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News Article

August 01, 2012
Why we can't wait

Dear Editor,

The general election has been concluded some two and a half months now. The political departure, for the final time, of the former prime minister has been set in motion. The question as to whether or not the current prime minister has accepted the fact that he is, again, now in fact the prime minister has yet to be answered affirmatively, if at all.
The electorate was sold a bill of goods and it may well be that when we present it to the proverbial bankers that it will be handed back to us marked "refer to drawer". It is understandable that a honeymoon period should be extended to a newly elected government. Honeymoons, however, seldom last for more than a week or two.
The people of this nation cannot and will not wait forever on the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) administration to find its collective feet. Hitting the ground running was a part of the seductive posture enunciated by that party during the campaign. One would have thought that the PLP and its allies would have learnt the simple lesson that proper public relations and marketing are key elements in good governance.
No doubt the PLP is doing something and no doubt that party believes the same, but what is on the ground that an ordinary man and woman in our beloved country is able to actually feel, touch and smell? The average person in The Bahamas cannot and will not wait much longer for the long promised hope and help. Talk is extremely cheap and real money still buys land.
Little comfort is being handed out to the displaced and badly treated former workers at the now defunct City Meat Market. The ball is in the court of the ministry of labor and other governmental agencies to ensure that those workers are treated fairly within the ambit of the law. Yet, I understand, that they have been told that the matter is still pending. How is it that the labor board and the minister have not stepped in to ensure that the owners of that defunct company do the right thing?
Because one may have supported and voted for any party does not give that party an automatic escape from criticism where warranted. I demand that the minister of labor, my erstwhile "friend", I believe, move quickly to bring justice and equity to those workers. We cannot sit by and wait any longer.
The deputy prime minister is the hardest working member of the Christie Cabinet, bar none. He too, however, has been placed in the balance and found wanting. Compensation was promised to those business persons and entities along the dug up roads by the PLP during the general election. Months later the roads are still in a total mess and there is no longer talk of compensation. The DPM now tells us that he expects the roads to be finished by October 2012, but he did not tell us at what financial cost.
Some within the PLP believe that I want something from that party. Let me disabuse them of that bogus notion. I want nothing that was not promised to me years ago. If they do not wish to do what they said that they would bring about, who cares? There is nothing or no one living or dead who is able to stop me. I am not prepared to pamper and cuddle up to anyone for a mess of red bean soup, with no salt beef.
We cannot wait while politicians live high on the hog and many of our people are still jobless, hopeless and often homeless. They make good speeches but don't really believe or live out what they are pontificating. The former prime minister was good at this form until he uttered the patently stupid statement, allegedly: "I am a one-man band."
Why should we wait when hotel workers are being let go just when schools are about to reopen? Why should we wait when the Chinese workers are working full time around the clock and our people are being displaced? Where is the minister of labor in all of this? In fact, where is the mantra of this administration: "Putting Bahamians first?" If ever there were a bogus political slogan this may well be it.
I do believe that Perry Christie means well but so many of his ministers and sycophants have changed overnight since they were returned to power. All former cellular numbers have been changed or go to voice mail. It is useless trying to access the now high and mighty. The PLP is behaving, collectively, just how the free National Movement (FNM) and its "hologramic" former leader used to behave.
You should see some of them strutting, like Boxer and Squealer from "Animal Farm" fame all over the place. You should see some of them creased up in their chauffeur driven blue-plated vehicles, air conditioned to the maximum. Now you understand why we cannot and will not wait to hold them to their 100-day challenge?
There was much talk about foreclosure relief during the campaign. Not a word since being elected to high office. There was talk about no victimization. More talk and the beat goes on. There was talk about swift justice but the attorney general says that she does not have a clue as to much of the statistics.
Cases are still piling up and alleged criminals are still walking the streets, but the commissioner of police crows that crime has gone down.
The good people of The Bahamas cannot and will not wait much longer to actually see, touch and feel the implementation of those programs highlighted by the PLP during the campaign. Its propaganda machinery seems to have gone south since the general election. Some say it is too soon to expect more from the Christie administration. Others believe that the former prime minister is still large and in charge and that he, so they say, still believes that he is better than all the rest.
I really felt bad for my good friend Dr. Hubert A. Minnis, so-called de facto leader of the humiliated FNM, during the one-man press conference convened by you know who. Dr. Minnis was a mere prop and stage figure while the one-man band dominated the press conference. In fact, Dr. Minnis did himself little justice, if any, during the same.
We cannot wait much longer on a government which is allowing a shell-shocked one-man band to dictate its agenda and time table relative to national events. Let the political dead rest in peace.
To God then, in all things, be the glory.

