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News Article

March 21, 2014
Women's bodybuilding dropped from the CAC agenda

The sporting discipline of female bodybuilding has been discontinued at the regional level.
According to Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBFF) President Danny Sumner, with new aspects coming on stream such as swimsuit, and with figure and body fitness picking up, it has been decided to drop female bodybuilding from the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships' agenda.
For the first time in the 42 years, the division will not be featured at the CAC Championships.
"I have recently informed my female athletes, that if they are training for the female bodybuilding division, to cease of it, because it will not be incorporated in this year's championships," said Sumner. "Female bodybuilding has been on the decline for the past few years now, because of the various new fitness categories in female competition. Most female athletes coming into the sport now prefer training for the figure fitness and the swimsuit categories. Because of this, I feel the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) made the move to push female bodybuilding into the background, and I think it is now trickling down to the CAC."
In 2005, the Ms. International Pro Bodybuilding Show received new rules, one stating that women had to reduce their muscularity by 20 percent. This marked the second time since 2000 that the rules had been changed. The reason behind the verdict was that according to spectators and judges that the women appeared to be too big and brawny.
"I am not sure yet if it will be cut off completely at the world level, but I think it might be because you have to win the CAC in order to get to the world championships, so it's a chance that it may be," said Sumner. "Mr. Olympia at one time used to be a big show as well. In these two shows you would have had men and females competing on the same stage but now it is different. The big show prior to the male competitions is female fitness. The female fitness division is now professional level."
The CAC has added a category that has some similarities as female bodybuilding called the female physique category. This category joins the other three categories figure fitness, body fitness and swimsuit and bikini in the female division that have overshadowed female bodybuilding.
"They want the female athletes competing in the bodybuilding category to get the rules that govern the physique division and switch over to it," said Sumner. "The transition may not be as hard as it may appear to be, because of the similarities of the categories."
Women's physique competitions have three rounds - a symmetry round, a mandatory posing round and a routine round.
The major difference in the divisions is the amount of overall muscle needed and levels of lean muscle per category. The women's physique allows the women to maintain a feminine look. In bodybuilding, judges look for symmetrical proportion and overall body tone, but in physique they will be looking for poise, charisma, elegance and moves.
The CAC Championships will take place September 12-14, in St. Martin.

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News Article

March 12, 2014
Concerns with going forward with gambling

Dear Editor,
Please help me with this. Where do Bahamians get $400 million to gamble with in the web shops? Is this money coming from tourism? Or foreign investors? Or is this money already in the country?
If it is already here then government has already got its cut.
Another thing is I don't understand if the web shops are operating with machines why do they need to hire thousands of people when most people can gamble from their homes, their cars, their churches and work? If Bahamian people are spending that much on gambling when this becomes legal more people will gamble than are doing so now because they respect the law. Don't get me wrong on this, I think that if Bahamians want to gamble that badly then government should find a legal way for them to do so. But I don't think putting a web shop on every corner is the way to go.
The only government in the world that would legalize gambling to its poor people who depend 80 percent on outside investments would be a black government. No other race of people would think this way. Even my sometimes favorite country, the great U.S.A., until recently hid gambling in a dessert away from her citizens who may be tempted to waste their hard-earned money foolishly. Leave it to a soul brother and he will put a shop on every corner and keep his own people poor so they can come to him and beg him for something to eat, to turn on their electricity and give them "one government job". Now you tell me who loves you.
Brooks said "fools rush in, where wise men never, never go". Please call the doctor, these people are sick. My opinion, yes make gambling legal. I think Bahamians have a right to this entertainment as others are enjoying it in this country. Make it so he can own a casino, but he would have to qualify just like everyone else; whatever those qualifications are. He should have all the perks and all the advantages as the foreign investors enjoy. Being Bahamian doesn't get you anything more than any other Bahamian.
Remember now that only one group of people has concessions for gambling in this part of the world. If Bahamians have special privileges that go with their licenses the foreign investors will not be happy. Legal or illegal gambling will attract foreign undesirables if not controlled by them.
So, 'Mr. Government', be careful where you put your foot. These boys know you long time. They think you are just a bunch of hicks who will do anything for money. Don't forget how Motown Records got out of black folks' hands or who made the big bucks off "Funky Nassau", "Who let the dogs out", BTC and soon to be BEC.
Please Bahamians, make your government stop the madness before we become like Jamaica or Haiti. They didn't think it could happen either. They also refused to pay the piper and went hog wild with other people's money thinking nobody can make them pay "'cause this is we country". They also got in with questionable people and replaced their worldwide accepted white Jamaican prime minister with a radical black racist government, whose first big mistake in their present downfall was to turn down a breakfast invitation from the former U.S. president. Everything was downhill from there.
Our downhill started when we threw an important world-class banker in a bus filled with sweaty workers and then in a detention center not fit for human occupation; and most Bahamian didn't see anything wrong with that. We are going to be the ones to suffer, as these people have enough money to live on the golf course on Paradise Island for the rest of their lives while we are sloshing around with outside toilets over the hill when it rains.
- Bob Nevil

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News Article

April 04, 2012
Anatol Rodgers student crowned junior minister of tourism

The topic was simple and timely -- because culture today is more than just about allowing visitors to experience one's country. Tourism breaks through barriers and crosses global borders, linking countries and people in a special way. As such, contestants in the Junior Minister of Tourism Speech Competition were encouraged to use the simple three-word topic "Tourism Linking Cultures" to look at tourism as more than what The Bahamas has to offer, but instead look at what other countries offer and how to blend it all together.
Anatol Rodgers High School 11th grade student Iant'a Stubbs' unique spin on the topic blew her 13 competitors out of the water during the 10th Annual Junior Minister of Tourism Speech Competition at the Holy Trinity Activity Centre.
In her speech, Stubbs said as countries continue to develop globally, they must ensure that chain links are created to form mutual commonalities among people, languages, festivals and the environment. She believes the links would merge culture and tourism into a diverse circle of success.
Rodgers went into the competition confident, but was still surprised to be chosen as the overall winner.
"When I won... the feeling was unexplainable. It was a mixture of joy, excitement and disbelief. I knew I had executed well, but I was still surprised at how well I had done," said Stubbs. "I knew I had God on my side and just trusting in Him when I got the butterflies and was preparing for this speech but how everything turned still was surprising. My teacher also played a key role in me doing well."
While the judges determined her speech was the best out of the field, Stubbs did not think there was anything that amazing that stood out about her speech that won her the competition. Rather she believed it was the elements she used in her presentation and the conviction she conveyed about what she was saying that swayed the judges. She said all the other contestants were just as good when it came to content and had an equal chance to take the coveted title.
"I had my schoolmates play drums and maracas during my introduction which was basically a popular Bahamian song with some of the words changed slightly to fit my angle for the speech competition. From there I just spoke from my heart and did my best. I guess it was enough because now I am the new Junior Minister of Tourism. It's so exciting."
As winner of the competition Stubbs was awarded a four-year scholarship tenable at The College of The Bahamas from the Bahamas Hotel Association. She also got a $500 cash prize and a trophy. She will also be sent on an all expense paid four-day trip to this year's CTC conference. Her school, Anatol Rodgers High will also benefit from her win. The school was awarded a $500 prize and plaque.
Sixteen-year-old Taran Carey, representing Preston H. Albury High School out of Eleuthera placed second. One of the only two males in the competition, he returned home with a $300 prize. He also earned a $300 prize for his school.
"Win or lose, I had a good time. Being in the competition was a great experience that I would advise others to give a try if they wish to. It's really a great addition to one's high school experiences. I really liked my speech and I spent about a week preparing for it."
Carey believes his engaging introduction -- a song about Bahamian culture, got the crowd going and was key to him scoring a second place showing.
Third place winner Kenteeshe Williams of Old Bight High School in Cat Island returned home with a $200 prize. Her school was also the recipient of $200 and a plaque.
Although she did not win, Kennesha Rolle, from R.N. Gomez All Age School in the Berry Islands said she learned invaluable lessons about public speaking and preparedness. The 11th grade student felt that she was not as prepared as she could have been. She depended a little too much on her written speech and said if she could redo the competition she would definitely spend more time preparing not to rely on her written notes.
Joshua Fawkes, the only other competitor, from Alice Town High School in Bimini said he was returning home with a deeper knowledge and understanding of speech competitions. He believes his loss will benefit the next competitor from his island since he knows now what to do from what not to do.
"I didn't win but I am happy that I entered the competition. The experience was amazing," said Fawkes.
"Besides not knowing I could
use props for my speech, the most surprising thing about the competition was that there were only two males in the competition. This was strange to me because I have noticed that most, if not all of the former Junior Ministers of Tourism have been males. So I expected more males to be interested and involved in this event. But nonetheless it was a great experience."
Finding a way to continually engage students in tourism and the changes in the industry is one of the main reasons for the creation of the competition according to Samantha Cartwright, coordinator for the Junior Minister of Tourism speech competition.
"The competition has been going strong since 2002 and it is always refreshing to see the brightest and best young minds in action from year-to-year," she said. "This year in particular I was impressed with the skills and passion of the young people who competed. It was truly the creme-de-la-creme. It was a tough year."
The Junior Minister of Tourism program was launched in 2000 in New Providence, and adopted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in 2003. The program emerged as a result of CTOs youth initiatives that required Caribbean countries to send a representative to participate in the Youth Congress, similar to the Youth in Parliament.

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News Article

May 18, 2012
Gippie's Kingdom gets support from Scotiabank

Scotiabank Bahamas is on board as a major sponsor of the local TV series Gippie's Kingdom, which is set to hit the airwaves next month.
Gippie's Kingdom, an eight-part series, is co-produced by Dr. Ian Strachan and Travon Patton. They recently expressed gratitude to Scotiabank for its $10,000 check in support of the project.
Dr. Strachan is well-known for his political and social commentary as well as for his plays.
"Writers want the widest possible audience for their work," said Strachan. "Through the medium of television I no longer have to persuade you to get dressed, and put down 20 or 25 dollars to come and see my play or to buy my book. My work is coming to you, and all you need to do is press a button to enjoy it. I'm very thankful that this project has gone so well, and thankful for the level of support we are receiving from corporate Bahamas."
"I believe this is a first of its kind in The Bahamas and it's important for us to be a part of this," said Leah Davis, Scotiabank's senior manager of marketing and public relations.
"This partnership is just another demonstration of our commitment to the community. At Scotiabank we see partnering with the community as a part of who we are. Most of our corporate giving comes under the umbrella of Our Bright Future Program, the program through which we support opportunities for young people in the areas of youth development, sports, education, arts and culture.
"We see a good fit with Gippie's Kingdom because it tackles some of the social issues plaguing the country and will offer a new perspective."
The Gippie's Kingdom series premieres on June 13, 2012 at 8.30 p.m. on ZNS TV13 and will rebroadcast every Sunday evening at 10 p.m.

