Nassau Guardian Stories
Smith also recommended instituting a provision in the constitution that would allow a member of Parliament to be recalled.
The comments were among 13 suggestions he made for constitutional reform.
Smith also called for the country's head of state to be a Bahamian.
Additionally, he recommended that the country become a republic; the Senate be abolished and an independent boundaries and electoral commission be established.
He also recommended that the constitution set out the maximum number of government ministers due to "the financial abuse that the nation has endured in recent times with the large size of Cabinets".
Smith also joined the chorus of Bahamians who have called for the country to remove the London-based Privy Council as the highest court of appeal and replace it with a Bahamian court.
In February, human rights activist Erin Greene said the church should not prevent the government from carrying out its obligation to its citizens and upholding their right to same-sex marriage.
Greene said the state's obligation to its citizens is different from the church's obligation to its parishioners.
"The state has an obligation to me, to ensure that as a citizen, I have equitable access to the benefits that it offers," she said before the Constitutional Commission.
"If the state is offering special benefits to married people, then it should not prevent me from getting married because I have a right to share in that benefit if I want to."
Earlier this year, Anglican Bishop Laish Boyd recommended that the constitution reflect that no one should be discriminated against based on sexual orientation.
He is opposed to same-sex marriage, however.
In January, Grace Community Church pastor Rev. Dr. Rex Major appeared before the commission and recommended that the constitution define marriage as being between a man and woman.
The government has delayed the proposed constitutional referendum from June until late November as requested by the Constitutional Commission.
The delay is meant to give the public as much time as possible to digest any recommended changes to the constitution that the commission may make. The prime minister said the specific date of the vote will be revealed later.
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ASP Christopher Wright said he arrested Kofhe Goodman around 7:30 p.m. on September 27, 2011 at a pink and white apartment complex on Yorkshire Street.
The following day, a team of officers found the decomposing remains of a naked male child, whom prosecutors allege is Archer, in bushes near the complex.
Archer's family reported him missing after he failed to return to his Brougham Street home on September 23 after going to a neighborhood store.
Goodman is accused of murdering Archer between September 23 and 28.
He has denied the charge at his trial before Justice Bernard Turner.
Wright said Goodman, whom he also knew as Elvardo Ferguson, was leaving the property in a white Nissan Maxima.
Wright said he blocked Goodman's car with his vehicle and approached with other officers.
He said he identified himself and cautioned Goodman, who replied, "Man y'all joking. Y'all got the wrong man."
Wright said Goodman was placed under arrest and "after a struggle, he was subdued" and taken to the Cable Beach Police Station.
According to Wright, the Maxima was also towed to the station.
Before beginning his cross-examination, Goodman's lawyer Geoffrey Farquharson suggested that Wright resembled the "missing child in this case".
Justice Turner told Farquharson to move on.
Wright said that he had visited the apartment complex to visit ASP Ricardo Taylor, who lived there "at some point".
Farquharson asked Wright if he had delegated Sergeant 2032 Knowles, an officer from the sexual offenses squad, to collect evidence from the unit.
Wright said he had not.
Similarly, Wright said he was not aware that Sergeant Esther Miller had previously photographed the complex.
Farquharson said his cross-examination had reached an impasse because he needed the witness to refer to photographs that have not been exhibited in evidence.
Farquharson complained that the prosecution was calling witnesses in the wrong sequence.
Garvin Gaskin, the deputy director of public prosecutions; Neil Brathwaite, the assistant director of public prosecutions, and Darell Taylor are the prosecutors.
The case continues today.
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Baha Mar terminated 140 workers from the Wyndham Nassau Resort in February, claiming that decreased business volume was the driving factor.
According to Baha Mar's deed of release obtained by The Nassau Guardian, any employee upon signing is "barred from seeking or obtaining employment" with Baha Mar until 18 months after his or her release.
BHCAWU General Secretary Darren Woods yesterday said the union and Baha Mar Senior Vice-President of Administration and External Affairs Robert 'Sandy' Sands are making progress on a resolution.
"Talks are still ongoing as it relates to the government and us and [Baha Mar] but we did have a conversation with Mr. Sands who indicated that they were going to take that out of the release employees would have signed and the persons will be able to reapply," Woods said.
"Now we need to see how far that goes because you could say one thing but in fact do something else."
Those fired employees worked in the food and beverage, housekeeping, engineering and water sports departments, Woods said.
"Those employees, to the best of our knowledge, were not problem employees because a problem employee would not be on the job for 20 and 30 years.
"A problem employee would be in and out. They are saying now they have a difficulty in filling positions."
BHCAWU executives have said they will do what is necessary to convince Baha Mar to rehire those workers in its new resort.
Tension mounted between both sides after Baha Mar's management announced in March that there could be a labor shortage in several keys areas by the time the mega-resort opens.
Those areas, include engineering, golf maintenance, food and beverage and front of house.
Sands has insisted there is a labor shortage for technical and specialized management positions.
The mega-resort is expected to need in excess of 4,500 employees in less than two years.
When asked about the clause in a recent interview, Sands said he needed to check the document before responding.
But for Maria Bethel, 42, a former housekeeper at Baha Mar, the reversal of the clause could be the difference between financial security and ruin.
Bethel, a mother of two, is one of the employees who signed a deed of release four months ago.
She told The Guardian yesterday that at the time, as her bills continued to pile up, she saw no other option but to sign.
She received a $7,000 package for her 13 years of employment. According to Bethel, those funds are all but depleted.
"My bills were hitting me so I did what I had to do," she said. "In order for you to receive the money, you had sign the contract.
"Now things are dreadful and going to National Insurance is not easy, but I am hurting."
Asked whether she expected to be transferred from the Wyndham to Baha Mar, Bethel said, "I thought that was going to happen but it's clearly not.
"From what I understand my name is on a list of the 140 people that they let go to ensure that they are not re-employed," she said.
"I should have had first preference. I want to apply because I love what I do. I got great response from my guests."
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He added that the project is progressing smoothly and is still on budget. The project has been touted as the single largest investment in healthcare infrastructure at PMH.
"As you know, with any construction project, and certainly one as big as this you should expect to encounter difficulties," Pennerman said during a press conference. "But so far so good. After a month of commissioning we will be using it for clinical purposes in September."
The project began in November 2011. Upon completion, the 75,000-square-foot multi-story expansion unit will include six surgical suites with state-of-the-art equipment.
It will also have a new central sterile department; 18 recovery beds; 20 private ICU (Intensive Care Unit) rooms; 48 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) beds; new laboratory facilities; upgraded administrative facilities; a new main entry into the facility that is accessible to the disabled and shared services.
