the remains of a Lucayan female, buried face down. The excavation team indicated at the time that the remains appeared to be that of an elderly female. Directly under the second burial, the team also discovered a third set of remains in a bundle with limbs removed - what could possibly be the bones of a younger female relative of the older female found in the burial site. Last month, a team from AMMC and the Florida Museum of Natural History travelled to Long Island to

conduct preliminary exercises. Under the existing memorandum of understanding between the two, the Florida-based museum is committed to fully support the AMMC with research of historical discoveries. Dr Keagan, who said he first did an archaeological survey of Long Island in 1983, said the excavation project will play a vital role in not only determining if there are any additional burial sites in the area, but also in understanding what life was like for Lucayans at the time they inhabited the Bahamian archipelago. “It seems to be an area that was very heavily occupied in the past by the native inhabitants, probably sometime in between 1,000 and 1400 AD,” he said. “And what we’re trying to do with this project is get a better definition of what life was like in that area at that time. It’s something we need to continue to do throughout the islands, but this is a special location because it’s the first possible Lucayan cemetery that’s ever been found in the Bahamas.” Dr Keagan added: “…I would like to see the Bahamas have more of a Bahamian history. Because so much is in the textbooks is what a bunch of guys from Europe did, and you start teaching people names and dates about places that they may not know where they are or care about. No one’s going to develop an interest in history. But you have a marvelous history. “My goal as an historian, the historian hat that I wear, is to help people develop their own understanding of their past for their own purposes. And it’s not me coming in posing my ideas about what your past was. And that’s why these partnerships and involvement of students is absolutely critical and crucial.” Archaeologists have discovered more duhos - ancient wooden ceremonial stools - in The Bahamas than in any other Caribbean country, with the majority in Long Island.

GROUPER SEASON CLOSES TOMORROW THE fishing season for the Nassau Grouper will close tomorrow, the Department of Marine Resources has advised. The season will be closed from December 1 to February 28, 2017. The department also advised that the taking, landing, processing, selling or offering for sale of Nassau Grouper is strictly

prohibited during this time. “The general public is to note that the ban is only for the Nassau Grouper species and that one is able to capture and purchase any of the remaining species of groupers in the Bahamas,” the department said. “All groupers are to be landed head and tail intact in the identification of the

species of grouper. The identification of the Nassau Grouper species from the other grouper species is that the Nassau Grouper is the only grouper with the black band or saddle near its tail.” The department said that persons found violating the fisheries laws will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

SOME of those at yesterday’s press conference.

Photos: Aaron Davis


PAGE 8, Wednesday, November 30, 2016

THE TRIBUNE

A Bahamian in search of Fidel

With the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend, Larry Smith recalls a visit to Cuba six years ago

‘S

O you wanted to visit before the country opens up and everything changes?” a 30-something tour guide asked me as we surveyed Havana’s bustling historic quarter from the rooftop of a restored colonial mansion. It was true, I suppose. I had come in search of Fidel - 50 years after his revolutionary triumph and an uncertain time before his death - to get a glimpse of life in what is probably the last true communist state. According to Fidel’s brother Raul, who took over as president two years ago, “Cuba is the only country in the world where people can live without working.” But there are plans to change all that. Cuba is about to take the Chinese road to transform its economy and, not coincidently, to pay back billions in overdue Chinese loans. Last November, Raul Castro issued a 32-page document calling for a raft of reforms to save the revolution. ¨We are running out of time,” he conceded. “If we don´t change things now, we will bring about the collapse of efforts by many generations.” Those reforms, which will be ratified at next April’s Communist Party Congress, include the firing of more than two million state workers over the next two years, as well as efforts to reduce food and oil imports, cut public subsidies, legalise and tax the informal economy, and loosen controls over the heavily restricted private sector - including allowing individuals to rent, buy and sell their homes. “The government has to make these changes because the system is no longer viable,” Italian journalist

