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News Article
Baha Mar: Scotiabank loan resolution 'utmost priority'

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

A senior Baha Mar executive yesterday told Tribune Business that resolving the impasse over their $200 million loan was the "utmost priority" for the developer and Scotiabank, although no breakthrough/solution appears to have been reached yet.

With just three working days before Parliament debates the resolution on some 8,000-plus Chinese work permits, Robert Sands, Baha Mar's senior vice-president of external and governmental affairs, confirmed that meetings between the two sides had taken place - and were continuing - in Toronto.

"Meetings have been taking place between the parties, and meetings are still in progress," Mr Sands ...

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News Article
Students stabbed in latest violence

By ALISON LOWE
Tribune Staff Reporter

alowe@tribunemedia.net

A SENIOR school official, the President of the teacher's union, police, parents and counselors offered a variety of views yesterday on whether police should be re-introduced as a permanent presence on school campuses as two students were stabbed and five more taken into custody in the fourth serious outbreak of violence involving school children to take place in as many days.

Fearful parents who gathered outside C I Gibson Junior High School, where two male students were stabbed in a break-time brawl during the morning, were unanimous in their view that a permanent police presence was needed to quell rowdy students in the face ...

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News Article
Newspaper salesman in plea to Tribune after claiming police told him to move

By ALISON LOWE

Tribune Staff Reporter

alowe@tribunemedia.net

A VETERAN newspaper salesman has pleaded to be able to keep selling papers in his traditional location after claiming to have been told by police that he has to move.

However, a senior police officer said he is not aware of any such directive being given to the newspaper man - and told the paperman to get in touch with him.

In his appeal to The Tribune, the salesman, who traditionally touted his wares to passing motorists at the junction of Eastern Road and Johnson Road, and goes only by the name "Mr Major", said: "This is the first time that an officer has told me I have to move from this spot. What do they want ...

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News Article
Nominations for Cacique Awards 2010 Now Open

The Bahamas Ministry
of Tourism is now receiving nominations for their

Cacique Awards 2010
which will take place

January 28th, 2011.

Any
member of the public may cast a nomination for the general awards, the
Minster of Tourism's Hospitality Award or the Clement T. Maynard
Lifetime Achievement Award. They may nominate as many persons as they
wish. The same person may also be nominated for more than one award if
he/she is making a contribution in more than one area.

To be eligible for the awards, the nominees must be permanent residents
of The Bahamas, whose product or performance has a positive impact on
the quality development of Bahamian tourism...

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News Article
Bahamas elected to OAS Budget Committee

WASHINGTON,
DC -- Dr Nicola Virgill-Rolle of The Bahamas has been elected Vice Chair of the
Organization of American States (OAS) Committee on Administrative and Budgetary
Affairs (CAAP) of the Permanent Council, a key role in the OAS, particularly
during a time of severe economic stress on the multilateral body.

In her
capacity as vice chair of the CAAP, Dr Rolle is also serving as Chair of the
Working Group to Prepare the Draft Resolution on the

Program-Budget for 2011.

This year a
Special Session of the General Assembly will be held by September 30 to approve
the program budget of the OAS.

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News Article
Speculation that Chinese criminals may work on Baha Mar 'baseless'

By MEGAN REYNOLDS

Tribune Staff Reporter

mreynolds@tribunemedia.net

SPECULATION that thousands of Chinese criminals will be brought in to build Baha Mar have been called baseless allegations by the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Nassau.

Concerns raised in the local press suggested the Chinese government has chosen convicts from its overcrowded prisons to work on foreign projects and may do the same when they bring in 8,150 workers to construct Baha Mar.

Editorial writers called on government to exercise due diligence in vetting their work permits if the foreign labour is approved as concerns stemmed from an article published in a Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mai ...

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News Article
Attorney General addresses second year Law Students

Nassau, The Bahamas - The role of an attorney is not
a "right" but a "privilege," said Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs
Senator the Hon. John Delaney as he addressed students of the Eugene Dupuch Law
School.

Senator Delaney spoke on the topic, "What does the
leader of the Bar expect from Attorneys?" The students who are entering their
second year made a call on the Attorney General as part of orientation for the
new school year.

In attendance was Archie Nairn, permanent secretary;
Debra Fraser, director of legal affairs; Vinette Graham-Allen, director of
public prosecutions; and Ian Winder, tutor...

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News Article
(VIDEO) International Day of Peace, September 21st

We invite you to observe

Peace Day on September 21, 2010. There will be events during the entire week of Peace Day!

Watch a VIDEO on Peace Day within...

The International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") provides an opportunity for

individuals, organizations and nations
to create practical acts of peace on a shared date. It was established
by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of
the General Assembly.

In 2002 the General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace.

