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News Article

March 27, 2012
ingraham's complete takeover of the FNM's identity

I am quite
concerned about the direction in which the Free National Movement (FNM)
is headed.  It appears that since Hubert Ingraham returned as leader of
the FNM in 2005 he has made it his mission to be the sole face of the
FNM.  So much so, that some of the FNM's constituency offices barely
display the faces of the candidates, but are decorated with the image of
Ingraham.  This continues a trend which was clearly evident during the
Elizabeth by-election.  For the number of Hubert Ingraham's posters
nailed to trees and light poles, you hardly knew that Dr. Duane Sands
was the candidate in that by-election.  No wonder he blew it after the
entire Cabinet invaded and occupied Elizabeth and brought with them the
full resources of the government...

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News Article

April 24, 2012
A cavalier disregard for facts

On a recent morning radio show on the new Guardian Radio station, a host chastised politicians for lacking the will to address various issues concerning young men. The fact that in that morning's Nassau Guardian was a story on the government giving $1 million in grants for urban outreach programs targeted mostly to young people, young men in particular, seems to have eluded the host.
Perhaps it was too much to ask that the host read even the newspaper owned by the company operating the station on which the host blabbered the vapid commentary.
Here again we were treated to a shop-worn cliché about politicians. It is one in a collection of clichés and lazy thinking. Others include, "the country (it could be any country) is going to hell", which has been a refrain since the Treaty of Westphalia codified the nation-state in 1648.
Alas, with notable exceptions, this is typical fare on talk radio where fact-checking has also become a dying art. This medium of mass communication is littered with channels of mass misinformation and downright disinformation by some.
More distressing is the uninformed commentary by those one assumes should know better. Recently, there was an unexpectedly disappointing letter to the editor on the state of political affairs in the country including the 2012 election cycle.
As society holds academics to a high standard of intellectual rigor, one expects more balanced and substantive analysis from someone in academia. One also expects analysis that is fact-driven and properly researched.

Disingenuous
The letter was not a well-crafted intellectual argument. It was disingenuous. Not because the individual is ill-willed. Indeed, the writer appears well-meaning in terms of concern for the country. It was disingenuous because it indulged in a series of gross overstatements and cavalier disregard of readily available facts.
The letter was lacking in historical and global perspective, yet another example of navel-gazing with little contextualizing of domestic affairs within the broader scope of global current affairs.
The letter writer posited: "One could argue (and I certainly would) that for four of the past five years, there was no governance at all, but just more of this sparring in the House of Assembly, just more trading of insults back and forth across the floor, while the world got on with changing its foundations all around us and the ground on which our society and economy rest crumbles away."
Such commentary is neither convincing nor dispositive. Any casual observer of the fierce parliamentary debates in a host of parliamentary democracies including the UK would view our political back-and-forth as tame.
The often vituperative nature of Australian politics would make the heads of many Bahamians spin. This is not new for Australia. It has a history of rough-and-tumble politics. Yet, Australia is often viewed as one of the better run countries.
To provide as evidence for our supposed lack of governance, the fierce nature of political debate would mean that Great Britain has not been governed for centuries. In democracies like South Korea and Japan, parliamentary sessions have degenerated into fist-fights. Are these countries also without governance?
But the claim of "no governance" belies other realities. That not a single civil servant was laid off during the Great Recession was not an easy feat. If more academics and civil servants were laid off in The Bahamas over the past five years, as has been the case in other countries, perhaps more of them would have a deeper appreciation of how tough it was to hold the country together.

