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News Article

February 21, 2012
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

February 29, 2012
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

March 05, 2014
Bahamian chosen in first class of HBCU All-Stars

Bahamian Shantel Braynen has been chosen by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCU) to join its first class of HBCU All-Stars, recognizing 75 undergraduate, graduate and professional students for their accomplishments in academics, leadership and civic engagement.
Currently enrolled at 62 HBCU's, Braynen, a senior at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona, Florida, and the other All-Stars were selected from 445 students who submitted applications that included a transcript, resume, essay and recommendation.
An accounting major, Braynen was shocked when she was contacted by the White House.
"I knew it was a competitive process, but I prayed that I would be chosen. I am grateful to have an opportunity to represent Bethune-Cookman and all HBCU students nationally. And I look forward to serving the community more fully," she said.
Over the course of the next year, the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) All-Stars will serve as ambassadors of the White House Initiative by providing outreach and communication to their fellow students about the value of education and the Initiative as a networking resource. Through social media and their relationships with community-based organizations, the All-Stars will share promising and proven practices that support opportunities for all young people to achieve their educational and career potential.
Braynen, 21, who makes up one of the 45 female strong cohort and the 30 males, will participate in regional events and web chats with Ivory Toldson, deputy director of the WHIHBCUs, other initiative staff and professionals from a wide range of disciplines. They will also have opportunities to engage with other scholars to showcase individual and collective talent across the HBCE community.
"It means a lot to me to have been chosen. I give all the glory to God for the opportunity to be chosen," she told The Nassau Guardian. "It means a lot to be chosen as an ambassador of the White House Initiative to promote education, and because I'm from The Bahamas and I'm at a small HBCU it means a lot to represent all those places and also my family."
She was recommended for the initiative by a professor at Texas A&M University who she met when she visited the school two years ago. Her academics, accomplishments and leadership ability got her accepted.
She is the daughter of Stephen and Rochelle Rolle.
Braynen, who lived in Bahama Sound, Exuma, and attended L.N. Coakley School for two years before departing for university, is a perfect 4.00 grade point average student -- an average she hopes will hold true to form through her graduation in May. She has turned in a perfect record since her freshman year.
"I really value education because I believe knowledge is power, so coming into college I had my goal to stay focused and keep the grades up," she said.
Getting to that point was a process for Braynen. She recalls being a C-average student for most of her formative years until she decided to turn things around.
"In primary school I was the student who just barely got by. In high school I was just a so-so student. The turning point for me was when I had two sisters graduate from high school and I saw how well they did -- one was even a valedictorian, so it was then I decided to take my education a little more seriously." Braynen was a 10th grade student at the time. And when she decided to make that switch, she just did it. She applied herself and saw her grade point average rise to 3.5 and above that easily.
Academically, she is a testament to all children who are struggling and who may not be applying themselves that they can struggle, but that they can make the turnaround as well.
She said it helped that when she went through those years when she did not apply herself to learning that she had parents that drilled into her and her siblings that they wanted them to do well, and that they had sacrificed so their children could receive a good education. Braynen said she knew from a child that she would attend college because her parents always pushed for it. She's just glad she made the turnaround when she did.
Braynen is also a believer in that education comes outside of the books as well. "Education is not just about book knowledge -- and this goes right back to this White House initiative -- if I hadn't gone out to Texas and met other people, then I probably wouldn't have been nominated for this Initiative, so education is much more than just studying a book," she said. "We learn from other people and through talking with others."
Her advise to high school students is to put God first in what they do. She said he would direct their path.
"I didn't see myself in primary school being here [college], but it was all in God's plan so I think first of all if they put God first he'll direct their steps in everything. They should also always have a good attitude, and by that I mean don't complain when they get a lot of work in class, but just have a good attitude, and stay focused. If they want to be a chef go out there and be the best chef they can be. If they want to be a doctor, go and be the best doctor they can be, but just stay focused and do well at what they choose to do."
With weeks to her graduation, Braynen says her immediate goals are to find a job for a few years before applying to graduate school. In 10 years she would like to have her own business and she has dream of one day starting her own mentoring initiative.
"With God all things are possible and it doesn't matter where you come from, but it matters where you end up," she says.
Nelson Mandela's quote "After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb," is another favorite of hers and one that she says she hopes Bahamian students would live by as well in their approach to their academics.
"When I graduated from high school I was celebrating that I was over this big hill called high school, but I'm climbing this next hill called college and when I'm finished, there's a next hill called real life, so students should ensure that they have determination when they're climbing the hills throughout life and make sure to have God in their life and be focused to get over those hills. But while climbing the hills to also make sure to help other people up which I try to do now in college by being a role model for other students," she said.

