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An interest group has been formed to seek answers and potentially use legal action to stop Treasure Sands Club from dredging what is being termed an environmentally sensitive and historically important part of Abaco.
The "Abaco Defenders" yesterday announced they had come together following a town meeting held last Friday with the "mission" of obtaining a court injunction to stop dredging and earth moving being carried out by the Treasure Sands Club.
Fiona Bootle, a key member of the group, said that Callenders and Co. attorney and Q.C., Fred Smith has been instructed to move ahead with legal action.
The group claims this stoppage is necessary until the Abaco developer provides "comprehensive studies revealing the scope and impact of the project on environmental, economic, historical and safety issues surrounding the project".
Tim Blakely, vice president of the Treasure Sands Club, which presently operates a high-end restaurant near Treasure Cay, Abaco, is hoping to build a 12-room hotel along with a host of other amenities in the area, which he has previously described as "desperate for development".
As part of this project, his company initiated the dredging of a nearby mangrove creek in October which would allow for access of boats to inland docking facilities adjacent to the oncoming amenities.
In an interview with Guardian Business yesterday, Blakely said his company was facing significant additional costs after being issued with a "cease and desist" order in relation to the dredging activity until the central government can "sort some things out".
He said the company had obtained all approvals necessary from the central government and again accused those who oppose the development as being in "the minority" and driven by "politics".
"We've got a barge and machinery sat there doing nothing."
Blakely also suggested that opinion appears to be "completely split" in the community.
"I am getting overwhelming support for what we are doing now that people can see the beautification going on over there; it is changing a lot of people's opinions. We are very positive, and we are getting a lot of local support, and we are just waiting for everything to be resolved."
Bootle, a local resident and an organizer of Friday's meeting, which is said to have drawn between 30 to 50 people, suggested that dredging work at the site is ongoing, notwithstanding claims to the contrary.
Bootle said she was initially concerned about the environmental damage that the dredging could do to the area, but has more recently been "sickened to [her] stomach" by the understanding - which she claimed was revealed at Friday's town meeting by archaeologist, Bob Carr - that the area was the site of the original Loyalist landing in Abaco.
"We are just upset that no one seems to be taking this seriously; this is our home and history and everything is being destroyed in front of our eyes.
"Really and truly, the reason why we got together and called the meeting is because we seemed like we weren't getting anywhere with government and our local government council can't get anywhere."
In a release issued yesterday, the Abaco Defenders were supported by Stephen Kappeler, general manager of Treasure Cay Resort.
Speaking for Robert Meister, owner of Treasure Cay Resort, Kappeler noted that they are certainly not against the idea of new development.
Instead, he suggested they are worried about how the work is being conducted by the Treasure Sands Club.
In an interview with Guardian Business yesterday, another local resident who declined to be named, said he believes an injunction application could be avoided if the government was to step in and "take some responsible, proactive recourse to what has already been done".
"We can't stress enough that we are all for development, but just feel we need to have some control and say over what happens; it's like the [Resorts World Bimini project], do you want the money today, or the disaster tomorrow? If we could halt the work, let the people have a say in where this is going, I think people would be okay with it."
He expressed particular fears with respect to the impact of the dredging on a nearby major road.
"The fact is this is one road in and out of Treasure Cay. During a hurricane that road is our only access in and out of there. The engineers are saying now they've dredged the water to eight or nine feet deep within 100 feet of the road. When a hurricane comes now, that will undermine that road and that is our only access of the island. There are so many why are they doing this questions, and we feel like someone is overlooking something."
Gary Smith, chief councilor of local government in North Abaco, said at the Friday evening town hall meeting that his requests for information on the development have been "ignored by the developer and by Renardo Curry, the North Abaco member of Parliament."
Blakely said that the group is only doing what approvals given by the central government permit them to.
"We're doing it in a responsible way, and as soon as the central government has worked out things then we'll continue to do what we were doing," he said.
The last of 12 Ministry of Agriculture and
Marine Resources Family Island Agribusiness Expos took place in Marsh Harbour,
Abaco last weekend.
The initiative seeks to bring awareness to the
importance of agriculture and fisheries and to increase meaningful
participation therein by consumers and producers.
This year brought together New Providence,
Eleuthera, North Andros, Long Island, San Salvador, Grand Bahama, Bimini, South
Andros, Mangrove Cay, Exuma and Inagua...
A 38-year-old Abaco man was arraigned in a magistrate's court yesterday in connection to the murder of Wendal Miller, who was stabbed in the neck last week.
Rodriguez Jean Pierre, of Charles Boo Yard, appeared before Deputy Chief Justice Carolita Bethell where he was formally charged with killing 59-year-old Miller.
Pierre was not required to enter a plea.