- Ortland H. Bodie Jr.

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News Article

April 30, 2014
Bid to improve cyber security

THE government said it has embarked on the development of a national cyber security strategy that will further strengthen the country's data protection capabilities by strengthening cyber crime legislation in the Bahamas.

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News Article
Catch the soothing vocals of Naomi Taylor at the Hilton
July 15, 2011
Catch the soothing vocals of Naomi Taylor at the Hilton

The scene in the Bullion bar at the British Colonial Hilton is already the cool relaxed vibe that you're looking for. Add in the soothing jazz vocals of Naomi Taylor backed by the band Vice Versa to listen to as you sip on a delicious libation and you've got two evenings known as Jazz at the Hilton on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

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News Article

June 18, 2012
ECLAC projects 2.8 GDP growth for 2012

The Bahamas is projected to experience a 2.8 percent growth in its gross domestic product (GDP), according to a recent United Nations report, with fiscal measures and tourism activity considered critical factors to achieve the positive increase.
The 2012 Macroeconomic Report on Latin America and the Caribbean, conducted by the Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), revealed the potential uptick in GDP for the country.
Despite the challenges, there is still room for growth.
"The economy continues to recover, with growth edging up from 0.2 percent in 2010 to 1.6 percent in 2011," said a statement from the report. "The upturn in activity was driven by the tourism sector, which benefited from increased receipts from the higher value added stopover segment. Nevertheless, in a reversal of the situation before the crisis, higher fiscal deficits and escalating debt now present a major challenge to the economy.
"Therefore, a program of fiscal consolidation, supported by measures to boost the competitiveness of the tourism sector, will be an important part of the policy mix to achieve stable growth."
The report mentioned that the steady recovery of the United States economy was a key factor in the slight economic improvement in The Bahamas in 2011, evidenced by a 1.6 percent growth in real GDP. Increased activity in the tourism and construction sector during that year was beneficial, along with higher activity in the offshore financial services leading to improved investor confidence. Retail trade rose by 8.3 percent during 2011 as a consequence of the tourism activity, but real estate and commerce activity dropped by 4.1 percent.
The ECLAC report also highlighted other Caribbean countries that are expected to experience GDP growth in 2012, with Haiti leading the charge. Haiti is projected to have eight percent growth in 2012, followed by the Dominican Republic at 4.5 percent. Trinidad and Tobago is expected to have 1.7 percent growth, while Jamaica and Barbados are each projected to have a one percent improvement.
Activity in the first quarter of 2012 in certain areas such as construction and tourism have proven to be encouraging for The Bahamas, according to the report, but inflation and monetary conditions will pose a challenge going forward.
"Inflation is expected to increase marginally, influenced by firmer activity and high fuel prices," the report said. "The fiscal deficit is expected to grow as the new government implements key programs in its manifesto. Meanwhile, the balance-of-payments current account deficit is projected to widen as a result of the high bill for oil and other imports required for major projects."
The report in its entirety can be viewed on www.eclac.org.

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News Article

September 05, 2013
Bimini businesses upbeat about ferry impact

As thousands continue to flock to Bimini via the Resorts World Bimini SuperFast ferry, several business have reported that the island is "booming" as a result, Guardian Business understands.

Big John's Restaurant and Bar, located in Alice Town, is just one of those businesses that have seen a spike in profits since the cruise ship started servicing the island, according to its co-owner Kiko Llama...

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News Article

September 10, 2011
US Embassy marks the 10th anniversary of September 11th with two community service projects

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Ten years ago on September 11, nearly 3,000 people from more than 90 nations perished in a terrorist attack targeting the United States.  U.S. President Obama took inspiration from the victims and survivors of this tragic event by establishing September 11 as a National Day of Service.  Last year, 11.5 million people -- including the president and First Lady Michelle Obama -- participated in the day of service, helping charitable organizations and community groups throughout the United States.   
In response to U.S. President Barack Obama's call to service, U.S. Embassy Nassau marked the anniversary of September 11th with two community service projects on New Providence.  On the morning of September 9th, The U.S. Embassy's Chargè d'affaires, Mr. John Dinkelman, visited the G.K. Symonette Library to donate a collection of over 400 new Scholastic books for young readers as well as bookshelves, a rug, brightly colored pillows and a large nursery rhyme mural to brighten up the children's corner.  
The donation was a way for the U.S. Embassy to give back to the community of Yellow Elder Gardens by creating a bright, vibrant space where children can explore the world through reading.  On hand for the donation were second graders from C.W. Sawyer Primary School and Ms. Dorcas Bower from the Ministry of Education.

