|CHECK UP AT THE MAYO CLINIC...||BRADLEY ROBERTS AND THE SPEAKER...|
|A POLICE COMMENT AND FRANKIE WILSON...||WHAT THE POLICE HAD TO SAY ON DRUGS...|
|FNM MP DUPUCH ON TV CAMERAS IN THE HOUSE...||MORE OF PIERRE DUPUCH'S COMMENTS...|
|DUPUCH ON THE SPEAKER...||HUBERT INGRAHAM DAY...|
|UNCLE TOM OF THE WEEK...||MORE ON ELAINE FERGUSON...|
|LEE MOORE DIES...||RABIES ALERT IN THE BAHAMAS...|
|COLLEGE OF ST. BENEDICTS TO CLOSE ITS DOORS...||COB LECTURERS STILL OUT ON GRADES...|
|TOM BASTIAN VS. HIS WHOLE FORMER TEAM...||CHAIRMAN OF CDR NO LONGER...|
|CONGRATS LIVAN PYFROM - YOUNG BASKETBALL STAR...||CONGRATULATIONS TO ALANA DILLETTE...|
|BISX STARTS UP AT LAST?||MEANWHILE ... TIM DONALDSON AND CONFLICTS...|
|CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT BANK IN NASSAU...||CABLE BAHAMAS INCOME DROPS...|
|NEWS FROM GRAND BAHAMA...|
|Bradley Roberts On Bahamasair|
APOLOGIES ON THE SITE - For three weeks running we have had one or more 'technical' problems in this site. This is a euphemism for a combination of factors: travelling all over the place, both the editor of the site and this columnist; and the sub-editor finding his legs. The point that disturbs this columnist is the promise made at the start of the site that we would not end up being as unreliable as the Nassau Guardian and the inability to keep that promise. That promise has proved rather complicated to fulfill on most Sundays. We are working overtime to correct the problems. We take the promise to have the site updated at 2 p.m. every Sunday seriously. We are working on incremental changes to the site to make it more readable and usable. We hope that the masthead will have changed; the archives will be more accessible; that sound and video will be available; that a chat room will be reorganized; we also plan to offer limited advertising on the site on the way to organizing a proper business. This site has proven to be more successful than we would have ever imagined. Please bear with us as we try to make the changes. If the site is going to be late again, we will try to post a notice telling of the delay. Thank you again.
This week, we provide a guest link to Bradley Roberts PLP-Grants
Town for his request in the House of Assembly 11 May for a Select Committee
on Bahamasair. Click
|www.johngfcarey.com||Thought provoking columns|
|http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Shores/||Canadian contacts Reg & Kit's Bahamas Links|
|http://members.tripod.com/~xtremesp/wolf.html||Bahamian Cycling News|
|http://www.bahamians.8m.com||Links to Bahamians on the web|
UP AT THE MAYO CLINIC
This columnist has spent the last week at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for his annual check up. There are two schools of thought about this. One school of thought is, why should you have a check up? " I don't want to know about it". The other school is that you should take measures to protect your health by taking steps to be ahead of the curve. This columnist belongs to the latter school. It is no fun to be poked, turned, twisted but it is better to know. It can improve your quality of life. Further, going through the exercise, one is impressed by the fact that there are so many talented young, almost children running the world and taking care of your health and future. Further, it also shows the value of learning your lessons in school and knowing how to read, follow instructions, plan and be on time. In Mayo, you could not survive otherwise. The story is particularly recommended for Black Bahamian men who face the threat of hypertension, diabetes, prostate and colon cancer. Remember the late MP Dr. Matthew Rose who at the age of 38 died of colon cancer. And oh yes, everything with this columnist is fine - as far as they can tell. I shall live until I die.
ROBERTS AND THE SPEAKER
It has been announced that Bradley Roberts MP for Grants Town will move a motion of no confidence in the Speaker of the House Italia Johnson. This will give the PLP and Mr. Roberts an opportunity to air all of their complaints about the Speaker. No word on when the debate will take place. Under our constitution, the Speaker cannot be removed from office by votes of no confidence, only a dissolution of Parliament can do that. Former Prime Minister Lynden Pindling found that out when the then Arlington Butler was Speaker of the House during the 1976 debate on the Public Disclosure Act. Mr. Butler as he then was precipitated a prorogation of the House by calling a vote on the bill which he opposed when the Opposition had a temporary majority in the House. Sir Lynden then prorogued the House and called it back into session with a 33 word Speech from the Throne. It was the only such speech that Governor General Sir Gerald Cash ever got to deliver.
POLICE COMMENT AND FRANKIE WILSON
Franklin Wilson must have been saying to himself: "Oh my prophetic soul! " The reason, the comment of Assistant Commissioner of Police Reginald Ferguson about the economy of The Bahamas. You be the Judge. It was Mr. Wilson who pointed out that the picture of the economy we were getting from the FNM was false and that narco-dollars were responsible for the rosy picture that we were seeing. He talked about the South Eleuthera economy that is as dead as a doornail, yet the Bank there is flush with dollars. The point is: "where is it coming from? "
THE POLICE HAD TO SAY ON DRUGS
As reported in The Tribune 6 May, Assistant Commissioner of Police Reginald Ferguson. It appears that he was speaking at a College of The Bahamas Luncheon held on Thursday 4 May at Graycliff: "Crimes relating to drug trafficking and money laundering have taken full advantage of our free market enterprise, and may paint a false picture of a healthy economy... Indirectly, the proceeds from criminal activities have provided jobs, patronized businesses, donated to the poor and cultivated in some parts, a criminal minded environment comprised of persons indirectly, but knowingly living off the proceeds of crime... Too may of us entertain criminals who create seemingly prosperous legitimate business to conceal illegitimate operations. They've flaunted extravagant lifestyles and use this as a recruitment programme for criminals."
MP DUPUCH ON TV CAMERAS IN THE HOUSE
Last week, we reported extensively on Italia Johnson's biased decision as Speaker to go along with the Government to remove the cameras from the House of Assembly because Hubert Ingraham did not like what Bradley Roberts had to say about his Minister of Transport James Knowles. Pierre Dupuch, the sacked FNM Minister of Consumer Affairs was the only FNM who spoke in defence of Bradley Roberts. We thought we ought to tell you exactly what he had to say on Wednesday 3 May in the House as reported in The Tribune 6 May: "I am amazed that a lot of these men who run around calling themselves men and dropping children all over the place, but use today to run behind your [the Speaker] skirt tails, for you to defend them for a decision they made. Gentlemen, you should be ashamed of yourselves."
OF PIERRE DUPUCH'S COMMENTS
"He [The Prime Minister] stood up at the last session here and berated the Member for Grants Town for his presentation, saying it was irresponsible and that you should not have personal attacks, and then proceeded to launch an attack on Allyson Maynard and Niki Kelly, personal attacks on those two ladies who are not even in this chamber to defend themselves..."