According to initial police reports, Miller was found bleeding from a neck wound on Saturday, near the Road Traffic Department on Crockett Drive and Bay Street in Marsh Harbour, Abaco around 2:30 p.m.
Police said he got into a fight at a home in the slum community of The Mudd.
He was with his friends when the altercation took place, police reported.
Prosecutor Ercel Dorsett told the court that he intends to proceed by way of a voluntary bill of indictment (VBI), which means that the case will be fast-tracked to the Supreme Court.
Before the case was adjourned, Pierre, who was not represented by an attorney, expressed concern that he was not able to afford an attorney. However, Bethell explained that a crown attorney will likely be appointed to him during the proceedings at the Supreme Court level.
The matter was adjourned until June 15, at which time the VBI is expected to be presented.
The man who was gunned down during a shooting incident in Abaco that left his wife and one-year-old daughter nursing gun shot injuries, was yesterday identified as Stanley Saintvil, 35.
According to police reports, a gunman pulled up to Saintvil's home in Marsh Harbour, Abaco on Monday night. His wife, 25-year-old Sainta Louis and their daughter were both shot in the head.
However, police reported yesterday that they are in stable condition.They were both airlifted to New Providence for treatment.
Superintendent Noel Curry, officer-in-charge at Abaco, said the triple shooting took place just after 6 p.m. at Forest Drive. Saintvil was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police press liaison officer Ser ...
Thousands of dollars could be spent as officials at the Department of Civil Aviation continue their investigations into Sunday afternoon's plane crash on Abaco, according to a civil aviation official.Eugene Butler, acting director at the Department of Civil Aviation, confirmed toGuardian Businessthat the entire investigation could be quite expensive.
He noted that international colleagues, including the plane's manufacturer, are assisting local officials with their investigations.
"Investigations could run us into thousands of dollars because there are a lot of factors involved, especially when you look at investigators coming in from abroad, having to take parts of the aircraft and then ship [them] back out to the manufacturer," Butler said.
"That's part of the process anytime we have a crash like that; we always have assistance from the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board). We have an agreement where they would assist us wherever needed.
"Right now, we are just in the preliminary stages of our investigation, in terms of getting investigators to the site to comb through the wreckage and the site itself. Then we will interview eyewitnesses."
The six-seater plane crashed around 1:33 p.m. in bushes north of the Treasure Cay airport's runway, killing two men and two women.
The travelers--married couples--were en route to Fort Pierce, Florida from Treasure Cay, authorities said. The victims were identified as Gregory Schwartzenberger, 60; Janice Schwartzenberger, 56; Dennis Sartoris, 61 and Janie Sartoris, 56, all Florida residents.
SkyBahamas Airlines CEO Randy Butler reiterated how costly it can be to conduct a plane crash investigation, especially a fatal one.
Butler spoke of the need for funds to be set aside in cases of unfortunate incidents like these.
"I talk about having a cost recovery when airlines are certified. You have to manage the industry and one of those things that[should be]covered[is]accident investigation,"he said
"For example, we need to make sure that we have an accident investigation unit, a department that deals specifically with that. That's something that we do not have. We have some semblance they say. However, we do not have dedicated accident investigators where that's all that they do."
Butler also stressed the importance of stakeholders in the aviation sector receiving official accident reports.
"One of the things though, when accidents happen, the investigators do a report and that report is supposed to help us to make sure that any indicators of things that are systemic or that may cause things, that these other operators know, see it and avoid it,"he said.
"It's unfortunate that we do not get these accident reports. We continue to call on the government to make sure that we have these reports, so we put the proper measures in place to prevent it from happening again."
Butler said the formal report from the fatal Lake Killarney crash in 2010 when nine people died has yet to be released.
Meantime, officials at the Department of Civil Aviation said it may take some time before there are definitive answers as to what caused Sunday's fatal crash.
Police on Abaco need your help in identifying the driver responsible for a hit and run accident that occurred in the Crown Haven area.
According to reports sometime around 10:22pm on Friday 21st, June 2013 a male was walking west along S.C. Bootle Highway in the area of the Church of God of Prophecy Crown Haven, when he was struck by a passing vehicle, which failed to stop.
ABACO, Bahamas - Officers at Abaco uncovered a shotgun in bushes near the Ernest Dean Highway. Initial reports indicate that around 4:30 pm on Saturday 19th May, 2012 officers at Abaco acting on information went to the area where they discovered the weapon.
No one arrest was made. Active police investigations continue.
Brownouts, blackouts and fried equipment continue to plague Abaco, with one store owner Monday saying business had fallen 50 per cent because of the power issues, while one hardware store said commerce was flowing because of it.
Peter Bradley said his company, Conch Pearl Gallery, had lost half its business because of the consistent power cuts across the island, as tourists - his biggest customers - peer into the darkened store and subsequently leave.