Pennerman noted that there have been no major difficulties with the project.
"You get the odd glitch... for example because there are some specific pieces we want to put in the laboratory area, we've had some delays there, but we think we can catch up," he said.
"Some of the very specialized things that we've needed for the operating theaters, they have to be made."
He said that most of the work is done.
Richard Wilson, the managing director of Cavalier Construction, said last year that there had been "tremendous challenges" throughout the project, the biggest being underground utility services.
However, Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) Managing Director Herbert Brown said that the PHA, the contractor and the various utility companies have coordinated and maintained a consistent meeting schedule to help limit issues.
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Nonetheless, we are still waiting.
Last month, Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson said the government wants to bring the Freedom of Information Act into force "as soon as possible", but the law is now under review to ensure that the "proper mechanisms are in place to support it".
"There are some aspects of it that actually need to be addressed," Maynard told the media. "We don't want a situation where we have actually brought something into force and it can't work. When you want to make an application to get something and anybody is holding up, you want to have some redress if you don't get it."
We are all for ensuring that the laws of the land work as efficiently and are as effective as possible, and we trust that Maynard-Gibson means what she says.
Despite how close we are to having our very own FOI Act, we are sadly still not there yet, lagging behind other countries in the region.
Many other countries in the region are either in the process of drafting or have already implemented Freedom of Information laws. Around the world, more than 60 countries have enacted FOI acts.
Freedom of information has long been recognized as a foundational human right ever since the United Nations General Assembly declared in 1946 that, "Freedom of Information is a fundamental human right and a touchstone of all freedoms to which the United Nations is consecrated." Since then, the Organization of American States and the Commonwealth - The Bahamas being a member of both - have also endorsed minimum standards on the right of information.
A FOI law has the potential to promote greater transparency and accountability and also facilitates greater public participation in the government's decision-making process. Empowering citizens with the legal right to access information of their government's activities can strengthen democracy by making the government directly accountable to its citizens on a day-to-day basis rather than just at election time.
Legislation to provide more freedom or access to information is not an end in itself.
An outdated public service culture run by civil servants who would often prefer root canal surgery rather than press scrutiny will not quickly become more transparent because of the passage of a bill.
Moreover, a media culture that is often sloppy and lazy in its coverage of government and political affairs will also not suddenly become more enterprising. Still, such legislation is a means to various ends. It is a part of a framework of legislative tools that can help to promote a more accountable and transparent public service culture.
The enactment of and training in the details of such legislation may help spur politicians, civil servants and journalists to provide citizens with the freedom of information needed to make freer and more informed decisions.
Outlawing discrimination does not end prejudice. But it puts that prejudice on notice that discrimination is against the law. Legislation to ensure greater public access to information will not in itself ensure a more open public service culture. But it puts that culture on notice that such openness is an essential component in good and effective governance.
We trust that the government will live up to its word to enact the FOI act "as soon as possible".
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Political activist and former Democratic National Alliance hopeful Rodney Moncur is one of the most bold and courageous activists this country has ever had.
His is an example of one being able to raise eyebrows in high places without having millions of dollars or without being a successful politician or without having a college education.
The former Workers' Party leader is in no way, shape or form a master of the Queen's English, yet he is erudite and commands the attention of thousands of grassroot Bahamians when he opens his mouth.
The past year has been challenging for Moncur. As with the case with all 37 of his fellow DNA candidates, he failed to win a seat in the general election.
I believe Moncur lives in the Bains Town and Grants Town area of Nassau. This is likely the reason for him being fielded in that community by DNA Leader Branville McCartney.
Moncur went up against the Free National Movement's John Bostwick II and the Progressive Liberal Party's Dr. Bernard Nottage. From what I understand, both Bostwick and Nottage do not live in that community. Yet Nottage gained 2,856 votes and Bostwick got 1,754 votes to Moncur's paltry 333 votes.
Seeing that he understands the pulse of that community, one would think that Bains Town and Grants Town residents would have at least given one of their very own enough votes to get back his election deposit. But they didn't even do that, even though he has fought for years to improve that area through his courageous activism.
In addition to being rejected by the very people he has fought for, Moncur was hauled before the courts for allegedly posting photos of a dead man on his Facebook page and spent a night in Her Majesty's Fox Hill Prisons after failing to post bail on the day of his arraignment. That case is currently before the courts.
And if that was not enough for the activist, his Black Village home was recently destroyed by fire. Moncur believes that the fire was set by an arsonist. He further claimed to have received several death threats in recent times and that an explosive device was thrown at his home and that his office was destroyed by fire -- also the work of an arsonist, says Moncur.
I wonder how many Bahamians really took notice of Moncur's claims of receiving death threats and of his home being intentionally set on fire. If his hunch is right, then whomever is responsible for the destruction of Moncur's home and for issuing the death threats has set a very dangerous precedent in The Bahamas.
This is the first time that I have ever heard of a prominent citizen claiming to have received death threats just for simply challenging the status quo.
The Bahamas has one of the most peaceful democracies in the entire world. If there is a change of government at election time, the transition is mostly peaceful. We are not accustomed to acts of political violence, as is the case with other nations around the world.
That is why all Bahamians who love democracy should be gravely concerned about Moncur's troubling claims. If these people are willing to do this to him, they will do it to others. Whomever is responsible for threatening Moncur must be caught and punished to the fullest extent of the law.
We cannot sit idly by and allow our peaceful country to degenerate into a republic of fear because of a few thugs who hate true democracy.
-- Kevin Evans
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A celebration of motherhood, Mother's Day, which was recently celebrated, is a most celebrated and highly anticipated day on the annual calendar in so many countries. It is a time when many reflect on, honor and appreciate the love, sacrifice and benevolence of the mothers and mother figures. In the days leading up to Mother's Day, children are guided to make special little gifts for their mothers, families attend church together and fathers often purchase flowers and special items for the mothers in their lives.
The origin of Mother's Day
The origin of Mother's Day celebration in The Bahamas does not seem to be very well documented; however one can assume that the actual historical genesis of this celebration is closely connected to and derived from the United States of America.
History records that in 1907, Anna Jarvis, a member of a Methodist congregation in West Virginia, gave away white carnations in church to commemorate her mother's life who had passed on. In 1908, she lobbied for the day to be recognized as a day to honor one's mother.
President Woodrow Wilson would later sign Mother's Day into law in 1914.
