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of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) have launched a new
organization, 'GBPA Volunteers', to better the lives of the Grand
According to newly elected president, Kendra Clarke, the group's formation was the
brainchild of GBPA-President, Ian Rolle.
"GBPA Volunteers is an organization, envisioned by our President, as a
means of giving back to the community. Its sole purpose is to cultivate
corporate social responsibility in the form of employee volunteer
projects," explained Clarke.
While participating in the election process,
GBPA-President, Ian Rolle expressed
his excitement regarding the project. "I think this is great! I shared
the vision for this organization with our employees and they ran with it..."
By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
FREEPORT - A human rights activist is expressing concern over the reported cases of alleged police brutality against individuals while in custody on Grand Bahama.
Joseph Darville, vice president of the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association, wants timely investigations to be conducted into the recent spate of brutality allegations.
He was very disturbed to learn that some of the alleged incidents described by suspects were similar to those perpetrated on suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The latest brutality incident - the third in recent weeks - is alleged to have occurred when a 33-year-old man claime ...
By ALISON LOWE
The Bahamas Real Estate Association's (BREA) president plans to write to the Government formally expressing industry concerns over changes in how Stamp Duty levied on property transactions is being assessed - a change she claims has the capacity to "kill sales" and "cause trouble in a market that already has trouble".
Patty Birch, who is presently out of the country, said she hopes to make the approach upon her return after June 27, having received "many calls" from concerned realtors over the "past two to three months".
They, along with their buyers and sellers, have been surprised to find the T ...
Officials from the Department of Marine Resources said yesterday that dead fish were still washing up on Montagu beach, something that has many environmental and animal protection advocates concerned.
On Tuesday, hundreds of dead fish washed up on the Montagu Foreshore, baffling vendors and environmental officials.
Yesterday Director of Marine Resources Michael Brennan said although the department was concerned, this particular incident seems to be fairly localized to the area.
"We're going to be returning to the area this afternoon (yesterday) when the tide changes to have a closer look at some particular features of the area," Brennan told The Guardian via telephone.
"We are expecting that the environmental health personnel will be able to link up with our people to see if information can be gathered."
Brennan recalled similar incidents that occurred on Grand Bahama, where cold temperatures and a bloom of bacteria or algae caused low oxygen levels in the water, resulting in dead marine life.
"We are hoping the environmental health people might be able to look at the oxygen levels and look at some of the nutrients in the water, to see if that could shed some light," he said.
Environmental and animal protection advocates also voiced their concerns.
Casuarina McKinney-Lambert, executive director of the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF), said she is concerned about what this occurrence could mean for the fishing industry.
"Even though the fish that died were small fish, they are an important component of the fishing industry. The small fish are prey items for larger fish, which we would be interested in eating."
Kim Aranha, president of the Bahamas Humane Society and co-chairman of the Bahamas Sea Turtle Conservation Group, said she hopes the event is confined to the Montagu area. She is confident that Brennan will discover the cause.
"I'm very concerned because we see this happening in other countries, where their waters are getting polluted and the fish start to die," she told The Guardian.
On Tuesday, some vendors expressed concern that the Montagu Foreshore Improvement Project may have caused or contributed to the event.
Lambert said yesterday that a change in the water's salinity could be caused by a runoff of contaminates from the land into the ocean, but said she couldn't speak to whether the project was a direct cause.
The service connects
Freeport with Fort Lauderdale port in two and a
Bahamas Express has launched this special offer for Bahamians who wish
to travel to Florida at a price of $
49.50 per journey when they buy a return
ticket. Please note that taxes are not included in this price and places are
As well as this new offer, the
company has also provided Bahamians with a greater number of cargo bins to facilitate
the transportation of heavy luggage. Cargo bin reservations shou
ld be made in
advance of the date of travel at a price of $200 each (only available on the
Fort Lauderdale-Freeport route).
Bahamas Express operates on a daily basis,
except on Wednesdays, departing from Grand Bahama at 19.30pm and returning from
Fort Lauderdale at 10:00am. The fast
ferry Pinar del Río operates the new
service between Baha
mas and Florida, which undertakes the 76 mile crossing in
a half hours.
With cruise ship business projected to continue its "relentless" growth this year and tourism group business expected to grow by 15 percent in the first quarter of this year, Tourism Minister Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace expressed confidence that the country's number one industry is on a good footing.
"We think that we are going to have a robust first quarter," Vanderpool-Wallace said as he addressed attendees at the Bahamas Business Outlook Conference yesterday morning at the Wyndham Nassau Resort and Crystal Palace Casino.
"A large part of the reason we think we are going to have a robust first quarter is that something is coming back, which is group business. Our group business in the first quarter of this year is going to be up by 15 percent, and so we are going to find ourselves in a much better situation in the first quarter than we've seen for some period of time. And our cruise business is going to continue its relentless growth in 2012," Vanderpool-Wallace said.
The minister added that with the expected growth in cruise business, the country "is going to be bigger than even Cozumel, Mexico which is dominant in the Caribbean in cruise business".
"We are going to find ourselves in a situation where several months in 2012 will be better than the corresponding months in 2008, which is a most important benchmark because very clearly we are going to be moving ourselves out of the recession that we have been in for some period of time."