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News Article

March 06, 2014
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

February 29, 2012
Anglican bishop: Country needs independent Boundaries Commission

There is a 'pressing need' for an independent Boundaries Commission to ensure that constituency cuts are not subject to the 'whim and will' of the government, said Anglican Bishop Laish Boyd in a pastoral letter to members of the Anglican church.
Boyd, bishop of the diocese of The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos, said successive governments have been guilty of using the commission to suit its needs.
"[An independent commission] would ensure that political constituencies are determined by a non-partisan, scientific, transparent method that can withstand objective scrutiny and that is not controlled by the whim and will of the government of the day," said Boyd in a five-page letter written on February 22 and released to the media yesterday .
The creation of an independent Boundaries Commission was one of six proposals in the failed 2002 referendum. The majority of the electorate voted against an independent body to oversee constituency cuts ahead of an election; 57,815 people voted 'no' while 30,418 voted 'yes.'
Boyd also criticized the policy some leaders pursue to dismantle the work of their predecessor in office instead of building on the foundation that was left behind.
"At some times and in some areas, successive governments of this country have seen themselves and have styled themselves as 'undoing' what their predecessors have done rather than collaborating on a sustained, broader and seamless vision for the real well-being and advancement of this country," he wrote.
"It takes immense political will and political maturity on the part of all concerned to rise above 'party' and to think 'country'."
 
ISSUES

Boyd also advised voters to take a non-partisan look at national issues such as the economy, crime, education, health care and the judicial system when they go to the polls this year instead of focusing on the personalities of the candidates.
"Crime remains a concern, as it should be. The police have a job to do and must always be equipped, challenged and given the authority to do it without undue interference or obstruction from government, politicians or citizens," the bishop said.
Boyd said while successive governments have worked to speed up the judicial process more work must be done to accelerate the movement of criminal matters through the courts.
"It will take the government, the judiciary, the police and the legal profession to continue this process. Justice delayed is justice denied. No one of the above groups should be able to stall inordinately or unreasonably the resolution of a case before the court," he wrote.
Boyd also applauded the government for its drug prescription plan but said he looks forward to the day when the uninsured are covered under a national health insurance scheme.
He said voters should consider problems of traffic congestion and the lack of a structured public transport system in New Providence when they go to polls.
He added that the poor and vulnerable are the ones who suffer most because of the country's unreliable jitney system.
"Poor people, children, the elderly and citizens in general suffer inconvenience, limitation and danger because of this.  We cannot have a situation where the persons who need our protection most are left unprotected. This is a matter that must be addressed," Boyd wrote.

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News Article

February 24, 2012
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

February 24, 2012
2012 West End Eco-Fishing Camp set to begin a fun-filled season

WEST END, Grand Bahama -- 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 spirit that encourages a team effort in each of the planned activities.
The first camp program began in the spring of 2009 with a goal to ensure that the children from West End would learn about entrepreneur and career opportunities as marine biologists, scientists, ecology tour guides, environmentalists, small boat engine mechanics, oceanographers, agriculture, and aqua-culture farmers. Kids are also included from throughout West Grand Bahama and Pineridge who join together to accept their role as "future environmentalists and ecologists" The eco-fishing camp is slated to open March 10 through May 26, 2012. The sessions are held on Saturday mornings from 9AM to 2PM.

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News Article

February 28, 2012
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

March 01, 2012
Leroy Stanley Johnson, 69

Memorial service for Leroy Stanley Johnson, 69, of Flint and Taylor Streets will be held on Saturday, March 3rd, 2012 at Amazing Grace Missionary Baptist Church, Wilson Tract Officiating will be Sr. Pastor, Rev. Elva Johnson J.P., assisted by Rev. Merion. E. Roberts J.P., Rev. Dr. George Barry and other Ministers of the Gospel.
Left to cherish his precious memories are: his three(3): daughters Naurae and Michelle Johnson and Natasha Ferguson six(6) sisters: Naomi Carey, Rosemary Lowe, Sherry Lowe, Donnamae Lowe, Garnelle Lowe-Holmes and Sharon Lowe - Byrd; two (2) brothers: Anthony and Bradley Lowe; twelve (12) grand-children: Nerissa Johnson, George Willie, Delya Ferguson, Natricia Wainwright, Berget ...