The objective of early proponents
Political and social history connects the history of Mother's Day to Julia Ward Howe, who wrote a poem titled "A Mother's Day Proclamation". Howe had originally called for a "Mother's Day of Peace" challenging women to resist the political will of war and demand peace. Howe and Anna Jarvis' mother were considered to be enlightened and progressive minded women who agitated for social change in the best interest of women, children and those who were less fortunate.
The American history of this annual event tells a story of women, who understood the vital role that women play in building society, nurturing and catering to the needs of others.
Motherhood in today's Bahamas
Today, our society is filled with so many social ills, the end product resulting in a crime problem that seeks to threaten our peaceful existence, our way of life and our economic prosperity.
Against this backdrop, the mothers and women of today must rise up to the challenges that our Bahamaland faces. The oft referenced urgency of now beckons invincible motherhood.
Equipped with the traits and characteristics that engender living life in peaceful harmony, mothers must confront with a view to curing the decadence which ails us. As we take a look at our society, the social degradation of communities fueled by a loss of and divergence from our social, spiritual and moral values that have guided us in times past are apparent. The breakdown in the family structure continues to plague us as many children are left to raise themselves, being taught and mentored by all forms of media ranging from television and radio to the Internet. Our children - the future of our country - are bombarded with perils that oppose our core value systems.
The statistics show a disturbing number of young women continue to give birth to children out of wedlock, oftentimes being wooed by older men in certain instances. Sadly, many of these young ladies are left to fend for themselves after being abandoned by the father of the child and rejected by close family members. It is unfortunate that in some of these cases, the grandmothers-to-be may unconsciously express their disappointment through disengagement of any form of relationship with their errant children. The end result is usually the case of children raising children.
The challenges that females thrust into unplanned motherhood face in furthering their education to improve their standard of living and quality of life are enormous. Indeed significant determination and perseverance are key attributes of mothers who have succeeded under such circumstances. Nevertheless, a continuous pattern of this nature is bound to increase the level of social degradation, poverty and an uneducated class who may in one form or the other become a burden to society.
The mothers in the village
The old African adage that "it takes a village to raise a child" must be invoked in the hearts and minds of women everywhere. Women of every class and strata must band together to agitate for social reforms, particularly in our inner cities that will raise awareness and lead to the implementation of parenting classes, counseling centers and community associations that will focus on the continued education and development of women and children.
All and sundry must answer a clarion call to address the social ills that plague our nation to our peril and detriment. Civic and religious organizations must become more active in this social war that we have been weaved into. The women's and youth ministries in churches must do more to reach out to the communities in which they find themselves to bring about physical, emotional and mental healing to many of the hurt mothers in our communities. More importantly, women must seize this opportunity to unite knowing that there is strength in numbers to bring about the desired social and economic change that will empower women to enhance our communities and ultimately our nation.
The lack of mentorship and proper succession planning continue to create a vacuum in our society. The Bible speaks of the older women being present to provide guidance and wisdom to the younger generation. It is evident from the scriptures that the latter is dependent upon the former to navigate successfully. Mentorship is essential from the home perspective to the workplace, public life and places of worship for at some point in history changing of guards must occur.
Motherhood and Integrity
It is imperative that we witness the re-emergence of integrity among women in today's society; our Bahamas calls for women that are worthy of respect to be emulated by the upcoming generation of females. Integrity remains at the core of nation building. Our children must be able to see and identify living examples of honorable people in our homes, churches and workplace. Women and mothers must display honor and behavior contrary to what is being paraded before their eyes through the media or peer pressure.
A true mother's love must be intolerant of any form of wickedness, evil or injustice even if the perpetrator is her child. We must no longer condone dishonesty and immoral behavior by our children. It is fitting that invincible motherhood raises her head and mothers realize that we live not unto ourselves, but we are the custodians and guardians of the path to success of someone else's future. Our children are crying for help. We must therefore rise up to the task, the responsibility is ours and the moment is now. Happy Belated Mother's Day!
o Arinthia S. Komolafe is an attorney-at-law. Comments can be directed at email@example.com.
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Team Bahamas made history by placing sixth in the event, falling in a penalty shootout to Guatemala, on Sunday. Regulation ended in a 6-6 tie, and Guatemala prevailed 1-0 in the shootout. The Bahamas had beaten Guatemala earlier in the tournament, 4-3.
Still, this was The Bahamas' first FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup CONCACAF Qualifier. They played a remarkable eight games in just 10 days, counting the BSWW Riviera Cup in Mexico as well. Be that as it may, they still barely feel short of advancing to the semi-finals, and ended up sixth overall. The tremendous feat was applauded by Head Coach Roberto Ceciliano who believes fatigue played a part in the result of the final game, especially in the shootout against Guatemala.
Up first for Team Bahamas in the penalty shootout was Nesley Jean, who kicked the ball long and wide. Eduardo Samayoa was selected to take the first shot for Guatemala. He nailed it, sending the ball to the left side of the net. The Guatemalan team erupted in cheers, as Samayoa's goal gave them a stunning comeback victory.
In the seesaw battle, The Bahamas dictated the pace for most of the game. They led for the first three minutes, before Wilson Gonzalez netted a long shot on Torin Ferguson. Gonzalez's goal came from a yellow card called on Jason Edwards. Minutes before Gonzalez scored, Ferguson had blocked his head shot. However, The Bahamas responded, adding another goal to their count, thanks to Kyle Williams who got an assist from Jean.
"The team played very well, they fought all the way to the end," said Ceciliano. "We made a few mistakes. When you are playing at a high level like these international events, we cannot have those mistakes. We have to minimize the mistakes because whoever has the most mistakes usually loses the game. That is the reason why we cannot step out too much. I am very proud of my players because they played very hard. This team has been together for only three years and in that short time, that is nothing to compare to these teams who have been playing for many years. The players are very good, and we have a great future. I know that in the next qualifiers, I know that we can qualify."
The team had just returned from Mexico where they played three games against some of the top squads in the world. Team Bahamas went up against Brazil, the number one ranked team in the world, Mexico and Spain.
The five-day FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup CONCACAF Qualifier lined Team Bahamas up against some big teams like the United States of America and Guatemala. The Bahamas fell to USA, 9-2, on Friday, and awaited the result of the El Salvador and Jamaica's match to see if they would play in the semi-final. El Salvador went onto defeat Jamaica by at least three goals which was needed, clinching the last semi-final spot. They eventually moved into the final against the USA, stunning top seed Mexico in a penalty shootout. The U.S. won the championship game, 5-4, over El Salvador.