o Those who would like to learn more about the soap can visit or

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News Article

October 29, 2013
The Haitian-Dominican migration crisis

On September 23, 2013, the Supreme Court of the Dominican Republic handed down the decision TC0168/13 in the matter of Juliana Deguis Pierre, 28, a Dominican citizen with four children born in the Dominican Republic, ruling against her and all persons similarly situated.
The ruling stated that those persons born after 1929 in the Dominican Republic of parents who did not have proper documents while entering and continuing to live in the Dominican Republic without legalization are henceforth stripped of their Dominican citizenship. The ruling will be enforced by all the branches of the Dominican government.
While the decision is global, it is of particular concern to some 210,000 Haitian-Dominicans who were born in the Dominican Republic, have received their birth certificates, have been to school in the Dominican Republic, have lived a normal life in the Dominican Republic and have little or no attachment to the Republic of Haiti.
The Dominican Republic, as the United States, utilizes the concept of jus solis as the basis to confer citizenship on people born under the sun of its territory. The only exception to this rule has been children of diplomats accredited to the Dominican Republic who were considered persons in transit.
A 2004 law enshrined in the amended Dominican constitution of 2010 expanded the concept of persons in transit to include not only diplomats but also all persons who enter and remain in the Dominican Republic without proper documents. Their offspring would step outside the umbrella of jus solis and, as such, they could not benefit from Dominican citizenship.
The Supreme Court used a strict framework in rendering its decision in the matter of nationality of who is and who is not a citizen of the Dominican Republic. It sent scrambling the government and civil society, the Haitian and the international community that perceived an ethnic cleansing similar to or compared with what happened in Germany under Hitler, in Serbia under Milosevic and in Rwanda under Prime Minister Jean Kambanda.
E palante que vamos!
The Dominican Republic has been often in the news as a star nation that fits its slogan: We are pushing forward! Its tourism business might be along with The Bahamas a booming industry in the Caribbean. Its economy, in expansion since 2004, is sucking human resources (manual and professional) from Haiti to maintain the push forward. Its balance of payments with Haiti from which almost everything is imported (mostly after the earthquake of 2010) is an enviable position of master/servant. What, for God's sake, did the Dominican Supreme Court have in mind in rallying against itself the wrath of the civilized world in pointing the country as a pariah state that uses the cleansing doctrine to solve other structural problems?
Playing the double advocate
The Dominican Republic, with a population of 10 million people, as the Republic of Haiti, has been absorbing some one million Haitian people in its midst. In spite of infrequent skirmishes, life continues rather smoothly for this migrant population. Some 150,000 attend colleges and upon graduation they find jobs in the hotel industry that prize their command of different languages as well as their demeanor of hard and professional workers. Some 100,000 toil in the sugar cane industry, sometimes as slaves sent by their own government (in the past through a joint governmental agreement). They are now lured by unscrupulous brokers, leaving conditions at home that are inhospitable that make them easy prey for an illusory eldorado in Santo Domingo.
Stan Golf, in an op-ed in the Push, says it best: "The Haitians cut the cane, labor in the most exhausting factories, perform the most grueling work with the least money and much like the Afro-American and the Latinos in the United States they provide the super exploited economic and safety valve against the demands to increase wages."
It is hard for Haiti to blame a discriminatory situation in the Dominican Republic that it entertains itself at home. The living conditions in rural Haiti or in the shantytowns surrounding the cities is, to put it simply, inhumane. With no infrastructure and no institutional buildings in those catchment areas, past governments have been at best callous, at worst criminal, in dealing with their own citizens. A brain surgeon's qualification is not necessary to explain why so many poor Haitians are fleeing home seeking a friendlier sky not only in the Dominican Republic but also in The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Dominica, Florida and now Brazil.
The ghost of Plessey vs. Ferguson in the Dominican Republic
Homer Plessey was a rich citizen of New Orleans with light skin color. The law around 1892 in the United States and in Louisiana was that persons of color could not ride in the same train car with a white person. Homer Plessey was chosen to test the practice. Upon boarding the train in a white section and informing the conductor that he was a colored person, he was ordered to leave the car and sit in a black only compartment.
He refused, was escorted out and arrested. He later sued all the way up to the United States Supreme Court, where he lost. The court in a seven to one decision upheld the constitutionally of state laws that recognized the principle that in public facilities the doctrine of separate but equal shall remain the law of the land. It was such until 1954 when the decision was reversed by Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.
It is not difficult to envision the ghost of Homer Plessey in Juliana Deguis Pierre challenging the decision of the lower court until the Constitutional Court rendered its decision that stripped all persons similarly situated of Dominican citizenship, in particular its target the Haitian-Dominican community. Will it take 54 years to find the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. of the Dominican Republic so as to bring that nation to reason and into the humanist rationality as proffered by Emil Vlagki in his book "Les Miserables de la Modernite"?
The antecedents
The history of the Republic of Haiti and of the Dominican Republic is intertwined for the last five centuries. The big island or Ayti - land of mountains - as it was called by the Taino, was discovered by Christopher Columbus, on December 5, 1492, who renamed the island Hispaniola. The Spanish conquistadors who came along with Columbus took only 30 years to facilitate the decimation of the Taino population that was estimated at around one million people. It happened because they were submitted to hard labor and because the diseases brought by the Spaniards to the island, such as smallpox, measles, influenza, gonorrhea and typhoid, ran amok in a population not immune to such illnesses.
The richness of Hispaniola lured to the region French buccaneers, who settled first in the small island of Tortuga - la Tortue - before moving to the western part of the mainland. They grew in number and in strength, fighting with the Spanish until the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697 settled the issue, granting the western part of the island to France and the eastern part to Spain.
With grueling slave labor imported from Africa, the western part became one of the most prosperous colonial sites of the world, enriching France up to 60 percent of its national budget. The eastern part languished under Spanish rule with only 6,000 inhabitants in Santo Domingo around 1697.
Through the Treaty of Bale in 1795, France took complete control of the island. It was also around this time that Toussaint Louverture came on the scene, defeating the British, the Spanish and later the French to govern the entire island around 1801. The independence of Haiti from France led by Jean Jacques Dessalines in 1804 left the eastern part an open front that could have brought back slavery to the newly independent country. As such, all governments thereafter have sought to fight to maintain control of the entire island.
Under Jean Pierre Boyer, the fourth Haitian president, his governance of the eastern part (as well as the western part) was so callous that the Dominicans organized a war of independence under the leadership of Pedro Santana, Francisco Sanchez and Ramon Malla leading to the liberation of the country on February 27, 1844, from the yoke of the Republic of Haiti.
The nation building process in the Dominican Republic was not a smooth one; dissension amongst the founding fathers led to the reoccupation of the Dominican Republic by Spain and the offer of annexation by the United States. It was again the Republic of Haiti that came to help the Dominican Republic regain once more its independence.
The Haitian and the Dominican dilemma
While Haiti in its first constitution stated clearly that from now and for the future all Haitians are black (in spite of the color of their skin), the Dominican Republic has enshrined in its ethos that all Dominican are white (in spite of the color of their skin).
One of the most revered Dominican heroes and presidents was Ulysses Heureaux or Lilis. He was a dark-skinned Dominican, the son of a Haitian father and of a mother from St. Thomas. He ruled the Dominican Republic for decades, building infrastructure and bringing stability to the nation.
Yet the Haitian card is put on the table every time a score must be settled by some politicians. Rafael Trujillo used the card to kill some 35,000 Haitian people around the border of Ouanaminthe and Dajabond in the Parsley massacre to take revenge against Haitians who were supposedly siding with the opponents of his government.
Is the nationality card a new tool crafted by the Dominican government and adopted by the judiciary to enforce the white only ethos for some political game? Haiti has played those two cards and it has failed miserably in both. In spite of the terms of its constitution that all Haitians are black, the light-skinned Haitians have dominated the political panorama for the first 150 years after the country's independence with no apparent nation building results. The rest of the nation's history has seen since 1946, or the last 50 years, the emergence of the dark-skinned Haitians in the sphere of power with similarly dim and poor results for the nation.
In conclusion: Two wings of the same bird
The Republic of Haiti and the Dominican Republic that occupies the same island named Ayti, by the Taino, or Hispaniola, by Christopher Columbus, are condemned to live together. Whether the two wings will fly in tandem to y palento que vamos - push the bird forward - will depend on the wisdom and the applied policies of the governments and civil society on both sides of the border.
I have often argued for the concept of hospitality for all as defined by Ernest Renan in his formula for building a great nation as the best model for y palento que vamos! The Dominican Republic, in spite of its slogan y palento que vamos, will stall in the long run if it continues to marginalize the weakest segment of its population, the Haitian-Dominican one, as well as the native-born dark-skinned Dominican.
The Republic of Haiti's operation decollage - operation take off - will remain on the ground as long as the majority of its population, rural Haiti and Haiti of the shantytowns, is treated as second-class citizen.
The best course of action for each one of those two nations is to start treating each one of its citizens as a valuable resource. Carthage, London, New York, Singapore and now Shanghai did not use any other method to occupy at a time in world history the status of the premiere city of the globe. They provided the best education to all citizens within their territory, and they incubated all the able bodies to create and produce for their benefit, and for the benefit of the nation, immense wealth.
In following these models, the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti will y palento que vamos huntos! They will be pushing forward together!
o Jean H. Charles LLB, MSW, JD is a syndicated columnist with He can be reached at and followed for past essays at caribbeannewsnow/haiti. Published with the permission of

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News Article

December 09, 2013
Deficit shrinks by 46 percent in first quarter

A combination of higher revenue collection and lower expenditure caused the government's overall deficit to contract by $66.2 million, or 45.9 percent, in the first quarter of the 2013/2014 fiscal year - a turnaround from a $49.4 million, or 50 percent growth in the deficit during the same period last year.
The Central Bank of The Bahamas has attributed the change to a combination of higher revenue collection and reduced expenditure.
The turnaround comes as many in the private sector are calling for the government to show evidence of its commitment to reducing government spending as a means of addressing the deficit and debt.
John Rolle, financial secretary, said the figures must be considered in context, with the timing of certain financial flows likely to have made the percentages appear more "drastic" than otherwise.
However, he said the picture presented fits with some of the "direct concerted efforts of the government to manage its expenses" and to improve revenue collections.
Gowon Bowe, co-chair of the Coalition for Responsible Taxation, said he would be happy if these types of reductions in the deficit were "sustained" over "at least two consecutive quarters".
"That's not to disparage the results; they are positive. But the question is whether this is a sustained change in the path.
"Another key point is that timing can be a great distorter of information. We need to look at the full year to really see what is going on.
"And if you get to the accrual basis of accounting, the question is what are the unrecorded liabilities and commitments, which may push those numbers into complete disarray if you were to add them on top."
According to The Central Bank of The Bahamas, revenue collection grew by $8.5 million, or 2.9 percent, to $305.3 million in the first quarter of the 2013/2014 fiscal year. Non-tax receipts drove the revenue growth, being up $9.4 million, primarily due to a $9.5 million rise in fines, forfeits and administrative fees - a 46.7 percent rise.
In contrast, tax collections contracted marginally by $0.9 million (0.3 percent) to $271.7 million, led by a $15.2 million (9.9 percent) decline in taxes on international trade, which offset the almost two-fold increase in other "non-allocated" taxes to $28.4 million.
On the expenditure side, overall spending in the quarter fell by $57.8 million, or 13.1 percent, to $383.3 million. Recurrent outlays decreased by $27.5 million, or 7.5 percent, to $342.1 million, reflecting in part a decrease in subsidies to a local public health authority.
This can be compared to the same period last year when recurrent outlays rose by $24.0 million (seven percent) to $369.6 million, led by an $11.8 million rise in personal emoluments, along with an $8.3 million (6.5 percent) gain in transfer payments.
Capital outlays dropped by $32.1 million (51.5 percent) to $30.2 million in comparison to the same quarter in the previous year, in line with a reduced level of infrastructural projects. This represented a significant turnaround from activity in 2012, when capital expenditure more than doubled to $62.3 million from $25.7 million, linked to increases in outlays for infrastructure projects.
Government's budgetary support to public entities grew by a net of $1.9 million (20.2 percent) to $11.1 million over the same period last year.
"In the context of challenging global conditions, expectations are that the domestic economy will continue to face significant headwinds over the near-term. No significant improvement is anticipated in employment conditions until the economic recovery broadens to other key sectors, while inflationary pressures are likely to remain subdued, despite the volatility in global oil prices," said the central bank.
"Improvements in the fiscal deficit and associated debt indicators remain heavily dependent on the extent of the domestic recovery, as well as the success of government's efforts to increase revenues through enhancements in administration and the implementation of new tax measures, while also restraining expenditure growth," it added.

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News Article

December 10, 2013
Race track 'key ingredient' for continued Speed Week success

The chairman of Bahamas Speed Week Revival has said that groundbreaking on a race track that will allow Bahamas Speed Week to "treble" its participant numbers and "double" its economic impact, must occur by February of next year, with the race track critical to tapping further into the U.S. racing market.
David McLaughlin, who is also the event director of Speed Week Revival, said the racing track could be an "international facility" that could be used for multiple sporting events throughout the year, making it a "sustainable" investment for the government.
Guardian Business understands the development of the track could cost between $1 million to $2 million.
The co-owner of a luxury Exuma resort, which is hosting a large group of high-net-worth individuals involved in Speed Week, has also backed government's plans to support the racing event by building a new race track, saying he "can't stress enough" the importance of the development for the ongoing success of the three-year-old event.
Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis announced plans for the government to construct the race track in time for next year's Bahamas Speed Week, during the opening of the event last week.
The track will incorporate some of the original Oakes Field race track, which formed the epicenter of the original Nassau Speed Week, which would celebrate its 60th anniversary next year.
Peter Nicholson, co-owner of Grand Isle Resort and Spa in Great Exuma, told Guardian Business: "The third speed week revival was a success, and everyone was talking about the bright future it has as long as we can get the track built; that's the key ingredient and we can't stress enough that we really need that speedway.
"That's been the buzz throughout the whole weekend; how excited people are about the track. The concern we have is that the track at Arawak Cay can only go so far. We've hit maximum efficiency there. It really needs to go to a larger track and a larger level."
This year Bahamas Speed Week generated just under 1,000 room nights for local hotels, according to its organizers.
It drew dozens of high-net-worth drivers, who brought vintage and modern super cars valued in some cases up to $6 million, from countries including the U.S., Canada, the UK, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark.
For now, the event has been heavily European-centric, but with the addition of the race track, it is believed that it can treble the number of participants by encouraging more U.S. racers to enter. By enabling Speed Week to incorporate more racing, the idea would also be to allow it to transition to a more spectator-based event, encouraging yet more visitors.
"Undoubtedly it's fun to drive on a street track but you can't race seriously on that. On a purpose-built facility with all the safety features I am sure the American drivers will come," said McLaughlin.
"Back in the day, Nassau Speed Week was like a kind of Super Bowl, a play off between Americans and Europeans, and the top drivers of the day came. We're confident that we will be able to attract some of the top drivers that used to race if the track gets built."
McLaughlin said that the track would ideally be under construction by February, with marketing to begin shortly thereafter.
Nicholson suggested there could be a significant multiplier effect from attracting dozens of extremely high-net-worth individuals to The Bahamas on an annual basis via the event.
His resort has been selected as the Out Island host for 32 participants, fans and organizers of the event this year, a move which both he and McLaughlin said bodes well for the impact of the event on the wider Bahamian economy.
Nicholson, who chartered four planes and a helicopter to bring in and host the Speed Week visitors at the resort, where he purchased 31 villas in early 2012, said the relationship with Speed Week makes good business sense for Grand Isle Resort and Spa.
"It's important for The Bahamas to have events to bring people in, to give them a reason to come for a long weekend, and motor car racing is a high-net-worth attraction and The Bahamas and the Caribbean is a high-net-worth place; it's not the cheapest place to come and visit.
"The drivers themselves all seem to be multimillionaires, the cars are incredibly expensive to own and maintain and even the fans that came, they are car enthusiasts and they are all high-net-worth individuals. People who own expensive race cars are the same people who want to have luxury villas, so we feel it's going to be a good fit."
McLaughlin said he has long hoped to expand the scope of Bahamas Speed Week to take in more islands.
"My quest for three years has been to send all the visiting drivers home, many of whom are very, very, wealthy having seen the real beauty of The Bahamas, to be able to take people to the Exumas and to send people home with that message," he added.