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News Article

September 24, 2014
Minister: Education must become a core value

Education must move from a priority to a core value, where everything begins and ends with education; the future of the country depends on the state of education, according to Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald.
"The more our students succeed, the more our country will succeed" said Fitzgerald, as he addressed the Ernest T. Strachan Advanced Toastmasters Club 7108 recently. He spoke to the club about a new year and a new dawn in education.
Fitzgerald said that too often the negative overshadows the positive; he highlighted successful initiatives that were undertaken within the past year. The Ministry of Education, through its special services section, embarked on an initiative to screen every first grade child entering the public school as a part of its intervention strategy. The minister spoke about the upgrade of technology in public schools ensuring that all schools were outfitted with Internet connectivity, adequate computers, whiteboards and the necessary training needed to integrate technology into the classrooms. He also spoke to the conversion of the former Our Lady's School into a special needs school.
The education minister also spoke to the club members on the Bi-Partisan Educational Committee that will create a "shared vision for education 2030", which will be the blueprint for educational policy for the next 15 years, as he said there must be a policy position to advance education devoid of political interference.
In an attempt to bring balance to the curriculum offering, Fitzgerald also said that there were very little options and opportunities for those students who were not academically inclined to succeed. He said the key objective was to put a greater emphasis on the 50 percent of students performing below grade level.
He said improving students at the bottom of the academic pole will undoubtedly have positive effects on the country, because, as the level of education improves, so will the social conditions. Fitzgerald said research reveals that approximately 50 percent of 12th grade students leaving school each year do not meet the graduation requirements.
Fitzgerald also shared the strategies that have been devised to mitigate the continuance of trend, including the introduction of the National High School Diploma (NHSD) Program; he said that for the first time in more than a decade, a standard for the NHSD had been agreed upon. The criteria to obtain the NHSD includes attaining four Bahamas Junior Certificates (BJC), inclusive of mathematics, English language, a science and a social science by the end of ninth grade; complete a minimum of 27 credit hours between 10th and 12th grades; maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 over the three years; complete 30 hours of community service; complete 20 hours of job readiness training and maintain 90 percent or higher attendance and punctuality over grades 10, 11 and 12.
The education minister said that the criteria for the NHSD program were selected by a team of senior ministry officials who traveled to Finland and Canada and who will be traveling to Singapore before the end of the year to glean best practices from countries that have well-established and effective NHSD programs. This year's 10th grade students will pilot the program and will be the first to graduate with an NHSD in 2017.

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News Article

August 16, 2013
Strachan barely comes up short in 200 semis

MOSCOW, Russia - Anthonique Strachan, the top junior female track and field athlete in the world last year, came up short by the slimmest of margins in pursuit of a spot in the final of the women's 200 meters (m) at these 14th International Association of Athletic Federations' (IAAF) World Championships...

