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I wish to thank Hubert A. Ingraham, prime minister of The Bahamas, for acknowledging and being attentive to the concerns of pilots at Lynden Pindling International Airport. Pilots are faced with many challenges daily. As the founder of the Bahamian Pilots Alliance, my deep passion and dedication is focused on executing positive changes in my workplace (the airport and other airports within this chain of Bahama islands).
I also wish to express appreciation for the support of the Minister of Aviation Senator Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace for his help in changing the maximum hours my colleagues and I are allowed to be on duty and the sectors that can be flown. We now work up to 10 flights or a maximum of 10 hours (which ever comes first).
About a year ago, the member of Parliament for Fox Hill, Fred Mitchell, heard our plea and reached out by attending our press conference. His words were very encouraging and we are grateful for his support.
As my colleagues and I continue to provide superior service to our commuters who fly back and forth throughout The Bahamas on a daily basis, we are encouraged by the prayers and kind words of many. We rely on the prayers of many, especially our family and close friends, as we take on the daring task of embracing the skies. Thank you all for your commitments to keeping us loved, supported and "prayed-up".
We embark upon this new year, and we are all blessed to have jobs. Although we have courage to skillfully carry out our duties (sometimes in stressful environments), our successes (as pilots) would be incomplete without the professional support of our cabin attendants, air-traffic controllers, mechanics, customs and immigration officers and all our other aviation-based teammates. Daily we all face various challenges. Thank you for your support.
It is time to take leadership of our Civil Aviation Department. Based on comments and concerns, the department needs help. We welcome the idea of bringing new inspectors on board.
The issue of hiring immigrants before considering an eligible Bahamian is still a concerning factor. There is no reason why, in 2012, any airline in The Bahamas has to bring in and train any foreigners. There are many capable and qualified Bahamians who can fill these positions in aviation. The concerns have been voiced and your expressions of concern are not going ignored.
Are pilots still being coerced to fly unsafely? Yes, it is still happening - even today. Do labor issues still exist? Oh, yes! Are tired pilots being asked to fly, tampering with logs, and are the regulations and the laws that govern us still blatantly being pushed aside? There are laws and regulations that govern this country. There are many concerns, but as united and committed professionals we will find a resolve.
I humbly ask every Bahamian pilot in The Bahamas to remember your professional decorum. The time is here for us to change this industry and move ourselves upward to the next level. Let us understand that there are investors in our country, and it is time that we seriously consider an urgent need to invest in ourselves.
We are 50 miles southeast of the world's largest economy. We have a peaceful and stable democracy. We have a tremendously beautiful climate - paradise! Our friendly people and free lifestyle is inviting. Best of all, as I look around at my colleagues, I see highly trained professionals. We take control of our craft and our major concern is always the safety of our passengers and as well as an appreciation for our own lives. We soar from destination to destination with a mantra of "safety first"!
I pray that the $50 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is spent on our local airline companies and not the non-locally owned companies that we compete with daily.
Finally, I wish to encourage our visitors to consider booking tickets on Flamingo Air, Lee Air, First-Class Charters, Dove Wings Charters, Regional Air, Abaco Air, Atlantic Blue Charters, Southern Air, Bahamasair and many others, and explore all that The Bahamas has to offer in its uniquely beautiful outer islands. Consider all local aviators as you make plans to explore our islands.
We can and we will do it - take responsibility and leadership in our desired professions. Many of us, since childhood, have dreamed of becoming pilots and we've accomplished our goal. Now it is time to dream further. I ask all Bahamian pilots who have not registered as yet for the Bahamian Pilot Alliance to join us. Connect with us on Facebook or please contact us by email at email@example.com.
We need your support as the elections draw near. Just as the Free National Movement, the Democratic National Alliance and the Progressive Liberal Party are relying on your votes, the Bahamian Pilots Alliance is important and needs your support. We will continue on our mission to ensure that your concerns are heard and regulations are put in place that will benefit all. Continue to do your best. Put safety first! May God continue to grant us His favor and blessings.
- Captain Philip L. Armbrister
Scotiabank Bahamas Ltd. has stepped up its commitment to the fight against cancer by supporting the 7th Annual Ride for Hope with a sponsorship of $10,000. This year marks the third year that Scotiabank has supported the ride, and the second year as Yellow Jersey Sponsor - the top level of sponsorship.