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News Article

May 01, 2012
Political parties planning whirlwind tours across the country

The three major political parties have planned whirlwind tours across the country as they enter the final leg of their political campaigns.
An event is scheduled each night for the Free National Movement (FNM), the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) as they continue to spread their messages.
The FNM intends to visit several Family Islands before Monday.
Several events are scheduled in New Providence this week, including mass rallies on Clifford Park on Thursday and Saturday, and a gospel event at R. M. Bailey Park on the eve of the May 7 general election.
The PLP also plans to visit several islands.
PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts said the party wants the Bahamian people to remember that the PLP is the only choice.
"We want people to vote for us because we are the best party and will serve their interests," he said.
Roberts said the FNM has proven that it is not fit to lead the country.
On Sunday, the PLP also intends to culminate its campaign with a gospel event that will be announced.
Additionally, a mass rally is scheduled for Clifford Park on Friday.
As for the DNA, Chairman Mark Humes said the party intends to continue to work the constituencies.
Major events are also planned throughout the week.
DNA Leader Branville McCartney has recorded a political address, which will be broadcast on channel 12 tonight at 6:30 p.m.
Additionally, the DNA will hold a rally at Christie Park on Wednesday night and another at the recreational grounds on Market Street on Saturday night.
The DNA will also hold rallies on Long Island and Abaco.
Humes said the party wants voters to consider the DNA when they head to the polls today and on May 7.
"I want voters to take a look at where we are and how we got here, and really consider whether they want to continue doing the same thing over and over," he said.
"Do they want to continue going back and forth between the FNM and PLP, and always holding their breath and hoping that one of them would get it right?
"This is a period of change. We would want them to really recognize what we've done to ensure that change is possible."
The advanced poll will take place today in New Providence at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium and The College of The Bahamas between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
It will also take place on Family Islands and at various Bahamas embassies and consulates overseas.
As previously reported, 7,865 people are registered to vote in the advanced poll, including election workers, agents of political parties, defence force, police force, customs and immigration officers, and special voters.

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News Article

December 18, 2013
Grand Bahama casino negotiations drag on

With less than a month to go until the opening of the Memories Grand Bahama Beach and Casino Resort, the name of the new casino operator at the resort could be made public early next week, according to the minister of tourism.
Sources close to the matter told Guardian Business yesterday that great progress was made during a key meeting with potential operators held on Monday. While a final decision was expected yesterday, it could take an additional three to four days to finalize those negotiations.
The government has been pointing to plans to finalize the casino operator since as early as June of this year. It has not revealed who is in the running for the contract.
Obie Wilchcombe, minister of tourism, confirmed yesterday that the decision is imminent as the resort prepares for its mid-January open date. He said the Hotel Corporation of The Bahamas is leading the negotiations; its Chairman Julian Russell and Senior Policy Advisor Sir Baltron Bethel are expected to brief him on the matter soon.
"A decision will be made this coming week. Everybody is still in the running but we just have to make a decision from who is in the running," he said.
Just last month, Wilchcombe said the government is carefully vetting additional operators that have expressed interest in operating the casino, in an attempt to ensure it finds the right fit.
"At the end of the day, we are looking for the best player. While there are still three companies that are being considered, the truth is there are some other people that have come in and you don't want to turn them away," he revealed.
"We are going to look for a casino operator that's going to be comparable with what we have here in the capital and in Bimini. You cannot think about rejuvenating Grand Bahama's economy without ensuring that the gaming group that would be allowed to run the casino in Freeport could bring us the kind of leverage and longevity that we require.
"We want to give Grand Bahama that long-term growth as opposed to the boom bust, because we have made mistakes with the first two casinos, the one that exists now and the one before."
Wilchcombe, who also has responsibility for gaming, stressed that the new casino partner has to be in place in time for the hotel's January 16 opening.
David Johnson, director general of tourism, has previously indicated that current operator Treasure Bay has agreed to "hold on until we can select a new operator".
Already, bookings for travel into Grand Bahama to stay at the Memories Grand Bahama Beach and Casino Resort are "incredible", according to Wilchcombe. Beginning on Thursday, Delta will begin its daily non-stop service from Atlanta, Georgia into Grand Bahama. This is in the addition to the introduction of service from Canadian cities like Montreal, Halifax, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Toronto.
"Of course, we are seeing the bookings growing now for Grand Bahama from the Reef Village resort. The bookings are incredible. We feel good about the bookings," Wilchcombe said.

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News Article

January 22, 2014
Bahamian Valin Bodie making strides in soccer

Valin Bodie is an 18-year-old Bahamian who is making great strides in soccer. Just in his freshman year at Essex County College in New Jersey, Bodie is a top name on campus because of his goal keeping excellence.
A prestigious invitation is proof also, that others, outside of the Garden State Athletic Conference, are aware of his unique talent. After observing Bodie closely during a recent Team Development program in New York, those who operate the Italian American Soccer League (IASL), based in Flushing, New York, are very interested in the young Bahamian. Case in point is a letter sent to Bodie that was jointly signed by IASL General Manager Charlie Candela and Head Coach Giuseppe Balsamo.
The letter to Bodie read: "We are pleased to inform you that after careful consideration we decided to offer you the possibility to be part of the select team that will participate in the professional youth tournament that will be held in Viareggio (Tuscany), Italy, January 30-February 16.
"Being part of this select team is a unique soccer opportunity as well as a social and cultural experience. For this important event we have put together a program to assure the best preparation for the tournament and to provide a professional approach to make sure that our players will obtain the optimal conditioning to express the best part of their skills.
"You will have the opportunity to compete with other high level players from the best soccer teams from all the five continents, such as Juventus, AC Milan, FC Inter Milan, Roma, Barcelona, Apia Disney Australia, Anderlecht, PSV Eindhoven, Newcastle and Danubio (Uruguay). We are sure that you will become an asset to our team."
It is an amazing scenario for exposure presented to Bodie. His ability afield is so valued that very early in his career he will be in a position to rub shoulders with players who are making contributions to some of the best teams in the world. Bodie, of course, is grateful for the opportunity.
"Being chosen out of all the players that were in attendance, I feel as though all my hard work is paying off and now the real work begins. All my hard training sessions, even the ones in the snow, from fitness to technical goalkeeper training, all of it contributed to this point. It was not easy at all and it will get harder from here on but I'm ready.
"Training in the cold and snow is a big challenge because I am used to the heat and sun but I am determined to be the best no mater the climate. I look to take my game to a professional level or at least a professional development level. Presently, my college league is over so I have been doing training on my own," informed Bodie.
Mia Campbell, Bodie's mother, Estelle Campbell, his grand mother, and other family members are all very proud of his accomplishments thus far.
"I am very excited. He's doing very well and this is a big step for him," said the grandmother.
"Valin is the only Caribbean player who will be in the tournament, Cup Viareggio Carnavale 2014. He is on the New York Stars and will be the goalkeeper as they play in Group 7. Valin will leave for Italy on January 29 and the tournament will begin on February 3. We are very happy for him and wish the best," said mom Mia.
Indeed, Bodie has attained a special milestone. The exposure from such a top-flight soccer environment should serve to sharpen his skills for the new league season with Essex County and any national team representation.

o To respond to this sports feature, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at

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News Article

December 24, 2013
Merry feet for Christmas

This is the season to be merry, however it is often not a merry time for the feet. Lots of holiday shopping usually means lots of walking and even sometimes running. In addition, it is time for lots of standing, while cooking, during parties, church and even Junkanoo. Further, most persons, especially women will be wearing new shoes during these activities. All these reasons can add up to painful feet!
A survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) showed that painful feet are a common occurrence during the holiday madness and the number one way women soothe their aching feet is by moisturizing their feet. Women admitted that stretching and massaging their feet were also on the list of favorite foot fixers. Here are a few more ways to keep your feet merry this holiday season.
Exercise your toes: Toe cramping is common due to long hours of walking, often in tight shoes. Avoid toe cramping by raising your toes, pointing and curling them for five seconds in each direction, then repeat 10 times. You can do this several times a day and you won't even break a sweat, but your toes will get relief.
Massage your feet: Women like it because it works. Massaging releases tension, increases circulation and rejuvenates the skin after a long day on your feet. Get out the lotion and rub those toes, better yet get a spouse, child or friend to do it. You can also use a foot bath or tub to massage the feet. Fill the tub with warm water and your favorite fragrant moisturizing soap and let the jets massage your feet. Persons who are diabetic should not soak or use hot water on their feet.
Elevate your legs: Long hours of standing, walking and evening sitting can cause the feet to swell especially at the end of the day. Reduce swelling by elevating the legs by sitting or lying down and lifting the legs above your heart.
Rotate your ankles: Because of swelling and long hours of standing and walking the ankles can get tired and ache. Relax your feet by rotating your ankles, turn your ankle up toward your head, down toward the floor then right and left, slowly five times. This loosens up the ankle joints and increases blood flow to the area.
Wear smart shoes: For the most part, during your holiday activities like shopping, cooking, etc., wear sensible, comfortable shoes and avoid high heels. Save the high heels for actual dressed up events. If you know you will be on your feet all day, wear comfortable shoes with arch support and a padded sole.
When purchasing shoes, do so in the afternoon and be sure to try them on and walk in them in the store to be sure they fit properly. Do not wear shoes that don't fit, they will cause blisters and other injury to the feet.
For persons who already have problems with their feet for example heel pain or Plantar Fasciitis or even an injury to the feet, it is vital to follow the podiatrist's instructions and continue to wear the prescribed foot wear during the holiday. It will prevent relapse and return of pain and other symptoms after the holiday.
Prevent injury: It is important to not over do it and prevent any injury to your feet while rushing to complete all the holiday activities. Pay particular attention to foot wear and walking surfaces. Drinking alcohol and other substances also increases your risk of injury. Continue your exercise routine during the holiday season. Be sure to stretch before and after exercising. Wear new sports shoes cautiously, by gradually increasing the time your wear them each day until you adjust.
If you follow these tips and suggestions you can prevent injury and ensure that your feet are also merry during this holiday season. However, foot injuries and pain, including fractures, ankle sprains, blisters, ingrown toe nails, etc., are common foot complaints during and after the holiday. If you do get an injury or develop foot pain, see a podiatrist as soon as possible. Remember the reason for the season. Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

o For more information visit or to see a podiatrist visit Bahamas Foot Centre, Rosetta Street telephone 325-2996 or Bahamas Surgical Associates, Albury Lane telephone 394-5820.

