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By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Writer
Wenly and Bea Fowler have always been drawn to the artistic expressions of God, through nature, design, thought and patterns.
But it was not until recently, when they finally gave in to the demands of family and friends to share their talents, that the couple decided to hold their first art exhibition.
On Wednesday August 4- Friday August 6th, Wenly and Bea Fowler hosted an art exhibition under the theme, " Shades of Creation" at The National Centre for the Performing Arts on Shirley Street.
The creative couple had met on a college campus when they were studying education.
Since those early days, most of their artistic expressions were ...
EDITOR, The Tribune.
Firstly, I express sincere gratitude to the family of Rotary Clubs in The Bahamas on behalf of all disable persons who resided in and otherwise benefited from the existence of Cheshire Home, for having undertaken the establishment of that very much needed, disabled-friendly residential facility on Dolphin Drive, in the 1980s. Acknowledgment and gratitude are also extended to Sir Durward Knowles for the leading roll he played in seeing the home come into existence.
Gratitude and appreciation are also extended to members of the general public for having financially supported the various fund raising efforts by the Rotary Clubs, which resulted in the eventual construction o ...
By ERIKA RAHMING
VLAD Marinescu, personal assistant to Marius Vizer, president of the International Judo Federation (IJF), met with several high ranking Bahamian officials to discuss plans for the future of judo in the Bahamas and the Caribbean region.
Mr Marinescu was in town for the Bahamas Judo Open this past weekend.
Bahamas Judo Federation (BJF) president D'Arcy Rahming and Mr Marinescu met with Minister of Youth and Sports Charles Maynard to discuss the possibility of a regional judo training centre for the Caribbean within the sports complex currently being built here in New Providence.
The minister was enthusiastic and expressed interest in reviewing a more detailed plan.
EDITOR, The Tribune.
Teenage prostitution published by The Tribune on July 23 is a report about underage girls exchanging sexual pleasures commercially. The well reported article features primarily Dr Sandra Dean-Patterson, director of the Bahamas Crisis Centre, discussing the matter. Dr Dean-Patterson expresses that the problem of teen prostitution doesn't exist because individuals under the age of 16 cannot give consent to sex; therefore, they are not committing prostitution. She said the girls are being exploited.
On the Tribune's website (www.tribune242.com) some people opined under the article. They aired how much they disagreed with Dr Dean-Patterson's assertion that the kid ...
Everyone's familiar with the phrase "to walk a mile in somebody's shoes", but one organization has been bringing it to life - with a Bahamian-American artist contributing a pair herself.
Multidisciplinary artist Alexis Caputo created a pair of shoes telling her own story of dual identity, including lots of Bahamian flair, as part of a group of artists working with a major organization for a good cause.
This organization, Sole Plus, the brainchild of Brian Keith Miller, combines art, education and activism to help disadvantaged communities. Pairing up with Converse Shoes, Sole Plus ventures into the community and encourages people to use the shoe as a canvas for their story. Such an exercise is not only cathartic and creative, but the results, says the organization on its website, show the closeness of human interconnectivity.
To that end, the project can oftentimes be used to raise awareness and funds for social issues. A group of artists came together to create a pair of their own shoes for Sole Plus which were then auctioned off and the proceeds donated to organizations benefitting the homeless.
The project appealed to Caputo, who has done a significant amount of work with women's shelters and disadvantaged youth.
The homeless component struck a cord with me because it's a universal issue," she points out.
"I lived in New York City where you walk outside of your front door and there's a homeless man, woman or child there and it's something that was very prominent and in my face regularly," says Caputo. "When I navigated to South Florida, I don't see it as much, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist."
In a nod to her Caribbean roots, the proceeds from some of the auctions will go towards funds helping those who lost their homes and continue to live in a state of homelessness in Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake.
"I'm always a staunch supporter of anything that relates to cross-cultural exchanges, something that's educational," says Caputo.
"Because so many people in that nation have remained displaced and homeless, we thought, Haiti is right in our backyard, so why not participate in this? Why not raise funds? Why not be able to call international attention to it? It's not something that has to stop in Florida or stop in Haiti - it's something a lot of people can relate to and identify with."