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News Article

February 29, 2012
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

March 02, 2012
Cultural Violence and the Rights of Women and Children

Back in 1996 I came
across a Reader's Digest magazine article on the Taliban and their
drastic and tragic dominance over the women of Afghanistan. As a woman
and new young mother, it was heart-wrenching to read how the sudden
oppressive actions of this group were dominating and changing the lives
of women in that country, women who previously had 'normal' lives. They
were forced to cover themselves completely with burqas and were stripped
of their freedoms, careers, but mostly their dignity.  I was so
horror-struck by this article, that I tore out the pages, photocopied it
50 times and snail mailed it to most of my family and friends. I simply
wanted people to know what was going on.

We rally for the rights of animals, we rally for the rights of those of
different colours of skin or race, but do we rally for the basic rights
of human beings? How long do women and children have to be treated like
dogs, or worse, 'rabid dogs'...

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News Article

February 28, 2012
Jordan gets his miracle

Jordan Carey's parents often joke that their son must have a battery in him because he's constantly on the go, walking and running around. The rare times the toddler sits still for any length of time are to watch his favorite pal, Elmo. But it was just a few months ago when he started creeping that they noticed he would get tired quickly and would have to stop and rest a lot. They believe that tiredness deterred him from pursuing walking with much zeal.
For most parents during pregnancy, thoughts are of giving birth to a healthy child - they don't much care what the sex may be. Joretta Roberts and D'Angelo Carey felt the same way, but when they learned their newborn son, Jordan, needed surgery to repair a number of defects, it not only caused the first time parents' hearts to "skip a beat", but was the start of a long road of hurdles their son would have to overcome.
Just hours after Jordan's birth, it was discovered that he had a gastrointestinal tract issue that needed to be addressed, specifically a diagnosis for imperforate anus. As he was being airlifted from Grand Bahama to New Providence the doctor on the air ambulance detected the infant also had a heart murmur. He was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, a heart defect, by pediatric cardiologist Dr. Jerome Lightbourne.
Early on in his young life, the infant had to undergo two surgeries related to bowel repair during which time medical professionals monitored his heart condition for which the surgery would cost the family into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The family did not have health insurance.
"Jordan needed a corrective surgery to fix his heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot - basically different things being wrong with his heart that needed to be fixed if he would live normally," said his father. "The surgery would've cost my fiancee and I about $270,000. At that point neither of us were employed. Joretta was in medical school, completing her studies and at that time I was unemployed. Joretta had some medical coverage, but our son was not covered on it as yet and at that point, he was uninsurable. Knowing that we needed to come up with that money, we knew we needed help. We needed a miracle," said the father.
Three months ago at age 14 months, Roberts and Carey got their "miracle" as their son's much-needed surgery was paid for by the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation, a nonprofit organization that specializes in assisting children with heart problems.
Now at 17 months, Joretta and D'Angelo are wondering whether doctors left a battery in their son after his surgery because he has so much energy and is doing well.
Roberts was enrolled in medical school when she learned she was pregnant. She said it was an uneventful pregnancy, and they didn't think anything would be amiss. She planned to take six months leave to breastfeed before returning to school to do her final examinations and residency.
"There was no indication that there was anything wrong. I went through regular checkups and had two ultrasounds done. Organ development and everything else seemed fine. If there was a heart murmur in utero it is generally considered normal unless there is a family history which there was none in our case. So really there was nothing that made us feel our baby would be anything but healthy," she said. Jordan was born on August 20, 2010.
Everything changed within moments of his birth.
Jordan's heart surgery was performed at the Joe DiMaggio Hospital in Florida.
"I don't know what his chances at life were without the surgery, but from what I saw in research he wouldn't have lived a quality life if it wasn't done," said his father.
His mother, a member of the medical field,knew all of the possible outcomes of surgery and was concerned - not so much about the surgery itself, but how long it would take her son to fully recover. Jordan was discharged from hospital a little over a week after his surgery. Since then she said he has been nothing but a "ball of energy".
"Jordan is now 18 months old and he's doing well. He's so remarkable to watch. He's running around, likes to play ball and feed himself. He copies everything you do, loves Elmo and is just a typical child - full of energy and wanting his own way. It's so remarkable to see all of this especially knowing where he came from," said Roberts. "The only concerns he has right now is that the other surgeries he underwent not long after he was born to fix his gastrointestinal tract has resulted in him having to use a colostomy bag. But he is scheduled for this third and final surgery concerning that in the near future. He is fine and he is happy nonetheless. A typical child," she said.
The parents give back by assisting the Sir Victor Sasson (Bahamas) Heart Foundation with fundraising efforts. They are also active in the Grand Bahama Heart Association.
The parents said the heart foundation is truly God's hand extended. And that the people that are supporters, friends and laborers in the organization have the opportunity to assist God in performing miracles. They encourage people to support the foundation's fundraisers like the annual heart ball and become members of the association. They also encourage people to simply give because they say every dollar adds up.
Prior to their son's surgery, neither Roberts nor Carey knew much about the foundation and like most people, didn't realize what extent the foundation goes to in order to save lives. As such they said they are both dedicated to bringing a greater awareness of the organizations to people.
"Everyone sees programs like 'Feed the Children' or 'Make a Wish' and many people are hard and fast on sending donations across the sea to help people they don't even know or probably will never see. There is nothing wrong with this, but I think that supporting local nonprofit organizations like the heart foundation is so important," said Roberts.
"There are 11 kids on the list awaiting heart surgeries and we need to help. You can watch a miracle happen before your very eyes right here in our country when you give to support the children that need these surgeries. You help to give life and save lives with the small donations you give. It's inspirational to see these kids grow up and now in their 20s still doing well. The foundation has done this for over 4,000 kids in The Bahamas in the 50 years it has been around. Charity begins at home and ends abroad. So doing whatever you can is an awesome way to support your own fellow Bahamian," she said.
Besides the heart foundation's assistance, Roberts said supportive family and friends got them through their ordeal. She also advises people to always try to find a support group during tough times because besides financial woes, she said a person's emotional state can be greatly impacted and having others around who care and understand, helps.
With her son's improving health, Roberts has returned to completing her medical studies because she does not have to worry extensively about what is happening at home.