Roberto Savio, a frequent much of their time cheervisitor to both Cuba and the fully hustling the 2.5 milBahamas, told me. “Ser- lion tourists who visit the vices are free and there are island each year - like me. no taxes. The only revenue My search for Fidel began comes from mining op- at the most logical place erations, sugar exports and the Museum of the Revolutourism. This is not enough tion in downtown Havana. to pay for everything, so This was originally Fulgenthere will be a transition to cio Batista’s presidential more self-employment. The palace, and the bullet holes question is, can the lim- from a failed assassination ited private sector generate attempt ordered by Fidel in enough resources to sustain 1957 are lovingly preserved the state?” by the regime, along with Cuba’s problem, of the hated dictator’s office, course, is the lack of a ma- cabinet room and gold-platjor benefactor like the So- ed telephone. It was from viet Union, which was will- this imposing building that ing to keep the island afloat Fidel delivered the first of during the Cold War. In many long-winded speechrecent years, Venezuela has es after the revolution. helped with cheap oil while “I never liked this buildChina has extended credits, ing,” he told rapturous but Cuba has defaulted on crowds in January, 1959. its $18 billion debt several “Yet now we have come times, and the American here, let us do what we can trade embargo that has to make the people take been in effect kindly to it ... since 1961 was ‘A celebrated 1967 It is a buildonly margin- article in Life ing that, at the ally eased by present time, the Obama magazine reported (houses) the administrathat “In 1959, after Revolutionary tion. Government Fidel Castro shut So the stirof the Repubring revo- Cuba down, Meyer lic.” lutionary Right next Lansky looked slogans and around for other door to the old iconic images presidential of Che Gue- places where he palace is the vara stamped might set up shop glass and steel on buildings beyond the reach Granma meand walls morial built in of US law. The throughout the 60s, which the capital are Bahamas were displays the still here afmotorboat made to order.’ ter 50 years, on which the but - like the Castro brothCastro brothers themselves ers and other exiles trav- they are fading fast. And elled to Cuba from Mexico the Cuban people, who in 1956 to launch the revoluonce took part in nuclear tion that ousted Batista. For showdowns and defiantly Cuba, where the founder of exported revolution to the the revolution is still alive Third World, now spend and kicking at 84, this is the

Bahamas Agricultural & Industrial Corporation

Project Coordinator Revitalization of the Sponging Industry Project number ATN/ME-15441-BH The Government of The Bahamas has received financing from the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) and intends to apply part of the proceeds to payments under the Revitalization of the Sponging Industry for the services of consultants to deliver the following activities: Consultancy 1: Sponge research - internationally and nationally. Consultancy 2: Determination of the local sponge industry baselines. Consultancy 3: Determination of optimal sustainable sponge. harvesting practices, and development of guidelines for sustainable certification. Consultancy 4: Development of branding tools. Consultancy 5: Production of exporting tools for locally produced items to be sold in the international market. Consultancy 6: Development of a 5-year Business Plan. Consultancy 7: Provision of training – Governance training, and Financial management training. The Bahamas Agricultural Industrial Corporation now invites eligible consultants or consultancy firms to indicate their interest in providing these services. Interested candidates must provide proposals, along with information outlining qualification, experiences, competencies, and cost. Consultants will be selected in accordance with procedures set out in the Inter-American Development Bank: Policies for the Selection and Contracting of Consultants financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (GN-2350-7) and is open to all eligible consultants as defined in the policies.

How to Apply

Interested consultants may obtain detailed information about these position on our website www.baic.gov.bs. Proposals must be delivered via direct mail or email at the address indicated below. Bahamas Agriculture and Industrial Corporation Attn: Human Resources P.O. Box N-4940 Nassau, Bahamas Email: sponge@baic.gov.bs

BAIC HEAD OFFICE & TRAINING CENTER Old Trail Road • P. O. Box N-4940 Nassau, Bahamas

Tel: (242) 396-3725/6 Fax: (242) 322-2123 / 328-6542 Web: www.baic.gov.bs www.facebook.com/mybaic

Growing. Partnering. Empowering.

