Nassau Guardian Stories
March 07, 2014
Please allow me the space in your newspaper to respond to the remarks made by MP for Tall Pines Leslie Miller recently in the House of Assembly and the events that followed.
We find it absolutely unacceptable and inexcusable that an MP would boldly make statements about abuse enacted against a former partner. It is further injurious to laugh about such a thing and encourage others to do the same.
The raucous laughter which came in response to Miller's heinous remarks cannot be overlooked and must be rebuked as much as the comments themselves. To laugh and fail to stop Miller's disrespectful speech is to rub salt in the wounds of the many domestic violence victims in this country. Every member of Parliament present at the time of Miller's remarks should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for their cowardice and/or ignorance of women's issues. The silence of the minister of social services - a supposed women's issues advocate - and all other women, husbands, fathers and brothers is reprehensible.
In response to the backlash of irate members of the public, Miller claimed that he was joking and suggested that we all should have known. Speculating on whether or not the story he told was truthful or fabricated purely for effect and/or entertainment would not serve to move this conversation forward. At this point it is important for Miller to note that his excuse is not acceptable. On the contrary, it does further damage, proving that he believes the issue of violence against women, which is ever-present in this country, is one for entertainment. Violence against women is never funny - no matter the angle or intent.
We call upon members of Parliament and citizens of this country to consider the impact of Miller's statements and the response - or lack thereof - from his colleagues on victims of domestic violence. Women already find it difficult to report domestic abuse for various reasons including shame, guilt, and fear that they will not be believed or taken seriously. Something must be done to repair the damage that has been done by every member of Parliament.
Trivializing domestic violence is insulting - and potentially demoralizing - to all women who have been victims of physical assault. Such a display of desensitization to the issue of domestic violence, which plagues this country, is unacceptable and cannot go without reproach. We call upon the people of The Bahamas to continue in the outcry against what has been allowed to occur in the House of Assembly. We cannot allow this to become another incident that eventually fades into the background, unaddressed and soon to be forgotten. The lives of many women are at stake.
HollaBack! Bahamas - set to officially launch mid-April 2014 - refuses to sit silently as those in positions of power seem satisfied to do. Though street harassment is our main focus, we will make resources on the subjects of domestic violence and rape available through our website, social media, and partner organizations. We will champion the cause of victims of violence, regardless of the form it takes. We will record, report, map, and share stories of this kind to expose the intimidation attempts of perpetrators of violence.
- HollaBack! Bahamas
read more »
March 07, 2014
o This commentary is taken from a lecture given by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Fred Mitchell on February 6 at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago. Mitchell's address was on "Saving CARICOM".
There were times when the project appeared to be imperiled. It seems to me that most people will say that this was the case during the seven years when the heads of government did not meet. It is interesting reading the 1982 speeches, the first of the conference meetings after a break of seven years. By that time, Eric Williams had passed away and while some of the founders of the project were there, there was a new world order.
By the time the conference took place in 1982 in Ocho Rios, Edward Seaga had become prime minister of Jamaica, with Ronald Reagan in the White House in Washington. Mr. Seaga was embraced by the new U.S. administration as a sign that a more conservative era had returned to the Caribbean after the work in democratic socialism under Michael Manley.
It is not clear why the conference had not met during those seven years. I sought to find the reasons.
The best I could discover was that a row broke out amongst the leaders over some issue and they simply refused to attend.
It was left to the ministers in council to carry on the work and in 1982 the leaders met in Ocho Rios in Jamaica and conferences have met ever since then.
The Bahamas joined CARICOM on July 4, 1983. We had become independent on July 10, 1973. I am not certain why it took us 10 years to join, since we had been participating in the work of many of the institutions of the project from the 1950s. The main one being the University of the West Indies and then the Council of Legal Education and the Medical Council.
Several generations of Bahamians have been trained at the university, in the law school and in the medical school. Our first student was Dr. Cecil Bethel who enrolled in the medical school in 1952.
In 1983, I was then working as a special assistant out of the Bahamas Information Services in the prime minister's office. I recall two things about CARICOM at that time. The death of Maurice Bishop, the prime minister of Grenada took place on October 20, 1983. The question was whether or not The Bahamas and other CARICOM leaders would support the decision of the United States to invade Grenada to restore constitutional order. According to a recollection by former Guyana Foreign Minister Rashleigh Jackson on guyanacaribbeanpolitics.com "... The Bahamas, Guyana, Belize and Trinidad and Tobago were against any military action, whereas Barbados and Jamaica were clearly in favor of the OECS countries issuing an invitation to the United States of America to join with them in an invasion of Grenada... "
I am happy to have included that story because I have travelling with me two researchers and aides from the ministry in Nassau: Joy Newbold and Jamahl Strachan. Ms. Newbold was born in the year the coup took place in Grenada in 1979. Mr. Strachan was born in 1988 well after both the coup and the invasion had taken place. The idea that there had been a coup in a CARICOM country had been news to them and with this inclusion they were enlightened about the story. It led to a full discussion with the secretary general again on the need for a definitive narrative on how we have come to where we are.