Yet Caputo took the practice further, inspired to write a poem, "Soul to Sole" that addresses this universal issue and encourages those who find themselves in such a situation to keep their head up and find release and strength in self-expression and creativity. It also encourages literacy, says Caputo.
"I think that there are many different ways to interpret something and to translate something," she says.
"I wanted to find another way I could connect to this project. It doesn't just have to be a visual component. Maybe someone will appreciate or relate to the literary version rather than the visual shoe, or vice-versa."
Indeed, the multidisciplinary artist has been finding many ways to connect disadvantaged communities with art. With a background in writing, dancing, performance and music, Caputo is also an educator and activist, working closely with disadvantaged women, youth and cross-cultural projects.
In 2009, she formed the non-profit "Project Witness" in order to expand on that artistic practice and intention to foster social unity through art, cultural exploration, education and activism.
"I decided to expand my platform rather than just contributing to solo and collective projects and speak to diverse audiences with multicultural projects, and an inter-generational audience," she explains.
"The best way I felt to do that would be to launch a project that has appeal in the arts, has appeal as it relates to cultural exploration and education using arts and education and activism."
It's the reason she responded so positively and passionately to the Sole Plus Project - though it wasn't formed out of Project Witness, Caputo points out that its goals run parallel to her organization.
"That phrase 'walk a mile in my shoes' means absolutely nothing if you can't directly relate to someone who has been in the situation," she says. "I thought this was a fantastic platform to be able to raise awareness about homelessness."
As a Bahamian-American artist living abroad, her next move would be to plan to collaborate with other Bahamian artists to raise awareness about social issues in The Bahamas - perhaps even visiting to lead such an exchange.
"For such a very long time I've had an interest and desire in having a cross-cultural exchange with other Bahamian artists to create a bridge between The Bahamas and the U.S.A to create and debate ideas," she says.
"There's so much access and resource for things that could be done in terms of projects that have international appeal. There are so many great causes and so much room; there's so much great potential there that I would welcome the opportunity to be a part of that in any way."
For more about Sole Plus, check out www.soleplus.org. For more about Project Witness, check out their page on Facebook or www.projectwitnessinternational.org or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact Alexis Caputo, e-mail email@example.com.
Kindly allow me space in your valuable column to express my views on the recent IPO of shares on APD Limited.
I believe it is necessary to reiterate and to expand on the recent concerns and views expressed by Franklyn Wilson and the Office of the Prime Minister, and also to put some pertinent questions to the Securities Commission. While I'm not attempting to repeat what has already been printed in the newspaper, I will say that I support Mr. Wilson's position. And I believe we ought to be appreciative of persons like Mr. Wilson, who have the courage and intellectual ability to recognize, expose and reveal the loopholes in the IPO that the average person may not be aware of. More importantly, Mr. Editor, where is the voice of the Securities Commission? Aren't they supposedly looking out for the investor? According to the press, APD is hoping to raise $10 million from investors which will represent a 20 percent minority interest. However, presently there is no representation for minority investors on the board.
Personally, I believe there is something sinister about the manner in which the prospectus was prepared, intentionally omitting board representation for minority investors. I believe it is incumbent upon the Securities Commission to immediately ensure that the above investors are represented. It is not enough for a principal to remark that it will be dealt with at the first board meeting. That can't be right. And to add fuel to the fire, he goes on to say, 'that person should bring something to the table'. Like Mr. Wilson said, "They are bringing $10 million." Mr. Editor, one would have expected the Securities Commission to immediately put a halt to the IPO and insist that APD Limited correct the concern the Office of the Prime Minister has. I can almost guarantee you that if it was a group of a darker shade, the Securities Commission would have been all over them. Sir, you know some of our journalists, sometimes they make you wonder and question their ability to be a journalist or a reporter, while some are glorifying the IPO and talking about an upcoming whirlwind tour as if this is the second coming. What they ought to be doing is examining and investigating the concerns raised and putting pressure on the regulatory body to act, so that the integrity of the body will not come into question. Mr. Editor, I've been following this scenario since its inception and I certainly would not buy into it. And I would advise that others to follow suite until the concern is corrected.
- Pat Strachan
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."