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News Article
Christie hit out at Miller

Cables obtained by The Nassau Guardian through the whistleblower WikiLeaks reveal deep concerns Perry Christie had about the Petrocaribe agreement with Venezuela while he was prime minister, and his worries about certain moves then Minister of Trade and Industry Leslie Miller was making, allegedly without Cabinet approval.
In fact, the cables reveal that the Christie Cabinet was "sharply divided" on Petrocaribe, a program under which countries purchase oil from Venezuela on conditions of preferential treatment.
One cable claims Christie made a direct negative comment relative to Miller as a minister.
"Some ministers, the PM continued, were brought into the Cabinet because of their qualifications; others, like Minister Miller, were included in an effort, at times unsuccessful, to keep an eye on what they're doing," said the cable, which was classified by then U.S. Ambassador to The Bahamas John Rood.
The cable said that at a private meeting Rood had with Christie in July 2005, the then prime minister discussed several energy matters as well as his political future.
"The PM indicated that he has concerns about the Petrocaribe agreement signed on behalf of The Bahamas on June 29 by Trade and Industry Minister Leslie Miller," the cable said.
"He stated that Minister Miller 'got way out in front of the Cabinet' on the issue and suggested that Cabinet's eventual consideration of the Petrocaribe agreement would not be favorable.
"...The PM recalled that there were no disruptions to local fuel supplies during [the 2004] busy hurricane season.
"He doubted that government, given its poor record running hotels, airlines, and utilities, would be able to do as well as the international oil companies had done.  The PM confided that the Trinidadian government had expressed to him its displeasure that Minister Miller signed the Petrocaribe agreement."
In another cable penned about a month earlier, a U.S. Embassy official wrote that Christie had up to that point remained silent on the issue but "has shown no inclination to embark on the type of sweeping project that Minister Miller envisions".
"On the other hand, Christie has also shown no inclination to silence a minister whose more outrageous comments regularly make for embarrassing headlines," the June 2005 cable said.
"Minister Miller is an erratic figure within the Christie Cabinet and his frequent dramatic pronouncements on issues ranging from Petrocaribe, to hurricane relief funding, to liquefied natural gas projects are taken with a large grain of salt.
"His recent comments on high gasoline prices have focused less on Venezuela and more on decreasing the fixed markups that local gasoline importers and retailers are permitted to charge," the cable said.
The American diplomat observed: "The Bahamas is sufficiently interested in possibly lowering its energy bill to keep sending Minister Miller to Petrocaribe meetings, but it has little in common politically with President [Hugo] Chavez.
"The one possible exception is Cuba, with which The Bahamas shares a pragmatic working relationship based on migrant issues and other people-to-people matters such as tourism and medical training and treatment."
That same cable reveals that a high level government official had privately expressed concern that a "loose cannon" like Miller would be representing The Bahamas at an upcoming meeting between CARICOM and Chavez.
The Bahamian official suggested to the Americans that rather than request Miller to speak out, "it might be better for both countries (The Bahamas and the United States) if he stayed in the background and made no other substantive comment."
MILLER'S RESPONSE
According to that cable, Miller called a U.S. Embassy official to discuss his trip.
Responding to the official's urging that the best long-term solution to the energy situation would be a market-based solution within the context of a stable, democratic political system, Miller said that in petroleum, economics and politics are always mixed, the diplomat recorded.
"He called on the United States to itself construct new oil refineries in the U.S. to relieve supply shortages," the cable said.
"Miller then went on to describe himself as a 'nationalist' saying that he understood why 'dirt poor people in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Argentina' were upset with oil companies.
"When [the embassy official] cautioned against concluding an agreement with an unstable government whose president had a penchant for tearing up and re-writing contracts, Miller responded by declaring that paying royalties from extracted natural resources of 'one percent' was 'ridiculous and unfair'."
The embassy official, according to the cable, told Miller that investment required stability, transparency, and predictability and that all of these were in short supply in Chavez's Venezuela.
In another cable, the Americans wrote that Miller had returned from Venezuela "waving the Petrocaribe agreement and declaring cheap gas prices in our time."
Miller was quoted as saying, "What we got from the Venezuelans is a dream come true.  This is an extraordinary agreement, one that I have been behind for the past two and a half years."
But the Americans wrote: "Reducing the price of gas in The Bahamas without reducing either wholesaler or dealer profit margins or the government tax has long been one of Leslie Miller's signature theme projects.
"His past predictions of cheap gas in our time have gone unfulfilled while he has lurched from political gaffe to political gaffe.  The local oil companies have long been suspicious of his maneuverings and have challenged his proposals both publicly and privately.
"His permanent secretary, the senior civil servant in his ministry, has long given up trying to explain to him the economics of the oil business in general and in The Bahamas in particular."
The diplomat said the lack of consultation with the local oil companies suggested that any real changes to The Bahamas' energy market "remains a distant dream".
In the comment section of the cable, the American diplomat wrote: "Local reaction to Petrocaribe has been skeptical ever since its signing.
"Minister Miller's actions have been criticized in terms of process (not having Cabinet's authorization) and on substance (creating another inefficient government entity, relying on a single source of supply, and endorsing Venezuela's political agenda)."
The cable said that while Miller was pushing Petrocaribe, Christie indicated to the ambassador that he intended to walk away from the agreement.
Miller has said he will not ever accept a cabinet appointment again.  He has already been ratified by the PLP to run again in Blue Hills, a seat he lost to attorney Sidney Collie in 2007.
The July 2005 cable also revealed that Christie, at the time, was unsure as to whether he would be able to lead the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) into the 2007 general election, as he was still recovering from a mild stroke.
"The PM stated that he has already begun internal discussions on the timing of the next elections, which he must call no later than May 2007," the cable said.
"He believed he would know by his party's annual convention in November whether or not he is strong enough to lead the party into elections for another five-year term.  If he is fit enough to run, the PM is confident that no one will be able to defeat him."
Christie was strong enough to lead his party into the election.  However, his party was defeated.
When the Free National Movement (FNM) came to office in 2007, it made it clear that The Bahamas government was not interested in the oil alliance with Venezuela.
In a May 2007 cable, a U.S. Embassy official wrote, "We do not expect any warming of relations between Caracas and Nassau.
"Indeed we expect the FNM government to be a stronger partner of the Untied States in addressing Venezuela-related issues."
Not long after, Minister of State for Public Utilities Phenton Neymour confirmed that Petrocaribe was not, and would not be, a priority for the new Bahamian government.
An embassy official later wrote that Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham called the Petrocaribe accord a "stupid proposal".
The Americans noted: "The Bahamas has a wholly privatized oil distribution system that is incompatible with Petrocaribe.  Further, both FNM and PLP senior leadership are leery about being beholden to Venezuela."
 