Shocking
Not only were no civil servants laid off. There were also no cuts in salaries and benefits, and increments are on the horizon. It is shocking how cavalier is the analysis of some when they are not daily confronted with the enormous challenges of governing including prioritizing the apportionment of limited resources.
This supposed period of "no governance" achieved: $25 million more in scholarships for students attending The College of The Bahamas, the retraining of nearly 4,000 moderate income Bahamians, the introduction of a prescription drug benefit, the introduction of a landmark unemployment benefit, millions invested in new health facilities, new entrepreneurial programs for young people, and the most comprehensive upgrade of critical infrastructure in the nation's history inclusive of potable water and infrastructure urgently needed by Family Islanders.
None of these accomplishments magically appeared. They required leadership and governance. That the writer mentioned not one of these is more than being uninformed. Intellectual honesty requires an acknowledgment of facts.
The writer declared: "I have heard absolutely nothing from any party about what the future holds... The FNM has focussed very much on vague generalities like proven leadership and deliverance, and what has been done, largely in material, infrastructural terms, in the very recent past (one or two years at most)."
"Absolutely nothing"? This is intellectually disingenuous. Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham's over two dozen rally addresses since the beginning of the year contain considerably more than the usual political boilerplate. They are dense with policy and programmatic proposals.
Of note is a discussion of his vision for The Bahamas including his party's philosophy of development and ideas for urban redevelopment. His remarks in North Eleuthera addressed the balancing of domestic and foreign direct investment.
Either the letter writer has not bothered to research these or is being purposely misleading. If one has a view of the prime minister's proposals that would be fair commentary. But to claim that his speeches are mostly about sloganeering and infrastructure is exceedingly unfair and disingenuous.
The prime minister has proposed the development of Jubilee Bahamas (a 10-year National Plan), the Public Arts Project, a Parks and Recreation Authority, the Summer Institute for Boys, the Youth Development Centre, a Heritage Tourism Initiative, a Native Food Market for Over-the-Hill, an Economic and Development Council of Bahamians Overseas, an expanded mission for BTVI, and a further upgrade of post offices to government service centers.
The FNM's manifesto details proposals ranging from increasing the minimum wage, introducing National Catastrophic Health Insurance, the promotion of aquaculture and mariculture, the development of head start programs to improve literacy, numeracy and fundamental computer skills for all children by age five, the provision of "a school place or a stipend of up to $1,500 for all five-year-olds in approved educational institutions", a large-scale program of return migration to the Family Islands, a Bahamas Youth Development Corps, and others.

Wholesale
Again, not a single one of these was mentioned by the letter writer. What conclusion might one reach about the utter and wholesale exclusion of these facts?
Leaving aside the letter writer, it seems the self-imposed burden of some of the supposed cognoscenti and literati in developing countries is to decry the backwardness of our governance.
There is the regular excoriation of our politicians, our political process, our elections and our governance. There is the "dismay" and "outrage" at the way opposing political partisans tear the other side down.
How different this must be from more civilized countries supposedly so much better governed than The Bahamas? Perhaps these countries include a hyper-partisan United States or European Community states in the midst of a dire economic and political crisis related to their supposedly superior governance even as they slash their budgets and look to the International Monetary Fund for help.
In the frenzy of the enlightened denunciation by some of our supposed backwardness, perhaps they can offer more credible and cost-accounted policy prescriptions. Some of them might even enter frontline politics and discover the demands of governance.
There should be an immersion program called "Prime Minister for a Day". One imagines that just a day in the prime minister's chair would give rise to more insightful and convincing commentary than we are daily treated to in various media.
Politicians deserve neither pity nor unfettered adulation. But neither should they take seriously the simplistic assaults on their service in office, and the lack of acknowledgement of their accomplishments by those who do not accord them such common courtesy and basic fairness.
It is an intellectual conceit and a conceit of ignorance to fail to acknowledge such contributions by those politicians who love The Bahamas no less than those who breezily opine on affairs of state in pursuit of a hypothesis unconcerned with facts.