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News Article

September 08, 2014
Rollins must find a new political home

When Dr. Andre Rollins, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) MP for Fort Charlotte, stood up in the House of Assembly in March of last year and proclaimed that he was "absolutely 100 percent heterosexual", I thought his political career was over. That was an odd and unnecessary thing to say in a deeply homophobic country.
Rollins, who is now married, should not have felt it necessary to proclaim his manhood. He allowed opposition low blows to get to him. He showed he could be easily rattled.
Three months later, the deputy leader of the Free National Movement (FNM), Loretta Butler-Turner, slapped Rollins in that same House. He said something she thought deeply offensive and the Long Island MP took a swing that connected. It was a blow the whole country was talking about.
At this point, Rollins was about as low as a politician could go. His one term in frontline politics seemed like it would end with him being the joke of Parliament.
Things have changed, however.
Rollins has emerged as the leader of the backbench. He has also become the most articulate critic of his PLP and its leader, Prime Minister Perry Christie.
Crossing the line
In the months following, Rollins spoke up against what he thought were the errors in the PLP's tax policy with value-added tax (VAT). He spoke up against discrimination in the party's gaming policy. He challenged the party's leadership over its criticisms of young MPs who break away from the PLP's line. He asked if his party was living up to its 2012 election promise to "Believe in Bahamians".
Things started to get heated in August when Rollins opposed some of the constitutional reform legislation on gender equality. He went head to head with Christie at several points, not backing down from his leader, who is also the longest-serving member in our legislature.
Things were tense. And it all came to an end in the House of Assembly with a few words.
"The political threats uttered by the prime minister and minister of finance this morning left me with one impression, and that is we need new political leadership in The Bahamas," said Rollins while contributing to debate on the VAT Bill on August 20.
"When a leader and minister of finance, and prime minister, could take a debate as important and critical to the pockets and wallets of the Bahamian people, a debate as critical as that, where he could spend most of his contribution threatening members of this side, it is evidence that we need new leadership."
Rollins even ridiculed Christie's speaking style.
"I know that a lot of people will be angry at me for saying this, but I will say it," he said.
"The prime minister's statement earlier today, and he consistently refers to Psalm 103 where he says, 'Our lives are like grass', etc.
"We have heard it a million times now, and quite frankly I am tired of hearing it. The reason I am tired of hearing it is [because] when I want to hear scripture read repeatedly, I go to church."
In our political system an elected member of a party should be expelled from caucus for attacking his leader and saying the country should be rid of him.
Backbenchers should criticize government policy. Parliamentary democracy is enhanced when this happens. What Rollins did went beyond that, however, as was noted by the deputy prime minister, Philip Brave Davis.
"It pains me to note that the member for Fort Charlotte crossed the line today," he said in the House in response to Rollins.
Davis explained his conclusion.
"He crossed the line because I think he called the prime minister's leadership into question. It's his right to do that. I will defend his right to be right or wrong. I defend that right. I defend his right to be right or wrong," he said.
"And he could do that, but he has crossed the line having questioned the leader in his motives and in fact, suggesting that he should no longer be leader. I think he has an honorable thing to do."
Rollins did not do "the honorable thing" and resign as chairman of the Gaming Board. He was fired from the post two days later.
While Christie has not moved for Rollins' expulsion from the PLP, a party he has led for nearly two decades, the Fort Charlotte MP should know there is no chance he will get another nomination from that party to run again under its banner.
Rollins should make a strategic decision now to hitch his wagon with the political movement of his future. He's done in the PLP.
An articulate critic of the prime minister
Outside of the PLP, there's the Free National Movement (FNM) and the Democratic National Alliance (DNA). The FNM is the official opposition with eight elected members. The DNA has no seats in the House, but it won 8.5 percent of the vote at the last election.
Let's start with the FNM.
Dr. Hubert Minnis is the party's embattled leader. He is not charismatic. He's not the best speaker. His recent repetition of the phrase "a quagmire of web" in Parliament is all the proof you'd need of that.
Minnis will have to defend his leadership next year. Butler-Turner will likely be his most serious challenger. The winner of that race should take the party - barring another surprise leadership change - into the next general election.
Rollins, who is 38 years old, wants to be leader. He wants to be prime minister. If he joined the FNM, he and Theo Neilly, the North Eleuthera MP, would be the party's only 30-somethings elected to the legislature.
Rollins is smart. He is a good speaker. He is passionate. With some discipline, learning to be a team player and building alliances among the party's elite, the Fort Charlotte MP would have a chance to pursue his dream on that side. There is, of course, no guarantee he would ever come close to leadership in the FNM. But, he'd be able to try at least in a place with deep roots and an extensive base.
Now, let's look at the DNA.
Branville McCartney, the DNA's leader, needs to build momentum. His party has stalled from where it ended at the 2012 general election.
If Rollins joined the DNA, he would automatically be the party's leader in the House, being its only elected member. This would boost the profiles of both sides.
The problem here is ego. McCartney views the DNA as his party. I do not think he would be able to share the spotlight with Rollins, who thinks of himself as quite special. McCartney would fear that DNA successes would be linked to Rollins and not him.
If the men could put aside their vanity, it could be a win-win.
A voice that is connecting
The Bahamas has some challenges. The crime rate is high. The unemployment rate is high. The cost of electricity is high, and the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) can't keep the lights on. Taxes are going up. Many Bahamians feel as if they can't catch a break in their own country.
Rollins' challenge to the prime minister and his party is resonating with voters. He appears courageous in being willing to stand up to a man who is more powerful.
I don't think Rollins planned the journey he is on. He appears the emotional type. When he gets stirred, he speaks and what comes out probably surprises him at times. Nonetheless, all the bluster and all the words have moved him in profile to the head of the class in his generation of politicians.
Rollins should not waste this moment. In politics, grand opportunity often only visits once. He should begin talks, if he has not already done so, with the party of his future. He should maximize his time remaining in this Parliament with his new colleagues, further sharpening his skill as a critic of the government.