 
 
 

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News Article
AG's office stops murder case after judge rules on evidence

The Office of the Attorney General abruptly ended the murder trial of Jerome Bethel after a Supreme Court judge delivered two unfavorable rulings on the admissibility of evidence.
Bethel, a former prison guard, is accused of the February 11, 2009 murder of Harold Gardiner.
By law, the Office of the Attorney General can discontinue a prosecution at any time. However, attorney Murrio Ducille, who appears for Bethel, said that the move was an abuse of that authority.
Prosecutors apparently anticipated presiding judge Vera Watkins' decision as prosecutor Jillian Williams presented a nolle prosequi signed by the attorney general immediately after  Justice Watkins gave the ruling Wednesday afternoon.
Justice Watkins refused to allow Gardiner's sister, Marina Prescott, to give additional evidence regarding the identification of her brother's body.
Prescott had already testified about the identification, but prosecutors wanted her to give additional evidence that did not appear in her witness statement.  Justice Watkins also did not permit photos taken of Gardiner's body at the morgue into evidence because there was no evidence he was present when Prescott did the identification.
Justice Watkins told prosecutors Jillian Williams and Crispin Rolle that the court was not a place for "patchwork."
Ducille described the move as an abuse of the separation of powers. He said the executive was "interfering in judicial proceedings," adding that prosecutors stopped the case because they disagreed with the judge's decision.
Justice Watkins said, "They've done it before. They don't like the ruling, they stop the case.  But a nolle can be entered at any time."
Ducille said there was no legal precedent on the legality of the maneuver and he was prepared to make a constitutional challenge to the decision.
Williams interrupted Ducille as he spoke.  Justice Watkins told her, "You are so rude.  I've never seen this side of you.  If you cannot conduct yourself as counsel and attorney, perhaps we have to take it up with the Bar Association."
Williams later apologized to the court.
Justice Watkins will dismiss the jury in the case on Monday.

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News Article
A library for the next 50 years