Preliminary statistics on the Ministry of Tourism's website show that there were just over 5.05 million cruise ship passengers last year - which is an increase over 2010, which ended with 4.67 million cruise arrivals.
As it relates to air arrivals, Vanderpool-Wallace said the country has to continue to find ways to lower the cost to get to The Bahamas.
"Everybody - man, woman and child - has an impact on tourism," he said, adding that Bahamians should make a special effort to ensure that visitors enjoy their Bahamian experience.
"It may be very hard, but you have to do it," he said.
An overview of the data collected by the Department of Statistics on births in The Bahamas over the last 40 years shows that women, domestic and foreign-born, are having fewer children.
The data in the births report, collated from 1970 through 2010, shows that with a population of about 170,000 in 1970, there were 4,894 live births recorded. Juxtapose those numbers against the 5,362 live births recorded among a population of more than 340,000 in 2010, and the downward shift is apparent.
The report also shows that the birth rate fell almost 50 percent, from 28.8 births per 1,000 persons to 15.8 births per 1,000 persons from 1970 through 2010.
The conclusion: Women between the ages of 15 and 49 were having an average of four children during the course of their lives in 1970. By 2010, women were only having an average of two children.
The data doesn't indicate why birth rates have dropped so dramatically, but a scrutiny of the numbers does uncover some interesting trends among particular groups of women.
Births by foreign women have dropped in the past four decades, from about 30 percent in 1970 to about 18 percent in 2010.
However, an unavoidable fact - as pointed out by The Nassau Guardian several days ago - is that the birth rate among Haitian women in The Bahamas has nearly doubled in the past 40 years.
"The number of births grew from 7.2 percent in 1970, to an average of 13.7 percent by 2010," the report noted. "In contrast, births to women of Jamaican ethnicity declined by some 50 percent. For females from countries outside the Caribbean, the numbers of births plunged, especially since 2008 to (nearly zero) from 12.1 in 1970."
The report also points out that births to unwed mothers have practically doubled since 1970, and remain "the largest annual natural increase to the Bahamian population".
"Births to unwed mothers in The Bahamas escalated in the past 40 years, from 29 percent in 1970 to a high of 62 percent in 2009. For the period 1990 to 2005, the annual birth trend, though high, leveled at 57 percent," the report said. "Four years later, births to single mothers advanced by five percentage points and declined to 59 percent of the national total in 2010."
Meantime, the birth rate among teenage mothers (ages 10-19) has dropped significantly.
In 1970 the birth rate in this group was 32.4 per 1,000 women. The birth rate in that group now stands at 17.6 per 1,000 women.
"When compared to the annual national totals the proportion of births to teen mothers fluctuated, reaching a high of 21.7 percent in 1980, to a low of 9.7 percent in 2005," said the report.
"During the last two years, the percentage of births to females under the age of 20 dropped to single digits, indicating some degree of stability in terms of the annual number of births to this group of females."
Females ages 15-19 had a birth rate of 40.9 in 2010, compared to 38.9 in 1970.
Women ages 20-24 had the highest birthrate in 1970, with a little over 100 births per 1,000 women. Now that group has a birth rate of 96.7 per 1,000 women and has been eclipsed by women ages 25-29, with a birth rate of 106.3 per 1,000 women.
Women ages 30-34 had a birth rate of 91.7 in 2010, compared to 54.2 in 1970.
Some women are also having children at an older age. Women ages 35-39 had a birth rate of 49 in 2010, compared to 40.8 in 1970.
However, women ages 40-44 had a birth rate of 13 in 2010, compared to 16.7 in 1970.
Women ages 45-49 were having two children per 1,000 persons 40 years ago, and that rate has now fallen to one child among that age group.
As was the case 40 years ago, most children are still born in New Providence.
"In 1970, 63.3 percent of the nation's children were born in Nassau. Between 1970 and 1980, births in New Providence grew by more than seven percentage points, and about 11 percent by 1990. Thereafter, the proportion of births remained in the low 80 percent range, peaking at 83.9 percent in 2008," the report found.
"Over the past four decades, the proportion of births which occurred in Grand Bahama decreased by more than four percentage points; from 20.5 to 16 in 2010.
"Forty years ago, the Family Islands accounted for 16 percent of births in the country. By 2010, these island communities experienced a significant loss of birth occurrences, from 794 births during 1970, to a record low of 17 births in 2010."
The number of boys and girls born in The Bahamas has consistently remained almost equal for the past 40 years, with the majority number fluctuating slightly between the genders.
Most babies are still being born in August and September, although many children are also born during the months between October and January.
But for all the babies being born, there are still many who don't make it out of their mothers' wombs alive - though that number is decreasing.
In 1970 there were 105 stillborn children in the country. By 2010 that number decreased to 61.
Expressed as a rate, it would mean that in 1970, for every 1,000 live births there were 21.5 stillborn children.
In 2010, for every 1,000 babies born alive, 12.1 died in utero.
Ed. Note: This information can be viewed on the Department of Statistics website at http://statistics.bahamas.gov.bs
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
THE HEAD of a Bahamian privately-owned airline has expressed scepticism over plans to solve Grand Bahama's tourism woes via Bahamasair servicing five US markets, asking Tribune Business: "What's changed?"
