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This Week In The Islands
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Posted by:Sep 4th 2006, 03:21:14 pm
Fig Tree News TeamFrom

West Andros Nature Preserve
The Nature Conservancy wants the western side of Andros, the country’s largest island that is in fact larger than the island of Trinidad to become a reservation for the protection of its flora and fauna. We support the idea. The way of life in The Bahamas is today supported by what is produced from Andros, its water, the crabs just to name a few. At present there are just about 10,000 people who live on the island but each year development is coming that is already affecting the returns on crabs for example. The Government should act today.

The Minister of Works
There isn’t a week that goes by when some new public works project is being announced, whether the construction of a seawall in the islands and in New Providence, public docks, roads and repairs to schools, airports and bridges. We say there has not been such an aggressive public works programme in the history of country as now under the leadership of Bradley Roberts.

BTC and Privatization
The private sector telephone company Indigo is attacking the publicly owned telephone company BTC for refusing to provide the international connection for its service out of and into Abaco. BTC has responded that the connection is not economically feasible. Indigo says that the Public Utilities Commission is taking a hands off attitude and therefore is making the telecommunications sector anti competitive. BTC has introduced a number of new services over the past three months including Blackberry Service, and soon will introduce its own form of Voice Over Internet Protocol called VIBE to compete with Vonage and other services that have eroded into its base. It has announced that the GSM cellular service will be the only service available after 2008. The company is expected to make a profit of 34 million dollars this year. Some argue that this is a case against privatization. The case for privatization continues to exist. There needs to be more competition and the Bahamian public should share in the ownership of the company. The quality of the service at BTC still leaves much to be desired.

Prison Overcrowding
Prison Superintendent Elliston Rahming told an international conference in The Bahamas on crime being held during the past week that there are still too many people in prison that should not be there. He argued again for reducing the number of people on remand and using creative sentencing to reduce the prison population.

Opening Of Schools
Tomorrow most public schools in the country will be open for business following an eight week summer break. The Minister of Education Alfred Sears has done a yeoman’s job in seeking to make sure things start on time and that the school properties are in reasonable shape. He announced last week that some 20 million dollars has been spent in school repairs to get the schools ready for this year.

Philip Poitier Dies
Well known basketball player Philip ‘Cabbage’ Poitier was buried yesterday in the Western Cemetery following a funeral service at St. Francis Catholic Cathedral in Nassau. He was 55 years old at the time of his death. Mr. Poitier was a graduate of the class of 1967 of St. Augustine’s College and played with the leading basketball team of his era the Kentucky Colonels. He is survived by a wife and two sons, his parents Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Poitier. Reginald Poitier is the only surviving brother of film legend Sir Sidney Poitier, who flew from Los Angeles to attend the funeral.

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