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News Article
Dwight Smith re-elected PSA's executive chairman

Police Staff Association (PSA) officials announced yesterday that Sergeant Dwight Smith has been re-elected as executive chairman of the association.
Smith noted yesterday that the majority of the PSA's 2,200 members participated in the election, held last week Thursday at various polling stations across New Providence and on Grand Bahama.
He further noted that there was a need to establish additional positions within the PSA, including an executive director, a chief welfare officer and an information and events officer, to increase the professional capacity of the organization.
Newly-elected executive member Corporal Kevin Farrington is now the PSA's legal aid & right officer.
"This position has been established to protect the officers' legal and constitutional rights," said Smith during a press conference at PSA headquarters on Bank Lane.
"This is the first legal position established to help police officers deal with the increase of litigation sweeping through our police force.
"It will also educate and advise officers on the art of not falling or yielding to temptation or corruption, as we have seen far too many officers before the courts or dismissed from the force for unwanted behavior or illegal acts."
The majority of last year's board was re-elected, with a few notable changes.  Constable Darius Sealy is the new assistant welfare officer in the Family Islands.
The executive secretary position is now filled by Sergeant Lisa Saunders Armbrister, who replaces Corporal Prescott Pinder.  Constable Kirk Bastian, who was previously assistant treasurer, is now the executive treasurer.  Inspector Warren Johnson has been appointed deputy chairman in New Providence.
The positions of deputy chairman, Grand Bahama and chief welfare officer, Grand Bahama are still held by Sergeants Darrell Weir and Chris Barr respectively.
Corporal Leonard Barr has replaced Corporal Innez Miller as chairman of private engagement.  Corporal Claudius Collie has replaced Corporal Theresa Stuart as deputy chairman of private engagement.
Corporal Nicola Mackey retained her position as assistant secretary, while Constable Kirk Bastian, who previously held the post of assistant treasurer, has been elected as executive treasurer, replacing Inspector Kenery Stubbs.
Constable Jacqueline Jones has been appointed as the public relations officer, replacing Lashawn Brice.  Constable Latroy Bodie has been elected as the assistant treasurer.  Constable Ernie Barr, who was previously the deputy chairman for Grand Bahama, is now the chairman of private engagement, replacing Corporal Lincoln Dawkins.  Constable Gerard Miller now holds the position of sergeant of arms.
The polling stations on New Providence were at police headquarters on East Street, the police college on Thompson Boulevard and the PSA's offices on Bank Lane.  In Grand Bahama, the lone polling station was at the PSA office on Mahogany Street in Freeport.
Smith pointed out that the association has become an international member of the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) for the first time in the history of the police force.  NAPO is a coalition of police unions and associations from across the United States, that serve to advance the interests of that nation's law enforcement officers through legislative and legal advocacy, political action and education.  Smith sits on NAPO's executive board, which is also a first for The Bahamas.
"This will enable us to actually look at our counterparts and see how they do policing," Smith said.  "We can send officers to those various places for training that we may deem necessary, to help us police our Bahamaland," he added.

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News Article
Is there political ideology or philosophy in Bahamian politics