That disagreement over Grenada did not break up CARICOM. In fact at the heads of government meeting in The Bahamas from July 4 to July 7, 1984, Nicholas Brathwaite, chairman of the Interim Advisory Council, Grenada was accepted into the conference as the legitimate representative of the Grenadian people and the representative of Jamaica Edward Seaga was also there at the CARICOM table.
The conference continues to meet, often in a most passionate form.
The second thing that I remember from that time with Sir Lynden was that a decision was made on the question of putting the Tourism School for the University of the West Indies in Nassau. He said that he had made it plain to his colleagues that since The Bahamas was then the leader of tourism in the region that was the best place to put the school and they agreed.
That was my introduction to CARICOM.
In 1979, as the director of news and public affairs for our Broadcasting Corporation, I got to meet for the first time one Percival James Patterson, otherwise known as P.J. He was then foreign minister for Jamaica in and around the time of the coup against Maurice Bishop in 1979. As fate would have it, I became minister of foreign affairs of The Bahamas in 2002 and ended up working closely with Mr. Patterson on perhaps the most contentious issue of our era: that of Haiti and the overthrow of Jean Bertrand Aristide as president of Haiti about which I shall have more to say later.
I turn now to a document that was adopted by the heads of government in 1997 which loomed very large when I became minister in 2002 but seems now to have lapsed into obscurity; but you will see why I am arguing now that it should become more central to what CARICOM is and should be revisited and updated. It is called the Charter Of Civil Society. It was adopted in 1997 and while it is not justiciable, or so it appears, in that it is not community law in so far as I am aware, the document says the following at XXVI: "The states declare their resolve to pay due regard to the provisions of this charter."
As lawyers often say, at the very least then this charter is binding in honor. It forms the basis of a descriptive and normative set of values to which we all adhere and aspire and if any country does not agree with those values, then ipso facto they cannot be a member of CARICOM. Thus those who argue in favor of Cuba becoming a CARICOM member without changes in the conduct of the internal arrangements at governance in Cuba may have an uphill battle.
Certainly for The Bahamas, it was the pretext for us to implement consultations in our country through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with civil society. That practice fell into disuse when the PLP lost office in 2007 and we have been seeking to revive it. Article XXV calls for reports to be sent to the secretary general periodically. There are supposed to be national committees reviewing the implementation of the charter.
I believe that it is time to put the words of this charter into action. I believe that while the CARICOM Single Market And Economy (CSME) is a valuable and valued project and aspiration, you will find that the emphasis on that aspect of our relations and the difficulties of harmonizing economies and market space have caused some of the negativity which we now see toward CARICOM. When you look at the successes of this region and the functional cooperation that has been engendered, the work of the specialized agencies, you will see that CARICOM has been a roaring success. It is time, therefore, to look to human rights issues.
Nothing is more contentious than this issue in our politics that I now raise, given the religious aversion and visceral reactions to discussion of LGBT issues in our region. Some people see it as striking at the very heart and fabric of our cultural identity. The Bahamas is not an exception to that aversion with many people seeing the discussion as a moral and religious one and not a human rights one. My own political career suffers because of my insistence that in this regard like all other aspects of human life, there must be tolerance at a minimum and we must uphold the principle that the general rights for which we fought as being rights for all people, particularly as a formerly enslaved and indentured people, cannot be derogated from because of someone's sexual orientation. In other words, when the charter in article III says: "States shall, in the discharge of their legislative, executive administrative and judicial functions ensure respect for and protection of the human dignity of every person." That in my view means literally every person and not just confined to what article V says: "No person shall be favored or discriminated against by reason of age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender, language, place of birth or origin, political opinion, race, religion or social class."
The charter is a 1997 document so orientation was not included and perhaps even in today's atmosphere cannot be included, but the conversation has begun and the pressure from other societies with whom we deal is upon us to consider what our stand is on the rights of all people. Do we as a society for example condone violence against people simply because of their sexual orientation? The answer to that must be no. And if the answer is not no to that then the charter is not worth the paper it is written on.
The prime minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart, and Dr. Denzil Douglas, [prime minister] of St. Christopher and Nevis, have begun public discussions of these issues in their societies. The prime minister of Barbados even challenged the Anglican Church on the subject at their provincial synod. That was right and just. The Bahamas has decriminalized behavior associated with sexual orientation.
We have available in aid and comfort to any change to amplify the discrimination provision in the charter the constitution of South Africa which admits to orientation as one of the named classes for which there can be no discrimination. There are profound changes throughout the United States and Europe, our main trading and cultural partners on this issue. It would be unwise to ignore it.
