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By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
A FORMER receivables manager at SuperClubs Breezes has been awarded $26,560 after the Supreme Court found the Nassau-based all-inclusive resort wrongfully dismissed her, the judge ruling it had failed to prove she had falsified company documents as alleged.
Justice Neville Adderley, in his August 6, 2010, ruling, detailed how SuperClubs Breezes watered down its justification for dismissing Marion Morris, going from the November 18, 2004, summary dismissal letter, which alleged she had altered invoice dates and made accounts receivables uncollectible, to its argument of 'gross negligence' made at trial.
Although SuperClubs Breezes, in its def ...
The election and crime wave are on many minds, but there's something else that's catching those headliners up.
It's called Gippie's Kingdom, The Bahamas' first televised soap opera. In a press release, Ian Strachan, show writer and director, said: "Gippie's Kingdom aspires to do for TV what the Ferguson's of Farm Road did for Bahamian radio."
The producers of the show are announcing another corporate sponsor: SuperClubs Breezes.
Breezes has agreed to host the world premiere of Gippie's Kingdom. The premiere is tentatively set for June. The internationally renowned resort is also giving one lucky television viewer a free week-end stay at the Cable Beach resort.
Sales Manager at the resort Hedda Smith said: "Breezes is happy to partner with Gippie's Kingdom producer/writer Ian Strachan in this latest project of his. This soap opera will be the first of its kind in The Bahamas and we are very excited to come on board as one of the corporate sponsors. This is a great opportunity to not only expose some of the problems we are experiencing in our society today, but to show how to address them and hopefully offer some solutions."
Strachan added: "We're extremely excited. We believe that this show is going to be the topic of conversation in the majority of Bahamian households. It will be talked about around the water cooler, and around the photocopier at work. We believe that once Gippie's Kingdom hits the airwaves, it's going to become a Bahamian institution. We commend Breezes for having the vision to get on board early."
The eight-part series tells the story of three generations of the Gibson family. Life experiences and social issues, common to all Bahamians, are explored in each episode -- sweethearting and "illegitimate children", juvenile delinquency, crime and justice, domestic violence, Haitian/Bahamian conflict, and most of all, the power of love.
o The program is scheduled to run every Wednesday and Sunday night on ZNS TV13. To find out more about the soap opera, fans can visit the website www.gippieskingdom.com.
By CELESTE NIXON
Tribune Staff Reporter
GIVING an update on the ongoing renovations and improvements at SuperClubs Breezes, company chairman John Issa announced that the Cable Beach resort is in the process of "going green."
The two towers have be renovated over the course of two years, closing a block at a time to install energy efficient chillers for the air-conditioning units, energy efficient fan coils and broilers.
Low flush toilets and flow restricting faucets have also been installed to cut down on water consumption.
So far, around $20 million is estimated to have been spent on the renovations, which were contemplated with the goal of cutting energy cons ...
More than 60 professional beach volleyball players from around the United States participated in the "Dig the Beach" volleyball tournament at SuperClubs Breezes, September 26-28.
The "Dig The Beach" volleyball series is based in South Florida and was founded in 1991. It is the largest volleyball series in the United States.
Representative for the tournament, Diogo Sousa, said that the group is trying to expand its tournament series outside of the United States, and The Bahamas is the first stop.
A few years ago, the group ventured into Freeport, Grand Bahama and over the next three years, "Dig The Beach" plans to make The Bahamas its new home.
"The beach, the sand, the view, the people and the weather...Why would we not choose The Bahamas," said Sousa. "We brought over 60 participants this year and had a successful time. Next year we plan to welcome hundreds more for an even better time."
A lot of the participants expressed how much they enjoyed their time in the islands and how much they look forward to returning next year for the event. One of them was veteran player Neil Mayo.
"I've played all over the world and nothing can compare to The Bahamas. There's great people, great weather, and all of that makes for a better game," he said.
The athletes enjoyed the competitive volleyball matches in the sand, dancing, delicious food and drinks at the all-inclusive resort, but the fun did not stop there.
"We went snorkeling, sight-seeing and touring, to eat some of the native food at Arawak Cay," said Sousa.
The "Dig the Beach" series was brought over as a part of the Ministry of Tourism's Sports in Paradise campaign, which is designed to bring professional and elite level sports to the country. Aside from volleyball, the campaign has already brought representatives and teams from the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Hockey League (NHL), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Football League (NFL), the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), to The Bahamas.