We now know almost all the election candidates of the three parties with representation in the House of Assembly.  The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and Free National Movement (FNM) have selected all the men and women who will run under their respective banners.  The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) has a few more to chose.
What is interesting is that each of the parties have a few candidates who have run for, or been supporters of, other parties.  There are some interesting examples.
For the PLP, Dr. Andre Rollins was a candidate in 2010 at the Elizabeth by-election for the National Development Party, and Dr. Bernard Nottage (the current Bain and Grants Town MP) led the Coalition for Democratic Reform against the PLP in the 2002 general election.
For the FNM, Cassius Stuart was the leader of the Bahamas Democratic Movement.  His colleagues on the FNM ticket Kenyatta Gibson, Edison Key and Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham are all former PLP MPs.
Dr. Madlene Sawyer, the DNA candidate for Southern Shores, was a former head of the PLP women's branch.  Her DNA colleague Wallace Rolle ran for the PLP in the 2007 general election.  The DNA candidate for Bains Town and Grants Town, Rodney Moncur, was the leader of the obscure Worker's Party before joining the DNA.  And Branville McCartney, the party's leader, was a former FNM MP and Cabinet minister.
These are just a few prominent examples of the flow of people in Bahamian politics.  There are other candidates in the major parties who have been strong supporters of organizations opposed to the groups they are currently with.
What does it all mean?  Well, some would say nothing, as politicians in countries around the world change party affiliation all the time.  But, it could also be argued that the flow of people from party to party, running under any banner, exists here because there is little to no philosophical difference between the organizations.
In fact, it would be hard to use any traditional economic or political philosophy to describe any of the Bahamian political parties.  Could you describe the PLP, DNA or FNM as left or right wing, conservative or liberal?  No, you could not.
For example, in the 2012 Republican presidential race in the United States candidate Ron Paul is a libertarian.  Paul has very different view of the world from 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, who is a social democrat.  Libertarians are suspicious of the state and argue for small government and low rates of taxation.  Social democrats think the state and taxation should be used to advance social justice.
It is important to know the political philosophy of parties and their leaders.  When parties and leaders have strong beliefs, they bring forward policies that change the lives of people in distinct ways.  A libertarian would essentially eliminate welfare.  They do not think the wealth of individuals should be taken away by the state to be given to others with less wealth.
Social democrats always want more taxation to advance some Utopian social program to 'help' people.  The business climate changes significantly when one of these politicians is elected, as opposed to the other.
Is Hubert Ingraham a conservative?  Is Perry Christie a liberal?  Is Branville McCartney a centrist?  Who knows?  Lately, our elections have been run on management style.  Essentially, this is the essence of the debate: "I am a better man than you.  Vote for me."
A cynic could argue that it is difficult to pin down the political philosophy of our parties and politicians because they have none.  Instead, they simply seek power to dispense the authority and wealth of the state.  The voters then choose the person they think most able, and that's that.  The better manager manages things in a better ad hoc manner not under any recognizable system of ideals.
If this type of politics is good enough for the people, it will continue.  For something else to evolve the people would have to demand more of the process and the people involved.

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News Article
Jamaican professor offers mediator service to the BAAA

Professor Trevor Hall Ph.D. is a Jamaican-born citizen of the United States with worldwide exposure. He speaks and reads Portuguese and reads French and Spanish. His education background includes the Johns Hopkins University Ph.D.; the Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Letras: Arizona State University B.S.c., M.A., Political Science, and San Gabriel Academy, Elementary School, Balcalava, Jamaica. His connection to sports is deep. Professor Hall was All-American, Track and Field University Division in 1975; Penn Relays triple jump champion University Division in 1972; Western Athletic Champion in 1972 and runner-up in 1974 and 1975. Professor Hall has been keeping up with the executive controversy within the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations.
The Bahamas is being identified more and more these days primarily as a sports nation. Worldwide, observers closely view what's going on in sports in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The ongoing executive controversy in the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) is a case in point.
Professor Trevor Hall, a consultant in education and a full-time lecturer, remains keenly in tune with regional and world sports. He informs that when he worked in Liberia during the 1980s, he was able to help settle a major sports issue. Universities in Liberia, he informed, "were not participating in athletic competition because of a long-standing feud."
This once talented triple jumper and coach is now offering his service to the BAAA.
"As a professor of history and political science (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1993) and a track and field coach, as well as a former athlete, I offer my services to serve as a neutral mediator... if one is needed. Sometimes, opposing forces need an independent czar, one who could look at a situation in an impartial manner, without bias and render a decision. I performed such a function during the 1980s, when I worked in Liberia. As a Jamaican, who was not involved in the dispute, I was able to bring the two sides together," informed Professor Hall.
No doubt, there are individuals right here in The Bahamas who can serve the same purpose. An outsider, however might go over better. Recently, the presence of an official observer from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in the person of Richard Peterkin, resulted in the Bahamas Olympic Committee's (BOC) General Assembly being fully accepted. He reported to the IOC and the proceedings of the assembly were officially endorsed.
The BOC issues ended and now the new administration is moving on. There is a general view that the BAAA needs to get to a point very soon whereby it moves on. With the growing interest outside of the country, perhaps bringing someone like Professor Hall into the picture could be the solution.
Are the two BAAA sides willing to accept a mediator? Presently, based on how they have been responding, a compromised position is not a priority for them. The time might indeed be appropriate for the IAAF to get directly involved.
President Lamine Diack is a no-nonsense individual. While he obviously advocates national organizations solving their differences before they get totally out of hand, he has not been shy during his presidency to act when necessary in the interest of the honor and credibility of track and field.
Professor Hall's declared interest is a new dimension to the BAAA episode, worth consideration.
o To respond to this sports feature, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com.