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News Article

September 19, 2014
Ready to strut their stuff

Some of the country's most successful women who are at the top of their careers and who have impacted Bahamian society in positive ways, and/or displayed a spirit of humanitarianism will rip the runway this weekend -- all in the name of charity for the 2nd Red Dress Soiree -- a runway show, cocktail reception and silent auction designed to educate, raise awareness and funds to further the efforts of the Bahamas AIDS Foundation and its work with adolescents affected and infected with HIV/AIDS.
The women committed to strutting their stuff on the catwalk for charity and the category for which they were selected include, Lady Joan Foulkes, wife of former Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes; Dr. Nicolette Bethel, theater arts; Alexandra Maillis-Lynch, culinary arts; Inga Bowleg, business; Pat Walters, communications; Dr. Tracey Halkitis, health; Karen Carey, tourism; Eldece Clarke, sports; Lisa Sawyer-McCartney, education; Candia Dames, journalism; Antoinette Russell, banking; Patrice Ellis, religion; Amanda Lindroth, creative arts and Marisa Mason-Smith, civil society.
The women will unveil the custom-designed pieces sewn for them by some of the country's top fashion designers tomorrow at the British Colonial Hilton hotel in the Governor's Ballroom. The red carpet is at 6:30 p.m., the runway show at 7 p.m., and a silent auction and cocktail reception to follow. All proceeds benefit the Bahamas AIDS Foundation.
"It is indeed an honor to be in the company of such an amazing group of women. I've certainly made it a point to prioritize philanthropy throughout my career, and while I've given of my time and resources, this will be the first time this conviction has taken me to the catwalk. I guess it can now be said that I would do many things in the name of charity," said Inga Bowleg, who was chosen in the business field.
"The Bahamas AIDS Foundation is to be commended for the great work it is doing in our country. The Red Dress Soiree is only one of several fun filled, creative events hosted by the foundation to further its efforts in assisting those affected by and infected with HIV/AIDS.
Maillis-Lynch, who was chosen to walk the runway because of the fabulous work she's done in the culinary field, said she was honored to be a part of the cause, and that her dress will be hot.
Participating designers include Brynda Knowles, Jeff St. John, Fenna Mae Lopez, Sabrina Francis, Judy Deleveaux, Theodore Ellyett, Phylicia Elllis, David Rolle, Apryl Burrows, Indira Moss, Kathy Pinder, Patrice Lockhart, Javotte Bethel and Rachel Garcia.
"What I love about the Red Dress Soiree is that it's not only a fundraiser, but we're recognizing women in the community who are successful in whatever they're doing and some of the women are humanitarians. We're also recognizing Bahamian designers and highlighting the incredible creativity of our Bahamian designers," said Lady Camille Barnett, Bahamas AIDS Foundation president.
More than 15 luxury packages will be silent-auctioned at the bi-annual charity event, offering patrons the opportunity to bid on luxury items and services, trips and excursions. The silent auction packages offer bidders complete experiences and access to the best products and services in The Bahamas. They include the "Foodie Package" with more than $1,500 in gift certificates in New Providence. Sponsors include the One&Only Ocean Club, Goodfellow Farms, Olive Meze Grill, Luciano's of Chicago, Tru Bahamian Food Tours and Cheesecake Heaven.
Family Island getaways abound in the "Take it Slow Package" including trips to Kamalame Cay in Andros, Cape Santa Maria in Long Island and Pineapple Fields in Eleuthera, inclusive of airfare by SkyBahamas, Bahamasair and Southern Air.
The "Have a Stay-cation" packages include accommodations at The Cove, Atlantis; Comfort Suites and A Stone's Throw Away.
People with a taste for adventure can bid on the "Thrill Seeker Package" which includes dive packages from Stuart's Cove and Bahama Divers, an Exuma excursion on Powerboat Adventures, helicopter rides courtesy of Bahamas Helicopters as well as gifts from Dolphin Encounters and Seahorse Sailing Adventures.
Liquor connoisseurs can bid on the "It's Wine O'clock Package" which will feature a champagne and wine tasting courtesy of Young's Champagne as well as selections from Bristol Cellars, Burns House and John Watling's.
And after all the indulgence, Club One and New Providence Community Centre have donated six-month memberships for the "Break A Sweat" package that is perfect for those people looking to hit the gym.
The Red Dress Soiree was staged in 2012 for the first time and organized by Tyrina Neely. It was so successful that the
Bahamas AIDS Foundation had wanted to do it again in 2013, but Neely was unable to. Lady Camille asked Neely if they could just take over the event. Neely agreed and offered to help where she could.
A new component to the Red Dress Soiree will be the creation of a 2015 calendar which will be shot by photographer Scharad Lightbourne, featuring the women in red along with their designers. The women and their designers will be photographed in creative ways at Sapodilla Estates. Lady Camille is hoping the calendars will be ready by the AIDS Foundation Ball in November.
Tickets for the Red Dress Soiree are $100 and are available at The Bahamas AIDS Foundation on Delancy Street, Imperial Optical and Commonwealth Fabrics.