A total of 15 goals were scored by Team Bahamas in the tournament. Lesley St. Fleur scored five goals, Jean and Ehren Hanna added three each, and Dwayne Forbes and Kyle Williams had two apiece.
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The University of Georgia freshman was able to get the better of George at the NCAA Indoors, but had to bow out of the final of the women's 400 meters (m) at the South Eastern Conference (SEC) Outdoor Track and Field Championships, at the University of Missouri's campus in Columbia, Missouri, yesterday, due to a slight injury she suffered during the final of the women's 4x100m.
Miller ran the third leg for Georgia in the relay, and according to Bahamian assistant coach at the school, George Cleare, she jammed her foot as she came into the exchange, and experienced a lil soreness. Taking full precautionary measures, they decided to sit her out of the women's 400m final in which she came in as the third fastest qualifier, posting a time of 53.04 seconds in the heats. Regina George went on to win the final, in 51.74 seconds.
"What happened is, it was a lil painful for Shaunae, but we're optimistic that it was just one of those rare things that happen," said Cleare from Missouri yesterday. "She wasn't 100 percent and we didn't want to take any chances. For all intents and purposes, she will be ready for regionals and the nationals. She isn't in any major pain and that's a good thing."
Freeport native Rashan Brown also ran in the women's 400m, but failed to get out of the opening heats. Brown, also a freshman at Georgia, was fourth in her heat and 17th overall, in 56.42 seconds. Bahamian Tynia Gaither, another freshman at Georgia, advanced to the final of the women's 200m, and finished sixth in the final, in a personal best time of 23.29 seconds. She ran 23.48 seconds in the heats.
"She's looking good heading into the regionals and we're looking for her (Gaither) to advance to the NCAAs," said Cleare yesterday. "Rashan had a lil difficulty. Her fitness level isn't really there as yet. She came in a lil out of shape due to her injury but she has been running good times in the 4x1. She's not quite there yet in the individual events, but we're trying to race her into shape and keep her healthy. Overall, I think that we did extremely well. The future is looking good for Georgia. We feel that we could maximize our potential in the near future."
The NCAA Outdoor Championships are set for June 5-8, in Eugene, Oregon.
As for the SEC Championships this past weekend, The Bahamas also got a pair of personal best performances in the women's long jump. Andros native Tamara Myers finished ninth overall, with a jump of 6.08 meters (m) - 19' 11-1/2" . That performance was wind-aided, but her third leap of 5.96m (19' 6-3/4") was legal, and served as a personal best jump for her. The talented Arkansas sophomore also took part in the women's triple jump, and finished fourth with a best jump of 12.99m (42' 7-1/2"). Auburn junior V'Alonee Robinson was 12th overall in the long jump, with a personal best jump of 5.97m (19' 7"). Robinson also took part in the short hurdles, but was disqualified.
Arkansas junior Ivanique Kemp had one of the most impressive performances of the four-day meet for Bahamian athletes, as she advanced to the final of the women's 100m hurdles, and finished fifth, in 13.25 seconds. She ran a blazing 13.10 seconds in the heats to qualify as the second fastest for the final, but that time was backed by a whirling 3.8 meters per second (mps) tailwind.
The other Bahamian athlete at Arkansas, Raymond Higgs, struggled in the men's long jump. Higgs, who represented The Bahamas at last year's Olympic Games in London, England, could only muster a best jump of 7.55m (24' 9-1/4") this past weekend, for seventh. He leapt 8.15m (26' 9") to qualify for last year's Olympic Games.
In the women's 4x100m relay, Miller, Brown and Gaither teamed up with freshman Myasia Jacobs, and the quartet finished third overall, in 45.16 seconds. Robinson ran the relay for Auburn, and along with freshmen Deon Phillips and Siobhan Ford-Holland, and senior Kai Selvon, they finished ninth, in 46.14 seconds.
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The Lady Hitters couldn't have asked for a better start to their season, spanking the defending champions in the league's opener on Saturday evening. Johnson led her team from the mound, and they posted an 18-8 win over the Bommer G. Operators. The 10-run victory is the explosive start the team was looking for.
Johnson yielded four walks, and drove in three runs from the plate. Her fourth-inning triple came minutes after Shera Woodside's two-run double, which scored Asheran Roberts and Shatyna Stuart. Woodside, the cousin of Johnson, finished 2-for-2 at the plate. Melinda Bastian, who is the sister of Woodside, and Johnson both scored three runs.
Bastian said: "This is a great start to the season, a positive one for the team. We knew the Lady Operators were not going to come and give us the game. We had to play hard for it so that's what we did. That's not the same team from last year, they have a lot of new young players so at first we were just trying to feel everything out. As you can see, in the second inning, our bats came alive. We were hitting better and playing better defense. This is just the first game and there are a lot of things we will have to work on when we meet other teams, but we are ready."
The Lady Hitters scored seven runs in the second inning and eight in the fourth. Bastian was the only one to score in the first inning. The Operators' bats didn't come alive until the third inning. By that time, they were already down eight runs. Four runs came across home plate in the third inning for the Operators.
With bases loaded in the first, Johnson buckled down, striking out Jelice Darling to end the inning. She came back in the second and sent Nicole Bastian and Helena Curry to the dugout on strikes, and her teammates took care of Akia Rose, tagging her out on her way to second base. The bottom part of the line-up for the Lady Operators seemed to be the weakest and Johnson took full advantage of that. She wasted no time in sending the last four batters back to the dugout.
Tyrice Curry, who was moved from third base to the pitcher's mound in the fourth, scored two runs for the Operators. Michelle Thompson scored twice as well.
"We knew that it was going to be a tough game, knowing that this is a new and young team and most of us are playing together for the first time," said Thompson. "The biggest challenge now is staying focused, and encouraging our new team members. We don't want them to be discouraged just because we got beat in the season opener. The season is long and we will get better with play. All we have to do is believe in each other and play together as a team."
Jodie Clarke and Antonia Simmons were the other scorers for the Operators. Johnson was the winning pitcher and Diva Burrows was tagged with the loss.
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The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) 2013 National Open Championships are scheduled for the Grand Bahama Sports Complex, June 21-22. Chandra Sturrup, the national record holder for the 100 meters (m) at 10.84, has long been the fastest female in the country. Two years ago, at the nationals in New Providence, she won the 100m yet again. What is her status at this time? Sturrup is 41 and not expected to be close to what she was eight years ago when she ran the 10.84.
Will she attend the nationals? Will she be best suited for the 4x100m relay? What's happening with Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie?