ON THE SPEAKER
"You, I assume, because you have taken responsibility, apparently decided that the Prime Minister is the custodian of the truth. And now we have been led to believe that those cameras have been moved from here because the people are not mature enough to see all of this and make their own decisions... We believed or at least we mouthed we believed that the people were mature enough in this community, in this country to hear the facts and decide for themselves what was right and decide for themselves what was right and what was wrong... I thought that we fought for 25 years was reaching maturity. We told people we would open Parliament in the public square so that the people could be there and appreciate what happens in this Parliament that was what we mouthed was our reason... Many times we said we would break this House up if people didn't listen to us and let us speak... We objected to the kinds of things that the other Government had. Now we are doing the same thing. We have now made the full circle. "
Can you believe it? The Free National Movement has announced that they intend to honour a day which will live in infamy? They want on 19 May to celebrate the coming to office of Hubert Ingraham as Leader of the FNM. This will mark his 10th anniversary. Of course, this is a day of shame and flags throughout all the country should fly at half staff for the man who will go down in history as the one who sold his country out. Nevertheless, the FNM will persist in its folly - too bad for them. Mr. Ingraham for his part has basked in much folklore about how he became leader of the FNM. The claim in folklore is that he was at the deathbed of Sir Cecil Wallace Whitfield, the founding leader of the FNM. Sir Cecil died of cancer ten years ago this month 9 May 1990. The story is that Sir Cecil like Isaac blessed Hubert Ingraham with the prize of the FNM leadership. Yeah right! Not in his dreams. It is shameful to take advantage of a dead man's reputation in such a despicable way.
TOM OF THE WEEK
This new award goes out to Oswald Brown, the Managing Idiot, at the Nassau Guardian. Mr. Brown has presided over the down fall of the Nassau Guardian as a fair newspaper. He has developed a sense of self-promotion which is beyond belief. This must be the only country where the editor is on the front page every week. Anyway, his picture appeared on the front page of The Guardian giving out a prize to students of Freeport High, the winners of the Bahamas National Spelling bee contest. The picture appeared on Tuesday 9 May. To show you how much of an Uncle Tom he is, Mr. Brown was busy licking Hubert Ingraham's boots in an editorial on Tuesday denouncing Amnesty International for calling on The Bahamas to live up to its international obligations on refugees. Amnesty had to issue a statement telling Mr. Brown a fact or two about international law. Unfortunately for Amnesty, they don't know the local scene. For Mr. Brown it's anything that Hubert Ingraham says is correct. For that the second slave in the nation gets the Uncle Tom of the Week Award.
ON ELAINE FERGUSON
The FNM has been feeding mischief and misinformation to the family of the Managing Editor of ZNS news. The family has been strongly PLP, hailing from North Eleuthera. They are concerned by FNM reports that the PLP has been leading the attack against Elaine Ferguson who it was reported has marginalized talented reporters in the ZNS newsroom. A further investigation has revealed what we suspected all along, Ms. Ferguson is between a rock and a hard place. She has a professional obligation, but at the same time the FNM has made it clear that the price of keeping the job is to do their bidding. The FNM politicians who are charged with the running of ZNS have been pulling the strings it is reported to remove certain reporters from the ZNS news team. That has resulted in the resignation of Jessica Robertson, just back from a Master's Degree programme at the expense of ZNS. Political pressure on Elaine Ferguson by the FNM has caused some bizarre things. This spokesman will continue to investigate. Legal action may be taken against the Corporation for discrimination against her reporters. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister should stop trying to create mischief with our PLP supporters in North Eleuthera. Will this man not stop at anything to twist and turn the truth. We say to all PLP supporters, you must take with a grain of salt anything that Mr. Ingraham says. When he comes bearing gifts, remember he is the political wolf in sheep's clothing.
You may remember the name from the Commission of Inquiry into Bahamasair, BaTelCo and the Hotel Corporation of The Bahamas just before the 1997 General Election. He was the person who marshalled the evidence for the Commissioners. That Commission was perhaps the most biased political exercise in the history of The Bahamas. But a lot of money was made by all and sundry who came to run it. The Commissioners did well and had a fine time in The Bahamas. Mr. Moore returned to private practice in his native St. Kitts. He died on Saturday 6 May in New York. It is believed he was suffering from prostate cancer. He was 61 years old. This is yet another reason why Caribbean Black men should get an annual physical after age 40 and check the prostate. Too many young Black men are dying from this disease which can be treated. Sidney Poitier writes about it in his book. Lee Moore was a former Prime Minister of St. Kitts. Delano Bart who was Lee Moore's assistant in the Commission of Inquiry is now Attorney General in St. Kitts.
ALERT IN THE BAHAMAS
From the time this columnist was a kid, we have always heard that there is no rabies in The Bahamas. When you think about that statement, it defies logic. There is rabies right next door in the U.S. and there is travel of men and beasts between the two countries without any checks about those matters that are stringent enough to stop it. Nevertheless, the proof as they is in the pudding, and there have been no reported cases of rabies in The Bahamas. A rabid animal like a dog or a bat, both of which live in The Bahamas can infect someone by a bite or scratch. The treatment is painful and so in the first instance the animal if caught should be isolated and it should be determined whether the animal has rabies. Pets should be vaccinated against the disease. The Tribune reports that the Pan American Health Organization in conjunction with the Government are awaiting a study of the problem by the centre for Disease Control in Atlanta of the animal population in The Bahamas on rabies done in March. According to The Tribune, officials are saying that the fact that there has been no rabies reported in The Bahamas is a matter of luck or a quirk of nature. The Tribune's report was Tuesday 9 May.
OF ST. BENEDICTS TO CLOSE ITS DOORS
The Catholic College, based in Minnesota which has been offering quality education to Bahamians through its campus in Nassau with a final year in the U.S. since 1975 has announced that it is closing its doors as at the 31 December. The students and staff are in shock. No word on what is to happen to them. No comment from the hopeless Ministry of Education. The reason was not stated in the announcement but it is believed that it is because of falling enrolments and increased competition from other tertiary level programmes in The Bahamas. It is a pity.
LECTURERS STILL OUT ON GRADES
The College of The Bahamas and the lecturers in the Union of Tertiary Education of The Bahamas (UTEB) are still at an impasse. Dr. Leon Higgs as President of the College continues to be an obstacle to progress in the settlement talks. Grades are being withheld by the lecturers until a settlement is obtained. Hold on lecturers. Your struggle is just.
BASTIAN VS. HIS WHOLE FORMER TEAM
Now this a sumptin' eh? Last week, we reported that Thomas Bastian is to be opposed for President of the nation's largest Union by his first Vice President Pat Bain. This is believed to be the stiffest challenge faced by Mr. Bastian in 18 years. Pat Bain is quoted in The Tribune Thursday 11 May as saying that the atmosphere is tense in the Union. Mr. Bastian decided to remove all the former team. Mr. Bain says that running with him against Mr. Bastian are: Qubell Rolle, second Vice President; Leo Douglas, General Secretary; Aremintha Butler, treasurer; Basil McKenzie, assistant treasurer; Alma Mills and Lloyd Cooper. Mr. Bastian plans to re-instate Alexander Thompson as First Vice President of the Union. Mr. Bain was restrained in his comments to the press. He told The Tribune that the union is a bit stagnant. He said that an important plank in Mr. Bain's campaign platform is training union members to manage the union's 30 million dollars in assets. " We need to train people to deal with that, to strengthen business administration capabilities," said Mr. Bain.
OF CDR NO LONGER
The Coalition for Democratic Reform, the party of Dr. Bernard Nottage, the PLP-elected Member of Parliament, has lost its interim Chairman. Ethric Bowe has been replaced by Barbara Cartwright. No explanation from the Party.
CONGRATS LIVAN PYFROM - YOUNG BASKETBALL STAR - He is an example to all Bahamian young people that you can make it. He has done it through sports. We are talking about Livan Pyfrom who is back home on holiday from a successful junior year at Creighton University in the United States. Mr. Pyfrom wears size 15 shoes. He is 225 pounds and is 6 feet 11 inches. He hails from Matthew Town, Inagua. His father Livan Sr. is from Rock Sound, Eleuthera and his mom Elizabeth is from Inagua. The father is six feet six inches; the mother is six feet four inches. At his height, he was a natural for the game but there was no programme in Inagua. Etienne Farqhuarson Jr. of Morton Salt is said to have been instrumental in arranging for him to get into a U.S. High School and the rest is history. There was a brief stint in Nassau at St. John's College. From his comments in the newspaper, he seems a well presented and well spoken young man. We wish him well. We present a photo spread from The Tribune with his Aunt Marina Pyfrom of Nassau and solo.