Nassau, Bahamas - The Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year, Anna Albury, a 12-year-old blind student with a grade point average of 3.80 from Abaco's Hope Town Primary School, visits the House of Assembly on
Monday, June 6.
Ms Albury is pictured being greeted at the door of the House by Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham...
BY DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
FREEPORT - Concerned residents of Abaco are calling on the developers of Bakers Bay and the Discovery Land Company to recommence their monitoring of the reef systems around Guana Cay.
Environmental group Abaco CARES said proper independent scientific studies need to be done to determine the cause of sustained reef damage.
A statement said: "Abaco CARES was formed by people who care about Abaco - whether it's the environment, the use of harmful petroleum products to run power plants, or protecting the blue holes of Abaco.
"We have a duty to protect the beauty of Abaco because that is the main reason wh ...
Many residents on Abaco are frustrated over delays in the opening of a new airport terminal in Marsh Harbour...
Residents on Abaco last week said they were looking forward to the completion of work on the airport terminal in Marsh Harbour, and the government's promise to sign a contract for a hospital on that island.
Abaconians who spoke to The Nassau Guardian said the two developments are a long time coming, and added that the tourist hub is still grappling with intermittent power cuts and bad roads.
Byron Glinton, director of reservations and leisure sales at the Abaco Beach Resort, said the new terminal should bolster tourist arrivals to the island. Glinton said because Abaco is one of the priciest destinations in the region, it caters to wealthy visitors who expect the comforts of home even when they travel to an island destination.
"You constantly hear complaints about the airport. To have an airport that big and beautiful is definitely going to leave an indelible impression on the guests coming here," Glinton told The Nassau Guardian during an interview at the resort.
"We cater to a very affluent guest in the Abacos because nothing here is cheap. It is probably one of the most
expensive places you can come to in terms of an airline rate in the Caribbean. The airport is going to go a long way with guest satisfaction. It's definitely going to have an impact on business," Glinton said.
Work is ongoing at the new terminal at the Leonard Thompson International Airport in Marsh Harbour.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham told Abaco residents that his administration planned to sign a contract for the construction of a hospital in Central Abaco by the end of the month.
Glinton said Abaco, home to more than 16,000 residents and many second-home owners, needs the facility so visitors and locals can avoid the expense of flying to the capital in an emergency.
"One of the major complaints that any visitor would have is, 'what if I get sick?' You have a lot of baby boomers that come here, a lot of people over the age of 60. At that age you experience the most health concerns. One of their major concerns is medical care costs, if you have any emergency you have to charter a flight to get into Nassau.
"To hear the news from Health Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis that they are going to have a theater here, a fully-functioning hospital, is good news. All of that is going to be strong for tourism and the local economy."
One Abaco shopkeeper said the new airport terminal has been a promise from the country's leaders for decades. Still she said she was grateful for the much-needed upgrades in spite of the delay of construction.
"They've been promising Abaco that new airport now since the early 1990s and it's finally coming around," said the shopkeeper, who did not want to be identified.
She added that BEC still has challenges keeping Abaco's lights on.
"We still have a huge BEC problem up here, huge, we don't know why, that's the bottom line. But the power goes off a lot. It was off the other day, Wednesday night for six hours and Thursday for another five or six hours.
"We've had our new plant now about a year or more and it still goes off just as much as it used to do before," she said.
By JIMENITA SWAIN
Guardian Senior Reporter
Bahamas Electricity Corporation general manager Kevin Basden released a statement yesterday evening explaining the persist power cuts in Abaco that led to a demonstration there earlier in the day.
The residents said the outages are impacting tourism on the island, business in general and are making life a virtual nightmare.
The power cuts have been happening since July 13.
"The present generation challenges are due to faults that developed on a few generators, coupled with a shortage of lubricating oil that resulted in two generators not being available during a 12-hour period, until additional oil was provided," Basden sa ...
A HOPE TOWN-BASED hotel, Firefly Sunset Resort on Elbow Cay, is set to hold its grand opening on November 25, 2011.
Built by Firefly Vodka co-creator, Jim and Ann Irvin of Charleston, South Carolina, the resort offers seven villas and cottages with full-size kitchens, three pools, a snorkeling reef, WIFI and an on-site restaurant.
"We're very excited about the opening of this resort. We were looking for a place to rent so our whole family could vacation together, but as soon as we saw this property we fell in love with it," said resort owner, Ann Irvin, whose husband Jim is a partner of Firefly Vodka, made at Irvin~House Vineyard.
The resort is managed by property manager Lorenzo Ba ...
Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina in The Bahamas has announced the appointment of Brent Ingraham as the director of sales and marketing.
A veteran of the hospitality industry, Ingraham brings with him over 20 years of experience and a history of proven success, said the company.
In his new role he will be responsible for developing and implementing initiatives that seek to increase overall sales and create strong marketing campaigns for the resort's group, leisure and marina offerings.