SuperClubs Breezes Bahamas has sued Baha Mar for trespassing, and filed an injunction asking a court to stop Baha Mar from building on contested land.
In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court yesterday, SuperClubs owner John Issa gave his ultimate reason for suing his neighbor on the Cable Beach strip.
"The injunction summons is to prevent Baha Mar, this Goliath and colossus which bestrides Cable Beach, from having its cake (and also that of Breezes) and eating it too," he said.
A Baha Mar spokesperson said: "As a policy, Baha Mar does not comment on pending litigation."
Issa's lawyer, Fred Smith, said his client and Baha Mar began their relationship with cordiality and respect. Breezes owns land - which has still not been conveyed to Baha Mar as yet - which is situated within the boundaries of the Baha Mar development area. The two resort developers agreed to a land swap, in which Breezes would exchange the land in question, whereon sits its sewerage plant, for a different parcel of land. Guardian Business reported some years ago that Issa was eager to work with Baha Mar, an article which was included with the affidavit filed in Supreme Court before Senior Justice John Isaacs. Things appear to have changed.
"Unfortunately, (SuperClubs Breezes and Baha Mar) seem to have had a falling out, because Baha Mar just acts as if Breezes no longer exists," Smith said. "It really is unfortunate. Breezes will not stand for the bullying anymore."
Among the issues covered in the lawsuit are what appear to be broken agreements concerning pedestrian traffic and access, land usage and trespassing.
Jamaican track and field sensation Usain Bolt was among the special guests who gathered yesterday at a section of the old West Bay Street...
The countdown is on to 2012 and of course there are fabulous events being held island-wide where you can party away 2011 and ring in the New Year, and The Nassau Guardian has the entire scene covered for you -- from the hottest party in the east to the wildest and most glamorous affairs in the west.
Mario's Bowling and Family Entertainment Palace
It's being billed as two levels and two parties all at one venue, at Mario's Bowling and Family Entertainment Palace in the Summer Winds Plaza on the Tonique Williams-Darling Highway.
With a $5,000 balloon drop, scheduled for 1:12 a.m., (to ensure that people have time to make it out after church to collect their change) Leslia Miller says their Masquerade Party is one not to be missed.
With two levels, two parties, one venue, in the Heineken Platinum green lounge cake and champagne will be circulated all night. Every twelfth person will also receive a New Year's gift bag filled with goodies until the clock strikes midnight. And anyone attired in green will gain admission into the Heineken lounge for half price
The second lounge will be the Countdown VIP Dance Floor, where the balloon drop will take place.
Besides the money, Miller says Mario's will have the hottest deejays, drink specials and fireworks.
Doors open at 10:30 p.m. until 6 a.m.
Compass Point Beach Resort
Anastacia Kemp says the Compass Point Beach Resort New Year's affair will definitely appeal to people who want to relax to bring in 2012.
"You don't have to be over-dressed so you can feel relaxed," says the front desk manager. For $185 per person, you get a four-course served meal and access to an open bar. The event which starts at 8 a.m. and runs through to 12 midnight, will feature a deejay, live band, Junkanoo rushout and fireworks.
Hammerhead's Bar and Grill
Hammerhead's Bar and Grill on East Bay Street invite you to dive into 2012 at their establishment with a party that party kicks of at 9 p.m. with $2 shots and $4 drink specials. With bottle service all night, and music by Nassau's hottest deejay, they say it's the spot to be.
SuperClubs Breezes will host a New Year's Eve Gala at the resort on Cable Beach from 6 p.m. until you say when. In the main dining room you have a raw bar with iced cocktail shrimp and Caribbean claws, a soup station with four soups, a salad bar which allows you to mix it up as you like it, their famous trio station, their taste of the world station, a Caribbean-style ratatouille station, and an unforgettable sumptuous dessert station.
The Marley Resort on Cable Beach hosts a New Year's Eve cocktail party on Saturday, December 31 from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. A live band plays for your enjoyment. The $75 cover charge includes appetizers, party favors and a free glass of champagne at midnight.
Prime Minister Perry Christie reaffirmed the government's commitment to the protection, preservation and expansion of Bahamian underwater cultural heritage this week.