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News Article
Is there political ideology or philosophy in Bahamian politics

We now know almost all the election candidates of the three parties with representation in the House of Assembly.  The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and Free National Movement (FNM) have selected all the men and women who will run under their respective banners.  The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) has a few more to chose.
What is interesting is that each of the parties have a few candidates who have run for, or been supporters of, other parties.  There are some interesting examples.
For the PLP, Dr. Andre Rollins was a candidate in 2010 at the Elizabeth by-election for the National Development Party, and Dr. Bernard Nottage (the current Bain and Grants Town MP) led the Coalition for Democratic Reform against the PLP in the 2002 general election.
For the FNM, Cassius Stuart was the leader of the Bahamas Democratic Movement.  His colleagues on the FNM ticket Kenyatta Gibson, Edison Key and Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham are all former PLP MPs.
Dr. Madlene Sawyer, the DNA candidate for Southern Shores, was a former head of the PLP women's branch.  Her DNA colleague Wallace Rolle ran for the PLP in the 2007 general election.  The DNA candidate for Bains Town and Grants Town, Rodney Moncur, was the leader of the obscure Worker's Party before joining the DNA.  And Branville McCartney, the party's leader, was a former FNM MP and Cabinet minister.
These are just a few prominent examples of the flow of people in Bahamian politics.  There are other candidates in the major parties who have been strong supporters of organizations opposed to the groups they are currently with.
What does it all mean?  Well, some would say nothing, as politicians in countries around the world change party affiliation all the time.  But, it could also be argued that the flow of people from party to party, running under any banner, exists here because there is little to no philosophical difference between the organizations.
In fact, it would be hard to use any traditional economic or political philosophy to describe any of the Bahamian political parties.  Could you describe the PLP, DNA or FNM as left or right wing, conservative or liberal?  No, you could not.
For example, in the 2012 Republican presidential race in the United States candidate Ron Paul is a libertarian.  Paul has a very different view of the world from 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, who is a social democrat.  Libertarians are suspicious of the state and argue for small government and low rates of taxation.  Social democrats think the state and taxation should be used to advance social justice.
It is important to know the political philosophy of parties and their leaders.  When parties and leaders have strong beliefs, they bring forward policies that change the lives of people in distinct ways.  A libertarian would essentially eliminate welfare.  They do not think the wealth of individuals should be taken away by the state to be given to others with less wealth.
Social democrats always want more taxation to advance some Utopian social program to 'help' people.  The business climate changes significantly when one of these politicians is elected, as opposed to the other.
Is Hubert Ingraham a conservative?  Is Perry Christie a liberal?  Is Branville McCartney a centrist?  Who knows?  Lately, our elections have been run on management style.  Essentially, this is the essence of the debate: "I am a better man than you.  Vote for me."
A cynic could argue that it is difficult to pin down the political philosophy of our parties and politicians because they have none.  Instead, they simply seek power to dispense the authority and wealth of the state.  The voters then choose the person they think most able, and that's that.  The better manager manages things in a better ad hoc manner not under any recognizable system of ideals.
If this type of politics is good enough for the people, it will continue.  For something else to evolve, the people would have to demand more of the process and the people involved.

