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April: Voices

“This act of brazenness shows a total disrespect for life, and such an act of violence against one is an act of violence against the community.” — Acting Premier Paula Cox reacts to the Good Friday shooting of Kimwandae Walker, which in the eyes of many sets a new low for gun crime in Bermuda.“I will meet with anybody and everybody, and I find it awful peculiar to have to defend meeting with Bermudians.” — Labour and Home Affairs Minister David Burch, speaking after a packed, Bermudians-only meeting at the Berkeley Institute to discuss concerns over term limits for foreign workers.“It was fortunate for Bermuda we had him here as Governor in those trying times. He pushed through the Pitt Commission, which showed he was very conscious of understanding the social problems of the time and moving to a peaceful solution.” — Former Premier Sir David Gibbons commenting on the legacy of Governor Sir Peter Ramsbotham. Sir Peter's death, at the age of 90 on April 9, prompts recollections of a turbulent era in Bermudian history, especially the 1977 rioting and their soul-searching aftermath.“People who smoke marijuana aren't likely to go out and attack anyone. I support police taking it from them, but why bring them before the courts?” — Government Senator Walton Brown, proposing a caucus discussion on easing some of the Island's drug laws.“I save the Government close to $1 million a year.” — Hotelier John Jefferis hits back at Opposition objections to his extension of a 2003 lease on the Coco Reef property from Government. The lease was controversially extended to 120 years.“Three years ago when the leadership of this Government first sought overseas assistance, everyone in this Country said no. Now we've reached a point where everyone is now saying, when are we going to get overseas assistance? So suffice to say we will become a little hard of hearing when the whining starts about actions taken.” — Home Affairs Minister David Burch, on importing firearms specialists from overseas to battle the Island's spiralling problem with gun crime.“But if someone is coming at you with a firearm, a Taser will not do much.” — Pastor Leroy Bean, from the anti-gang mediation group Challenging and Reclaiming the True Essence of Life (CARTEL), voices some of his reservations on the issuing of Tasers to Bermuda police. With many fearing that crime has spun out of control on the Island, Government and police contemplate a variety of stricter measures, some more popular than others.“When I receive the flowers on Wednesday, that will be two weeks since a shipment from Holland.” — The mid-month eruption of an Icelandic volcano wreaks havoc with air travel to and from Europe, and local florist Julie Mayor is among the many kept waiting for the persistant ash plume from Mount Eyjafjallajokull to subside.