By INIGO 'NAUGHTY' ZENICAZELAYA
THIS week another chapter in the lackluster, yet controversial political career of the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture and Sea Breeze MP Lanisha Rolle was written.
And boy did it leave tongues wagging.
Rolle incurred the wrath of society and caused numerous eruptions on every social media platform possible with her decision to add her image to commemorative coins being awarded to young persons who participated in the Youth Parliament events last month.
The cost of the pins featuring Mrs. Rolle was allegedly, initially paid for by the government.
One of Rolle’s Facebook pages offered a rambling attempt at an explanation.
“The photo with the minister of youth sports and culture is a commemorative coin provided by the office of the minister during a courtesy call by the 2019 youth parliamentarians.
The coin has two sides: one side reflecting the 2019 theme and the other side with the photo of the minister issuing.
The commemorative coin did not replace the usual youth award medals and pins that were issued to awardees during youth month.
Whether it replaces the ‘actual’ youth award associated with Youth Parliament or not, the alternate award shouldn’t have been created in the first place, let alone with the ministers ‘mug’ on one side, all while, tax payers money is footing the bill.
I hope Rolle has a thick skin, which I imagine she does, considering her past ‘faux pas’ including speaking out of turn as a senator and inciting infighting within the FNM pre-election.
Going on the record, stating that marital rape is a private matter between adults, all while serving as Minister of Social Services was another big mess up.
Meanwhile, Social Services, the same ministry, whose staff didn’t budge or utter one farewell or goodbye when Rolle was transferred to her present ministry, after an unimpressive run as its minister is less controversial at the moment.
Now, as minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, we have this ‘boo boo.’ I still can’t rationalize Rolle putting her image on the coin.
Seriously, who does that? I don’t think POTUS Donald Trump would do that, and he ‘loves him some him.’
Couple this with a potential Junkanoo fiasco on the horizon, I expect ‘loon’ jokes from the comedians and creatives throughout the Bahamas about this ‘coingate.’ (Solo Made is recording another parody song as I write this column).
We can only make “sport” of you, Lanisha, because you make it so easy. Sometimes you even write the material for us , and for that we thank you.
Personally, you have filled the local political, comedic void left by V. Alfred Gray, and those are some big shoes to fill.
So, since we’ve established Mrs. Rolle should be able to take a joke, considering her past track record and all, I expect her to be a good “sport” and pay back the $582.40 she put on the governments tab, just like “Doc” told her to.
And, yes, PLP opposition senators, Mrs. Jobeth Colby-Davis and Mr. Obie Roberts have every right to chastise Mrs. Rolle and the present administration on the spending of the $582.40 and for Rolle’s failure to appoint a ‘Director of Youth.’
However, Jo Beth and Obie, and this is no defence of the FNM, but we all know, that from past PLP heists .. um, I mean indiscretions, that figure was going to be way more than $582.40!
Despite the fact, that the youth who attended this year’s Youth Parliament said they thoroughly enjoyed the event, which was highlighted with a luncheon at the Hilton with the minister, (the first time in nineteen years) with awards official and unofficial and all, hopefully moving forward, Mrs. Rolle will learn that old rule, that in life and politics, no one ever remembers the “good” you actually do, they only remember the “bad’’ and the “ugly.”
I hope she will not be so narcissistic and ill advised, (somebody had to agree with her idea) in future endeavours.
I could even go to bat for you Lanisha, if you were Halle Berry or Beyoncé’s doppleganger, but alas, we all know that’s not the case.
“So stay off da chirren dem medals.’’
I wish the exemplary job being done by St. Cecelia MP Shanendon Cartwright, could be the norm amongst MPs and not the exception.
It’s obvious Cartwright is committed to serving all of his constituents, all while making positive changes in his constituency, with the results to match.
Cartwright clearly has a bright future in politics, he gets it, and his constituents get him, regardless of their political affiliation.
Good job Mr. Cartwright, keep up the good work.
Experts play down dorian threat to spiny lobster
THE Department of Marine Resources insists that international reports about damage to the spiny lobster industry in The Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian are exaggerated.
The department responded to an article by Forbes warning that the industry would suffer a huge loss – and while the department confirms fishermen in Abaco and Grand Bahama have been adversely affected, they say it is not to the degree that it would put a huge dent in the international export of spiny lobster.
The Forbes article cited parts of a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on The Bahamas’ marine sector since Hurricane Dorian. However, that damage and need assessments report, facilitated by the Bahamas government, has yet to be issued publicly.
Acting Director of Marine Resources Gregory Bethel told reporters on Wednesday that the government is continuing its damage assessment and while they do believe some marine habitats have been adversely affected, the article’s conclusion on long-term sustainability is premature.
He said: “While the fisheries sectors in both Abaco and Grand Bahama have been adversely impacted, it has not been to the extent of the ‘huge loss to the spiny lobster fishery’ as implied by the article. The major islands of New Providence, Eleuthera inclusive of Spanish Wells, Long Island, Andros and the remaining southern islands where commercial fishing is prevalent, remains untouched. In fact, the majority of fishing for spiny lobster takes place on the Great Bahama Bank, which is well out of the impacted zone and remains fertile grounds for our fishers. Damage assessments of the Little Bahama Bank are continuing.”
Mr Bethel’s assertions match those of the president of The Bahamas Commercial Fishers Alliance Adrian Laroda, who told The Tribune this week that despite the impact to Abaco and Grand Bahama fishermen, the spiny lobster industry will still be able to meet international demands. He said: “At the end of the year, the landings will show that we are still able to meet normal product demand and we will still be able to export the five million pounds that we do each year.”
Mr Bethel admits that the government did not issue a statement on the impact of Dorian on the marine sector as they are still gathering information from fishermen and their displacement is not making the process any easier. However, he said that the prime minister indicated that relief is on the way for fishermen who have been affected.
The article’s concerns about the quality of spiny lobster and fishery products out of The Bahamas since the passage of Hurricane Dorian is unwarranted, according to Mr Bethel. He says the country not only meets international quality assurance standards, but that The Bahamas ranks among world leaders in quality assurance compliance and has good standing with international stakeholders.
The department said fishing operations in parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama have resumed and that the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources plans to issue a detailed and comprehensive report once assessments have been concluded.