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News Article
A teaching moment about 'our' sports

I just don't get it. Our political leaders (all of them) continue to miss the boat when it comes to recognizing the true importance of sports to this country and act accordingly.
It is so obvious that the only way the criminal element in this country will be pushed back is if the national sports program is expanded to gobble up the vast majority of the young boys and girls who go astray because of having no positive sense of direction. The national sports program is a great option for our little boys and girls and the older ones as well.
The Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium was bursting at the seams with people on Saturday past. There was the big question bandied around about whether the stadium would ever be seated to capacity. Well, we got our answer.
Let's be clear about the situation. On Saturday, the overwhelming support was not about politics. The politicians were neutralized on Saturday even though they came out in big numbers. The response from the crowd to the names of Hubert Ingraham and Perry Christie was subdued and similar. No, it was not about them.
Yet, the ongoing comments from that arena prove that the politicizing never stops. The real teaching moment from the event was about sports. Only sports can get all Bahamians, from every persuasion together. Hypocrisy appears to be a constant among our politicians when dealing with sports in particular.
They soak up the opportunities to grandstand on forums created by the awesome collective ability within the Bahamian sports fraternity. They boast and praise the athletes, administrators, coaches and trainers to the highest. Still, against that backdrop, just the financial crumbs from the National Budget table fall off to the national sports program. I invite readers to compare the allocations for health, education and tourism to that of sports. By no means do I wish to dilute the significance and importance of prime health care, high-level educational opportunities and tourism vibrancy to the stable existence of our people. It's been proven over and over again though that the national sports program deserves to be right up there in that top category of budget allocations.
Young boys and girls are dying by way of crime. The lives of others are been snuffed out almost daily, by the young among us. The role models of more and more of our young are not Tommy Robinson, Andre Rodgers, Sir Durward Knowles, Cynthia Moxey-Pratt, Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, Chris Brown, Mark Knowles, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, Devard Darling, Mychal Thompson, Gomeo Brennan, Glen Griffin, Carl Minns or the many others of that ilk.
Today, the role models who too many of our young seek to emulate, are the crime merchants. It is because the system has changed to enable those who promote crime to be in closer contact with our young. The burden on the sporting administrators, coaches, trainers and other mentors is too great because of the numbers that need attention and the meager funds to go around. Many sports mentors spend personal funds, just to provide meaningful opportunities for sporting growth.
I have personal knowledge of this. The biggest reason for my resignation as president of the Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas (ABFB) way back in 1976 was because my children were getting bigger and more expensive. I no longer was able to afford helping to pay some of the costs for those monthly trips to the Florida Golden Gloves, and other friendly competitions against Bermuda and Canada.
Grants for federations and the National Subvention Program were decades beyond the horizon then. Now, thanks to the central administration, grants and subventions are commonplace. The funding for the subvention program is fine. The grants must be adjusted greatly. The core sports group needs $300,000 at least per year and the smaller sports programs around $200,000.
An essential body like the Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission (BADC) should be given $500,000 yearly, because of the huge area mandated by the law. If this happens, crime would not be eliminated but there will be a huge dent in the activities of the criminally inclined. The sporting programs would then be in position to inculcate our wayward youth and those who are apt to be directed to the wrong paths in life.
It was indeed a teaching moment about sports on Saturday, February 25 at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. I wonder just how many learned the lesson taught. I'm sure the man whose name the national stadium bears, got the message. He's been a part of the message for many years. Maybe in his own way now, he will be able, somehow, to educate the politicians about the true value of sports.
Thomas Augustus Robinson no doubt was aware of the teaching moment. Congratulations Tommy for the honor bestowed upon you.
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at fredericksturrup@gmail.com)

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News Article
Dr. Myles Munroe's uncharitable arrogance and bigotry

In response to comments made by Pope Francis last August concerning judgmentalism towards gays and lesbians, and recent remarks by Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell in Trinidad and Tobago on LGBT rights, Bahamas Faith Ministries (BFM) Pastor Dr. Myles Munroe has appeared bigoted, ignorant and prejudiced. And, arrogant.
In contrast to Pope Francis, Anglican Bishop Laish Boyd and other Christian leaders, Munroe appears uncharitable, not disposed to mercy, unwilling to support efforts to stem discrimination and violence against gays and lesbians.
While many church leaders do not support state-recognized same-sex marriages, they are challenging the dehumanization and demonization of gays and lesbians. Munroe's remarks may give comfort to the demonizers.
For the sake of Christian love and charity Munroe must state whether he sides with those who would do violence towards his gay brothers and sisters in the name of God or whether he stands with the likes of former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, U.S. President Barack Obama, Pope Francis, Mitchell and countless others who are seeking to confront violence against those of God's children who happen to be gay.
In his various remarks, Munroe has also displayed a curious ignorance, in two senses: He seems uninformed of certain facts and information, and lacking in a basic understanding of whatever information he may have reviewed.
Either he is intellectually unable to grasp certain matters or he is being purposefully misleading, or some combination of these, none of which suggests acuity and credibility on these issues.
In criticizing Pope Francis, Munroe demonstrated stunning ignorance of and a poor ability to grasp basic elements of theology and ecclesiology in the Roman Catholic tradition.
He was factually wrong in the assertion that the pope was expressing his own opinion. He was also factually wrong in his assertion that the pope was contradicting his predecessor and the position of the Catholic Church.
Doctorate
Roman Catholic Archbishop Patrick Pinder, who has an earned doctorate in theology from the prestigious Catholic University of America, but who chooses not to be referred to as Dr. Pinder, noted in a Guardian story that those who asserted that Pope Francis was breaking with Roman Catholic teachings in his remarks about gays and lesbians were incorrect in their assertion.
Munroe's criticism of Mitchell's Trinidad and Tobago remarks was curious and baffling, as the minister's remarks in question were limited and generally measured. Mitchell broke no new substantive ground in terms of the policies of successive Bahamian governments.
Essentially, the foreign minister was calling for protection of gays and lesbians from discrimination. Sadly, in the minds of some, efforts to stem discrimination and violence against gays and lesbians, providing them with the security of basic human rights, are unacceptable and egregious. The name for this is bigotry.
Munroe stands in a succession of religious leaders who, over the millennia, seem more seized by the strictures of the Hebrew Scriptures than they are by the example, ministry and teachings of Jesus Christ as exemplified in the Gospels.
There are no warrants for racism, sexism or homophobia in the New Testament. But bigots have for centuries engaged in all manner of proof-texting of the Hebrew Scriptures to bolster and promote their ancient prejudices and hatreds.
White racist pastors used the Hebrew texts for centuries as a basis for slavery, colonialism and the degradation of black people. Gracefully, abolitionists religious leaders found in the ministry of Jesus the moral power to confront slavery and the slave trade.
For millennia and still, many found in the Hebrew Scriptures a warrant for their misogyny and bigotry towards women. The respect for the dignity of women by Jesus in the Gospels was in various ways a radical break from the culture into which he was born. His was a liberating message of equality.
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus speaks of mercy, of not judging others, of eschewing revenge, of giving to the needy. He also speaks of adultery. Sadly, for contemporary bigots, there is no mention of homosexuality.
According to a recent Nassau Guardian story Munroe noted: "'He [Mitchell] seems to have an agenda that may disqualify him from serving in the position as minister of foreign affairs, because there is a great possibility that he may be more inclined to present his own views than those of the people of The Bahamas.
"'Therefore, I am recommending that the prime minister reconsider him from being minister of foreign affairs because his personal opinions may interfere with his objectivity in the carrying out of his duties.'"
There is an agenda and a lack of objectivity. But it is by Munroe.
Resolution
Mitchell's remarks on non-discrimination against gays and lesbians were in keeping with the views of successive governments, including the Ingraham administration which supported "a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution promoting equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation".
Is Munroe wilfully ignorant or being purposefully misleading? Prejudice and bigotry tend to induce jaundiced thinking.
The Guardian story quoted Munroe as saying: "'I have nothing personal against Minister Mitchell.
"'I think he is an excellent politician and man, like I am. It is nothing personal. It is more of a deep concern of his representation of our country in his position as minister...'"
The story continued: "Let me state for the record publically, [sic] Mr. Foreign Minister, I have no interest in your private life," said Munroe in the sermon.
"Personally, I really don't care about your private life. But when you step in our house that we are paying you to represent us in, you keep your private life in your closet and you deal with our public business in our interest."
There is a well-known rhetorical device and political trick of suggesting no interest in a certain matter. But by raising the matter whether obliquely or not one is clearly seeking to make a point.
By employing the language he did, Munroe used his position to hurl an innuendo against another. It was unbecoming of him as a Christian and as a fellow-citizen. It was mean-spirited and uncharitable. It is a low moment in his ministry. If he has policy disagreements with the minister, fine. But to reference another's personal life is contemptuous.
Munroe's views on gambling are well-known. Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe has spoken at home and abroad of making The Bahamas a gambling mecca. Wilchcombe continues to press the idea of regulating the numbers houses, something Munroe opposes.
Unacceptable
But in opposing Wilchcombe's policy views Munroe would not stoop so low as to raise his private life. Indeed, he would not likely to do so of any minister. What Munroe said in reference to Mitchell is unacceptable and unworthy of anyone who purports to have moral authority.
Recall that Munroe labelled Pope Francis as "reckless" pertaining to his comments on being judgmental toward gays and lesbians. Francis was reckless with love. Munroe was reckless in the manner in which he contemptuously referenced Mitchell, while feigning respect.
Munroe also impugned Pope Francis' motives as a bid to revive Roman Catholicism. The suggestion was that the pope was engaging in marketing and public relations, rather than motivated by love. One imagines that Munroe knows quite a bit about marketing and public relations.
The Guardian story noted Munroe as stating that, "He [Fred Mitchell] began to intellectually try to [discombobulate us]' ..." As suggested previously, Munroe seems easily intellectually discombobulated, as Mitchell's comments were clear and easily understandable.
The story further noted that, "Munroe said he has travelled to 138 countries, something he said Mitchell has not done.
"'So I've been to more countries representing this country than anyone else in this government,' he said."
What was his point in making such as statement, which came across to many as arrogant and self-aggrandizing?
No matter how many countries Munroe has travelled to he is not the moral ambassador of The Bahamas. Indeed in his bigotry toward gays and lesbians he does not represent many Bahamians or the future, nor does he seem to be able to represent clearly our laws regarding non-discrimination.
We have a foreign minister. Though he will rightly be criticized for various policies, he has represented clearly, articulately and intelligently, the policies of successive administrations in terms of non-discrimination toward gays and lesbians. It is more than can be said for Munroe.
o frontporchguardian@gmail.com, www.bahamapundit.com.