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News Article

June 09, 2012
Using appliances to take the strain out of cooking

Gone are the days when the most essential kitchen tool was a well-seasoned cast iron skillet which if properly taken care of would last for generations. Today, your great grandmother would probably be in a pickle if she were to enter the modern kitchen. From mandolines to microplanes, zesters, silpat liners, smoking guns, hand blenders and food processors, she probably would not even know where to begin.
Knowing that it would not only be grandmother that would be confused walking into the modern home store, and figuring out how to use the many kitchen supplies, Master Technicians staged the first of what is expected to be a number of live culinary showcases to show people how to use the appliances for everyday recipes.
Local chef Keshlah Smith put KitchenAid's countertop equipment, the hand blender and the 5-Speed Artisan Blender to good use to show patrons how to make smoothies and dips; and they used the 5-Quart Artisan Series Stand Mixer used to mix a cake; the 12-inch convection countertop oven to make Monterey meatballs, and the 13-cup food processor to make a colorful seven-layer salad.
Chef Jamal Petty, who was in the audience, said as a cooking professional it was useful to get to see the appliances at work before making a purchase as it allowed him to get a better understanding of how much of a assistance the tools can be.
"A lot of time we don't purchase stuff not because we don't like it, but because we don't know about it," said Petty. "It's good to see [the tools] in action because I can already see myself using them."
Master Technicians General Manager Derek Francis said the way forward is to allow for people to experience appliances before purchase so that they can know how to utilize them in their home kitchens.
"We want to present the customer with the opportunity to see just how these appliances can make your life so much better," said Francis. "We not only want to showcase the products that we bring to the marketplace, but we want to create that experience so people come to us thinking they don't just sell appliances they live their appliances."
The company hopes to host quarterly culinary exhibitions during which home cooks and professionals can try out their products.
"When you talk to any of the chefs, the tedious tasks tend to be the chopping tasks, but if you can turn on a food processor and let that thing evenly slice cucumbers in less than a minute and a half ... for a business you're not absorbing as much time and that creates efficiency," said Francis.

Make use of Kitchenaid's
Food Grinder Attachment

Monterey Meatballs
What You Will Need:
Countertop oven
Aluminum foil
Oven mitt
Medium mixing bowl
Serving plate
Paper towels
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 package (9 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, and squeezed dry
2 cloves garlic
1 slice white bread
1 pound beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch strips, partially frozen
1 pound pork steak, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch strips, partially frozen
1 small onion, quartered
1 rib celery, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
¾ cup fresh bread crumbs
1 egg
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ jar (24 oz.) marinara sauce
Italian parsley sprigs

Preheat countertop oven to 450 degrees F. Position oven rack in "down" position in center slot. Line oven baking tray with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
Assemble and attach food grinder with fine grinding plate. Grind cheese, spinach and garlic into mixer bowl. Grind one slice white bread to clean spinach from grinder body. Remove food grinder and attach bowl and flat beater to mixer. Turn to Stir speed to blend cheese, vegetables and bread together, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture into another bowl and refrigerate until needed.
Return food grinder to mixer. Continuing on Speed 4, grind beef chuck and pork steak into mixer bowl. Re-grind meat mixture to achieve even texture. Grind onion and celery onto meat mixture. Remove food grinder and attach bowl and flat beater to mixer. Add bread crumbs, egg, seasoned salt, and pepper. Turn to Stir speed and mix until ingredients are well combined, about 30 seconds.
To make meatballs, roll a heaping tablespoon of cheese mixture into a ball, approximately one-inch in diameter. Form about two tablespoons of meat mixture around cheese ball, shaping into a round ball, approximately 1.5 to two inches in diameter. Place 12 finished meatballs on prepared baking tray. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until cooked through. Spread marinara sauce on bottom of display platter. Arrange meatballs in sauce. Garnish with parsley. Repeat with remaining meat mixture and spinach mixture.

Fresh salsa
What you will need:
Chef knife
Cutting board
Paper towels
Serving bowl or tray
12-14 large ripe Roma tomatoes, cored
4-6 jalapeno peppers, with some seeds and veins removed, cut in half
2 Anaheim chilis, seeded
4-6 green onions, trimmed
½ cup packed cilantro leaves, divided
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
4 teaspoons salt, divided
2 teaspoons sugar, divided
Cilantro sprigs
White corn tortilla chips

Cut tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, Anaheim chilis and green onions into approximately one-inch pieces. Place tomatoes in large bowl and peppers and onions in medium bowl and set aside. Assemble and attach food grinder with coarse grinding plate. Turn to Speed 4 and grind half of tomatoes into mixer bowl. Exchange coarse grinding plate for fine grinding plate. Grind half of jalapeno peppers, Anaheim peppers, green onions, and ¼ cup cilantro leaves into tomatoes.
Remove food grinder attachment. Attach bowl and flat beater. Add two tablespoons lime juice, two teaspoons salt and one teaspoon sugar to bowl. Turn to Stir speed and blend mixture, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to display container and garnish with cilantro sprig. Display with tortilla chips.

Cranberry Apple Relish
What you will need:
Chef knife
Cutting board
Medium mixing bowl
Measuring cups
Paper towels
Serving bowl/tray
4 medium Granny Smith apples with skin, cored
2 naval oranges with skin
2 packages (12 ounces each) fresh cranberries, partially frozen
3 cups sugar, divided
½ cup Grand Marnier or Triple Sec, divided
Mint sprigs

Cut apples and oranges into approximately one-inch pieces. Place in bowl and set aside. Assemble food grinder with coarse grinding plate and attach to mixer. Turn to Speed 4 and grind one package cranberries, and half of apples and oranges into mixer bowl.

Attach bowl with ground fruit and flat beater to mixer. Add 1 ½ cups sugar and ¼ cup liqueur to bowl. Turn to Stir speed and mix for one minute, or until well blended. Transfer mixture to display bowl and garnish with mint sprig.


Mini pizzas
What you will need:
Countertop oven
Cooking spray
Mixing bowl
Kitchen towel
Serving tray
Rolling pin
Pizza Dough
1 package quick-rise active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 ¾ cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ounces Parmesan cheese
1 package (8 ounces) Mozzarella cheese
1 package (8 ounces) provolone cheese
1 small stick pepperoni
1 small zucchini, trimmed
1 small green pepper or red pepper, seeded and cut in half
1 small sweet onion, halved
3 Roma tomatoes
½ cup coarsely chopped or chiffonade-cut basil leaves
Garlic and sea salt grinder
Pepper grinder

To make dough, dissolve yeast in warm water with a pinch of sugar. Let stand five minutes. Position dough blade in work bowl. Add remaining sugar, bread flour and salt, to bowl. Pulse one or two times to mix. With processor running, slowly pour dissolved yeast mixture and olive oil through feed tube. Continue processing until dough forms a ball, about 45 seconds to one minute. Dough will be slightly sticky.
Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place, until doubled in bulk, about 20 to 30 minutes. Prepare toppings while dough is rising.
For toppings, position shredding disc in food processor. Process Parmesan cheese. Remove cheese to small bowl and set aside. Using shredding disc, process Mozzarella and provolone cheese. Remove cheeses to display platter and set aside. Exchange shredding disc for slicing disc. Set on Thin (1MM). Slice pepperoni, zucchini, peppers, onion and tomatoes. Remove each vegetable after slicing and place on platter with cheese to display until ready to assemble pizzas.
Preheat countertop oven to 425 degrees F. Punch dough down and divide into eight pieces. Flatten each piece slightly and lightly flour on both sides. Roll with rolling pin to form a circle about five to six-inches in diameter. Repeat with another piece of dough.
Place dough circles side by side on pizza screen. Top with cheeses and vegetable combinations. Season with garlic, sea salt and pepper. Sprinkle with basil and reserved Parmesan cheese. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly on wire racks. Place on display platter. Repeat rolling dough and pizza assembly with remaining ingredients while first batch pizzas bake. Have second batch ready to bake as first batch is removed from oven. Repeat process.

Seven-layer salad
What you will need:
Serving bowl (glass or clear plastic)
Paper towels
1-2 small heads romaine lettuce, trimmed
4 tomatoes
3 ribs celery
1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded
1 small red onion
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
4 ounces Cheddar cheese
¾ cup plain Greek-style yogurt
¾ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1-2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon seasoned salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup fresh parsley sprigs
¼ cup fresh basil leaves

Position slicing disc in work bowl and slide external slicing lever to Thick (6mm). Trim lettuce to fit feedtube. Process to slice. Remove lettuce from bowl and arrange in bottom of glass or plastic bowl. Slice celery. Use small center feed tube to keep celery upright and produce best slices. Remove celery from bowl and arrange on top of tomatoes. Slide external slicing lever to middle (3MM). Slice tomatoes. Remove tomatoes from bowl and arrange on top of lettuce.
Move external slicing lever to Thin (1mm). Trim yellow pepper to fit feed tube. Process to slice. Remove pepper from work bowl and arrange on top of celery. Slice red onion. Remove onion from work bowl and arrange on top of peppers. Sprinkle peas over onions.
Exchange thin slicing disc for shredding disc. Shred cheddar cheese. Remove from work bowl, and place in small bowl. Set aside.
Exchange shredding disc for multi-purpose blade. Place mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar, sugar, seasoned salt and pepper in work bowl. Process for 30 seconds, or until well blended. Pour dressing over salad. Spread evenly with spatula. Sprinkle with reserved cheddar cheese.
Exchange multi-purpose blade for mini-bowl and blade. Place parsley and basil in mini-bowl. Process to finely chop. Remove from bowl and sprinkle over cheese. Display finished salad.

Tropical Breakfast Smoothie
What you will need:
Chef knife
Cutting board
Paper towels
Serving bowl/cups & plate
1 medium banana
¼ fresh pineapple
2 large oranges, peeled
3 cups pineapple orange juice
1 container (5.8 oz.) vanilla yogurt
3 cups ice cubes
Orange slices for garnish
1 cup peanuts
1 cup almonds
1 cup walnuts
1 cup pecans

Cut banana, pineapple and orange sections into approximately one-inch chunks. Place in bowl and set aside. Place approximately 1/3 of banana, pineapple and orange chunks, and one cup juice in blender beaker. Process on Speed 3 using a gentle up and down motion for 50 to 60 seconds or until smooth. Add three tablespoons yogurt and one cup ice. Process on Speed 3 using a gentle up and down motion for 30 seconds to one minute or until smooth. Pour some of smoothie into display glasses and garnish with orange slice and a sprinkle of chopped nuts. Repeat.
Chop nuts ¼ cup at a time on high speed in various combinations to demonstrate chopping capability of hand blender chopper attachment. Display on plate and use to garnish smoothie.

Roasted red pepper and green onion dip
What you will need:
Measuring cups (½-cup and 1-cup)
Chef Knife
1 cup light mayonnaise
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream or 1-cup light sour cream
½ cup Romano cheese, grated
1 package ( 2/3 ounce) Good Seasons Italian Dressing
1 jar (7 ounces) roasted red peppers, well-drained
2 green onions

Crackers, for serving

In the one-liter pitcher, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, romano cheese and salad dressing. Attach the multi-purpose blade to the hand blender and blend ingredients on Speed 5. Set aside.
Drain roasted red peppers and place in the chopper attachment.
Cut the ends off of green onions and then cut in half. Place in chopper attachment.
Attach hand blender to chopper attachment and chop red pepper and green onions on Speed 3 for about 10 seconds.
Combine red pepper and green onions to the ingredients in the one-liter pitcher.
Attach the whip attachment to hand blender. Mix ingredients in one-liter pitcher on Speed 3 until evenly combined. Serve on crackers.

Make use of your KitchenAid blender
Chilled melon soup
What you will need:
Chef knife
Cutting board
Serving bowl
Paper towels
3 cups ripe cantaloupe
3 cups ripe honeydew
1 ½ cups orange juice
2 tablespoons mint leaves
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Fresh mint sprig

Cut cantaloupe and honeydew into approximately one-inch pieces. Place fruit in pitcher. Add orange juice and mint leaves. Hit Mix button and move up a speed every 15-30 seconds until reaching puree. Add honey and lemon juice. Start with Mix and move up a speed until blending ingredients well. Pour soup into honeydew display bowl and garnish with fresh mint sprig.

Make use of your KitchenAid blender
Green smoothie
What you will need:
Paper towels
Serving bowl or cups
1 banana
2 (Kensington pride) mangos
1 handful of baby spinach leaves, pre-washed
1 tray of ice cubes (15 cubes)
About 1 cup of water

Peel the mangos and add into blender. Add the banana, spinach, ice and water.
Hit Mix button and move up a speed every 5-10 seconds until reaching puree. Blend until you can't see pieces of spinach floating around.
The shake should be a light greenish color, and it should have a smooth, relatively thick consistency, somewhere between a milkshake and a thick shake.
This recipe makes enough shake to fill two average-sized glasses.