I often find that in drafting solutions to contentious problems that one solution is a generic one. One solution is that the charter can become justiciable with enforceable rights across the community. Less coercively, it can be open to the Caribbean Court of Justice as the final arbiter of community law to adjudicate upon the charter and declare the rights of individuals for any aggrieved individual seeking an opinion from the court declaring his rights and the wording of the provision at article V can be reworded to read: "No person shall be favored or discriminated against by reason of including but not limited to the following: age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender, language, place of birth, origin, political opinion, race, religion, social class or some other characteristic which in the opinion of the court deserves special protection."
Of course the short way to deal with this is simply to add orientation as one of the listed characteristics. I have no remit to pronounce on that, however, and I do not do so.
What is important is that our leaders have already begun the conversation and that conversation should continue. That conversation should be underpinned with the principles of tolerance and the protection of the law for another disadvantaged group.
Less contentiously I suspect will be the question of the extent to which the principle of non-interference in the affairs of another CARICOM state still applies given what happened in Grenada in 1979 and again in 1983. When a state disintegrates and is under threat because of natural disasters that is an easy question to answer, but not so easy when one faces the question of civil disorder over political and civic issues.
The experience of Grenada and the restoration of democracy there has perhaps set the precedent that a governor general or president, acting in his own deliberate judgment, can call for outside assistance, even military or policing assistance.
Perhaps the charter ought to be amended to make clear what the position of member states will be when the human rights of individuals in a member state are so violated that it begs the question of outside interference. This is dangerous ground I admit, one on which we tread carefully.
o Fred Mitchell is the member of Parliament for Fox Hill and minister of foreign affairs and immigration.
read more »
March 07, 2014
Prime Minister Perry Christie; Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald; Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson and a delegation from The College of The Bahamas (COB), led by College Council Chairman Alfred Sears and COB Acting President Dr. Earla Carey-Baines, met recently with professors from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) at the University of Miami (UM).
The meetings were held over the course of two days with a view to establishing education and research partnerships between the University of Miami, The College of The Bahamas and the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI).
One of the world's foremost academic oceanographic and atmospheric research institutions, RSMAS is an authority on marine-related sciences. The school has a specially designed 65-acre marine research and education park at Virginia Key, Florida. COB and BAMSI leaders want to tap into RSMAS' expertise to develop sustainable academic programmes and drive an aggressive research agenda.
Dr. Vallierre Deleveaux, a Bahamian alumnus of RSMAS, organized the meetings in Miami and led discussions with a presentation of the basic conceptual plan behind the marine-sciences component of BAMSI.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources; the Ministry of Education; the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC); the Ministry of Works and Urban Development and The College of The Bahamas are all collaborating on the operation of BAMSI, which is being constructed in North Andros. The institute will encompass a tutorial commercial farm, integrate farmers on the island in a commercial processing scheme and incorporate crop and livestock production, farm management, environmental conservation and agri-business.
In Miami, discussions were focused on building research capacity in The Bahamas in the area of marine science; specifically research related to assessing the sustainable fishing thresholds for the conch, spiny lobster, and grouper populations in The Bahamas; the sustainability of recreational bone fishing in Andros, and the viability of fish farming in Bahamian waters using open-water, advanced submerged-cage technology.
A common theme of the presentations and discussions was the need to ensure the transfer of knowledge and to develop capacity between the partnering institutions while forging strategic alliances with potential industry partners. The latter was thought to be an important goal, not only for ensuring that BAMSI becomes a self-sustaining research and education institute, but also for achieving food security in The Bahamas.
Nelson Ehrhardt and Jerald Ault, professors of marine biology and fisheries, and Daniel Benetti, professor of marine affairs and policy at RSMAS, maintained that the key to successful vertical transfers of knowledge, that is the transformation of knowledge into applied science, occurs best when it takes place within an interdisciplinary framework.
While at RSMAS, Professor Benetti also led the visiting delegation on a tour of the Rosenstiel School's fish hatchery. He explained that the school has the ability and capacity to harvest any fish species. The hatchery currently has Cobia, Tarpon and Mahi Mahi at various stages of their life cycles.
The College of The Bahamas is seeking to continue building relationships with higher learning institutions around the world in order to deepen opportunities for engaged learning, research and institutional strengthening.
read more »
March 07, 2014
The executive management team of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the administrative machinery of the government of Nigeria's oil operations, invited Dr. Myles Munroe to serve as the featured leadership consultant and seminar facilitator for a government executive retreat at the Western Las Vegas Hotel & Resort this past Tuesday.
Dr. Myles Munroe facilitated an entire day of leadership training for the top executives of the Nigerian Petroleum Corporation, which bought together the major general managers, CEOs and senior executives that oversee the billions of dollars of oil exploration, refining and export operations for the government of Nigeria.
"Today was a life changing experience for me" said Rabiu Suleima, general manager for the Health and Safety and Environment, Engineering and Technology Directorate of the NNPC; "I wish I had heard this information ten years ago."
Dr. Munroe was invited to facilitate the high level executive leadership event in partnership with PPM Consultants, a Nigerian-based company.