When Willamae Johnson graduated from library school in 1981 from Atlanta University (which has now merged with Clark Atlanta University) she never dreamed she'd one day oversee an edifice as grand as the Harry C. Moore Library, knowing of course, the library facilities her country had to offer.
One year after graduation she joined College of The Bahamas, which at the time had a library that encompassed a mere two small spaces -- one housed the offices and had three rooms, and the other was the library proper which encompassed all of the services the library offered from circulation to reference media.
Today, she's the head librarian of a 60,000 square-foot facility that is able to seat 575 users at any one time.  She's in charge of a library that has a 24-hour Internet café (the information commons as they call it) where students can have access to the library's computers and electronic resources. The facility offers electronic books, a licensed database that students can access remotely from home that allows them access to a variety of resources, anytime of day, wherever they are.  The new library houses an audiovisual department and is home to a constantly evolving digital collection. There is also a section dedicated to Bahamiana.
The head librarian describes the transition from the old to the new library  as "tremendous." The project itself, fully built and furnished, was $28 million, with $22 million allocated towards the construction, and the balance in furniture and furnishings, and fees to organizations the library needed to join.
It's a facility Johnson is proud to head up.
"This facility really is for the nation," said the head librarian.  "When I went to library school, I never dreamed that I would have such an opportunity to serve in this role, and so I think this has really been for me a proud moment, one that's humbling to see what we've really been able to achieve with God's help."
Johnson took up a College of The
Bahamas post on August 30, 1982, but has been serving in the head librarian's position since 1990.
The new facility allows the college to bring all of its departments under one roof. Prior to opening its doors to college users on February 28, 2011 and officially to the general public on April 8, 2011, the library's resources had been spread out because they simply did not have enough space under one roof to encompass everyone and everything. The college's business and technology programs were offered out of a space at the Soldier Road campus at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute.  An education program and a small education library were located on Moss Road
With a grant from the World Bank in 1984, the college was able to expand its old library to a little over 10,000 square feet, which allowed them to collapse their off-site libraries and bring them under one roof.  But right away, after moving in, they realized they were out of space once they got all departments together.  Johnson said the librarian at the time, Vanria Thomas-Rolle noticed that they didn't have any space for growth of collections, and barely had space for staff. As a result, Johnson said the talks began immediately about what a new College of The Bahamas  library would look like.  That was in the late 1980s.  Those talks led to designs being drawn up and what they saw the function of the new library being, encompassing thoughts of how librarianship was changing, and meeting the demands of users. Johnson said they talked about integrating technology, because at the time, the then library didn't have any technology other than the physical hands on kinds of things.
Ground-breaking for what was to be the Harry C. Moore facility took place on April 21, 2005.  Six years later, the college had its new three-story facility with Johnson proudly at the helm.
On the ground floor is the 24-hour information commons as well as the public services center for persons who want to check materials out or return materials to the library. On the exterior of the library, they have a book return that can be used if the library itself is closed and users want to return materials. They also dispense from there at the media counter, audio-visual resources like DVDs and CDs.  The ground floor also houses two instructional classrooms that seats 20 people each.  In one of those classrooms they can also do distance education with the Family Islands. A small auditorium that seats 117 people is also on the first level.
It is on this level where they also have their special collections housed, including their Bahamiana resources.  "We specifically put that on the ground floor because we know that's a resource that many Bahamians come to use, not only college students, but high school students, primary school students, members of the public, scholars from around the world looking for Bahamiania, so we wanted to make that easily accessible."
Lockers are also installed on the first level.  It is there that they encourage library users to store their belongings so they don't have to lug them through the facility.
"We encourage students to use the lockers, especially when they go into the special collections area which we would like to make an area where they only take the paper they need, or their laptop, so that we can preserve our Bahamiana resources," said Johnson.  "And, because we have a number of potential donors right now firming up, and we want to assure those donors that when their resources come to us, they're going to be taken care of."  There is a nominal fee for the use of the lockers.
The first/second floor is where all of the library's resources that students can borrow are found.  On the west side is the general stuff and on the east side, is where they have West Indian teaching practice and bound periodicals. They also have current periodicals -- general newspapers, magazines and journals at this level.  The main reference desk is on this floor as well.  It is also at this level where they have a small room there with computers where librarians can do special training or use databases. Also on this floor are spaces where they do special exhibits -- one of those being the permanent exhibit of the first Bahamian Prime Minister, Sir Lynden Pindling.
The second floor/third floor houses the administrative offices and the prized law collections, which they've kept separate, because Johnson said the resource is so valuable they cannot afford to lose it.
What you see in the Harry C. Moore building is the merging of three libraries into one facility -- COB's existing main library and the libraries culinary and hospitality library and the law library.
The Harry C. Moore Library also has both free-standing and compact shelving which allows them to be able to have more titles available for their users.
"Since this library is built for the next 50 years and for the general public, we have provided resources in that way to make those available," she said.
As they continue to build the library's resources, Johnson says their next real challenge will be to upgrade and continue to add research resources to the facility, so that the Harry C. Moore Library can continue to have the vast store of information that scholars need to do their research.
Three months after being made available to students, Johnson says the library facility has been amazing for the college students as it is completely wireless which gives them choices as to how and where they can use their laptops in comfortable seating, as opposed to being static.
The building is named in memory of Harry C. Moore, one of the founding presidents of the Lyford Cay Foundation who served as a member of College of The Bahamas Council.  It was during Moore's tenure on the college council, that he developed a desire to see the college have a university-level library and worked along with then president,  the late Dr. Keva Bethel to help the college get a library that would facilitate the transition of the college to university.
 