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News Article
The Bahamian fiscal cliff

Dear Editor,It is my sincere hope thatmost Bahamians, if not all,will enjoy the upcomingChristmas season and willfind time for recreation,prayerful sessions and qualitytime with family and friends.We have much to be thankfulfor despite the personal andcollective challenges.After the festivities are concludedand all of the hamsand turkeys eaten, the nationwill have to confront some seriousfinancial and fiscal issuesin January 2013. Playingpossum and seeking to buryone's head in the sand like thefabled Ostrich will not cut it.Successive governments,headed by prime ministerswho are lawyers by professionand who would have served asministers of finance, aidedand abetted by ministers ofstate for finance, who know orknew nothing about big business,have led us to our ownlooming fiscal cliff.Sir Lynden, God bless hissoul, was the most successful,visionary and pragmatic ministerof finance this countryhas seen to date. Say what youmay about Sir Lynden but healmost single-handedly createdall of our national organizationssuch as: the NationalInsurance Board; the Royal BahamasDefence Force, the firstgovernment subdivision, etc.At least if he spent the moneyone is able to actually seewhat he spent it on. Contrastthe other two prime ministers,also lawyers. Hubert Ingraham,a good Bahamian,may have meant well I amsure during his various termsin office. The question whichbegs an answer however is:Did we get value for the massiveamounts of money hewould have spent on our behalf?The purchase of the socalledBlake Road buildingwas a boondoggle and onewhich I submit was done as a"favor" for the boys. It shouldnever have been purchasedwith NIB funds, as it was nevera viable building. Millionshave been poured into thepurchase and never-endingrenovations to the extent, allegedly,in excess of $25 million.Successive governments"stopped, canceled and reawarded"the renovation contractsto their alleged politicalassociates and that buildingstill appears to be in its originalstate.Governmental operationsand ministries are housed inleased and rented propertiesat great expense, allegedly, tothe public purse. For instance,the Immigration Departmenthas been in rentedpremises at Hawkins Hill forgenerations.No one that I know of in thepublic domain knows exactlyhow much is being paid inrent and certainly not theterms and conditions or eventhe lifespan of the rental contract.The old City Meat MarketBuilding on Market Streetwas purchased to be used, allegedly,as the site for The RegistrarGeneral's Department.A renovation contract wasgranted and the building wasduly gutted. Nothing hasbeen done from then to nowand the forlorn building remainsa stark reminder of thewaste of public funds. Yet anothergovernment-ownedbuilding is located on John F.Kennedy Drive to the immediatewest of the Ministry ofWorks compound.Constructed to the tune oftens of millions of dollars andlit up to the highest everynight, it is under-occupiedand under-utilized. Yet, majorministries, inclusive of ourcourts, remain in leased,cramped and totally inadequatequarters.The Ministry of Tourism ison George Street downtownwhere staffers are obliged towork in an outdated environment.Potential foreign andlocal investors who are desirousof meeting with theminister of tourism and hissenior officials would not beimpressed with the ambience.The ongoing roadwork herein New Providence is the singlelargest cause for the massivefiscal deficits we are saddledwith. That this work hadto be carried out cannot be deniedbut the cost overruns tothe tune of $100 million areunbelievable. In too manycases, remedial work will haveto be done costing tens of millionsof dollars in the near future.The civil service is top heavyand there are too many individualsdeployed in ministriesand departments doing absolutelynothing of value. Arationalization must be doneand done soon. It has been estimatedthat 50 percent of theannual national budget goesto salaries, pensions and gratuities.Another 40 percent isrequired to actually run thegovernment leaving less than20 percent for infrastructureand other much needed societaland cultural works.Yes, dear friends, countrymen/women and enemies weare between a rock and a veryhard place due to the fiscalmismanagement of all of ourgovernments to date. It is nouse now, of course, engagingin a blame game as the Androsianbuzzards have alreadycome home to roost. It iswhat it is.The gold rush administrationmust reach out to allstakeholders regardless of politicalpersuasion and certainly,regardless of age. Early inthe new year the prime ministerand his economic teamshould convene a secludedconclave with business professionals,accountants, lawyersand the media to hash out viablesolutions to our own fiscalcliff. There can be no otherway.Failure is not an option andwe are in this slow boat overthe cliff together. If it succeedsin averting this loomingdisaster, the gold rush administrationand Perry GladstoneChristie (PLP-Centreville)could go down in our historyas the government that madea difference. In conclusion,then, I wish all a Merry Christmasand a prosperous NewYear. Despite it all, I submitthat our best days are yetahead of us.To God also, in all things, bethe glory.- Ortland H. Bodie Jr.