"This is my first time hearing Dr. Munroe and did not know how good he was. My perspective on my responsibilities as a top leader in the petroleum industry has been transformed in one day," said Adebayo Ibirogba, group general manager of engineering and technology at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
The NNPC executives spent the entire day with Dr. Myles Munroe in Las Vegas, Nevada for the high level executive retreat, and also received copies of Dr. Munroe's latest leadership book on character in leadership. The impact on the oil Industry power brokers was amazing. "I am deeply humbled by the government of Nigeria for retaining us for this very important leadership training experience, and enjoyed the privilege and opportunity to facilitate these sessions," said Dr. Munroe.
He focused on a number of topics including executive leadership principles; the role of vision in leadership; the power of teamwork and mentoring and succession in leadership.
"I look forward to Dr. Munroe continuing his training of our leaders in Nigeria and believe all of our government leaders need these sessions." said Sam O. Ndukwe, general manager, gas pipeline and infrastructure.
Dr. Munroe has been invited to return to Nigeria in April for seven days of leadership training programs and continues to contribute to the ongoing development of effective leadership in this emerging economic giant.
read more »
March 06, 2014
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven...
read more »
Gospel recording psalmist Jonathan Nelson and Prophet Luther C. McKinstry III to minister at Calvary Deliverance Church
March 06, 2014
Gospel recording psalmist Jonathan Nelson and Prophet Luther C. McKinstry III, associate minister at the Worship Center...
read more »
March 06, 2014
There has been an excessive amount of arrogance expressed concerning this holy season of Lent, for which the greater part of Christianity finds most fulfilling, both spiritually and otherwise. Most of our people are simply not aware of its importance and the possible impact it carries.
Our word "Lent" comes from the Anglo-saxon word that means the time of the lengthening days or simply, "Spring". Lent, as we know it, now extends for 40 days which is parallel to the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness. Sundays in Lent are not counted into the 40 days seeing that Sundays are never days of fasting for the Christian.
The season begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, Easter eve. The last week before Easter is called Holy Week and is set apart for emphasis. This is the week of the passion, the time of teaching and death as it pertains to Jesus. The Lenten season actually grew by extension backward from Easter.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent; it follows Mardi Gras or "Fat-Tuesday" or Shrove Tuesday. Ash Wednesday sets an appropriate penitential or preparatory time for Lent. The name Ash Wednesday derived from the traditional rite of that day in which the priest marks himself and the faithful on the foreheads using ashes made from the palms of the previous Palm Sunday. The use of ashes is evident among the people in both the Old and New Testaments. It is a symbolic reminder of the ongoing need of repentance and humility before God. What is ever so powerful, are the words used by the priest when imposing the ashes, of our immortality, "Remember man you are dust and to dust you shall return." The new rite now adds the challenging words, "Repent and believe the Gospel."
The beginning of Lent is first mentioned in Christian writings about 100 AD. It started as a brief period of strict fasting and prayer, observed by all, in preparation for the Paschal Feast, Easter. The custom may have been taken over from Judaism, since it was customary for Jews to fast in preparation for Passover. Somewhere around 313 A.D. the Roman Emperor, Constantine, became a convert to Christianity, declared it a legal religion and made Sunday an official day of worship and a holiday. In doing this, however, he created some problems as well. Converts to the newly popular faith increased quickly now that it was safe and acceptable, but many only partly understood it. And now that secrecy was no longer necessary, devotion tended to relax among the faithful. Now it was necessary for extensive teaching and increased discipline which was to include both candidates for baptism and those already initiated.
Lent in the Western Church (our part of the world) became a six-week span, excluding Saturdays as well as Sundays. In 325 A.D. at the council of Nicea the church word for Lent -- Quadragesima meaning a forty day period - first appeared and was understood as a season of six weeks, beginning on what is now the first Sunday in Lent.
Lent is properly observed by undertaking special programs of study, teaching, prayer and/or renewal. It's an appropriate time to instill discipline in one's life; St. Paul talks about beating the body in subjection to the spirit and make it know its master. It is appropriately describe as a season of prayer and fasting. It's good to let go of some vice that has such a convincing hold on us and let go forever. Of course, Lent is not the only time we do these things, but it is built into our church system so as to better reinforce the possibility that we do them.
The purpose of Lent is not self-punishment, but preparation for Easter through concentration on fundamental values and priorities.
o Reverend Canon S. Sebastian Campbell is the rector at St. Gregory's Anglican Church.
read more »
March 06, 2014
"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." - Joshua 24:15
As this scripture lingered with me for over a week and reading other translations other than the King James Version (KJV), it is very clear to me that this text tells me in no uncertain terms that you cannot make people do what they don't want to do. You may bark, scream, shout, cuss and fuss, but people do what they want to do. They go where they want to go -- marry whom they want to -- love whom they wish and don't give a red cent about what you think about them because it is what they think about you. And guess what? God made man a free moral agent to have choices not forgetting though, some choices bring forth serious consequences.
Today, for your reading and inspiration to choose the better part for the spiritual and moral wellness of your whole being, I give you parallel verses of our text.