ofrontporchguardian@gmail.com
www.bahamapundit.com

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News Article

July 07, 2014
A genuine leader

"A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tomorrow, His Excellency Sir Arthur Foulkes will demit office as the ninth governor general of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, a position that he has held since April 14, 2010. By any measure, Bahamians from all walks of life and from both sides of the political divide will attest that he is unquestionably the very best son of the soil to hold the highest office in the land since the founding of our nation in 1973. Therefore this week, we would like to Consider This... What will be Sir Arthur's legacy?
The youthful years
Arthur Alexander Foulkes was born in Matthew Town, Inagua, May 11, 1928, son of the late Dr. William A. Foulkes and Julie Foulkes, nee Maisonneuve.
He was educated at public schools in Matthew Town and in Nassau and first worked at The Nassau Guardian as a linotype operator and proof-reader. He then joined The Tribune as a linotype operator in 1948 and took up journalism under the tutelage of editor and publisher Sir Etienne Dupuch, who made him a reporter and later appointed him news editor of The Tribune.
Political career
Sir Arthur was one of the founders of the National Committee for Positive Action, a think-tank and activist group within the PLP which supported the leadership of Sir Lynden Pindling and contributed significantly to the achievement of majority rule.
He drafted the PLP's petition to the United Nations Committee of 24 (on decolonization) and was a member of the Delegation of Eight that presented the petition in 1965. Sir Arthur wrote many political documents over the years, contributed to the manifestos of both major political parties and drafted the first platform of the Free National Movement in 1971.
Sir Arthur was founding editor of Bahamian Times, the official organ of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) from 1962 to 1967. He selected as its motto a quote from American emancipation crusader Frederick Douglass: "Without struggle there is no progress". That newspaper played a pivotal role in the campaign for majority rule which was achieved in the general elections of January 10, 1967.
Noted for his stirring oratory in the 60s, Sir Arthur was elected to Parliament in 1967 and served in various political offices over the years, including minister of communications and minister of tourism in the PLP government.
Under his leadership, the Ministry of Tourism recorded impressive gains in 1969. It was also on his ministerial watch in 1968 that a Bahamas-based airline, International Air Bahama, flew to Europe for the first time and he was instrumental in enabling black Bahamian stewardesses to work on international flights not only to America but to Europe as well. As minister of communications, he presided over the complete Bahamianization of the management of BaTelCo, the national public telephone corporation.
Sir Arthur was one of the Dissident Eight who rejected the leadership of Sir Lynden in 1970 and broke away from the PLP, forming the Free PLP. In 1971, he was a founder of the Free National Movement. He was appointed to the Senate in 1972 and 1977 and reelected to the House of Assembly in 1982.
During his public career, Sir Arthur attended many international conferences and, in 1972, was one of four opposition delegates to The Bahamas Independence Constitution Conference in London. He drafted the opposition memorandum for the conference and was primarily responsible for the drafting of the preamble to the Bahamian Constitution.
In the 1970s, when opposition forces in the country seemed hopelessly splintered, Sir Arthur, together with others, initiated arduous negotiations which finally resulted in a united opposition under the leadership of Sir Kendal Isaacs in time for the 1982 elections.
Later, he was a columnist for The Guardian and The Tribune and, from 2002 to 2007, resumed his popular column, "To The Point", in The Tribune.
Sir Arthur, the diplomat
In 1992 Sir Arthur entered the diplomatic service of The Bahamas as high commissioner to the United Kingdom and ambassador to France, Germany, Italy, Belgium and the European Union (resident in London).
He represented The Bahamas to the African Caribbean Pacific Group in Brussels, was permanent representative to the International Maritime Organization and also Doyen of the Caribbean diplomatic corps in the United Kingdom. He also founded Friends of The Bahamas, a London-based association.
In 1999 he was appointed the first Bahamas ambassador to the People's Republic of China and ambassador to the Republic of Cuba, both nonresident posts.
In 2001 he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG) by Queen Elizabeth II and on April 14, 2010 he became the nation's ninth governor general.
A profound and perpetual legacy
Sir Arthur served as an exemplary head of state. He is first and foremost a nationalist, whose credentials as such were unquestionable and unassailable. He is one of those individuals who can unquestionably be described as one of the "fathers of the nation" or "heroes of the revolution". He is a nationally unifying force and his short tenure as governor general was devoid of any hint of the profound partisan divisions that are present in so many facets of Bahamian life.
Notwithstanding his reservations regarding the timing for independence for The Bahamas, he is without question a powerful proponent for national freedom and strong supporter of state sovereignty.
Sir Arthur is the kind of unique Bahamian who has managed to stay the course and rise above the fray, keeping his ideals and beliefs constant and unwavering in spite of the storms that sometimes seethed around him. In short, he has become an example of how an active and politically passionate person can also be a force for harmony and common sense across the great political divide.
There is no doubt that he will demit office far too soon, only four short years after assuming the highest position in the land. There is also no doubt that, unlike so many others in public life, he has chosen to depart on his terms and his timetable, at the pinnacle of his public profession.
Sir Arthur's humility, his deep love of and for The Bahamas and Bahamians, his enormous depth of knowledge about the land and people of his birth, his eloquent and elegant employment of the English language and his globally-informed world view are but a few of the elements that have crafted the person whom we have come to know as our ninth governor general.
As he travels through the gates of Government House and descends Mount Fitzwilliam on Tuesday, July 8 one last time as our governor general, and is driven through the streets of New Providence on his way to a place of placid retirement from active public life, the smile that will likely grace Sir Arthur's face will be one of contentment and great satisfaction.
He will be pleased that, as he demits office, his legacy is fully and eternally ensconced and embedded in the annals of Bahamian history - a legacy that symbolizes all that is good about The Bahamas: our courage in adversity, our capability to withstand and overcome hardship, our dignity in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges and our innate kindness and graciousness toward our fellow human beings, no matter their race, religion, economic status or political persuasion. History will recognize Sir Arthur Foulkes as a governor general for the ages.
o Philip C. Galanis is the managing partner of HLB Galanis and Co., Chartered Accountants, Forensic & Litigation Support Services. He served 15 years in parliament. Please send your comments to pgalanis@gmail.com.