The Editor of this site has a beautiful daughter and beside being the apple of dad and mom Kathy's eyes, she is the junior athlete of the week, featured in a prominent full page ad of The Tribune of Friday 12 May. She received the honourable mention because of her performance in the recent Carifta swim meet in Barbados.
STARTS UP AT LAST?
It has not yet been confirmed, but the hapless Minister of Finance and the CEO of BISX were both quoted in the press last week as saying the stock exchange was supposed to have gone live (translation begin trading) on Friday 12 May.)
... TIM DONALDSON AND CONFLICTS
The Executive Director of Bahamas Securities Commission has taken exception to a headline in the Bahama Journal reported here last week about concerns on Tim Donaldson, Chairman of the Commission and conflict of interest. The concern of Mrs. Knowles was noted in The Guardian of Friday 10 May. The Journal suggested that investors were worried about Mr. Donaldson being the Chairman of the Commission and also regulating the IPO of Commonwealth Bank. Mrs. Knowles said that Mr. Donaldson was in no way involved in the Commonwealth decision. Interesting! She claimed that The Bahamas was a small place and had to call on the talent available. Mr. Donaldson himself was shall we say laughing all the way to the bank with Colina Financial Advisors announcing that the IPO for Commonwealth Bank was the most successful ever in The Bahamas. The offer was so oversubscribed it will take two weeks to sort out the losers and the winners. Something doesn't seem quite right about Mrs. Knowles' reply. It seems to us that whether or not this is a small country is irrelevant. The appearance of a conflict should be avoided. If Mr. Donaldson wants to be the Chairman of the Securities Commission then he ought to insulate himself from every business by putting his assets in a blind trust and removing himself from the day to day affairs of Commonwealth Bank. The point is that this time it was an allegation of a direct conflict but suppose another bank wants to do an IPO and a decision is made against that Bank. Can the Bank charge that Mr. Donaldson was biased because of his involvement with Commonwealth?
DEVELOPMENT BANK IN NASSAU
Nothing that Chief Slave of the country likes better than pomp and circumstance. He and his hapless Minister of Finance William Allen were there is their best suits with Sir Neville Nichols, the President of the Caribbean Development Bank. Bill Allen, himself one of Her Majesty's knights of the round table, was in his element as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Caribbean Development Bank waxing
eloquent about how well the CDB has done since it came into being. All of this was done as the CDB opened a Board meeting in Nassau on Wednesday 10 May. They all announced that ten million dollars have been loaned by the CDB to the Bahamas Development Bank for small business loans. The usual warnings were issued by the Government. The Managing Director acknowledged millions of dollars in losses, but said the BDB was now on a new footing. We shall see, but these folks should recognize what a Development Bank does and the greater risk it carries, necessarily. If the high risk investor wanted to go to Royal Bank and get a loan and could they would. The Bank is there to help the high risk fellow. Now on the other side of the equation, the borrowers in The Bahamas must recognize that hard luck stories are not a substitute for the moral obligation to pay. People ignore their legal obligations because somehow in this country we feel that there is no moral obligation to repay debts.
BAHAMAS INCOME DROPS
We have always said, not one red cent of our money would go into Cable Bahamas. In The Senate, we said that we thought that there was something corrupt about the deal but it would take a PLP Government to ferret out by Commission of Inquiry who got what when Hubert Ingraham in his inexplicable wisdom decided to give the monopoly of cable to this foreign group. Now comes a report that their net income to 31 March 2000 has dropped 22 per cent over last year's figures. The dope is that people have been turning to Direct TV satellites and this has caused a drop in their business. Cable has been using their contacts in the U.S. to disrupt the service of Direct TV users in The Bahamas. So look out Direct TV users
NEWS FROM GRAND BAHAMA
Princess Properties Finally, Finally Sold - After years of speculation and years more of on again - off again deals with various suitors both local and from around the world, the Princess Hotel properties in Grand Bahama were finally sold for 25.5 million dollars to the Driftwood group, owners of several other properties in Nassau. The Princess properties are to become 'brand name' hotels, managed under the name of large hotel chains. At a news conference on the sale, Prime Minister Ingraham announced that Driftwood pay significantly less taxes to Government than Princess did "because we couldn't find nobody to buy the hotels otherwise." Renovations are set to begin with portions of the prop9erties to close over a period of one and a half to two years. The disposition of the staff - rank and file, junior, middle and senior management - under the new regime is the next big question.
Mikala Goes To Cyprus - Many enthusiastic Bahamians stayed up late to watch the Miss Universe telecast from Cyprus where Miss Bahamas Mikala Moss was in contention. This, however, turned out not to be our year. Still, the country was well represented and plans previously made for the new Miss Universe to visit The Bahamas early in her reign should give our Mikala a further opportunity to shine. Mikala is the latest of several beauties from Grand Bahama to win the national crown.
Waves Of Haitian Refugees Continue - 16 Haitians, nine men and seven women were brought into Freeport Harbour this week by the US Coast Guard for detention by Immigration officials. The Coast Guard is reported to have found the group stranded off Lake Worth Inlet. In justifying dropping the Haitians in Freeport, US officials say they judged from the good condition of the people that they had embarked from The Bahamas and not directly from Haiti.
|THE CLIFTON CAY DEBATE...||THE HISTORY OF CLIFTON CAY...|
|CLIFTON LAND ACQUIRED BY THE GOVERNMENT...||GIVING CLIFTON BACK TO THE OAKES...|
|THE DEBATE IN PARLIAMENT ABOUT CLIFTON...||POLICE ON STAND-BY FOR CLIFTON PROTESTORS...|
|CARL BETHEL ATTACKED BY CLIFTON PROTESTORS...||WALKOUT IN THE SENATE...|
|COMPLAINTS ABOUT PINDLING VISIT...||JOURNAL NAMES SIR LYNDEN: MAN OF THE CENTURY...|
|GUNMAN INVADES THE PUNCH...||UNDER THE DILLY TREE IN FOX HILL...|
|GLADSTONE THURSTON ON THE FOX HILL TREE...||NORMAN SOLOMON AND BUMPY WATKINS...|
|AGREEMENT ON COB DISPUTE...||MEANWHILE ON THE LABOUR FRONT...|
|BANK OF THE BAHAMAS PROFITS...||THE NATIONAL DEBT IS UP...|
|BISX IS UP AND RUNNING...||GREG BETHEL’S STARTLING STATEMENT...|
|GREAT TO SEE ED BURNS...||MORE PLP CANDIDATES TO BE ANNOUNCED...|
|COLONIAL STYLE UNIFORMS MUST CHANGE...||THE PLP MUST WIN OR COME CLOSE...|
|NEWS FROM GRAND BAHAMA...|
There is an annual trek that this columnist makes to Boston, Massachusetts in the United States twice a year.In 1979, on top of the Bahamian heap, this columnist left the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas to come to Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.The whole experience was life changing. For the past four years, it has been a real privilege to serve on the Alumni Executive Council of the School.There are 20 of us drawn from various classes in the school.The school has in fact been teaching public administration as a discipline since the 1940s. The Kennedy School is a creature of the 1970s.The school taught the values of the freedom of the individual, the value of tolerance.