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News Article
Bahamas elected to OAS Budget Committee
Bahamas elected to OAS Budget Committee

Dr Nicola Virgill-Rolle of The Bahamas has been elected Vice Chair of the Organization of American States (OAS) Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Affairs (CAAP) of the Permanent Council, a key role in the OAS, particularly during a time of severe economic stress on the multilateral body.

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News Article
Not healthy? Insurance may not be an option

Medical Insurers could soon begin issuing increasing permanent exclusions to individuals with pre-existing and contracted ailments, even as medical costs continue to "skyrocket", the president of the Bahamas Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) has warned.

This was because the new Insurance Act has made underwriting requirements for health and life insurance companies much more stringent.

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News Article
An education performance proposal

The Department of Education is faced with many challenges: some relate to managerial mismanagement as reported recently in the press, others to the poor academic record of its students and even the failure to date to present a credible 10-year plan to address the latter.
The department has a substantial number of good teachers, pockets of academic excellence and decades of testing experience...yet the overall record is unacceptable.
The question is, "Where to begin?"
The Single-Letter Grade
Up until a year ago it confined its annual reporting to the BGCSE (Bahamas General Certificate for Secondary Education) exams with a "Single-Letter-Grade" for all schools...public and private...and for all 26 subjects. The score always ranged between "D+" and "D-"; and the results were never treated as "Good News" in the media.
Although readily apparent to employers, parents and taxpayers alike, academic under-achievement has been far greater in the public schools; and that reality was being concealed behind the "Single-Letter-Grade".
If the department had reported the BGCSE scores for the public schools only, then the grade in all subjects would have ranged between a "D-" and an "F" and not between "D+" and "D-". Furthermore, reporting the English and Math grades would have enlarged this embarrassing picture.
However, it ceased making the "Single-Letter-Grade" report on the grounds that it was misleading.
Yes! It was misleading. But...with this action it lost a valid and necessary way to measure the department's overall performance.
A Revised BGCSE Benchmark
What we have now from the ministry and department are anecdotal examples of educational achievement that are true but do not address the broader issue of non-performance.
There are "theoretical" discussions of learning without reference to academic under-achievement, illiteracy and drop-out rates; and there is the displacement of responsibility with a discussion of the dysfunctional family.
In short there is the appearance of simply defending the status quo.
The department must face the humiliating reality of its past and present...acknowledge it...dramatize it...and earn creditability. Otherwise today's administration will always appear as part of the problem rather than the solution.
It should use the BGCSE public school data for all subjects and for English and Math separately. It should start this in connection with a new 10-year plan.
This giant step is necessary because any effective program to end the scourge of academic under-achievement and illiteracy is likely to elicit an immediate and powerful opposition.
This is what is happening across America in cities like Madison, Wisconsin,  New York City and New Jersey. Washington, D,C., unfortunately, started a successful reform program but now may be in retreat because of an effective union-managed political counter attack.
A New Vision
But...many, many school districts are turning toward the Harlem Children's Zone and the Knowledge Is Power Program education templates presented in the "Waiting For Superman" documentary; and they are applying them to their districts.
For instance, there appear to be three such districts in the state of Florida alone.
The Bahamas needs a commanding educational and political vision that will carry the country through the inevitable brutal political storm in order to reach the promised land...the cure to the scourge...the end of under achievement and illiteracy, near permanent learning impairment and reduced life-time earnings.
That New Vision could entail either  a.) the transfer of the Harlem Children's Zone template to The Bahamas with its "U. S. Inner-City" learning software, teaching techniques, training and critical experienced personnel, or b.) a more modest effort that the department would define.
But either effort must start with it identifying its most ineffective teachers, moving them out of the classroom and replacing them with higher quality teachers, even foreign teachers, if necessary.
This is that critical incremental investment in the nation's human capital that would help the country avoid the social, political and economic disaster that surely will come with the status quo.
 
About the author
Ralph J Massey is an economist and since 2003 has been a consultant on public policy issues.
He graduated from Case University magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in economics and as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society. He entered the University of Chicago as a Harry A Millis Fellow in Labor and Industrial Relations, earned a master's degree in economics and left the university as a research associate in the Department of Economics. His course advisor was Milton Friedman, the Nobel Laureate.
His business career covered 37 years with four major companies. At Kimberly-Clark Corporation, for instance, he was assistant treasurer and at Chemical Bank he was the offshore banking manager of the Bank of New Providence, Nassau, Bahamas. He was a founding member of Nassau Institute and has been a contributor to the Coalition for Education Reform.