"But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord" (New International Vision).
"But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord" (New Living Translation).
"And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (English Standard Version).
Joshua was born in the land of Goshen to parents who were held in slavery by the Egyptians, and so he was like any other youth with little hope of becoming somebody. However, one's circumstances at birth has nothing to do with what one can become with God's help, and Joshua became one of the great military heroes and executives of all time. It is a terrible thing to, as Paul told Timothy, let others despise the youth, and so we must be careful how we walk among the underprivileged, as you may meet one of God's future noblemen.
So it is no surprise that Moses, as he began his work of deliverance, should have been attracted by this strong young man who became known as his minister and attendant. As a leader, Joshua was disciplined in adversity. Like gold, leaders should become more valuable when placed in the crucible of extreme difficulties thus paving the way to prosperity. Imagine The Wall Street Journal giving high marks to United States President Barack Obama's healthcare and what it has done for the financial reward to consumers.
Complying to God's instructions, Moses selected 12 men to spy out the land of Canaan and it is natural that he named Joshua in that number. They surveyed the land and conquered it. He ordered a march around the walls of Jericho and conquered the city. His leadership should be one to be studied by aspiring leaders in whatever field of endeavor.
And so in this final chapter of the book that bears his name it begins, "And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers, and they presented themselves before God.
"And Joshua said unto all the people, 'Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor, and they served other gods. And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.
"Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt, and serve ye the Lord.
"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood or the gods of the Amorite in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
My dear and faithful readers this is the Word of God for the people of our land and this year 2014, is not one to be toyed with. If after all that God has done for us as a people and we choose not to be grateful and turn our backs on Him, hate, cheat, despise the poor, become heady and proud, plotting against others, then the pay check will reflect our works. On the other hand, those who choose to serve the Lord in the beauty of holiness and lead others to so do, will drink from fountains that they have not dug, and inherit treasures they did not store up. It is all about a matter of choice.
o E-mail email@example.com, or write to P.O. Box 19725 SS Nassau, Bahamas with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God's Blessings!
read more »
March 06, 2014
The battle for the title of top private school in track and field has begun. The 2014 Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) Track and Field Championships started yesterday at the old Thomas A. Robinson Stadium.
The St. Augustine's College (SAC) Big Red Machine are hoping to leave this year's championships with a mind-blowing 25th straight win, while other teams such as the Queen's College Comets are looking to end SAC's reign. There are 12 schools in total in the association.
Each school sent their athletes out in full force yesterday, looking to get off to a fast start in this year's championships. However, it was still the Big Red Machine that finished the day out front, 86 points ahead of second place Queen's College. The St. Anne's Blue Waves are third, St. John's College is fourth, St. Andrew's trails in fifth, Nassau Christian Academy is sixth, Temple Christian is in seventh, Jordan Prince William is eighth, Aquinas is in the ninth spot, Bahamas Academy is 10th, Kingsway Academy is 11th, and Charles W. Saunders brings up the rear.
In total points, SAC ended the first day of competition with 462, and the Comets followed with 376. The Blue Waves are a distant third, with 138 points.
The day was filled with heats as each athlete fought for a chance to compete in finals which will be contested today and tomorrow. The heats gave some indication of what the finals will be like. They should be closely contested. There were some finals on the first day though.
There were also some CARIFTA qualifiers, and some BAISS records were broken.
Serena Brown posted a CARIFTA qualifying mark in the intermediate girls shot put, with a throw of 12.85 meters (m) - 42' 2". Also, Tiffany Hanna and Laquel Harris both passed the CARIFTA qualifying mark with throws of 12.75m (41' 10") and 12.34m (40' 5-1/4") respectively.
Dreshanae Rolle also qualified as she won the intermediate girls 400 meters in 57 seconds flat, and Tavonte Mott posted his qualifying mark in the intermediate boys 110-meter hurdles, 14.40 seconds.
Megan Moss broke the BAISS record in the bantam girls 400-meter dash as she recorded a time of 1:00:99. Doneisha Anderson and Marissa White both went under the BAISS record in the junior girls 400 meters, in times of 57.28 and 57.60 seconds respectively.
In the senior boys 400-meter dash, SAC's Kinard Rolle broke the BAISS record with a time of 48.64 seconds. Adrian Grant and Perry Adderly both went under the discuss record with throws of 39.25m (128' 9") and 39.90m (130' 11") respectively. Tamar Greene set a new BAISS record in the triple jump with a jump of 14.57m (47' 9-3/4"). Olympian 'Superman' Leevan Sands held the old record.
read more »
March 06, 2014
The Bahamas Scholastic Athletic Association (BSAA) entered the third day of its basketball playoffs yesterday.
The action began to heat up in the D.W. Davis Gymnasium as the teams battled for the right to be called champions.
The marquee match-up of the evening featured the Noble Preparatory Academy Ballers going up against the Teleos Academy Cherubims. The game got out of control early as the Ballers never really seemed to have their minds in the game. The Cherubims won easily, 50-31.
