Nassau, 07 Mar 2016 – Kirkland ‘KB’ Bodie, the musical artist who delivers tough messages to catchy rhythm and rhyme, released his latest Youtube salvo yesterday, taking aim at the government for threatening to replace important land use legislation with a weaker act that he fears fails to protect land or life.
The song ‘Das What Real Bahamians Do’, written, performed and produced by ‘KB’, is the latest in a litany of the musician’s lyrics for the environmental movement Save The Bays and like the others, it puts the conscience of a country on notice.
“Past songs like ‘Hold dey feet to da fire’ were important because they set the tone, making the point that people need to ask for and demand accountability,” said KB. “But today’s release dealing with the Planning and Subdivision Act was far more challenging. How do you make land use rights and responsibilities sexy? How do make the need for an environmental impact assessment for all developments something people relate to, make it fun, and translate the importance of the right to public consultation into a language that makes people care?”
The Act has been a priority issue for Save The Bays, the grass roots environmental organization that has nearly 20,000 followers and friends on Facebook. Environmental attorney and consultant Romi Ferreira, a director of Save The Bays, has been spreading the message of the need to keep the 2010 legislation, speaking to Rotary and other civic organisations, appearing on radio talk shows, at public forums and in paid ‘Say No to PSA’ radio and print ads.
“This bill, the 2015 Planning and Subdivision Act that would replace the 2010 Act that we all fought so hard for and was agreed upon, an Act that was passed unanimously, takes away the rights of Bahamians,” said Ferreira. “It takes away the right to be consulted. It is the legitimate expectation of a community to be consulted, to express its opinions and concerns and for those opinions and concerns to be considered before a decision is rendered that will alter that community’s future.”
Under the proposed legislation, basic rights of public consultation would vanish and the decision to require an environmental impact assessment would be in the hands of a Cabinet Minister for developments of more than 100 lots despite The Bahamas having signed on to a global agreement to the contrary. The 100-lot scenario, says Ferreira, would only encourage developers to build in phases, 99 lots at a time.
While Ferreira looks at the proposed legislation through the eyes of a senior lawyer who has taken environmental and public consultation cases all the way to the Privy Council in London, KB is hoping to get the message across in a way that touches a nerve with a beat that people can’t get out of their heads.
“I don’ get it,” sings KB. “I don’t understand, why the government does give away our land…Y’all voted yes on the PSA, now ‘dat y’all in power, you wanna’ take it way…You shouldn’t change the rules when they don’t suit you, you shouldn’t change the law just for the few.”
Save The Bays, which sponsors the music with a message and the production of videos appealing to tens of thousands of viewers, has picked up the pace for public online involvement of the environmental movement while partnering with several organisations that have long track records in environmental resource management. A petition to keep the 2010 Planning and Subdivision Act is on its website at www.savethebays.bs and a separate petition calling for Freedom of Information legislation and an environmental protection act along with other measures has already attracted nearly 7,000 signatures.
Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.
The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.
The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year. In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.
In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.
Cruising should slow down says PAHO
By Dana Malcolm
‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.
“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”
Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.
Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.
A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.
Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1
By Dana Malcolm
#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”
Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.
Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour. Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands. In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”
Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.
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