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Progress on the proposed $1m floating dock for Grand Turk still looms in the balance.

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#TurksandCaicos, January 18, 2023 – Progress on the proposed $1m floating dock for Grand Turk still looms in the balance.

The lack of a public dock and a proper working ramp in the vicinity of the carnival cruise ship port,  has been a source of contention for boat tours operators and local fishermen for years.

What residents thought was a breakthrough with the government announcement of a proposed $1m floating dock, appears to have loss its steam.

As our tourism industry grows, there is a greater need for more safeguards and resources to be put in place to help support tour operators and protect the tourism products that we so desperately depend on.

It’s imperative that the government address these issues in a wholesome way to include input from relevant stakeholders.

Many citizens are of the view that in order to build stronger public/private partnerships, whenever extraordinary decisions are made that can affect an entire industry, the point of view from various stakeholders of that industry should always be considered.

Unfortunately, there is more and more evidence that the local water-sports and land tour operators are being put in a less competitive position and disadvantaged in an industry that was created to support the residents of Grand Turk and Salt Cay and not just Carnival cruise lines.

That is the premise of this article and the story must be told.

The most pressing issue impacting the Watersports operators is not the fact that we do not have a floating dock, but the lack of a proper working ramp to launch and pull up our vessels. There are other pending issues, but if the boat operators can get movement on this particular item it will serve the residents well.

I believe its an important piece of infrastructure that is desperately needed on the island. It will put boat operators in a better position to support the tourism product, proper boat maintenance, in addition to cutting the absorbent cost associated with launching and removal of vessels.

During the latter part of 2021, the government proposed $1m to build a floating dock within the vicinity of Carnival cruise port. To my knowledge, as of this date, no further information or discussion was released to the public.

Below is a list of reasons for our concerns as it relates to this matter.

  1. The current condition and accessibility of the existing ramp located at south base is not fit for use.
  2. It will allow boat tour operators, local fishermen and casual boat users easier access to properly maintaining their vessels.
  3. It will ease the financial burden for so many of us as the associated cost to launch and remove vessels is well over $200.
  4. It will minimize damages caused to vessels during transit due to the build up of uncontrollable sand dunes and a lack of the proper equipment being used.
  5. The police dock located at north creek is not practical or conducive to small business operators depending on the cruising industry to make an honest living. In addition, during inclement weather, entering and exiting north creek could be treacherous and at times boat operators can not exit the channel. This could impact the tourism experience if vessels are unavailable for prebooked tours in addition to causing loss revenue.

Recommendations and Solutions:

  1. At this given time a proper ramp is more practical then a floating dock.
  2. Recommended location for a permanent not a the floating dock should be at Governor’s beach. Partial infrastructure is already there as it was previously used by the US Navy. In addition, the access lane is already in place.
  3. Another alternative would be to extend and enhance the Salt Cay dock for public use.
  4. Equip dock with lights and running water for proper use and maintenance of vessels or search and rescue operations.
  5. Repair and enhance the existing public ramp located at south base.
  6. Repair the roads leading to and from all docks and ramps.

Development within a Park, by ordinance, is acceptable if it benefits the general public.  I think a proper public ramp or dock on the western shores would fit that bill and the boaters have certainly made a compelling argument.

I often marvel that it took successive Governments no time to come up with finding funds to remove the old steamer on Governor’s beach, but it’s taking years to provide a needed resource to support the tourism industry which Grand Turk boat operators and local fishermen primarily depends on.

It will take high level and bureaucratic commitment to move this forward.

Nevertheless, boat operators are optimistic that change will come some day. We look forward to a favorable outcome where we can all work together in unison for the betterment of this great country.