Boston is the favourite city of this columnist.It does not have the high speed of New York city but it has the population size and the depth of intellect to make it an absolutely satisfying experience.It is close enough to New York that if you want the fast experience you can simply fly there in 45 minutes. The annual alumni refresher this year is around the theme of leadership of women in the world.It is interesting that of the 300 or so participants even in this tolerant academic world, only six men signedup for the seminar.
The debate at home rages on the official policy on Clifton Cay, the development planned for the western end of New Providence that has invited so much controversy.We have a full report below. There is also a link which provides coverage on the voices of the PLP in the House of Assembly on Clifton.
The Bahamas now has its official stock exchange in BISX.It is finally up and running.
This columnist returns to The Bahamas on Monday 22 May, to finish the planning for the 1000 dollar a plate dinner at Lyford Cay.The response has been good and we hope to have a good function to begin raising money for the 2002 campaign.
Congratulations to Michelle Fox of the University of the West Indies Law School and Andrew Edwards of Beloit College on the completion of their studies.We wish them both well. Pleasure to see Candia Dames at home and she is returning to do a summer programme at the University of Missouri, one of the U.S. finest journalism schools.Ms. Dames is a reporter for the Bahama Journal.
This week we add a permanent link at the bottom of the page to the speech on Race & Politics in The Bahamas given recently at Beloit College, Wisconsin.
week we've had 27,653hits
on the site up to midnight 20 May for the month of May.Thank
you for reading. Please keep reading.
|www.johngfcarey.com||Thought provoking columns|
|http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Shores/||Canadian contacts Reg & Kit's Bahamas Links|
|http://members.tripod.com/~xtremesp/wolf.html||Bahamian Cycling News|
|http://www.bahamians.8m.com||Links to Bahamians on the web|
CLIFTON CAY DEBATE
The Chief Slave of the nation Hubert Ingraham took a resolution to Parliament on Wednesday 17 May. The ostensible purpose was a resolution to re-convey from the Treasurer of The Bahamas 208 acres of land to Nassoak Limited. The resolution is all about Clifton Cay, the development on the western end of New Providence which is opposed by the majority of Bahamians both Black and white. The 208 acres contain the last untouched historical site in New Providence. The remains of three cultures can be found there: the Lucayan (pre history) culture; the original English settler culture and that of the Loyalists and their slaves. There are actually ruins of plantation houses and slave houses there. There are also natural formations, caves both on land and under the water. The marine environment is spectacular and it is the site of the shark dive for Stuart Cove’s dive operation. Into the mix comes James Chaffin, a South Carolina developer, he wants to turn the whole thing into a golf course, dredge through the reefs and build in finger canals which environmentalists in the U.S. say would be illegal in their country. The Prime Minister and his Government support this rape of Bahamian land.
HISTORY OF CLIFTON CAY
The land was originally owned by the Lucayan Indians, the aboriginal people wiped out by the Spanish just after Columbus. Then it was owned by the original English settlers. Then it was owned by Whylly, a former English Chief Justice and slave holder. When he died, his family after one generation lost the land. Sir Harry Oakes, the U.S. born Baronet, moved to The Bahamas and bought up most of western New Providence. The Whylly Plantation at Clifton Point was a part of his purchase. His family has since fallen on hard times. They have wasted away their inheritance. Oakes himself was killed in an unsolved murder in 1943. The last of the group left is Harry Jr. at Lyford Cay and Nancy Oakes. She is the beneficial owner of Nassoak Limited.
LAND ACQUIRED BY THE GOVERNMENT
The Government of Prime Minister Pindling thought for two reasons they needed to create a new Port for New Providence. One was to undercut the economic power of the Bay Street merchant class that controlled the Port of Nassau. The other was the overcrowding on Nassau’s streets during the daytime hours. So the thought was to compulsorily acquire 208 acres of land at Clifton Point to use to develop a new Port. A Japanese study showed that the development of the port was not economically feasible. The purpose of the acquisition having failed, the Court ordered just this year that the person entitled to the land was Nassoak Limited. Hubert Ingraham thought that this was the easy way out for this Government.
CLIFTON BACK TO THE OAKES
Hubert Ingraham announced after the Court’s ruling earlier this year that the Government was washing its hands of the matter. This came after months of public demonstrations and the project being denounced by a coalition of environmental and political forces. The PLP’s Leader Perry Christie announced that he was making a policy decision that all permits would be revoked if the PLP came to office. The major investor in the project then announced that they were dropping out. But the developers continue pressing ahead. The Government drafted the resolution to return the land to Nancy Oakes. The deal has been struck with James Chaffin and Nancy Oakes that she will get 15 million dollars for the land. Paul Adderley, the former Attorney General is her lawyer. Once the land is re-conveyed to her, she will sell it to Chaffin and presumably the Government will give approval for the land to be developed. But the Clifton Cay protestors have been out in the streets. They shout out: Clifton Cay, will never be.
DEBATE IN PARLIAMENT ABOUT CLIFTON
The Prime Minister defended his policy of prostitution of the Bahamian land. He did not have the support of all of his Members of Parliament. Lester Turnquest MP for Malcolm Creek and Tennyson Wells MP for Bamboo Town and the challenger of Mr. Ingraham for the leadership of the FNM both spoke against the Government's plans. The Opposition forces were all against the Clifton Cay proposal. The Coalition for Democratic Reform (CDR) Leader joined the protestors with his band of followers at the rally against Clifton on Tuesday night 16 May. Perry Christie, Leader of the Opposition, however, set the stage. He said that the PLP has up until now left this matter as one for NGOs and environmental groups. Now he said the PLP will take the matter to the country. It is now a political matter. The PLP intends to oppose the project as a matter of policy. It is too important to be left to protestors. The candlelight vigil by the protestors was covered widely by all media in The Bahamas. The country stands watching what the Government will do. If the Government goes ahead with this project, they will lose the next election. Perry Christie’s job will now be to bring that about.
ON STAND-BY FOR CLIFTON PROTESTORS
Some of our friends on the police force have been telling us that the riot squad was put on standby, all leave cancelled on Tuesday night and Wednesday and Thursday 16, 17, and 18 May. The reasons: the demonstrations planned for the public square by the Clifton Cay protestors. Interesting mind set. Of course, the Police Commissioner has to prepare for any eventuality, but why would the Government think that violence might have occurred from previously peaceful demonstrators?
BETHEL ATTACKED BY CLIFTON PROTESTORS
Perry Christie was said to have been at his best during the debate on the Clifton resolution on Wednesday 17 May. He spoke with a passion for three hours on the subject and staked his future leadership of the country on opposition to Clifton Cay. But throughout the presentation he was interrupted by Carl Bethel, the Minister of Economic Development, who thinks of himself as a political genius. Of course, he is a newly jumped up political lightweight who takes himself too seriously. He depends on Hubert Ingraham for his political future. The Clifton protestors had a few choice words to say to him. As Mr. Bethel left the House of Assembly, Clifton Protestors Sam Duncombe for Re-earth, the environmental group and Melissa Sweeting, a civic activist, told the Minister that his behaviour in the House was disgraceful; that he ought to be ashamed of himself that he was a national embarrassment. Carl is said to have turned every colour of red. It is about time someone puts him in his place.
IN THE SENATE
The PLP senators, minus this Senator, walked out of the Senate to protest the suspension of Bradley Roberts by the Speaker of the House. The protest took place on Wednesday 17 May. Leader of the Senate for the PLP told the Senate that the Government was engaging in an exercise of throttling free speech, and that in protest of that suspension by the Speaker on Wednesday 4 May of Bradley Roberts the PLP would not participate in that day’s proceedings. Government Leader Dame Ivy Dumont wanted to know where Fred Mitchell was. Of course, Fred Mitchell was in Boston, Massachusetts but he supports entirely the actions of his colleagues. You will remember that Italia Johnson was one of our jackasses of the week for her suspension of Bradley Roberts.