KFC employees showed up for work yesterday but were met by locked
doors, according to union
Secretary General of the Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU), Darren Woods, said employees were instructed to show up to work.
However, management failed to follow suit.
He told Guardian Business the dispute will likely take a "different stage now" as "legal minds" are brought in to make sense of the matter.
Hundreds of KFC employees have been without work since Monday, when management issued a letter to the union saying it no longer recognized its authority. A second letter detailed a new wage and benefits structure for new employees, while perks for current employees were slashed, according to the union.
Brian Nutt, a board member at the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC), called the situation "unchartered waters". Nutt said the employment and labor division of the BCCEC has never seen a company flat-out refuse to work with a union.
In his mind, the crucial issue at stake is the fact that KFC's management acknowledged the BHCAWU in the first place.
"The interesting thing here is you have a situation where an employer has stated it will withdraw its recognition. Whether it was voluntary or mandated, they did recognize them in the past," he explained. "Recognition once it's given cannot be taken away so quickly. There is a process that must resolve that."
The BCCEC board member agreed that legal action is likely the next course of action in the matter. He wondered what would happen in a court of law as it relates to provisions under the Industrial Relations Act. He said this process should shed light on any wrongdoing by either party.
On Tuesday, the chairman of the BCCEC, Winston Rolle, expressed surprise and disbelief at the move by KFC's management, questioning its ability to unilaterally make such a decision.
Richard Lowe, the vice president of the Nassau Institute, told Guardian Business that "there has to be a point where they say this is crazy".
He pointed out the current situation is a lose-lose for everyone. Employees are out of work, he said, and the company is losing money by the day.
"Temperatures are running high. Someone has to settle down and say let's come to a temporary agreement to restore the status quo," he said. "This is the worst case scenario. Everyone hurts even more."
Lowe also expressed hope the government could firmly step in and make a ruling to stop any legal proceedings from even happening. However, the situation may have already reached the point of no return.
Woods said the situation is now "far reaching" for other unions in the country. The law prohibits the "intimidation" of workers, he added, and other organizations should be concerned about the treatment of KFC workers.
Woods told Guardian Business the union is now in a 'holding pattern" as it charts the next move.
"Once we regroup, we'll speak with our legal team and decide the course of action," he said.
Atop executive at Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) says up to $50 billion could be invested before oil explorers even begin drilling far off the Bahamian coast.
Paul Gucwa, the chief operating officer at BPC, released the latest findings and projections for the oil company at the Grand Bahama Business Outlook last week. Estimating a total revenue stream of $38 billion for the government, he said full-scale drilling will not begin for another nine years, assuming the company strikes oil.
He also described the nature and location of a "world class trap" BPC is targeting near the Cuban border.
More than 5km wide and 75km long, Gucwa told Guardian Business the giant bull's-eye appears to be as promising and structurally sound as any he has seen in oil-rich nations such as Iraq and Iran.
"The structures are big. We need source rocks there that have successfully migrated into the trap," he explained.
The company is now in the process of continuing to sift through 3D seismic data, showing detailed representations of what lies beneath the ocean floor.
The BPC executive said $50 million will have been invested by the end of this year. A further $150 will be paid out exactly one year from now on any exploratory drilling, and if results prove positive, several more explorations should cost BPC between $500 million and $600 million over several years.
"By the time we do that, and understand we have a commercial operation, now we have to build the equipment and plan development," Gucwa told Guardian Business.
It will take years to build the rigs, prepare the equipment, and train and hire a great deal of Bahamians to help carry out the drilling. This process will cost between $30 billion and $40 billion.
Elements such as weather and hurricane season can easily complicate the matter, he said, bringing the timeframe until full-scale drilling begins up to nine years.
The current "trap" in the sights of BPC is indeed located not far from an oil-drilling hot spot.
In fact, Guardian Business has learned that a Russian company will drill an exploratory well just 100 km away from the proposed site. While Gucwa said he hasn't seen their seismic data, he expressed confidence "they are likely seeing very similar stuff to what BPC is seeing".
Meanwhile, China has also begun drilling in the general region, with a further four wells slated to begin in the near future.
This proximity to an apparent drilling hot-bed should come as welcomed news to investors.