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News Article
Miller emphasizes sports industry's importance

The head of the most influential sports organization in The Bahamas is calling on the government to re-visit the prioritizing of those areas that drive the nation forward. In particular, he wants the sports industry to be acknowledged as one of the prime positive elements in the country.
"The sports industry is here with awesome potential. It is very real and it would be just great for the government to give it special attention. I feel the sports industry should be right there along with education, health and tourism. There is so much that we can do to propel our sports image. We are highly regarded around the world for our success in sports, but the knowledge that we could do so much more, kind of dilutes the enthusiasm a bit. A much bigger budget, comparable to the contribution sports make to the 'positive' image of our country is certainly in order," said Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) President Wellington Miller recently during an exclusive interview about his reflections with his first four-year term in office closing out.
He laments the inability for federations to properly canvas all of the Family Islands for the sports talents hidden in those communities. He is saddened that on many occasions because of the lack of proper facilities in the country, opportunities to host regional and international events and a multitude of training camps, are lost every year.
"It is getting to be so very expensive for sports organizations to keep up with their peers around the world, most of whom are nicely subsidized. For instance, they fall short on funding all the time in trying to send teams away to get the kind of experience that enable them to better compete. We don't really have strong programs for the Family Islands. Federations are just unable to find the finances to get into every little island corner to weed out the raw
talents, nurture them and heighten the success level of The Bahamas.
"The lack of proper facilities makes for another big concern. We miss out all the time on getting tournaments and camps because we lack the facilities that those wanting to come, need and deserve. Just very recently as an example, Canada wanted to send a team of 30 boxers plus officials here for a training camp. Well, we just do not have any boxing facility that can accommodate them. This is a shame and I felt badly having to acknowledge that fact, but there it is. Now, you know how much more each federation could do in that area, if there was the kind of funding allocated to us from the national budget? I can tell you that it would make a big difference, an awesome change for the better," said Miller.
Miller makes an excellent argument. It is exciting and refreshing that he has decided to come forward and speak to the needs within the sporting landscape of The Bahamas, even if it means ruffling the feathers of those who make up the political directorate.
Be sure to stay connected to Sports Scope as this series of reflections by BOC President Wellington Miller continues. To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at fredericksturrup@gmail.com

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News Article
Sustainable art communities

