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An insult to local artists

December 11, 2010

Dear Sir,

Am I being to believe that the commissioning of Dame Lois Browne Evans' sculptor is a fait accompli? A done deal? To the public's astonishment, we read in our

Royal Gazette last week, with a photograph of a Greek sculptor, that he had already been commissioned to do this very work and Derrick Burgess on a later newscast tells us that the reason Mr. Frudakis was chosen was because the local quotes were $100,000 more than Mr Frudakis was asking! I was again shocked, but interested to see that Desmond Fountain, a world-renowned local Bermudian sculptor here on the island say that he was never approached to give a quote”” Was this commissioned work ever put out to tender, and if it was, where is the documentation ? We have been promised trasparency by our new Premier, but where is it in this case? Can Mr. Burgess substantiate his claims with proof?

That he must have approached an outsider, a foreigner to do this important work, when we have brilliantly talented artists right here is an insult, not only to the artists, but to the Bermudian people who would be happy and proud to see this work done by a local artist or artists. This money, an unestablished $250,000, will leave this island, when everyone knows times are hard and thoughts go to The Salvation Army. Perhaps such a luxury could or should have been delayed until things are more stable. I would like to suggest to the art community that they establish some kind of regulatory body, that if the Government wishes to purchase art or talent from abroad, you should be consulted and the people should be told as it is their money, also that this can never happen again. Furthermore, if there has been deceit or dishonesty in these dealings, the commission should be cancelled, and a full investigation should take place for all to see, and to await a response.

DIANA WILLIAMSRoyal Gazette. It deserved to be on the front page instead of Page 6.


Pensions are too low

December 1, 2010

Dear Sir,

Thank you to reporter Tim Smith and economist Robert Stewart for the article on Public Sector pension increases in today's

Mr. Stewart, your breakdown of the pension increase into real terms was illuminating. You highlighted the disparity between civil service pensions and pensions for regular folks a gap of nearly $900 a month. Even more striking was the disproportionate nature of the remuneration for retired MPs and Ministers whose pensions rival the take home pay of some workers. Your analysis brought the major problem with Future Care into sharp focus for me. I wish someone would explain to the Bermudian public how a senior whose pension is only $674 a month can afford to even live in today's Bermuda, much less pay $600 a month for an insurance scheme that doesn't even cover medication?

I was upset earlier this year when then Minister Cox justified not increasing pensions by stating that seniors were “in good shape because of benefits put in place by the PLP government.” That was when I thought the average pension was a little under $1,000. I couldn't understand then how seniors would be able to pay for Future Care and also pay for rent, utilities, groceries and medications. Now I am deeply concerned for those who have labored and now find themselves on a fixed income which is patently inadequate for their needs. What kind of choice is that to give someone who has worked hard all their lives? Hospital insurance or living in the street, medications or electricity? And please don't let anyone trot out the specious justification given during the cost-of- Future Care debate. I would bet that most of those at the lower end of the pension pay scale don't even own a house, much less have made enough to have paid off a mortgage. I am appealing to you, Premier Cox. Please make this right.



Planning and action

December 10, 2010

Dear Sir,

The Royal Gazette's December 3 news account of Sir John Swan's view for Bermuda going forward is one everyone involved with the Island should pay attention to. Sir John correctly calls for Bermuda to open up its borders to foreign investment and to rethink the 60/40 ownership arrangement for local companies. This should be done right now by the new government to kick-start Bermuda's success during the recovery. Now is the moment for serious planning and action.


Darien, Connecticut

Discounting dilemma

December 15, 2010

Dear Sir,

Regarding Air Tran coming to Bermuda, I do wonder whether either Government or the Opposition has done the requisite arithmetic? While offering “low fare” airline service looks, superficially, to be beneficial, I do wonder. Having got to Bermuda aboard a cruise ship , I noted that a rather large number of my fellow travellers were of the “Priceline” caste: Uncouth rednecks travelling on the cheap. I wonder whether offering transport on the cheap can work; will there be accommodations available which, when totalled with the air fare, meals, and such add up to the “Priceline” fee of these cruise ships? Will AirTrans flights be in addition to the highly discounted cruise ship passengers, or replacements for other air carrier flyers? I wonder. Would those travellers who can afford existing accommodations and amenities be enticed by flying bus transport? I wonder. In other words, does Bermuda offer a Wal-Mart holiday experience? My visit led me to conclude, no, which was fine with me (other than having to put up with the rednecks while on board), I went to Bermuda to see the country, not spend time floating on the sea drunk in a mini-casino.



There is still time

December 10, 2010

Dear Sir,

Couldn't agree more with What's Happening in his letter published in

The Royal Gazette on December 10 regarding the upsurge of crime on the Island. As a visit since 1966, a condo owner for 19 years, a resident for ten years and now a frequent visitor to the island, I am in total agreement with his feeling about crime on the island and where it is heading. It used to be that you could leave your doors unlocked, walk anywhere on the island, and visit remote areas without fear ..... no more. And the sad part is that it is only going to get worse unless the authorities on the island stop putting their heads in the sand.

You can talk all you want about how other islands have greater crime problems but Bermuda is getting a bad reputation in the states as a place not to visit due to the esculating crime situation. It appears that Bermuda is willing to settle for such a reputation and make excuses that there really isn't a serious crime problem. Tell that to the tourists that get robbed, beaten up, harrassed and so far not killed who return to their homes and tell their friends of their experiences. How eager do you think they will be to plan their next holiday in Bermuda? Even Carlton Simmons has said that the gangs in Bermuda will re-emerge and be “more organised and robust” which should be another wake up call to take drastic measures before you have totally lost control. It is truly sad to see the decline of Bermuda from where it used to be. There is still time to restore its reputation but until you draw a line in the sand regarding crime, you are fighting a losing battle. It's truly sad as a long time lover of the island to see it sink to such an unacceptable level.


Fairfield, Connecticut

Pointing out an error

December 11, 2010

Dear Sir,

There are many people speaking out about the economy. I just would like to point out that spending needs to be reined in, not reigned in. Reign is what royalty does. Reins are what control things, e.g. you rein in your horse to slow it down or stop it.


St. George's

Burning issue

December 8, 2010

Dear Sir,

Since the Tynes Bay Incinerator has been closed for domestic waste burning due to ongoing repairs, all this domestic waste is being baled in large blue plastic bales and trucked “two bales per truck” to Morgan's Point for storage until the Tynes Bay is put back in operation. I have learned that there's some 6,000 to 7,000 bales of this domestic waste already there at Morgan's Point and it's going to take a couple of more months of trucking it to Morgan's Point before Tynes Bay Incinerator is cleaned, and repairs made. Now all these bales of domestic waste have to eventually be returned to Tynes Bay for burning.

This project will be costing thousands upon thousands of dollars to our Government. My suggestion is to take this baled domestic waste and place it on the open area of Morgan's Point where the seaplanes used to park themselves and have controlled burning of it. The ash from this controlled burning could then be returned to Tynes Bay or open up one of those large black- oil tanks (that used to store fuel oil for warships coming to Morgan's Point) and place it in them. I took liberty some months ago to talk this over with Minister Derrick Burgess, he thought it was a very good idea to burn this domestic waste at Morgans Point, but up to now it hasn't been followed up.


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Published December 16, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 16, 2010 at 7:34 am)

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