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Letters to the Editor

Problem at airport

This was sent to Aaron Adderley, General Manager, Department of Airport Operations and copied to

The Royal Gazette.

March 3, 2011

Dear Mr Adderley:

I was recently travelling through L.F Wade International airport and witnessed an incident that I believe warrants immediate attention. An elderly wheelchair-bound lady who was travelling alone was going to use the restroom facilities in the departure terminal. She approached the restroom door and made several attempts to enter. I went to assist her and found, to my astonishment, that the wheelchair could not fit through the door. The wheelchair was a standard size used by the airlines; it was the doorway that was too narrow. Once I helped her into the restroom, I checked to see if there was an ADA compliant stall, again I was surprised to see that there was not one.

I do not understand why an international facility such as our airport is not ADA compliant. The private sector has to comply with ADA regulations which can result in additional time and considerable expense to a project and they undoubtedly do not have the volume of traffic that LF Wade International has. This facility should be accessible to all persons be they visitors, guest workers or locals who are physically challenged. To deny anyone a basic necessity such as rest room facilities is reprehensible. I hope that this observation will be given priority attention.

SUZETTE ARUDA

City of Hamilton

All in a month

February 24, 2011

Dear Sir,

February is one of the most interesting and exciting calendar months of the year for a variety of reasons. Two traditional highlights in the shortest month of the year, provide a back drop of vivid contrast in the celebration of both love and economic prudence. February is known as the “month of Romance”. Many view Valentine's Day as an opportunity to indulge in card and gift giving etc. through heartfelt expressions of love whether it be spouse, relative, friend or lover. Love is perceived and appreciated in diverse ways and I've chosen to highlight a few quotes for thought.

“Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward in the same direction” Antoine de Saint-Exupary

“Love does not dominate it cultivates” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Love makes your soul crawl from out of its hiding place” Zora Neale Hurston

What are your thoughts?

The economic side of February, is Government's delivery of the Budget for the coming fiscal year. This financial planning statement (projections), determines the levels and nature of services provided in the calendar year, and the costs. On February 18 Government rolled out its plans. As Premier Cox has stated consistently, the PLP Government would spend $150 million less in 2011-12. Government is quickly out of the blocks by proposing a 2% payroll tax rebate, initially levied in the 2010-2011 Budget. By the proverbial “stroke of a pen,” both parliament and Senate through debate, can instantly inject $50 million back into our economy. The proposed refund has been more than welcomed, and of course it will be interesting to view the reality of relief this hefty package will bring in both the Government and private sectors.

Other spending reductions are to be realised in cost-cutting proposals include all but two Government ministries. This of course is where public opinion becomes more diverse as we begin to see and feel the impact of “less rubber hitting the road”. Remembering of course, all expectations are seldom met even in a vibrant economic environment. We now perhaps have a more organic appreciation of the definition of “recession” and the “financial thin air in which we all must now breathe”.

On the labour front, February certainly proved to be an eventful month as bus operators and allied workers and PTB management/Government experienced some challenges navigating the “resolution processes” that govern and provide avenues and opportunities for discussion on all issues. Without hashing out the specifics of the case of which we're all aware, my concerns emerge out of a need to understand what did not happen, wherein dialogue could be sustained? Every individual has a right to a defence, and the right to that defence must never be denied. That's a given. Looking closer at the issue it's clear that both union and PTB representatives agreed on the policy infraction. That's a given. (Now if the public is out of sorts to more relevant information, than we may have a public relations challenge).

Now we look at the right for management to manage, co-existing with the right of union to mitigate on behalf of its member. Again its established, management had the right through the Collective Agreement to suspend or dismiss the worker in question without referral to previous infractions. Equally, the Bermuda Industrial Union had legitimate recourses of appeal. What caused the meltdown?

Bermuda Public Service Union president Armell Thomas sums up the rehiring of the bus operator this way and I quote “I think that union challenged the process, that's why they were successful” (

Royal Gazette, February 24, 2011 pg.2). Does this comment speak to the need to retool the processes in place, so that we may see fewer collapses in dialogue during work place challenges? Must all stakeholders sit and share innovative ideas on how we can create a more reconciliatory environment. Can we perhaps redefine what's really valuable, whilst redeveloping processes or some components of the processes, that may no longer serve us well in negotiations? We all may be required to examine and reinvent the processes, or is it a case where commitment needs be re-established? Personally, I agreed with the re-instatement. If the bus operator had been made unemployed then the taxpayer would be coughing up social assistance to support him and his family. Did I agree with the collapse of communications and negotiations? No.