FIDEL CASTRO, the Cuban leader, who has died aged 90. equivalent of Lenin’s tomb. reach of US law. The BahaNot being as adventur- mas were made to order.” ous as the original FidelisAccording to contemtas who camped out in the porary press accounts, US remote fastnesses of the gangsters took a large perSierra Maestra, for the du- centage of gaming profits ration of my search I stayed in Nassau and Freeport, at the Havana Saratoga, a where newly established caSpanish-operated hotel re- sinos formed the core of our stored a few years ago to growing resort industry. 1930s elegance. It is across By the mid-1960s Fithe street from the Capito- del and the revolution had lio, the famous landmark banned private property that once housed Cuba’s and eliminated tourism alpre-revolution legislature together. But after the colbut is now just another mu- lapse of the Soviet Union, seum (there are 38 in all). A the government revised its new national assembly was position. Although some of established by the commu- the 1990s reforms were later nists in 1976. cancelled, today the incredThe Saratoga lies on the ible history, music, art and edge of Havana’s historic small-scale entrepeneurism quarter, a maze of narrow of Habana Vieja, seem specobblestone streets and cially designed to pry hard crumbling baroque build- currency from visitors. And ings that stretches from the by most accounts, younger Capitolio to the harbour. Cubans are increasingly Founded by the Spanish jaded with the revolution in 1519, the city and its ad- and frustrated by political jacent fortresses were de- and economic stasis. clared a World Heritage My contacts during my Site in 1982, and many of stay were limited, but nonethe finest buildings have theless indicative. An embeen restored over the past ployee at our hotel studied 15 years as museums, res- journalism at the Univertaurants, shops and hotels. sity of Havana, but prefers About half of the income to work in tourism because they generate is reinvested the rewards are better and in new restorations. the media are “too political”. According to one tour avana’s 400-year guide, Cuba is very safe and historical herit- healthcare is excellent, “but age, explains Cu- the economy is terrible and ban architect and planner salaries are low.” Another Mario Coyula, has benefited looked forward to the day from “the benign neglect of when he could leave Cuba. the 1959 revolution, which According to Roberto concentrated its efforts on Savio, “the first generation the more undeveloped coun- of the revolution is still in tryside ... Although these power and has come very policies increased deteriora- sadly to the conclusion that tion and overcrowding in the it is not viable, so they are capital, demolitions driven trying a Chinese course by real estate speculation where the party retains podid not do away with its mul- litical control while extendti-faceted layers of architec- ing the market economy. tural history.” “The second generation Coyula is a leading au- is disenchanted and wants thority on Havana, which change, but not in a way he describes as the major that would bring back the metropolis of the Carib- wild capitalism which took bean, and Cuba’s greatest over after the end of the tourist attraction. In fact, Cold War. The third generthe island already receives ation is much less cautious about a million more stop- about change.” over visitors than we do, The resistance to change and most of them stay in has a lot to do with fear of Havana or nearby at Vara- competition from the two dero Beach. Cuba now has million affluent Cubans about 50,000 hotel rooms living abroad, who are de(compared to under 15,000 rided here as “gusanos” or in the Bahamas) and could worms. “This is a competiadd another 20,000 over the tion the 12 million Cubans next five years. in Cuba will never be able And even in its present to win,” Savio said. “They run-down condition, Cuba know it, and this is why manages to earn some $2.5 they are very careful about billion a year from tourism. causing a collapse of the Despite an inefficient, gov- system. Many of them live ernment-operated and ex- in a house that would be repensive product, as well as claimed by exiles.” almost total exclusion from Currently, most of the the huge US market, Cuba means of production in has a lot to offer. Cuba are owned and opIn fact, it was Fidel who erated by the state, which helped to create the Bahami- employs about 83 per cent an tourist industry in the first of the work force. Anplace. Havana in the 1950s other five per cent work in was a corrupt town known co-operatives closely conas the Latin Las Vegas, its nected to the state. Only 12 racetracks and casinos oper- per cent of Cubans work in ated by infamous American the hard-scrabble private gangsters like Meyer Lanksy. sector - including farmers, When the revolutionary gov- artisans, and other self-emernment outlawed gambling ployed persons. and nationalised the hotels, The Castro regime is takLanksy and others moved to ing a big risk by opening up. The Bahamas. If the gamble doesn’t work, A celebrated 1967 article things could collapse in a in Life magazine reported Berlin Wall-type scenario, that “In 1959, after Fidel with some Gorbachev tryCastro shut Cuba down, ing to salvage the situation, Lansky looked around for but lacking the resources other places where he might to do so. If it does work, set up shop beyond the and the US embargo finally

H

ends, Cuba will become a tourism powerhouse, and that will have important consequences for the Bahamas, because 60 per cent of our economy is based on tourism. We may have time to adjust, as the Cubans have a lot of hurdles to overcome. I tried to book half a dozen Havana hotels online without a single response. After visiting Havanatur on East Bay Street, it was another two weeks before my bookings were confirmed. The one-and-a-half-hour flight in the almost windowless Antonov 26 turboprop (a vintage Russianbuilt military transport) is not the most comfortable of journeys, and the long lines and cheerful chaos at the Cubana Airways ticket counter are reminiscent of Bahamasair in its darkest days - plan on standing in line at both airports for at least two hours. And then there is the US embargo, which serves no purpose other than to provide the regime with an excuse to justify everything that goes wrong. It remains in place only because Florida - where most Cuban exiles live - is a key swing state in presidential elections. And while the younger generation of Cuban-Americans may be indifferent to current events, the older generation are still fighting the Cold War. Some argue that if the pending privatisation in Cuba takes off, there will likely be many joint economic ventures with Cuban Americans, which will increase public pressure in the US to lift the embargo. And if the situation in Cuba deteriorates, the US government is likely to remove trade and travel restrictions in order to exert leverage over the crisis. Either way, an end to the embargo is not far off. As for Fidel, I was unable to find him outside the pages of the government newspaper, Granma, where he regularly pontificates on international affairs (leaving domestic matters to his brother). Ordinary Cubans have no uncensored access to the Internet, but Fidel keeps well-informed by reading a 100-page daily briefing culled from online news sites around the world. His latest thesis is that the US will attack Iran with tactical nuclear weapons and this will escalate into a global nuclear war that will lead to the destruction of humanity. I suppose you can’t blame him for being paranoid in view of the history of the American vendetta against Cuba, but I doubt if many Cubans take him seriously any more. Fidel’s whereabouts and state of health are both closely guarded secrets, according to my guide, who reminded me that he had survived more than 600 attempts on his life over the years. But, as Bahamians know better than anyone, time is longer than rope. This ‘Tough Call’ article by Larry Smith first appeared in The Tribune in 2010


