Monday, Jun 24, 2019
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Disagreement with editorial

Dear Editor,

It is unclear as to whether your editorial of November 26 entitled “Smart progressive growth” is the culmination of considerable ignorance by an amateur writer or the consistently lazy thinking which now characterizes many of your editorials.  It seems that whoever wrote this editorial needs to move beyond their narrow viewpoint and gated community, and see the vast improvements in public infrastructure for the majority of Bahamians.

While the opposition can speak for itself, I draw your attention to some facts on the ground rather than the pie-in-the-sky tone of your poorly researched and poorly reasoned editorial.  The FNM has turned ideas into reality which some people just like to put in fancy booklets or write about in newspapers with little attention to the realities staring them in the face.

As a part of the plans for smart and progressive growth, and by way of some examples, the FNM improved the communities of South Beach, Carmichael and Elizabeth Estates through designated town centers inclusive of primary schools, community parks, police stations, public libraries, clinics, post offices and other government offices.

Many children now walk to school because an FNM government built four primary schools (Gerald Cash, Sadie Curtis, Cleveland Eneas and Garvin Tynes) in the neighborhoods south of Independence Highway between 1992 and 2002.  Many parents were relieved that their young children no longer had to go all the way from, or walk from, South Beach to attend primary schools in Nassau north of Wulff Road.

The FNM then built the C.V. Bethel Sr. High School and left plans for the Anatol Rodgers Jr. High School to be built in the same area.  The land acquisitions for the Anatol Rodgers School were begun by the FNM.  When the FNM returned to office in 2007 it had to complete the acquisition of the property because the Christie administration, which started the school, had been forced to stop midway because they didn’t have access to the remainder of the land!

Surprisingly, a recent letter in one of the papers said that the FNM had not built a single school since May 2007.  For the record, the Mary Patricia Russell School in Grand Bahama was built in 2008 and it was left to the FNM to complete Anatol Rogers.  Further, it is the current government which is completing the school in Oakes Field just around the corner from the offices of your paper.

All of the above are just some examples of planned communities and green planning with no need for bussing for thousands of students.  Unfortunately your paper was too lazy to detail these examples.  Your editorialist might wish to start reading the news pages of The Guardian.

To suggest that the NP Infrastructure Project is re-enforcing driving to get to places is more lazy thinking.  There must be good and easy connections between communities and employment centers like hotels and government offices.  There must be access to public utility services – water, electricity, telephone and cable – which requires orderly streets which permit easy access to utility service conduits for repairs and maintenance.

Also, the massive effort which the FNM is making to improve roads in older traditional neighborhoods, installing sidewalks along with improved utilities and road surfaces, must be recognized as efforts to improve communities and to facilitate walking and not driving.

I can only hope that your changing of the guard will mean more than just new graphics.  I hope it also means better researched stories, more intelligent editorials, and more use of your own archives to get the facts.

While your new look is quite welcome, your paper has a long way to go in improving the quality of its editorials which are often inconsistent and seem more like the editorials of a school newspaper rather than that of the oldest paper in the country.

In the end, I sincerely hope that more of your editorials will truly be smarter and more progressive rather than glib, ill-informed and reactionary.  You might note, that this is the view of many more people than your paper may realize.

 

– FNM supporter

 

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