ABOUT PINDLING VISIT
You can’t win for losing. So many people stopped and called. Others complained directly to the Leader of the PLP. They did not like the fact that Sir Lynden Pindling was invited to the PLP Branch meeting in Fox Hill. Some thought that he ought to stay out of politics and be an elder statesman. Others said that he gave the impression that he was still in control of the PLP. Others said that Sir Lynden can’t help us in the next election. Some of it or all of it may be true. However, the invitation to the branch was a simple and honest sentimental gesture. The branch had its largest meeting for the year because of the visit. Sir Lynden at the age of 70 is suffering from prostate cancer. He is seriously ill, and the branch wanted while he is still up and around to be able to convey some thanks for his work as Leader of the country and the party during the last fifty years. The visit must be seen in that light. Those who claim that Sir Lynden still runs the PLP are sadly mistaken. It is simply not so. He knows that and so do our opponents. But of course, the FNM needs any excuse now to hide their bad performance. Sir Lynden is retired and does not influence PLP policy on a day to day or other basis. Those are the facts.
NAMES SIR LYNDEN: MAN OF THE CENTURY
On Tuesday night 17 May a reception was held by the Bahama Journal at the Sheraton Grand hotel Paradise Island. The reason: to present the names and honour the 100 most influential Bahamians of the 20th century. Topping the list was Sir Lynden O. Pindling, former Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Congratulations to the Journal and to Sir Lynden.
INVADES THE PUNCH
Although the matter of a gun waving was later denied by The Punch’s Publisher Ivan Johnson, someone has threatened Mr. Johnson for his incessant interference in the private affairs of private individuals. The Tribune reported on Tuesday 16 May that The Punch was forced to close its doors early on Monday 15 May because a gunman entered the office and warned the newspaper to stop fooling with Beneby. The Punch’s story of that same day referred to Lester Beneby. A shootout occurred near to Mr. Beneby’s house in New Providence. While we cannot condone newsmen being threatened, few in the Bahamian community including this columnist feel any sorrow for Mr. Johnson. We have often said that eventually someone was going to take him to the woodshed, if he were not careful. It is clearly getting closer. Mr. Johnson was his usual truculent self and said to The Tribune that he would continue along the same tack. His staff are said to be terrified, however, and he has had to ask for police protection and he has had to strengthen security around the building.
THE DILLY TREE IN FOX HILL
The FNM’s representative for Fox Hill has allowed the dilly tree in Fox Hill where all the men of the village gathered to play cards and checkers to be cut down by the owner of the lot Deanie Johnson. Ms. Johnson, who owns the land, says that she wants to build a Sunday school on the property and she can’t have men drinking and gambling next to her Sunday school. The area is known as Rum Cay by Fox Hillians. Ms. Johnson could not be persuaded by this Senator to leave the tree alone. It is a great pity that as a Christian woman she could not see the wisdom in protecting the trees of Fox Hill and in keeping the traditional look of the area. Trees are expendable and individual wishes are paramount over community interest apparently. If this Senator had been the representative, and the PLP were in power, the tree would not have been cut down. The people of Fox Hill have to think about that the next time they vote for a Member of Parliament. Juanianne Dorsett FNM MP is simply hopeless, can’t get out of her own way. Now she has to answer for why the tree was cut down. A photo is shown of the dilly tree of Fox Hill.
THURSTON ON THE FOX HILL TREE
Freelance reporter Gladstone Thurston wrote to The Tribune on 16 May the following: “I almost cried when I read your article ‘Protest over landmark Dilly Tree’s destruction’ in your 15 May edition. Why are residents of New Providence so bitter against the environment? What is motivating this mad scramble to get rid of all trees, especially the older ones. Parliamentarians passed legislation the other day to protect the environment, historic trees and animals and preserve historic buildings. Was it all political jugglery? ” Well said Mr. Thurston. In Mr. Thurston’s letter, he points out that trees have been cut down by churches to put buildings up. The Anglican Church did such a thing, of all churches, and now they can’t find the financing to complete the project. Then there was the Friendship Baptist Church that cut down a dilly tree to pave a parking lot. Mr. Thurston also talked about a fig tree being cut down for development near the Police College in New Providence. The fact is Bahamians must change their attitudes. Trees must be made to survive. They are necessary and not expendable. It is simply boorish. It is the action of philistines to cut down trees just to put up a building. We stand with Mr. Thurston on this one. The fact that it’s the church makes it doubly shameful.
SOLOMON AND BUMPY WATKINS
The reaction to the address at Beloit College by this columnist on race was predictable from predictable quarters. Just as we said in the speech, it is not possible to have an intelligent conversation on race in The Bahamas. The white Bahamian community, its leaders and supporters continue to be dishonest about race and the fact that it is the dominant subtext in the political life of The Bahamas. Former Leader of the Opposition and now Bay Street merchant Norman Solomon who comes from that ruling class was quick to write to the newspaper and accuse this columnist of playing the race card. He clearly had not even read the speech. Errington Watkins, who is the former Chairman of the UBP and a Black man from Long Island wrote that this columnist should stop trying to bring up race. Mr. Watkins of course was the man who wanted to lead an insurrection against The Bahamas Government to stop independence in 1972 in concert with foreign mercenaries. But be that as it may, we stand by our guns. If we in this country are to get over it, we have to discuss it. And the comments of these two gentlemen just prove the point.
ON COB DISPUTE
The College of The Bahamas President Leon Higgs and President of the Union of Tertiary Educators of The Bahamas (UTEB) have come to a tentative agreement to settle their two year dispute. The Union was dissatisfied about the nature of the agreement but the leadership believes that this is the best agreement that they can get. The Government and the College have used every trick and device in the book to undermine and break up the Union. It was better to strike a deal now and save the Union, rather than risk more protracted negotiations and the destruction of the Union. A photo of the two Presidents Leon Higgs and Zendal Forbes was shown in the Nassau Guardian. The announcement was made on Monday 16 May. The agreement has to be ratified by Union members. The College has, since the agreement, been calling in lecturers and threatening their jobs because the grades have not been submitted since the industrial action began. This kind of silly witch hunt will do more damage to the College. However, Dr. Higgs who has embarrassed all those who supported his appointment to the Presidency of the College does not care about public opinion or good relations with his staff. It is his way or the highway. We shall see.
ON THE LABOUR FRONT
There were walkouts at Paradise Island and at the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (pictured) during the past week. This has become a common feature of life in The Bahamas since the FNM has come to office. It’s the only way Labour leaders can get results. The Water and Sewerage workers have warned Bahamians to stock up on water as they too may begin to take further industrial action in order to get their issues resolved.
OF THE BAHAMAS PROFITS
The Nassau Guardian has reported that the Bank of The Bahamas declared a profit for the first quarter in 2000 of forty per cent more than the same period last year. The Bank’s total assets grew from approximately 195 million in March 1999 to 225 million in March 2000. While the Bank’s officials touted the results, the market does not reflect confidence in the share prices of the Bank which have stuck at five dollars for some time. Managers at the Bank should take note of a story in the New York Times Thursday 18 May. The Times reported that the Chair and CEO of Mattel Inc. was dismissed because she was unable to revive the stock value for shareholders. The Bank of Bahamas’ managers should note that the bank is now a publicly traded company. The problem is the bank has no future, according to most analysts. Bank of The Bahamas can’t compete with the bigger banks for services such as ATMs and credit cards. Further, the feeling is that it is only the Government that is keeping the bank alive and going. The feeling is that eventually some other Bank is going to buy the Bank of The Bahamas. The bet of this columnist who has sold most of his shares in Bank of The Bahamas in favour of Commonwealth Bank, is that Commonwealth Bank will buy the Bank of The Bahamas before long. The report on the profits of the Bank was made in the Nassau Guardian Monday 15 May.
