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News Article
Search for 'Glory Time' captain continues

The search for the captain of the vessel that capsized in waters off North Abaco earlier this week continues, according to Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade.
The commissioner claimed the captain is known to police.
At least 11 people died when the 'Glory Time' went down Sunday night.
Seven people reportedly survived the disaster, which police claim was the result of an illegal smuggling operation.
Ten people are still unaccounted for and feared dead.
Greenslade noted that the captain, if caught, would likely be charged for the deaths.
"It's a tragedy that should not have happened, but it speaks to this business of human smuggling and the challenges and risk associated with [it]," said Greenslade. "[It's] very unfortunate that children have lost their lives and adults have lost their lives because of that criminal activity."
Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage said Tuesday that according to reports the passengers of the sunken 25-foot vessel paid $5,000 a head for the journey to the United States.
Superintendent Noel Curry said on Tuesday that police hope that some survivors were able to make it to one of the Abaco cays.
He said of the seven survivors, one person has come forward.
Curry said the male, who is in his late teens, reported that he along with six other males swam to shore.
The survivor said the captain was not among that group. Curry said the teen provided the identity of the captain to police. Curry identified the captain only as a "known sailor".
He said the survivor was assisting police with their investigations.

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News Article
Most boating tragedy victims unidentified

Only four of the 11 victims of the recent Abaco human smuggling tragedy have been identified, according to Haitian Ambassador to The Bahamas Antonio Rodrigue.
Rodrigue said yesterday the four victims identified were children. He thinks the families of other victims have not come forward because they fear authorities would arrest them.
The ambassador traveled to Abaco on the weekend where he met with families of survivors of the mass drowning in Abaco waters last Sunday night.
Officials said seven people survived and another 10 were still unaccounted for.
It is believed the Haitians were trying to make it to the United States after leaving Abaco when the vessel they were on, 'Cozy Time', capsized.
Rodrigue told The Nassau Guardian that some relatives of the victims have gone into hiding because police have been coming to their homes as a part of the probe into the smuggling operation.
He also said he received reports that other survivors are in hiding and are refusing to seek medical attention because they fear they may be arrested.
"People are afraid of the police," Rodrigue said. "Police officers are looking for people crying or mourning. When they hear people grieving they come to the house asking questions and sometimes they even arrest people."
The ambassador said he raised this issue with Superintendent Noel Curry, the police officer in charge of Abaco.
"The other problem also that I raised with him is the fact that we don't know how many people survived," Rodrigue said.
"The bodies haven't been recovered and maybe the same way those seven swam and got to the land [others did]. But because of the fear of being arrested no one has come forward to say 'I have been on the boat and I survived'."
Police reported last week that only one survivor had come forward and was assisting in their investigation into the matter.
Police also reported on Friday that they arrested five men in connection with the incident, three at Potter's Cay Dock in Nassau and two in Abaco.
After releasing a wanted poster for Alphonse Edner, alias "Capo", police said yesterday they had the 43-year-old Treasure Cay resident in custody.
Rodrique told The Nassau Guardian, "There are people who it looks have been wounded among the survivors, but they are afraid to go to get medical care. Most of those who have survived have gone into hiding.
"It is very serious and the reason why I went to the police chief. He said the police want to get information regarding this; that's why they are investigating and questioning people, but when people see police coming over there and knocking on their doors and some have been arrested, no one wants to stay there.
"They cannot get medical care and they may end up dying. I think police need to know about the operation but they need to take that into account."
Rodrique said he also expressed these concerns to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Patricia Rodgers.
The ambassador said he expressed condolences to the families on behalf of the Haitian president and prime minister.
He said he told the Haitian people that the embassy is with them but discouraged smuggling attempts.
Asked whether he was able to determine whether any additional smuggling operations are being planned, Rodrigue said, "They're not going to say that and I think after what happened it is going to be some time before people get back to that. This is a shock for the entire community. They are still in shock.
"You feel there is that sadness among those people living in Abaco, especially regarding those nine kids who died.
"It was sad, but a good visit; good in the sense where the people over there feel the embassy is with them, is assisting them."
The ambassador said funeral arrangements for the victims will be finalized this week.