"Creativity and Policy in the Transnational Caribbean" explores how the understanding and formation of sustainable community for the Caribbean and its global diaspora may be supported by art practice, curating and museums. The project was a collaboration between The Open University and the University of Leiden, in partnership with the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam and the Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva), London, and was led by Dr. Leon Wainwright.
Participants in the second conference in this series, which took place December 3-4, 2013, included Alessio Antoniolli (UK), Marielle Barrow (Trinidad and Tobago), Charles Campbell (Jamaica/UK), Annalee Davis (Barbados), Joy Gregory (UK), Therese Hadchity (Barbados), Glenda Heyliger (Aruba), Rosemarijn Hoefte (the Netherlands), Yudhishthir Raj Isar (France/India), Tessa Jackson (UK), Nancy Jouwe (the Netherlands), Charl Landvreugd (the Netherlands), Wayne Modest (the Netherlands), Petrona Morrison (Jamaica), Jynell Osborne (Guyana), Marcel Pinas (Suriname), Dhiradj Ramsamoedj (Suriname), Leon Wainwright (UK) and Kitty Zijlmans (Netherlands).
As the conference on Sustainable Art Communities started, we immediately encountered one of the problems relating to sustainability across the diaspora - first speaker Marcel Pinas could not be there because of visa issues, thus highlighting a key obstacle in the transnational dialogue. Meeting in person builds community, as all who attended can attest to, and nothing beats a face to face discussion. Raj Isar used the German word "gemeinshaft", which basically refers to living, breathing and eating together; for a few days that is what this conference facilitated. Leon Wainwright started the discussion with a few questions, one of which was "Should the arts be burdened with the task of building community?"
Rather than actually coming up with answers, the conference was very enlightening because it showed that issues experienced in the Caribbean are also in effect in the diaspora. Questions like "for whom is the work made?" and "are institutions disconnected from the audience?" were addressed. The importance of critical discourse in countries like Jamaica, Suriname and the Netherlands was expressed by Petrona Morisson.
As the mark of success in art seems to be related to public engagement, establishing links through existing spaces to broaden local audiences on artistic, critical and financial levels is paramount. Part of this can be achieved through carefully archiving Caribbean lived experience. As an example of this, Joy Gregory started/is starting up a residency in the former house of fashion designer Trevor Owens in Jamaica, providing a way into understanding this experience. At the same time, according to Therese Hadchity, the local and historical context is being transcended by artists like Sheena Rose, Ewan Atkinson and Alicia Alleyne, and is being picked up in other parts of the world. A new hybrid globalized subject is emerging with mixed sensibilities. Jynell Osborne made this clear by speaking about diversity in heritage and how this affects social and political issues in a country like Guyana. "We have to recognize where cultures come together and where they stay apart in Guyana, and by extension in the Caribbean. Part of building a strong society is building a strong culture that is sustainable." Tying back to the production of a critical discourse, this seems to be done more by writers than visual artists in smaller countries. Why is that?
One thing that the speakers and audience agreed on was Petrona Morisson's sentiment that the Caribbean and its diaspora should not repeat patterns of exclusion in our effort to build a sustainable art community. Annalee Davis' presentation on the initiative Fresh Milk is seen as one of the ways in which talent can be nurtured in our own geographical space. She made a case for the fourth sector model of social economy in light of the lack of funds, creating wealth by means of nurturing creative talent within the region. This, the panel agreed, is a revolutionary act. By first working within the local space and sustaining creative process, expansion to include all of the region is anticipated. The question of an understandable art language for everybody may be a consequence of this way of working. What the impact of this will be outside and inside of academia can only be imagined at this point. Who defines and critiques history, and is history in the way of the future? This was asked by Ozkan Golpinar when he explained the way decisions on funding are being made in the West.
The question about craftmanship vs art was raised by Wayne Modest, who is concerned with the relationship between the local and the global; "What happens when elite practices take up the 'ghetto'?" He took some time speaking about the 'ghetto' as a native place for contemporary Jamaican artists, in comparison to previous generations who saw Africa as the native place. This echoed my idea of continental Europe as a native space to Caribbean subjects who were born and or raised there. It was also exemplified by Glenda Heyliger's presentation on her work in Aruba. Fittingly, Marielle Barrow contributed to this exchange, joining the conversation via Skype from the Ghetto Biennale in Haiti. Unfortunately the connection went bad several times as it did with Raj Isar, but her message of multimodality was strong. How to sustain a network without funding was one of her main questions. Transformation seems to be one of the principles here. Charles Campbell showed us how he did it with 'Actor Boy', who became real, participated in society, started creating his own artworks and mythologized himself once over. As Alessio Antoniolli said about the organizations connected through the Triangle Network, "The most successful groups are the ones who are self serving."

o Orignally published on arcthemagazine.com
o Charl Landvreugd is a Dutch artist, born in Suriname and raised in Rotterdam. Aesthetically, politically, theoretically as well as practically, black is the base color in his practice. The artist has studied at the Goldsmiths College (London) and Columbia University (NYC), and now continues his investigations of black and Blackness. He explores the plurality of black hues and advocates for distinctions in black diversity. Inspired by the gathering of people from the African diaspora in the Bijlmer, he unites the four continents around the Atlantic in the video work Atlantic Transformerz 2010.