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News Article
Do we need to look at our immigration laws

Dear Editor,
Parliamentarians, I am calling on you to take a serious look at our illegal immigrants crisis. I will start with an example of a Bible story that talks about when the children of Israel entered Egypt they were numbered as 70 persons. By the time all that generation died, their descendants were just over 2 million (Exodus-Numbers). They outnumbered the Egyptians in Egypt and the king of Egypt was very concerned that if war broke out, they would be defeated. When they went into Egypt they were the children of Israel. And when Moses led them out, they were still the children of Israel. So what are we doing about our situation?
If we don't have an administration that takes this illegal immigrants crisis seriously, we will continue to be in crisis. For example, there are far too many shantytowns with each having over 100 illegal immigrants. When the question is asked as to what we are going to do about these shantytowns the normal response given is that Bahamians are living in these towns too. This is an unacceptable excuse as to why we allow them to continue to exist.
If we need a change in our immigration laws, then please, let us do what needs to be done. We can't continue like this. The problem is already out of control and if permitted to continue, the problem will become more and more pervasive.
So far, it appears to me that the administrations over the years, former and present, have failed the Bahamian people as it relates to them not dealing with this issue. We need to fix this problem before it is too late.
The amount it costs us per year to repatriate illegal immigrants is always pronounced, but the question I have is how much of our yearly budget financially supports the cost we incur per year to take care of the immigrants here illegally? Can anyone or any administration produce these numbers? It crushes me considering that our public debt is well over $3 billion. How much of this debt relating to illegal immigration is being absorbed by us, the Bahamians?
Some of the negative effects experienced by us are as follows:
o For 2011 thus far, it has been reported that about 1,200 illegal immigrants have been sent back to their homelands. And I believe, out of that repatriated group, some have already returned. This is not fair to Bahamians.
o The school system is overcrowded. It is alleged that the illegal children are entering the school system by recycling birth certificates. I am demanding that this matter be looked into. How will our children have a quality education in this type of environment? It is not a surprise that our national grade is a "D" average with a system like this.
o I believe a great number of the crimes in our country are being committed by unfamiliar illegal persons. This is continuously being displayed on our local news.
o Our medical clinics and hospital are overly burdened by unfamiliar illegal persons. When Bahamians go to be serviced by our country's public medical officers, they are faced with the issue that beds are not available or they must wait hours to be served.
o Too many shantytowns could cause diseases and outbreaks because they don't have the proper infrastructure e.g., plumbing, water, etc. Moreover, it is clear why our fire budget increased. The three towns that recently burned used some of our resources and created a cost for us. What else needs to happen in these shantytowns? How many more fires must take place? What needs to take place with these illegal immigrants before our parliamentarians take this illegal situation seriously?
o Illegal use of our electricity by them has also become an economic burden because the cost of fuel is placed on the backs of Bahamian taxpayers.
o It seems to me that in some facets of our society, we are already outnumbered.
We are almost to the point where, in our country, we don't know who is who. Why should illegal immigrants live in our country and enjoy all the benefits designed for Bahamians for free? All Bahamians must strive and pay their way. Why should they be able to dwell on the land, enjoy our infrastructure and other systems for free and Bahamians have to pay for the property they own and dwell on? In my opinion, this is unacceptable.
In conclusion, administrations over the years have failed to deal with the matter at hand a very important issue. Bahamians must obey the law of their land and so should the illegal immigrants. I am calling on all Bahamians to speak up on this immigration issue for the sake of our children and grandchildren.
Please put this issue on top of your agenda. As Bahamian citizens, we can't afford to lose control of our country to illegal immigrants. I want to assure you that if we don't take this situation in hand, we will lose control of our country.
But the question still remains, in whose hands will the future of our country, The Bahamas, be in? Will it be our children and grandchildren or the children and grandchildren of these illegal immigrants? I am calling this situation a sleeping giant. Please let's get this resolved.
Yours, etc.,
Rev. Esther Dawkins-Thompson
 

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News Article
Minister Grant carries out site inspection of the Straw Market

Nassau The Bahamas - Public
Works and Transport Minister the Hon. Neko C. Grant is "extremely" pleased with
the progress of the construction of the new Bay Street Straw Market.

On December 15, 2009 a
contract was awarded to Cavalier Construction in the amount of $11,294,468.86
for the construction of the new Straw Market on the old market site.

Mr. Grant along with senior
officials including Colin Higgs, permanent secretary, John Canton, director and
Livingston Forbes, chief architect made a site-inspection of the work on
September 17...

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News Article
Michael Colebrooke awarded Public Servant of the Year

Nassau, Bahamas - The Public Servant of The Year, Michael
Colebrooke, was awarded a plaque and a gift by Minister of Labour and
Social Development the Hon. Dion Foulkes and Permanent Secretary Barbara
Burrows at the Department of Social Services on Thompson Boulevard on
Wednesday, June 8, 2011.

Mr. Colebrooke is seen here with

Minister Foulkes...