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News Article
From Teacher to Entrepreneur

Well another "son of the Bahamian soil", has "put pen to paper" and written his autobiography and what an interesting life story it is!  He is none other than Mr. Patrick J. Bethel, who after a most distinguished career in education, returned to his beloved Abaco and managed to become a successful entrepreneur.
The book has as its title, appropriately, "From Teacher... To Entrepreneur".  As may be expected in the case of a literary work by one proud to be known as "a Cherokee boy", its cover is most attractive, featuring a picture of Cherokee Sound, a scene most beautiful with a white sandy beach, green cedar trees and multi-colored seascape.  The writer has adopted a direct, lucid easy-to-read style which retains the attention of the reader.  If you begin to read this volume you won't stop until you have read all 80 pages!
Now, there can be no doubt that this book has great historical value. This is precisely because Mr. Bethel is gifted with a "photographic memory" enabling him to recall in great detail and precision, events which took place from when he was less than two years of age.  Thus he describes, in vivid detail, all aspects of the visit of the Duke And Duchess of Windsor (King Edward VI who left the throne in order to marry the Duchess) and was then Governor of The Bahamas) in 1942. There are also nostalgic memories of events which took place during World War II and also of incidents which took place during his years of service as an officer in the Ministry of Education. Concisely, Patrick Bethel's autobiography is a valuable historical gem.
As may be expected in a book by a leading educator, there is a lot of sound advice on education and the proper nurture of children.  He makes an observation which merits most careful consideration: "My grandson recently asked me how come I have so much knowledge about The Bahamas and the world. My reply was reading."
Today, the computer, video, cell phones, Facebook, etc., have replaced reading and I fear we are producing a generation of non-readers. Let me finish with the following statement: "Reading is power. If you cannot read you have no power."
Now, this is a word most relevant to the young people of The Bahamas, and indeed of the world today for you see, many of them are adept at using the computer and sending messages via Facebook: but do not have good reading and writing skills. They find it hard to write a proper essay.  We are distressed that we still have a low average mark in our national exams -- D to D+.  Well, this will not change unless, and until we encourage our children to read! The observation of Mr. Bethel should be placed in every classroom in our schools.
Considering Mr. Bethel's wide experience, this book could have easily been much longer.  As Mr. Hartis Pinder, attorney-at-law, who also hails from Cherokee Sound, points out in his foreword: "It represents but snippets of a very fruitful life."
While all Bahamians should read this book, it is submitted that there are two groups in our society who would most certainly benefit from it.  These are young Bahamian teachers struggling "to make their mark" in education and young couples trying to raise their children in the right disciplined way.
The latter especially would benefit from exercising discipline by instructing their children to spend less time on Facebook and more time reading a book.
Mr. Bethel is a very patriotic Bahamian who enjoys "things Bahamian".  Thus, this book is truly a Bahamian product. Whereas many other Bahamians, who have written books, have elected to have their works printed and/or published abroad, Mr. Bethel had his book published by a company in Abaco.  It is, therefore, a literary gem -- written by a Bahamian, about The Bahamas, published in The Bahamas for Bahamians.
Although the writer hints that this may be his last major literary effort, it is my "gut feeling" that he has more to contribute. Thus, he is at one with Mr. Mike Lightbourn, who, in his foreword, makes this stirring appeal: "Pat, thank you for putting pen to paper again. Please do not stop."
All in all, a most interesting, informative, inspiring read. This book certainly should be placed in every school library and on the bookshelf of every home in The Bahamas. Get yours today!
While the author claims that his main purpose in contributing this work is to share his life story with his children, grandchildren and future offspring, there can be no doubt that his book will have a tremendous appeal to a much wider audience than that of his own family circle.  As a veteran educator, Mr. Bethel has exerted great influence and touched the lives of hundreds of Bahamians active in education and other fields of human endeavor throughout the length and breadth of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
The life story of Mr. Bethel is extremely interesting. Born on February 11, 1933 in the picturesque little settlement of Cherokee Sound, Abaco, Patrick Bethel received his early education at the primary school there, where he proved to be a brilliant student.
He was recognized as the leading male student during the historic visit of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor to Cherokee Sound in 1942.  As a man with a strong sense of history, the writer tells us a lot about his background, revealing that his ancestors came to The Bahamas as United Empire Loyalists back in the eighteenth century after the American war of independence.  His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Granville Bethel, were devout Methodists and young Patrick received his nurture in the Christian faith at Epworth Methodist Chapel, attending worship three or four times every week.  His Christian faith proved to be a source of spiritual strength throughout his long and distinguished career in education, business and social activism.
In the year 1977, having completed 30 years in the field of education, he took early retirement and returned to Abaco. There, he and his faithful wife, Margaret operated several small businesses.