The most decorated track and field athlete in the history of the country competed recently and is trying to rebound from an injury-plagued season. She holds the national 200m record of 22.19, done way back in 1999. She is now 37. In the 200m, she will likely clash with Miller who has the fifth best time (22.61) in the world this year, and Anthonique Strachan who has registered a 22.93. Ferguson-McKenzie has posted a wind-assisted 23.18 clocking.
In the 100m, Sheniqua Ferguson has an 11.26 clocking for the year, the best of all, but Strachan is thought to be a bigger threat to become the new short sprint queen. Will Ferguson-McKenzie run in the 100m?
Whatever the case, Miller would be favored to win the half-lapper and Sheniqua Ferguson and Strachan are running at a pace currently, to out-distance Ferguson-McKenzie and Sturrup in the century. Indeed, the changing of the guard is a definite possibility. This is the aspect that particularly makes for an exciting national championships event.
The younger ladies, Ferguson, Miller, Strachan, Tynia Gaither and Nivia Smith all have a long way to go to come close to matching the spectacular careers the veteran 'Golden Girls' have had. This is another moment in time however.
The younger ladies have been making a big push for several years now. The 2013 nationals in Grand Bahama could well be the occasion when they orchestrate the beginning of a new era in Bahamian sprinting. Best wishes to them all!
o To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The association was founded in November of 1989 and some people think it has not lived up to its mandate. One thing that was noticed with the new president is his e-mail. It is email@example.com. The "serves" in the e-mail is a philosophy of life that the new president believes in. Here are the questions put to Pride and his answers. We failed to mention to him the performance incentives put in place some three years ago for coaches of junior athletes who win medals.
1. What has been your background in track and field as an athlete and a coach?
I was the first athlete from South Andros ever to make a junior national team, and win an international medal. I won the silver medal at CARIFTA then the gold medal at Junior CAC (Central American and Caribbean) in 1988, both in triple jump. As a full scholarship athlete for Morgan State University (MSU), I was a consistent medalist at the conference and regional level. I played a major role in helping Morgan win its first ever MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) men's championship title. Thereafter, I spent two years training and competing with an elite club before making the transition fully into coaching.
Coaching is the main reason I never maximized my athletic potential. Even as an athlete I was coaching. I could not help it. I was always concerned with helping others succeed. My passion for this was so strong I would help my competitors beat me, in competition. When the head coach at MSU asked me to become an assistant coach I did not hesitate to give up my competitive goals.
I served as an assistant coach at MSU and head coach of Dunbar High School in Baltimore before returning home. After returning home, I spent a short time at St. John's College before reviving the Ambassadors Athletic Club. After a few successful years of coaching under Ambassadors which included the honor of being named to serve as a coach with three junior national teams, I left coaching. I returned two years ago after more than six years away from the sport. I am now coaching again with Ambassadors and developing an elite training program.
2. The coaches association was formed in 1999 and Rupert Gardiner was elected as the first president. It has had some challenges since its inception. What made you decide to seek the leadership?
I was asked by some of my colleagues who recognized the need for the association and was searching for a leader who could re-structure and re-brand the organization in the best interest of all coaches and further advancement of the sport. At first I said no because the politics of the sport had contributed heavily to the long break I took from the sport, and It did not seem to align with my personal goals. However, as I listened and watched, the desire to help others succeed re-emerged. Our sport and coaches are faced with many challenges. Many of my colleagues want the same things I am seeking. We want athletic coaching to be recognized and respected as a vocation and equal opportunity to all. I decided to lead because I want to be integral in shaping the future of sports coaching in The Bahamas.
3. What are your goals as president?
As you noted above, the association faced many challenges since its inception. When we (the current executive board) looked at the history and the current realities of the association, three negatives are obvious: There has being no real continuity in the business of the association; the association has never earned much respect among the stakeholders of our sport, and it always seemed to be a club for a small group of "elite coaches" - an exclusive club.
In my short two-year term as president, I will lead the way toward three main goals focused on securing the future of the association. Please note that these are not my goals - they are 'our' goals. They are: to restructure the association to support athletics coaching as a vocation; to rebrand the association into a professional organization and to develop a five-year strategic plan to ensure proactive governance, productivity and growth.
4. We have a few coaches concentrating on long-distance running and field events. What does your association plan to do to rectify this?
We have already decided that both are primary areas of focus, but we're still in the process of planning what to do. We plan to engage the coaches concerned, to hear their needs and ideas before finalizing our plans. We do know though that the plan will include better recruitment of athletes, more resources and good incentives for throwing and distance coaches.
5. Is there anything you are excited about?
I'm excited about eight-year-old Ashely whose natural running abilities amaze me, 11-year-old Christian who despite a great physical challenge is transforming into an awesome athlete, the passion of Kelsey and Maya for running, the intensity of Juliette in competition, Angel and Vernique's commitment to learning, Brian who seems poised to jump farther than I did as a junior, Andretti and Zhivago and Francis who believe in my ability to prepare them for the 2016 Olympics. I am excited about the opportunity to help each of them succeed. Their potential and performances excited me.
6. Who are the other members of your executive committee?
Rupert Gardiner, 1st vice president; Felix Seymour, 2nd vice president; Jason Edwards, secretary general; Shaun Miller, treasurer; Greg Cash, assistant secretary general; and Fritz Grant, David Ferguson and Wendell Collie, board members.
7. What are your views and the association's views in education and training of coaches?
Both are the same. Education is important but it does not only result from studying theory. Experience gained through application is equally important. Individual coaches must continually seek education, and training/learning should never stop. Our association must standardize a learning pathway for its members toward ensuring a standard level of competency and accountability at each level of coaching. However, it must do all it can to facilitate development and training so it is available and affordable to all.
8. Mandate of the association should be to be inclusive of coaches throughout the entire Bahamas - all of New Providence and the Family Islands. Are this executive's plans any different from the former executive's plans?
I am not able to speak about the former plans because I have not ever seen any, but here's a part of the new plan: The empowerment of Family Island coaches is a priority in our strategic plan that's being developed. We will be mainly focused on educating and equipping at least one coach in all of the major Family Islands. We will also help facilitate and support a coaches association in Grand Bahama. This is a part of the responsibility that is being appointed to Felix Seymour (from Grand Bahama) who was elected to our executive board as 2nd vice president. We expect him to play a vital role in engaging his colleagues in the vision of the association. We also plan on actively engaging the Family Island rep who has already been appointed but not yet announced publicly in making sure the voice of all island coaches are heard, and their needs met. We will ensure that we have island participation in all our initiatives.
