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What a difference it is to listen to these poems I heard read before - the first one of Haiti, if not the second one that is a conversation with God: But how very different it is to listen to poetry instead of in a room with a few dozen others, to be listening with the whole nation. Oh, the effect of these poems heard on TV 13 was very different indeed. I got goosebumps in a spot or two in response to the one of Haiti. In response to the one that is a conversation with God, at its delicious conclusion, I cried.
How can works like these - how can workers like these be left hidden when the suggestion is that the nation, its youth especially, are so lacking in inspiration?
I almost missed it. I missed a piece. I was busy with important work on my computer. I had to shut it off quick. I so enjoyed last night with Dr. Leon Higgs as Ian's guest on "The Exchange". Who I wondered is he interviewing tonight? I was not in place to catch the earlier broadcast. I had to catch the rebroadcast just after midnight.
I switched on my TV and who do I see, Patti Glinton-Meicholas. Oh, my eyes and ears were greedy indeed. What a knowledge of language. What a vocabulary. What amazing clarity. What a delight that was. How affirming. What hope - what promise it indicates. It was reassuring. It suggests, you know what, we are gonna get there. You were both quite brilliant.
More arts and more artists, Ian and less politics and fewer politicians. I know though that it is all politics but send in or bring in the clowns. Let us not allow the circus to leave town. Oh, the many, many beautiful things - ideas - images Patti is able all at once to juggle. How amazing. How magical.
Wonderful to bring to national attention, our poets. Our writers and artists are certainly worth our attention. We do ourselves a favor to turn to them and a disservice not to. It is a feast - a banquet that I am without end attending. I have always grieved though for a nation and a people that deprive themselves of our finest gems. Why are we hidden and not on display for all to marvel at - to be enjoyed and to be inspired by?
Thank you, thank you, Ian (Strachan) and Patti. What a treat that was. A long awaited moment certainly, finally arrived. Please do not allow to end, what this represents.
-- Obediah Michael Smith
Revamping the national team programs, providing more playing time and exposing the country's top players to high level games are among the other things Charles 'Softly' Robins intends to implement when elected president.
Robins' name, along with two other candidates, were tossed into the hat for the presidental chair in the Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF). The annual general election is scheduled for October 29. Whoever is elected will lead the more than 15 associations, some financial, for four years.
"We have to take a closer look at our national team programs, especially the females," said Robins. "Much more effort and work is needed when developing these programs. We need to turn our attention to the junior and youth side of things. A strong developmental program needs to be in place from this level.
It's here we teach our players the fundamentals of the game. This can then trickle into the senior programs.
"There is no reason why we can't have more female teams playing around this country. Why can't we have strong female teams representing every association? At least between now and the term's end, I would like to have these things in place. I want to start with Abaco and going on down the line. See if we can get as much ladies teams, as we have men teams. I think we just neglect the ladies and let them go down."
According to Robins, the relationship coaches have with some of the male players should also be seen on the female's end as well. He noted that some coaches are in constant communications with the male players, tracking their performances on a regular basis, but nothing much is done for the females.
Robins admitted to having followed players like Magnum Rolle and others who are playing in the professional leagues in the United States and Europe. But, he said he is looking forward to working closely with female coaches such as Anastacia Sands-Moultrie and Sharrell Cash, assisting them with the growth and development of young female players. Creating a data base, accessible to all will help solve some of the problems, when it comes to tracking some of the athletes, noted Robins.
"We are in the advance technological age, where we can go to a computer and access information easily," added Robins. "This is where we need to take basketball, in terms of communicating with our players. We need to build a site where persons can go and see that national team practices are being held on this date. The site can also provide the general public with information on our basketball players, where they are at and what they are doing.
"If this is in place, then we won't have to be guessing who will be available to play when regional and international tournaments come around. We will know who all are available. International coaches will be able to access our page and see the depth. More interest will be garnered from college teams wanting to play against our female squad. The statistics will also be available to coaches interested in our junior players."
Coaching courses and other ways to educate persons interested in the sport will be provided. The comprehensive agenda, according to Robins, places the athlete's needs first.
By DEIDRE M. BASTIAN
HELP. I am trying to e-mail some JPEG pictures I just took with my new digital camera, but I keep getting a message that says "the file size is too large". Sounds familiar?
Better still, you land on a web page with a gigantic picture. You really want to see the whole thing but, alas, it seems the only way to view it is to use your scroll bars. Sure, you could buy a bigger monitor, better video card, then crank up your resolution, but there's just got to be a cheaper way, right? You bet.
Digital cameras, including phone cameras, have truly come into their own. Millions of people now take pictures and save them to their computers. From there, photos can easily ...