While already listed on the London Stock Exchange, the BPC executive anticipated a local listing should occur in the next few months. Paperwork continues with the Bahamas International Securities Exchange and the Securities Commission, he added.
In a further move to localize the company, two Bahamian directors will be appointed to BPC in the next couple of weeks.
"This is so we can be more in touch with Bahamian beliefs," Gucwa told Guardian Business. "I assume they will be important members of the board. They will provide council and constructively challenge whatever the board opposes."
Environmental issues remain one of the persistent worries concerning oil drill in The Bahamas. BPC submitted the first draft of the environmental impact assessment back in September 2011.
In the event of an oil spill, BPC estimates less than one-tenth of a percent would reach Bahamian shores without intervention, making the threat to the country negligible.
The vast majority of oil would impact Cuba, Gucwa said, making international cooperation crucial to the process.
There is approximately a 25 to 33 percent chance oil indeed lurks under the Bahamian ocean floor.
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.
Barack Obama and Hubert Ingraham share more than a birthday and being reared from a young age by devoted grandmothers who instilled within them confidence and the promise of rewards for hard work and relentlessness.
Against considerable odds, both men combined prodigious intellect, a dogged work ethic and discipline to overcome disadvantage, setbacks, and racial and class prejudice, eventually becoming the leader of their respective countries.
The President and the Prime Minister are highly successful politicians with notable accomplishments who chose the law as their profession but public service and politics as their passion and life's vocation. Men of clear ideals, they are pragmatists getting what they want over time.
What fellow Nassau Guardian columnist Ian Strachan astutely observed of Mr. Ingraham can be said of Mr. Obama: They are typically the smartest people in the room. And, they take great pride in recruiting people of talent into their administrations.
Both can be technocratic, delighting in the details of public policy and the workings and intricacies of government. Early risers, they enjoy working, doing so around-the-clock and often at a feverish pace. They know the value of time and that lost time means squandered opportunities.
The leaders take considerable care with important public statements and addresses suggesting a discipline of mind and a penchant for preparation resembling an attorney preparing to deliver a public brief on behalf of a client. Neither is given to empty rhetoric in their policy utterances.
It is not an uncommon mistake in politics to confuse persona with policy and even with potential for productivity. Winston Churchill, Britain's articulate, eloquent and charismatic wartime leader would undoubtedly win the popular vote for greatest prime minister.
But a more sober and reflective group of historians came to the conclusion that that title should go to Clement Attlee who was the exact personality opposite of Sir Winston: mild-mannered and almost totally devoid of anything that could be described as charisma.
Yet it was Mr. Attlee, the historians concluded, who changed Britain forever with his socialist revolution in 1945 bringing about the most fundamental, sweeping and lasting changes in British society.
Though stereotyped as cool and unfeeling by their detractors, both Mr. Obama and Mr. Ingraham have demonstrated that the critics have missed out on something deeper and more important about the two men.
Mr.Obama's critics were misled by his persona to conclude that, for instance, he would be soft in the "fight against terrorism", especially when compared with his bombastic predecessor, George Bush, who indulged in "dead or alive" rhetoric about Osama bin Laden.
Yet it was the allegedly effete, arugula-munching Barack Obama who demonstrated the kind of courageous decisiveness and nerves of steel that resulted in the death of bin Laden.
Because of his less than warm and cuddly persona, Hubert Ingraham has been accused of being lacking in compassion.
Yet, historians -- and those who care to examine the record even now -- will conclude that he was the Bahamian Prime Minister who brought about the most sweeping and progressive changes to the benefit of working class Bahamians, including the minimum wage, shorter work week and unemployment benefits.
Although Barack Obama and Hubert Ingraham have different personalities and different life stories, it is intriguing how they evoked similar responses from their detractors when they aspired to national leadership.
The personal attacks on the black man who presumed to aspire to the highest office in the United States started at the very beginning and has not let up. That racism has fuelled much of the relentless onslaught is undeniable. Sometimes the language is barely veiled.
Unlike Mr. Obama, Mr. Ingraham did not have the opportunity for a university education and the acquisition of great social polish. In a country such as the Bahamas one might have thought that one so capable would have been celebrated for having come so far from such humble beginnings.