"Brent's strong sales and marketing background combined with his in-depth knowledge of hotel operations will be a great asset to Abaco Beach Resort and our guests," said Manny Alexiou, owner of Abaco Beach Resort.
"As a former resident of The Bahamas, Brent deeply understands not only this market but also what makes it a unique destination."
Ingraham most recently served as the business development and marketing consultant for the Beck Group in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to his role there he held positions as the marketing and sales operations consultant for M&M Quality Solutions. During his tenure in The Bahamas Ingraham served as vice president of sales and business development for Old Bahama Bay Resort and Marina, director of catering and convention services at Westin and Sheraton Our Lucaya Resort, regional director of sales and marketing at Royal Oasis Golf Resort and Casino and general manager at Holiday Inn Junkanoo Beach Hotel.
Ingraham holds a bachelor's degree from Hampton University and earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of Miami.
The $82 million Abaco Beach Resort is experiencing a 25 percent increase in business, despite taking a hit in occupancy levels and sales over the last four years.
While the resort has undertaken a variety of marketing strategies, they often failed to produce results - until now.
"Since 2008, business has been down. However, last year was the worst. This year, we are seeing a 20 percent to 25 percent increase in business. So it seems to be coming back and the trend is in the right direction. We hope it continues that way," according to Emanuel "Manny" Alexiou, the resort's owner.
He noted that the resort's business has picked up in two areas: transient and group business.
"We have lots of marketing strategies, but so far, it has fallen on deaf ears. That's starting to change. We have our tournaments that are very important. For the first time, group business has picked up since 2008," Alexiou explained.
"General transient business has also picked up, and the new airport terminal that is presently being constructed is also going to help us tremendously. I think the downtown area is going to start to improve because the economy is getting better so people will feel more inclined to invest into their property. So I think this is the beginning of a good trend."
Alexiou said the beauty of Abaco is that it has always been a naturally growing community that doesn't need a lot of stimulus from the government.
While things may be looking up for the resort, condo sales have not been promising.
Alexiou shared with Guardian Business that he and his partners spent close to $10 million to construct nine condo units called Harbour Residences before the recession hit, ranging from 1,800 to 3,500 square feet and featuring private verandas and access to the resort's marina.
Out of the nine units, Alexiou said only three have been sold to date.
However, he pointed out that interest in the remaining six units is beginning to pick up.
"These units were built just before the recession and we finished it in 2008 just as the recession was happening. We have had two presales and sold one since 2008. So sales have been quite slow," he added.
"Interest has picked up and we have six more to sell. On the building alone, we have spent $8.5 million but this is part of a bigger expansion plan. We have put in roughly another $2.5 million in infrastructure to make future development easier to take place, so close to $10 million has been invested in this part of the development."
The Harbour Residences condominiums start at $1,142,000.
Since opening the Abaco Beach Resort in 1955, Alexiou noted that approximately $82 million has been invested into the entire development and it employs nearly 100 people.
He continued: "We are looking forward to the continual growth of the economy and selling the rest of the condos. We are hopeful that this pleasing trend will continue."
ABACO, Bahamas - A team of tourism officials toured areas of Abaco on August
30, finding that Hurricane Irene affected resorts to varying degrees
but being assured by all property owners that they would quickly recover
from flood and wind damage.
general manager of the luxurious Abaco Club Ritz-Carlton in Cherokee
Sound, said his crews were hard at work putting the property back in
"We are left
with clean up," he said. "During the hurricane, we got a lot of
debris damage from landscaping, from some structural damage to some
of our homes, to some of our common areas, to some of our buildings,
from significant beach erosion down to our beach. So we have a lot of
clean up to do."
NASSAU, Bahamas -- The 15th Model United Nations Sessions (MUNS) was held on April 27, 2012 at the Wyndham Crystal Palace, Cable Beach.
Co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of The Bahamas and The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MUNS annually brings together high school students from around the country, and sometimes from the Turks and Caicos Islands, in a forum to simulate the United Nations General Assembly.
The objective of the event is to educate students about current events, topics in international relations, diplomacy and the functions of the United Nations.
This year's topics were: "Euro Crisis: Regional or International Financial Reform" during the morning session and, "Democracy in the Middle East: Challenge and Course", during the evening session.
S.C. Bootle Secondary School of Abaco, which represented China, won this year's event.
Over one hundred people have pre-registered to participate in a fitness extravaganza set to take place in Abaco later this month...
Officers of the
Abaco District have released the names of the persons killed in both
traffic fatalities in Abaco. The first traffic fatality occurred on
Saturday 17th November 2012 on S.C Bootle Highway, Abaco.
The victims are;
1. Carniska Rolle age 22 years of Coopers Town ,Abaco
2. Shanique McIntosh age 22 years of Coopers Town ,Abaco