In his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), Pope John Paul II wrote movingly of the value of human life, rooted in the Roman Catholic social tradition's touchstone of the dignity of the human person.
In addition to addressing issues such as abortion and capital punishment, Pope John Paul II spoke to the matter of culture and how a culture influences attitudes towards life and death.
In every land, in every time, the cultures of life and death contend for the human spirit. In this time, in our country, the battle is waged on many fronts, but particularly so in a culture awash in criminal violence and an acceptance of and willful connivance in all manner of criminality by some.
We like slackness here at home. Slackness is deeply rooted in our culture. And culture makes all the difference in terms of the promotion of life or death, violence or non-violence.
Abroad, we tend to abide by the laws and mores of the jurisdiction we are visiting. But many of us can't wait to get home so that we can throw trash from the car window, ignore traffic signs, park anywhere we like, behave in an uncivilized or vulgar manner or ignore basic civilities and manners.
A number of young men who probably think of themselves as good citizens nevertheless see nothing wrong with roaring through this city on noisy motorcycles, generally disturbing the peace while police do nothing.
A 17-year-old visiting the U.S. will be carded if he or she attempts to buy alcohol. Yet many of us have no problem sending someone underage into a liquor store to buy a couple of beers or a bottle of rum.
Many store owners have no problem selling liquor to minors. Some police and parents often turn a blind eye. We like it so. We like slackness.
A dear friend tells of watching a group of young teens walking around in public late one evening drinking from a bottle of Carlo Rossi. Not only were they up and about way past an acceptable hour, they were cavalierly drinking from an open bottle on a public roadway, which of course is illegal even for adults.
The teens were breaking several laws. But in a culture which tolerates all manner of laxity and slackness, they cared not a wit. These boys were learning from an early age that law and order are flexible concepts in a culture which tolerates a high degree of lawlessness and disorder.
There aren't that many years to graduate from those boys drinking on that street to boys selling drugs on those same streets to more hardened criminals laughing at the state struggling to prosecute them in a criminal justice system overwhelmed with cases and defendants.
On those same streets such boys will every few blocks pass illegal numbers houses sometimes guarded by off-duty police officers. It all reinforces a culture of lawlessness.
The spread of a gangland culture spawned by the scourge of drugs and violence of the late 1970s and 80s metastasized over the ensuing decades into the virulent culture of violence and antisocial behavior which haunts us today with all manner of crimes and viciousness we thought impossible for Bahamians.
Our culture is sicker and more pathological in various ways than we dare believe. In our own slack behavior and tolerance for various types of crime we contribute to a culture of lawlessness and violence.
Slackness is a slippery slope. We have been slack as parents, public officials, business people, religious leaders and as citizens. Our children know it and the criminal class counts on our slackness.
Take the criminal justice system. The courts are so overwhelmed that many criminals believe that the consequences for crimes committed today, may be years down the road, if ever.
The last Ingraham administration sought to address a number of the problems in the criminal justice system in terms of prosecutors, judges and courts. The Christie administration should continue to convert existing buildings into more courtrooms and judges' offices as necessary.
While aggressive policing is required to address today's criminal class, there is an urgent need for a program of unprecedented social intervention to address potential criminals, mostly young men, who may wreak havoc on our society in the years ahead.
The culture of death must be met by a culture of life-giving possibilities beyond the death dealing of gangs, guns and other avenues and instruments of violence.
The children of light in our country must summon the willpower, the wiles and the imagination to defeat the stratagems of the children of darkness.
There are those for whom life no longer matters, those not satisfied just to rob but who must also maim or kill their victims because life is that dispensable, meaningless, brutal and short.
A pastor recalls a parishioner who asked whether those criminals who are going about in the day can't see what they're doing to the country. His response: "For some who walk in darkness, no amount of light makes a difference."
But a culture of life and avenues to help others to avoid or to step out of the darkness may make a difference. Making that difference requires a sustained and massive social intervention strategy with various components.
One of the components is youth development with programs like Outward Bound and AMIkids, both of which have shown considerable success.
Outward Bound is an "experiential learning, expedition school and outdoor learning program... that serves people of all ages and backgrounds through challenging learning expeditions that inspire self-discovery, both in and out of the classroom".
The highly successful global initiative also offers a program known as the Intercept Program for At-Risk Youth and Troubled Teens. It is designed for young people from ages 12 to 22 and addresses "the needs of struggling teens and at-risk youth beginning to demonstrate destructive behaviors, as well as the needs of their families".
The Intercept Program serves "youth, young adults, families, schools and communities... at risk of academic failure, dropping out of school, delinquency or becoming chronic offenders".