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News Article

May 25, 2012
Guy Harvey partners with Green Turtle Club

Weeks after parting ways with Bimini Big Game Club, Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts has reached an agreement with the Abaco-based Green Turtle Club.
The new alliance becomes effective immediately, as the Green Turtle Club will become the inaugural member of the new Expedition Properties Portfolio by Guy Harvey Outpost. President of Guy Harvey Outpost Mark Ellert said the partnership is a perfect chance to showcase one of the hidden gems in The Bahamas.
"We are extremely excited to launch the Expedition Properties Portfolio with the famed Green Turtle Club as our inaugural member hotel," Ellert said. "Our intent with Expedition Properties is to showcase small, independently owned properties in unique destinations that are focused on watersports recreation and whose owners are committed to customer service, sustainability and conservation.
"Given the Club's legacy, the professionalism of its staff and dedication of its owners, I'm hard pressed to think of a better opportunity in The Bahamas than this."
The news comes after Guy Harvey Outpost cut ties with Bimini Big Game Club earlier in the month, with foreclosure issues influencing the move in another direction. The two former partners had a business relationship for two years, in which Guy Harvey Outpost pumped $3.5 million in renovations to revitalize the Bimini-based resort.
Due to the foreclosure setback, it prevented Guy Harvey Outpost from purchasing the property when it wanted to, which spurred the decision to take its business interests elsewhere.
As an Expedition Property, Guy Harvey Outpost will market the club and offer travel and booking services to its customers through its Outpost Travel Desk and central reservation office. Co-owner of Green Turtle Club Adam Showell said the company led by Ellert was an ideal fit for both parties.
"Guy Harvey embodies the personality of the club, and its guests," Showell said. "His authenticity, commitment to excellence and passionate outreach to those of all ages and accomplishment are hallmarks of the Green Turtle Club."
While the deal between Guy Harvey Outpost and Green Turtle Club is still fresh, Ellert hinted at more opportunities that may await.
"Thirty degrees north and south of the equator, there are a lot of great properties with committed owners like Adam and Ann who share our vision of sustainability and hospitality," he said. "In growing the Expedition Properties Portfolio, our intent will be to spotlight these properties and encourage our customers to support them."

Green Turtle Club offers 31 guest rooms, a 40-slip marina and fuel dock, restaurant, bar/lounge and poolside bar. The Club hosts the annual Green Turtle Club Billfish Tournament, having just concluded its 25th Silver Anniversary last week.

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News Article

May 31, 2012
Now it's the boys' time

There is little doubt that the group of young male soccer players, headed to Orlando this weekend, will leave it all on the field in hopes of impressing national team Head Coach Kevin Davies.
A 26-member squad will be shaved to 18 shortly after the group returns from the warm-up matches in Orlando, designed to provide the national team with some action before playing in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Under-17 Boys World Cup Qualifier. Out of the 26 players headed to Orlando, two teams will be selected to compete in four games that are planned. The teams will play Friday and Saturday.
Davies said: "This is not the team that will be going to Cuba, for the qualifier. This is the traveling team and it is necessary so we can do an assessment of the players and they can get some international exposure. It is an opportunity for them to see the level of competition and how high it would be when they go to Cuba.
"This is the first time for most of them. We need to work on a number of things, especially getting them to play together as a team because they come from different teams and have different styles of play - getting them fit, so they can be aware of the conditions they would face in Cuba. We want them to understand the level of competition that they will see. They need to know that what they are used to here, is not what they are going to see when they are in Cuba. Orlando is a good opportunity to show them that."
The CONCACAF Under-17 Boys World Cup Qualifier will be held in Cuba, the first week in July. The Bahamas will need to win the group to move on. They will go up against host country Cuba, Puerto Rico and Aruba. The official roster for Team Bahamas will be determined by the end of June. By then, Davies said the team will be ready. He said there is no pressure on him and the chosen players, that they are out there to do their best.
The country's under-17 girls squad made history when they qualified out of their Caribbean Football Union's (CFU) group and moved on to the CONCACAF Under-17 Women's Championships. The Bahamas was shut out in two games against Mexico and the United States and played to a scoreless draw against Trinidad and Tobago at the tournament which was held last month in Guatemala.
Davies said: "I don't feel pressured. It is a lot more competitive in the male division than in the female. I am not taking anything away from them. I think what they have done and accomplished is exceptional. The time and effort that they put into it was phenomenal, but it doesn't provide any pressure.
"As long as the boys improve on their technical abilities we should be good. The players who we have now, they are good technically but to play at a higher level you obviously need to do better and improve on each game. That is something that you have to work on."
The team has been training since last year September. The CONCACAF Under-17 Boys World Cup Qualifier will be their first test for the year.

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News Article

June 06, 2012
FNM hits at Bell over allegations made in Senate

Allegations by State Minister for National Security Keith Bell that the Confiscated Asset Fund (CAF) was used as a "slush fund" under the Ingraham administration, were yesterday dismissed by Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis as "baseless and unbecoming of a minister."
Bell claimed on Monday during debate in the Senate that the Ingraham administration had used the CAF as a slush fund and that the Free National Movement was handing out envelopes of money on election day.
"One has to wonder what purpose Mr. Bell and his colleagues had for the millions of dollars collected from criminals?" Minnis asked yesterday.
"Mr. Bell appears to be completely unfamiliar with the operations of the [CAF] and unfamiliar [with the fact] that the fund is routinely audited by the auditor general, [the report is sent] to the financial secretary in the Ministry of Finance and subsequently tabled in the House of Assembly by the minister of finance."
Minnis continued: "Had he bothered to check [he] would be aware that the last audit report of the CAF was tabled in the House of Assembly in October 2011, reflecting a balance of just under $1 million, and also recording expenditure of funds from the CAF authorized for the acquisition of surveillance equipment, that is electronic monitoring, ammunition and bullet proof vests, aviation training, purchase of aircraft, motor vehicles and motorcycles, mobile police command centers, radar equipment and vessels, all to strengthen the capacity and ability of the [Royal Bahamas Police and the Defence Force]."
Minnis noted that all funds spend from the CAF were approved in Cabinet and in accordance with the Confiscated Asset Fund Act.
"Mr. Bell suffers from a common PLP disease, that of looking in the mirror and rather than themselves, seeing the FNM," Minnis said.
However, Bell yesterday stood by his allegations he made in the Senate on Monday.
He said yesterday he asked the minister of finance to have the CAF audited.
"There is evidence in the records which indicate for instance that monies were used in the funds for electronic monitoring," Bell said.
"The purpose of the Act says that the funds are there for law enforcement and crime fighting strategies and initiatives.
"Electronic monitoring is a mechanism by which persons are released from bail and the court has determined to give them bail and therefore monitoring in that sense is not a crime fighting tool. That is just one of the many things they used the funds for."
Bell said that in 2007, the Christie administration left more than $9.4 million in the fund.
"I am aware that some years ago the police seized almost $20 million in cash in three incidents in Grand Bahama," he said. "I have not seen evidence those funds were disbursed but those funds were not in the account."
Minnis also took aim at Bell's comments that he personally witnessed FNM operatives handing out envelopes of money on election day.

"Mr. Bell might seek to explain why he did not see it fit and necessary to report a crime which he alleges to have seen or which was reported to him," the FNM leader said.

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News Article

June 18, 2012
BPC begins 'farm-in' negotiations

The Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) has begun negotiations with major oil and gas companies in an effort to secure financing for an exploratory well.
The disclosure, included in a presentation to shareholders, details how "farm-in negotiations" are underway and expected to continue into July. A "farm-in" may serve as an operational and equity partner for BPC. While it is unknown what negotiations have taken place, oil and gas giants Shell, Exxon or British Petroleum, for example, could fit the bill and provide considerable backing and expertise.
In May, Guardian Business reported how BPC enlisted Applied Drilling Technology (ADT) to help carry out the exploratory well. ADT, a subsidiary of Transocean, is a service provider that is simply contracted for the work.
Indeed, recent negotiations with a financing partner indicate that BPC is still full steam ahead on its plans to spud an exploratory well next year.
Simon Potter, the CEO of BPC, did not return requests for comment before press time.
The presentation, held in London late last week, goes on to detail how the drilling program will be funded from new sources, such as the farm-in and a "placing".
A placing implies that BPC could offer another initial public offering (IPO) and release more shares into the London Stock Exchange.
The presentation injected a measure of confidence into investors on Friday. BPC shares rose 4.19 percent for the day, ending at 7.71 pence per share. The latest target, according to the report, is 23 pence per share, with a "risked upside" of a whopping 400 pence.
At present, 80 percent of the investors in BPC are from the UK, 15 percent from Europe, and five percent other. Retail investors make up 60 percent of the total register.
While the mood among investors remains upbeat, the political situation in The Bahamas remains one of the biggest sources of concern. Just prior to the election, the former government suspended BPC's exploratory licenses, and the new administration is noncommittal on the issue.
According to the recent presentation to investors, BPC states that: "license 'shall' be renewed" (with quotes over the word "shall"). It also notes that it plans to commence a well "by end of first year", which opens the door for a revised schedule.
BPC had previously committed to spudding a well no later than April 2013.
"The government is working to put regulations in place to oversee activities," the presentation stated. Meanwhile, BPC said it is aligning itself with "best practices" seen in Norway, the UK and the US "as we prepare to drill".
Earlier this month, Kenred Dorsett, the minister of the environment, insisted that the government is still undecided on the issue of oil drilling. He also backtracked on whether a referendum would take place.
"We do believe that the Bahamian people ought to be consulted, Whether it goes the extent of a referendum, that will have to be determined based on the costs. That is a matter for the Cabinet to decide on," he said.
Dorsett has not elaborated on what other public consultation would be available.
The company's financial statements reveal BPC spent a total of $38.9 million in 2011. Detailed 3D seismic testing took up the lion's share at $29.4 million.
Total cash came in at $35.5 million, and it reported total funding raised from IPOs and original shares of $104.3 million.

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News Article

June 11, 2012
83M NCP eyes full consolidation

The Nassau Container Port (NCP) has spent $75 million so far on development to Nassau's new front door, reporting that all major shipping companies have fully uprooted operations from downtown.
But work still remains. Top executives at the port said a further $7 million is still to be spent on infrastructure, and before shipping operations are fully consolidated, the companies need to "fit out" their leased space at the Gladstone Freight Terminal.
CEO of APD Limited Michael Maura Jr. said shipping companies have one month to complete this process.
"Bahamas Customs is also in the process of completing their fit out space as well at Gladstone. The expectation and reality is it must be done in less than a month. Then importers can submit their paperwork at Gladstone, pay, and pick up their freight in the one-stop-shop environment," Maura said.
Final delivery of the one-stop-shop is considered integral to the success of the new port.
Whereas today the process can be quite tedious, requiring payments and approvals at various offices and docks on the island, consolidation and efficiency are at the heart of the $82 million initiative.
"All of the carriers have relocated their vessel operations from Bay Street docks. Everything seems to be working very well," he told Guardian Business. "As anyone would expect, we have had a few minor adjustments and learning challenges rely on, but I think for the most part we have got past all of that."
Among the critics of the new port at Arawak Cay has been Rupert Roberts, the owner of supermarket chain Super Value.
In the early going, he said, "It's easier to get in and out of Fox Hill prison down there."
He said full consolidation might be in the plans, but in the person, that pledge has yet to come to fruition. Roberts noted how the process was actually demanding more staff requirements on his end. Other rules and regulations imposed by the port have been criticized by Roberts and other members of the business community.
Nevertheless, as NCP continues to fine tune the process, it is also carrying on with minor infrastructure projects that make up the remaining $7 million investment.
"Probably the biggest phase is the construction of the administration building at the Nassau Container Port," Maura explained.
Once these preparations are complete, the CEO revealed that the port will pursue picking up additional business from transshipments. NCP's upgraded cranes and dredged harbor give it the capacity to take on larger ships. There is the potential that $2.6 billion Baha Mar project will demand enough cargo to warrant an additional carrier into Nassau, he added.
Maura said this capacity may entice more shipping companies to include Nassau on their global routes.