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News Article

June 02, 2014
Callenders names new Grand Bahama partner

Callenders & Co. has announced the appointment of its newest partner, civil litigator Jacqueline Banona.
"We are pleased to announce the appointment of Jackie Banona who becomes the third partner in our Freeport office," said Fred Smith, Queen's Counsel (QC) and managing partner, Grand Bahama.
"From the moment she joined Callenders, Jackie was an instant fit and as we got to know her better, her dedication, the depth of her intellect, her thoroughness and her ability to grasp the details of the most complex case impressed everyone. As a litigator, she is a tiger, a very tough opponent and in this profession, that's the highest compliment you can bestow on someone."
Banona was born in Uganda, East Africa. She obtained her Bachelor of Laws degree at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, where she completed her postgraduate bar course at the Law Development Centre.
Banona was admitted to practice in the High Court of Uganda in 2005 and is certified by the Supreme Court of The Bahamas to practice in The Bahamas.
This was the second time in as many years Callenders bolstered its roster of partners. In January, 2013, Callenders announced the appointments of Llewellyn Boyer-Cartwright, Courtney Pearce and Simone Morgan-Gomez to its Nassau office.
Founded more than 110 years ago, Callenders has twice been recognized as the country's best corporate law firm by Corporate INTL.
In 2011, Nassau managing partner, Colin Callender, QC, a descendant of the firm's founding attorney, became the first and only attorney in The Bahamas and one of only five worldwide outside the United States to be elected a director of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.
Callenders maintains offices in downtown Nassau, at Lyford Cay and in Grand Bahama.