Yet, like Mr. Obama, Mr. Ingraham has had to endure endless abuse. While not all motivated by racism, the attacks on Mr. Ingraham have certainly been about class and background.
Even those who acknowledged his extraordinary intellect and his obvious political talents (one even claiming credit for helping to develop the latter!) still attacked him on the basis of class and background.
Also, in the case of Mr. Ingraham, there has been little if any attempt to use veiled language. Witness such expressions as "rude boy", "delivery boy", and the clear and unambiguous "no broughtupsy".
What is remarkable is that Mr. Ingraham does not lose his temper when he hears some of his detractors whining and complaining about "personal attacks".
Mr. Obama and Mr. Ingraham have different public personas but similar political characters. They are both pragmatic, results-oriented political leaders who are not afraid of crisis and challenge, but who are impatient with stupid talk and dismissive of pie-in-the-sky dreamers.
Barack Obama came into the presidency of the United States at a time of great economic challenge.
While Hubert Ingraham has practised the art of politics longer than Barack Obama, they are both good at it and generally effective. To borrow a witticism, they also share the sort of critics who, even if they walked on water, would criticize them as for being unable to swim.
Barack Obama came into the presidency of the United States at a time when America was facing its greatest economic challenge since the Depression. It appears that his efforts to guide the country out of the crisis may have been successful in spite of the stumbling blocks put in his way by his opponents.
Hubert Ingraham, in his first administration, had the unenviable task of restoring the good name of the Bahamas which had been dragged through the mud of corruption and scandal by his opponents.
In his second administration, Mr. Ingraham and his colleagues have successfully steered the Bahamas through rough economic waters brought on by external forces.
No doubt historians will examine with great interest how Mr. Ingraham was able to avert what could have been a catastrophic experience while at the same time carrying out the greatest infrastructural restoration in the history of the country.
The Marathon Bahamas race weekend generated more than 3,000 hotel room nights during a traditionally weak tourism period, said event organizer and founder Franklyn Wilson.
Wilson, chairman of Arawak Homes Ltd., said participants from over 20 countries came to New Providence to take part in Marathon Bahamas and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
He said the races, while raising money and awareness for cancer research, also served to bolster the tourism sector during the January lull.
"What started as Marathon Bahamas is now an event, which is targeted at encouraging people to come and spend four nights (in The Bahamas)," Wilson said on the sidelines of the marathon's finish line at Arawak Cay yesterday.
"We are pretty certain this year we would have generated over 3,000 room nights in tourism, we're pretty confident about that. The Ministry of Tourism encouraged us to move this event to the middle of January, specifically to try and provide an anchor to try and turn around what is historically been a slow period for The Bahamas in tourism. Mid-January is not a busy period for hotels generally.
"So the idea is to use an event like Marathon Bahamas to become the catalyst to hopefully change that whole pattern and the potential is there. We work on this thing hard enough, long enough and we can do that. Mid-January can go from being a slow period to a very busy period."
While he could not give specific numbers on turnout for Marathon Bahamas and Saturday's Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Wilson said the registration numbers for both events surpassed last year's figures.
As the event, now in its third year, continues to grow Wilson is focused on attracting more international corporate sponsors and partners.
Representatives from Bank of Nova Scotia and UPS have already expressed interest in expanding their involvement in the race, he said.
"This year more and more businesses thought of the idea of not just sponsoring this event from their local budget, but going to their international affiliates or distributors and saying 'listen here's an opportunity for you to build your brand, not just in The Bahamas but through The Bahamas," said Wilson.
In addition to raising money and awareness, Wilson said organizers plan to use the funds raised to purchase a state-of-the-art mammogram machine for the Princess Margaret Hospital.
"It's more than just cancer research. It's useful for the public to understand it's very difficult to build a word-class hospital only with government support. The private sector has to help make a good hospital a great hospital. It has been brought to our attention that the mammogram machine at Princess Margaret Hospital, it works, (but) is it state-of-the-art? No. There's an opportunity to do something there, we are focused on seeing to what extent this whole thing can cause that to change."
The race weekend began with a roundtable discussion at the Cancer Society of the Bahamas headquarters on Friday, the Susan G. Komen race on Saturday and culminated with yesterday's marathon.