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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

February 28, 2012
Ganglion cysts can be painful and affect proper functioning of the foot

Ganglion cysts are also known as "Bible cysts" because they were treated with "Bible therapy" which entailed the use of a heavy book to smash and burst the cyst. Thankfully, this form of treatment is no longer recommended because they do not prevent ganglion cysts from returning and could cause further injury.
A ganglion cyst is the most common benign tumor or swelling on top of a joint or the covering of a tendon (connects muscle to bone). The word "ganglion" means "knot" and is used to describe the knot-like mass or lump that forms below the surface of the skin. It looks like a sac of liquid (cyst). Inside the cyst is a thick, sticky, clear, colorless, jelly-like material. Depending on the size, the cyst may feel firm or spongy. Although they most often occur on the wrist, they frequently develop on the foot, usually on the top of the foot.

Ganglion cysts can vary in size, may get smaller and larger, and may even disappear for a time and then return later.
Ganglion cysts are more common in women, and 70 percent occur in people between 20 and 40 years of age. Ganglion cysts rarely occur in children younger than 10 years of age. They are not serious or an emergency situation, but can be painful and affect proper functioning of the foot. In fact, many ganglion cysts (38 percent to 58 percent) can disappear on their own without treatment.

Causes
The exact cause of ganglion cysts is not known. One theory suggests that trauma causes the tissues of the joint to break down forming small cysts, which then join into a larger, more obvious mass. Another theory suggests that damage in the joint capsule or tendon covering (sheath) allows the joint tissue to collect fluid and bulge out.

Symptoms
A ganglion cyst most often appears as a soft lump on top of the foot. It moves easily under the skin when you touch it and may feel like a small smooth stone. Most ganglion cysts tend to cause some degree of pain, usually following acute or repetitive trauma. If the cyst is touching a nerve, people may complain of tingling or burning to the foot or toes beyond the cyst. If the cyst is pressing against a tendon or joint they may experience a dull pain or ache as the cyst takes up space in the foot. There may be difficulty wearing shoes over the cyst which may lead to pain and swelling. The ganglion cyst usually appears as a bump (mass) that changes size. It is usually soft, and about half to 1.2 inches in size. Up to 35 percent of people only have the cyst and no other symptoms like pain or swelling.