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News Article
200 Chinesefor road work

By KRYSTEL ROLLE
Guardian Staff Reporter
krystel@nasguard.com

The House of Assembly last night approved a resolution for the government to borrow nearly$58 million from the China Export-Import Bank to construct a four-lane airport highway.
The project will mean the grant of 200 work permits for Chinese laborers, but also a very low interest rate for the loan.
Expressing concerns about growing government debt as well as the foreign labor component of the airport road plan, opposition MPs voted against the resolution, but Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said the Progressive Liberal Party does not speak for the majority of the Bahamian people.
"By our deeds they know us,"Ingraham said....

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News Article
Government still undecided on BP compensation

By JAMMAL SMITH
Guardian Business Reporter
jammal@nasguard.com

The government is still assessing whether or not The Bahamas will seek compensation from British Petroleum(BP)as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, with an official from the Ministry of Environment saying a final decision has not been made yet.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of

Environment Ronald Thompson told Guardian Business that the government hasn't determined whether it will seek reimbursement. The oil spill, which was caused in April when the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, initially posed a threat to the country.
"The government has not really determined whethe ...

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News Article
Honoring 'model' fathers

Assistant Commissioner of Police John Ferguson and President of Freedom Farm Baseball League Greg Burrows will be honored at the 12th annual One Night Family Conference under the theme "The Fall of Man ... The Mystery Revealed."
Burrows is being honored for his enthusiasm for the game of baseball that has affected thousands of Bahamian children and adults, and for developing an organization that caters to more than 700 children playing the game from January through June yearly.
"Because Greg believes that anything can happen if you put your mind to it, he has never let the lack of money stop anything," said conference organizer Quinton Bethell of Burrows who started the Freedom Farm Baseball League at a field on Joe Farrington Road, when he asked permission of the owner to use the field to teach baseball.  The league now plays from a site in Yamacraw Beach Estates.  "He [Burrows] has never let the lack of money stop anything.  If he can't raise it through donations or sponsorship, he gives it himself, [and] he's not a man of means by any stretch of the imagination, but the lack of money will not be the reason for stopping any project at Freedom Farm" says Bethell.
The host of the one night conference says Burrows is being honored because he's a firm believer in intervention, and believes that there is no such thing as a "lost" child, and that every child can be productive if given guidance.
"Greg has been instrumental in getting many young men into schools abroad through baseball.  Many of them are now doctors, lawyers, engineers, bankers, and in return are now giving of their time and working with Bahamian youngsters at Freedom Farm.
Ferguson, a minister at the Church of God of Prophecy, is the founder of Big Harvest Community Sunday School, a non-profit, non-denominational community-based entity situated on Woods Alley, off Market Street, that caters specifically to underprivileged children and at-risk youth in the inner city.  The program has an enrollment of more than 400 children.
Burrows and Ferguson will be honored on Friday, June 17 at Worker's House on Tonique Williams-Darling Highway at 7:30 p.m.
Bethell's goal through his Save The Fathers Ministries program is to bring the honor of the father back to the homes, churches and society, while at the same time giving support to widows in distress and speaking out on the importance of a two-parent home with an aim of restoring the family with a father and a mother according to biblical truth.
In an effort to save the fathers, Minister Quinton Bethell hopes to establish a place from which the ministry conducts it's administrative affairs as well as provide counselling for fathers, mothers and children with a view to bringing them to the knowledge of their purpose for existence and receiving their destiny, and educate society to the importance of fathers.
"Our Vision is to see that fathers regain their position of authority and honor in their homes, churches and society," says Bethell. "We want to see fathers in a position to give their spouses and children the love and security that godly husband/fathers should give.  We want to see fathers provide financial, moral and spiritual support for their families, and we want to see families restored with fathers and mothers living according to biblical truth."
Bethell says God, the Creator of the first family, has a clear standard for the family: The head of the woman is the man (1Cor 11:3).  Man is the image of God and the woman is the glory of the man. (1Cor 11:7). Woman was made for man. (1 Cor 11:8,9. Wives must submit unto their husbands, as head unto the Lord, for the husband is head of the wife as Christ is head of the Church. (Eph. 5:22,23). Husbands were commanded to love their wives as Christ loves the church. (Eph 5:25). Fathers are to train, discipline and teach their children. (Eph 6:4, Prov 22:6, Eph 5:23). Children are to obey their parents (Eph 6:1-2).
 
 
 

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News Article
Deveaux did not admit guilt by resignation

THE LATEST scuttlebut making the rounds of the political rumour mill is that by offering his resignation to Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, Environment Minister Earl Deveaux admitted he was wrong to accept the invitation of Prince Karim Aga Khan to fly in his helicopter to the prince's private island in the Exumas. According to rumour mongers it is an admission by the Minister that the helicopter ride compromised his ability to make an objective decision on the Prince's application for permission to develop his island in the Exuma Land and Sea Park.