During the roundtable discussion, it was revealed that the researchers who are part of an ongoing study into breast cancer prevalence in The Bahamas found three additional gene mutations.
As a result of their study, researchers have found nine gene mutations in the women they have screened.
The Bahamas has a high incidence of breast cancer.
ANDROS, Bahamas -- Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) has pledged its continued assistance to farmers in North Andros. This follows election of a new slate of officers to lead the now Big Yard Farmers Company Limited, formerly the North Andros Farmers Association.
Veteran farmer Floyd Newton has been elected president with Neville Clarke as his assistant. "We wanted to show support for the new administration and again pledge a commitment from BAIC to assist them in anyway we can to allow them to achieve what ever objective they plan for," said assistant general manager (agriculture) Arnold Dorsett.
BAIC executives led by general manager Benjamin Rahming met with Mr Newton and his team last weekend. Assistant general manager (land) Judith Thompson was also present. BAIC is to allow the organisation the benefits of its Business Services and Accounts Departments. "We want to assist them in ensuring that their books are set up correctly and that they are functioning properly," said Mr Dorsett. "This is an area we have had some concern on."
Mr Newton expressed optimism about the future of farming in North Andros. Other members of this executive team include Angela Newton (secretary), Glen Gaitor (treasurer) and Andrea Rolle (assistant treasurer). "We have a lot of plans but our main objective is to encourage young Bahamians to become established in farming," he said. "No country is truly independent except it is able to, not only protect itself, but more importantly feed itself. It has been said that farming it hard labour but with the new technology that BAIC is now introducing in North Andros, it is going to make farming easier and therefore more attractive."
Harsher penalties for gun crimes would be welcome news to the police force, according to Assistant Commissioner Glenn Miller.
"Whenever it comes to stiffer penalties for unlicensed firearms the police welcome that," Miller said.
Miller's comments came after Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham announced in the House of Assembly on Monday that the government is considering amending the Firearms Act.
Ingraham also said the government would seek to amend the Bail Act to make it more difficult for persons accused of serious crimes to get bail.
"We are still giving consideration to the question of gun related crimes," said Ingraham as he opened debate on the 2011/2012 budget in the House of Assembly.
"As you know we have sought to get away from minimum sentences. We are troubled by the six-month, one year, 18 months sentences given to persons found in possession of weapons, particularly at a time when so much criminality and violence is taking place in our society."
So far this year, more than 70 percent of the 52 murder victims died as a result of gun shot injuries, according to police.
Guns are also the weapon of choice in most robberies.
"I hope to have a consensus among the policial class," Ingraham said. "The reality is that the maximum sentence a magistrate court can reasonably give is five years even though some think it possible to impose higher sentences."
Police have taken about 180 guns off the streets so far this year.
Firearms can be obtained with relative ease, according to authorities.
The government announced in January that in conjunction with the judiciary it had set up a gun court so those found in possession of illegal firearms are quickly prosecuted.
Ingraham said since then there have been successes.
"The magistrate court hearing firearm offenses has in the first two months [of existence] heard more than 180 cases, several of which are ongoing," he said.
Former chairman of the National Advisory Council on Crime Bishop Simeon Hall has previously expressed support for stiffer penalties for gun crimes.
"The fact that guns remain the predominant weapon used in brazen robberies and murders in our country should motivate the authorities to revisit the existing gun laws with the view of removing guns and gun users from the country," Hall said in a statement earlier this year when the murder count stood that 34.
He said the high crime rate clearly indicates that criminals have no regard for the existing gun laws of the country.
According to police statistics, firearms were used in 69 of the 94 murders that occurred last year.
Police seized 351 illegal firearms and 2,624 rounds of ammunition in 2010, according to statistics they made public.
As it relates to the Bail Act, the government declared in the Speech from the Throne that it will bring an amendment to Parliament which would further restrict the right to bail for accused serious offenders.
However, there has been some concern surrounding the constitutionality of such a move.
The Nassau Guardian understands that the Office of the Attorney General has already drafted the legislation that would restrict bail.
Ingraham said the bill would be brought to Parliament soon.