THE TRIBUNE

f f COOL TECH f TOYS FORf f f YOURfCHILD f FUN AND EDUCATIONAL GIFTS FOR CHRISTMAS HANDS-ON TECH Tablet screens and apps haven’t gone away, but they’re just not enough on their own. With these toys, kids can create and build with their hands, not just a tablet. • Osmo. As kids arrange magnetic blocks or puzzle pieces, their creations show up on the iPad thanks to a mirror attached to the tablet’s camera. By arranging blocks, for instance, kids put together lines of code to guide an on-screen monster. Another game teaches entrepreneurial and math skills by letting kids run their own pizza shop. The base set costs $30. You then buy add-ons, such as coding for $50 and the pizza business for $40. It works only with iPads for now. • Makey Makey. You connect one end to a computer’s USB port and the other to any material that conducts electricity, such as coins or even a banana. Kids can then turn bananas into keyboards and pencil drawings into controls for video games. The basic set costs $25, though for $50, you get additional clips and connector wires. • Meccano sets. This is for the ‘tween’ or young teen who is handy with a wrench and has a lot of time. Even the trio of smaller Micronoids

THE IllumiCraft Light Up! Speaker Dock.

ROBOT dog ‘CHiP’.

sets ($40) require a decent amount of time and significant motor skills. The larger models, such as the $140 Meccanoid 2.0, can take the better part of a day to construct. Once assembled, these robots can be programmed to dance, play games and interact with each other. • Illumicraft. This $20 kit combines science and crafting to introduce basic circuitry. Projects include light-up diaries, jewellery organisers, smartphone speakers and picture frames. • Code This Drone. This kit includes a drone and a one-year subscription to software company Tynker’s education service. The kit costs $100 to $150 depending on the drone selected. It teaches the basics of coding through games played with an app-controlled mini drone. Kids can programme their own flight plan of flips and turns, or build their own game to send an on-app through an obstacle course, as the real drone mirrors the movements. CODING FOR PRE-SCHOOLERS? Some toy makers say it’s never too early to introduce coding concepts, even if a child is still in diapers.

APPS LOCKOUT TO KEEP DRIVERS’ EYES ON THE ROAD THE US government wants smartphone makers to lock out most apps when the phone is being used by someone driving a car. The voluntary guidelines are designed to reduce crashes caused by drivers distracted by phones. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also wants automakers to make ‘infotainment’ systems easy to pair with smartphones. Drivers could still make calls but the phones and automaker systems would lock out the ability to enter text. Internet browsing, video not related to driving, text from books and photos also would be locked out. Navigation systems would be permitted, but with guidelines on how to avoid driver distraction. Fatal crashes caused by distracted drivers are on the rise, and that is contributing to a spike in traffic deaths during the past two years. The government says 3,477, or about 10 per cent, of the more than 35,000 traffic fatalities last year involved distracted drivers. That’s up 8.8 per cent over 2014. Traffic deaths increased 10.4 per cent in the first six months of this year and rose 7.2 per cent last

year, after years of declines. “With driver distraction one of the factors behind the rise of traffic fatalities, we are committed to working with the industry to ensure that mobile devices are designed to keep drivers’ eyes where they belong - on the road,” NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. Car manufacturers are already moving this direction, with many offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that pair smartphones to car touch screens and allow limited use of the phone apps. NHTSA wants phone makers to develop technology that can determine if someone is driving a car and then disable most of the apps. But at present, that technology doesn’t exist. In its absence, the agency wants phones to have a “driver mode” that would be activated by the smartphone user. NHTSA will take public comment for 60 days before deciding whether to put the guidelines in place. Unlike a federal government rule, auto and cellphone makers do not have to obey the guidelines. TOM KRISHER Associated Press

f f

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016, PAGE A9

TECHTALK • FACEBOOK has added the option to play games with your contacts on the messaging app. You can access the feature in the latest version of the app by tapping a game controller icon. Games available include classics such as “Pac-Man”, ‘’Space Invaders” and “Galaga” as well as newer titles like “Words With Friends”. It’s the latest effort by the world’s biggest social network to get people to spend even more time on its properties. Messenger has a billion users. The app will recommend games based on whether your friends play. Called “Instant Games,” the feature launched yesterday will begin in 30 countries, with 17 titles, though more will come.