Ride for Hope, the most successful fundraiser in The Bahamas will take place in beautiful Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera on Saturday, April 14. The annual event draws together hundreds of people each year and to date has raised over 1.7 million for cancer care, research and treatment in The Bahamas since its inception in 2006. This year more than 600 persons are registered to ride for the cause.
Again this year, a team of Scotiabankers will travel to Eleuthera and participate in Ride for Hope uniting for the greater purpose of fighting cancer and promoting overall health and wellness.
"Team Scotiabank is thrilled to be a part of such a significant event that allows us to join with not only co-workers but family and friends for the greater purpose of fighting cancer in The Bahamas," said Scotiabank Senior Manager for Marketing and Public Relations Leah R. Davis. "We have a passionate team of riders, some of whom have been personally touched with cancer having affected friends or family, and we are eager to do our part for the cause".
Sponsoring Ride for Hope is one of the many ways that Scotiabank Bahamas supports the fight against cancer in The Bahamas. Each year, the bank also supports The Cancer Society's Fun Run Walk, The Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group, Denim Day, The Susan G. Komen Bahamas Race for the Cure, The Annual Cancer Society Ball, Marathon Bahamas and the Atlantic Medical Fun, Run Walk.
Scotiabank has long supported the well-being of communities around the world. The bank has contributed more than $43 million worldwide to community causes focused on health, education, social services arts and culture. In addition to Scotiabank's corporate efforts, employees at all levels volunteer their time, skills and money, individually and through teamwork, to support community causes.
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
STEPHEN Newbold, having made the necessary adjustments to competing indoors, couldn't ask for a better way to open his collegiate career at Florida State University.
In the Atlantic Coast Conference at the Boston College in Roxbury, Massachusetts, Newbold led a weekend filled with outstanding performances from Bahamians around the US.
The St John's College graduate posted a time of 47.78 seconds for his first victory in the 400 metres. He went in with the fastest qualifying time of 48.44.
"I practiced and I worked hard for it," Newbold said. "The competition was kind of stiff but I overcame it and ...
By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
A SECOND shipping company yesterday announced fee increases to offset the costs associated with its move to the new Arawak Cay port, with retailers telling Tribune Business any freight cost rises would ultimately be passed on to consumers, raising the spectre of increased inflation.
Atlantic Caribbean Lines (ACL) yesterday announced a new surcharge for Nassau freight movements, saying rthis was "necessary to cover the increased costs to the carrier associated with moving from a private terminal to Arawak Cay".
ACL said effective from March 31, 2012, the 'Port Surcharge' will be $200 for a 20 foot c ...
This past February marked the 50th anniversary of Washington's embargo against Cuba. The birthday, which went uncelebrated here and in the Caribbean, was a grim reminder of the persistence of one of Washington's most egregious foreign policy blunders.
Enacted less than a year after President John F. Kennedy's ill fated attempt to unseat Fidel Castro's fledgling communist government at the Bay of Pigs, the embargo was designed with the express purpose of ousting Castro and his fellow revolutionaries from power. Renewed on a yearly basis under the aegis of the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, the policy was last extended in September 2011 by President Barack Obama, who stated, "I hereby determine that the continuation for one year of [the embargo] with respect to Cuba is in the national interest of the United States."
But is it?
In the 1960s, when the embargo was young and the United States was in the throes of the Cold War, that Washington would seek to ostracize the newly installed communist government in Havana is understandable. Fi- del Castro had, after all, just toppled the U.S. backed Batista regime, and subsequently nationalized all American holdings on the island. And in October 1962, a scant eight months after Kennedy's embargo went into full effect, the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. U.S. - Cuban relations remained rocky throughout the Cold War, and in 1996, ties were further marred by an incident in which the Cubans shot down two privately flown Cessna planes which had crossed into their airspace, killing the four Cuban Americans on board.