NATIONAL DEBT IS UP
When Hubert Ingraham came to office, he promised that he would bring the national debt under control. Like most of his other promises, he has been unable to deliver. With Labour in disarray, with his party in revolt, and he about to change his mind and run for a third term in office, the Central Bank has announced that the national debt is up by 102 million dollars. Better! Better! That was the FNM’s slogan in the last election. Looks more like: Bitter! Bitter!
IS UP AND RUNNING
There were lots of promotional pictures as the long awaited Bahamas Stock Exchange got going, was up and live. The hapless Minister of Finance Bill Allen was sitting behind a computer being directed by Greg Bethel how to execute a trade and the Governor General Orville Turnquest was on the other side receiving a trade. One hopes that Sir Orville was not trading Focol stock, a company in which he is a major shareholder. This all took place on Friday 12 May. The Tribune photo is shown.
BETHEL’S STARTLING STATEMENT
We believe him. In fact, we have said on the public platform that this must be the approach. We have warned The Bahamas Government that their grovelling mendicant approach would not work; that The Bahamas is not strong enough to resist. We believe that The Bahamas ought to have in place a strategy of what to do if we have to capitulate, which is what we believe will happen. We are talking about the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and their pressure on all tax havens to standardize their tax systems. Translation: they want every country to have income tax and they want to put an end to tax evasion. OECD has proposed a blacklist of countries and The Bahamas is to go on that the list if we do not comply. Our answer is that we cannot, that we are a clean tax haven. Greg Bethel who is President of Fidelity Merchant Bank and Trust says that The Bahamas will have no choice but to submit to the demands for modifications made by OECD. He was speaking on Monday 15 May at a Banker’s Week Seminar. Well folks, you read it here first.
TO SEE ED BURNS
His friends in The Bahamas and the Caribbean might like to know that Ed Burns of Cambridge and Winthrop, Massachusetts is doing well and progressing. We were able to visit with him following his kidney transplant. He is in good spirits and we had a wonderful time visiting at his home which sits right on the Bay overlooking the Logan International Airport with the city of Boston as a backdrop. We wish Ed a speedy recovery. Mr. Burns took the Bar conversion course in The Bahamas last year. He was amongst the first six to graduate from the Eugene Dupuch Law School.
PLP CANDIDATES TO BE ANNOUNCED
The PLP is closer than ever to announcing its full slate of candidates. The latest one is that Michael Halkitis, Investment Advisor, is to be the PLP’s candidate for Adelaide. Mr. Halkitis is one of the smartest young Bahamians around. He was the campaign manager for Don Demeritte the PLP’s candidate in the last general election.
STYLE UNIFORMS MUST CHANGE
The Nassau Guardian reported that the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association has called for the change in police uniforms in The Bahamas. We agree. The uniforms are anachronistic and not functional. They are fine for ceremonial functions but there needs to be something more comfortable and relevant in which officers can work. The report appeared in The Guardian Tuesday 16 May.
PLP MUST WIN OR COME CLOSE
As we prepare for the 1000 dollar a plate dinner at Lyford Cay, let us remember that the object is to raise money for this candidate and the PLP to win. Your contribution will be a real service to democracy. The PLP must win or come very close if this country is to be rescued from the intolerable and racist attitude of the present Government. They wants us all to be drawers of water and hewers of wood. That is not good enough. There must be balance brought back to the House of Assembly. The Clifton Cay issue is the litmus test for this Government. If anyone doubted that they intend to sell everything off lock stock and barrel, take notice now! Have a good week.
FROM GRAND BAHAMA
The Freeport Economy / On Again? - Freeporters are watching in fascination and long-suffering hope as construction continues apace in the nation's second city. Construction workers are employed and others are said to be picking up. Land sales are up and other indicators are hopeful. Questions still remain, however with persistent grumbling in the construction field about the parity of salaries and nagging feelings of inequities on the job.
Published Allegations of 'Slavery' At Polymers - Freeport manufacturing concern Polymers International faced allegations of 'slavery' in a letter to the editor of the Freeport News from 'A Concerned Worker'. The letter, the second of its kind in as many weeks, spoke of overwork and underpay.
Carnival's 'Destiny' Visits - 'Destiny', the largest ship in the Carnival Cruise Lines fleet visited Freeport for a day bring with her some three thousand passengers. Port Lucaya officials were beside themselves with joy at the traffic and there is hope that the special programme which brought the tourists to the island will be repeated.
|LYFORD CAY FUND-RAISER FOR THE SENATOR||HOTEL UNION HAS A NEW PRESIDENT|
|HUBERT INGRAHAM’S EMBRACE OF BASTIAN||THOMAS BASTIAN INSULTED PLP LEADER|
|BASTIAN DIDN'T KNOW WHEN TO GO||A LONELY NIGHT FOR BASTIAN|
|BATELCO UNION ELECTIONS NEXT||THE CLIFTON CAY VOTE|
|THE LIST OF WHO VOTED FOR WHAT ON CLIFTON||EXPLANATIONS FOR ABSENTEES ON CLIFTON CAY|
|HUBERT INGRAHAM DAY IS A BUST||COB LECTURERS ON THE CARPET|
|ARTIS NEELY; HERMAN BETHEL GO TO JAIL||POLITICAL COMMENT ON DRUG CONVICTIONS|
|SHOULD YOU REPORT MONEY LAUNDERING?||JAMES CATALYN WINS HIS CASE OVER TOURISM|
|TROUBLE FOR THE BAHAMAS OFFSHORE SECTOR||OLYMPIC POOL GETS FIRST SWIMMERS|
|CHANDRA STIRRUP IN HALL OF FAME|
|NEWS FROM GRAND BAHAMA...|
All of this leads to the conclusion that skills training must increase.There must be a greater investment in education so that the talent pool will grow and costs of labour as a proportion of the production costs can decrease.The labour market can then be closer to equilibrium.
This week we report on the Lyford Cay Fund-raiser for Fred Mitchell at $1,000 per plate; Thomas Bastian's defeat as President of the Hotel Workers Union and the vote on Clifton Cay.
We had 34,705hits on the site up to midnight 27 May, 2000 for the month of May.Please keep reading and thanks for reading.
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CAY FUND-RAISER FOR THE SENATOR
It was a great and successful night.It appears to have been a first for The Bahamas.Some in the PLP opposed it, lots of trepidation about going to Lyford Cay.But in the end, it was the right decision.We planned for 30. Some 26 persons showed. The staff at Lyford Cay: Paul Thompson, Fred McKinney, David Farrington and the dining room staff all did an excellent job. The photo below by Peter Ramsay shows the official group just before the five course meal from left: Al Dillette, Co-Chair Committee to Elect Fred Mitchell; Mark Fulbrook, the Buffalo Group, London; Kathy Dillette, wife of Al; Senator Fred Mitchell; Perry Christie, Leader of The Opposition; Sonia Cox-Hamilton, Co-Chair of the Committee; Bradley B. Roberts, MP PLP Grants Town; Calvin Brown, NGC Member Fox Hill and Paul Thompson, Managing Director, Lyford Cay Club. If you are interested in sending a donation to the campaign please contact us by the e mail address on the site.