In the estimation of thoughtful Bahamians, both Hubert Ingraham and Fred Mitchell will have benefited from the U.S. cables' assessment of their stance toward our nearest neighbor.
Although from different political sides, both seem to have been courteous and respectful but independent and not remotely blinded by the more outlandish aspects of U.S. propaganda.
The authors of the Cables themselves do not come off well.
We learn of almost comical scheming between U.S. and Israeli diplomatic staff over an utterly harmless local mosque. Let's hope that neither country expended too much of their taxpayers' money following international terrorist leads along Carmichael Road.
Instead of commenting on the breath-taking arrogance of an Israeli Ambassador who would have liked to thwart a group of Bahamians from following a religion of their choosing, the U.S. cablers seemed to rue the inability of local politicians to deny a right to Bahamians cherished in their own constitution.
The final disappointment of the cables is the casual, chillingly callous hope expressed therein that thousands of Bahamians would soon be denied cheap eye treatment in Cuba in furtherance of a vindictive cold war policy that serves nobody in the US, the Bahamas or Cuba.
On leaving office in 1961, Dwight Eisenhower (no pinko, incidentally) warned of the growth of a 'Military Industrial Complex', answerable to no one and with a life of its own. He could have applied his warning to any entity, organisation or group that becomes accustomed to the pools of unaccountable power that inevitably form below blind spots of public transparency.
As Bahamians we have a right to know how our politicians manage our most important bilateral relationship.
No less important to us (and everyone else on earth for that matter) is that the American public be kept informed of all the things (from the great to the downright miserable) that are done in their name -- and with their money.
Well done, Guardian.
The working relationship between the Pan American Caribbean Boxing Organization and the Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas could result in the very near future, in an expanded 'project' of Bahamian boxers training in Cuba.
As president of PACBO, I have had recent dialogue and official communication towards that end during a trip to Cuba. The idea is for the project to be directed from the Northern Bahamas base in Freeport through Terry Goldsmith.
The president of the Grand Bahama Amateur Boxing Association and who also heads the YMCA Club, Goldsmith works very closely with PACBO. Together a successful Easter Saturday event was staged. Wellington Miller, the Bahamas Olympic Committee President and the long-standing chief of the amateur boxing expressed his "delight over the "encouraging prospect."
"This is great. We are very happy and we thank the Cuban Boxing Institution for the success of Taureano (Johnson) and now, Valentino (Knowles) and Carl (Heild). It's a rugged job trying always to find money to give our boxers the best opportunities to develop.
"For that reason it is such a pleasure to have the assistance of a regional body like PACBO. We have already gotten a lot of assistance from PACBO in the way of equipment and tournaments. This is another way PACBO is seeking to help and we are grateful," Miller said.
Throughout the modern history of the Caribbean, Cuba has had the finest sports structure, particularly in boxing. For a number of reasons, sports leaders in the Caribbean nations have not taken full advantage of such an excellent opportunity to help drive their respective national sports development programs.
Amazingly while the rest of the world long ago recognized the benefits of the Cuban sports expertise and utilized the same, among Cuba's Caribbean sisters, this has not been the case.
The boxing family in The Bahamas made a determination during the early part of the last decade that Cuba would be the base for advanced training of the local amateurs. Accordingly, Johnson became pound-for-pound, the best boxer in the English-Speaking Caribbean. His high point before turning professional came in 2008 when he won two matches at the Beijing Olympics and finished the year as the No. 4 welterweight in the world.
Presently, light welterweight Knowles and Heild have taken the mantle and the Cuban boxing background has done wonders for them. Knowles is the only Bahamian to have won a bout at the World Championships. He captured a Central American and Caribbean Games gold medal and a Commonwealth Games bronze medal.
Welterweight Heild won a silver medal at the prestigious Dominican Republic Independencia Tournament and also a Commonwealth Games bronze medal. The PACBO project would hopefully help to create more little Bahamian boxers to emulate Johnson Knowles and Heild.
It is proposed that small groups through the Freeport base would travel into Havana to understudy the Cuban program. Hopefully the project will begin later this year.
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 ...
The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) has added its support to a recent United Nations Human Rights Council resolution that
affirmed the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to choose their own sexual identity.
