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Several Bahamian bottled water companies have been hit by an unexpected demand for increased import and Stamp duties on items they import as part of their production process.
One water manufacturing company in New Providence yesterday said items such as plastic bottles and boxes, which they have traditionally imported for 10 per cent, are now being landed for 60 per cent import duty.
The change was not announced before it was applied, and has caused
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham revealed on Tuesday night that 7,000 Bahamians are expected to vote in the advanced poll on May 1.
"You don't have to lose your right to vote because you [won't] be here on election day," Ingraham told supporters during a Free National Movement (FNM) rally in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
"The FNMs want to maximize the number of people who vote."
These include people who are unable to vote because of travel schedules, government assignments overseas, pregnancy or hospitalization etc.
Officers of the Royal Bahamas Police and Defence Forces will also vote in the advanced poll.
Parliamentary Commissioner Errol Bethel told The Nassau Guardian yesterday there are approximately 420 students and other Bahamians registered to vote abroad.
Amendments made to the Parliamentary Elections Act last year allow students and other eligible Bahamians to vote in Miami, Atlanta, Washington, New York, London and Toronto at polling places established at Bahamian embassies and high commissions.
The government revisited the Act earlier this year to establish polling places at Bahamian honorary consuls for students to vote in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.
In addition to students, Bahamians eligible to vote outside the country include staff of Bahamian embassies, high commissions or other foreign missions of The Bahamas posted overseas and their spouses or members of their immediate families residing with them.
Public officers or Ministry of Tourism staff on official duty outside the country and staff of the Bahamas Maritime Authority or any other agency of the government are also eligible to vote outside the country.
At the end of that poll the sealed ballot boxes will be returned to The Bahamas and delivered to the parliamentary commissioner.
The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) have expressed concerns over the security of overseas voting fearing the process could be open to abuse.
But Bethel expressed confidence in the integrity of the process.
"We will use the same standards in terms of how it's set up and in terms of protection of the votes," he said.
"The ballots will be taken and carried by our people, and they will be in the protection of our people and the police."
The prime minister again encouraged people who had not yet collected their voter's card to do so and to make sure the information on it is accurate.
More than 172,000 Bahamians have registered to vote, the highest number ever recorded in the country and around 22,000 more registered voters compared to the last general election in 2007.
Ingraham also thanked Bahamians for trusting him to lead the nation for three non-consecutive terms and urged all eligible people to vote on May 7 regardless of their political persuasion.
He again appealed to supporters to donate what they could in support of the FNM.
Ingraham has repeatedly said that the PLP is in a better financial position than his party.
The general election will take place on May 7.
A college education is getting more expensive day by day. Students and their parents are finding it very difficult to cope with the rising cost of tuition, books and related educational expenses. Many are looking at scholarships as the best way to fund a college education. With average school costs for tuition and living expenses topping over thirty thousand dollars a year, it can be hard to assemble resources to get the funding needed, especially when most college fees are far beyond most families' budgets.
Most Bahamians take for granted the sea shell that they walk on at the beach. But in the hands of Miralee Rose, the sea shell becomes even more beautiful as she turns that simple shell into an angel Christmas tree ornament.
"People always compliment me on my shellwork but when they see what I can do for Christmas, it blows them away," says Rose. "It amazes them to see what you can do with something as simple as shells -- shell angels for the Christmas tree, flowers and many other beautiful ornaments. Working in shell art is something I always love and now I even specialize in sand ornaments."
Rose is one of 10 artisans who have taken natural products like shells, seeds, sea fans, sand dollars, conch shells, pine cones, sand, glass, coconut and cloth, and fashioned Christmas ornaments with which you can decorate your tree with this year so that your family can have a truly Bahamian Christmas. Think sand dollars sparkling with glitter, conch shells turned and finished into angels and bells, and glass ornaments with sand at the bottom, "littered" with shells.
With four days left in November, most Bahamians are already in a Christmas frame of mind with thoughts turning to trimming of the tree. Some people are heading to the store to purchase new ornaments, while others will pull boxes out of storage, making use of ornaments they've used for years. But this year, Christmas doesn't have to be the same tradition of using store-bought decorations and one can opt for more native ornaments.
"It's just so great how much you can do with so little," said Rose, proprietor of Miragee Arts. Co. and she delved into more unusual and festive designs for the Yuletide season.
Rose is showcasing her ornaments just in time for the Yuletide season at the Authentic Christmas Ornament at the Wyndham Nassau Resort and Crystal Palace Casino today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cathy Laing draws inspiration for her Christmas ornaments from straw work and natural materials from the sea. She says she redefines creativity and that even though everything is simple, she says it still has a festive elegance that is enchanting.
Laing works with sea shells, sand dollars and sea fans to produce her ornaments. She likes to come up with new and exciting ways to make her decorations and ornaments unique and special. She makes them in batches -- one batch of 12 can take her two hours to complete.
"I think native Christmas ornaments are the best way to go because they are not only beautiful, they are made from everyday products native to our islands. They say a lot more about you and who you are."
Although many native decorations will cost more than store bought ones, the artisans say it is always worth the money because the decorations will be made of sturdier materials and tend to last longer than traditional ornaments. Seeing what is on offer will not only shock you they say, but in many cases even inspire you to do some designs of your own to make this Christmas special.
They are also showing that Christmas decorations do not have to be confined to the tree as many other artisans showcased other native designs that can be used around the home such as shell candy dishes, conch shell dishes, jewelry, straw baskets and even homemade candles and soaps. Many more designs and creative Christmas decorations like wreaths, sandals and paintings are on display at the show.
Margaret Finlayson takes the simple and neglected art of sewing and produced stuffed ornaments that are stunning, like stuffed deer, stars, fish, candy canes and gingerbread men.
"It takes more of your imagination than anything to make what we do," said Finlayson. "It's just a way of life and I hope more Bahamians come to love and appreciate what we have naturally."
It's that time of year when excitement rings true -- Thanksgiving is over and most Bahamians are pulling ornaments out of storage in preparation to trim the tree. But instead of the regular ornaments you've used for years, this could be your year to go all Bahamian.
Freeport, Bahamas - Boxing Day afternoon was the perfect time to relax and truly appreciate the blessings of Christmas.
Freeport, Bahamas - Boxing Day afternoon was the perfect time
to relax and truly appreciate the blessings of Christmas.
The musical recital given by Elizabeth Reian Bennett, Grand Master of the Japanese
bamboo flute at the Garden of the Groves was a
true gift to those in attendance
The shakuhachi is an unusual instrument
which 'sang' pulsating music with a vibrating 'voice', a perfect instrument to create and enhance a sense of peace
The flute came from China to Japan in the eighth
century, and the Buddhist Monks have used it from that time as they walked
their Labyrinths in meditation.
The afternoon concert started in the
beautiful little Chapel, which was full for the occasion. The audience
were greeted at the door by Erika Gates...
Kristof Murphy has dreams of becoming a biologist. To make his dream a reality, he knew he had to do well in Biology and Math classes -- what he didn't know was that he also had to do well in Physics. Now he does, after participating in "Career Chatroom" at his school. The Doris Johnson High School 12th grader says speaking with a professional in the engineering field and learning what he has to do to succeed in his dreams has made him more aware of what he has to do.
Rotary continues to help rebuild Haiti after the devastating Earthquake of January 2010 killed more than 300,000 people and left over one million displaced. To highlight Rotary’s work and to bring attention for a request for donations, a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) will be aired in 6 countries in District 7020.