COJI, a mini robot that teaches pre-readers to code with emojis. It also reacts when you tilt or shake it, and you can control it with your phone or tablet. Whether you’re looking for something educational, or a toy that’s just for fun, there are a lot of choices for the holidays. (AP)

• Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar. Kids as young as three can “write” code by snapping together a $50 toy caterpillar. Each section signifies a command, such as “go straight” or “play sounds”. Hit the execute button to send the toy crawling in the chosen order. Older kids can programme Code-a-Pillar to reach targets placed across a room, or send it through an obstacle course of their own creation. • Coji. This $60 mini robot teaches pre-readers to code with emojis. It also reacts when you tilt or shake it, and you can control it with your phone or tablet. • Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set. With this $60 toy, kids build a maze with plastic squares and dividers, then programme their mouse to make its way through to the cheese at the end. ROBOTS WITH PERSONALITY Kids want more than robots they can guide with a remote or smartphone; they want personality, a little friend to whom they can relate and who recognises them. • Cozmo. This $180, palm-sized robot is expressive, adorable and fun to play with. A team of animators designed more than 500 reactions for the robot to pick from when it sees someone it recognizes, wins or loses a game, or completes a task. • CHiP. This $200 robot doggie cuddles, plays fetch and follows you around your house. When he’s close to running out of juice, he even heads over to his charging pad and parks himself.

ADDITIONAL REALITIES There are toys that make virtual reality affordable. • Air Hogs Connect: Mission Drone. With this $150 system, kids use an app to fly an included drone over a sensor pad that, combined with a phone or tablet’s camera, places the drone into the game on the screen. As the physical drone moves, so does the one in the game. Kids fly the drone through hoops and shoot down alien invaders. • VR Real Feel Virtual Reality Car Racing Gaming System. This $30 car racing game includes a wireless steering wheel and a virtual-reality headset you stick your phone into. It’s not the fanciest VR technology, but it’s a lot of fun for what you pay. The system is set to ship on December 12. BREE FOWLER Associated Press

VR Real Feel Virtual Reality Car Racing Gaming System.

FAILED BOTNET ATTACK BLAMED FOR OUTAGE IN GERMANY A FAILED attempt to hijack consumer routers is being blamed for network outages that left almost a million people in Germany without internet service last weekend. Around 900,000 of Deutsche Telekom’s 20 million network customers were affected by the outages, which began on Sunday and lingered into Monday, the German telecommunications giant said in a statement. The attack was designed to quietly recruit the devices for a wider offensive, the second such large-scale attack on internet-connected devices in little more than a month, the company said. “The attack attempted to infect routers with a malware but failed, which caused crashes or restrictions for four to five per cent of all routers,” the company said. “This led to a restricted use of Deutsche Telekom services for affected customers.” The company said it is rolling out a software update to fix the issue. It also recommended that customers temporarily disconnect their routers from their power source to reboot them free of the malware. A similar attack occurred in late October, when hackers used what’s known as a distributed denial of

service attack (DDoS), conscripting hordes of internet-connected devices like computers, routers and security cameras into a botnet that rendered dozens of popular websites inaccessible for several hours. Germany’s foreign intelligence chief is warning of cyberattacks aimed at political destabilisation as the country prepares for an election next year, and says evidence suggests Russian involvement in hacking during the US presidential campaign. Bruno Kahl, who leads the Federal Intelligence Service, told Sueddeutsche Zeitung that his agency knows of “cyberattacks that have no other point than causing political insecurity.” He said that “Europe is in the focus of this attempted disruption, and Germany in particular”. US authorities have concluded Russia was responsible for hacking Democratic National Committee emails, which Russia denies. Kahl said he has “indications it comes from those quarters”. He said it’s technically difficult to assign blame to any “state actor” but that “some things speak for it being at least tolerated or wished for on the part of the state”. Cnet.com and Associated Press

