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News Article

September 02, 2010
GOOD NEIGHBOURS

Neighbourly compassion is the driving force behind the Bain and Grant's Town community, which has united to offer free after-school programmes and computer classes for the young and old.

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News Article

July 17, 2012
Embracing 4G technology in The Bahamas

Undeniably, the upgrade of our cellular network to 4G has been plagued with service disruptions causing much frustration. Dropped calls, delayed email and failed messenger services, aggravate both technology savvy and infrequent phone users.
But it is of immense importance that The Bahamas upgrades its network to 4G.
We must move past the political banter on the sale of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) to Cable and Wireless, accept its ownership and welcome the upgrade of technology. The transfer of new technology to The Bahamas improves our competitiveness.
Technology increasingly separates the developed and developing world; failure to keep up would severely limit our future growth potential. Our leaders must accept this and work with the private sector to integrate the latest technology with our aging infrastructure across all industries.
Bahamians are embracing telecommunication technology with vigor. The Samsung Galaxy S III launched over the weekend prompted a line of eager consumers in front of BTC's Bay Street store at 6 a.m. Armed with Blackberrys, Androids, iPhones, the new Galaxy S III, and other smartphones, Bahamians expect and demand access to the same level of service they find in the United States and Europe.
The smartphone is revolutionary and its power to integrate phone, data and location services has yet to be fully recognized here. But the revolution will come. And those unable to adapt will be left fighting for business in a digital world.
Take for example Uber, a taxi service predominately in the United States that allows customers to locate, call and pay for a taxi through an app. In fact, a customer merely opens the app, the closest taxi is located, the driver notified and the passenger watches the taxi approach on the smartphone. No call ever needs to made, no money exchanged and the entire ride is recorded on a smartphone with a credit card receipt emailed.
Uber is responding to the failure in large North American cities for taxis to maintain the level of anticipated service. Uber offers passengers a precise cab location, a safe and recorded ride and ease of payment.
Could Uber come to Nassau? Probably not, though taxis should take note that the app demonstrates the ability for technology to adapt and confront an entire service sector.
Apps have moved past mere entertainment to integrate with services outside the realm of a computer. The Nassau Guardian is moving forward to embrace digital media to allow our listeners seamless access to news and radio via our broadcast divisions.
We look forward to the full launch of 4G and the future potential of smartphone application in The Bahamas and all the change that will result.

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News Article

January 24, 2011
IS IT OKAY TO SNOOP

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 ...

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News Article

July 30, 2012
L.E.A.D. Institute offers hope after prison

How would you feel if the biggest mistake you ever made followed you for the rest of your life? Most former inmates struggle with the stigma associated with their past and often have difficulty getting jobs.
Troy Clarke started the National L.E.A.D. Institute in September 2009 to help these persons become productive members of society, despite their troubled pasts.
Clarke said, "All men fall but the great ones rise up. You do not drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there."
Since its inception, the institute has helped about 200 former inmates through its Project Reentry program.
Clarke says the program's success is due in part to his ability to relate to the former inmates, since he knows first hand the stereotypes associated with being charged.
He remained on bail for five years after being accused of rape in 2004. The charges were quashed in 2009.
Within months of being exonerated, Clarke, a former social worker, police reservist and defence force marine, founded his nonprofit organization. The institute recently received grants from the Templeton and Lyford Cay foundations.
"I always had a passion for working with young men and persons who have made mistakes in life. If I didn't have this experience behind me, of going through the court system, I couldn't be effective with the prison work and the pre-release because all I would have been doing is talking from a book."
Clarke's program works in conjunction with the pre-release program at Her Majesty's Prisons. Inmates with 18 months remaining on their sentences are eligible for the program. However, all inmates don't go through the pre-release program, which teaches them family and job readiness skills.
"Everyone doesn't have the benefit of the program and that's the sad part about it," he said.
The L.E.A.D. Institute is also focused on preventing troubled teens from ending up in prison through its Eagles Academy.
Once again, Clarke uses his life story as an example. "I never made a 2.0 GPA in high school. I got suspended but I knew my work. I was still able to go to COB. If I came from there and can do what anyone can." Clarke is now studying for a masters degree.
He believes a lack of education is a major contributor to crime. He said more than 85 percent of inmates did not finish high school, and more than 60 percent of them only have a fifth grade level in reading and comprehension.
The L.E.A.D. Institute helps inmates achieve literacy and numeracy through a self-paced computer assisted learning program.
But most importantly, the former inmates are taught personal responsibility.
"We teach our guys society doesn't owe you anything, so you have to prove yourself. We don't give anybody a job ­- you have to earn the right to get a job. That's our philosophy," he said.
Clarke said the Project Reentry program helps former inmates with employment once they have successfully completed the post-release program. Some start their own businesses. Others are placed with business in the community while being monitored by the program.