Title: "From Teacher . . . To Entrepreneur" "A Cherokee Boy"
Author: Patrick J. Bethel
Date: 2011 AD
Publisher: Abaco Print Shop
Place: Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Bahamas
Cost: $19.98
Available at Logos Book Store and other book stores in Nassau.

read more »


News Article
From Teacher to Entrepreneur

Well another "son of the Bahamian soil", has "put pen to paper" and written his autobiography and what an interesting life story it is!  He is none other than Mr. Patrick J. Bethel, who after a most distinguished career in education, returned to his beloved Abaco and managed to become a successful entrepreneur.
The book has as its title, appropriately, "From Teacher... To Entrepreneur".  As may be expected in the case of a literary work by one proud to be known as "a Cherokee boy", its cover is most attractive, featuring a picture of Cherokee Sound, a scene most beautiful with a white sandy beach, green cedar trees and multi-colored seascape.  The writer has adopted a direct, lucid easy-to-read style which retains the attention of the reader.  If you begin to read this volume you won't stop until you have read all 80 pages!
Now, there can be no doubt that this book has great historical value. This is precisely because Mr. Bethel is gifted with a "photographic memory" enabling him to recall in great detail and precision, events which took place from when he was less than two years of age.  Thus he describes, in vivid detail, all aspects of the visit of the Duke And Duchess of Windsor (King Edward VI who left the throne in order to marry the Duchess) and was then Governor of The Bahamas) in 1942. There are also nostalgic memories of events which took place during World War II and also of incidents which took place during his years of service as an officer in the Ministry of Education. Concisely, Patrick Bethel's autobiography is a valuable historical gem.
As may be expected in a book by a leading educator, there is a lot of sound advice on education and the proper nurture of children.  He makes an observation which merits most careful consideration: "My grandson recently asked me how come I have so much knowledge about The Bahamas and the world. My reply was reading."
Today, the computer, video, cell phones, Facebook, etc., have replaced reading and I fear we are producing a generation of non-readers. Let me finish with the following statement: "Reading is power. If you cannot read you have no power."
Now, this is a word most relevant to the young people of The Bahamas, and indeed of the world today for you see, many of them are adept at using the computer and sending messages via Facebook: but do not have good reading and writing skills. They find it hard to write a proper essay.  We are distressed that we still have a low average mark in our national exams -- D to D+.  Well, this will not change unless, and until we encourage our children to read! The observation of Mr. Bethel should be placed in every classroom in our schools.
Considering Mr. Bethel's wide experience, this book could have easily been much longer.  As Mr. Hartis Pinder, attorney-at-law, who also hails from Cherokee Sound, points out in his foreword: "It represents but snippets of a very fruitful life."
While all Bahamians should read this book, it is submitted that there are two groups in our society who would most certainly benefit from it.  These are young Bahamian teachers struggling "to make their mark" in education and young couples trying to raise their children in the right disciplined way.
The latter especially would benefit from exercising discipline by instructing their children to spend less time on Facebook and more time reading a book.
Mr. Bethel is a very patriotic Bahamian who enjoys "things Bahamian".  Thus, this book is truly a Bahamian product. Whereas many other Bahamians, who have written books, have elected to have their works printed and/or published abroad, Mr. Bethel had his book published by a company in Abaco.  It is, therefore, a literary gem -- written by a Bahamian, about The Bahamas, published in The Bahamas for Bahamians.
Although the writer hints that this may be his last major literary effort, it is my "gut feeling" that he has more to contribute. Thus, he is at one with Mr. Mike Lightbourn, who, in his foreword, makes this stirring appeal: "Pat, thank you for putting pen to paper again. Please do not stop."
All in all, a most interesting, informative, inspiring read. This book certainly should be placed in every school library and on the bookshelf of every home in The Bahamas. Get yours today!
While the author claims that his main purpose in contributing this work is to share his life story with his children, grandchildren and future offspring, there can be no doubt that his book will have a tremendous appeal to a much wider audience than that of his own family circle.  As a veteran educator, Mr. Bethel has exerted great influence and touched the lives of hundreds of Bahamians active in education and other fields of human endeavor throughout the length and breadth of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
The life story of Mr. Bethel is extremely interesting. Born on February 11, 1933 in the picturesque little settlement of Cherokee Sound, Abaco, Patrick Bethel received his early education at the primary school there, where he proved to be a brilliant student.
He was recognized as the leading male student during the historic visit of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor to Cherokee Sound in 1942.  As a man with a strong sense of history, the writer tells us a lot about his background, revealing that his ancestors came to The Bahamas as United Empire Loyalists back in the eighteenth century after the American war of independence.  His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Granville Bethel, were devout Methodists and young Patrick received his nurture in the Christian faith at Epworth Methodist Chapel, attending worship three or four times every week.  His Christian faith proved to be a source of spiritual strength throughout his long and distinguished career in education, business and social activism.
In the year 1977, having completed 30 years in the field of education, he took early retirement and returned to Abaco. There, he and his faithful wife, Margaret operated several small businesses.
 