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News Article
Family Islands receive materials for early childhood programmes

NASSAU, The Bahamas - Home based programmes are being implemented in Family Islands where children do not have access to early childhood education through the establishment of the Parent Outreach Initiative (POI) thanks to Early Childhood Education (ECE), a subcomponent of the Investing in Students for the Innovative Reform of Education (INSPIRE).
Education, Science and Technology Minister Jerome Fitzgerald presented instructional and didactic materials to Alfred Gray, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government and MP for the MICAL constituency, for children ages 0-3 years in Mayaguna and Acklins who are enrolled in the infants and toddlers POI, during a ceremony, Oct. 4, at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
One of the goals of ECE is to provide interventions for children on the Family Islands of The Bahamas that do not have access to early childhood education. The islands of Mayaguana and Acklins met the criteria of a justifiable population of the identified age group and therefore qualified for the POI.
Minister Fitzgerald said, "Today we have started a life-long journey in investing in the earliest stage of child growth and development, and it is our intention to provide this programme to as many islands as possible.
"Minister Gray, we are pleased that you are here to represent the first recipients of such a sound, high quality programme where opportunities will be provided for interaction between parents and infants and toddlers thus providing wholesome relationships care and education for the children in the MICAL districts," he said.

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News Article
Red Dress Soiree uses fashion to spotlight many causes

Fashion designers and events have always taken causes under their wings, using their influence in popular culture to raise awareness of often-overlooked serious issues in their communities. Now Bahamians can have a similar event to look forward to locally that not only celebrates fashion but takes a serious look at influential women as well as the widespread effect of AIDS and HIV in the Bahamian adolescent population.
Though this is its first year, the Red Dress Soiree is set to become an annual charity event, said its founder and organizer, Tyrina Neely. With a cocktail reception, silent auction and runway show that highlights 10 Bahamian leading ladies in one-of-a-kind red dresses envisioned by 10 local fashion designers, the event promises to be not only fun but educational as well.
"We're such a fashion-conscious country and community so I thought it would be something people would get excited about," said Neely. "I wanted to do something different and I wanted to kind of give a fresh spin to fundraising. I wanted to be able to celebrate local designers and what they do. Who doesn't love fashion, who doesn't love getting dressed up and seeing beautiful art?"
For Neely, whose background in fashion comes not only from her degree in advertising and marketing specific to the fashion industry, but also her work with various fashion institutions and magazines in New York City, Europe and at home in The Bahamas, the charity event is a chance to bring her passions together to help the community.
The event is being hosted by The Bahamas AIDS Foundation and Neely's fashion-centered company, Primadona. The Bahamas AIDS Foundation institutes after school programs for adolescents infected with and affected by HIV and AIDS that provide them with educational tutoring, psychosocial intervention, peer support, job training and placement, referral services, and counseling as well as a snack and a hot meal.
With AIDS being the leading cause of death for the 15-49 year-old margin, said Neely, the support that the foundation provides this group is needed more than ever to help them lead healthy and productive lives.
"I wanted to bring more awareness to the fact that so many of our adolescents are affected by this whether they themselves have HIV/AIDS or someone in their family," she said. "It's still something that has such a negative stigma; we don't have a space for it, and I think it's important for people to get involved in this cause."
The Red Dress Soiree will directly support the efforts by The Bahamas AIDS Foundation, said Neely. She always wanted to host a fashion event like a runway show, but decided to put a fundraising spin on it after her experience with a young HIV-positive man with whom she kept in touch.
"His parents passed away, and when I found that out I said I really want to combine both of these desires of mine to support the AIDS Foundation and their work with adolescents directly affected by HIV/AIDS like this child," she said.
"My love of fashion also gives me a desire to promote designers locally and really just put on an event that celebrates not only amazing women who are the matriarchs and nurturers of society, but also fashion designers who I think don't always get as much support and praise as they should locally."
Indeed the charity event will touch many lives and worthy causes - by asking local designers to make 10 one-of-a-kind red dresses for their runway show, they support and showcase local artists, and by selecting 10 outstanding women from all aspects of Bahamian society to be the "leading ladies" modeling the creations, they spotlight strong female heroes for adolescents to admire.
"They do amazing work to give back," said Neely. "These women were selected based on their professional achievements and we wanted to have women from different sectors of society - so we have people from law, politics, farming, the arts, film.
"These are women who have achieved greatness in their careers; they're amazing businesswomen, but they are also women who have given back to the community," she continues. "This is just the first 10 - we look forward to doing this event and highlighting many, many, many other women over the years."
This year the ten Leading Ladies include Janet Bostwick, Joann Callender, Dr. Sandra Dean-Patterson, Karin Goodfellow, Maria Govan, Janet Johnson, Tanya McCartney, Elaine Pinder, Tonique Williams-Darling and Sharon Wilson. They will model the designs on Javotte Bethel, Apryl Burrows, Phylicia Ellis, Sabrina Francis, Brynda Knowles, Patrice Lockhart, duo Cardell McClam and Christopher John, Indira Moss, David Rolle and Theodore Elyett.
Indeed, the evening will be a chance for guests to not only admire the visions and talent by local artists, but learn about how they too can help those affected with HIV and AIDS, striking inspiration in the Bahamian community.
"Obviously I want people to have a good time; I want it to be an event people talk about for weeks after it happens," said Neely. "But apart from that, the real underlying reason here is we want to support the AIDS Foundation and what they do."
"I want people to just have a heightened sense of awareness - to say they know what they can do to help, to mobilize and actually get started in doing something."
The Red Dress Soiree will be held Saturday, March 3 at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort and Casino. The Red Carpet Experience will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the Runway Show at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets to the event are $100 per person which includes complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres at the cocktail reception. They can be purchased at La Rose Boutique on West Bay Street and Goodfellow Farms in Mount Pleasant.
 