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News Article

June 16, 2012
Sustainability and the creative class

As societies shift and evolve in a time of mass communication and media brought on by the electronic age, the global economy

has changed with it. A creative class of artists, thinkers, entrepreneurs, and the like are changing the way we think about

how we live through the commodification of ideas and creative projects.
Yet how does The Bahamas fit into this global dialogue, and how can our creative class build the kind of societies and spaces

that encourage idea space?
After its success last year, the branding and design company The Method Group (tmg*) is bringing a second round of community

discussions this summer that examine how The Bahamas is already building such spaces and that will provide opportunities to

imagine how much further we can go.
Bringing together creative thinkers, entrepreneurs and leaders in the creative fields on panels in three core discussions

surrounding topics of the emerging creative class, says tmg* marketing and branding specialist Royann Dean, will provide provocative

and engaging discussions central to the growth of The Bahamas.
"These talks all started because I thought about things I like to do that I couldn't do here going to lecture series and

listening to these ideas being shared and spurring me to think about things I never thought about," said Dean.
"It's about getting the conversation out there and flowing," she continued. "When you live in a city where ideas are encouraged,

openness is encouraged, diversity is encouraged in terms of thinking and people who participate in the exchange, that is the

point of a creative and livable city."
Last year, tmg* talks focused on how design of cities, of national stories, of culture creates Bahamian identity in an attempt

to think different about how we brand The Bahamas. This year, the talks make the personal universal by expanding outward:

how does The Bahamas function in a global dialogue about ideas socially, economically, culturally, physically?
The key, says Dean, lies in the creative class. This community may not be as arts-centric as you may think. Its core lies

in the ability to use ideas to create and shape society, so the creative class includes artists, gallery owners, architects

and the like, but also engineers, designers and entrepreneurs who all commodify ideas and encourage us to think differently

about ours spaces and ourselves.
"There are certain values identified with the creative class which include valuing meritocracy, this ability and appreciation

of complex problems and the ability to solve those problems, this sense of always trying to make things better and improve

of things," explained Dean. "So these are people who don't follow the status quo, who aren't happy with the status quo."
Indeed, this year's three talks "Architecture, Design and Sustainable Development" (June 21), "Entrepreneurism and the Creative

Class" (July 19) and "Economic Diversification and the Creative Class" (August 23), all examine how the community of creative

thinkers and entrepreneurs in The Bahamas can bring sustainability and growth to Bahamian society and economy if given a

The truth is, The Bahamas has no cultural policy and provides little incentive for creative endeavors, creating a harsh economic

environment where creative thinkers and entrepreneurs yet this is where the sustainability of the country lies in a world

where technology is collapsing borders and expanding possibilities into an unknown realm.
"I think the creative class is where our sustainability will come from if we transfer into this new type of global economy

where imagination and innovation is valued because you need to have these people who think in that way," pointed out Dean.

"These are the people who can think in ways that can solve
complex problems and are not afraid of collaborating with people in different disciplines to solve those problems."
The talks kick off next week Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas with a look at how the creative

class can help us think differently about sustainability and design, particularly in architecture. The talk will not only

address sustainability in terms of alternate energy but also in population growth.
With a panel made up of architect in The Design Group, Carlos Hepburn, President of Arawak Homes, Franon Wilson, and Director

of Sales and Marketing at Schooner Bay, James Malcolm, the discussion will shed light on how we can build more sustainable

societies through building design. The discussion will build upon last year's talks, which shared a major focus on architecture

as a creative industry.
"When we look at architecture this year in terms of the built environment and sustainability, we're going to ask how we see

architecture developing that sense of place in public spaces and in residential communities," says Dean.
"There's going to be a nice juxtaposition between Schooner Bay's perception of creating a sense of community through architecture

and design and Arawak Homes because they're the largest real estate residential developer. How do they use design to create

a sense of community? How does this fit in with expanding developments in islands where populations are expanding?"
Discussions like the first one next week are a chance not only for leaders in certain fields who may not normally spend time

together to sit down and discuss ways they can work together to build a better, more sustainable Bahamas, but also for creative

professionals and the wider community to attend and contribute their own thoughts to the process. Collaboration is essential

in creative fields, and this sharing of knowledge provides great collaborative opportunities for those who will attend.
"I think people attending should just be open to what the ideas of the panelists are, come willing to contribute to the conversation,

and come with the expectations that you may leave thinking differently about what creativity is from when you arrived," says

"We want to change how people perceive creativity in order to be able to use it effectively. I read that one of the definitions

of a creative city is having a feeling that there's momentum and there's something exciting that's happening and that's what

I want people to leave the talks with--this sense that something is happening here and they are a part of it."
The first tmg* talks, "Architecture, Design and Sustainable Development" takes place next Thursday, June 21st at 6:30 at The

National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. For more information about tmg* talks, check out their website at

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Business Category

News Article

July 16, 2012
Samsung SIII launches on Bay Street with style

The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) is hoping for a boom in post-paid subscribers after the hotly anticipated launch of the Samsung Galaxy S III.
As part of a 145-nation release, Bahamians had a unique chance to purchase the smartphone in tandem with consumers in North America. The release sparked a buzz among Bahamians. By 6 a.m., a long queue had formed outside of the BTC's Bay Street location, as the first 50 consumers received a discount on the coveted device.
Gershan Major, vice president of channels and marketing, said the prompt release of the Galaxy S III in the Bahamian market represents an important precedent.
The company, he said, is more focused than ever on keeping up with the demands of modern consumers, and pushing new revenue streams that go along with the smartphone market.
"What we are finding now, is a number of our customers on pre-paid are seeing the value of post-paid. They are asking for the types of devices that engender a certain lifestyle," he explained. "Bahamians are moving towards an understanding that it's not just voice. It's data, email checking, scheduling, download photos, posting photos and social media. The lifestyle change is tied to the kinds of devices they are asking for."
Thus far, consumers are responding. Major said the first 50 devices sold out quickly, and the company expects the country's stock to dwindle.
The device has been hyped across the globe, from London to Zimbabwe, as Samsung rapidly emerges as a serious competitor to the iPhone. BTC is banking on this hype in its push to get more Bahamians on post-paid packages. The country's sole mobile service provider estimates that less than 50,000 Bahamians are on a plan and receiving a bill each month.
In this vein, data has been targeted as a strong area of revenue growth.
BTC has invested millions in the past year on updates to the network, including the introduction of 4G, in anticipation of this demand.
"We are doing a better job of improving our data offerings. They are getting more attune to 4G," Major added. "We've had some challenges improving the platform, but rest assured that experience will improve as we build up the capacity of the network."
Consumers will no doubt come to expect a functional level of service that properly matches the sophistication of the phones.
Altonique Saunders, Samsung expert at BTC, was on hand for the launch last weekend to help roll out the device.
She noted that, in the past, The Bahamas tends to be behind when it comes to the introduction of new technology. It's often the better part of a year by the time the country seizes the next big thing, Saunders explained.
"There was a very large crowd in the parking lot waiting for this phone, and we've had many more come in since then as well," she told Guardian Business.
While there are many features that make it special, Saunders highlighted its 8-megapixel camera. Not only does it have a "Super HD" function, but the camera has the ability to take 20 consecutive shots in just one or two seconds.
A camera can be found both in the front and back of the device. The front can actually track a user's eye movement, which ensures that the screen never goes dark or switches off while someone is looking at the phone.
The Galaxy SIII features a 4.8-inch screen that is 20 percent larger than its predecessors, she added, whereby it treads the trendy line between smartphone and tablet.
"The browser is faster and it moves seamlessly," she said.
A laundry list of other features and functionalities also set it apart. But for Saunders, she felt the natural feel of the Galaxy S III truly makes it unique.
"Even though it's much bigger, it fits well in your hand, and the surface is very smooth," she explained. "The phone is inspired by nature. The device is inspired by the natural curves or leaves and petals. When you feel the phone, it feels like you're touching a smooth pebble out of the sea."

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News Article

October 31, 2012
Burn Ya Bra for the Cancer Society (Grand Bahama)

Freeport, Grand Bahama - Grab the girls and come celebrate "life" with a few friends on the beach...and support the Cancer Society! Royal Bahamia Park, 7pm on November 4th.

Big ole bonfire, wine and hors d'oeuvre, games, story telling,  and a bit of entertainment.....just a great night out with the girls and a great way to give back......if you have that bra that doesn't fit but is still in good condition, please bring it or them out, 

we will be donating a box of bras to another charity...

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News Article

July 28, 2012
Neymour thrilled to be a part of Olympic team

LONDON, England - If there's one thing The Bahamas has been blessed with over the past 10 years, as it relates to track and field, it's quartermilers. For Wesley Neymour, it's been quite an uphill battle getting to the Olympics, and he's savoring every moment of it.
Neymour wasn't even considered to be a part of the relay pool at the beginning of the year, but worked hard this season, persevered, and can now call himself an Olympian. After last year's World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, Demetrius Pinder, Chris Brown and Ramon Miller were figured to be in the mix for this year's Olympic team, Michael Mathieu was being looked at as a possible fourth man, and runners like LaToy Williams, veteran Avard Moncur, the injury plagued Andretti Bain, and even youngster O'Jay Ferguson were considered to be in the running for alternate spots. Neymour made sure he wasn't going to be left out.
The lanky Bahamian ran a personal best time of 46.18 seconds at the BTC/Scotiabank Olympic Trials, ensuring that his name would be in the hat for Olympic team consideration. He finished fifth at those national championships, behind Pinder, Miller, Brown, and Andrae Williams.
The first six at any national championships are normally guaranteed spots on national teams for relay purposes, but two Bahamian quartermilers, Michael Mathieu and Avard Moncur, didn't run due to injuries. It was unsure if Mathieu would run the 400 meters (m) anyway, as he appears to be focusing on the half-lapper this year. Both he and Moncur had faster times than Neymour this year though, and after fitness tests, both were named to the Olympic team. Actually, to avoid any controversy, the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) through the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) ratified seven members, including Neymour, for the men's 4x400m relay.
"I'm just happy to be here," said Neymour. "It feels great to be a part of this team. I don't know if I'll get a chance to run, but if I do, I just want to go out there and give it my best shot. We're looking to do our best, and hopefully bring home the gold. I think the main thing for us is to make sure we get through the rounds. We might have to use the top three guys we have in the heats. If it comes down to that, then so be it. I just want us to get to the final, and hopefully win the gold."
Last year in Daegu, a critical coaching error left The Bahamas out of the World Championships final. The team was regarded as one of the favorites to win a medal, but for some reason, coaches decided on a line-up for the heats without The Bahamas' top three quartermilers. Neymour is just hoping for a chance to run. He wants to make the most out of his first Olympic experience, and prove that he belongs on the Olympic team.
"I know there's a chance that I won't get to run, but if my number is called to run the heats, then I'm definitely going to be prepared and do whatever it takes to get The Bahamas into the final," he said. "I'm just going to keep my fingers crossed and continue to hope for the best."
The athletics portion of the Olympic Games will get underway on Friday August 3. The heats of the men's 4x400m are scheduled for Thursday, August 9, and the final will be on Friday, August 10.

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News Article

July 28, 2012
BOC: comfortable atmosphere for the athletes

LONDON, England - A 26-member Bahamian team is in very high spirits, and one of the reasons why is because of the atmosphere created by the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) at the week-long training camp prior to the games. The Olympic Games got underway this morning in London, and will run through Sunday, August 12.
According to reports, everything was in place for the athletes to be as comfortable as they needed to be headed into the games. All of the amenities were well taken care of by the BOC, and the athletes could just focus on training and preparing for competition. The only swimmer on this year's team, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, will see action first for The Bahamas when she hits the pool at the Aquatic Centre on Wednesday, in the heats of the women's 100-meter (m) free.
"In the BOC, it is time for us to make things happen," said team's Chef de Mission Roy Colebrooke. "We have to think outside of the box in 2012. In our view, the athletes are first, and my job as Chef de Mission is to ensure that we create this harmonious environment where the only thing that our athletes are focusing on, would be their specific events. I feel that we were able to do that at the training camp in Crawley."
Crawley is a town in West Sussex, England, located about 30 miles south of the British capital London. The team experienced an ambience there that was conducive to training. Not only that, but in conjunction with BTC and Cable and Wireless here in London, the BOC spearheaded a reception for the team on Wednesday night, and then the following night, the BOC joined up with the The Bahamas' High Commission in London to host the team to a reception at the commissioner's house. The function on Thursday was attended by a number of dignitaries, including Governor General Arthur Foulkes and Lady Foulkes, and The Bahamas' Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Danny Johnson. The dwelling, dubbed 'The Bahamas House', served as a home away from home for the athletes for that one night. They were treated to local dishes and drinks, and a steel drum band played Bahamian songs.
"We believe that it is very special for something like this to happen," said Colebrooke. "We want our athletes to be able to come somewhere in a foreign place, and feel at home. With this taking place, we feel it is now possible for them to enjoy the festivities of the London Olympic Games. They can mix and mingle with the Bahamians who are here in London, and who were desperate to see them up close."
The Bahamas House is expected to be open to Bahamians for the duration of the games. A Bahamian chef, flown in by the BOC, is on hand to prepare Bahamian cuisine on a nightly basis.
"This is the kind of treatment that we want to give our athletes," said Colebrooke. "It all started at the training camp. You have heard the stories from all of them. They were blown away.
"All of the athletes who had minor injuries were checked out and all of them are fit and ready to compete. I had the opportunity to speak with most of them, and they are saying that they're feeling tremendous, so we are expecting some very good things from our Bahamian athletes."
Colebrooke said that as long as he is an executive member of the BOC, this is the kind of treatment that Bahamian athletes can expect on a regular basis going forward.
"The only way we can go from here is forward. We will continuously take the bar higher and higher because we believe that we have to create the environment to ensure that our athletes are comfortable and ready to compete," he said. "When the athletes know that they are backed like this, they perform tremendously, so we have no other option than to continue providing top service for our athletes."
After a grand opening ceremony last night, Team Bahamas appears ready to see action at these Olympic Games. Competition officially got underway this morning, but The Bahamas won't see action until next Wednesday when swimmer Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace will hit the waters.