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News Article

September 14, 2011
Club Land'or executive clears the air

Club Land'or's parent company is clearing up issues around the troubled property -- refuting claims that its    sale price has been dropped and attributing recent payment issues to system glitches.
In response to Guardian Business reports, a company executive said the problems experienced recently in the form of bounced checks and disconnected telephone service have been solved.
"There were some computer issues we had, some glitches in wire transfers, which were part of the reasons the transfers did not go through," said a spokesman from the company's head office in Richmond, Virginia.  "We've addressed those things now."
The executive said claims that the sale price had been lowered by $6 million - which were reported as gospel by other publications - are wrong.
"It's on the market for $45 million," Guardian Business was told.  "The property's sale price was not reduced.  the resort is not sold and further, will not be closing.
"There are no contracts at present, although a lot of people are looking at it."
The property was recently put on the market, as the global economy quelled occupancy levels for almost all properties on Paradise Island and New Providence.  However, early indications are that a turn in that trend may be just around the corner.
"Currently the resort, like other properties in Nassau, is experiencing very low occupancy due to the world economic conditions and hurricane season," said the spokesman.
"The high season looks promising and many reservations are in the pipeline for the months ahead. In the interim, management is focusing on renovations and preparation for the coming high season.
"We have some pre-bookings and things are looking up."
The repairs should come as good news to owners that have bought into the mixed-use property, some of whom have voiced concerns over the state of the resort.  They questioned their yearly maintenance fees and hikes levied on them, when there weren't any apparent upgrades.
Just last month, Club Land'or also faced the threat of legal action related to the thousands of dollars in employee salary deductions allegedly taken but never, in fact, deposited to their credit unions.  The issues had affected the ability of workers to fully prepare their children for back-to-school.
As it is now, only time will tell if the system repairs fixes all the glitches the property has had over the years.

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News Article

July 30, 2012
West-end project to generate 400 jobs

As a host of retail shops and restaurants sign the dotted line, the 21.5-acre commercial development in western New Providence is expected to generate close to 400 jobs when completed.
The multimillion-dollar Old Fort Bay Town Centre project has now entered the second phase of construction. According to Jane-Michele Bethel, sales and marketing manager at New Providence Development Company Limited (NPDC), all tenants will start interior buildings by the end of September, if not before.
An interior design store, spa, nutritional beverage company and a veterinarian have made commitments, while a sports store, computer shop and two boutiques have reserved spaces.
This second phase already joins an already extensive list of shops now taking up tenancy in phase one.
Bethel provided Guardian Business with no less than 10 establishments either open or in the process of outfitting their stories. Included in the list is the first restaurant at Old Fort Bay Town Centre - Sushi ROKKAN.
"Sushi ROKKAN will have a modern Japanese interior design, approximately 60 seats, including a comfortable sushi bar and outside patio seating. They will serve traditional sushi, sashimi, appetizers, charbroiled grilled meats (Japanese style) and seasonal signature dishes. All to be enjoyed with a huge sake selection," she noted.
The second restaurant to be included in the project's first phase has committed to signing a lease soon, with a planned opening date of November or December. A third restaurant has yet to be selected. Royal Bank of Canada also broke ground on their pad to the west of the Old Fort Bay Town Centre roundabout last week. Its anticipated opening date is set for Spring 2013.
In phase two, Bethel said stores will have 60 days to complete their build-outs, and restaurants have 90 days. As for phase one, Bahamas Design Centre, featuring indoor/outdoor furniture and home accessories, and The Gallery at Old Fort, are both set to open next month. HIS Fashion, stocking brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Nautica and Kenneth Cole of New York, has proposed a September opening date. The Keg Ranch liquor store and Going Places Travel are working on a similar timeline.
Sat Sound and Benetton are two retail spaces that are already open. Your Friendly Pharmacy is set open its doors at a later date.
The entire project, comprising seven one-acre pads, two anchor stores, and just under 60,000 square feet of retail and office commercial space, is expected to employ between 375 and 400 people.
"The degree of investment from the business community is of a very high caliber and we expect to see some spectacularly well designed stores, and a good variety and complementary mix of products and services," Bethel added.