For more information, e-mail rdsbahamas@gmail.com.
 

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News Article
West End Eco-Fishing Camp readies for fun-filled 2012 season

Grand Bahama Island,
Bahamas - The West End Eco-Fishing Camp is pleased to announce the
fourth year of their program designed for local kids who are immersed
into a number of activities to get them thinking about their role as
"caretakers of the earth and living seas". The camp is held in
partnership with the Royal Bahamas Police Force who saw the need to
initiate signature community programs to encourage the children to learn
about basic first aid, water safety, and swimming, introduction to
boating, ecology, kayaking, hand line fishing, and fly fishing. Led by a
group of adult volunteers from the local community and officers from
the West End police station the kids are kept busy learning about
"Esprit de Corps" or group...

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News Article
McCartney responds to PM's Bamboo Town comments

Bamboo Town Member of Parliament Branville McCartney yesterday defended his service to the constituency days after Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said the first term MP cared more about his political ambitions than giving proper representation.
McCartney said his term as an MP overshadows the "disingenuous" attacks leveled against him by the prime minister and some members of the Free National Movement (FNM).
McCartney, who left the FNM last year and subsequently formed the Democratic National Alliance, said he launched several community initiatives for his constituents since 2007, including a bi-monthly senior citizens program, a youth club, a food and clothing distribution program, adult computer classes and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
He added that voters will not be swayed by personal attacks, but rather by the FNM's performance on crime fighting, immigration and education.
"The current leadership continues to mislead Bahamians to garner favor with voters but will soon realize that this political season, Bahamians are wiser and have become immune to political rhetoric," said McCartney in a statement.
"In 2007, the prime minister said he would reduce crime but instead the numbers soared. The families of the murder victims of 2011, and those thus far this year, would like to know what is this government going to do about these criminals and for the Bahamians living in fear.
"What will this administration do to modernize the education system, (and) our immigration and regularization laws? What is the prime minister going to do to provide economic security for Bahamians; what will he do to reduce our national debt?"
As he urged voters in Bamboo Town to support FNM candidate Cassius Stuart, Ingraham also said he had "misjudged" McCartney when he introduced him as a candidate in 2007.
"We sent you a young man last time. He swore on to our team and you elected him as an FNM. We misjudged him. Behind his affable smile was unbridled ambition to achieve power," the prime minister said.
"He proved not to be interested in delivering for you but rather achieving for himself. Now he tells you The Bahamas needs new leadership. Well in order to lead you must first learn to follow. Anyway show him what you (have) planned for him this time."
The comments were in sharp contrast to how Ingraham described McCartney to voters days ahead of the last general election.
At the time, the prime minister said McCartney was "a wonderful example and role model for our children most particularly for our young men".

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News Article
'Great need' for autism awareness in The Bahamas

By ALESHA CADET

Tribune Features Reporter

A LOCAL doctor is encouraging people to unite and work together in an effort to raise awareness about autism in The Bahamas.

Dr Michelle Major, who began her career in the field of autism as an inclusion teacher and a verbal behaviour therapist for children with autism, said awareness of the neurological disorder in The Bahamas, and indeed the Caribbean, is limited.

The Bahamas, she said, is in need of early intervention, early identification and adult training programmes, just to name a few initiatives.

With her experience of speaking on autism at international forums, Dr Major said in her view government support is essential in helping children ...

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News Article
Sir Victor Sassoon Heart Foundation Courtesy Call on Governor-General and Lady Foulkes

Nassau, Bahamas - Members of the
Sir Victor Sassoon Heart Foundation making a courtesy call on Governor-General Sir Arthur Foulkes and
Lady Foulkes on Friday, February 10th, 2012 when Their Excellencies were
presented with pins in celebration of Heart Month.

The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation was established by
Lady Evelyn Sassoon as a memorial tribute to her late husband, Sir Victor
Sassoon, to assist persons in The Bahamas with the treatment of heart
disease. Today, The Foundation's main goal is to assist children with
heart care. The Foundation has...

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News Article
Italian pop singer, Sushy shoots music video in Grand Bahama

GRAND BAHAMA, The
Bahamas - Italian R & B, pop, dance, and sometimes rock singer,
Sushy is in Grand Bahama shooting her latest music video.  The island
offers an idyllic shooting venue for its diverse and lush locations on
and off the water.  Her new music video is called, "Water" and scenes were also shot in Florida.

From the tender age of 5 Susanna Galimi alias "Sushy"  started piano
lessons at the Conservatory of Music in Milan, she spent most of her
childhood travelling especially the USA with her family and thanks to
his father she's grown up listenin' to the Black Music and the Masters
of Jazz. As a child, all Sushy wanted out of life was to become a
singer, and she was driven by the music of Michae

l
Jackson, Mariah Carey, Nina Simone,  Billy Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Janis
Joplin, Lauryn Hill...and her first loves

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News Article
Italian pop singer, Sushy shoots music video in Grand Bahama

GRAND BAHAMA, The
Bahamas - Italian R & B, pop, dance, and sometimes rock singer,
Sushy is in Grand Bahama shooting her latest music video.  The island
offers an idyllic shooting venue for its diverse and lush locations on
and off the water.  Her new music video is called, "Water" and scenes were also shot in Florida.

From the tender age of 5 Susanna Galimi alias "Sushy"  started piano
lessons at the Conservatory of Music in Milan, she spent most of her
childhood travelling especially the USA with her family and thanks to
his father she's grown up listenin' to the Black Music and the Masters
of Jazz. As a child, all Sushy wanted out of life was to become a
singer, and she was driven by the music of Michae

l
Jackson, Mariah Carey, Nina Simone,  Billy Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Janis
Joplin, Lauryn Hill...and her first loves

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News Article
Guardian top stories - Wed Mar 17
Guardian top stories - Wed Mar 17

Death sentences for two convicts

NIB staff members walk off the job

Anxiety still high among CLICO policyholders

Man charged with killing love rival

Bahamas students win Caribbean law challenge

Paul Moss resigns from PLP

Baha Mar deal with Chinese partners nears

Grant responds to Hanna-Martin on road safety

Trial of Melvin Maycock Sr. postponed

Relief funds forwarded to Haiti

Police up focus on visitor safety

Pastors Forum donates $3,000 to aid Haiti

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Event
Christmas Capers
Christmas Capers

Thursday 20th December 2012  9:00 AM

Christmas Capers Mini Day Camps 2012 December, 20th and 21st Ages 5-12 9.00am – 12.00pm Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. Through educational books & DVD’s, Kitty Cuddles, Puppy Baths, Dog Walks, Pony Grooming and interaction with the Bahamas Humane Society Adoption Animals and Staff Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Daily $30 2 Day Mini Camp $55 *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkey,ponies, goats and rabbits love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread.


Event
Christmas Capers
Christmas Capers

Friday 21st December 2012  9:00 AM

Christmas Capers Mini Day Camps 2012 December, 20th and 21st Ages 5-12 9.00am – 12.00pm Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. Through educational books & DVD’s, Kitty Cuddles, Puppy Baths, Dog Walks, Pony Grooming and interaction with the Bahamas Humane Society Adoption Animals and Staff Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Daily $30 2 Day Mini Camp $55 *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkey,ponies, goats and rabbits love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread.