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News Article

August 21, 2014
Union threatens to 'shut down' Cable Bahamas

Cable Bahamas expressed "surprise" yesterday after the Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union (BCPOU) said it is prepared, with the assistance of other unions, to "shut Cable Bahamas down" if no resolution is reached within the next month to a dispute between the two sides.
The BISX-listed communications provider was hit with the threat of industrial action over an alleged decision not to complete negotiations with the union that would have allowed its employees to unionize.
In comments later contradicted by the company, the union claimed that Cable Bahamas has failed to recognize it as the legitimate bargaining agent for its non-managerial employees notwithstanding a court's recognition of the union having this status "over a decade ago".
The BCPOU pointed to the circumstances leading up to the closure of a building by Cable Bahamas as one of a number of incidents that have placed workers at risk during the time in which the union has unsuccessfully been seeking to represent them.
Cable Bahamas filed a civil action in the Supreme Court earlier this year against gas company Rubis seeking damages and compensation for the pollution-enforced closure of its customer service building. In March 2013, Rubis said it was working assiduously with the government to get a gas leak under control in the area where the building is located.
Suggesting that Cable Bahamas has only negotiated sporadically with the union, BCPOU President Bernard Evans accused Cable Bahamas of "disrespecting" workers, denying them a right to be represented by a union of their choice.
"The BCPOU has been extremely patient in this matter, but concluded that unless there is intervention from a third party or parties, the union will have no choice but to exercise its rights under the Industrial Relations Act and call for civil unrest and industrial action against the company," he said.
Placing pressure on the government, Evans said it has made a substantial investment in the company and called on the "government-appointed" directors to ensure Cable Bahamas enters negotiations with the union, "in accordance with the Industrial Relations Act and the order issued by the Supreme Court."
In a statement issued later, Cable Bahamas said it was with "disappointment and surprise" that it learned of the BCPOU's comments. It said it recognized and had been abiding by a Supreme Court ruling in relation to the matter and had sought to negotiate "in good faith over the year".
However, suggesting that the ball is in the union's court, Cable Bahamas claimed that it is still "awaiting a response" from the BCPOU following the last meeting between the two sides in May.
"Truth be told, the most recent discussions with the BCPOU and Cable Bahamas' labor consultants took place on two occasions in May of this year. The union, at the meeting, chose to advise Cable Bahamas that it would continue the discussions but would send its preferred approach in writing. Cable Bahamas is still awaiting communication from the BCPOU as promised," said the company.
In its statement, Cable Bahamas called the incident which affected its customer service building on Robinson Road "an environmental disaster". However, it added that the heath and safety of its employees and customers, in all of its facilities, "has always been a top priority",

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News Article
DNA team grows
June 30, 2011
DNA team grows

The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) has secured three more candidates to run in the upcoming general election. namely, former Bahamas Bar Association president Wayne Munroe; Sky Bahamas CEO Randy Butler and Galleria Cinemas Ltd. CEO Chris Mortimer.

Munroe will run in the Mount Moriah constituency; Butler will run in North Andros and Mortimer will run in Sea Breeze, The Guardian has confirmed.

Munroe announced his candidacy while speaking on the Star 106.5 FM program 'Generation Next' yesterday.
Munroe's participation in the upcoming polls will mark the first time he has run on any party's ticket in a

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News Article

April 28, 2014
Pregnant woman shot while asleep

A 21-year-old pregnant woman was shot multiple times as she slept in her Millennium Gardens home yesterday morning, police reported.
Police said the woman was in her bedroom around 2:30 a.m. when shots were fired into the room from the outside of the house.
When police arrived on the scene, she was still lying on the bed.
Family members identified the victim as Althiea King.
Police said she was transported to hospital where she was detained in critical but stable condition last night.
Superintendent Stephen Dean did not have details on the status of King's unborn child. However, he said, based on reports, both mother and child will likely survive.
King is reportedly in her third trimester.
Police said it is unclear whether the woman was the intended target.
Police said they did not know the motive for the shooting.
Dean appealed to anyone with information to contact authorities.
The news of the shooting sparked anger yesterday on social media sites.
Scores of Bahamians expressed shock that a pregnant woman was shot.
In 2011 two pregnant women -- Erica Ward and Baresha Glinton-Lewis, both 30 -- were murdered in separate incidents.
Glinton-Lewis was shot to death off Prince Charles Drive. She was reportedly five months pregnant.
Ward was shot to death at a home in the Carmichael Road area. She was eight months pregnant.
King's shooting came during another violent weekend in New Providence.
Police also reported that two men were shot and killed, pushing the murder count for 2014 to 39.