Teleos came into the game down 1-0 in the best-of-three game series. They knew they had to come out and execute against a Noble team that comes in with high regard, and is highly ranked after an impressive run in the Hugh Campbell tournament. It seemed as if they were fighting a losing battle against a team that was so dominant in the league all year, but the Cherubims came out with an intensity that shocked the crowd, and the Ballers as well. They ran a full court press for the entire game. That pressure had Noble's offense scrambling for points.
Teleos harassed ball-handlers and forced a lot of turnovers in the backcourt that led to a lot of easy lay-ups. Teleos' defense was the story of the first half, but Noble's strongest quarter this year has been the third, and they were expected to make a run. At the start of the quarter, Teleos came out ready to stop Noble's push.
Their offense picked up to match the defense, which turned into a disaster situation for the Ballers who couldn't seem to find any rhythm last night.
The Cherubims were led by Bertram Minnis with a game-high 23 points. Delroy Grandison finished with a team-high 10 points for the Ballers.
The final game of the best-of-three series will be played Friday evening at D.W. Davis Gymnasium.
In the other games on Wednesday, Carlton E. Francis primary boys defeated St. Andrew's School, 23-18, Freedom Academy junior girls defeated Teleos Academy, 17-15, and Teleos senior girls defeated Akhepran. The Freedom Academy junior girls and Teleos senior girls won their divisions with their victories on Wednesday.
read more »
March 06, 2014
Atlantic Medical has once again partnered with the Barracuda Swim Club to host the 2nd Annual Atlantic Medical/Barracuda Invitational. The swim meet will be held this Friday March 7 and Saturday March 8, at the Betty Kelly-Kenning National Aquatics Center.
Presenting the check on behalf of Atlantic Medical was Annastasia Francis, director of operations.
According to reports, the Barracuda club is pleased that Atlantic Medical is once again playing a vital role in the development of young
Bahamians through the sport of swimming. Atlantic Medical has a long-standing record of being a company that promotes healthy lifestyles, placing great importance on developing a healthy, fit nation by supporting various charities and civic organizations.
Swimming is an activity that helps children to excel both in and out of the pool as it develops discipline, passion and commitment to the sport and to the overall life of a child.
Dion Gibson, president of the Barracuda Swim Club, stated: "We are pleased once again to partner with Atlantic Medical Insurance and we look forward to this continued relationship and support as we work together to advance the sport of swimming throughout The Bahamas."
The meet this weekend will give swimmers an opportunity to qualify for the 2014 CARIFTA Swimming Championships which will be held the last week in April in Aruba. The public is encouraged to come out and support the swimmers as they strive to qualify for CARIFTA.
read more »
March 06, 2014
Week four of the Eleuthera Junior Baseball League of Rock Sound took place in Spanish Wells this past weekend. In the first game, in the Minor Division, the Tarpum Bay Tarpons lost by default to the Spanish Wells Sluggers. In the second game of the day, in the Junior Division, the Spanish Wells Stingrays defeated the Rock Sound Stingrays, 6-5, in a pitcher's duel between Dominic Pinder of Spanish Wells and Christopher Lloyd of Rock Sound. Landon Sweeting got the win in relief of Dominic Pinder. The Sluggers Minor League team saw action again, in the third game of the day, as they took on the Green Castle Dragons. The Sluggers destroyed the Dragons, 23-1. Payden Newbold had eight strike outs and got the win for the Sluggers. Ashton Petty had three strike outs and suffered the loss for the Dragons.
Week five (Rock Sound)Rock Sound Sea Grapes vs. Tarpum Bay Nippers (Tee Ball)
Spanish Wells Hook n' Jook vs. Rock Sound Coco Plums (Coach Pitch)
Spanish Wells Stingrays vs. Rock Sound Stingrays (Junior Division)
Green Castle Dragons vs. Rock Sound Tarpons (Minor Division)
read more »
March 06, 2014
GREAT EXUMA, The Bahamas -- Conrad Leinemann was already on the boat when staff from Ty's Sunset Bar & Grill hollered for him to come back.
Leinemann, a Canadian volleyball player who competed in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, and holds the record for world's fastest serve at 104.4 kilometers per hour, didn't think twice. He leapt from the boat, splashed through knee-deep water and walked up to the beach at Farmer's Cay, Exuma. Inside, management at Ty's Sunset Bar & Grill asked if the Olympian would sign a volleyball so the employees could place it behind the bar.
Leinemann did one better. He called over Josh Binstock, a fellow Olympic volleyball player who competed in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and they both signed the ball and presented the keepsake to one of the island's school children. The touching moment marked the end of a special trip to Farmer's Cay during Grand Isle's 'Sochi Under the Sun' event, held at the resort from February 9-23.
"Entertaining these Olympians at Farmer's Cay was amazing for everyone involved," said Tyrone Munroe, the owner of Ty's Sunset Bar & Grill.