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News Article

July 24, 2012
The big latch on

Last year, 5,687 mothers at 412 locations in five countries, simultaneously breast-fed their babies during a world event known as The Big Latch On -- this year as the organizers seek to break this record, The Bahamas is expected to be in on the final count of breastfeeding women with their babies latched to them for one minute at a set time, to support and promote breastfeeding.
The Bahamas version of The Big Latch On, known as the Big Latch On Palooza will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 4, in the church hall at Holy Cross Anglican Church in Highbury Park. Organizers expect at least 400 women to participate at the event, according to Nurse Linelle Thompson, program coordinator of Lactation Management Services in the Department of Public Health who is also the education chairperson of the Bahamas National Breastfeeding Association (BNBA).
On Friday, August 3, the clinics and hospitals around the country will be encouraged to have their mothers join the move by breastfeeding at the same time in their respective facilities.
The aim of The Big Latch On event is for communities to identify and grow opportunities to provide ongoing breastfeeding support and promotion. Raise awareness of breastfeeding support and knowledge available in communities. Help communities positively support breastfeeding in public places. Make breastfeeding a normal part of the day-to-day life at a local community level. Increase support for women who breastfeed (women are supported by their partners, family and the breastfeeding knowledge that is embedded in their communities. Communities have the resources to advocate for coordinated appropriate and accessible breastfeeding support services.

For one mother, Jasadette Hepburn, the idea of the event is exciting as she is looking at it as a support group effort to let people know that breastfeeding is okay.
"I get so excited when I see a breastfeeding mother that I usually go and interrupt and say something like I'm so proud of you," said the 24-year-old mother of a three-year-old son who she still breastfeeds and is hoping to continue to do so until her son attains his fourth birthday.
Hepburn, who is also the media consultant for The Bahamas National Breastfeeding Association said that through The Big Latch On Palooza, they will be pushing for more young women to breastfeed.
"More mature women breastfeed because they know the health issues involved with breastfeeding -- not just for their babies, but for themselves as well in terms of lowering their risk of cancer and just getting slimmer after having the baby," said Hepburn. "But younger women tend to just put the bottle into the baby's mouth, so we're trying to get all women to breastfeed," she said.
Using herself as an example, Hepburn also provides the mother and child with an attachment.
"I was in my first year in college when I got pregnant, and it was depressing to me," said the daughter of a nurse. "After I had my baby I was really distant from him --I didn't want to breastfeed, I didn't want to get close to him, and [my mom] was like, 'J, breastfeed.' After a month, I didn't want anyone around him. It gave us an attachment and I came to the realization that I loved him so much," she said.
Contrary to popular belief breastfeeding does not hurt. And that it is actually nipple feeding that hurts, which she said is incorrect. It will also hurt if the baby is not latched onto the breast properly as well.
As the BNBA gets ready to host the Big Latch On Palooza, Carlotta Klass, president of the organization said the World Health Organization recommends that all mothers breastfeed their babies exclusively for the first six months of life. That means no water, no juice and no formula, and that mothers should continue to breastfeed the same way up to two years and beyond. She said there is really no cut off point. And that if a mother has to go to work that she can express her milk and allow someone to cup feed the baby, as giving the baby a nipple attached to a bottle confuses the baby.
As mothers breastfeed she said it's also important that they maintain a proper breastfeeding posture in which the baby's tummy will touch the mother's tummy. The baby should be lying on its side at the mother's breast.

And according to Nurse Thompson, the stories that most people hear about breastfeeding she said are just that -- myths.
She said breastfeeding does not cause saggy breasts, but helps women to get their shape back.
The nurse also said that breast milk does not give babies gas when the mother has not eaten.
"That's impossible, because breasts are not hooked up to the stomach, so you can't give the baby gas."
She said babies get gastric disturbances, when they take in milk designed for a 200-pound animal
"While studying at the University of West London, they showed me the stomach of two babies -- one with the breast milk going in, and the next with the formula going in. The stomach is coil-shaped and you could see the breast milk going into the stomach lining it, coating it, sealing it and making it bacteria-proof. When the formula went into the next tummy, because it was so heavy, it stretched the gut right out. It reduces the immune system and causes gastric disturbances. Not only that, when you give the baby formula, more than two-thirds of that formula does not go anywhere and won't be used by the baby," she said. "Formula lies to the baby and gives the baby a false feeling of fullness and takes away the hunger and thirst for the breast."
According to the nurse, most of the breast milk is absorbed into the baby's system and only a small amount is left in the stomach, which is why the breast-fed baby would want to breast feed faster and why people would think they are not getting enough.
"It's that they're using their food, but the baby that's getting the formula is not using their food," she said.
Babies breastfed for two years are given special protection against salmonella and if the mother breastfeeds for three years, the baby gets protection against cholera.
Breastfeeding classes are offered in all government clinics and at the Bahamas National Breastfeeding Association.
The Big Latch On is originally from New Zealand, and was started by Women's Health Action in 2005 as part of World Breastfeeding Week. Each year, they have seen growth in the numbers of breastfeeding women attending and an increase in the support for breastfeeding in public. The Big Latch On was introduced to Portland, Oregon, in 2010 by Joanne Edwards in celebration for World Breastfeeding Week. In 2011, Edwards worked with Annie Brown and members of La Leche League USA to grow the Big Latch On across the United States. In an effort to further strengthen the Big Latch On mission to protect, promote and support breastfeeding women, and in recognition of increasing global participation in the Big Latch On, Women's Health Action and the Big Latch On Global Coordinator Joanne Edwards joined forces for 2012.
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated August 1-7.

The breastfed toddler
Hair: Breastfed toddlers have glossier, healthier hair. Protein is a major functional and structural component of hair cells and is essential for growth and repair. After 12 months, 15 ounces of breastmilk provides 45 percent of a toddler's protein requirements in its most natural form.
Brain: Higher intellectual and cognitive aptitude compared to formula-fed peers and peers breastfed for a shorter amount of time.
Ears: Breastfed toddlers have better hearing due to lower incidence of ear infections.
Eyes: As the eye is similar to the brain in regards to nervous tissue, breastfed toddlers have stronger vision. Also at 12 months (15 ounces) of breastmilk provides 75 percent of a toddler's Vitamin A requirements. Vitamin A is needed by the retina of the eye and is necessary for both low-light (scotopic vision) and color vision.
Teeth: Thumb sucking is less likely to occur in breastfed toddlers so their teeth are less likely to become misaligned. Also, increased duration of nursing actually improves the dental arch.
Independence: Breastfeeding is part of meeting a child's dependency needs, and this is the key to helping the child achieve independence. Children who achieve independence at their own pace are more secure in that independence than children forced into independence prematurely.
Weight: Toddlers who are breastfed for extended periods of time tend to have leaner bodies with less risk of obesity.
Limbs: Breastmilk is an excellent painkiller in the bums and bruises that come along with toddlers and climbing.
Taste buds: Breastfed toddlers are less likely to be fussy eaters. However, even if they through a fussy period, breastfed toddlers still get their taste buds stimulated by the range of flavors in their mommy's milk.
Bones: Calcium is a mineral that strengthens bones. After 12 months, 15 ounces of breastmilk provides 36 percent of a toddler's calcium requirements in its most natural form.
Immune system: At one year of age, a child's immune system is functioning at 60 percent of adult level. The antibodies in breast milk continue to provide valuable protection during the toddler period. In fact, the immunological benefits of breastfeeding actually increase during the second and third years of nursing.
Skin: Smoother and more supple
Hydration: Although breastfed toddlers are less likely to become ill, if they do get sick, breast milk can keep them hydrated when they cannot tolerate other liquids.
Portability: Breastfed toddlers are easier to travel with. Nursing is far more convenient than carrying around feeding cups and paraphernalia, and can be a wonderful way of providing reassurance in unfamiliar surroundings.
o Source:

10 reasons why breastfeeding doesn't suck
o You'll feel far less crazy: A study of postpartum mothers found that those who breastfed their babies showed far less anxiety and more mutuality at one mont postpartum that those who didn't.
o It lowers the risk of adulthood cancers: One study found the risk of childhood cancer in formula-fed children was 2-8 times that of long-term breastfed children. The risk for short-term formula feeders was 1-9 times that of long-term breast feeders.
o ...And breast cancer in mothers: Get this -- If women who breastfed for less than three months were to stick it out for four toe 12 months, breast cancer among parous premenopausal women could be reduced by 11 percent. And if they stayed with it for 24 months or longer, those risks could be reduced by nearly 25 percent.
o Smart kids rule: Studies show that breastfed babies have significantly higher IQs by eight years old than babies who didn't breastfeed -- even after adjusting the stats for differences between groups and mom's educational and social class.
o You could save on braces: The longer you breastfeed, the lower the likelihood that baby will suffer from malocclusion -- a fancy word for misalignment of the teeth and dental arches.
o It cuts down on childhood obesity: Breastfeeding has long been tied with reducing the rate of childhood obesity, regardless of Mom's diabetes or weight status.
o Allergies and ailment are no biggie: Respiratory wheezing, influenza, diarrhea, allergies and eczema are way less common in breastfed babies -- think about all those trips to the doc you won't have to make.
o It saves lives: If just 90 percent of mothers breastfed exclusively for six months, an estimated 900 babies would live.
o Oh, and it'll save you a ton of cash too: Believe it or not, formula supplies for just six months can cost upwards of $1,000.
o You'll fit into your skinny jeans faster: Breastfeeding burns an average of 500 calories a day. Yes, really. Need we say more?

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News Article

June 23, 2012
Treat her like you need her: Responding to Rodney Moncur

Dear Editor,

Kindly allow me space in your newspaper to respond to an article in The Tribune June 7, 2012, referring to Rodney Moncur entitled, "Women need to stop taking devil's pills and take man's seed".
It was interesting to read the article referencing Democratic National Alliance candidate and social activist Rodney Moncur drawing women's attention to the negative effect of using contraceptives. Moncur's opinion might be true, but let us examine this matter more carefully. Your opinion is that women should cease use of contraceptives and have their babies. It is also stated that with the introduction of birth control to The Bahamas in 1966, women embraced the opportunity to become unfaithful to their spouses/fiancees/boyfriends. I am not sure which sector of society he is targeting but it appears as if he is talking about the matrimonial home. If that is the case, Moncur should have addressed the male population. Before I go any further, let me state right now that I do not support sex without marriage and neither do I support unfaithfulness in marriage. Husbands were admonished by God to love their wives. This is so because men cannot learn to love. If they do not love you, the more you do for them the less appreciative they become.
Moncur should be telling men to abstain or wrap it up until they are ready for a permanent relationship, and teaching them how to love, care and share. Sir, are you aware that many of the wayward young men are from the absent father homes and when the male leaves the female, he also leaves the child/children?
Women must protect themselves and it is unfortunate that this is done at such a great price such as the compromising of one's health. However, the truth of the matter is that most of our men are weak, distrustful, cheating and could care less about the woman or the child. If many married women want to be honest they will tell you that the children's father is at home but hardly plays an active role in their lives. You seem to be demeaning women as unfit wives and mothers. Instead, talk to the men and tell them to roll up their sleeves and become good role models - and also, that a father is not a sperm donor. He is a provider, protector, nurturer, counselor and a guide. He also needs to know that he could only lead if he is being led. He needs to know Jesus Christ as his personal savior and Lord and stop being a trifling, jive turkey of a human being.
Women must react when men act. Women are not toys. They are flesh and blood like men and if she is promiscuous, her better half is not taking care of her needs. Most of our men are not good communicators. For us to combat problems, we must sit down and talk about it. Our men do not have the time. You see, for the most part our women are not the problem. Men need to act like the priests they are supposed to be and take the time to listen. If I say we need to talk, we need to talk; not have sex. Men do not get it.
Sir, educate our men and tell them to wrap it up. After all if the woman relaxes and lets it go, home boy is gone too. Do not be biased. Men are equally responsible. Most of our men are insensitive to the needs of a woman, trifling and never satisfied. If women know that they are loved and respected, your seed is safe because she knows you will be there for her, giving her some time for herself. That is by changing, feeding and spending time with the baby. However, with the majority of male attitudes, before a woman conceives a child for these trifling fellows they need to prepare in their hearts to not only carry, but to work and raise the child.
When people love each other they communicate and make the decision to have a child. However, this conversation will be useless if the father had not contributed to the child or other children. Sir, you think Sarah called Abraham, her husband, Lord right so or because that was her husband? No sir. Abraham loved Sarah and she knew it. Love shines in the dark. Haggar got beside herself because she was with Abraham's first child. Sarah let Abraham know that Haggar was being nasty to her. His response to her was "do what you see fit". If that was a Bahamian man, he would hit his wife so hard she would stumble, and then he would leave the marital home and secure the other woman with the child.
The problem you are trying to fix will only be fixed after men learn to respect their wives. Randomly ask the average married male with children when was the last time he took his wife out somewhere or sat down and had a nice conversation with her. His response will be, "I do not know". He is not taking her anywhere because for one, the marriage is crowded. He does not want the wife to know that there is another woman and he does not want to make the other woman unhappy because she just might see them or hear about their outing.
Furthermore, he will complain that the wife is either fat or lacks understanding. The other woman is probably the same but he could find no fault with her. She is loose. She takes his money and buys her clothing, her main man's money pays the car note, and boyfriend number two's money takes care of the miscellaneous, such as the manicure and pedicure.