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News Article

April 05, 2014
'Brave' for PLP leader

Dear Editor,
The executive council of the National Republican Alliance (ARENA) held its monthly meeting last evening (April 3, 2014) at our central offices located at East Street and Andros Avenue.
There were several items on the agenda, inclusive of: web shop regulation and taxation; crime and punishment; the performance of the PLP and, of course, our political support for generational leadership changes in the PLP at the appropriate juncture.
ARENA fully supports the regulation and taxation of web shops. We agreed to urge the government and parliamentarians to impose a minimum annual taxation rate of 30 percent on the gross revenues. An annual license should be issued to the five major operators for $5 million each. If they wish, they can open or franchise as many outlets as the market will sustain at $250,000 each per annum.
Strict vetting must be done along with criminal background checks for all proposed operators. No one should be allowed to hide behind 'the corporate veil'. An insurance bond, to ensure performance, should also be required in the amount of $10 million minimum per operator.
ARENA also demands transparency and strict adherence to ethical standards by parliamentarians and the government on this issue. There should be no allegations of 'payola' or pay to play.
The police are doing an excellent job crime-wise. The problem, if there is one, would appear to be the revolving door system created by the granting of bail. Crime, contrary to what the 'lost in space' leader of the FNM is postulating, is not 'smothering' the nation. Yes, there are issues of concern here in New Providence but, overall, the Family Islands retain their innocent status.
The FNM and the out of touch DNA are merely posturing for brownie points and talking out of their co-jointed heads. Minnis has pretensions of becoming PM one day. McCartney, apparently, is delusional from a political point. Will he still be 'leader' of the DNA come 2017? When are they going to hold a national conclave or convention?
ARENA stands fully behind the eventual ascendency of the Hon. Philip 'Brave' Davis (PLP-Cat Island), the DPM and minister of works, to the leadership of the PLP. Either the Hon. Shane Gibson (PLP-Golden Gates), minister of labor, or the Hon. Michael Halkitis (PLP-Golden Isles), minister of state for finance, would make an ideal deputy leader of the PLP.
ARENA will canvas assiduously for the election of Brave as leader of the PLP when it is time for the current leader to step down or aside. We will take 'no prisoners' and we shall not be distracted. All who come up against us, so long as they are of flesh and blood, will be defeated in the political arena.

- Godfrey Collie
ARENA Secretary General

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News Article

April 23, 2012
Campaign financing: A better way

"We need real campaign finance reform to loosen the grip of special interests on politics." - Tom Daschle

Every five years around election time, incessant lip service is paid to campaign financing. It can only be lip service because after the ballots have been cast, counted and catalogued, the notion of campaign finance reform retires to hibernation - that is, until the next general election. Therefore, this week, we would like to Consider This...what practical approaches can we realistically take regarding how we finance political campaigns in The Bahamas?
Unquestionably, politics has become an extremely expensive exercise. When one considers the cost of political rallies, paraphernalia, including T-shirts and other garments now available, flags, posters, signage, printing of flyers, advertisements, including newspaper, radio and television broadcasts and commercials, the cost is staggering. Let's not forget the direct cost of personnel employed by political parties; the cost of constituency offices, sometimes four or five, particularly in the Family Islands; the cost of electricity, water, and telephones; the cost of food and beverages; of political consultants; and the printing of party platforms. When these and other costs are considered, the real cost of staging a general election could very easily cost $250,000 per constituency or nearly $10 million per party. So how are political parties expected to finance such a mammoth undertaking?

Using the public purse
It has become commonplace for the government of the day to use the power of the public purse to significantly finance its party's political campaign. We observed this practice when the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) was in power; we witnessed it in the by-election in Elizabeth two years ago; and we are seeing it again in the current general election. While this has been a common practice, the Free National Movement (FNM) government seems to have taken this phenomenon to new heights.
Shortly after announcing the general election of 2012, the government launched a record contract signing marathon. The $12 million contract for the construction of a new clinic in North Abaco and a multimillion-dollar contract for a new hospital in Exuma are a few examples of this.
Last weekend, amidst great public fanfare at police headquarters, the prime minister awarded $1 million to charitable organizations. Ironically, this is the same government that - only one year earlier - reduced the government's subvention to such organizations during the annual budget debate in the House of Assembly. This is the same government that discontinued the extremely effective YEAST program that provided a positive prototype for young Bahamian men at risk and the same government that canceled the effective and internationally celebrated urban renewal program established by the PLP.
No matter which party is in power, an intelligent and discerning public should look askance at the government of the day exploiting and abusing the public purse in order to win votes after elections have been called.