Diagnosis
Visit your podiatrist to make sure that you have a ganglion cyst, keep you from worrying and help you to decide on the best treatment for you. To diagnose a ganglion cyst, the podiatrist will perform a physical exam of the foot. The lump will be visible on the foot and when pressed it will move freely underneath the skin. The podiatrist may try to shine a light through the cyst or use a syringe to draw out some of the fluid in the cyst (needle aspiration) for evaluation. Your podiatrist may take an x-ray to evaluate the joint under the cyst, but often times it does not show anything wrong. An ultrasound or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) may be ordered if further confirmation is needed
Non-surgical treatment
There are various options for treating a ganglion cyst on the foot.
Monitoring, but no treatment: If the cyst does not cause pain and does not interfere with walking or wearing shoes, it may be decided it is best to carefully watch the cyst over a period of time.
Shoe modifications: You may be advised to wear shoes that do not rub on the cyst or cause irritation. In addition, placing a pad inside the shoe may help reduce pressure against the cyst.
Aspiration and injection: The podiatrist may drain the fluid from the cyst and then inject some medication into the cyst to prevent it from coming back. Studies have shown that up to 74 percent of people are cured after having the fluid drawn out of the cyst with a needle. This may need to be repeated. In some cases, the cyst may return.
When is surgery needed?
Surgical removal of the cyst is needed when the mass is painful, interferes with function and wearing shoes, or causes numbness or tingling. Surgery can involve simple removal of the cysts through a small incision. The recovery after surgery is fairly quickly, about one to two weeks. The recurrence rate after surgery is much lower than after aspiration and injection, however there is still a chance that the Ganglion cyst can return.

oFor more information visit www.foothealth.com or www.emedicinehealth.com or email foothealth242@gmail.com. To see a podiatrist, visit Bahamas Foot Centre on Rosetta Street, telephone 325-2996 or Bahamas Surgical Associates on Albury Lane, telephone 394-5820 for an appointment.

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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
Youth in Puerto Rico to gain from technology access and training
March 27, 2010
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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News Article

January 17, 2012
No longer a death sentence

Although it was 17 years ago, Derry Ferguson remembers that night like it was yesterday. Her seven-month-old baby, Darrian, had a fever that she couldn't get to break and his unceasing, heartrending cries forced her to take him to the hospital because nothing she did seemed to ease his discomfort.
For the then 26-year-old mother, it was a relief when he was diagnosed with meningitis called pneumococcus and that it could be treated, but her heart sank when doctors also discovered Darrian had sickle cell anemia, a genetic condition passed down in families that affects the blood cells that carry oxygen in the body. The disease is a sneaky condition that can take sufferers on a roller coaster ride of pain -- from feeling healthy one second, to deathly ill in another. With proper precautions, sickle cell anemia may not be life-threatening, but even so it should be handled with care.
"I didn't know much about sickle cell back then when my son was diagnosed, so it didn't quite settle for me at first," says Ferguson, 43. "I mean I heard about it, but I never really knew the facts about it. There wasn't a lot of information about it and the screening for the trait wasn't common yet. It was only after they found out that Darrian had sickle cell that my husband [Cavalle Ferguson] and I were screened and saw that we both had the trait for sickle cell which is why Darrian inherited the illness. The hardest part at the beginning for us was that he not only had a really bad case of meningitis called pneumococcus, but he was unable to fight off the infection due to his sickle cell."
Darrian eventually recovered from meningitis, but his fight did not leave him unscathed. He has brain damage, was paralyzed for a few months and blind for the first two years of his life. With years of treatment and therapy he eventually regained his ability to walk and the sight returned in his right eye.
But he is constantly challenged with sickle cell related issues. He has had two blood transfusions and had to have his gall bladder removed. As a result he has had to remain on a strict, twice-daily antibiotic regimen to improve his immunity. He has also suffered two strokes in a one-year period. The second stroke in June 2011, left him in excruciating pain. He now experiences difficulties on the right side of his body, and is still recovering, but the process is slow.
"Darrian is a fighter and so positive," says his mother. "He may not be happy about his lack of mobility, but he is still trying, although it is painful for him. I am just so happy that he is able to work as well as he has and keep on smiling," says Ferguson. "Right now he fills his days with the things he loves. He isn't able to go to school since his stroke, but he is still happy and that makes me happy."
Pediatric hematologist and oncologist, Dr. Corrine Sinquee, says the sickle cell condition results in abnormal blood cells that are sickle in shape, and that its these abnormal cells that cause complications throughout a patient's life. She says the sickled cells are destroyed more rapidly than the usual cells due to their shape, and can also cause obstructions in small blood vessels which can affect the efficiency of oxygen being circulated throughout the body. She said that the abnormal blood cells cause the pain and swelling that is seen as a complication of the illness.
The most common form of sickle cell occurs due to both parents having a sickle cell trait in their genetics. As a result, any child born between them has a 25 percent chance of developing the full-blown condition. The doctor who practices out of the Bahamas Heart Center on Collins Avenue says there are no definite statistics on the frequency of the illness for the local population, but comparing The Bahamas to other parts of the Caribbean with similar demographics, she calculates that 10 percent of the black population has the sickle trait, but only one in 300 persons are likely to develop the full sickle cell disease. With 5,000 lives births on average per year in the country, she says there are only about 16 new cases of the condition likely to be presented annually.
The medical practitioner says sickle cell is an illness that parents can manage fairly easily, but that it is an illness that needs to be taken seriously from the start. Treatment of the disease is symptomatic and there is no real cure for it -- save a bone marrow transfusion.
"Early detection of the disease is key to successfully treating it," said Dr. Sinquee. "Parents with children with sickle cell should always be on their toes and know what is happening with their child. You don't have time to guess or assume, since a cold or flu can turn almost deadly in no time. Sickle cell children tend to be okay one minute and then not another. So you have to know the signs and what's normal from what's not when it comes to your child."
The doctor says parents should screen themselves prior to having children so they can be aware of the likelihood of having a child with the disease. Even after the birth, she says it is important to get the baby screened and tested as well. The earlier parents know their child has the illness, the better it is for them to take the necessary precautions to keep them healthy and start them on the appropriate medications.
"Since infections are most rampant in a child's first five years of life, it is important to get them off to a strong start and be on top of any minor illness they may acquire. They may also suffer from an acute splenic sequestration crisis which is signaled by pain and an enlargement of the organ. This is something parents have to learn to recognize especially in their child's early years when it is most likely to occur. If left untreated other complications or even death can result."
Other complications throughout the years a "sickler" can expect include strokes, anemia, painful crisis, jaundice and a higher susceptibility to infections.
"Throughout the years there have been advancements in medications like hydroxyurea that allow patients to live less painful and better quality lives. In the past, the statistics of life expectancy in persons with the illness were grim but now the average patient has the potential to live well into their 60s or even 70s," says Dr. Sinquee. "What is done now more than in the past is screening parents and children early as well as counseling parents on how to deal with their children should they have the disease. It is possible to live a normal life as long as you keep consistent with your child's medication and treatments. This is not a death sentence. It's just about management and knowing when it's time to get help when things get beyond your control."
Ferguson's advice to other parents who may have children with sickle cell is to always remain positive. She says even when things don't look good, parents should remain upbeat. She used to fear that her son wouldn't make it to adulthood due to the statistics available in the earlier stages of dealing with his illness but she is certain now more than ever that with care and love, "Sicklers" can make it to a "ripe old age".