Event
BHS Animal Fun Day
BHS Animal Fun Day

Sunday 24th February 2013  6:00 PM

Event Has Been postponed to Sunday April 21st Sunday, February 24th is the BHS Animal Fun Day, to be held once again at the Botanical Gardens. This enjoyable day out is perfect for both children and animals and great for the entire family. Bring your dog, bring your loved ones and join us for an afternoon of family fun. Gates open at noon and the festivities continue till 6 p.m. Enter your dog in the dog/owner lookalike contest, find out who has the waggiest tail, and have your photo taken at the Kissing Booth. There will be food, booths, and games. If you're able to volunteer for the day, please contact Laura Kimble @ (kimblelaura@gmail.com). Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


News Article
Youth in Puerto Rico to gain from technology access and training
Youth in Puerto Rico to gain from technology access and training

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Microsoft has donated US$60,000 to the Trust for the Americas, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Organization of American States (OAS), to establish its program, Partnership in Opportunities for Employment through Technology in the Americas (POETA), in Puerto Rico to engage youth from low income communities in jobs and provide them with skills that will allow them to have a better life.

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Event
BHS Animal Fun Day
BHS Animal Fun Day

Sunday 21st April 2013  6:00 PM

Sunday, February 21st is the BHS Animal Fun Day, to be held once again at the Botanical Gardens. This enjoyable day out is perfect for both children and animals and great for the entire family. Bring your dog, bring your loved ones and join us for an afternoon of family fun. Gates open at noon and the festivities continue till 6 p.m. Enter your dog in the dog/owner lookalike contest, find out who has the waggiest tail, and have your photo taken at the Kissing Booth. There will be food, booths, and games. If you're able to volunteer for the day, please contact Laura Kimble @ (kimblelaura@gmail.com). Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


News Article
Mending hearts and saving lives

Minister of Health Dr. Hubert Minnis has indicated that non-communicable diseases account for 45 percent of deaths in The Bahamas, and that heart disease, a non-communicable disease, is the number one killer of persons in The Bahamas.
The Bahamas Heart Association, the educational arm of The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation and The Bahamas Heart Association are comprised of volunteers who provide their time and services to assist children in need with the cost of heart investigations and surgery. They advise the public on all aspects of heart disease, risk factors and preventative care, and provide speakers and educational material to schools, youth groups, service clubs and other public meetings.
As February is Heart Month, the Bahamas Heart Association has scheduled several events to create awareness about heart disease and to help persons live heart healthy lifestyles.
Saturday, February 11: Free CPR Classes at S.C. McPherson School from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Thursday, February 16: - Doctors Hospital lecture at 6 p.m., with blood pressure checks from 5 pm.
Friday, February 17: Go Red for Women Day.
Saturday, February 18 : The 48th Annual Heart Ball
Thursday, February 23: Annual Health Fair at Town Centre Mall from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Thursday, February 23: Bahamas Surgical Associates Center/Cleveland Clinic's Free Heart Health Seminar at the British Colonial Hilton. Reception at 6:30 p.m. Seminar starts at 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 25: Annual Fun/Run Walk
The public is encouraged to purchase "Go Red" pins for a minimum donation of $3, to be worn during Heart Month and especially on Go Red day. The pins symbolize women's heart health. The proceeds help to repair hearts.
Thelma Johnson, president of the Bahamas Heart Association, encourages people and corporations to become members of the Bahamas Heart Association, which has as its motto "Mending Hearts, Savings Lives". In that regard, it is calling on all schools to encourage their students to wear red on February in exchange for a gift donation of $1 per child.

oFor details about Heart Month and the Bahamas Heart Association, contact the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation at 327-0806 or email at sassoonheart@gmail.com.

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Event
Bahamas Circus-The Best Show in The Bahamas
Bahamas Circus-The Best Show in The Bahamas

Friday 15th March 2013  8:00 PM

SOFT TOUCH PRODUCTIONS Presents Bahamas Circus-The Best Show in The Bahamas Dates- March 15th Day showing-10am Evening showing-8pm March 16th Evening showing-8pm Tickets depots: Seventeen shop, Collins avenue Original Swiss shop, Cable beach Carey's Deparment store, Mackey st Conliffe Bakery, Carmichael Rd Ticket Prices 5 and over-$15 2- 4years- $10 Free Under 2 years School Information School Matinees in Nassau will be held Monday – Thursday, 4th-8th, March, 2013 at 9:30am & 1:00pm. School Matinees in Grand Bahama will be held Monday – Thursday,11th-15th, March, 2013 at 9:30am & 1:00pm. Tickets are $10 for Pre-School $12 for Primary $15 for High School Students. We would like to confirm our offer to you of retaining for a school project, the following on each child who attends Pre-Schoolers $2, and Primary & High School students $3. Any participating school will retain 50% of all their ticket sales. Raffle Tickets are available now for distribution. The raffle will be drawn on Saturday, 27th April, 2013 and prizes are as follows:- Samsung Galaxy S2 4G Cell Phone 42” Flat Screen Television Blackberry Playbook Apple iPad II iPod Touch Xbox 360 Kinect Round-trip ticket for 2 on “Bahamas Celebrations” from Freeport Round-trip ticket for 2 on “The Bohengy” from Nassau Kindly advise at your earliest a day, date and time we can address your school’s as BahamasCircus.com


Event
Bahamas Circus-The Best Show in The Bahamas

Saturday 16th February 2013  8:00 PM

SOFT TOUCH PRODUCTIONS Presents Bahamas Circus-The Best Show in The Bahamas March 16th Evening showing-8pm Tickets depots: Seventeen shop, Collins avenue Original Swiss shop, Cable beach Carey's Deparment store, Mackey st Conliffe Bakery, Carmichael Rd Ticket Prices 5 and over-$15 2- 4years- $10 Free Under 2 years School Information School Matinees in Nassau will be held Monday – Thursday, 4th-8th, March, 2013 at 9:30am & 1:00pm. School Matinees in Grand Bahama will be held Monday – Thursday,11th-15th, March, 2013 at 9:30am & 1:00pm. Tickets are $10 for Pre-School $12 for Primary $15 for High School Students. We would like to confirm our offer to you of retaining for a school project, the following on each child who attends Pre-Schoolers $2, and Primary & High School students $3. Any participating school will retain 50% of all their ticket sales. Raffle Tickets are available now for distribution. The raffle will be drawn on Saturday, 27th April, 2013 and prizes are as follows:- Samsung Galaxy S2 4G Cell Phone 42” Flat Screen Television Blackberry Playbook Apple iPad II iPod Touch Xbox 360 Kinect Round-trip ticket for 2 on “Bahamas Celebrations” from Freeport Round-trip ticket for 2 on “The Bohengy” from Nassau Kindly advise at your earliest a day, date and time we can address your school’s as BahamasCircus.com


Event
Medical Association of The Bahamas 41st Annual Scientific Conference
Medical Association of The Bahamas 41st Annual Scientific Conference