• BLACK Friday 2016’s reign as the biggest US online sales day ever didn’t last long. Three days to be exact. That’s because Cyber Monday hit $3.45 billion in online sales, up 12 per cent from a year earlier, according to the latest statistics from Adobe Digital Insights. The day edged out Black Friday by roughly $110 million, which comes as no surprise as it has done that in plenty of years past. What is a surprise, though, is that Black Friday nearly caught up. As far as the best sellers on Cyber Monday, Adobe said the top toys were Lego sets, Nerf, Shopkins, Barbie and Pie Face Game, and the five best-selling electronics were Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox, Samsung 4K TVs, Apple iPhone and Amazon Fire. • A FEW online services are aiming to replace cable, but they haven’t attracted many users yet. AT&T’s DirecTV hopes to change that with a new service announced on Monday. While anyone will tell you cable costs too much, the vast majority of Americans don’t think it’s bad enough to cancel. Cheaper online live-TV services, like Dish Network’s Sling TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue, remain relatively unknown compared with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. And while they’re easy to order and cancel online and fairly simple to use, they still have drawbacks. AT&T’s new service, which will be available from today, will initially offer more than 100 channels for a teaser price of $35 a month. • JAPAN is spending nearly $175 million to build the world’s fastest supercomputer in an effort to reclaim the record from China. The AI Bridging Cloud computer is expected to run at speeds as high as 130 petaflops, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported. That would be faster than China’s Sunway TaihuLight, the current titleholder, which has a theoretical maximum of 125 petaflops. A petaflop equals a quadrillion floating point operations (a step in a calculation) conducted in one second. AIBC, which Japanese authorities hope to complete before the end of next year, will be used to analyse huge datasets and could be used for medical research, improvements in autonomous car software and designing robots. • DONALD Trump’s midtown Manhattan building on Google Maps was renamed briefly at the weekend - and the new moniker was not flattering. Instead of Trump Tower, it was designated “Dump Tower”. Users of the mapping service began noticing the new name for the Fifth Avenue building on Saturday. A Google spokeswoman said the company has changed the name back to its original.


PAGE 10, Wednesday, November 30, 2016

THE TRIBUNE

BANK DONATES $50,000 TO HELP THE FIGHT AGAINST CANCER DECLARING “there is hardly a family in The Bahamas that has not been touched by cancer”, Commonwealth Bank has donated $50,000 to the Cancer Society of The Bahamas as part of its ongoing $500,000, 10-year pledge. It was the second installment in what will be the single largest contribution to a non-government organisation by the all-Bahamianowned and operated financial institution. Funds will be used by the Cancer Caring Centre, a home away from home for those undergoing treatment. Two years ago, the Centre announced it had embarked on a drive to raise $3m to build a desperately-needed residential expansion that will allow it to house more patients from Family Islands and provide more daytime services, including emotional, nutritional and

COMMONWEALTH Bank senior vice-president Denise Turnquest presents a cheque for $50,000 to Dr Williamson Chea, vice-president, the Cancer Society of The Bahamas. other support for patients monwealth Bank President and their families from Ian Jennings. “You do not Nassau. The demand on the schedule cancer and no Bafacility is so great that it al- hamian’s life should be put most always operates with a at risk because they have waiting list. to delay treatment due to “We heard the plea from lack of space at the Cancer the Cancer Caring Centre Caring Centre where they and we wanted to do our would stay while undergopart to help,” said Com- ing tests, radiation or chem-

otherapy. No one wants to hear ‘You’ll have to wait’ when you know that the faster you begin treatment, the better are your chances for survival.” When Commonwealth Bank announced its tenyear commitment in August, 2015, it was one of the most emotionally moving ceremonies in the bank’s history as the president of the $1.5 billion bank pleaded for others to follow suit and revealed that cancer touched the bank in very real ways. “Published statistics have revealed that there is no corner of the world, no country, no society and no people who have not been afflicted by the ravages of cancer,” Mr Jennings said. The Bahamas, he noted, ranks among the countries with the highest cancer rates in the world and among the top 20 countries

the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer. The bank’s staff has not been immune. This year, the donation was made by financial services industry award winner Denise Turnquest, senior vice-president, Credit Risk, Commonwealth Bank. “As Mr Jennings noted when the bank announced this commitment last year, cancer touches all of us, either our immediate family or someone we know and their immediate family. Fortunately, treatment has come a long way in the last decade and while early detection is still key, it is more important than ever that once diagnosed, the patient is able to receive treatment as quickly as possible. The Cancer Caring Centre provides not just a bed and a safe haven between treatments, but a tranquil oasis with an emotional support system that lends extra

strength in what for many is the fight for their life.” Dr Williamson Chea, vice-president of the Cancer Society and head of fund-raising, accepted the $50,000 donation. “Commonwealth Bank has been one of the most steadfast and important partners in the war against cancer and we cannot thank them enough,” said Dr Chea. “The bank’s contributions over the years and in particular the past two years could truly make the difference between life and death for some patients.” The full-service bank with branches in New Providence, Grand Bahama and Abaco has some 550 employees. Its community partnerships and charitable donations include numerous humanitarian and youth development efforts and its contributions to education have topped $2m.