AMIkids was the brainchild of a judge who got tired of seeing the same juvenile offenders returning to his court over and over. Today, AMIkids is thought to operate "some of the most effective juvenile justice and alternative education programs across" the United States.
To offer readers a clear sense of AMIkids, there are extended quotes following from the organization's website.
"Residential programs operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week with students residing in dormitories on campus. The youth are committed to these programs for approximately four to nine months and can be committed for as long as 36 months.
"The youth reside at the program and leave only for off-site, supervised program activities or approved furloughs. Family visitations vary by program. Youth have been adjudicated delinquent by the court and typically have multiple misdemeanors or felonies.
"Education curriculums deployed in AMIkids programs use differentiated instruction, individualized student planning, progress monitoring, online/computer assisted educational software and experiential education/service learning, all in partnership with pro-social relationships between staff and students.
"Many youth come to AMIkids 'deficient in a wide variety of appropriate, pro-social behavioral repertoires. They lack social skills, anger management, pre-employment skills, communication, self-management, rule following, delay of immediate gratification, etc.'
"To help students develop short- and long-term pro-social behavioral repertories and facilitate the daily management of behavior throughout the program, AMIkids programs employ procedures and techniques of behavior modification and utilize a sophisticated behavior modification system."
Like Outward Bound and other successful intervention programs, AMIkids utilizes experiential learning: "AMIkids' experiential education gives each student the opportunity to face challenges and to overcome them, gaining greater self-worth and helping to form a better value system.
"Programs are integrated based on the geographic strengths of each location and include seamanship, water safety, fishing, low ropes, high ropes, backpacking, music, gardening, culinary arts, reptile and wilderness programs to give each student meaningful and challenging experiences in a variety of ways.
" ... For those kids with more serious learning and behavioral issues, there have been startling results."
There are a number of models that we can draw upon in confronting the challenge, but there must be massive, multi-layered, national interventions now if we are to save ourselves from this culture of death and bequeath to future generations a greater culture of life.
o firstname.lastname@example.org o www.bahamapundit.com.
By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
LEON Walker thought he was only validating his suspicions of his wife's affair when he went through her e-mails. But little did he know the possibility of facing five years in prison for snooping existed.
In this potential precedent-setting case which broke late last year, the Michigan man who is also a computer technician is being charged with felony misuse of a computer. Prosecutors in the case argue that Walker illegally hacked into his wife's computer after she filed for divorce.
However, he claims it was relatively easy to get the password to her account because she kept it in book next to her computer. His attorney said claims made b ...
By ALISON LOWE
The Government expects to move ahead with an information technology (IT) consultancy aimed at upgrading the computer systems at the Department of Customs - a "critical" step towards more "efficient and effective" operations.
Zhivargo Laing, minister of state for finance, noted this intended development during his contribution on the Customs Management Bill 2011, a massive piece of legislation that will reform the Department's administration from a legal perspective.
The Bill, said Mr Laing, reflects international standards concerning the simplification and harmonisation of Customs procedures, as well as bringing t ...
Hurricane Sandy is a Category 1 Hurricane located at 17.6° N, 76.8° W with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph, gusting to 100 mph.
Sandy has been strengthened further Wednesday and is now a Category 1 hurricane. Sandy made landfall on the southeastern coast of Jamaica near Kingston around 3:00 p.m. EDT. Maximum sustained winds at the time of landfall were estimated to be near 80 mph. Sandy will move north of Jamaica this evening and move over eastern Cuba tonight and tomorrow.
Winnipeg, MB, CANADA
- What do Botswana, Afghanistan, Peru and Moldova have in common? These
are some of the sites receiving computers from NYGÅRD, the globally
based company with an innovative approach to technology. North America's
premier fashion house is living up to its mandate, "Where Fashion Meets
Technology," by donating 10 computer monitors, 12 keyboards, 20
switches, and a server chassis complete with server blades to schools in
The opportunity to
make a donation that combined education and technology was fortuitous
since Peter Nygård is a strong proponent of education. Recently, he
personally donated $10,000 to a Bahamian youth camp where 200 children
will build on their self-esteem and learn to avoid participating in gang
"We've arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology."- Carl Sagan
Any 21st century leader knows that competency in science and technology is crucial to effectively manage a nation. The Bahamas, while independent and sovereign, is a part of a global community and daily that community becomes smaller and smaller as a result of the inter-related processes designed to make our lives easier.