Acknowledging that he did not have full details of the Ministry of Tourism's plans, Captain Randy Butler, president and chief executive of Sky Bahamas, questioned how simply putting Bahamasair's name on the Vision Airline service would grow airlift and load factors from the five US east coast cities being targeted.
Noting that there had been no change to the marketing strategy for Grand Bahama, or that island's hotel pro ...
A group of dancers and musicians promoting Bahamian culture abroad will be presenting their talents during a special show tonight at the National Center for the Performing Arts on Shirley Street.
Under the theme of "Three Hearts With Love", the Bahamian Dance Theater Company presents a special concert featuring troupes from the local dance community and highlighting three talented Bahamian concert dancers - Mervin Smith, Denton Gay and Mychal Bryan.
"It's very rare in our country to find concert dance - dance that focuses on modern, contemporary and jazz," points out Mervin Smith, who besides helping to form the company in 2009 also acts as its artistic director.
"Our mission and vision at BDTC is to promote arts and culture through dance. We've lost that appreciation for performance, but this is the future and this is what is going on in The Bahamas."
Indeed, these three gifted young men continue to study dance abroad, giving them a chance to perform globally as well, making them true cultural ambassadors of The Bahamas who now share their talents with the Bahamian public during the BDTC's concert season.
The highlight will be their main dance, "Primitive: Male" to the song "Oya (Primitive Fire)" by Babatunde Olatunji, where they hope to give tribute to the male dancer as an important cultural figure. As male dancers themselves, they have faced prejudice and difficulty both professionally and socially, which they hope they can help the audience replace with admiration and awe.
"It embodies the essence of the male as a dancer," says Smith. "You get to see how the male interacts on a stage with other males and own our bodies, our space, who we are, and appreciative of the fact that we are males and we can present ourselves to this form of dance."
This idea of being true to oneself and finding strength in one's identity runs throughout their three solo performances - indeed, it was the thought behind the theme of sharing what's in three hearts.
For Smith, who studies Dance and Theater at Lehman College in New York and who is an alumnus of the esteemed Alvin Ailey Dance School, his dance, "Everybody Has Got Their Something" to Nikka Costa is meant to honor individuals' special talents.
"It tells you that everyone of us in our own space and ways have something to give and offer," he says. "I want this piece to tell people to follow their heart, that they have something to say and do because they will touch lives. People need to be uplifted and inspired."
For dancer Mychal Bryan, this solo performance, "Struggles in the Dark" to the "music" of a speech by Charlie Chaplain made in the 1950s, is a time to reflect on the perseverance of the individual.
"It's about humanity and the ways we get trapped in societies and how we struggle to exist and feel and stretch beyond ourselves to open up to humanness," he explains.
His dance will also be performed at a production at his school, The Northern Caribbean University in Jamaica, where he is also a part-time student at Edna Manley School of the Visual and Performing Arts. A talented individual, Bryan also performs with L'Acado, A United Caribbean Dance Force, under the artistic direction of Dr. L'Antoinette Osunide Stines.
The third solo performance by Denton Gay, "Who You Are", after the song by Jessie J., celebrates individuality despite all odds.
"It's about being true to oneself, true to who you are and not conforming to society," he says.
Besides being the rehearsal director for BDTC, Gay studies dance and business administration at Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida. Once he's completed his studies, he hopes to venture to New York City and eventually choreograph professionally at his own dance studio.
Indeed the night is all about helping these three young dancers to continue to achieve their goals to promote the joy of dance - all proceeds from the tickets will help them to continue on with their studies.
"Dance helps you connect with people on a spiritual level," points out Mervin Smith. "You can tell stories and express through movement what people want to say but can't."
Besides their time in the spotlight, the show will feature a variety of other dancers and routines from BDTC's repertoire: the jazzy "Suite-T Connection", the playful "Bahamian Fables: Once Upon a Time", the mini-cabaret "Stage A Blaze" and "Soul to The Caribbean" featuring mime work by the Lenelle Michelle Mime Company. Tonight's show will be a true reflection of how far dance has come and can continue to grow and challenge audiences.
Yet the evening is more than dance - indeed, BDTC is about promoting all Bahamian arts and culture and to that effect features a young and very talented musician making waves regionally and globally.
Talbert Williams will be presenting his original work, "Beautiful Soul", that interprets the poignant theme of the night.
"'Beautiful Soul' is that feeling where you see your love and you know what it is, but you can't put your finger on it," he says. "I hope the audience connects with me on that level."
Emerging on the music scene as a child prodigy in the National Children's Choir, Williams has continued on a great path of writing, composing and recording inspirational music. It has not only earned him several National Arts Competition Awards in soloist singing, but also regional Marlin Awards in Talent Gospel Search for Inspirational Recording of the Year.
Besides just finishing his studies abroad at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy where he studied musical theatre, Williams has performed even as far as China.
Indeed, these young artists are making exciting waves around the globe and promise to put on a dazzling evening of song and dance when they come together. Attending the performance tonight will not only give audiences a great insight into where Bahamian modern dance and music is heading in a globalized world but also will be a show of support for these young artists who promise to make it big in their craft worldwide.