"We have big plans for this island, and these kinds of visitors show just how big they are."
It was the second time that high-profile guests had visited Farmer's Cay in recent weeks.
On February 11, Canadian Olympians, players from the National Hockey League (NHL) and hotel guests from Grand Isle, also visited the island and engaged in the first-ever road hockey game on the airstrip, located a stone's throw from Ty's Sunset Bar & Grill.
The most recent trip with Leinemann and Binstock also featured a hockey game. This time it was led by Sami Jo Small, who won a gold medal in women's hockey during the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, Italy.
A full set of hockey gear has been left on the island for more games in the future. The boost in business represents a welcomed change of pace from the tourists heading through the Exuma Cays on boats. While this clientele is important, the small island has big ambitions.
As the restaurant gains in popularity, management recently announced the construction of several cottages and a pool in 2014 or early 2015.
Munroe has partnered with Peter Nicholson, who is also an owner at Grand Isle Resort & Spa, to put Farmer's Cay firmly on the map. The two have partnered at both Grand Isle and Farmer's Cay.
'Sochi Under the Sun' capped off a busy month of February for the island. Ty's Sunset Bar & Grill was also the epicenter of the annual Farmer's Cay Regatta at the start of the month.
"We had a few hundred boats come by and could barely keep up with the demand," Munroe said. "With these special events, it is only a matter of time before this island becomes a major attraction in Exuma."
It's safe to say that the Olympians certainly left their mark on Farmer's Cay.
read more »
March 06, 2014
FREEPORT -- It was a clear touchdown for Lothan Roberts, the overall winner of the Freeport Jetwash Game Day Giveaway promotion. Roberts was the ultimate winner after a three-month promotion, and he won a 46" flat screen television (TV).
"We have had this type of promotion in the past, and it was a huge success," said Larry Albury, general manager at Freeport Jetwash.
"We wanted to bring it back, and figured what better way to give away a TV than centered around football - we are all fanatics here."
As a part of the giveaway, customers who made purchases from the Parts Department were entered to win Jetwash cash and all entries rolled over for the chance to win the grand prize. Jetwash cash can be used as in-store credit toward any Jetwash department.
Previous Freeport Jetwash cash winners for the month of November were Franklyn Pinder, Shervin Johnson and N'Kemo D. Rose. December winners were Tracey Joseph, M. Smith and Anton Campbell. The winners of the Jetwash cash for January were Colins Evans, Bradley Forbes and Cheryl Whymms.
"We're delighted that we can make the Jetwash experience a great one for customers with promotions like these," said Albury.
"We look forward to further promotions for our loyal customers. We know they have a choice and we appreciate those who shop with us and remain loyal to businesses at home."
Freeport Jet Wash and Auto Mart, located on West Mall Drive in downtown Freeport, is one of the largest new car sales, auto parts, service center and gas stations on the island of Grand Bahama.
read more »
March 06, 2014
Former Minister of State for Finance James Smith yesterday warned the private sector to "be careful what it wishes for", explaining that any possible delay of the implementation of value-added tax (VAT) would increase the government's deficit and lead to a possible credit downgrade.
Smith told Guardian Business that these repercussions would later reverberate in the private sector.
He was asked to respond to the accelerated push from some in the private sector who have asked the government to either delay VAT's planed July 1 implementation or adopt an alternative tax model.
This week it was revealed that tourism leaders plan to present a five-point "smart tax plan" to the government. The plan will include a recommendation that the government tax web shops as a way to improve revenue and institute a shared payroll tax of five percent, paid by both employer and employee.
The Coalition for Responsible Taxation, made of private sector groups, is also against VAT's implementation. The group has hired an economist to prepare a study on alternative tax models and has already suggested creating a new payroll tax to bring in revenue instead of VAT.
Prime Minister Perry Christie has said he is open to recommendations from the private sector and could be persuaded to institute an alternative tax model if it proves viable.
But yesterday Smith said that government technocrats have likely considered all of the available tax models before deciding that VAT was the best option.
Smith, who is also a consultant to the minister of finance and a former governor of the central bank, warned against "recycling" these options at the 11th hour".
"One has to be mindful that once the July 1 deadline is passed and if nothing happens each day you are running up our predictable deficit."
The deficit for the current fiscal year is expected to come in at $447 million, or 5.2 per cent of GDP.
He added: "One has to be careful what you ask for. If in asking for a different tax system or a deferral means that you push back any [VAT] implementation date, you automatically increase the deficit and everything that goes along with that.
"The carrying costs of that would be the interest on that plus the $5 billion or thereabouts in debt. It's a very costly exercise and if there is a downgrade in trying to fund the additional debt, it will cost the government and the taxpayer even more.
"To do that the government will probably have to crowd out the private sector because its demand for funds would be greater. So expansion by private sector enterprises could be curtailed. We could probably push ourselves into another self-inflicted recession."
Some observers have also urged the government to crack down on real property tax delinquencies, which are around $550 million, before instituting a new tax model.