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News Article
Lynden Pindling continues to sparkle in baseball

His name is Lynden Pindling III.
It's an iconic name. The first prime minister in The Bahamas carried that name. His political legacy included being the accepted 'Father of the Nation'. He was the lead figure on the journey to majority rule in The Bahamas. Independence and the all-important National Insurance program are attached to his name more so than anyone else.
Sir Lynden Pindling was indeed and remains an inspiration to generations of Bahamians and some Caribbean historians. The burden of that name, Lynden Pindling III has had to shoulder. His frame is not as tiny as it was when he first started playing baseball around the age of 10. Now he is a well-defined 5' 9", 175-pounder who happens to be one of the finest Bahamian athletes.
In an unassuming manner, so different from an abundantly visible and charismatic grandfather, Lynden Pindling III has quietly, but steadily gone about establishing his very own identity, as a top sports talent. When one says the name Lynden Pindling now, the thought isn't automatically to the great politician.
There is that other Lynden Pindling. He plays baseball. He is a 20-year-old junior at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee and one of the best to ever play in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC). The baseball credentials of Lynden Pindling III are sterling. His parents, Obie and Diane Pindling, are happy with his overall progress.
"We're all very proud of him, especially that he carries a 3.0 plus grade point average (GPA). Going into his finals (last week) he was 3.19 so we won't know his final GPA for another few weeks. Rhodes is one of the most academically-challenging liberal arts schools in the United States. Lynden is majoring in accounting and business with a minor in Spanish," informed the senior Pindling.
There is of course, the two-fold student/athlete brilliance as far as Lynden Pindling III is concerned. He is the best batter for the Rhodes College Lynx. During the just completed season, Pindling led the team with a .395 batting average from the full 42 games, all of which he started at shortstop. He collected 58 hits in 147 official at-bats, 12 of his safeties being doubles. Pindling also drove in 35 runs and scored 40 times. His average was sixth best in the conference.
For the 2011 season, he batted .361 to lead Rhodes College. He went 57 for 158 with 12 doubles and 25 runs batted in (RBIs). This past season, the March 12-18 period got him a lot of national attention. Pindling went 9-for-16 and led Rhodes to a 5-0 win/loss record. His on-base percentage was .652. He was named Conference Offensive Player of the Week.
He's on a path that could very well lead to the Major Leagues. Scouts are watching him closely and once his success trend continues on the diamond, barring any severe injury, Pindling is certain to be a prominent draft choice of one of the organizations in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the not too distant future.
Best wishes Lynden!

To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com.

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News Article
Caribbean in greatest crisis since independence