"Three Hearts With Love" premieres during a special evening performance tonight at 7 p.m. at the National Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $10. For reservations, more information or to make a donation, call 362-0622 or 436-7710.
FamGuard Corporation Limited (FAM) showed strong results for the first six months of its 2011 fiscal year, the company posting $2.40 million in net profits on $55.95 million in total income.
FAM's chairman, Norbert Boissiere, said the 174 percent increase in profits over the comparable six-month period last year was the result of improved performance with the company's group division. He sited strategic pricing initiatives and efforts to manage benefits costs as being behind the improved profitability.
FAM built net premium income and annuity deposits by 15 percent or $6.54 million over the first half. It was the largest contributor to the 14 percent or $7.08 million increase in total income. FAM attributed 10 percent of the income growth to annuity deposits.
Expenses moved up year-on-year too, with policyholder benefits behind much of the $5.5 million increase to total expenses, which were $53.5 million for the first half. Policyholder benefits accounted for $4.9 million of that increase - that lines up to 15.15 percent year-on-year. But a CFAL analyst said that ballooning expense points to FAM having attracted new business.
"This particular increase in expenses is not necessarily a bad thing as it indicates FAM is writing new business in what we still consider a tight economic environment," according to Jamaal Stubbs, Senior Research Analyst at CFAL.
On the balance sheet, reserves for future policyholder benefits were up $4.66 million at the mid-year point, to $136.22 million. It accounted for most of the growth in liabilities.
Total assets came in at $216.95 million for a $7.15 million or 3.4 percent increase.
Much of the growth in assets came from greater cash and receivables. Cash grew as $4.57 million in bank term deposits matured but were not reinvested up to the June 30, 2011 financials' date. Stubbs said in a weak economic environment with surplus liquidity in the banking system, the rate of return those funds will be able to attract has yet to be seen.
Stubbs expressed concern about the level of provisioning for bad debts at the company. They were 0.73 percent at the end of FAM's 2010 fiscal year in December. According to Stubbs, "... prudent industry levels would recommend provisions in the range of 2.5 percent within a stable economic environment."
"Given our current climate, the consensus would be even higher," Stubbs said.
FAM reported a "Medical Loss Ratio" of 82.09 percent at the end of fiscal year 2010.
The key metric, Stubbs explained, is used to get an idea of whether a health insurance company is returning good value for its clients compared against what it is charging them. Factors less than 80 percent may suggest the insurance company has its own interests ahead of returning value to its clients, he explained. He concluded that FAM's ratio was fine.
LABOUR Minister Dion Foulkes told Tribune Business yesterday that he has a meeting scheduled this afternoon with executives of the Bahamas Hotel, Maintenance and Allied Workers Union (BHMAWU) to discuss labour issues regarding Sandals Royal Bahamian.
Minister Foulkes confirmed: "I have a meeting with them tomorrow (today) at 2pm to primarily discuss the matter with Sandals to see if we can make some progress with respect to the issues, and I will also seek to speak with Mr Obie Ferguson regarding the other matters."
Bahamas Hotel, Maintenance and Allied Workers Union (BHMAWU) president Lynden Taylor confirmed the scheduled meeting and expressed optimism heading into the talks.
Back in ...
THE Bahamas' support of a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution passed last week affirming equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) is a move that has been a long time coming, according to local human and gay rights activist Erin Greene.
The resolution, which was narrowly passed in the council in Geneva, Switzerland, expressed "grave concern" about discrimination against gays throughout the world and affirmed that freedom to choose sexuality is a human right.
"It's been a long time coming for a country that identifies itself as a Christian nation. It's only the beginning and hopefully, soon enough, our Christian beliefs and our humane policies w ...
Cultures collided and centuries collapsed last night at The Ladder Gallery where sisters Mardia and Ashley Powell opened their
exhibition "Two Womanish."
True to its name, which is a wink and a nudge to the Bahamian colloquialism "too womanish", the show is a flurry of feminine
color, material, subjects, practices and desires. Mardia's textile pieces and Ashley's paintings and poetry hold a powerful
conversation together that would have been less effective had they exhibited apart, each half providing pieces that patch
together the ironic, humorous, limiting and defiant landscape of the feminine in popular and local cultures.
But the pair wouldn't have wanted it any other way, sharing a close bond that has seen them attend The Art Institute of Atlanta
in the U.S. for Graphic Design together, both slated to graduate sometime toward the end of 2012.
The body of work on display into the middle of July at The Ladder Gallery in the New Providence Community Center is a collection
the sisters had been working on from the time they arrived home for summer in April. They took different approaches to the
theme they had chosen yet both paid homage to childhood girly memories.
By piecing together fabric swatches into portraits and animals, Mardia tapped into the practice of sewing and quilting, a
tradition of feminine bonding. During quilting sessions, women would come together to preserve and share family and community
histories through oral storytelling as well as the stories they told through their creations. The practice took a while to
come to her, but after inspiration hit -- thanks in part to stumbling upon a fabric-centric piece by Caribbean artist Brianna
McCarthy -- Mardia's creations took off.