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News Article

August 25, 2014
Grand Bahama Power Company embarks on preventative maintenance program

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- The Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC), as part of its Transmission and Distribution (T&D) infrastructure investments, has launched a preventative maintenance program in communities across the island.
In 2011, GBPC put forward a three point plan to address system reliability, generation efficiency and the need to incorporate renewable generation into its energy portfolio. Key to service reliability is a robust, well-maintained T&D system, and preventative maintenance is critical to ensuring that connections and equipment are properly maintained and operating at optimal levels across the T&D system.
The program focuses on specific areas with a history of power-related issues and also encompasses regular testing and maintenance of key pieces of equipment such as transformers, circuit breakers, batteries and switches.
Recently, the communities of Ariel Place and Holmes Rock were two such areas that benefitted from the preventative maintenance program. GBPC crews spent over a week working diligently on trimming trees, changing out transformers and hardware, fixing connections and facilitating major infrastructure upgrades and equipment replacements. As a result, residents may now expect a reduction in interruptions of service and improvement in the quality of the service.
To date, GBPC has made substantial investments in finances, resources and training to improve the reliability of the company's transmission and distribution system, resulting in a 51% improvement in both the frequency and duration of power outages.

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News Article

June 28, 2011
'Straight Up!' By popular demand is doing One Last Jam - Sabor

Freeport, Bahamas - By popular demand, Straight Up is doing One last Jam! They will be performing at Sabor Restaurant & Bar on
Wednesday, June 29th from 8:30pm - Midnight. Come on out and enjoy great music, delicious eats and cocktails galore! Actually, you should make an evening of it and plan to have dinner from Sabor's innovative fusion menu where you can always expect gourmet meals with an emphasis on taste and flavor.

o Straight Up is a 6 piece band who's repertoire covers all styles of music from Bob Marley to Jimmy Hendrix, from Fleetwood Mac to Bonjovi, from The Beatles to Melissa Ethridge from Led Zeppelin to The Comodores from Steppin Wolf to The Doobie Brothers to The Pointer Sisters and lots more including a dash of calypso.

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News Article

June 27, 2011
Caribbean Film Company Lands Major Distribution Deal

NEW YORK - Following the first Caribbean Tales New York Film Showcase in New York, a Caribbean company has moved to announce a major deal with a veteran New York-based distributor to promote Caribbean culture to global audiences.

Frances-Anne Solomon, CEO of the Barbados-based CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution (CTWD), explained
that its new partnership with New York's Third World Newsreel (TWN) links the region's premier sales and distribution company for Caribbean films with a seasoned educational distributor in a deal which will allow both companies to distribute each other's Caribbean-themed content across their respective networks.

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News Article

May 07, 2012
On The Mis-education of the Bahamian citizen

Dear Editor,

One of the reasons I have been unmoved by any of the current political parties' manifestos, mandates or agendas, is that I have the pleasure of teaching new groups of young Bahamians every year.

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News Article

May 30, 2012
Boyer-Cartwright: Make aircraft registry a priority

A top attorney specializing in aviation law is appealing to the new administration to keep the formation of an aircraft registry on the agenda.
Llewellyn Boyer-Cartwright, a senior associate with Callenders & Co., recently attended a seminar in Washington D.C. entitled, International Aircraft Financing and Leasing. He met with a committee member of the Cape Town Convention, the international accord that creates rules and regulations for international registries.
"I found it very informative. He felt we would be crazy not to establish an aircraft registry. In today's global economy, we have to be innovative and proactive and think of ways of generating income," explained Boyer-Cartwright, who recently became the first Bahamian to be admitted to the Lawyer Pilots Bar Association.
"If we can get a registry here, it opens up all kinds of business opportunities."
The top attorney said he remains unsure as to whether the new government considers an aircraft registry a priority. The previous Free National Movement administration, he added, was "fully on board and well versed" on the subject.
Creating an aircraft registry could attract a number of offshore companies, both private and public, and provide employment opportunities for Bahamians. In essence, the establishment of a registry adds yet another layer of convenience for prominent companies and individuals with considerable interests in the country. Aircraft leasing, purchasing, offshore maintenance facilities and lending from financial institutions are all important spin-off opportunities.
Back in February, Raymond Bassett, the Irish ambassador to The Bahamas, Canada and Jamaica, visited The Bahamas and threw his weight behind the concept.
Ireland has one of the largest flight registries in the world.
"What individuals want is a one-stop shop," said the ambassador.
"There are many things corporations or high-net-worth individuals want to register and a flight registry would allow them to do it all in one jurisdiction. It's part of the package of an aviation industry, not to mention a financial services industry."
While an aircraft registry is uncertain, Boyer-Cartwright nevertheless applauded the intention of the new government to bring in a civil aviation authority. The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) made the announcement during the Speech from the Throne last week.
"The problem we have right now with the authority is they are policing themselves," Boyer-Cartwright told Guardian Business. "So I am very much in favor of that. I would be more than happy to join one of the boards. Certainly what is really important here are standards."
By bolstering the country's reputation as an aviation center, the senior associate at Callenders & Co. explained that the move should translate into more business down the road.
"It comes down to safety, which comes down to reputation. You build upon that. I would say that's the immediate impact," he added.
Randy Butler, CEO of SkyBahamas, told Guardian Business that a true commitment to creating a civil aviation authority should mean its establishment within six months.
He said the resources, money and human capital exist to make it happen, and it simply requires the will and coordination.
"The biggest thing is we have to have the proper people in place," said Butler.
"We have some great minds already in the aviation sector and if we need to bring individuals from other countries to assist with training in this area, then we should do that. There are some people that have retired early that can be brought back and contribute to the plans of the government."