HOTEL UNION HAS A NEW PRESIDENT
We congratulate Pat Bain on his magnificent victory over Thomas Bastian, ending one of the longest tenures as President in the history of the Hotel Worker's Union. We show a Nassau Guardian photo of Pat Bain.We have been constrained to comment during the campaign which first broke into the open at the time of the official opening of the Union's new building in Eleuthera on Saturday 6 May. We reported the fact that there would be a contest on this site. Pat Bain served previously as First Vice President of the Union. In retrospect the handwriting has been on the wall for some time. Mr.Bastian, who uses the title doctor even though his “degree” is only honorary, has had a hostile attitude toward the PLP since the PLP’s defeat in 1992. Mr.Bastian and Sir Lynden Pindling, the former PLP leader were extremely close but once Pindling lost, Bastian went straight into the political arms of Hubert Ingraham. Now he has lost the Union Presidency 1998 votes for Pat Bain and 1038 votes for Thomas Bastian.
HUBERT INGRAHAM’S EMBRACE OF BASTIAN
Hubert Ingraham, the Uncle Tom Prime Minister, publicly embraced Thomas Bastian at the opening of the Union's new Building in Governor's Harbour on Saturday 6 May. He told his followers in the Union that they must follow his advice: “ Tom Bastian is man that I can do business with. ” Now what? Does it mean that Pat Bain is not a man that the Prime Minster can do business with? Will the Prime Minister now start to try to break up the Union? Chances are he will try to use official power to make life difficult for Pat.But in this he has probably met his match. Some suggest that for example the Prime Minister might cause the regulators to go take a look at the Workers Bank, owned by the Union, which has had a rocky time of it doing business. It's like in the states when you can't find anything else on a fellow you send in the Internal Revenue Service.
THOMAS BASTIAN INSULTED PLP LEADER
In 1997, the
President of the Hotel Workers Union invited the Leader of the Opposition
to come to San Salvador for a Union seminar. The seminar had several
FNM Ministers of the Government speaking, including the Prime Minister
and the then Minister of Labour. The Leader of the Opposition was
made to sit in the audience with everyone else. When Thomas
Bastian spoke, he did not even recognize the Leader of the Opposition. In
fact, he did not even want to shake the man's hand. What precisely Perry
Christie did to him is not known but it was clear that Thomas Bastian throughout
his last years in office was ignoring Perry Christie and the PLP. Of course,
he long hated this spokesman on Labour because of the comments made by
this columnist as Leader of the now defunct PDF that his salary ought to
be publicly disclosed. We show the Nassau Guardian's photo of a defeated
BASTIAN DIDN'T KNOW WHEN TO GO
They say it is a problem with Black leaders but it is probably a problem with leaders of any ethnic group.We don't know when it is time to leave.Hubert Ingraham is going to suffer the same fate as Thomas Bastian if he decides to stay.People are tired of him.Dr. Bernard Nottage, the PLP-elected MP for Kennedy, says that the country has “ Ingraham Fatigue”.We agree.After the Clifton Cay debate it is clear that Mr. Ingraham is out of touch with the reality of The Bahamas.The resolution was passed in the House and now moves on to the Senate. We again predict that if the Government proceeds with Clifton Cay, they will lose the next election.
A LONELY NIGHT FOR BASTIAN
We have seen it happen all too often.A man in power stays on too long.Does not know when his time is up.There was Thomas Bastian sitting in his office as President for the last time. Where was the Prime Minister at 1 a.m. Saturday 27 May?It was clear to all but Mr. Bastian and his supporters in his room that the Bastian era was over. This was the same Mr. Bastian who broke up the Trade Union Congress because he could to get his way.This is the same Mr. Bastian that refused to all the joining of trade union forces in the country because of a personal dislike of Obie Ferguson, President of the TUC. When your whole executive turns against you, and you are by yourself, something must be wrong.Pat Bain's entire slate went in.In the end, Mr. Bastian did not even have the grace or the courage to congratulate Pat Bain for a job well done.In fact, if Mr. Bastian had done his job he ought to have been walking into the sunset with a glow, passing the mantle to Pat Bain.In the end, all that was left was an empty KFC box, a raucous crowd saying that they planned a funeral for Mr. Bastian the next day, and for Mr. Bastian to steal into the night a lonely figure who jumped into his car by himself and went home into exile-- 61 years old, fitted with a pace maker and in poor health. A sad ending indeed.
UNION ELECTIONS NEXT
Next week this time, Labour Day will have come and gone. Labour Day
has been celebrated since 1962 in The Bahamas on the first Friday in June.That
is the day which marks the Burma Road Riots in Nassau which was the first
organized labour protest in modern Bahamian history.The
riots took place on 1 and 2 June 1942.Mark
your calendar, Friday 2 June is a public holiday in The Bahamas. Mark Cox
is running against Shane Gibson for the Presidency of Batelco.Mr.
Cox is pictured in the Nassau Guardian Monday 22 May.Next
week this time we shall also know whether Mr. Cox has replaced Mr. Gibson.
THE CLIFTON CAY VOTE
Last week, there was extensive coverage on this site about Clifton Cay and the issues surrounding its development.This is the last stretch of undeveloped land in New Providence with extensive historic sites on the property.The Government passed a resolution on Monday 22 May to return the land acquired under the PLP days to its rightful owner Nassoak Limited beneficially owned by Nancy Oakes. There is universal opposition to the development of the site.Yet Hubert Ingraham out of touch as he is with reality is pressing ahead with it.The coalition to Save Clifton Cay has mounted a sustained campaign against it.Their slogan is: “ CLIFTON CAY WILL NEVER BE”. The vote was as follows: 21 yes ( all FNM); 5 Opposed ( including one FNM) and 13 persons absent.There is endless speculation about the high number of absentees. The Speaker does not vote. It now moves to the Senate
THE LIST OF WHO VOTED FOR WHAT ON CLIFTON
On Monday evening 22 May, the House of Assembly voted to give away the last historical site of undeveloped land in major acreage for a housing development.Those who voted in the House ‘yes ’should be made to pay at the ballot box.Those who were absent should be condemned unless they have good explanations.Already Carl Bethel, the MP for Holy Cross, has been condemned for voting for Clifton Cay.They told The Tribune of Saturday 27 May that he will pay at the ballot box.Here is the list:
EXPLANATIONS FOR ABSENTEES ON CLIFTON CAY
Cynthia 'Mother' Pratt was undergoing a medical procedure at the time of the vote.She had in fact been confined to bed by her doctors before speaking but spoke any way to say that she opposed Clifton Cay’s development. Lester Turnquest ( FNM) also spoke against Clifton Cay, but both he and Tennyson Wells suffered from a trick pulled by the Government's vote managers.The vote was expected to take place at 10 p.m.The Government finished the debate early and called the vote at 8 p.m. which was not expected by members.Anthony Rolle is serving as Ambassador to the United Nations.All the others have some explaining to do.But strangely Tennyson Wells as reported in The Tribune of Friday 26 May said he couldn't understand what all the nose about missing a vote.He claimed that he has missed many votes. The point is that Mr. Wells and his FNM colleagues must take their heads out of the sand on the importance of this to Bahamians. The speculation is that those who were absent could not muster the courage to vote against it, so they stayed away.
INGRAHAM DAY IS A BUST
It was supposed to have been a time of celebrating on Friday 19 May.Ten years of Hubert Ingraham. (Oh! Lord how long?) The FNM officialdom touted this as a big celebration. Hubert Ingraham Day with bands, free food and prayer.Ingraham is said to have insisted that the things must be a success if it were to have had his blessing.They assured him that it would be.Twenty five thousand dollars later, FNM officials are terribly embarrassed. The Prime Minister must have known it was all down hill after there were eight empty tables at the prayer breakfast. Then despite Sweet Emily and Ronnie Butler and other bands, no one showed up on the park.If they had a thousand people there, they had plenty. Most of them were children. Time to go Hubert! Time to carry your (whoops!).