Christie, who was speaking during the opening ceremony for the UNESCO Regional Meeting on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage in Latin America and the Caribbean at SuperClubs Breezes, said the Bahamian seas hold many treasures that must be protected.
UNESCO has partnered with the Bahamas government to raise awareness on the issue.
Through the meetings, which ended on Friday, UNESCO is hoping to encourage more countries in the region to support and implement the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage and to safeguard and valorize their precious submerged heritage, Assistant Director General of Culture for UNESCO Kishore Rao said in a statement.
"The Caribbean region has a spectacular legacy of submerged archaeological sites ranging from shipwrecks to sunken cities and numerous prehistoric sites, preserved in the depths of the oceans," Rao added.
He noted the importance of curtailing the "scourge of illicit looting and commercial exploitation".
Christie said work must be done locally to establish a conservation plan to preserve the marine resources. He also noted the "pristine condition" of Bahamian waters.
"It is more than fitting that this meeting is being hosted in The Bahamas, a country that is rich in underwater cultural heritage," Christie said.
"The strategic geographic location of The Bahamas as the gateway to the Caribbean and the Americas has been shown for centuries, starting with the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492 to the island of San Salvador.
"As the gateway between the Americas and Europe and the home to numerous reefs and shallow shoals, many ships ended their journey in our waters."
Christie said in addition to telling the stories of the treasures that are in the ocean, regional experts must also work toward finding ways to create opportunities.
"It is not enough for experts to study and present these stories," he said.
"But it is how the research into the Underwater Cultural Heritage can be merged into the future regional development of the Caribbean..."
Dozens of regional experts attended the meetings.
Director of UNESCO in Kingston, Jamaica, Christine Norton said such seminars are vital to raising awareness about protecting the ocean and everything in it.
Norton added that there are a number of issues threatening the oceans across the world, including treasure hunting and the increase in offshore industries.
Given those threats, Norton insisted that it will take a united effort to get results.
Insisting that prison should be a place of last resort for people who commit petty crimes, National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage said yesterday only five classes of criminals ought to be incarcerated at Her Majesty's Prisons (HMP).
"At the risk of again being wrongly accused of going soft on criminals, I would suggest that we need evidence led data to guide our policies in respect to incarceration," said Nottage as he addressed the Caribbean Association of Corrections Conference at SuperClubs Breezes."And the data seems clear that whether convicted or simply charged, prison should be reserved almost exclusively for five categories of persons: violent dangerous offenders; drugs, arms and human traffickers; multiple recidivists; child molesters and corruption offenders.
"Persons charged or convicted of non-violent petty crimes should as far as is possible be confined to prison only as a measure of last resort."
Nottage noted that the overcrowding at HMP is largely due to the large number of petty criminals who are incarcerated.
"For far too long the prison has been used as a sanction of first resort for those accused or convicted of relatively minor offenses," he said.
"In many of our jurisdictions it is still felt that to lock them up and throw away the key is the antidote to crime and violence.
"While tight-fisted policies might be a popular posture, the evidence is clear that only when prisons are used as a first resort for hardened, dangerous, violent offenders and the place of last resort for petty minor offenders, society tends to be safer and remediation amongst wrongdoers seems more assured.
"Indeed, the evidence is clear that for dangerous, hardened criminals punishment works mostly when it is swift, sure and severe. For petty offenders, treatment and rehabilitation seem to offer the best prospects, not incarceration."
According to prison officials, the facility's daily population was around 1,300 inmates up to October 2011. However, it is now around 1,550, representing a near 18 percent increase.
During a tour of the Fox Hill facility three weeks ago, Nottage said the conditions are "unacceptable" particularly in the maximum security wing.
Prison Superintendent Dr. Elliston Rahming said the maximum security wing was holding nearly twice the number of inmates it was built to house. The facility, which was designed to hold up to 450 inmates, is now "bloated" with close to 900 prisoners.
According to Her Majesty's Prison 2010 Report, the vast majority of inmates who are sentenced were convicted of petty crimes.
Of the 749 people who were sentenced in 2010, 71 percent were sentenced to serve a year or less in prison. Another 12 percent or 93 inmates were sentenced to more than two years, according to the latest report.
Only 13 people (less than two percent of the people admitted to prison in 2010) were sentenced to 10 years or more, said the report.