Title: "From Teacher . . . To Entrepreneur" "A Cherokee Boy"
Author: Patrick J. Bethel
Date: 2011 AD
Publisher: Abaco Print Shop
Place: Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Bahamas
Cost: $19.98
Available at Logos Book Store and other book stores in Nassau.

read more »


News Article
Guy Harvey partners with Green Turtle Club

Weeks after parting ways with Bimini Big Game Club, Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts has reached an agreement with the Abaco-based Green Turtle Club.
The new alliance becomes effective immediately, as the Green Turtle Club will become the inaugural member of the new Expedition Properties Portfolio by Guy Harvey Outpost. President of Guy Harvey Outpost Mark Ellert said the partnership is a perfect chance to showcase one of the hidden gems in The Bahamas.
"We are extremely excited to launch the Expedition Properties Portfolio with the famed Green Turtle Club as our inaugural member hotel," Ellert said. "Our intent with Expedition Properties is to showcase small, independently owned properties in unique destinations that are focused on watersports recreation and whose owners are committed to customer service, sustainability and conservation.
"Given the Club's legacy, the professionalism of its staff and dedication of its owners, I'm hard pressed to think of a better opportunity in The Bahamas than this."
The news comes after Guy Harvey Outpost cut ties with Bimini Big Game Club earlier in the month, with foreclosure issues influencing the move in another direction. The two former partners had a business relationship for two years, in which Guy Harvey Outpost pumped $3.5 million in renovations to revitalize the Bimini-based resort.
Due to the foreclosure setback, it prevented Guy Harvey Outpost from purchasing the property when it wanted to, which spurred the decision to take its business interests elsewhere.
As an Expedition Property, Guy Harvey Outpost will market the club and offer travel and booking services to its customers through its Outpost Travel Desk and central reservation office. Co-owner of Green Turtle Club Adam Showell said the company led by Ellert was an ideal fit for both parties.
"Guy Harvey embodies the personality of the club, and its guests," Showell said. "His authenticity, commitment to excellence and passionate outreach to those of all ages and accomplishment are hallmarks of the Green Turtle Club."
While the deal between Guy Harvey Outpost and Green Turtle Club is still fresh, Ellert hinted at more opportunities that may await.
"Thirty degrees north and south of the equator, there are a lot of great properties with committed owners like Adam and Ann who share our vision of sustainability and hospitality," he said. "In growing the Expedition Properties Portfolio, our intent will be to spotlight these properties and encourage our customers to support them."