Thursday 7th March 2013  2:00 PM

Medical Association of The Bahamas 41st Annual Scientific Conference March 6 – 8, 2013 British Colonial Hilton Hotel Thursday March 7, 2013 2:00pm – 2:30pm The C.R. Walker Memorial Lecture “A JOURNEY THROUGH CHILDHOOD” Dr. Percival McNeil Paediatrician Nassau, Bahamas Session IV 2:30pm - 5:20pm TOPIC: THE COST OF MEDICAL CARE IN THE BAHAMAS IS TOO HIGH AND PHYSICIANS ARE THE CAUSE Moderator - Dr. Sheena Antonio-Collie Panel debate: 2 teams (4 speakers) PRO: Dr. Robin Roberts Director UWI.SCMR (Presenter- 10 min) Dr. Glen Beneby Medical Advisor PHA (Rebutter- 5 min) CON: Dr. Paul Ward Chief of Staff, Rand Hospital (Presenter- 10 min) Dr. Duane Sands Cardiothoracic Surgeon (Rebutter- 5 min) 3:00pm Questions for debate panel 3:10pm BREAK/ VIEW EXHIBITS TOPIC: CHRONIC NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES: STEMMING THE UPSURGE IN OUR SOCIETY 3:20pm Updates In Stroke Management in The Bahamas Dr. Charles Rahming MBBS, Neurologist and internist PMH Nassau, Bahamas 3:40pm Treating To Targets Dr. Winston Forbes MD, Cardiologist, The Rand Memorial Hospital, Freeport, Bahamas 4:00pm The Medical Management of Obesity and It’s Effectiveness in Our Society Dr. Nikkiah Forbes MBBS, DM Internal Medicine, Nassau, Bahamas 4:20pm Questions to the above panel of speakers 4:30pm Keynote Speaker: Local Experience With Weight Loss Surgery; Effect of Weight Reduction and Control of Co-morbid Conditions Dr. Charles Diggis, MBBS, FRCS(GLAG),Med Net 5:00pm Questions for keynote speaker 5:10PM ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - MAB 5:00pm-7:00pm LIGHT COCKTAILS 7:00pm-9:00pm SATELLITE DINNER SYMPOSIUM - By invitation


News Article
Foot pain putting a kink in your exercise program

Beginning a new exercise program is very rewarding but can also have some setbacks. Foot pain is one of the most common setbacks to any exercise program. A survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association found foot problems are a major deterrent to exercise, contributing to alarming rates of overweight and obesity. In the study, as much as 72 percent of persons surveyed admitted they did not exercise because foot pain prevented them from doing so. The feet were listed as the number one body part to experience pain.
Foot pain can put a serious kink in your new exercise routine and contribute to negative health consequences. It is important to know that foot pain is not normal and people should seek the care of a podiatrist immediately if foot pain arises - especially after starting an exercise program. Often times this can happen because the body is adjusting to the new exercise routine and use of muscles and joints that had previously been sedentary.
There are many other causes of foot pain. Wearing shoes that don't fit properly is one of the most common reasons why people (especially women) get foot pain. Other common causes of foot pain may include heel pain, foot deformities such as bunions and hammertoes, arthritis, trauma, ligament strain, tendinitis, stress fracture or other injuries.
Any pain in the foot or ankle of a walker or runner is an indication that it is time to stop, rest and evaluate the situation. Foot problems or pain that comes on shortly after starting an exercise program can be minor or a sign of a more serious foot conditions. One must reevaluate all aspects of the exercise routine - speed, distance and equipment, including shoes. It is generally best to wait until all foot pains are gone before restarting your exercise. If foot pains persist in spite of resting, you should see your podiatrist for an evaluation.
It is critical that people pay attention to their feet and seek treatment for any foot problems. Before starting an exercise program, see your primary care physician for a complete physical exam and your podiatrist to have a foot check up. Wearing well-fitting, good quality footwear can support the foot during exercise to minimize any chance of injury. Stretching before and after exercising along with warming up and cooling down can also help to prevent injury. Foot exercises will increase flexibility and also prevent injury.
Adult and childhood obesity is a major concern for all Bahamians. Exercise is a major strategy to help combat this epidemic. If adults and children have foot pain they will not exercise or will not do so regularly. Proper foot health and pain-free feet play a vital role in keeping everyone healthy and exercising consistently. Visiting a podiatrist to evaluate and fix the cause of any foot pain is critically important. The take home message here is that foot pain is not normal and if you are having foot pain, pause your workout and consult your local podiatrist.

oFor more information visit www. apma.org or if you have foot pain, visit a local podiatrist at Bahamas Foot Centre, Rosetta Street, telephone 325-2996 or Bahamas Surgical Associates, Albury Lane, telephone 394-5924.

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Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Tuesday 25th June 2013  9:00 AM

BHS Summer Camp The Bahamas Humane Society, Chippingham The BHS Summer Camp dates have been set! Camp runs weekly from June 24th to July 12th and then July 22nd to July 26th. The cost is $125.00 per week. It's open for children ages 6 to 13 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Children will learn about caring for animals and have the opportunity to interact with the BHS adoption animals. Bring a snack and drink, an old leash, an old towel, and some goodies for the animals. See also the attached information page. Register at the Shelter. Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. They read educational books and watch educational DVD’s and do some fun worksheets. They interact with the Bahamas Humane Society adoption animals and have question and answer sessions with the Humane Society staff. Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Weekly $125 (Includes a t-shirt) *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and horses love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread. Register early as space is limited and fills up quickly! Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


News Article
Carpal tunnel of pain

It's a syndrome characterized by pain, tingling and weakness in the wrist and fingers, usually due to repetitive hand movements. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition often associated with secretaries or older people. But in the age of technology, with desktops, laptops and handheld games, it is a syndrome that is now commonplace in society. To many people it may not seem like a serious problem, but without proper care and precaution it can become a debilitating condition that could require corrective surgery.
Computer programmer Denard Giles, 45, was a long-time sufferer of pain in his wrists and fingers which he attributed to getting older, until he was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome.
"I was one of the many people who thought that carpal tunnel only happened to women. So it was natural that I never imagined for a moment the daily pain I got in my hands was from carpal tunnel. I thought maybe it was due to arthritis or gout since that runs in my family. It was only when I was kept up at night for almost a week due to the pain that I went to see a doctor. I was told it was definitely carpal tunnel." Giles was given a shot to ease the pain. But it took him having surgery for him to take the syndrome seriously.
Two years after the fact, he is now a strong advocate for people adopting the proper posture for typing - whether they are using a typewriter or computer - to lessen their chances of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Proper posture for keyboard techniques means that your ears should be lined up with the tops of shoulders, and shoulders in line with your hips. For the shoulders, the upper arms should hang relaxed and close to the body. And for the wrists, the hands should be in straight lines with lower arms.
When using your keyboard, your fingers should be relaxed while typing and using a mouse. You should use a soft touch on the keyboard instead of pounding keys with unnecessary force. The mouse should be grasped gently. Your fingers and hands should be relaxed between bursts of typing or using a flat, straight wrist posture. You should also not rest your elbows on hard surfaces.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a lot more common due to the availability and everyday use of the computers and handheld electronic devices, which encourage the repetitive movement of your hands for hours on end, according to Dr. Patrick Whitfield, a family medicine practitioner operating out of the Oxford Medical Center.
"Contrary to belief, carpal tunnel syndrome is no longer confined to clerical workers or older women," said Dr. Whitfield. "It is essentially a pinching of the median nerve which runs up the forearm and enters a small space near the surface of the wrist that it passes through to connect to the first three fingers of your hand. It controls the movement or sensations in your index, middle and ring fingers and if for any reason the tendons found here or the median nerve gets compressed then you get the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Common symptoms include a pain in the wrists, pinching in the centers of the hands, tingling and pain in the fingers and even loss of grip and strength in the hands. These indicators may manifest together or build up over time depending on the severity of the condition."
As with most illnesses there are levels of severity to carpal tunnel syndrome. This is usually gauged by the level of discomfort or mobility of the affected hand according to the doctor. He says some people may be able to still function with their condition and rest when it starts to affect them. For others he said it can be more debilitating and a splint or wrist support may be needed to keep the hand in a neutral position so the tunnel doesn't pinch. For patients he says the pain can be even more intense which means they may not be able to function at all because the pain disturbs sleep at night and flexing for any length of time may hurt continuously.
The doctor says carpal tunnel syndrome is now affecting younger people as well, and is no longer just an older person's disease.
"I am seeing more cases where it is occurring in the younger generation as well," says the family physician. "A number of years ago it was common to see people in their 40s and 50s with this condition but now there has been a shift where people in their 30s and 20s are being diagnosed with it as well. It still occurs more commonly in women due to their bodies' tendency to retain water whether in pregnancy, menopause, a certain point in their menstrual cycle or obesity, which also affects this syndrome. But this does not mean that men are exempt because they can get it too."
While many children are also joining the masses of people using computers for hours on end, the doctor is not as concerned about them due to their resilience at a young age, but he does advise parents to make it a point to teach their youngsters the right posture to use when using one of these devices for long periods of time.
Overall, while Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is often not life-threatening, Dr. Whitfield says it is common enough that many people can get symptoms from time-to-time. They can try to ease the discomfort at home before seeking medical assistance. If you have tingling in your fingers or feel a pinching he advises that you stop what you are doing and give the hand a rest. Using an ice pack for an hour can also prove to be a good remedy to ease the pain, he says. Dr. Whitfield says whenever the pain occurs, it is also important to make a note of what motion or action is causing the discomfort and aim not to do it, or lessen the amount of time spent doing it so that the pain does not persist.
"You can lessen minor discomfort you have if you give your hands a rest for 10 to 15 minutes every hour," says the doctor. "But the problem is that the condition is likely to still develop due to continuing these repetitive practices for years or even mere months. If you know your job requires you to use a computer all day or some other repetitive movement it is not advised to go home and spend another four to five hours doing something similar."
When home remedies don't work, or have to be used too frequently then he says medical treatment should be sought.