Campaign contributions
In The Bahamas, political campaigns are predominantly financed by contributions from persons, companies, and organizations that believe in the democratic process and want to ensure that the message of the political party that they support is widely and successfully disseminated.
In the absence of campaign finance laws, there are no restrictions on who can contribute to a political party and how much they can donate. Accordingly, anyone -- Bahamians and foreigners - can contribute any amount to anyone at any time without any accountability whatsoever. The real question that we must address for the future health of our democracy is whether this is a desirable practice?
It has become customary for political contributions to be made in private, sometimes on the condition of confidentiality and often in secrecy with only a select few members of the party knowledgeable regarding the source of the funds.
Campaign 2012 has seen a new development in political funding. During the last few mass rallies, the prime minister has publicly appealed from the podium for campaign contributions, describing it as a further deepening of our democracy by allowing the public to become investors in his party. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, it is unprecedented and uncharacteristic. We have never before seen this prime minister - or any other for that matter - beg for money from a public podium.
It therefore begs the question: why has he done so now, during what he says is his last campaign? He alluded to the answer to this question on Thursday past at a mass rally on R. M. Bailey Park when he said that he will not tolerate anyone in his Cabinet who has financially benefited from conflicts of interest.
We believe that he made this appeal for financial contributions because, while the FNM is still well-funded by those wealthy interest groups who support him in order to continue reaping his government's largess, some of his traditional sources of funding are less generous than they have been in the past. This is possibly because he has cut some of his more financially well-connected candidates for reasons already stated and reiterated again from that podium last Thursday in a purposefully vague but very revealing way.

Campaign finance reform
Clearly, as the prime minister is opening party funding up to the masses in ways never seen before, the time has come to enact campaign financing legislation. There are several things that can be done in order to impose strict controls for campaign fund-raising, primarily to level the playing field and to minimize disparate levels of funding campaigns by the various political parties. Campaign financing legislation should also establish disclosure requirements with respect to funding and spending in elections.
Such a law could introduce statutory limits on contributions by individuals, organizations and companies, which would remove the influence of big money from politics and should also prohibit foreign influences from invading the local political process.
There should also be limits on large potential donors to prevent them from gaining extraordinary political access or favorable legislation or other concessions in return for their contributions. Campaign finance laws should also provide for the capping of such funding and for the disclosure of sources of campaign contributions and expenditures. It should also limit or prohibit government contractors from making contributions with respect to such elections.
Campaign financing legislation could even provide for matching funds by the government for all the candidates in order to ensure that the playing field truly is level and to enhance clean elections.
Finally, in order to more vigilantly protect the public purse, the law should strictly prohibit a government from signing any new contracts after general or by-elections are called.

Conclusion
Campaigns will become more expensive as time progresses. As we mature politically, we should seek to ensure that political parties operate on a level playing field and remove the barriers to participation in the democratic process because of a lack of funding. If we want to encourage the best and the brightest citizens to enter into the elective political arena, we should seek to eliminate the observation of U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton that: "Elections are more often bought than won".

Philip C. Galanis is the managing partner of HLB Galanis & Co., Chartered Accountants, Forensic & Litigation Support Services. He served 15 years in Parliament. Please send your comments to pgalanis@gmail.com.

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News Article

May 22, 2011
Chainmen return to work at Lands and Surveys

Six chainmen who were supposed to be transferred from the Department of Lands and Surveys to the Ministries of Works and Housing this week will remain in their positions for now, according to Bahamas Public Services Union Vice President Stephen Douglas.
The chainmen — who assist surveyors — protested outside the department’s East Bay Street offices on Tuesday, the day before they were supposed to report to their new posts.
They said they had only been given a letter a week prior indicating where they should report on May 18.
Department of Lands and Surveys Director Alexander Flowers said on Tuesday that the men were being transferred because they were not being fully util ...

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News Article

August 09, 2011
DeVry Inc. Announces Acquisition of American University of the Caribbean

Downers Grove, Ill. - DeVry Inc. (NYSE:DV), a global provider of
educational services, today announced it has acquired the business
operations of privately held American University of the Caribbean (AUC).
AUC's medical school campus is located in St. Maarten, and its
administrative offices are located in Coral Gables, Fla.