"I'm more like the homemaker. So I wanted to incorporate that into the work," she said. "I really loved it. That's what
I was feeling. I wasn't feeling I wanted to paint or draw because I wasn't really inspired to do that; I just wanted to sit
down and relax and sew. I hadn't really done that in a long time."
Yet her pieces are, in a way, a tribute to their mother, who taught them how to sew and laid the foundation for their artistic
"We learned how to sew because our mom used to teach us how to sew when we were small," said Ashley. "She wouldn't let us
use the sewing machine so we learned how to really sew and I thought that was so good to be able to recount this. Our mother
doesn't make this kind of art but we believe she has the ability.
But she taught us how to sew and now look at us. This
is really nice that Mardia could think of using this in this way, in terms of artwork, not making it just some type of vocation,
this can be put on display."
But any act of tradition is turned on its head in this space. In Mardia's pieces, hermit crabs, rooters and peacocks are
patched together seemingly haphazardly -- with loud fabrics next to louder fabrics, visibly uneven stitching straight onto
the canvas, and abstract swatch shapes, each pieces become a controlled chaos of beauty. The subversive act of such application
of fabric swatches underlie the defiant spirit of the body of work. The portrait piece "Mahogany" embodies this spirit, as
she applies swatches of neon pinks and blues to create a face with an unapologetic stare.
But tongue-in-cheek is not lost here -- the portrait of a little girl is titled "You Tink You is Woman, Ay?" and her piece
of a peacock with a breathtaking patchwork of a tail is called "Nah Das a Real Man", as Mardia taps into the very contradictory
and humorous power dynamic inherent in the Bahamian gendered landscape of language and performance, placing Bahamian language
and mating rituals into the context of those in the animal kingdom.
As Mardia's choice of materials allude to a sense of preserving story through the practice of quilting, Ashley's pieces strive
to create a story where it traditionally never had a place. She retains childhood memories of watching Jane Austin's plots
unfold on TV screens in such films as "Sense and Sensibility" and "Pride and Prejudice," adoring the courtship traditions
and dynamics, and yet being keenly aware of the lack of black representation in such fairytale scenarios.
"I wanted to see it mixed with funky Africannness somehow," Ashley explained. "The whole concept behind my series is I wanted
to put myself in history, in my own history. I was thinking look at me. I'm not Elinor, with my hair in a pompadour. This
isn't me. But I just want it to be likeness in my history, my history in my likeness, there."
Her paintings insert this representation into her memories, flurries of brushstrokes creating such pieces as "Royal Black,"
where a young black woman is the subject of a traditional Victorian portrait, complete with a starched ruff collar. Such
signifiers of this white-dominated era cross wires with her modern interpretation and relate to her sisters work, as she paints
patchwork into the borders of such pieces and uses fearless applications of color to fly in the face of history's boundaries.
In another piece, "Possibilities", a royal crown pulls a young black girl's hair back. Not the traditional royal portrait,
she looks off to the side in a gaze of longing, painted patches framing her lingering hope that all little girls have instilled
in them from popular culture and Disney films: to be a princess.
This is perhaps Ashley's most poignant piece, offering a
portrait of both despair and defiance, yet stands as a testament to a girlhood desire that is vastly unrealized as girls grow
up across the board.
"At that time William and Kate were getting married, and I thought, could I never be a princess?" she said. "Just thinking
about these things, I thought, let me just put myself in it, let me just make it what I want it to look like. I'm really
going to use my artistic license. I'm going to break the rules with this license to just composite this together. Put the
crown on my head."
In other pieces, she inserts her story into the landscape of girlhood dreams by directly painting her own words onto the canvas
-- she's also a spoken word poet. In "Poinciana-Like", a stark black and white line drawing of a girl with a flower in her
hair stares out at the viewer, flashes of color drawn across her cheeks, and the words that begin "I am like the Poinciana
petals when summer has ended" scribbled alongside. Such words become the manifestation of the inner turmoil next to the tranquil
outside façade, and her patched frames are absent -- instead, language itself has become the patches with which to tell the
story, the material with which Ashley marches into an unwelcome world, fiercely making her own history.
Overall, the exhibition is all about this enduring spirit. Though girlish in its materials and uninhibited applications of
color, the cutenesss masks an underlying edginess, rawness, and darkness. Luckily, humor is not lost here, neither is joy,
as the pieces embody the very complex spirit of the feminine in all of its manifestations and archetypes--the spirit that can
only be described as "womanish."
By LAMECH JOHNSON
OFFICERS from the National Crime Prevention division of the Royal Bahamas Police Force called on parents to assume responsibility for their children this summer.
In a meeting with the press at the police headquarters on East Street north, Sgt Chrislyn Skippings and Sgt Anthony Rolle expressed greater concern for children and the role of parents in protecting them, though they also gave advice for the safety of motorists and pedestrians.
Sgt Skippings, press liaison officer for the force, understands that many parents have to work, but says that this should not be an excuse.
"During this time they are away from school, there are summer camps and many activities going ...
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
The Government's clarification on Stamp Duty payable on real estate transactions should "calm any ruffles in the market", Tribune Business was told yesterday, one realtor saying it was "unbelievable" that the problem had even emerged.