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News Article
St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital Trike-A-Thon returns to The Bahama

The 2nd Annual St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital Trike-A-Thon in The Bahamas is all set to return to Sandyport on Friday, January 27 to raise money for St. Jude's Hospital -- the world's premier center for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases.
Organizers hope to repeat last year's tremendous success where preschoolers from Tambearly and The Meridian Schools raised over $13,000.
At St. Jude's, no child from anywhere in the world is ever denied treatment because of the family's inability to pay. As a result, St. Jude's relies heavily on community-based fundraising programs around the world like the Trike-A-Thon.
There are currently two active St. Jude patients from The Bahamas.
Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals and Beaches Resorts, has returned as the main sponsor, and the line-up of participating schools has expanded with the coming on board of the Lyford Cay International School.
A St. Jude's Hospital tradition for more than 25 years, Trike-A-Thon is a fun, week-long curriculum for daycare centers and pre-schools, designed to raise funds, get the public involved and raise awareness through interactive activities. Children learn riding, toy safety lessons through a series of interactive stories from special characters, Bikewell Bear and Pedals the Bunny.
On the last day of Trike-A-Thon week (Friday, January 27) participating children will bring their trikes or riding-toys to the specially marked and supervised course at Sandyport to practice the safety lessons they have learned and raise funds for the hospital. The community can sponsor children in Trike-A-Thon by pledging an amount-per-lap or making a one-time donation. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. under the theme "Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not".
The event is open to children ages two to six years old. Residents of Sandyport are invited to participate by reporting to the designated area with riding gear and helmet. There will be a small registration fee of $5 per child to cover food and drink -- proceeds from which will be donated to the Princess Margaret Crisis Centre.
Sandals Foundation director of programs, Heidi Clarke, commended the charity and commented on the Sandals Foundation's involvement.
"St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital plays a major role in treating and developing cures for children across the world. The Sandals Foundation is proud to be affiliated with a charity dedicated to making a difference in people's lives."
The Sandals Foundation plays an active role across the Caribbean with a focus on community, education and the environment. The Foundation believes that while working with communities to tackle a myriad of issues, strategic programs directed sustainable and positive impact, can be developed to better the lives of the Caribbean people.
In 2010, St. Jude's was ranked the most trusted charity in the United States and was named the top children's cancer hospital in the 2010-2011 Best Children's Hospitals rankings published by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit www.stjude.org.

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News Article
Chronic diseases under National Prescription Drug Plan expanded

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham yesterday signed off on an order expanding the amount of chronic diseases covered under the National Prescription Drug Plan (NPDP).
New ailments added to the list are benign prostatic hypertrophy, epilepsy, sickle cell anemia and thyroid disease, according to a statement released by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) yesterday.
The NPDP previously covered 11 chronic conditions: Arthritis, asthma, breast cancer, depression (major), diabetes, glaucoma, high cholesterol, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, prostate cancer and psychosis.
The government enacted the drug plan in 2009 and it came into effect on September 20, 2010.
The statement noted that the new order amends conditions previously listed under two existing categories of illnesses, replacing 'ischemic heart disease' with 'ischaemia disease' and 'major depression' with 'psychiatric disease'.
Last December the government also widened the group of Bahamians that would benefit from the program.
Originally under the first phase of the plan were National Insurance Board (NIB) pensioners, NIB invalids, Bahamian citizens over 65 years of age who are not eligible to receive a NIB pension, children under 18 years of age and students under 25 years of age.
The government added as a part of the second phase, indigent people; staff of Her Majesty's Prisons and the industrial schools; members of the Royal Bahamas Police and Defence Force; people receiving medical care associated with pregnancy; people receiving 100 percent NIB disablement benefits; people receiving a NIB retirement grant and people age 60 and over in receipt of NIB survivors who have been diagnosed with one or more of the chronic conditions covered under the plan.
The NPDP is designed to assist the Bahamian public with medications generally prescribed to treat chronic conditions.
According to the statement, nearly 18,000 people presently receive benefits under the plan.

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News Article
Making an impression in ten minutes or less

Grand Bahama-born Alexiou Gibson got less than 10 minutes to chat with MSNBC contributor and White House correspondent for TheGrio.com, Jeff Johnson, but those precious minutes of conversation were all he needed to impress Johnson who gave up the award he was presented at Palm Beach State College's 13th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast.
The college presents its annual awards to individuals who have made innovative contributions toward improving the lives of others in Palm Beach County, Florida. Honored this year were D'atra Franklin, a Palm Beach State student who has been advocating for legislation to help children aging out of the foster care system; Mark Hansen (alumnus), a former Palm Beach County School Board member who through his books and service is committed to helping and empowering youth; Carlton Wade (individual), a McDonald's franchisee of 11 restaurants in Palm Beach Country whose business presence and personal involvement has enriched youth in the community. El Sol, Jupiter's neighborhood resource center provides services for immigrants and low-income individuals in the community. Johnson was honored for his grassroots work to inspire a new generation of leaders.
In giving up the award to Gibson who graduates from the college in May, Johnson said that every young person has potential and that it's all about how the young people reach their potential and how much that potential has been tailored.
"I get awards like this all the time and I appreciate the spirit from where they come, but I always believe these awards can be inspiration and motivation more to someone else, so brother I want to give you this," he said to Gibson during the ceremony. Telling the audience that Gibson was in the process of preparing a speech to deliver to the school's board of trustees, on how he had been blessed and grown from an experience, Johnson said the brief conversation told him that Gibson was going to do amazing things - and not just in science and technology.
"He has an amazing spirit and it doesn't take longer than 10 minutes to see it. And as far as I'm concerned, it's my responsibility to feed back into you," he told Gibson. "And so as talented as I know you are and as many opportunities that you're going to have, I hope that on the darkest of days, when it's difficult to see who is a hater and who is a friend, that you would at least look at this [award] and hope that it brings some inspiration to know that there's a brother who believes that you are going to do amazing and wonderful things."
Gibson was shocked to hear Johnson give up his award to him. As he walked to the stage to receive it from him he said he was shaking.
"The morning before his speech in the stadium, I was selected to have breakfast with him on a one-on-one level with five other students. Just having idle chit-chat, I asked him about giving speeches because the following week I had to give a speech to my college's board of trustees, which is a huge honor, but nerve-wrecking and I asked advice on staying calm. He asked me why I was chosen to give the speech and I told him about my NASA experience and speaking at elementary schools." Gibson, a biomedical engineering student was one of 48 community college students from 25 states, chosen to participate in a three-day NASA program to design and build a prototype vehicle to roam Mars.
Even though it was a shock to hear Johnson give up his award to him, Gibson said it also made him feel really good. It was an award he could have applied to be considered for, but he missed the application deadline by a day. As he sat through the ceremony happy for awardees, he said he was silently kicking himself, wishing he had applied.
"I wanted to apply for the award because I felt I had applied good leadership - I'm always trying to encourage others and bring them up, so missing that deadline and still getting the award meant a lot."
Since Johnson handed over his award, Gibson said he's been invited to speak to minority students at a lot of schools at the fourth and fifth grades and some high schools in Palm Beach. Gibson who lived in Grand Bahamas until age 10 has also been invited to speak at Freeport High School in March during his Easter break.
When he speaks, Gibson said he tries to uplift students and let them know that the sky is the limit. He tries to influence them in a positive way.
"When I was growing up, I wasn't the best student, and didn't have opportunities, but I've been blessed to have many people in my life that showed me the ropes. So I tell the students about my struggles, to let them know that it's possible to be active and to be responsible."
Gibson, 25, will graduate the community college in May. He currently has a 3.4 grade point average. He's in the process of applying to schools to further his studies. He eventually wants to do research and return to The Bahamas to bridge the gap between research and technology and doctors.
He has also received a letter of recommendation from NASA to return for their three-month internship during the summer.