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News Article

June 21, 2012
400 accused murderers on bail an abysmal system failure

Dear Editor,

The attorney general of The Bahamas, Allyson Maynard-Gibson, said recently that there are over 400 accused murderers on bail. This figure represents more than half of the murders committed in The Bahamas over the last 10 years and could be one of the major reasons for the escalation in serious criminal offenses that occur in our country.
Looking at the factual information above, the average citizen can easily deduce that something is wrong with our current system for prosecuting alleged murderers. We have an endemic problem and this type of incompetence seems to be supported by corruption at the highest levels.
The word on the street is that murder raps are easier to beat than armed robbery. Young men today are more fearful of getting caught for committing an armed robbery than they are of committing murder. For every 875 Bahamians, one accused murderer walks freely amongst us. This does not even take into account the murderers amongst us who have not been charged as yet.
The adverse spinoff effect of having accused murderers out on bail is beyond measure. Can you imagine the negative effect this has on our young men who see these thugs commit murder and then within one to two years these thugs are back on the streets? The abysmal failure of our criminal justice system continues to strengthen the resolve of criminally-minded persons who will as long as possible terrorize our communities. These criminals are revered for their illicit acts and young men know that if they perform an act equally as heinous they can also earn a reputation and be "rated" on the streets.
Gibson mentioned that the case files for accused murderers have been poorly kept and she said that this is one of the reasons why so much of these men are out on bail. I have been unable to fathom how a case file for an alleged murderer out on bail can be poorly managed given the fact that we are well on our way to a fifth murder record in six years in The Bahamas.
I hope Gibson sees the wisdom to further investigate this matter, as it seems criminal to me that an accused murderer is allowed to go out on bail because records were poorly kept given the present capabilities that computer programs provide. The protocol standards have not been exercised and as such those responsible need to be held accountable. The investigation of this intentional administrative failure needs to commence as soon as possible and the criminal case should be fast-tracked to the Supreme Court. This needs to be done in the public's best interest.
Gibson also reiterated that the re-introduction of the swift justice program will resolve this apparent "administrative malfunction" and will net positive results going forward.
I say to the attorney general that good and right-thinking Bahamians are supporting her in the government's efforts to bring this mammoth crime problem under control. Many of us want The Bahamas to be a safe haven again for all citizens and if Project Safe Bahamas, Urban Renewal 2.0 or the swift justice program can keep criminals where they belong and then perhaps act as a crime prevention tools, then we are behind you 110 percent.
Successive governments are to be blamed for our current state of affairs and the ball is now in Perry Christie and Gibson's court to deliver. One accused murderer out on bail is too much, but we now have over 400. These accused murderers pose a great risk to the general public because of their willingness to harm others and to themselves because of vigilantes who are constantly seeking street justice.
I say to you Mrs. Gibson, to let's see how fast we can bring these cases to trial and let the chips fall where they may. We will wait and see the results of swift justice and judge its effectiveness accordingly.

- Dehavilland Moss

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News Article

July 04, 2012
PLP made Bahamians jobless

Dear Editor,
Prime Minister Perry Christie once said (Clifford Park, April 4, 2002): "There will be no payback time under my administration. I am a democrat not a tyrant. I will be too busy helping people to have any time for hurting people. And it's just not in my nature to do it anyway. And when I speak about this, I speak on behalf of the entire government I will lead. If I hear about any minister of mine trying to practice any victimization on anybody the next time he hears from me, it will be to tell him to clean out his desk and head for the door. Victimization is an evil I put on par with corruption in high places. Neither will be tolerated under an administration headed by Perry Christie. Of that you can be assured."
The termination of 80 urban renewal staff in Nassau and Freeport was victimization. They were terminated because they were perceived to be supporters of the Free National Movement. They are all Bahamians, mostly mothers and grandmothers who head their families and are totally dependent on their incomes from urban renewal for the survival of their families.
This act of victimization has contributed to urban decay and social instability.
The programs that they organized for the last five years range from senior citizen programs to youth programs to marching bands to computer classes. In all, some 21 programs, seminars and activities were organized by the 80 terminated officers in 16 urban renewal centers in Nassau and Freeport.
These programs touched the lives of thousands of Bahamians on a daily basis. The PLP government brought all of this to an abrupt end on May 8.
Instead, the PLP government replaced these urban renewal officers with police officers who are now performing menial day-to-day chores such as purchasing and delivering office groceries and supplies to the urban renewal centers.
I once again appeal to Prime Minister Perry Gladstone Christie and Minister Phillip Brave Davis to end this act of victimization and restore the 80 urban renewal officers to their previous positions.
It is the right thing to do.
- Dion A. Foulkes

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News Article

August 01, 2012
E-government system down after leak

COMPUTER systems at the Public Treasury went offline yesterday after a water leak damaged server equipment operating its e-government services.

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News Article

July 31, 2012
A need for education inspires organizers to launch viralmovements.com in preparation for ViralMovements 2013

Nassau, Bahamas -
Musicians and creatives now have a digital platform to instruct them on
how to make money online doing what they love. DistinctiveImpression MMG
and partners announce the launch of ViralMovements.com today.
ViralMovements.com responses to the rapid growth entertainers in the
digtial space.  It is a resource for education, exposures  and
development.  The online hub offers information on how to  craft music,
photography, videography and blogs for digital monetization.
ViralMovements.com can be accessed from any presonal computer, laptop,
or mobile device.

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