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News Article

April 01, 2014
Marathon Bahamas launches 2015 registration

Marathon Bahamas, the country's most popular winter running event, renowned for its incredible oceanfront and historical course, has officially launched general registration.
Early-bird registration fees are applicable to all event categories: Marathon, half-marathon and four-person relay. Online and mail-in registration is now available at http://marathonbahamas.com/. In- person registration is available at Sunshine Insurance's offices (East Shirley Street and Baillou Hill Road). To take advantage of the early registration offer, runners must register by June 14, 2015 when the fees increase incrementally.
On January 18, runners and walkers will line the street of Junkanoo Beach for the 6:00 am start of the 6th annual Marathon Bahamas (26.2 miles), Half Marathon (13.1 miles) and four-person relay (6.2, 6.9, 5.6 and 7.5 miles).
The world-class event is the only marathon in the island nation, and draws a strong international field on a partially shaded and mostly flat course that parallels the northern shoreline.
The event is IAAF-certified and is a Boston qualifier. Participants will be treated to 25 aid stations along the course, entertainment, cheer zones and encouraging spectators as they make their trek to the finish line.
The finish line, for all athletes, is Arawak Cay and those who cross it will receive a commemorative authentic medal before enjoying a post-race celebration that includes entertainment and Junkanoo and photo opportunities.
Authentic awards are for the overall, masters and five-year age groups.
Marathon Bahamas 2014 attracted more than 1100 runners from 18 countries and 19 U.S. states. The annual Susan G. Komen Bahamas Race for the Cure 5k precedes the marathon on Saturday and celebrates survivorship, remembering those who have not. Proceeds are contributed to research, education and a cure.
"Marathon Bahamas connects runners with the excitement and inspiration that months of training brings to the starting line," says Franklyn Wilson, chairman of Sunshine Insurance Race Weekend. "At the same time, you're running a well-organized event on one of the most scenic oceanfront courses ever."
The named beneficiaries for the weekend of events are: The Cancer Society of The Bahamas; Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, Sister Sister Beast Cancer Support Group, Bahamas Breast Cancer Initiative and the Cancer Society of Grand Bahama. One hundred percent of the proceeds stay within The Bahamas.
In addition to the title sponsor of Sunshine Insurance, the event enjoys ongoing sponsorship from Atlantis, Emera, GU, Gatorade, Sports Center, Scotiabank, Royal Bank of Canada, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Sports, Bahamas Waste and Bahamas Telecommunications Company, among others.
Marathon Bahamas facts and figures
o More than 600 international athletes attended the 2014 weekend event contributing to more than $2.5 million into the local economy.
o The race does not offer prize money, focusing instead on providing the 'everyman' with the highest quality bang for the buck.
o The race has doubled in attendance during the past five years in spite of recession.
o The race is The Bahamas' only marathon.
o More than $250,000 has been donated to charities from 2010-2013.

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News Article

July 31, 2014
Small, two-woman company making waves with ready-to-move-in furniture packages for new construction

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Mention construction and instant images of concrete blocks, cement and hard-scrapple men in hard hats come to mind.
But in The Bahamas, a softer side of construction is emerging, thanks to a two-woman company that is transforming newly-built condos and townhomes into inviting, move-in-ready homes. It's the post-construction final touch, the luxurious-looking, highly affordable fully-furnished option that is easing buyer stress and boosting developer sales.
The company is UpStage Bahamas Ltd. Launched just over a year ago, UpStage has created and provided furniture packages for more than two dozen properties. They've furnished sophisticated offices in Nassau, five high-end condominiums, including one at Ocean Club Estates, 19 mid-prized and starter home condos and a large private residence at Balmoral. This week, UpStage revealed its latest work -- two show homes at Venetian West, a 211-unit gated community complete with pool, tennis court, clubhouse and other amenities just south of the Old Fort Bay Town Centre on Windsor Field Road.
Company co-directors Ashley Brown and Brooke Phillips founded Upstage to fill a gap in the residential sales market. Both licensed BREA real estate agents, they realized that in new construction and in sales of older homes, sellers often failed to dress the property properly.
"Ashley and I would go into a house that had just been listed and there were family photos, trophies, all sorts of personal effects. We'd look at each other and think, 'Imagine if we could just get in here, move all this clutter, paint it neutral colours and show off the bones of this great place, its high ceilings or natural light or an interesting angle."

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