 

Ed Forbes

Concerned citizen of Grand Turk 

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Government

Washington MISICK challenged, and holds onto Leadership of the PNP

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#TurksandCaicos, February 24, 2024 – Magnetic Media can report that WASHINGTON MISICK has emerged and remains LEADER of the governing Progressive National Party.It has been a contentious battle today at the PNPs National General Congress (NGC) for party leadership with interest coming from: Jas Walkin, the party’s 2021 campaign manager who this week publicly withdrew his bid; Dameko Dean, former Wheeland candidate who had published an article revealing his quest to lead the PNP and E Jay Saunders who today unsuccessfully challenged MISICK for the role.Saunders has tried for leader before and has served as the party’s deputy leader, at the pleasure and selection of Washington Misick since June 2019.The run for party leader was a risky maneuver by Saunders, son of former PNP Party leader and Chief Minister Norman Saunders.Delegates cast votes, giving E Jay Saunders 58 votes and Washington Misick 88. The elder statesman convincingly retaining delegates’ confidence.It is also reported that, based on the PNP Constitution, Saunders needed 70% support from delegates in a preliminary run off.  He was unable to secure that much backing.A constitutional motion to change the selection process of the deputy leader to a delegate vote reportedly failed.It is therefore unclear what the immediate future, politically is for Saunders whose party and government roles are hinged on Washington Misick’s prerogative to have him or someone else in these posts.However Misick is already promoting a strict focus on uniting the party following the NGC meeting held at the Shore Club.

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Crime

TCI Community College staff struck and robbed, another chased in car by attackers

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – Attacks against several of its staff members last week have forced the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College to reassess its security.

“The college is robustly ending in immediate steps to review and reinforce our campus security protocols,” said a February 16 letter to staff seen by Magnetic Media.

The letter puts the date of the incidents as February 15th at one of its Providenciales campuses.

In the first,  a male member of staff was attacked and his car stolen after he left a meeting. When Magnetic Media queried police about the event, they released additional details of the robbery.

We were told around 9:15 pm, Thursday February 15, a 39-year-old male and his colleagues were leaving the TCI Community College Campus, Princess Drive, Providenciales, when a group of men surrounded his vehicle.

The man, noticing that one of the men had stopped at the rear of the vehicle, approached him to investigate and was struck on the head. In the immediate aftermath, the assailants escaped in the victim’s car, leaving the TCICC staff member injured at the scene.

The victim was transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center by police officers, and up until news production time, the car had not yet been recovered.

Following this incident, the Community College also revealed that a car chase had taken place.

A female member of staff this time, was chased down by suspected criminals as she left the campus. The employee managed to outdrive the people pursuing her and arrive safely at her destination, but she was described as shaken.

Now both, police officers and campus administration are urging residents to remain vigilant, especially when heading into their cars at night.

Safety tips that can help residents avoid attack, robbery, injury, or worse include:

  • Stay alert when heading to your vehicle; don’t be distracted by your phone; pay attention to your surroundings.
  • if you see anything or anyone suspicious, do not investigate on your own; go back and get a security guard or similar personnel to assist.
  • Have your keys ready in your hands before approaching your car, so you can enter the safety of your vehicle immediately.

The police have not yet arrested anyone for the robbery attack against the employee.

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News

Royal TCI Police share CAREER DAY Highlights

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#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – On Thursday, 8th February 2024, between 9 am – and 2 pm, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force attended a Career Day event at the Enid Capron Primary School, Five Cays, Providenciales.

Under the theme “Be aware, choose a career”, the RTCIPF showcased the many career options available in policing.

Members of the Community Policing Unit, Safeguarding and Public Protection, Anti-Gang and Drugs Unit, Marine Branch, Traffic Enforcement, Air Support Unit and Mechanical Department were present.  Officers answered questions posed by the young, impressionable minds.

Insp Ensa Wilson lectured students on various topics, including: “Good Touch, Bad Touch”, alerting adults to inappropriate situations and the importance of calling 911.

Students were asked questions following the lecture and were given RTCIPF tokens.

Sgt. Kavin Mars, along with PC Fitzlewis McDonald and Kiyon Doughty of the Anti Gang and Drug Unit, freestyled “Don’t Huff, Don’t Puff, Don’t Do That Stuff” and warned students of the dangers –health and legal – of using drugs.

Superintendent (Community Policing and Divisions) Dwight Gardiner commended the school’s initiative and applauded the representation of officers present.

Supt. Gardiner said: “Career Days often highlight the importance of community policing and underscore law enforcement’s vital role in fostering trust, collaboration, and safety within neighbourhoods.

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