As we continue the quest for technological advances in our government ministries and corporations, we must realize that this state of readiness means more than paying utility bills online and accessing Bahamian law on one's computer, tablet or smartphone. It's replacing outdated vestiges of our colonial past and using systems which make our society do things quickly and efficiently. Tech savvy in the new Bahamas means government services and assistance online; accessible computerized education for all; medical and healthcare innovations on virtual platforms; expanded opportunities in financial services. This is all possible when we, in the new Bahamas, deploy the best technology tailored to work in tandem with our specific demands as a small island nation.
A high-tech Bahamas means all citizens being the beneficiaries of systems put in place by an effective government which utilizes its resources in a sound, smart and prudent fashion. The new Bahamas cannot function with antiquated, semi-functioning government ministries and corporations that seem afraid or, in large measure, cash-strapped to embrace technology.
Stagnant government agencies can be greatly enhanced through the use of technology. You will hear no rebuttal from any citizen who has had to endure the sometime less-than-stellar approach to customer service at various ministries and corporations. The latest scientific know-how and automation of some services will result in improved efficiency in governmental agencies. With the utmost regard for the human element, and not seeking to place anyone on the unemployment line, we must have a dialogue about technology and its ability to alleviate the problems of our bloated, challenged civil service. Seconding and shuffling human capital are no longer solutions in the new Bahamas. We must have a monumental shift in our collective thinking.
I know we are ready because Bahamians are a resilient people. The recent, depressing, unemployment statistical report further highlights the need for a competent leader to identify and define employment opportunities that will be created by embracing technology. Venturing way beyond the tourism track, we can bring the world to us. Why can't we become the Silicone Valley of the Caribbean or a Singapore of the region? Our people can be trained/retrained for careers in technology-driven businesses. As an added bonus, we can exact a rapid turnaround as we don't have the challenges of industrialized nations - i.e., having to re-tool factories or refit machinery.
After years of merely studying the challenges, I affirm my goal of acting on the decades of dialogue with the promise of remedying the problem.
A revamped civil service, equipped with the right technology to get the job done, means applying for services and licenses online, speeding up the time applications are processed and granted. Technological advancements equate to less hassle and inconvenience. Accessing some government buildings, especially in the downtown area, can be vexing and a colossal waste of time - add that to wading through mounds of paperwork which may not have been archived properly. Orderly, effective governance in the new Bahamas is when all facets of society are able to access government services in cyberspace. The days of carbon paper, rulers and long lines must cease.
I stand proudly on the record of fantastic strides made at the Ministry of Health during my tenure as minister. Far beyond applying robotics in surgical procedures, my approach to tele-medicine started innovations within the healthcare system, helping to manage the network of medical facilities spread across these 100,000 square miles of water. We've merely scratched the surface, as tele-medicine has endless possibilities in the new Bahamas.
After 40 years of independence, we have yet to fully dust off the colonial shackles and trek toward the 21st century Bahamas.
In our vital field of education, it's almost laughable, if not ironic, that our greatest expenditure - the Ministry of Education, Science & Technology, has not seen substantial pace, nor risen to the occasion to embrace science and technology. In the new Bahamas, marrying the two will mean more than a few white boards and computers. Additional teacher training will be necessary to better equip teachers with the skills to use the new and emerging technologies as teaching tools. It means equipping each and every classroom from pre-kindergarten to college with the necessary technology to produce students ready to handle a 21st century world. It means making distance learning accessible through the use of technology and media. An improved Bahamas Learning Channel must provide all the benefits of education available to students in the capital, in a cost-effective way. The days of transporting teachers from other countries, worrying about burdensome salaries, exorbitant room and board costs is so yesterday.
Using science and technology in education mean that the student in New Bight, Cat Island or United Estates, San Salvador can access the same expertise available to New Providence boys and girls with a mere click of a mouse, a tap on a tablet or a swipe on a smartphone.
Online education must be a reality in the new Bahamas. Imagine attending The College of The Bahamas in a virtual environment. Imagine bringing tertiary education to the masses by making it more affordable and accessible. Picture a National Online Tutoring Program, partnering our retired educators with techie teens, bringing about improvements in our national grade point average. Under my leadership, we shall embrace technological advancements and not be afraid of the unknown.
Additionally, the new Bahamas must be a place where we positively capitalize on our worldwide presence in the financial community. By placing our investments and financial services on a more technologically proficient level, greater numbers of Bahamian professionals can participate in the global financial arena. Legislation to make all these possibilities a reality can only happen with a leader at the helm who's committed to do the job and not just talk about it.
New generation Bahamas functions best when its institutions and citizens welcome new ideas, novel strategies and cutting-edge methodology with open arms. I again pledge my commitment to leading this pivotal charge for much-needed change.
o Dr. Hubert Minnis is the leader of the Free National Movement and the official opposition.