9. Financing is so important to any organization. It is no different for the coaches association. Will your association embark on anything different from the past?
We understand that there is an adequate amount of funds available through a number of local and international organizations that we can access. The challenge is gaining these organizations' trust by demonstrating good operations inclusive of financial integrity. We intend to achieve this. In addition, there are a number of opportunities to earn income for the association through fundraising and some special athletic events we plan to promote and manage. We are starting with very little but we will work hard and smart, to ensure that there's money in our account to fund the association's future work.
10. Most coaches in my opinion wish to be members of the national teams. What is your view on this?
This is true because it has become the culture and remains the main award for a coach's performance. Making a national team makes a coach feel successful and special. Not making the team makes one feel the opposite. If we didn't provide different ways to measure their performances, recognize their achievements and reward coaches for their service, many would decline coaching teams. It's not so easy for coaches with corporate careers and family responsibilities to travel.
11. How do you see the coaches association working with the BAAA?
In collaboration to do the following: promote coaching in The Bahamas so as to improve the quality of performance and the level of participation in track and field; encourage the accreditation, training and testing of persons to become qualified coaches and arrange for the proper regulation of such activities; develop the coaching of track and field within clubs, schools and any other institutions; safeguard the professional integrity and image of the association and its members and represent the interests of coaching and coaches in the decision-making processes affecting the association.
Thank-you so much and good luck!o Pride was busy on Saturday coaching athletes of the Ambassadors Track Club during the Fritz Grant Invitational, organized by the club.
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In other words, as the title of this article describes it, they keep 'Replaying' over and over again their failures, as if they were watching a movie on the screen of their mind. This My Friend, is one of the most destructive practices which anyone can engage in, believe me. Now, rest assured that I fully understand how people do this as I have done it myself after a very painful divorce. But one day whilst I was wallowing in self-pity after my wife had left me, a very wise soul who was obviously deeply spiritual said to me "Dr. Reilly, she has released you for your higher good". From that point onward, I started to heal, as I stopped replaying my failure.
My Friend, what failures are you inclined to continually replay in your mind? Now, think for a minute before you blurt out an answer. Are you always thinking about the fact that you failed your exams at school , and thus could not go on to attend a place of higher learning? Are you sad that you failed in business when you were younger, and then gave up the idea completely of building a business of your own, as you constantly replayed that painful failure in your mind? Are you replaying a marriage or personal relationship failure over and over again in your mind, which is slowly but surely playing havoc with your life?
My Friend, you MUST 'Stop Replaying Your Failures' as it's a most destructive form of thinking which will keep you forever in bondage, and indeed, could play havoc with your overall health and self-image. The past is over, so leave it behind you Now.....TODAY! Instead, set some new goals and get excited, and you'll move quickly on to a Bright, Successful future.....Yes You Will!
THINK ABOUT IT!
Listen to 'Time to Think' the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.
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Over the last few decades they have developed in plain sight with many hundreds of occupants who reside illegally and for the most part without any sustained crackdown from authorities.
They have developed their own commercial operations, have little to no regard for acceptable hygienic practices and, according to a new report, are growing in numbers with increased threat to public health.
These are the shanty towns, the villages of primarily Haitian nationals, although some Bahamians and other nationals also squat on these lands.
But while just about any legal resident of New Providence could point to a shanty town, successive administrations have placed little focus on addressing what has mushroomed into one of the greatest threats to national identity and security.
Researchers have also documented the increasing threat these communities pose to public health.
The report on shanty towns obtained by The Nassau Guardian was completed a few weeks ago by a team of researchers from the Department of Environmental Health, but has not yet been made public by the minister responsible (Kenred Dorsett) or ministry officials.
What those researchers have unearthed should be of concern to every Bahamian.
There has been 'a marked increase' in the number of new shanty towns on New Providence over the last two years and the populations have increased "exponentially".
The report said, "There is little to no government water systems, no garbage collection services, and very little human waste disposal, which can range from satisfactory to the other extreme of placing human feces in plastic shopping bags, and dumping waste in nearby bushes and naturally occurring sink holes."
In New Providence alone, the team documented at least 15 shanty towns at various locations, but primarily in the south west and eastern areas of the island.
The researchers also said residents of shanty towns use naturally formed ocean holes to discard everything, including abandoned, or in one case, stolen automobiles, feces, dead animals and household garbage.
Researchers also observed that human feces has been observed in common walking areas between dwellings, in nearby bushes, and around animal pens, increasing the possibility of transmission of fecal-borne diseases to human and domestic animals.
"Unauthorized sale of prescription medications, primarily antibiotics, antihypertensive and ventilation groups, were observed and noted," it added.
The researchers said most of the makeshift living units have been hastily constructed of material brought back to the villages by the males who are construction workers.
"Throughout these settlements, one will observe building materials: wood planks of varying sizes and conditions, struts and beams, plywood and tin sheets for roof cover."
There have been instances where the sewerage disposal facility is only a few feet from the entrance to the dwelling.
"The substandard construction of these sewerage-holding holes lends to the cracking of the cement top of the structure, causing migration of the waste contained," the report said.
"Yet another method of disposal, in addition to the bagging and tossing of human waste, is the burning of fecal material, in open air.
"This action has a deleterious effect on air quality in and around the burn area, spreading along with air currents, into surrounding neighborhoods as well as the possibility of further airborne contaminants and disease-causing pathogens being liberated during the process.
"In almost all shanty villages observed, in addition to the pervasive dumping of fecal and discarded items, the signs of rodent infestation around the dwellings was observed."
The report said, "Hand washing when the behavior was observed, was performed using water in a cooking pot, small galvanized bucket or tub.
"Others would use the same water. The used water often would remain in the container, or thrown onto the ground. The children can be observed in and around garbage dump areas with little concern for disease acquisition."
The report noted that proper hand washing is necessary for minimizing the transmission and spread of microbes and diseases associated with their presence.
"Many of the residents of these areas have little communicative skills and command of the English language, as well as little to no knowledge of public health and proper sanitation practices."
Researchers also noted, "Children from these shanties attend local schools, based on their respective age.
"Children not exposed to these living conditions will invariably come in contact with persons that may be infected with ringworm or shigellosis (bacillary dysentery, a bacterial disease involving the distal small intestine and colon, characterized by loose stools, fever, nausea, vomiting, cramps, sometimes toxemia and tenesmus) that may cause serious physical discomfort.
"Some of the people residing in the shanties confided that many of the gangs will often steal vehicles, secure them in the shanty, and take them apart, selling electronics, engine parts, tires and rims and finally, the wiring for scrap metal."