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News Article
Celebrate life and love

It's hot!
It's chic!
It's elegant!
It's sophistication at its best, but it's still an evening filled with love, laughter, dancing and in general a good time. The 48th annual Heart Ball allows patrons to celebrate life and love while helping to preserve a heart and give a gift of life, in a fun, party atmosphere affair.
This year, patrons will get dressed in their "Sunday go to meeting best" and get down to the sounds of the Ed Brice Orchestra, the Soulful Groovers Band, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Dance Band and to selections from Gary Johnson at the deejay booth. The ball will be held in the Independence Ballroom at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort on Saturday, February 18, under the theme "Repairing a broken heart: What a gift".
Tickets are $250 per person, and each person's attendance will help to repair the heart of a child and give a gift of life. Cocktails are served at 7:15 p.m., dinner is at 8:30 p.m.
"The Heart Ball Committee is working arduously to ensure that this ball is better than any before," said public relations officer Ingrid Sears. "Last year the Heart Foundation celebrated its 50th anniversary. At the start of the year 2012, we move forward with greater financial need and thus greater challenges, as we seek to help the Heart Foundation repair hearts. The Heart Ball Committee is working with a renewed determination to ensure that we maintain the legacy of the founder and also the foundation. Additionally, we wish to ensure that patrons are encouraged to attend future Heart Balls and continue to help to repair broken hearts".
The Heart Ball is one of two major fundraisers for the Heart Foundation. It is always held on the Saturday closest to Valentine's Day. Funds raised go towards assisting children to receive heart surgeries which aren't cheap, and which many parents cannot afford. One child's heart surgery can cost over $50,000.
Even though patrons attend the annual ball to have fun, they do so knowing that the cost of their ticket is helping to reduce the financial burden to parents who cannot afford the cost of the life-saving surgery for their children.
"At present there are 11 patients in need of heart surgeries," said Sears. "It is anticipated that more children will need heart care during the year, and many of their parents will not be able to afford it. The funds raised from this event, will help the Heart Foundation to repair the hearts of children."
One of the highlights of the ball is always the naming of the person that will be given The Lady Sassoon Golden Heart award, who will be selected from of pool of people nominated for their humanitarian and heart touching acts to improve the lives of others.
Additionally, fabulous prizes will be up for grabs on the evening via raffles, and auctioned items. Roundtrip tickets for on British Airways to London; roundtrip tickets for two on Air Canada; hotel accommodations in Canada; an emerald and diamond ring; spa treatments and dinners are among the most coveted prizes that will be given away on the night. There will also be paintings and prints from the likes of the late Chan Pratt, Clifford Fernander, Nettica Symonette, and many more artists.
But in the midst of all the glitz, glamour and fun, Sears says she wants patrons to remember and recognize the cause for the annual Heart Ball, which is to raise funds for the Heart Ball Committee, the fundraising arm of The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation. The foundation's main goal is to assist primarily children, with heart care. Additionally, the foundation in conjunction with the Bahamas Heart Association aims to proactively educate and inform people residing in The Bahamas about heart care and how to lead heart healthy lifestyles.
The Heart Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1961 by Lady Evelyn Sassoon to assist people in need of heart care. The foundation runs primarily on a volunteer basis and relies heavily upon the generosity of others. Over 97 percent of the funds received go directly to heart care. The remaining three percent or less goes to unavoidable administrative costs.
The Heart Foundation gives support and understanding to parents and families for heart care, whether in hospitals in The Bahamas or in Florida. Since its inception, the Heart Foundation has helped over 4,000 patients to obtain heart care. Despite the Heart Foundation's best efforts and the increase in number of local cardiologist, technology and equipment, there is still a need to raise funds to assist children of The Bahamas receive heart care locally and at hospitals abroad.
For information on ticket purchases or donations please contact The Heart Foundation at telephone number 327-0806.

REPAIR A BROKEN HEART
What: 48th Annual Heart Ball
When: Saturday, February 18
Where: Independence Ballroom at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort
Time: Cocktails 7:15 p.m., dinner 8:30 p.m.
Tickets: $250 per person

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News Article
The National Health Insurance debate

We read recently in a local daily that Dr. Perry Gomez, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) candidate for North Andros and the Berry Islands said that under a PLP government National Health Insurance (NHI) would be implemented within the first year of coming to office. While we are in the so-called 'silly season' and everyone and their brother are making promises, we would hope that some of the promises would be well reasoned outlining the attended cost and consequences for the wider community; the usual rhetoric is just not acceptable this time around. We believe that members of the Bahamian electorate are a bit more discerning than most politicians give them credit for.

What is NHI?
The issue of a National Health Insurance was first raised back in August 2002, when then Prime Minister Perry Christie appointed a 15-member Blue Ribbon Commission to review the feasibility of a National Health Insurance Plan. The committee was also mandated to determine the best way to make affordable healthcare available to all residents. The appointment of the committee was a step towards the fulfillment of the then government's promise to ensure that all patients receive the same access to healthcare regardless of their personal wealth or circumstances as outlined in the PLP's manifesto, 'Our Plan'. In 2004, the final report was released. It was the view of the committee that The Bahamas cannot afford to not have a National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme. The committee also stated that NHI had to be mandatory and would only work if the government had adequate funding.