Green Turtle Club offers 31 guest rooms, a 40-slip marina and fuel dock, restaurant, bar/lounge and poolside bar. The Club hosts the annual Green Turtle Club Billfish Tournament, having just concluded its 25th Silver Anniversary last week.

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News Article
Ingraham reveals why he led FNM into election

Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham revealed that he considered stepping down as leader of the Free National Movement (FNM) ahead of the May 7 general election, but did not because he "felt obligated to the party".
Ingraham said he sought a fourth term as prime minister because he did not want to leave the country when it was still reeling from the effects of the 2008 global financial crisis and could benefit from his experience.
"The party would have had great challenges had I stepped down and not led the party into an election," he said, when asked about his decision to seek a fourth term as prime minister.
"As you know, leadership is a very divisive issue in any party, but I did consider that and determined that it was best for me to lead the party into the election, which I did, and lost.
"[I thought] the experience I gained in office in previous terms should be used for the public's benefit."
The retiring North Abaco MP sat down with The Nassau Guardian for an exclusive interview at his law office on West Bay Street on Wednesday, not long after he was sworn in as a member of Parliament.
It was his first extensive interview since the FNM's loss at the polls on May 7, which left the party with only nine seats in the House of Assembly. The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) captured 29 seats.
Ingraham said Wednesday was his last day in Parliament and that he had no desire to return to the House of Assembly to give a farewell speech, adding that he has already spoken to his constituents.
As he reflected on his long career in politics, the Cooper's Town native said he had no regrets and was proud of his record in public office.
"I did my best; I am a very satisfied man and a very relieved man," said Ingraham, who has been elected eight consecutive times as a member of Parliament.
"I am very comfortable that what I did in office will withstand the judgment of history and that people for years to come will compare others with my tenure."
He added that he was somewhat relieved to be "kicked out" by the Bahamian people because he now had more time for family and leisure pursuits like fishing and travel.
"I'm not sad," he said.
"The reality is I had expected not to be there by now. I intended to be out of the House of Assembly in 2002 and prepared myself mentally for that. When I came back in 2005, I came back as a result of the pressure from people and their request.
"I felt I had an obligation and I said then and I repeated it often that I would stay as long as I could or as long as the people would have me."
Ingraham also revealed that he had not had a conversation with former law partner and friend, Prime Minister Perry Christie, since the election. He said he believes that Christie may be harboring a grudge over comments made about him on the 2012 campaign trail.
"He said on the radio that I was no longer his friend and I suppose that is the relationship from his point of view," Ingraham said.
"I don't want to be friends with somebody who does not want to be friends with me. I called him on election night and didn't get him, had my aide speak to his aide so he knew I called him. He hasn't returned my call.
"I saw him this morning [Wednesday], shook his hand and wished him the best. I have nothing against him. I don't hold grudges, and he may."
When he conceded defeat on May 7, Ingraham also revealed that he would retire from politics.
His resignation will come into effect on July 19, the anniversary of his first election in 1977.

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News Article
Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts Teams With Green Turtle Club

The Abacos, The Bahamas -

Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts and the famed Green Turtle Club in the Bahamas
announced today a new alliance between the two, naming the Club the inaugural member
of the new Expedition Properties Portfolio by Guy Harvey Outpost. The alliance
becomes effective immediately.