LYNN MILLET

Hamilton Parish

We must plan strategically

March 1, 2011

Dear Sir,

Good day to you and the many readers of

The Royal Gazette. Last night as I watched the programme “Let's Talk” on TV 9, I listened very intently as the panelist answered each question. I had to admire the way Mr Richards delivered his answers with great thought and calm, wanting the listeners to fully understand what he was saying.

These two panelist really have their thoughts going in the right direction for the good of Bermuda. Why is it the Government is not listening? Bermuda is governed by parties who should become a people for the good of people (the Government). We the people must remember that we are Government and we choose representatives (the elected MPs). When we look at history we read where Abe Lincoln on June 16, 1858 made the statement, although he was referring to the different states in reference to slave and free, and Christ spoke it to his disciples during a parable. The principle still stands today a house divided against itself cannot stand.

If this country is to survive tomorrow we must plan strategically today for as it is written in the book of Hosea 4:6, reads thus “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being a priest for me”. Now of course we know that these leaders are not priests, but they are the elected and we the people look to them to lead. And when we look at the words “Quo Fata Ferunt” we should have learned by now the Government is being led astray because of their selfish ambitions their vision is 'what can I get out of the country' and not 'what can I do for the country'.

Let us look at the tree that has overgrown and the sad part is that the Government is trimming the leaves and not the branches. It is the branches that hold the leaves and not the other way around. So why trim the leaves (the low income earners). I would like for the Premier to show some integrity, honour and love for the workers of Bermuda. How you may ask? I would like to hear her say that since the country is in this financial state I am taking a 15 percent reduction and I am asking all of my colleagues to take a ten percent deduction. A statement of this magnitude will truly show love for the people.

Instead the low income earner is asked to take a cut and the high rollers keep on rolling high. Do they not receive all perks? Look at all of the GP cars all over the island 24/7 and with one person (the driver). If you do not think this is not a perk think of the gas that is used and the cost per month. My car costs me about $340 a month and I will say that they spend about the same or a little less per car. So do the math and multiply the number by ten and then onward and you will see for yourself the perks. Just imagine the luxury: no gas bill, no maintenance bill, no licence and no insurance. Now tell me how many of us would not enjoy this luxury, think of the money we could lay aside if we think toward the vision of our tomorrows.

Somewhere, somehow, we the people have to take our heads out of the sand and get real with our thoughts about the governing of the Government. What is wrong with a transparent government since it is asking the people to be transparent with the Census that is being taken right now. They should lead by example after all isn't that what leadership is all about. What amazes me is the fact that with each order of Government there is a threat, like the one that is in place right now. It reads that if we do not comply with the Census we will be fined $1,000 and a continuance for each day. This is fine, but will it apply for all or just for the few (low income earners). In most cases the small fish get caught and the big fish get away clean. Just imagine the small fish who are struggling with families economically and they are levied with a fine. Is Government prepared to care for the children of the parents that will be fined or jailed if the fine is not paid.

Many may not agree with my opinion, but it is mine and it is God given, not men given. Remember these elected officials who put these orders in place for us are the same people who smiled and made some big promises during their campaigning. Guess what? Time is running out and they will be back at our doors with the same deceitful smile. The choice is ours with the “X” use it wisely. Two things to remember, greed is a hole that never fills and when your outgoing is bigger than your income your upkeep will be your downfall. Truth as always.

A.E.WENDELL (SCOPSIE) HASSELLP.s. Pays all my taxes.

Sandys

A tiger's life

March 8, 2011

Dear Sir,

To say no to animal shows I applaud your concerns whole heartedly and to say it's all about making money, I agree! But tell me what animal has been used more for this purpose then the horse? This most beautiful animal has been ridden, beaten, starved and if it breaks a leg, destroyed. How inhumane can you get? If this tiger could talk he/she would probably say please don't knock a good thing. 1) He saved me from being born in the wild having to kill one of my friends to have a meal. 2) He houses me free for my services. 3) Free medical no matter what my age. 4) And best of all he loves me and pays all my travel expenses even though not first class. Some humans are not that blessed, and if I somehow break a leg I'm not destroyed. Oh! I don't have to pull tourists around and stand in the hot sun.

HARRY A.C. BEAN

Devonshire

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Published March 23, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated March 23, 2011 at 10:25 am)

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