We have no difficulty agreeing with those observations but would urge the authorities and the public to take a closer and more objective look at the proposal.
What is National Health Insurance? National Health Insurance is a form of social health insurance, which uses the principles of fund pooling and risk sharing to provide equity in access to care. Individuals pay an 'affordable' amount on a consistent basis and in return are able to have their healthcare needs provided for, regardless of cost.
It is envisioned that this 'cradle to the grave' national healthcare coverage will cover persons who are currently excluded from private insurance plans such as individuals with pre-existing illnesses, newborn babies and those over 65.
The 125-page NHI report outlined the following eight specific recommendations for the Cabinet's consideration:
1. National Health Insurance should be universal.
2. Legislation should stipulate the health insurance is compulsory for all residents.
3. National Health Insurance should be administered by the National Insurance Board.
4. A comprehensive benefits package should be offered.
5. Contributions should be set at a rate which is affordable for the majority.
6. Public and private providers should be offered the opportunity to join the National Health Insurance system.
7. All provider payment mechanisms should be considered for use with capitation being the preferred option. (Capitation is a provider payment mechanism in which providers are regularly paid a stipulated amount per person for whom they agree to provide services during a defined period of time.)
8. A percentage of revenues should be set aside for purposes that ensure the stability of National Health Insurance.
The present system in The Bahamas, which employed persons contribute to, is a form of social security. Our health system includes tax-funded care through government hospitals and clinics, and private care funded by direct user fees or private insurers. The incentives that exist include pension, invalidity assistance, medical incentives, maternity benefits, some income replacement, temporary and permanent disability benefits, and health coverage for occupational injuries. Basically, social health insurance currently exists only through the industrial injury component of NIB.
Recently, the present government implemented the National Prescription Drug Plan to assist some Bahamian residents, particularly the elderly and children under the age of 18 years. It is estimated that the cost of this program is currently running around $5 million; a figure which we expect to only increase in the future.
Healthcare costs are one of the more vexing and challenging issues facing countries today and according to the latest information on the subject, average cost in the last five years increased annually by more than 10 percent. With rapidly aging populations and the rising costs of modern medical technology, governments everywhere are finding it increasingly difficult to provide the funds required to meet healthcare needs of their respective populations. Given that position, we would hope that before any decision is made to move forward with universal health coverage, the authorities would prepare a detailed cost analysis to use as a guide. To do otherwise, we run the risk of committing to something which could surely place The Bahamas on an irreversible path to economic poverty.
Prior to 2008, it was estimated that only 51 percent of Bahamians had private health insurance. Today, given the challenging global economic environment, the impact on the local economy and increasing levels of unemployment, we estimate that number at around 40 percent based on the increasing payouts by insurance companies. For some, private insurance has become too expensive; persons in the lower income bracket and those living on the Family Islands are now less likely to have insurance coverage.
There are a number of questions that need answers. How much will this plan cost? (Back in 2004 estimates were pegged around $200 million-plus, which we felt were too low at that time). Who will pay for those who cannot afford to pay? What will be the impact on the private insurance industry? What impact will it have on the fiscal deficit? (This should be of particular relevance to future generations).

Concerns remain
Historically, the Bahamian government has been a principal source of financing environmental and healthcare expenses for citizens of The Bahamas with an annual expenditure of over $267 million in the 2011/2012 budget or nearly 16 percent of total recurrent expenses which computes to almost four percent of the country revised GDP (another story for another day).
It is estimated that the private insurance companies spent nearly $230 million in 2011, which gives us a total healthcare expenditure bill of nearly $435 million or 5.4 percent of the revised GDP. In the 2004/2005 fiscal budget, the government allocated approximately $187 million for health expenditure. In 2004/2005 it was estimated that healthcare expenditure stood at approximately $340 million or 7.10 percent of GDP, of which $70 million was spent by the people, $102 million spent through private health insurance, and the rest by the government. In comparison, in 1985, total public expenditure amounted to approximately $56 million or only 2.70 percent of GDP.
It is our view, based on historical cost data and future projections, that the cost of a national healthcare plan going forward would be in the region of $500 million to $750 million; equivalent to nearly half of our recurrent expenditure and as such, would not leave much room for other important infrastructure projects.
We generally agree with the conclusion of the commission's report that a social health insurance system for The Bahamas would provide more equity in access to healthcare, more stable funding of public health costs, and fewer 'free riders', or people who benefit without contributing. Setting up such a national healthcare system involves more than just taxing the people but will require legislation and the creation of responsible bodies.
Two critical issues are ensuring compliance and public accountability. We are also mindful, however, that there are those who have little faith in governments operating such healthcare initiatives due to a propensity for such operations to become instruments of political patronage and the widely shared view that government institutions are relatively poorly managed. In the last analysis, we believe that the scheme would only work efficiently if, and only if, there are proper checks and balances in place especially to ensure that the pool of money goes in to a segregated fund for health and health alone.
oCFAL is a sister company of The Nassau Guardian under the AF Holdings Ltd. umbrella. CFAL provides investment management, research, brokerage and pension services. For comments, please contact CFAL at: column@cfal.com.

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Grenada MP invites all to celebrate 300th anniversary of St George
Grenada MP invites all to celebrate 300th anniversary of St George

MP Peter David has said that he is “eagerly’’ looking forward to an exciting weekend with back-to-back days of activities in celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Town of St George.

Local volunteers, with the support of the Tri-Centennial Committee headed by the nation’s Heritage Conservation Officer, Michael Jessamy, are putting the finishing touches to plans for events on the Carenage, in River Road and in the Four Roads/Grenville Street Community.

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Critical discourse during Women's Suffrage Movement Symposium

Fifty years ago, a series of strategic and compelling events culminated in one of the most significant achievements in Bahamian history. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Women's Suffrage Movement in The Bahamas and in commemoration of this significant milestone The College of The Bahamas and the Bureau of Women's Affairs are collaborating to host the Women's Suffrage Movement Symposium, March 6th - 9th at the college's Performing Arts Centre.
The symposium's theme is "Commemorating the Past, Reflecting on the Present, Envisioning the Future: 1962 and Beyond". It will provide the platform for informed discussion, debate and analysis of the events that gave birth to the empowerment and enfranchisement of Bahamian women.
Chair of the Symposium Planning Committee and head of the history, religion and philosophy department at The College of The Bahamas Assistant Professor Dr. Christopher Curry said these kinds of anniversaries provide an opportunity to reflect on the struggles and triumphs of the nation building process in The Bahamas.
"The Suffrage Movement, though an integral part of the Quiet Revolution, has often been overlooked or overshadowed by other events such as Black Tuesday, The General Strike or Majority Rule. This symposium will raise the awareness of the significance of the movement, while also critically engaging some of its shortcomings," he said. "As the symposium has three foci -- the past, present and future -- we intend to provide a broad analysis of the struggle for equal rights and full citizenship for women in The Bahamas. This is not about one event, but a long process that is still being fought today. Thus, the symposium will serve to raise awareness of the past struggles even as it engages critical issues that remain unresolved in The Bahamas today."
On February 23rd, 1961, the bill to enable women to have and exercise rights of registration as voters and of voting similar to those accorded to men under the provisions of the General Assembly Elections Act 1959 was passed. It came into effect on June 30th, 1962. The following month, on July 12th, Ruby Ann Cooper was the first woman to register to vote and on November 26th, 1962, women 21 years and over voted for the first time in The Bahamas.
Half a century ago, women like Mary Ingraham, Mabel Walker, Georgiana Symonette, Eugenia Lockhart, Althea Mortimer, Albertha M. Isaacs, Doris Johnson, Grace Wilson, Mildred Moxey, Ethel Kemp, Gladys Bailey and Madge Brown defied social convention. They became trailblazers who challenged inequalities and helped to advance the status of women in The Bahamas.
Christine Campbell, first assistant secretary, Bureau of Women's Affairs said the persistence of the suffragettes and other advocates provide an important national lesson.
"It is so important because so many Bahamians don't know our history and don't understand the significance of what happened. I think it is wonderful that COB is in partnership with the Bureau on this," she said. "I would like persons to talk about what those ladies did to give them their just due. My personal view is that they have exhibited what we want to see in our students and other persons that when you believe in a cause, and one on a national level that is going to advance your country and your people you do not give up."
During the symposium, attendees including junior and senior high school students will have the opportunity to gain special insight into this period of history as expressed by some of the children and siblings of the suffragettes: Juliette Barnwell, Andrew Maynard, Alice Musgrove-Rolle, Wallice Carey and Shirley Cooper. Nationally recognized writers and researchers as well as international scholars will also present varied perspectives.
"The more we expose our young people, the better they will be and they will be able to build on it. They are the tradition bearers and long after we are gone they will be able to tell their children about aspects of our history," Ms. Campbell added.
The opening ceremony of the symposium will be held on Tuesday evening at 6:30p.m. and will be immediately followed by a panel discussion. The first session, specially structured for students, was held this past Tuesday.

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