Making the
announcement was Outpost President Mark Ellert and Club owners, Adam Showell
and Ann Showell Mariner of Ocean City Maryland. Guy Harvey Outpost was founded
by Ellert along with Dr. Guy Harvey and his long time associates Charles Forman
and Bill Shedd to promote adventure travel, watersport recreation and
sustainable tourism in unique destinations...

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News Article
Alexiou: Reform needed to make Abaco successful

Operating costs, increased direct airlift and the strengthening of the construction sector are areas that need to be addressed so Abaco can have a booming economy, according to a local resort owner.
Emanuel "Manny" Alexiou, owner of the Abaco Beach Resort, shared with Guardian Business that costs associated with operating businesses in the Family Islands, especially in Abaco, have always been a huge issue for them.
"Costs in all of the Out Islands is always a huge issue - electricity and labor being the biggest. Energy is a huge cost and I am not sure how that can be minimized other than being vigilant about energy consumption, and the type of light bulbs and the air conditioning that's being used," Alexiou explained.
"We need to move more towards solar and wind-based energy sources and being able to back feed into some type of grid. I think the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) seems to be moving in that direction, but it hasn't happened yet. It needs to happen quicker."
He confirmed there is a fair amount of airlift coming in and out of the island, but admits cost has been a factor in attracting more direct flights into Abaco.
"I think there is a fair amount of airlift. The problem is cost, and I think the cost aspect of it has been improved. Now, the next step is to generate more direct airlift into places like Atlanta, New York and even as far out as Canada. This would help us with our season," Alexiou noted.
The Abaco resort's chief pointed out that the island has heavily relied on a short boating season, which occurs in May and June and focuses on the Florida, Georgia and Carolinas markets.
"If we are going to succeed here, restaurants, eco-businesses and things like that, they need an eight-month season so they can finance their operations. The Bahamas and the rest of the Caribbean enjoy good winters. It's something that we need to capitalize on by getting direct flights into destinations like Canada, New York and Atlanta. Tapping into those popular markets would be extremely helpful in filling the winter months up a little bit better," he said.
Alexiou maintains that the tourism and construction industries go hand in hand. Therefore, a focus needs to be placed on improving the construction industry.
"I think it's going through the same cycle as Nassau. All development has stopped, few things are happening and that's being reflected here as well. Tourism and construction go together and rise at the same time," he added.
"We have been working with the Ministry of Tourism and stakeholders here. We have even begun the concept of trying to form an Abaco community tourism board to be more specific to Abaco as a whole."
Alexiou continued: "Having good communications and hospitals are always helpful because people are able to leave their businesses and if they have important things to do, they can still stay in touch. The danger of course is that we can never get away electronically and people don't have down time to relax, but they can get out on a boat and disappear for the day, come back and still catch up on their emails and everything else, so I think in many ways, it's helpful.
"These amenities would encourage second-home owners on the island to stay in Abaco longer on a year-round basis and that's a different kind of tourism. That tourist would generate his or her income from elsewhere, but live here for approximately six to eight months, spending money. That's a great type of permanent tourist."
He believes that Abaco is a destination that should be able to stand on its own with the same benefits as Nassau or Grand Bahama.

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News Article
Silver jubilee year for Rodgers' camp