As revealed by Tribune Business yesterday, Zhivargo Laing, minister of state for finance, used the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation's (BCCEC) Captains of Industry Award to tackle the disquiet being expressed by realtors and attorneys over the Treasury's increasing tendency to rely on real property tax valuations to determine Stamp Duty payable on property purchases.
Parliamentary Commissioner Errol Bethel said yesterday the distribution of voter's cards got off to a smooth start and he assured that the department was on high alert in an effort to prevent foreigners from registering to vote in the upcoming general election.
The distribution of voter's cards is taking place at Kendal G. L. Isaacs Gymnasium. According to Bethel, nearly 100,000 cards are available for collection at that site.
The 2012 election will be the biggest test of the Parliamentary Registration Department since it received scathing criticisms from Election Court justices, who pointed to egregious failures in the process in the lead-up to the 2007 general election, and due to failures connected to the 2010 by-election in Elizabeth.
Such concerns about the process persist.
Just last week, The Nassau Guardian reported that an illegal immigrant who registered to vote in The Bahamas and fraudulently obtained a passport has been jailed for eight months.
Jamaican Andre Kumar Ebanks, 24, admitted to getting a Bahamian passport and voter's card by using a forged school record letter and a Bahamian birth certificate.
Bethel pointed out yesterday that people cannot register with old voter's cards.
"We have been going through this whole issue of who is a citizen and who is not a citizen and just in case some people slipped through last time, we want to make sure it doesn't happen again," Bethel said.
"Having a birth certificate does not prove citizenship. We have to also know that your parents are citizens.
"Now if you have a passport we can accept that document because that would have meant that you should have gone through the Passport Office and they would have gone through all of your information in terms of who you are."
Some people who collected their voter's cards yesterday expressed excitement over the approaching election.
George Major, who is registered in Nassau Village, said he's most concerned about immigration and unemployment.
Joyce Conliffe, who lives in Bamboo Town, said if the election was called today, she would be ready.
"I know where my 'X' is going; it hasn't changed then and it isn't changing now. I'm ready to vote for the right party because the right person will get the job done," Conliffe said.
Voter's cards can be picked up at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
Several Free National Movement (FNM) candidates expressed excitement over their nominations after being ratified Thursday night, saying the party is fired up for another general election win.
The slate includes a group of newcomers, among them Howard Johnson, who is running in Central and South Eleuthera.
"As the prime minister indicated, the new generation of leaders are emerging," Johnson said.
"The old guard is stepping off the scene so to speak [and] it is time for us new leaders, us young vigorous, passionate and aggressive leaders, to rise up and lead our great party forward.
"I feel very excited and confident about being nominated to serve my party and country and I look forward to being here for many years to come."
Dr. Hubert Minnis, who was renominated in Killarney, said he was elated.
"I feel very good about being renominated. It shows the party has some confidence in me," he said.
"I've started a lot of work in Killarney to show the Bahamian public we must have a complete system of accountability and as politicians we have a five-year contract with the constituents.
"We are the employees, they are the employers and therefore we must be evaluated, monitored, graded etc. and that's the only way the country can move forward. I'm all about that."
North Eleuthera candidate Theo Neilly, another new face to the party, also expressed excitement, noting it was great to be a part of the FNM team.
"As the prime minister said, it's a party of change [and] as he noted, 25 percent of the members of Parliament have decided not to seek relection and allow some new faces," Neilly said.
"The other key note is we have 25 percent that's female; it's exciting."
Brensil Rolle, the candidate for Garden Hills, indicated that he was grateful to have another opportunity to run in Garden Hills.
"I am humbled by the opportunity and the people of Gardens Hills -- they know of my record. I just got to go out there and win," he said.
Cassius Stuart, candidate for Bamboo Town, said the party is fired up and ready to win.
"I think the enthusiasm [and] the energy now [is] that FNMs all across the country are ready to go. The bell is about to be rung," said Stuart, former leader of the Bahamas Democratic Movement.
Phenton Neymour, who will run in the Exumas & Ragged Island, said he's happy he's going home.
Neymour is currently the MP for South Beach.
Hanna-Moxey is a woman who's used to wearing many hats. Corporate diva,
mother, chandler and now fashion designer with the recent launch of her
swimwear line Minka. You can call her a Maven of all trades, entering
into the world of entrepreneurship with Maven Candles, her line of
handmade soy based candles launched in 2009.
Here is an intimate
glimpse into her motivation for venturing into the world of fashion
design with Minka, her design process and plans for the future.
wanted to pursue Fashion, ever since I was a little girl, since
watching my mom and other ladies model on the local scene back in the
80's and all throughout high school and college when I got a chance to
express myself through clothing.
One of the most important things spouses can do is to show appreciation every day for each other. Too many spouses take each other for granted. They expect the love they have to just last and last without doing anything. This is false and dangerous. Words that can help us understand the meaning and importance of appreciation are gratitude, thankfulness and gratefulness. Spouses are to find ways to show daily how much they are grateful for their partners. No day should pass without a spouse showing with words and action how much they love their partner. When was the last time you said thank you to your spouse? When was the last time you told your spouse they look lovely. Remember, once is not enough.