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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

January 17, 2012
Predatory behavior in dogs and cats

Dogs were originally domesticated to take advantage of their hunting abilities. Our ancestors redirected the natural instinct of the dog's ability to hunt in packs benefiting from the dog's tracking skill and speed in pursuit of common prey. Thousands of years of selected breeding have produced a lot of different breeds.
The Bloodhound was developed for its sense of smell, and the Saluki and Borzoi for their keen eyesight. Labradors for hunting birds, Coonhounds for hunting raccoons and Rodesian Ridgebacks for hunting lions.
Dog breeds were developed to hunt certain animals, like the Irish wolfhound and the foxhound which were developed to hunt wolves and foxes. Some breeds were developed to protect other animals. The Border collie and Elkhound were developed to protect small ruminants. Daschunds and Terrier breeds were bred to pursue ground prey. The English bulldog and American Pitbull Terrier were originally bred for uninhibited predatory and dominant social aggression for their owner's entertainment such as dogfights. The Saint Bernard and the German shepherd were both developed for more humanitarian applications, such as the search and rescue talents that we see today.
Undesirable predatory behavior is relatively common in dogs. Most pets are genetically predisposed towards some form of predatory behavior. This type of behavior is a problem because the dog can cause injury, be self-injured, or be exposed to contagious diseases.
The most obvious disadvantage of predatory behavior by dogs is the unnecessary injury or death of other animals, including wildlife and other pets that appear to be offensive and unnecessary. It can also take a more sinister form when directed against family members, particularly if they are children and infants. Predatory instincts are most likely to be redirected towards children when infants begin to crawl and walk. The dog may not display any interest in an immobile newborn, but may show some interest in the same newborn when it begins crawling around your home. So never leave a child (toddler) unattended around even the most trusted pet.
With the exception of lions, most cats hunt alone and primarily at night. Predatory behavior in cats is both instinctual and learned. Kittens in the form of play, practice hunting techniques. Some house cats without prior experience instinctively react to prey animals that cross their path.
Owners may be horrified when their cat presents them with a half-eaten mouse or bird. This is not a gift to the owner for its gratitude for the owner's care and hospitality, but a maternal instinct when the cat brings back prey to its home for their young ones. The mother will normally bring dead prey - even regurgitating half-digested food for her newborn litter. As the kittens grow, she will return with live prey to teach the kittens how to prey. A cat's instinct may be to carry its prey to a sheltered area, but not to consume it. Some cat owners proclaim that it's cruel to restrict a cat's natural instinct to hunt.
Prevent predatory behavior in dogs and cats.
In dogs, deny your dog the opportunity to hunt. Prevent opportunities for them to roam unsupervised outdoors. Insure that your home is fenced or walled in if hunting occurs beyond your property.
Minimize your dog's desire to roam and hunt by providing other activities. Discourage wild and undisciplined behavior. Walk your dog on a leash and practice obedience skills daily.
In cats, the only practical way to resolve undesirable predatory behavior is to prevent it. The instinct to hunt can be so strong that it lasts a lifetime. The clinic cat, Sneaky, hunts everyday and will bring a dead mouse to us most times. Of course, we like this because it is a means of rodent control. Hunting is a part of a cat's outdoor activities, regardless of how he is fed. It may help to attach bells to a collar to warn unsuspecting targets. Remember that your pet can be injured in its attempt to capture prey and is susceptible to the health risks associated with roaming outdoors.