In the form of entertainment, the people of these shanties host cock fighting (weekends primarily) with wagers placed on combatants.
The researchers also said there appears to be little delineation in the separation of human and livestock
The report warned of "opportunistic microorganisms that possess specific morphologies, and patho-physiological characteristics that have the capability to jump species, from animal (or a human waste medium) to humans, causing serious public and personal health implications."
Researchers visited shanty towns at Allen Drive, off Fire Trail Road; Cowpen Road east; Cowpen Road west; Gamble Heights; Zirconia Court in the area of Carmichael Road east; Faith Avenue; Bacardi Road; Spigot Road; Joe Farrington Road; Sea Breeze Lane; Kool Acres and other areas of New Providence.
Dorsett, the minister responsible for the environment, has assured that the Christie administration is not turning a blind eye to the shanty town problem.
He said yesterday that an inter-ministerial committee has been set up to tackle the issue in a serious and focused way.
These include the ministers for works and urban development, immigration, national security and social services.
"We will be serving orders under the Environmental Health Services Act and accompany regulations and bringing prosecutions," Dorsett said.
Asked whether the intent is to prosecute the hundreds of squatters, he said the owners of the properties are the ones who would be subject to prosecutions.
"Clearly Social Services will be involved because there are Bahamians living in these areas," Dorsett added.
"There's a distinction between those who are occupying and those who own the land. Our orders are being served on landowners in the first instance. We've identified persons who actually own the land where these exist. So those persons are those who we will serve any notice."
Dorsett said as far as he was aware, there is limited occupation of crown land.
He also said the problem is much bigger than shanty towns.
"We have been asked to go beyond looking at shanty towns," Dorsett said.
"There will be a holistic approach to this effort and so when we look at the human condition under which people live in shanty towns, the reality is some of that exists in Over-the-Hill as well.
"I think that's one of the reasons why the Ministry of Social Services is involved. For me, it is to ensure that these properties do not create environmental and public health hazards.
"In New Providence, they seem to be popping up more and more, but what concerns me is that more Bahamians are living in these shanty towns and in areas and in conditions similar to what you would have found only in shanty towns."
The government will tackle poverty and the human condition, Dorsett assured.
The minister recognized that addressing the problem will require a sustained approach.
In the last administration, the issue of shanty towns came into the spotlight, on and off, primarily during several fires that erupted in those villages.
What to do about these illegal communities ought to be one of the more pressing concerns of the government -- not just in New Providence.
While the new report on shanty towns outlines numerous threats to public health, the growing communities as observed by researchers, also have huge national security implications.
But what will become of the hundreds, if not thousands, of squatters?
Dorsett said the ministries of Immigration and Social Services will take the lead in this regard.
Where there are illegal immigrations, he said the Department of Immigration will act.
"I don't think we can afford not to do something about the existence of these shanty towns," Dorsett said.
"It is something that we have to address."
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According to the report, titled 'Haitian shanty village locations in New Providence', there are at least 15 of these illegal communities on the island.
The report was handed in to authorities in the ministry several weeks ago, but has not yet been released to the public.
The details are being released by The Nassau Guardian today.
Minister for the Environment Kenred Dorsett said yesterday the government recognizes the seriousness of the shanty town problem.
Dorsett said he intends to formally release the report this week. He said in some cases, there will be prosecutions connected to the existence of these illegal communities.
Researchers found that there is a "marked indifference to the extremely unhealthy conditions by those that occupy the shanties".
Many of the former residents of Mackey Yard, which was destroyed by fire more than two years ago, have built off Milo Butler Highway with no building code, no permit and no inspection regime, the report said.
The researchers also found that there is an abundant use of Bahamian pine trees for the purpose of producing coal for commercial purposes.
They said commerce is alive and well in many of the areas surveyed. Liquor stores, convenience shops, web shops, livestock, cock fights and coal production were all noticed.
The report warns of a serious and growing threat to public health.
Researchers said "the presence of discarded human usage, waste, combined with the presence of domestic livestock is evident".
They warned, "In time, many of the animals from these yards will enter the food chain -- as owners of the livestock observed in one particular shanty -- and be sold to grocery and wholesale meat outlets as well as [used for] their own consumption."
When asked if he was aware what his animals were consuming, and that the animals may be contaminated with microorganisms from human excrement, one livestock owner said he saw nothing wrong with the animals consuming the discarded, spoiled food and human waste, the report said.
It said the teams of researchers observed, in almost every shanty town, the presence of human and animal waste.
It appears to be a cultural norm for the occupants of the shanties to "construct" their abodes with living and sanitary structures functioning as separate units, researchers concluded.
"The disposal of human waste, in particular, feces, present several primary public health concerns..." the report said.
Researchers said the conditions of shanty towns and the increasing populations afford "optimal conditions for increases in vector activity, as well as an increase in the disease organisms the vector are hosts to".
The report said the Haitian migration, and subsequent squatting, are focused primarily in New Providence and the Family Islands with larger population concentrations like Abaco and Andros.
"It was observed that most, if not all of these shanties are government crown land, issued to individual Bahamian citizens and families for the purpose of agriculture and horticulture," the report said.
"However, in most cases they are blighted with overuse of the soil, and in other instances, contamination of the water lens beneath them, as was noted in the first Haitian village survey two years ago.
"These communities are informally organized in illegally constructed dwellings without government-issued building permits, Environmental Health-issued sanitation certificates, and typically water sources that may be suspect..."
Researchers said an increasing trend is the increase in the number of Bahamians (people who claim to be Bahamian citizens based on one parent being of Haitian progeny) while others claim outright Bahamian ancestry.
"Several of the respondents to the research inquiries demonstrated gross indifference to personal health risks associated with the act of discarding refuse and human waste," the report said.
Researchers also documented a number of other public health concerns.
o Today's National Review section takes a more in depth look at the shanty town problem and the findings of the team of researchers.
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Superintendent Walter Evans, director of fire services, said the victim's uncle made a "courageous and heroic" attempt to rescue her.
"Due to the intense heat he was unsuccessful in his attempt and as a result of that he received some injury to his right arm," Evans said on the scene.
He said firefighters got the call just before 2 p.m. that the top portion of a two-story building was ablaze.
He said when the first unit arrived, three minutes later firefighters extinguished the fire and discovered the infant's remains.
Distraught family members crowded the scene opposite the charred apartment.
A relative of the infant identified her as Satiya Cooper.
The mother, identified as Satanya, was inconsolable at the scene.