The Jeff Rodgers Basketball Camp is now in its 25th year.
For the man who was there from its inception, the years have flown by. The event itself has become a main staple in the sporting landscape of this country, that young kids look forward to, from year to year. This year, according to organizer Jeff Rodgers, will be no different as the camp embarks upon its 25th Silver Anniversary camp. This year's camp will be held July 25-27 at the Bahamas Academy of Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) on Wulff Road.
"I'm more excited this year than ever before," said Rodgers yesterday. "One of the things that is taking priority this year, is to get fathers and mothers involved. It's good to teach the fundamentals of basketball but there is so much more to life than our young people playing basketball or playing sports. I think sometimes, we kind of miss the boat when we don't take quality time to spend with our children. There is going to be
a father-son evening where fathers play like a one-on-one with others fathers and sons, and then the same thing with mothers and daughters. We're just trying to build some excitement to the camp. I expect some great things to happen and I'm looking forward to making this year very successful."
Over the years, the camp which caters to hundreds of Bahamian youngsters, has grown by leaps and bounds. Rodgers has even branched off to other countries in the region, staging camp sessions in the Turks and Caicos Islands and Jamaica. This year, he has committed himself to having a camp in Abaco, and quite possibly, returning to the Turks and Caicos Islands and Jamaica.
"Wherever we go, the message is the same - to encourage young people to believe in themselves and in their futures," said Rodgers. "Most people have callings in life - some accept them and some don't. I think mine is to work with young people. It's been a blessing to me because it has helped me to keep my life together.
"It is a joy when you can touch young people's lives and motivate them and encourage them. There is always hope when you're focussing on the positive things in life, and young kids need to know that. When we look at the kids who have been touched by this camp over the years, to see some of them working as instructors in the camp is a blessing. We've helped some of them go off to college and we have seen them come back home and are now working in the community. It's a joy to be able to see that."
Working along with the kids this year are Cleveland Cavaliers' Head Coach Byron Scott, Cavaliers NBA 'Rookie of the Year' Kyrie Irving, Detroit Pistons assistant coach Dee Brown, Tyrone Bogues, former NBA player Scott Burrell and Klay Thompson - son of former Bahamian NBA great Mychal 'Sweet Bells' Thompson and current starting two guard of the Golden State Warriors, just to name a few.
"It's a great crew that we have coming down," said Rodgers. "I'm sure all of the kids and their parents will appreciate what we have in store for them this year. I'm just looking forward to putting it all together for the kids."
Sponsors coming on board to assist with the camp this year include: Scotiabank Bahamas Ltd., Royal Bank of Canada, J.S. Johnson Insurance Ltd., Colina Insurance Ltd., Family Guardian, Bamboo Shack, Bahamas Business Solutions, Jewel Party Supplies, Freddie's Barber, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Ministry of Tourism and The Bahamas' Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (SDA). Rodgers said that he is grateful to all of them.

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News Article
Why the FNM lost and the PLP won

Although the general election is over, arguably the election season is yet to come to a close. There is at least one imminent by-election in North Abaco following the announcement by former Prime Minister Hubert A. Ingraham that he will resign from this seat on July 19, 2012. Meanwhile many individuals continue to weigh in on the possible causes of the Free National Movement's (FNM) defeat, the victory of Perry G. Christie and the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the Democratic National Alliance's (DNA) impact.
It is apparent that a number of factors contributed to the FNM's loss even though it is difficult to unequivocally state which particular issue impacted the voting population the most. The most obvious contributors to the aforementioned defeat from a macro-economic perspective were the poor state of the economy, record unemployment levels, inflation, labor unrest, the perceived opaque immigration policy of the FNM government and rising crime levels.
It has been suggested that the FNM's insistence on turning the entire election campaign into a leadership and/or personality contest between Ingraham and Christie played a significant role in the downfall of the FNM. This coupled with what many deemed to be a growing tyrannical and dictatorial style of leadership by Ingraham is also being cited as part of the reasons for the FNM's loss and the PLP's landslide victory. As can be expected, a rejection of Ingraham by the electorate would spell doom for the FNM. The perceived incidents of fragmentation, scandals and corruption within the Ingraham administration that prompted voluntary or involuntary resignations of long-time politicians along with constituency reassignments also played a role in the outcome of the elections.
The Ingraham administration also had its fair share of controversy including the sale of the Bahamas Telecommunication Company (BTC) to a foreign-owned firm over and above Bahamians, significant cost overruns and delays in the New Providence Road Improvement Project that also contributed to the closure of several small to medium-sized businesses and the perpetuation of a monopoly of the nation's most important gateway by way of a public-private partnership agreement to an elite group of families through the Arawak Port Development.
Notably, the FNM could also be accused of political tokenism - an exercise in which under-represented groups are placed in races that they have little or no chance of winning. Arguably this occurred with some FNM newcomers and female candidates who were placed in historically PLP strongholds or incumbent constituencies. The constituencies of Englerston, Bains Town and Grants Town, Centreville, Golden Gates, Tall Pines, Fox Hill and West Grand Bahama and Bimini readily come to mind. These constituencies, for the most part, witnessed PLP candidates commanding the majority of the votes by a minimum margin of 645 to a maximum of approximately 1,390 votes. As admitted by the FNM's chairman, the party failed to attract the female vote - this in spite of the FNM's impressive fielding of nine female candidates. The PLP, however, fielded five female candidates, four of which were successful compared to one for the FNM.