o Dr. Basil Sands can be contacted at the Central Animal Hospital at 325-1288.

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News Article

January 10, 2012
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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Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Wednesday 26th 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

February 10, 2012
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

March 06, 2012
Help to save a life

Cardiovascular disease, commonly referred to as heart disease, is the number one killer of people in The Bahamas and around the world. As heart month came to a close, the fight against it still continued because more people die from heart disease than from any other cause. Heart disease does not discriminate. It affects people who are rich and poor, young and old. It does not prejudice based on race, religion, educational attainment or ethnicity. It affects everyone. Oftentimes, people are not sensitized to illnesses unless the illness affects them or their immediate family.
While there are many preventative measures to be taken by adults, such as exercise, eating right, not smoking, lowering cholesterol and taking medications correctly, in the case of babies and children, they rely on others for care and treatment against heart disease. And heart care is not cheap in cases where heart disease is discovered, regardless of age. Heart care can cost up to $1 million. What is even more unfortunate, is that many children when born, may not be privileged to have medical insurance or parents who can afford heart care. As such, when their parents discover that their new born babies have congenital heart disease, they are in a state of emotional and financial frustration, and fear. One such family currently facing such a challenge is that of Rah'nae De'ajah Burrows.
In October 2011, Antoine and Jessica Burrows welcomed their daughter into their family. Tests were carried out to ensure that she was healthy. It was discovered that Rah'nae had characteristics of Down syndrome - news that is not often readily accepted by many new parents - but the couple loved their baby nonetheless and saw her as a special gift from God.
Because of the existence of those characteristics, concerns arose to the possibility that Rah'nae may also have heart disease. After a week in the hospital it was discovered by an echocardiogram that she had a large atrial septal defect (ASD), which was a hole in her heart. The parents were referred to Dr. Jerome Lightbourne at the Pediatric Heart Clinic, at Princess Margaret Hospital. Additionally, genetic testing was done and the tests confirmed that she had Down syndrome.
Consequently, the parents were told to take Rah'nae to the Neurodevelopment Center for therapy, the Neurology clinic, and the Neonatology clinic. The entire process was emotionally and mentally taxing and challenging for the new parents.
With therapy over the past year, Rah'nae's health has been great and the family has seen progress, but Rah'nae is having problems with weight gain because of the heart condition and needs heart surgery desperately.
The Burrows' cannot afford the cost of heart surgery for their baby girl which could run them around $55,000 - and their daughter does not have insurance. Jessica is a school teacher and her husband, a transport operator.
Sadly, this family, like many, is only trying to survive in tough economic times and ensure that there is food, clothing and shelter for the family. As such, they need help to save their baby.
Dr. Lightbourne referred the Burrows' to The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation for possible assistance with Rah'nae's surgery. The heart foundation seeks to provide heart care assistance to people, particularly children, who can not ordinarily afford heart care. The nonprofit entity relies heavily upon the generosity of others to help repair the hearts of children. Today, Rah'nae is on a wait list among 11 patients awaiting heart surgery.These patients and their families are prayerful and hopeful that the public will heed the appeals made and make a donation to the heart foundation to help save their lives. Sadly, without such surgeries, patients like Rah'nae, may not live full productive lives and can possibly die.
"The cost of heart surgery is very costly and it does not come with color, face or creed. We don't know when it will affect our loved ones; so I am asking that you please make a donation to the heart foundation to help those who are in need at this time," said Rah'nae's mother. "The heart foundation has been so generous over the years by helping to assist parents with the funds for surgery, and at this time there are 11 children waiting for assistance to have surgery. We need everyone's help at this time, even if it's only one dollar. It counts and can go a long way. By doing this you are donating to a worthy cause - you are saving lives and mending broken hearts," she said.
Burrows thanked the people that have supported her to date in raising funds so that her daughter could receive heart surgery.
To join the fight against heart disease and help children like Rah'nae, the public is encouraged to make a donation to The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation. No amount is ever too small. Donations are encouraged year round. General donations, tributes, memorial donations and trusts are encouraged. Additionally, Americans can make tax deductible donations to aid the fight against heart disease. Sponsorship and hosting of fundraising events are also encouraged. The public is encouraged to support the two major fundraisers of The Heart Ball Committee - the Annual Heart Ball and The Annual Tea Party and Fashion Show. The public can also join the Bahamas Heart Association. The proceeds from the membership dues are used in the fight against heart disease.
While you may have missed the Heart Ball for 2012, you can still make a difference in a child's life today, said ball committee public relations officer, Ingrid Sears.
"It's more about the cause of helping to repair a heart than anything else. At present there are 11 plus children awaiting surgery. As the year progresses it is expected that more children will join this list, so the public's assistance is needed and encouraged in this fight against heart disease in children," she said.
To join the fight against heart disease in children and to help save a life, telephone 327-0806/10. You can also send a check to The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation, P.O. Box N-8189, Nassau, The Bahamas, or telephone 327-0806 for deposit instructions.
You can learn more about the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation by visiting www.sassoonheartfoundation.org.