EVENT PROMOTES BIRD TOURISM THE Ministry of Tourism held a town meeting in Mathew Town, Inagua, on November 21 to familiarise residents about bird tourism and to introduce the ministry’s People to People programme on the island. More than 30 residents attended the meeting. Ministry of Tourism Deputy Director General Ellison “Tommy” Thompson said the ministry wants to ensure that when visitors come to Inagua they have a seamless vacation. “We wanted to make sure that the sales component was in place,” Mr Thompson said. “We’ve done the training. We have three supremely qualified bird guides and a number of other guides. “In order for this to be sustainable and successful we need to be able to bring business to the island and it is important that the customer is able to book very easily and online.” The bird guide training initiative is a collaborative effort by the Bahamas National Trust (BNT), the Ministry of Tourism and the National Audubon Society with funding by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). “If you come to Inagua and come to Lake Rosa in the middle of the island, it’s like a National Geographic special,” Mr Thompson said. “It is absolutely fantastic for those people who are interested in seeing the birds in The Bahamas. “We want to make sure that when people come to the island, it is a seamless and enjoyable vacation. So, we are working with the hotels, the guides, and the BNT to ensure that it does work seamlessly. “We also met with the administrator on the island and he is on board with what we are doing.” Mr Thompson also explained that $41 billion is spent on bird watching in the United States and $500 million in the United Kingdom. Around three million people travel internationally for bird watching experiences, he added. Between 2005 to 2009, 20 million

American citizens took trips within the US for birding experiences. “There is a lot of money in that industry and we need to get some of that into The Bahamas,” he said. BNT Executive Director Eric Carey, who spoke during the meeting, said Inagua has incredible wildlife and eco-tourism has great potential in the country. “Working with the Ministry of Tourism and the BNT and the National Audubon Society with funding from the IDB, we’ve funded over the past 18 months a bird guide training programme and we’ve trained 70 people,” Mr Carey said. “We’ve brought on this island three people to advanced stage and on Andros we also have six or seven guides to advanced stage to deliver a world class tourism experience.” Mr Carey said there are some birds that can only be found in Inagua. “We have a hummingbird here, the Inagua Woodstar, which is found nowhere else in the world,” he said. “If you want to see that bird you have to come to Inagua.” Known as the bird watching capital of the Bahamas, Inagua is home to over 140 species of native and migratory birds, including over 80,000 flamingos. Vivian Moultrie, one of the three advanced bird guides, said he was not interested in the bird guide training programme at first. “I had an argument with one of my friends who was going to take the course. I told him it was going to be a waste of time,” he said. “He left me arguing and went to the very first session. I followed him late and that was it. Once I got in it was done.” Mr Moultrie said the island is an “incredible place”. “It is never sold as a tourism destination,” he said. “In terms of its tourism potential, whether its ecotourism, fishing, or other nature based tourism, I think it has one of the greatest potentials in The Bahamas.”

ABOVE and below, scenes from the march that wrapped up National Women’s Week.

CELEBRATING WOMEN OF OUR NATION CELEBRATIONS in honour of National Women’s Week wrapped up on Saturday with a march that passed through historic parts of New Providence before ending on the open fields of the University of the Bahamas campus. Minister of Social Services and Community Development Melanie Griffin led the march through Blue Hill Road, Meeting Street, Nassau Street and Poinciana Drive. Celebrations and performances took place on the lawn and on the stage of the Portia Smith Building at the university. Members of Parliament Leslie Miller and Cleola Hamilton joined the march, which was held to commemorate the 54th anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Youth groups, civic or-

ganisations, government agencies and the general public participated in the march. Health screenings were available courtesy of the Bahamas Association of Primary Care-Givers, and included cholesterol and diabetes testing, body mass index and blood pressure readings. Participants were then offered one on one counselling sessions with doctors and nutritionists. Spectators were also treated to a performance from the Urban Renewal Band. National Women’s Week comprised of week long celebrations which included a night of the arts to celebrate women, held on Friday, November 25 - the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

READERS STILL DEBATING OUTCOME OF FRIDAY PROTEST MARCH FRIDAY’S “We March Bahamas” protest continues to be a hot topic on tribune242.com. After the event’s organiser, Ranard Henfield, said he meant no disrespect in refusing to meet with Prime Minister Perry Christie about protestors’ concerns, readers gave their response. DonAnthony believed people were tired of the government: “These arrogant, thin skinned, fat cat politicians, especially Fred Mitchell, seem to forget they are supposed to be servants of the people. We pay the salary of the prime minister, not the other way around. And no disrespect but we are tired of being neglected and abused by his government and all previous ones as well. He thinks one letter and the promise of a meeting can placate

our just grievances. We are tired, tired, tired of his platitudes and false promises, he will find out shortly at the ballot box.” Voltaire backed the “We March Bahamas” organiser: “Henfield is right not to meet with Christie. Meet for what? You done been told what the people want Mr PM. Now, either give them what they have asked for, or don’t and face the electoral consequences. Nothing to talk about.” BMW thought it was best to avoid a private meeting: “I have heard it said that