The Cuba of the 1960s, however, is not the Cuba of today. Since his assumption of the presidency in 2006, Raúl Castro has done away with many of the restrictions on the purchase of cell phones, microwaves, and other long-sought items previously prohibited under his brother's rule. He has overhauled the system of compensation in all state run companies to better reward the most productive employees, and has fired numerous government officials said to have been standing in the way of further economic reform. Raúl's tenure has seen the privatization of portions of the economy so as to create and bolster a new "non-state" sector, as well as the release of the last of the political dissidents jailed in the 2003 Black Spring crackdown.
In 2010, Fidel Castro himself stated in an interview with Atlantic correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg that "the Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore". After its publication, the aging exdictator claimed his comment was misinterpreted, but such a statement cannot be readily misunderstood, and the past few years have been telling. Cuba is less ideologically mo- tivated today than at any point in recent history, and the Castro brothers have repeatedly stated their desire to achieve reconciliation with the United States.
Yet Washington, for its part, continues its irrational and imprudent support of a policy which over the past five decades has proven itself an unequivocal failure. The Castros are still in power, and Cuba is still militantly socialist - though no more so than China or Vietnam, with which the United States maintains relatively healthy diplomatic and economic ties. Havana's record on human rights remains lackluster - but so, too, does Beijing's and a score of other U.S. trading partners'. And Cubans still do not enjoy fully free elections - but neither do the Saudis or Russians, and the U.S. has no compunction about dealing with them. Washington routinely associates with nations more oppressive and less democratic than its Caribbean neighbor, and yet with Cuba, it balks. Such a towering inconsistency, in light of the productive relationships the U.S. pursues with other questionably democratic societies and the wholly unproductive nature of its Cuba policy, cannot stand. And were it not for Florida's position as a swing state and the influence of the many pro-embargo Cuban Americans who live there, it would not.
Washington's stubbornness has cost the United States billions of dollars in lost sales, and has, by Havana's own estimate, cost the Cubans upwards of $975 billion since the embargo's inception. Though such a figure may be inflated, there can be no doubt that the U.S., whose economic size and close proximity make it a natural Cuban trading partner, is at least partly responsible for the island's dearth of badly needed medical supplies and crushing shortage of building materials. Unfortunately for the United States, to combat shortfalls, Cuba has increasingly turned to countries like Venezuela, Russia, and China, which have all condemned the U.S. embargo - along with the entirety of the UN General Assembly, save Israel - and which have all been eager to peddle their goods and influence in the Caribbean. The United States, in both prestige and trading opportunities, is patently missing out.
Obama has taken a step in the right direction by easing restrictions on travel to the island for Cuban Americans and certain student and religious groups. But if the U.S. would truly like to see an open Cuba, then it must go further. Considering the massive concessions it is prepared to make to such absolute pari- ahs as Iran and North Korea, it is long past time for Washing- ton to end its 50-year tantrum. The Cold War is over; five decades of senseless stalemate is enough.
o Alexander Frye is a research associate at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. The coun- cil, founded in 1975, is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan, tax-exempt research and information organization. For more information, visit www.coha.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
o Printed with the permission of caribbeannewsnow.com.
The Salvation Army has completed the first three phases of its $1.2 million redevelopment project, according to Divisional Commander Major Lester Ferguson.
The expansion of the charitable organization's complex began in January 2011.
Yesterday, the organization held the official dedication ceremony of its Erin H. Gilmour School for the Blind on Ivanhoe Road.
In total, the redevelopment has five phases.
Phases one through three included the relocation of the Workshop for the Blind, the renovation of the School for the Blind and the expansion and renovation of the Feeding Center kitchen and dining room.
"It is through our various programs of feeding, education and temporary residence and other welfare programs that the Army has been on the frontline of the war against desperation and hopelessness," Ferguson said.
Minister of State for Social Development Loretta Butler-Turner added, "I commend you, the board, the officers, the members of the Salvation Army, the Mosko family and all of you for your dedicated work over the years."
Ferguson noted that the Army, through its civic partners and membership support, has made tremendous strides in expanding its feeding programs, welfare services and facility operations.
He added that the organization expects to assist thousands more families with meals and grocery items this year.
Ferguson indicated that the feed centers located on Meadow Street, Mackey Street and West Atlantic Drive (Grand Bahama) distributed more than 41,000 meals and food parcels to the less fortunate in 2011.