ELEMENTS OF APPRECIATION
According to experts there are at least four elements of appreciation:
Acknowledgment: The first step each of us can take in expressing our appreciation to our partner is to acknowledge the things he or she does. Expressing appreciation for the little things cumulatively builds a rock solid foundation. Receiving acknowledgment helps each of us grow as individuals, and sometimes, just survive the daily hassles of hectic schedules, deadlines, and responsibilities in the various aspects of our lives.
Adoration: Praising each other for the qualities and attributes that make us special as individuals is crucial. Taking the time to genuinely let each other know how much we admire each other's virtues brings joy to us and reinforces our continued individual and relationship growth.
Acceptance: Learning to accept each other as we are, rather than trying to change the other, is a difficult struggle and adjustment for most couples. Accepting each other as we are is a vital part of expressing appreciation in a marriage. Over time we actually appreciate the differences and see the benefits they bring to us as individuals and as partners.
Affirmation: Letting each other know how important we are to each other. Affirmations are important in building and supporting each other's sense of self-esteem. Affirming your spouse is a way of validating who they are. When we affirm each other, we kindle the depths of the soul of our marriage."
HOW DO WE AFFIRM EACH OTHER?
Here are a few examples how you can affirm your spouse. Hold hands in the car when you are at the stop light. Wink at each other across a crowded room. Give a love letter or card on days other than birthdays and anniversaries. Jump surprisingly in the shower with her, but do not have sex. Take him a bunch of hibiscus flowers you picked from your garden. Rush out to give your wife a cool glass of water while she is cutting the grass with the lawn mower. Say "good morning honey" to your spouse. Tell your spouse "thank you for that wonderful sexual experience last night." Drive each other to work occasionally. Eat lunch together regularly. Cuddle each other in the living room without sex on the agenda. Go on a date every week. Gossip about your spouse to your friends as often as possible. Have a photo of your spouse on your desk at work or in your wallet.
HAPPY COUPLES LIVE LONGER
The latest research tells us that happy couples live longer and have healthier lives. According to psychologist, Dr. Brent J. Atkinson, in his article "Emotion Intelligence" evidence suggests that those who succeed in their marriages will live an average of four years longer than those who don't (Gottman & Silver, 1999). They will have an average of 35 percent less illness, have healthier immune systems, will be substantially less likely to become violent, homicidal, or suicidal, and less likely to experience an emotional or mental disorder. They will have a lower risk of being involved in automobile accidents. The children of those who succeed in their marriages will have fewer health problems, better academic performance, more social competence, less depression, less problems with social contact, more ability to regulate their emotions, lower heart rate physiological reactivity when experiencing negative emotions, and lower quantities of stress-related hormones circulating in their bodies. Do all you can to keep your marriage healthy and happy.
Barrington Brennen is a marriage and family therapist. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 242-327-1980 or visit www.soencouragement.org.
In a stunning display of idiocy, ignorance and incomprehensibility a pastoral trinity of Lyall Bethel, Allan Lee and Cedric Moss fired off a knee-jerk tirade cum letter to the editor generally confused about the facts on the matters on which they pontificated with smugness, sweated brow and frenzied abandon.
They were promiscuously responding to imagined threats that only through prejudicial and tortured thinking one, or in this case, the three of them divined in comments made by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Brent Symonette. In light of their indiscriminate and poorly reasoned letter the pastoral posse had the temerity to label these comments as "seemingly arbitrary".
The DPM's thrust pertained to a resolution adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on a report of the Third Committee and supported by The Bahamas. If one only went by the pastors' comments one might believe that the resolution was mainly about those supposedly evil gay people and their so-called militant agenda.
In point of fact the resolution in question is 65/208 and concerns extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions of people around the world. Either the pastors woefully misunderstand or are shamefully ignorant of the contents and purpose of the resolution or they are morally blind, callous and indifferent to the same.
None of these conclusions are acceptable or becoming for religious ministers who boasted in their letter of "foresightedness" and have set themselves up as moral authorities and mini-inquisitors to help vet candidates for the House of Assembly. These are mostly men of blinkered vision, not moral foresight or clear vision.
At the last election they imperially issued questions based on their narrow agenda, mostly focused on personal moral behavior with scant regard for various issues of social justice or broader questions of public policy.
We are likely to have to endure more of the same at the next election from pastors whose theological and ethical depth and knowledge on how to apply such norms to issues in the public square and of the moral dimensions of public policy is shallow, wanting and amateurish.
For now, here in detail is the supposedly offensive part of the UN resolution which has pricked their consciences and once again excited their lurking passions about homosexuality. It is taken from section 6(b) of the resolution adopted by the General Assembly on the report of the Third Committee (A/65/456/Add.2 Part II) 65/208. Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
The prelude begins, "The General Assembly Urges all States" and follows on to 6(b):
"To ensure the effective protection of the right to life of all persons under their jurisdiction, to investigate promptly and thoroughly all killings, including those targeted at specific groups of persons, such as racially motivated violence leading to the death of the victim, killings of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities or because of their sexual orientation, killings of persons affected by terrorism or hostage-taking or living under foreign occupation, killings of refugees, internally displaced persons, migrants, street children or members of indigenous communities, killings of persons for reasons related to their activities as human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists or demonstrators, killings committed in the name of passion or in the name of honor, all killings committed for discriminatory reasons on any basis as well as all other cases where a person's right to life has been violated, to bring those responsible to justice before a competent, independent and impartial judiciary at the national or, where appropriate, international level and to ensure that such killings, including those committed by security forces, police and law enforcement agents, paramilitary groups or private forces, are neither condoned nor sanctioned by State officials or personnel;"
Supposedly, for the pastors, this section would be fine if the reference to sexual orientation was removed. Following this illogic, everyone else in this section should have their lives protected and related killings investigated except gays and lesbians.