PLP leader Perry Christie indicated at a press conference this week that the opposition supports such "progressive policies."
"I think from our point of view we understand the sensitivity of this matter," said Christie, adding that the PLP has "always
been committed to progressive policies -- policies that emphasize our commitment to human rights."
Christie said the resolution, which calls for an end to discrimination against gays worldwide, is humane and therefore the
party is in favor of it.
Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette last week said that The Bahamas also supports the resolution "in principle."
The resolution, which 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.
The Bahamas does not have a seat on the council.
The PLP has no difficulty agreeing with the government on the issue, Christie stated.
"The (PLP) is always committed to ensuring that our policies and our commitments are consistent with the obligations of international
agencies and most certainly respecting the rule of law," he said.
The resolution passed in the Human Rights Council also asked the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to conduct
a study by the end of the year that would point out "discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals
based on their sexual orientation and gender identity in all regions of the world."
Twenty-three countries on the Human Rights Council supported the resolution, 19 voted against it and three countries abstained.
The resolution was the first of its kind passed by the council. It was fiercely opposed by Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and
Nigeria, among other countries.
The United States supported the resolution, which also asked that the study be conducted before the end of the year to look
at how international laws can "be used to end violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and
The resolution also said that the council will form a panel once the study is completed to discuss "constructive, informed and transparent dialogue
on the issue of discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation
and gender identity."
President of the Bahamas Bar Association Ruth Bowe-Darville has expressed concern over recent calls for the country to move
away from the Privy Council as a final court of appeal in the wake of a controversial ruling on how the death penalty should
Bowe-Darville said Bahamians who suggest abandoning the Privy Council are "treading in very dangerous water."
"Criminally, it's one thing. Civilly, when you're dealing with financial matters and the economic impact of it, litigants
who come before our court, they need that assurance that there is some place of last resort that is independent and seen to
be independent," said Bowe-Darville while appearing as a guest on the Star 106.5 FM program "Jeffrey" on Thursday .
"Litigants who come before us with multi-million-dollar cases and they see us as a great financial center, they need the assurance
that the Privy Council is there," she said.
Last week, the Privy Council quashed the death sentence of murder convict Maxo Tido and ruled that the gruesome murder of
16-year-old Donnell Conover in 2002 did not warrant a death sentence.
When police discovered Conover's body, her skull was crushed and she was badly burned.
But the Privy Council, while recognizing that it was a dreadful and appalling murder, said it did not fall into the category
of worst of the worst.
Tido was sentenced more than five years ago.
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham announced in the House of Assembly on Monday that the government intends to bring a bill to
Parliament before the summer recess to deal with "the question of the imposition of the death penalty in The Bahamas".
The legislation would outline specific categories of murder.
Bowe-Darville said the government has to address the question of the death penalty through legislation, but has to be careful
not to offend members of the international community.
"I think the question of the death penalty needs to be addressed. I think the country is torn by it because we're in the throes
of this crime epidemic as people have labeled it," she said.
"People believe that the sentence of death and the implementing of the sentence is going to solve the problem -- rightly or
"The debate is wide open. Whether the passage of legislation will resolve the problem is yet to be seen, but we need to address
it, not only for our own national or domestic needs, but the addressing of the death penalty issue also has international
implications for us. It also has economic implications for us."
Bowe-Darville said Bahamians must remember that the country is "a small fish in a very big pond."
"The wider community out there with whom we interact internationally, they're not for the death penalty and have long not
been," she said.
"We interact with them for trade; we look to them for funding. And so we have to consider those implications as well. [Certainly
the prime minister] would have considered our greater good and he would consider our interaction with the wider world as well
when the legislation comes forward."
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
The Bahamas Telecommunications Company's (BTC) chief executive yesterday pledged to complete an interconnection agreement with Systems Resource Group/Cable Bahamas "as fast as we can", with the newly-privatised operator hoping to make an "aggressive" transition to its Next Generation Network (NGN) later in its parent's financial year.
Expressing hope that regulatory approval of BTC's Reference Access and Interconnection Offer (RAIO) would encourage all parties "to fast track" interconnection talks, Mr Houston said: "We have committed to progress those discussions and negotiations in good faith, and are being ver ...