Those persons spreading the rumour are either completely ignorant of the Westminster system of parliamentary government, or they are malicious ...

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News Article
Minister of Foreign Affairs to address 65th UN General Assembly

NASSAU, The Bahamas - Deputy
Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration the Hon
Brent Symonette is leading The Bahamas' delegation to the Sixty-Fifth
Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Ministry
announced Thursday.

The General Debate of the 65th
Session of the General Assembly will take place from September 23 to
25 and from the 27 to 30.  Mr. Symonette is scheduled to address
the General Assembly on Tuesday, September 28.

The Bahamas delegation will
include Marilyn Zonicle, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
Ambassador Paulette Bethel, Bahamas Permanent Representative to...

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Business Category

News Article
LATEST HOMICIDE PROMPTS CONCERNS OVER LIQUOR STORES AND BARS

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Staff Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

FED UP with the "senseless crime" that they feel has permeated communities across the capital, pastors, business owners and concerned residents met at the scene of the latest homicide to call attention to the deterioration of social values.

Deterioration they feel is largely due to the volume and proximity of liquor stores and bars in residential areas.

The area was reported by the community leaders to have at least 15 bars, but not one community centre or park.

Bishop Simeon Hall said: "Somebody should take responsibility for these liquor outlets. We need community action, we need forms of local governm ...

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News Article
Shareholder rift continues at the Hilton

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

The fallout from the boardroom battle at the British Colonial Hilton continues to rumble on, Tribune Business can reveal, with its Canadian pension fund investor urging its fellow shareholder to inform the Registrar General that the agreement governing their 'partnership' remains in force.

A September 1, 2010, letter from Canadian QC, Alan Lenezner, on behalf of the Canadian Commercial Workers Industry Pension Plan (CCWIPP), to legal representatives of Swiss/UK-based private equity house, Adurion, also urged that their client withdraw an application to the Central Bank of the Bahamas for permission to refinance the $19 million loan at the cent ...

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News Article
Bahamas elected to OAS Budget Committee

WASHINGTON,
DC -- Dr Nicola Virgill-Rolle of The Bahamas has been elected Vice Chair of the
Organization of American States (OAS) Committee on Administrative and Budgetary
Affairs (CAAP) of the Permanent Council, a key role in the OAS, particularly
during a time of severe economic stress on the multilateral body.

In her
capacity as vice chair of the CAAP, Dr Rolle is also serving as Chair of the
Working Group to Prepare the Draft Resolution on the

Program-Budget for 2011.

This year a
Special Session of the General Assembly will be held by September 30 to approve
the program budget of the OAS.

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News Article
Ministry set to host one day Conclave on Sports Authority Bill

By BRENT STUBBS

Senior Sports Reporter

bstubbs@tribunemedia.net

WITH the new national stadium expected to be completed early next year, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture is trying to ensure that its stakeholders are kept abreast of the new regulations that will be put in place.

Today, starting at 10 a.m., the Ministry will host a Conclave on the Sports Authority Bill. The one-day meeting will take place on the ground floor of the ministry.

The purpose of the conclave is for the federations and associations to voice their sentiments on the drafting of the Bill, which is available for all to view on the Government's website www.bahamas.gov.bs.

Eugene Pratt, the Deputy Permane ...

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News Article
Government still undecided on BP compensation

By JAMMAL SMITH
Guardian Business Reporter
jammal@nasguard.com
The government is still assessing whether or not The Bahamas will seek compensation from British Petroleum(BP)as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, with an official from the Ministry of Environment saying a final decision has not been made yet.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of
Environment Ronald Thompson told Guardian Business that the government hasn't determined whether it will seek reimbursement. The oil spill, which was caused in April when the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, initially posed a threat to the country.
"The government has not really determined wheth ...

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News Article
Nominations open for GB Chamber's 3rd Annual Business Excellence Awards

Freeport, Bahamas - Its the Grand Bahama Chamber Of Commerce 3rd Annual Business Excellence Awards Night ~ coming this November!

 

We
all know of someone in business who continues to give excellent
service, even during these challenging economic times.  Why not take a
minute to recognize these special persons with your nomination.  

Deadline for nominations is November 5, 2010.  Self nomination is
permitted. 

Last year's winners are as follows...

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News Article
900m resort project eyes 700 full-time jobs

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

A RESORT project involving a Phase I investment of $900 million and 600-700 permanent jobs is planning to formally apply for government approvals in July, as it aims to establish a cruise port and five-six star hotel facilities in south Eleuthera.

Daniel Evans, chief executive of Beka Development, the developer of the South Point Resort project, told Tribune Business that Phase 1 was likely to employ between 500-1,000 Bahamian construction workers "under direct contract" and, when completed, the development would provide visitors with "300 hours of amenities and 300 hours of activities".

Telling this newspaper that bringing the Sout ...

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