After speaking with police, she walked to the side of the home with a friend and held her head before breaking down.
Firefighters and police held her as she fell to the ground screaming.
Evans said police spoke with both the child's mother and grandmother.
"On a day like today, which is Mother's Day, that compounds it, even much more for a mother and even a grandmother to know that just this morning they saw a loved one and then in a matter of minutes the loved one has passed on," he said.
"It is a very, very difficult thing so we have to be very sympathetic with them."
Evans said firefighters could not yet say how the fire started.
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It was one of two murders recorded yesterday, bringing the murder count for the year to 40.
The victim was identified as Kyle Brauner, 34, of Illinois.
Police said the expatriate worker was killed around 4:30 a.m.
Superintendent Paul Rolle, who heads the Central Detective Unit (CDU), said the victim was with another man and two women when they were held up shortly after leaving Hammer Heads Bar and Grill on East Bay Street.
"We do believe that these individuals were followed from the Hammer Heads [Bar and Grill]...into the area where the robbery took place," Rolle said.
"When they got onto the Mackey Street area, they stopped for some reason. When they stopped they were accosted by two males, one of whom was armed with a handgun who rushed up on the vehicle and demanded their jewelry and belongings."
Rolle said during the hold up one of the women got out of the car.
He said one of the assailants then tried to grab her purse and her necklace. However, Rolle said the woman put up a fight.
During the scuffle, one of the men got out of the car and confronted the man who had the gun.
"At this point the assailant then shot him in the neck," Rolle said.
The victim died on the scene. Rolle said no one else was injured.
Brauner was reportedly a boat mate on the Liberty Clipper, which is docked at Nassau Yacht Haven.
His crewmates told The Nassau Guardian that Brauner had only been in New Providence for a few weeks.
"The crew is shocked and in disbelief," said one crewmember.
Police said one man was in custody in connection with the murder, but police were looking for two other suspects.
Two and a half hours before Brauner was shot, a 22-year-old Bahamian man was shot and killed in front of a nightclub.
Police said the incident took place at the East Street South Shopping Plaza.
The victim was standing outside a business along with a group of people when he was approached and shot multiple times by a man.
Rolle said the shooting happened as a result of a domestic dispute.
"We believe that the man was known to the victim," Rolle said.
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Rolle said the shooter ran east behind the plaza into the Joan's Heights area.
It is believed that he later escaped the area on a motorcycle.
Rolle said police were following significant leads but appealed to members of the community who may have information on either murder to contact them at 911, 919, Crimestoppers at 328-TIPS or CDU at 502-9991.
Last year this same time, the murder count stood at 53.
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Munroe filed his clients' statement of claim in the Supreme Court recently.
"Insofar as persons access sites outside of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to place a wager on the outcome of the 'Pick 3' or 'Pick 4' games in the various states of the United States of America these games are not caught by the definition of lottery as set out in section 2 of the act," the court document states.
"Placing a wager on the 'Pick 3' or 'Pick 4' games in the various states of the United States of America is not and has never been the game called and known as 'numbers' as described in the definition of lottery as set out in section 2 of the act.
"There is no provision in the act that prohibits or criminalizes participants in such games when done over the Internet."
Munroe argues that his clients' operations are not illegal.
He represents Percy Web Cafe, Island Luck, FML Group of Companies, Asue Draw, Whatfall and Chances.
The court documents say the six web shops "assist members of the public with accessing and using websites domiciled both outside and within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas".
Munroe argues that his clients had a legitimate expectation that their businesses would have been regulated by the previous administration.
"In late 2010, the Office of the Attorney General was instructed to draft the 'Computer Wagering Licensing Regulations', which required pertinent information concerning the business," according to the document.
"The relevant plaintiffs supplied the government with any and all necessary information required to assist with the drafting of the regulations.
"The plaintiffs revealed every detail concerning the web shop industry to the minister of finance and relevant bodies.
"The plaintiffs will rely on the draft 'Computer Wagering Licensing Regulations' for their proposed effect at trail."
The Court of Appeal on April 17 rejected a bid by attorney Alfred Sears and Munroe to stay a ruling delivered by Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett.
Sir Michael lifted a conservatory order that prevented web shops from being subjected to police interference.
The lawyers secured the conservatory order on January 30, two days after a gambling referendum failed.
Following the referendum, Prime Minister Perry Christie ordered that all web shop gaming cease.
Sears and Munroe argue that Sir Michael erred in his judgment.
The substantive case is expected to be heard on May 24.
Munroe said his clients want to operate their businesses "either unmolested by officials" or ask the court to "direct the executive to regulate the business".
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Last week Miller announced that the government intends to reconnect the electricity supplies of more than 7,000 delinquent consumers.
"I am very disappointed in Mr. Miller," Neymour said. "Miller stated that the Free National Movement put BEC in a poor position when we put in place a very similar program."
Neymour was referring to Miller's critique of the former administration's electricity reconnection and payment plan program which was intended to provide relief and generate revenue from delinquent and returning customers
"He is being hypocritical," Neymour said. "He orignally criticized the program saying it was not good, and saying it helped people who could have paid.
"But when you are putting a policy in place, it must be a policy for everyone."
Back in March, Miller said many of the customers who benefitted from the former administration's initiative were in the "upper income bracket". He said the move ultimately had a negative impact on BEC's bottom line.
The former administration's initiative, which was launched last February, was also branded as an "election ploy" by the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) at the time.
But Neymour insisted that the program did not have any impact on BEC's finances. He said the government gave BEC $4 million at the time to cover any financial implications that would come from the program.
Miller said he wants all households to be reconnected by June 1, adding that delinquent customers will be required to pay a portion of their bill in order to be reconnected.
He gave an example that a customer who owes $2,000 would be reconnected upon paying $400.
A customer with a bill of $3,000 or less will be expected to pay a "fair amount", while a customer with a bill of $4,000 must pay 25 percent.
Asked for his views of the new initiative, Neymour said he does not have sufficient details about the plan. However, he said it is an indication that the FNM was on the right track.
And while Neymour said he supports initiatives aimed at assisting struggling families, he said he has a few concerns.
"When we started the program, it was I who announced that there were 5,200 who were disconnected from BEC, " he said.
"Today he is announcing that the figure exceeds 7,000 which implies that BEC's position is far worse than what it was under the FNM. It also means that the receivables are much worse than when we were in office."
Neymour said the high cost of electricity has contributed to the increase in delinquent accounts.
He said if the government really wants to impact the lives of Bahamians it should fulfill its promise to lower the electricity rates.
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