As it relates to assistance with non-food items, ranging from clothing to school supplies and personal care kits, the organization assisted just under 20,000 people last year, Ferguson said.
Butler-Turner said she regarded the organization as the leader in provisional services to the visually impaired in The Bahamas. She pointed out that the newly improved School for the Blind will better assist impaired students to become productive citizens.
During the tour of the upgraded facility, Butler-Turner said the workshop, that was officially named in honor of George and Stella Mosko, who are longstanding supporters of the Army, has significantly added to the employment of the visually impaired.
The workshop currently has seven visually impaired people employed and now produces an average of 300 hand made mops per day, up from around 200 per day.
The organization will begin the fourth phase of its project this month; it includes the design and construction of a pavilion for learning and other out-door activities, according to Ferguson.
By DENISE MAYCOCK
FREEPORT - Opposition leader Perry Christie said the FNM government made the recession worse, causing increased unemployment and crime in the Bahamas.
While in Grand Bahama on Saturday, Mr Christie, pictured, noted that more than 20 per cent of Grand Bahamians are unemployed.
"When I visit with you, I hear words like 'ghost town' and 'devastated' and 'abandoned'. I hear about the jobs lost and a crime problem growing bigger than anyone could have imagined," Mr Christie said.
The PLP held a "Gold Rush" rally in Pineridge at the old Portion Control site on West Atlantic Drive, ...
Grand Bahama - Bahamas - On Friday 11th
January 2013, around 4:20am, Police received information that a male was
robbed while walking in the East Atlantic and Atlantic Drive area. It
was reported that the male was approached by two (2) masked individuals
armed with a knife, who demanded cash and robbed him...
On Friday 11th January 2013 around 5:15pm,
police received information that a male was attacked, beaten about the
body and robbed while in the Carvel Beach area...
On Saturday 12th January 2013 around
10:45am, Officers of the West End Police Station executed a search
warrant on a residence in the Bayshore Road...
The Nassau Container Port (NCP) is now 80 percent complete and will begin charging fees to some shipping companies by the first of next month.
Several firms will start to pay 50 percent of the landing fees and charges for dockage and security by that date.
By April 1, companies such as Tropical Shipping and Atlantic Caribbean Line will relocate operations to Arawak Cay and tariff fees should be implemented.
Michael Maura Jr., the CEO of APD Limited, told Guardian Business at the company's IPO press conference yesterday that containers along Bay Street should start to disappear in the weeks following April 1.
Maura also provided updates on the construction progress at NCP.
"There is now 100 percent paving. The line the refrigerated containers get connected to is finished, and by March 1, we will have the ability to connect 20 remainderable containers," he said. "The main gate is up, our control building is just about completed. So we are moving along nicely."
The APD Limited chief also noted the gate booths are currently being constructed, the first of which will go out tomorrow.
"That is our cash register," he said.
"That's how we know what is entering and what's leaving. All of our marine works have been completed. The dredging has been done. We have 28 feet of water in front of the container terminal and 27-plus feet in front of the bulk terminal. The yard is putting in inter-port roads taking you from the gate to the terminals."
Perimeter fencing should be up in the next two weeks, he added.
Earlier this month, Guardian Business reported the $82 million NCP is now awaiting the arrival of a large and specialized crane capable of handling the capacity and types of ships the port hopes to attract.
This first of two cranes should arrive next month.
Maura noted The Bahamas has never used cranes of this size and specification. Cranes used in the past, he explained, have been modified after use in construction.
More than $4 million is being invested in two Liebherr 320 cranes.
In regards to the Gladstone Freight Terminal, Maura said significant progress has been made there as well.
The warehouse is complete, although the administration building is still under construction and it will continue for another two-and-a-half months.
Maura revealed that executives from Chinese executives from Baha Mar have negotiated extra space for any construction materials they might need to hold during the physical works.
"We have the space and they can have that immediately," he said.
He estimates container shipments could rise by 10 percent or more during construction. While the company is working hard to provide the returns found in the prospectus, he said those projections did not include the rise of the mega resort.
Developers will benefit from duty exemptions, but APD Limited receives $120 per container.
"So we make money in the volumes. The government have waived dry. The port has not waived anything," he said.