"Make no mistake about it. Our region is in the throes of the greatest crisis since independence. The specter of evolving into failed societies is no longer a subject of imagination. How our societies crawl out of this vicious vortex of persistent low growth, crippling debt, huge fiscal deficits and high unemployment is the single most important question facing us at this time".
That is not an assessment of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to be taken lightly. It is an assessment by a Caribbean prime minister who has also had the advantage of serving as legal advisor to the CARICOM Secretariat.
Dr. Kenny Anthony, the prime minister of St. Lucia, delivered this appraisal to a meeting of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry on October 31.
The prime minister's statement is so important to the present crunch in which CARICOM exists, and so crucial to its future path that one would have expected it to be a matter of discussion at all levels of society in the 15 member-states of CARICOM. Yet, beyond its brief reportage in some of the regional media, attention to this grave warning died almost immediately after it was spoken.
The reasons for the absence of widespread discussion including by the regional media, is probably because the Caribbean public has become accustomed to inaction by regional governments, institutions, and private sector organizations. Few would doubt the importance of what Dr. Anthony said and the urgency of addressing it. But all appear unconvinced that anyone will act decisively to change the situation. So, the appraisal alarming and forceful as it is evokes little more than resigned weariness in Caribbean publics.
This is a worrying condition for the CARICOM region. For, if the public has lost faith in the willingness of governments and institutions to act swiftly and together to extract them from crisis, the consequences will be even more serious. They will include increased emigration of the skilled persons in our societies, shrinkage of investment by local business people, and a general malaise in the productive sector. In short, it will lead to a worsening of the crisis.
The sad aspect of all this is that every leader in the member-states of CARICOM, in its institutions and in the private sector knows very well that deeper integration of Caribbean economies and closer harmonization of their external relations would be an immediate stimulus to pulling CARICOM countries out of what Dr. Anthony rightly describes as "this vicious vortex of persistent low growth, crippling debt, huge fiscal deficits and high unemployment".
What each CARICOM country needs is not more nationalism, but more regionalism. This is not to say that they should form a federation or political union, though, for the record, let me say it would be the best thing they could do. But, they have to stop operating as if, by themselves, they individually have the capacity either to deliver the public goods required by their people or to bargain effectively in the international community.
Again, Dr. Anthony crystallized this matter in his remarks when he said: "The issue we face is that our institutions, whether at the level of the state or supranationally, have not kept up with the times. This is the reality check that should have hit us, thanks to 2008 and the world financial crisis. And again, if we are to observe and learn from another epicenter of integration, Europe, this process is no simple undertaking, but requires unwavering commitment. What was also clear from 2008 is that we were still spending too much time using our integration machinery dealing with our insularities instead of charting an outward response to the looming global realities."
Well, what are some of those looming global realities with which CARICOM countries should be concerned?
Food security: CARICOM's food import bill now runs into billions of dollars and will escalate in the coming years; the fragility and cost of regional air transportation to support tourism and the absence of region-wide sea transportation to facilitate trade in goods; competition within the region from external nations, such as European exporters, who under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) will, over time, be landing goods and services and even opening businesses that will compete with local companies putting some of them out of business and reducing government revenues from tariffs; continuing erosion of preferences that certain key commodities from CARICOM countries have enjoyed, in the past, in the EU, US and Canadian markets; reduction in aid because, except for Haiti, CARICOM countries are regarded as middle income countries, and a continued restriction from concessional funds from international financial institutions for the same reason; the effects of global warming that demand adaptation infrastructure to stop sea-level rise from drowning huge parts of many countries, dislocating human habitats and destroying tourism infrastructure and agricultural production; and the lack of capacity to bargain effectively with larger countries and financial institutions on investment, trade and debt.
The list of issues identified here is by no means exhaustive, and they require bold thinking and courageous decision making including a resolve to pool sovereignty regionally to make each country stronger. Dr. Anthony diagnosed the ailments of the region accurately, though he stopped short of prescribing the medicine for curing them. But, he hinted at it when he said: "When appropriate, CARICOM must have the power and the resources to lead, setting both the objective and the tone of the dialogue, followed by a greater intensity of action".
There are many countries and agencies that are ready to help the countries of the region to progress, but they know that, apart from Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and perhaps Guyana because of their natural resources, none of the Caribbean's countries can survive let alone prosper without the economies of scale and the bargaining strength that comes from deeper integration. As Dr. Anthony counselled, "the specter of evolving into failed societies is no longer a subject of imagination".
o Sir Ronald Sanders is a business executive and former Caribbean diplomat who publishes widely on small states in the global community. Send Responses to: www.sirronaldsanders.com. Printed with the permission of caribbeannewsnow.com.

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More than 35,000 people represented at FOIA rally

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The leaders and top representatives of more than 20 groups and organizations were in among the crowd at Wednesday's Freedom of Information Rally in Rawson Square, collectively representing more than 35,000 people according to veteran educator Joseph Darville.
Darville, one of the directors of fast-growing social and environmental advocacy group Save The Bays, lead organizer of the rally, said the combined membership of political parties, trade unions and citizen activist groups represented constitute a formidable social force that politicians ignore at their own risk.
"It seems like every entity in The Bahamas was represented besides the PLP," he said, asking why the governing party seems to be "afraid" to engage with those calling for the rapid enactment of a Freedom of Information Act.
Among the many speakers at the event were the leaders of the other two major political parties in The Bahamas, as well as the secretary general of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), an umbrella entity representing more than 10,000 workers.
Free National Movement leader Dr. Hubert Minnis connected the lack of an FOIA to the degradation of the country's precious natural resources through unregulated development, which has been given the green light by successive governments behind a veil of secrecy.
Using the example of the massive dredging operation currently going on in Bimini, which experts say will destroy one of the most pristine and ecologically significant reef systems in the region, Minnis said renowned visitors Martin Luther King, Jr. and Earnest Hemingway must be "turning over in their graves" over what is taking place in that island.

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