COB LECTURERS ON THE CARPET
The College of The Bahamas now has an agreement in principle to settle their dispute with the Union of Tertiary Educators of The Bahamas (UTEB).But instead of trying to bring peace to the workplace, they have now started disciplining lecturers for withholding grades as part of the industrial action.The College should be told to go blow it out their ear.This will start another round of trade disputes and difficulties at the College.Meanwhile Dr. Leon Higgs who started out with such goodwill is becoming despised by his employees over all of this.It is a great pity. The College is talking about issuing letters of reprimand to the lecturers and putting them on probation for six months.Well at least no lecturers has been convicted of a criminal offence like the College has been convicted. In addition news surfaced this week that the Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. John Samuel to whose appointment the Union objected faced a court action for assaulting a female lecturer at his previous post in Grenada. According to Dr. Samuel the case did not proceed because he had diplomatic immunity in Grenada.The COB president issued a statement standing by Dr. Samuel despite the allegation. We show a Tribune photo of Dr. Samuel published Wednesday 24 May.
ARTIS NEELY; HERMAN BETHEL GO TO JAIL
The authorities have been trying to get Artis Neely of West End, Grand Bahama in prison for years.The Americans tried during the Pindling era and failed because of an error in the paperwork.Now they have gotten him.In a trial in the Magistrates Court for Conspiracy in May 1998, Mr. Neely and seven other co-defendants were convicted in a RBPF/DEA sting operation. The Tribune reports that the original trial began 5 December 1996 and concluded 5 May 1998.Mr. Neely was initially given a sentence of $10,000 fine.The Court of Appeal overturned that and increased the penalty to two years in jail.Mr. Neely and co-defendants were taken straight to Her Majesty's prison.The co-defendants are: Philip Herman Bethel; Michael Bethel ( both sons of former Minister Philip Bethel); Paul Darville ( three years); Kenneth Scavella, Vernon Bowles and Julius Seymour.
POLITICAL COMMENT ON DRUG CONVICTIONS
It is interesting that the U.S. Ambassador spoke in March about the fact the “we” were unable to obtain drug convictions in The Bahamas and the case of Neely and his co-defendants is suddenly before the Courts.Many argue that the results, given the U.S. Ambassador's warning, were predictable. The book was thrown at all the defendants. Of course, one cannot condone their activity.The drug conspirators have threatened and continue to undermine our way of life.This week, The Bahamas, experience its 31st murder, gangland style. A Jamaican national found with her hands tied behind her back and a single bullet through the head.The battle over Artis Neely and his co-defendants is a battle for ageing warriors.They are being punished for long past sins it would appear.The Government can now claim victory but for the weakest kind of case: conspiracy to tranship drugs that would never get into the hands of the defendants or on the streets.It was clear from the evidence that these fellows were not even in the business any more. They were tricked or trapped into the exercise.So the question remains what are the authorities doing about the new crop of silent drugs guys that are smarter, more educated and more aggressive– not engaging in self-congratulations by convicting some over the hill ( as in old) drug smugglers. The FNM is happy now that Neely is off the street.They believe that since he is such a powerful influence in West End, they can save David Wallace their lame duck representative in that area. Fat Chance!Obie Wilchcombe will beat any candidate they bring.
SHOULD YOU REPORT MONEY LAUNDERING
According to the Nassau Guardian, there is now an organization called the Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers.It is interesting how one industry can spawn another.Here it is now the drug smuggling business has caused a new group to come about, one that deals with the professionals who have to follow the procedures laid down by the regulatory authorities on how to avoid illegally obtained funds from coming into the banking system.Cheryl Bazard works for CIBC (Bahamas) Limited as Corporate Secretary.She was reported in The Guardian of 26 May as saying that bank officials have to consider the laws in defamation before making the decision to report suspicious money activity to the Central Bank.She also points out the fear of bank officers that despite the fact that the matter is supposed to be secret and given the kind of country we have, the information will get back to the customer.Interesting!
CATALYN WINS HIS CASE OVER TOURISM
The Bahamas Industrial Tribunal has ruled that James Catalyn was demoted without his agreement and suffered financial loss during the period of the demotion while an employee of the Ministry of Tourism. Mr. Catalyn retired from the Ministry in October 1999. The Ministry has been ordered to pay Mr. Catalyn $25,000 for his loss. We show a Tribune photo.
TROUBLE FOR THE BAHAMAS OFFSHORE SECTOR It appears that the developed countries are determined to bring the offshore sector to a dead end. There has been one assault after another by the various permutations of the developed countries.Last month it was the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which gave The Bahamas a one year reprieve from coming into tax compliance with the structures of the developed world.Extreme pressure is being put on the offshore British dependencies like Bermuda, Cayman, Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands. Since capital has been running from those places to The Bahamas, The Bahamas is next on the hit list. Now a G7 initiative has placed The Bahamas into a category of unregulated offshore sectors which Ian Fair, head of The Bahamas Financial Services Board believes threatens The Bahamas.The G-7 has created a group called the Financial Stability Forumand it could cause sanctions against The Bahamas which in extreme cases would make it impossible for companies based in offshore jurisdictions to be able to do business in mainstream financial centres.While this is alarming, one is sick, really sick and tired of hearing all the alarm.The sector in this country has not answered the question what happens if the worst case scenario ensues and we have to comply with all their requests.Is there something that can take the place of the sector? The sector is too cry babyish.Where is the think tank with the new ideas?
POOL GETS FIRST SWIMMERS
Alan Murray and Chris Vythoulkas have been granted permission to be the first to train in the new 50 metre pool at the National Aquatic Centre, located at the Q. E. Sports Centre in Oakes Field.The facilities are not fully opened but these two have been allowed in because they are Olympics bound.The facility is built from moneys from Betty Kenning, daughter of merchant the late Trevor Kelly and monies from the Government of the Bahamas.This was reported in The Tribune Wednesday 24 May (Section D)
STIRRUP IN HALL OF FAME
The NCAA of the United Sates that regulates athletic competition at high school and University Level elected Chandra Stirrup one of the so called Golden Girls of Bahamian Track and Field to be a member of the Hall of Fame for her achievements in Division II.This was reported in The Tribune Tuesday 23 May(Section D)
FROM GRAND BAHAMA
Grand Bahama for Bain - Grand Bahama members of the Bahamas Hotel, Catering & Allied Workers Union turned out in force during the union's elections on Friday to vote for the eventual victor Pat Bain. Bain spent years in Freeport before joining the union and while working his way up in the union and is very popular among local hotel workers. Said one BHCAWU member: "We've been waiting a long time to send this message to Dr. Bastian."
Freeport Feeling Influx Effect - Freeport city is feeling the
effect of a significant influx of new and sometimes foreign people. A Nassau
man newly relocated to Freeport became the nation's thirtieth murder victim
this week. The man was gunned down gangland-style in an upscale Freeport
neighbourhood by gunmen who called him by name before shooting him dead...
Police searched car to car in massive roadblocks for illegal weapons, drugs and the killers of the newly-relocated Nassau man. Guns and drugs were found, but so far, no suspects in the killing.
In another development, the Polish crewman of a cruiseship was found at the top of a BaTelCo pole illegally tapping into the long distance trunk lines. The Pole on the pole was fined for unlawful use of a telephone.
Biggest Labour Day Parade Expected - Trade Unionists in Grand
Bahama are planning what they hope and expect will be the largest Labour
Day parade the island has ever seen. Organizers say that all the
unions on the island have agreed to participate.