However, Smith said even if the government is able to recoup the funds owed it would not solve the country's fiscal woes. He said the collection of real property taxes should be dealt with as a separate issue from the reform of the country's tax model.
"It's not a panacea for the problems we are faced with for fiscal reform. Fiscal reform in our context actually means you need a tax base that would expand proportionate with the expansion of the economy, and you have an economy that is 70 percent services and consequently any expansion of the economy is usually on the services side.
"Even if you collect all of the outstanding taxes today, that would only take care of you for one year," Smith said.
While the private sector pushes for VAT to be delayed or abandoned, Ministry of Finance officials have said they are working towards the July 1 implementation date.
However, the government has yet to table to the final VAT bill in the House of Assembly.
The government plans to roll out VAT at a rate of 15 percent in most cases and 10 percent in the hotel sector on July 1.
Ministry of Finance officials have said the tax will bring in around $200 million a year, which will be used to pay down public debt.
read more »
March 06, 2014
Just nine months away from its planned December 8 opening, the Baha Mar resort is on target with "75 percent to 80 percent" of the construction work complete and a ramp up of marketing planned for the third quarter of this year.
The government has hinged part of its hopes for an economic recovery, and a dip in unemployment, on the resort's opening.
Robert Sands, the resort's senior vice president of administration and external affairs, said while Baha Mar is not the only economic driver in town, he is sure the property will be able to live up to these expectations by pulling in arrivals and putting thousands of Bahamians to work.
"There is an expectation for Baha Mar in this particular area," he told Guardian Business. "We are satisfied that we are going to do our part.
"We're not the only economic driver in the country, but we are satisfied that the jobs that we are going to create will make a significant dent in the unemployment in this country, and we will also be a major stimulus to economic growth in the country going forward."
Sands said the property has more than 10,000 applications for operational jobs. Baha Mar's recruitment team has started reviewing these applications to forward to the property's brands for consideration.
To date, the property has created more than 2,800 job opportunities for Bahamians and put out more than $615 million worth of contracts out to bid for Bahamian contractors.
There are more than 350 Bahamians currently working on the construction site, including construction workers. The resort's core team consists of 150 Bahamians.
There are nearly 3,000 foreign workers on the site and the bulk of this figure is made up of Chinese laborers.
"We have more than lived up to our commitment outlined in our heads of agreement with the government of The Bahamas," Sands said.
The Leadership Development Institute, one of the resort's recruitment programs, has had more than 3,500 participants and received more than 2,900 applications to date.
The resort plans to hire 4,000 hotel workers this year. Sands said he is confident that the property will be able to fill this void with Bahamian talent.
"The challenge will always remain in the middle to upper management categories, but we are satisfied that we will have the training in place that will be able to match the skill sets of the individuals we retain to the goals, the policies and also to the expectations that we have in the jobs that we will be matching them with."
Once open, Baha Mar will have to contend with competition from the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island. Principals from the Albany development last month signed an amended heads of agreement with the government for a $140 million expansion, which is expected to transform the property into the Monaco of the Caribbean.
Sands said Baha Mar will be able to coexist with these properties and will offer something unique to visitors, particularly its casino.
He added that the resort's gaming partner, Global Gaming Access Management, is "world class" and responsible for some of the world's most successful casinos.
"We are satisfied that we are an adult destination and that we are in fact a gaming resort," Sands said, when asked about fears of competition. "Our niche is pretty much focused, we welcome Albany in their effort to help to raise the profile of tourism in The Bahamas, but we are very satisfied that the direction that we are going [in], we will be very successful in those market niches.
"In addition to gaming, we are going to have some emphasis on meetings and conventions and our luxury market as well. So we are very satisfied that Baha Mar will be able to generate the numbers of business, bodies that will be required to make us a very successful gaming resort on day one."
A key focus of the property is incorporating Bahamian culture and art into its concept.
"The whole ethos about Baha Mar is about things Bahamian," said Sands. "Our visionary leader says it all the time, we're not called the golden horse rising from the sea. We're called Baha Mar, which means beautiful blue waters. So even from our name, everything that we do characterizes authenticity and things Bahamian."
The resort has hired Bahamian artist John Cox as its creative arts director and aims to put local art at the forefront of its design. Baha Mar's local art alliances include The D'Aguilar Art Foundation, The Dawn Davies Collection and the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas.
The resort's amenities will include a 100,000-square-foot casino, an 18-hole, 72-par Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, the ESPA at Baha Mar spa and more than a dozen pools.
Other attractions will include 50,000 square feet of high-end retail and shopping, and over 30 restaurants, bars and lounges.
The resort will also include 200,000 square feet of combined state-of-the-art convention facilities, including a 2,000-seat performing arts center and an art gallery with the largest curated collection of Bahamian art; a beachfront sanctuary with native Bahamian flora and fauna, and a private island.
Baha Mar officials are expected to take the media on a tour of its golf course today, which is set for completion by the second quarter of this year.
read more »