the best way to deal with politicians is in the public domain, that way everything said is documented and cannot have any spin attached. Private meetings are that. No one really knows what’s said or agreed to. Keep it in the public domain. The march has shaken this administration to the very core.” Birdiestrachan said: “Mr Hendfield will have his time in the spotlight, enjoy. But what really matters is how people will vote when the elections are called. I have no idea of how many persons are impressed by him. I am not.” And there was this from SP: “Well done Mr. Henfield, stay the course. Do not lower yourself to their level of asinine stupidity! “By not meeting with PM Christie, he and his replica-

tor drone pirates suddenly find themselves in unchartered waters. We have been talking and begging with ‘OUR EMPLOYEES’ long enough and all they do is talk caca, make promises which they never keep and string us along like donkeys trying to catch the proverbial carrot dangling on a string. ENOUGH TALK! “PLP and FNM effectively used ‘private talk meetings’ to undermine unions for decades to the point they are now watered down, powerless, shell versions of what they ought to be. “No more talk. They can do as they are told by the electorate or WE WILL FIRE THEM same as with any other wayward employee!” • Don’t miss your chance to join the debate on tribune242.com.


THE TRIBUNE

Wednesday, November 30, 2016, PAGE 11

SOME of those at the Thanksgiving lunch event which saw the Urban Renewal Foundation partner with Sandals to provide food to senior citizens.

Teaming up to help at Thanksgiving SANDALS Royal Bahamian was pleased to partner with the Urban Renewal Foundation, which sought to deliver some good cheer by sponsoring a Thanksgiving lunch for residents of the Fort Charlotte Seniors Association and the Persis Rodgers Home for Seniors in Nassau. Sandals Royal Bahamian assisted by donating hams and two turkeys for the luncheon, and according to Corporal Jones from Urban Renewal, it was quite a hit with the senior citizens. “We would like to thank Sandals Royal Bahamian for responding to our request to provide food items for this important event. As you know Urban Renewal is a non-profit, volunteer organisation which depends on the goodwill of our corporate citizens, such as Sandals Royal Bahamian, to help make things a bit

better for our people here in Nassau,” Corporal Jones said. General manager of Sandals Royal Bahamian Gary Williams said his resort was delighted to respond to such a request, since Sandals always seeks to make a positive impact in the communities where it operates. “The people of Nassau and by extension the Bahamas remain dear to us here at Royal Bahamian, and wherever possible we will always seek to assist in improving the lives of those around us. We look forward to more projects in the future that will allow us to do just this.” Miss Grand Bahama Selvinique Wright joined members of Urban Renewal to help dish out the meal for the guests of honour at the two senior homes, with entertainment provided by the Ur-

ban Renewal Jazz Band. Over the past few weeks the Sandals Foundation has raised tens of thousands of dollars in relief supplies for those affected by the passing of Hurricane Matthew in the Bahamas, including many of its team members who were directly affected. The foundation has also sent several packages of school supplies that continue to be distributed to schools in the Bahamas. The Sandals Foundation was founded in 2009 with the aim of investing in sustainable projects in education, environment and community that improve people’s lives and preserve our natural surroundings. The foundation continues to be active and strives to play a meaningful role in the lives of the communities where the resort operates across the Caribbean, including The Bahamas.

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PAGE 12, Wednesday, November 30, 2016

THE TRIBUNE

REV Bryn MacPhail of St Andrews Presbyterian Kirk, right, with Omar Newton, the church sexton, who is helping to distribute building supplies donated by friends of the Kirk, including the Sandals Foundation, and three churches in the US following the passage of Hurricane Matthew.

Church helps after the hurricane IN the wake of Hurricane Matthew’s devastation, St Andrew’s Presbyterian Kirk has continued its social assistance to the Bain and Grants Town community. “St Andrew’s Presbyterian Kirk has focused much of her mission efforts in the last decade on the neighbouring community of Bain & Grant’s Town. “We’ve provided after school tutoring, summer Bible camps, and we regularly distribute groceries to persons in need,” Rev Bryn MacPhail said in a press release. “Every August, the

Kirk partners with McDonald’s to provide school bags and supplies to children in the community as they prepare to return to school. At Christmas, the Kirk partners with McDonald’s and Sandals Foundation to provide a luncheon, with presents for all of the children in attendance. “In these final weeks of 2016 the Kirk is working to help our neighbours repair their homes.” The Sandals Foundation assisted the church by helping to purchase building supplies. “This assistance was

then generously augmented by ministry partners in the US—Mission To The World, Kempsville Presbyterian Church and Church Of The Lakes. “By the time we reach 2017, we expect that we will have offered meaningful assistance to approximately 30 homes in the community. We count it a privilege to be positioned to love our neighbours in such practical ways. We do this as representatives of our Lord Jesus Christ with a desire to honour His name—especially during this Christmas season,” Rev MacPhail said.

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