Rejection
In the midst of it all, it appears that the electorate rejected the FNM's approach to the myriad socio-economic issues that plagued the country during its term in office. Further, on the campaign trail, the FNM's message focused mainly on its delivery of infrastructure projects. The FNM, however, failed to "touch the pulse" of the people who for the most part were suffering due to unemployment, the rising cost of energy, food prices, foreclosures and high taxes just to name a few.
Ingraham's strategy of painting Christie as weak, indecisive, unable to control his ministers who were all eager to get their hands on the proverbial "cookie jar" was obviously ineffective and failed to resonate with an electorate that had become weary of that old form of "politicking".
An analysis of the PLP's modus operandi and efforts during the 2012 election campaign is imperative in order to complete this piece. The former prime minister, the late Sir Lynden O. Pindling, in response to a question as to the reason for the PLP's success at the polls was quoted in The National Observer's January 14, 1967 edition as stating: "Organization, good candidates, red-hot issues, complete unity".
The aforementioned quote can easily sum up the PLP's 2012 election campaign. It was clear from the beginning that the PLP led an organized campaign by campaigning on the issues that affected the Bahamian people the most - crime, economic recovery and job creation. These were obvious issues in the wake of increased criminal activities, widespread economic hardship and joblessness. Further, the PLP introduced what it coined as "a new generation of leaders" who in the run-up to the general election (when compared to their FNM counterparts) spent months to years on the ground in their respective constituencies, made many platform appearances at constituency office openings, rallies and the talk show circuit. These provided them with opportunities for increased exposure and introduction to the electorate.
Finally, the success of any political party at the polls hinges on the ability of its members to be unified and stand together. During the election campaign, the PLP spoke with one voice and had a common understanding which allowed for the resonance of its message.
As for the impact of the DNA, there are some 20 parliamentary seats that could have changed the results for the PLP or FNM but for the DNA's presence. However, the absence of the DNA may have also resulted in low voter turn-out in a general election that witnessed high voter registration with a record 172,000 voters.
The DNA's showing was historic and impressive as it garnered approximately eight percent of the electoral vote, the highest by far for a third party. The party's presence deepened our democracy, provided voters with an alternative and forced the established parties to improve their political campaigns. Their future existence and relevance will depend on their commitment to "stay on the ground" and be a formidable opposition from the side-lines.
Considering the 14-year rise to power of the PLP and the 20-year journey of the FNM, it will benefit the DNA to study these parties' voyages. Invaluable lessons abound for the DNA in the successes and failures of the PLP and FNM in the past. The DNA and its supporters should draw inspiration from the rise of the Liberal Democrats in the United Kingdom whose ascension in UK politics led to the Conservative/Liberal Democrats coalition in 2010, the first in Britain's history since World War II. The Liberal Democrats' victory silenced naysayers that had asserted that third parties have no place in a Westminster system. With a clear philosophy, purpose and perseverance, the DNA can hope for a similar testimony in future.

o Arinthia S. Komolafe is an attorney-at-law. Comments can be directed at commentary@komolafelaw.com.

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