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News Article

May 03, 2012
Kristal Ambrose Embarks On Expedition for Researching Plastic Waste in the Oceans

Cape Eleuthera, The Bahamas

--Over
the course of three days in early February, 5 Gyres scientist Dr.
Marcus Eriksen hosted a conference at the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI)
for educators on the impact of marine plastic pollution.
Dr. Eriksen gave presentations detailing voyages to these gyres to
study their makeup and movement. His passion inspired Kristal Ambrose
Aquaponics intern at the Cape Eleuthera Institute, into action.
Motivated by the dilemma of plastic marine debris in the local waters of
the Exuma sound and oceans around the world, Kristal pursued an
opportunity of a lifetime.

The
CEI aquaponics intern decided she wanted to accompany him on one of his
voyages. Following a series of fortunate events Ambrose got her chance.
Thanks to efforts on her part to secure funding and support from Chris
and Pam Maxey...

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News Article

April 25, 2014
A tale of three blunders

On Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell announced that he sent a diplomatic note to the governments of Malaysia, China and the United States distancing the government from certain remarks by Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis.
Speaking to the press, Minnis had likened the Christie administration to the lost Malaysia Airlines flight 370.
Mitchell said: "The government is concerned that without further clarification there may be some confusion, that the loss of the plane and the lives therein is seen in a cavalier and insensitive fashion by our government."
While the FNM leader's remark was clearly off color and in poor taste, Mitchell seems to be knocking down a straw man that is of his own making.
Minnis is the leader of the official opposition and therefore technically part of the government under our Westminster system. However, it seems highly unlikely that Chinese, Malaysian or American citizens were in any danger of confusing his comment with the official position of The Bahamas.
With the tragedy still raw, it is equally far-fetched to imagine that a bad throwaway metaphor by an opposition politician in a tiny island nation would feature prominently among the concerns of the victims' relatives.
Mitchell portrayed the note as an effort to soothe any potential fallout. However, by highlighting the matter to the governments of three affected nations - who until then, were probably unaware of the comment - he likely did more to inflame the situation than Minnis ever could.
Sometimes the best plan of action is to do nothing. The minister of foreign affairs presumably understands this, hence the lack of a diplomatic note when his PLP colleague, Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller, made a comment loaded with far more potential harm for The Bahamas.
In February, Miller launched an extensive comparison between the FNM and a beaten woman, during which he offered the following: "That's like beating your wife or your girlfriend every time you go home. You just beat her for looking at her. I love ya. Boom, boom, boom. I had a girlfriend like that. When I didn't beat her she used to tell me I ain't love her no more cause I don't hit her."
When it was suggested he was joking, Miller twice insisted that he was serious. It took widespread condemnation before he came back, said he was joking and apologized.
Unlike Minnis, Leslie Miller is a member of the governing party. Unlike the FNM leader, he was speaking in an official capacity, as part of the budget debate in the House of Assembly. Unlike the flight 370 comparison, his comment stands a good chance of being picked up by local and international women's rights groups, who troll the Internet for examples of institutionalized misogyny which they can use to further their cause.
Mitchell decided to keep silent and avoid dragging the Miller episode through the headlines yet again, where it might have snagged some international detractors.
For some reason, he was far less hesitant to embarrass The Bahamas when it came to the Minnis episode.

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