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News Article

March 07, 2012
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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Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Tuesday 2nd July 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

March 08, 2012
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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News Article

March 08, 2012
Kendal Nottage's role in sports ministry era

Back in 1977, the late 'Father of the Nation', Sir Lynden Pindling put in place the Ministry of Sports. He combined sports with youth and community affairs, and anointed Kendal Nottage as the minister.
It was a historic appointment and he chose the right individual. Nottage was not a popular politician at the time, largely due to the backlash he created for the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) because of the disenchantment with him of the Grand Bahamian voters.
Nottage lost the High Rock seat to Maurice Moore during the 1977 general election and in a sense, his political career was salvaged by his good friend Sir Lynden, with a senate appointment and the high profiling of sports into a "ministry" category for the very first time. His stint as the first sports minister would ultimately serve to bring a good balance to the political negatives that have plagued him.
Nottage was colorful and eager to make the new sports-flavored ministry a meaningful one. He emphasized the sports power image by often proclaiming the national program "Numero Uno". In the big world picture, the proclamation was a stretch but it excited the sporting family in the country like never before. Immediately, instead of the Bahamian sports picture being marginalized as per usual, the Nottage influence enabled sports to take its rightful place in the social standing of the country.
He had a lot to do with the Bahamian people embracing the CARIFTA Games. Nottage provided high-level platforms for school sports, collegiate sports, regional sports and international sports. This was a time when the civil servants operated by convention. Although, it was always understood that permanent
secretaries were the top individuals of authority in government ministries, the era was such that they worked closely with ministers and found a way to be always on the same page with them.
So it was that Charles "Cap" Smith as the permanent secretary and James Moultrie as the undersecretary worked diligently with Nottage. They helped to form the nucleus that cemented the status of the sports ministry, never to be dropped as community affairs has been from time to time. Nottage was perfect for the role. His natural proactive attitude was good for sports and youth development. His contribution to bringing sports to the forefront of society on a regular basis was immense.
There is still much that needs to be done for sports in this country. I have often lamented in this space the unreasonable approach of politicians. They refuse to elevate sports to the top group of budget allocations. Yet, if not for the quality role played by Nottage as that first minister, the view here is that the national sports program would be much further behind.
Nottage, although, he quickly built up a respectable reputation as sports minister, was at the same time making inroads for the national youth program. I believe that it was the "Youth In Business" month he orchestrated in the early 1980s that evolved into the "October Youth Month" annually.
From a community affairs perspective, Nottage ushered in the care services to senior citizens and young boys and girls at the Persis Rodgers Home for the Aged, the Princess Margaret Hospital, Sandilands Rehabilitation Center and the Ranfurly Home for Children. Without a doubt, Nottage played a vital role in the development process of this nation.
His work as the first sports minister legitimized that ministry. Indeed, the national sports program today is much better off because of one Kendal W. Nottage.
To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at fredericksturrup@gmail.com.

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