For context, we might recall how much and how devotedly Pastor Bethel has repeatedly said he loves gay people. Apparently, that love and Christian charity does not extend to them being protected from extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions because of their sexual orientation.
In the minds and hearts of these pastors, gays and lesbians are asking for a special right in seeking to be named in protection from being murdered, brutalized and tortured by state officials or others. If this is the sort of Christian and moral universe the pastors inhabit, no wonder so many have come to view them as individuals who simply and purely hate gay people despite their claims of love.
So blinded are they by prejudice and hatred that they have morally and intellectually twisted the resolution into another opportunity and platform from which to attack gay people. If they pause long enough to remove the big 2x4 plank obstructing their moral vision on the resolution and before pressing the send button on another rabid public missive, they may see that the militant agenda under suspicion is their own. Unsurprisingly, their moral scotosis and intellectual shallowness continues to erode their dwindling credibility.
At the tragic heart of Herman Melville's classic Moby Dick, is a maniacal Captain Ahab obsessed with slaying a whale cum demon which, in his mind, is the epitome of evil. Sadly, we now have a Bahamian pastor who personifies Captain Ahab, hook, line and sinker.
Who does the captain's cap fit, with matching moral straitjacket sequined with self-righteousness? Though self-styled as an Old Testament prophet issuing modern jeremiads, Pastor Lyall Bethel hath becometh Captain Ahab. Forgive the mixed maritime metaphor, but the pastor's white whale is an international homosexual conspiracy with tentacles that are supposedly corrupting a naive Bahamas. But there he is standing in the breach with moral harpoons.
Melville writes of Ahab: "The White Whale swam before him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them, till they are left living on with half a heart and half a lung." As an aside, the fictional Ahab is clearly much deeper than many of his real-life incarnations.
Melville continues: "All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demons of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Dick."
And, "He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart's shell upon it."
In the feverish hunt and targeting of gays and lesbians Pastor Captain Ahab and his current co-signatories and probably other crew members, had some other curious elements in their letter. They questioned on whose behalf the DPM spoke. He spoke as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas duly elected by the Bahamian people. The resolution was also supported by the Official Opposition and the Leader of the Opposition.
Simply put, there was bipartisan support for a resolution seeking to protect numerous groups of people including, gays and lesbians, from extrajudicial and related killings.
The letter writers also asked whose view was expressed. They may be shocked to know that it is likely the view of the majority of Bahamians who support the same sentiments as the government and the opposition. It is decidedly not the myopic and hardly religious or Christian view of those who would exclude gays and lesbians from protection against extrajudicial killings because of their extremism and moral confusion advertised as moral clarity.
The pastors will find that most Bahamians abhor the idea of their gay
sons and daughters, nieces and nephews and cousins, friends and colleagues and neighbors killed because of their sexual orientation. The name for this moral sentiment: Love. We are a more tolerant and less vicious society than many imagine, despite the bellicosity of a moral minority convinced that God and most of the public are cheering them on in their campaign of extremism and intolerance.
The general ignorance of the pastors on international law and various traditions of human rights was also on naked display along with their intellectual fatuousness and hypocrisy in their view that Bahamian sovereignty might be in jeopardy in the context of the resolution.
One should choose one's words carefully, as these pastors typically become fantasists whenever they hear or see the words gay, lesbian or sexual orientation. They are expert at creating bogeymen on various matters about gays and lesbians, including in the context of their argument about sovereignty.
It was exactly Bahamian sovereignty that was exercised in support of the resolution. Unless, of course, the pastors believe that they are the ultimate judges and final arbiters of Bahamian sovereignty.
Sovereignty is a clear principle in international law and relations, though the concept is debated on various issues. But the evolution of the concept is moving in a clear direction on matters such as genocide, the transshipment of persons, drugs and arms, as well as extrajudicial killings, torture and related crimes.
If one falls for the narrow logic of the pastors, The Bahamas should not support resolutions upholding religious freedom and tolerance internationally, nor should the country have supported the fight against apartheid, as these would interfere with the sovereignty of other countries.
Still, in the end, it is about love, which one would be hard-pressed to find in the angry and maniacal letter by the pastors. If they cannot support the protection of gays and lesbians from being savagely killed, their moral world view and disdain of gays and lesbians is abundantly clear.
This is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ or love. Instead, it is hatred masquerading as moral concern. It is they who may be in need of penance and repentance. The pastors and their rainbow of despisers should humble themselves and seek the forgiveness of gays and lesbians for their venom and inability to love these gay brothers and sisters. In turn, the latter should pray for their attackers who heartlessly condemn them to a lack of mercy and protection of their very lives.