Her money goes to the bank. Now you see we have competition and the men give their finances away to other women never looking after his home first. If you want women to take the man's seed, stop trifling, playing the field and grow up. We are waiting for our men to act responsibly. Women are not toys. Stop playing with our emotions.

- Jillian Curry

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News Article

June 26, 2012
Are the regulators killing the financial sector

Dear Editor,

Let me open by remarking that in my discussions with many colleagues involved with various sectors of financial, investment and banking services I have found that there is 100 percent unanimity of wanting The Bahamas to be a well regulated jurisdiction. It is believed that a well regulated industry will help considerably to sustain and attract business to The Bahamas.
Attracting new business in this current environment is extremely difficult and The Bahamas needs to be able to emphasize and demonstrate why it should still be considered a jurisdiction of choice.
Like the hotel industry (the number one industry of The Bahamas) the financial services industry is made up of large, medium and small players.
It is this diversity of operators that gives the public choices. This diversity should also be recognized as a positive strength. By way of example, look at the potential employment and other mayhem that would have occurred had Atlantis closed its doors. Similarly in the financial industry, there is and always has been the potential for the "big banks" to immediately withdraw from the jurisdiction. This could be for a variety of reasons often beyond the direct control of The Bahamas - i.e., changes in business strategies and consolidation among the global players.
This is not just empty rhetoric it is evidenced by the reduction of bank licensees. Another example of note is to acknowledge what has happened to the mutual fund administration segment of the financial services industry - from a thriving segment it too has essentially disappeared. The Bahamas should not ignore these events and it needs to be fully alert to these potential dangers which would/could prove to be a death knell for the financial services industry as a whole.
In order to create a favorable environment it is important for the regulators to enhance the development of all sectors within the financial services industry and in particular recognize their size. Such actions would considerably enhance the attraction of new players, clients, etc., which in turn will continue to broaden the base of the financial services industry. Quite often one gets the impression that The Bahamas only wants to attract the big global players. This might be an ideal goal but in reality, I do not consider it to be realistic especially as their numbers are shrinking.
Currently the regulators tend to be viewed as an impediment to business as opposed to being a benefit. Recently the Securities Commission of The Bahamas circulated papers (some for discussion) others as guidelines to its licensees relative to compliance officers, capital requirements and increased annual fees.
The approach taken by the Securities Commission, and to some degree by the Central Bank, is to adopt policies and guidelines for the entire industry - i.e., a "one-size-fits-all" syndrome. This situation is becoming more pronounced by the Securities Commission as it is tending to automatically include Financial and Corporate Service Providers (FCSP) licensees along with the investment sector participants - the FCSP licensees seem to be losing their individual identity (they have already lost their individual regulator).
In the cases of the "big" players the "one-size-fits-all" policies and guidelines are probably regarded as impediments, however they invariably have the adverse impact of increasing the cost of doing business. Though, when it comes to the medium and small players such impediments become difficulties - serious difficulties which can and do divert potential business from this jurisdiction. I briefly expand on the recent bulletins received from the Securities Commission.
Compliance Officer - Guideline: This states that the person fulfilling this role has to be an independent person. How can a business of maybe two or three persons be expected to have an employee with an independent role? Why cannot the CEO or COO be assigned to fulfill this role? With smaller firms there does not tend to be sufficient business to occupy the full time of such executives and it would make viable and economic sense if one of them could also fulfill this role.
Does such a suggestion of amalgamating these functions increase the risk that an independent person would have? Specifically, securities investment advisors have minimal risk, as they do not undertake banking or custodial roles thereby the risk is significantly reduced. For the "big players" who have independent persons as compliance officers all of them have the right to raise non-compliance issues; however, it is invariably senior management who makes the ultimate decision on how to deal with all of the issues raised. I do not think that allowing the dual role (similar to the smaller banks) undertaken by small firms will significantly increase the risk exposure.
Capital Requirements - Guideline: A recent change in the legislation has increased the required capital of a security investment advisor from $25,000 to $125,000. What is the rationale behind a 400 percent increase? One can argue that $125,000 is still a relatively small capital requirement which if viewed in isolation is true but equally one can ask why? What is this supposed to represent? This is considered an adverse move as pending applicants now have to find an additional $100,000, which may not be that easy.
In other words it creates a difficult environment, which faces the smaller operators (especially Bahamians) as well as the negative aspect of changing and/or evolving guidelines.
Furthermore, one has to query the relevance of this increase in capital. For example, is it based on risk formula or is it just an arbitrary number? I would have hoped that the Securities Commission would have followed the Central Bank's example of determining the overall risk of their licensees relative to their business segment. If this modern risk-rating approach was undertaken then it may make more sense and be more appropriate to ensure the company had adequate professional indemnity insurance (PII).
In most cases the security investment advisor licensees have minimal risk as they do not undertake any banking functions and they are not the custodians of the assets. Their real and only exposure would be erroneous trade executions. Once the risk is ascertained then the appropriate level of capital and/or professional indemnity insurance could be put in place. The capital, however, should be allowed to accumulate via retained earnings and consideration could be given to a possible control over the dividend payments. At this time, the guidelines indicate a new company can obtain professional indemnity insurance within the first 12 months of its operation. However, in reality the Securities Commission will not issue the license until it has evidence that the PII is in place. Which should come first the chicken or the egg? How can an adequate level of PII be ascertained without some factual history? Currently the Securities Commission now demands the minimum capital and proof of professional indemnity insurance in an amount which is subject to unknown determination. The guidelines say minimum PII covers up to $500,000, however it has been learned that this amount is subject to negotiation.
Negotiation without any determination of the risk is not the way to proceed and dangerous precedents can be set. The issues of capital requirements should be spelled out clearly for all licensees - large, medium and small.

Furthermore why cannot the "capital" be one or the other - i.e. paid in capital and/or PII ? What additional risks are being mitigated by having both?
Proposed Increase in Annual Fees: To even suggest increasing fees in this world economic environment is very bad news. The rationale given behind the proposed increases is, in my opinion, flawed. To say that the proposed increases only represent 30 percent (or only 12 percent in real terms when adjusted for inflation) and is comparable with other jurisdictions (the identity of the comparison jurisdictions are not given). It is far from obvious how these percentages were obtained yet from my discussions with people in the financial services industry their increases range from 125 percent to 700 percent. Let's be cognizant of what I call Economics 101 - the "law of diminishing returns". This could be a direct result if the proposed increases are put into effect. Increases of such amounts are unacceptable in today's environment and will have the direct effect of driving business away from The Bahamas - not just potential new business but also existing business. In other words such increases can effectively 'kill' the business. Also part of the rationale given for such increases is to allow the Securities Commission to be an independent body. However, such an arrangement could allow the Securities Commission to be overstaffed, inefficient and bloated. Is this an example of the well regulated jurisdiction that The Bahamas wishes to promote? Unfortunately and due to recognized and understandable cost constraints, both regulators carry some elements of their workforce who are unskilled and/or inexperienced for the roles to which they have been assigned. Unfortunately this can and occasionally does have a damaging external impact on the image of The Bahamas. Jurisdictional impact is not just something that the regulators should question of its licensees, it is also something the regulators need to consider when issuing such pronouncements reports, etc.
I go back to my opening remarks: "All licensees want a well Regulated Bahamas jurisdiction". In such an environment one would expect and hope that some teamwork would evolve in arriving at mutually beneficial solutions - the licensees (often represented by seasoned professionals) and the regulators should cooperate and learn from each other and make this a more user-friendly environment. Alas this is not the case, there are too many known situations where the licensees have found the approach of the regulators to be confrontational. There are also many instances where the regulator will never admit to a mistake or even retract a position. This is most unfortunate and prevents the benefits of meaningful two-way exchanges to flourish where both parties can learn from each other to everyone's mutual benefit. A recent impasse relates to "segregation of cash and client assets" where the current posture of the regulators is the opposite to the tenets of the law. I have been involved with, and a part of, the financial services industry covering a variety of roles for over 35 years. I have seen the good times and the changing times. It is an industry that has brought significant but un-quantified benefits to The Bahamas - between 15 percent and 20 percent of GDP are numbers frequently promoted. It also provides an essential diversification from tourism.
The Bahamas needs to seriously consider the "big picture" and consider changing the current regulatory climate to "custom-fit" all licensees in accordance and related to their size and risk.
I trust the foregoing will be accepted in the constructive manner intended so together we can build an improved business climate.

- Law abiding resident

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News Article

January 10, 2014
U.S. gift to further ensure RBDF's 'competitive advantage'

NASSAU, The Bahamas --- The "generous and gracious gift" of a 25ft Full Cabin Response Boat and ancillary package from the United States of America will serve to strengthen the Royal Bahamas Defence Force's capabilities in the areas of maritime domain awareness and counter transnational criminal operations, Minister of National Security, Dr. Bernard J. Nottage said Thursday.
Dr. Nottage said the donation will further ensure the Defence Force's "competitive advantage" in that war, and fits in well with the Government of The Bahamas' strategy of protecting the country's national security and maritime and other assets by ensuring "safe borders" through the decentralisation of the Defence Force's operations via the establishment and deployment of patrol craft at strategic locations throughout the Commonwealth.
"It is critical to note that the Response boat will operate primarily within Nassau's Harbour, supplementing the Defence Force's existing Harbour Patrol vessels and ensuring the safety of thousands of visitors and the economic viability of The Bahamas' tourism product," Dr. Nottage said.
The donation of the SAFE Response (Secure All-Around Flotation Equipped) Boat along with a two-year supply of spare parts and a two-week training course for RBPF marine personnel, took place on Thursday (January 9) at the RBDF's Harbour Patrol Unit, East Bay Street, and was made possible through the United States Embassy's Office of Defence Cooperation (ODC) and the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM).

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News Article

October 30, 2012
Leaders praise 'unheard of' CBL move

The business community is praising Cable Bahamas Limited's (CBL) move into the U.S. market, calling its acquisitions a rare, if not unprecedented moment for local industry.
CEO of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) Winston Rolle said CBL has "absolutely the right mentality". He said more Bahamian companies, particularly those listed on the Bahamas International Securities Exchange (BISX), should adopt a broader perspective.
"The Bahamas has a limited market capacity in terms of size. The only way to grow would be to look outside, and that's why as a chamber we have been doing a number of things, such as trade missions to Haiti and soon Panama," he added. "Bahamians need to look to do business elsewhere."
The comments follow CBL's formal announcement that will acquire telecommunications companies in Florida with the aim of tapping up to 18 million new U.S. customers. The deal, worth $65 million, is essentially unprecedented, according to James Smith, a former governor of the Central Bank.
CBL now requires regulatory approval in both The Bahamas and the U.S. before the deal officially goes through.

"It is the first time I have ever heard of it," he told Guardian Business. "I don't see approval being a problem, except it has implications for foreign reserves. As a local company, their revenue base is in Bahamian dollars. I don't think it's a problem but they need approval."
Guardian Business understands that CBL plans to trade under an entirely different name in Florida. That said, the overall logistics of the U.S. division and how it fits in with Bahamian operations are still relatively unknown.
"It really is an intriguing proposal," Smith added. "Usually, these deals are the other way around. Also, given the U.S. and its efficiency in the cable market, and the number of firms, it seems rather ambitious."
The former state minister of finance said CBL was "preparing for the future", in the sense that exclusivity agreements have come to an end in the telecommunications market. Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) has made its intentions known concerning a TV product in 2013.
Inevitably, the introduction of a competitor should eat into its market share.
"Cable Bahamas might very well be trying to rebalance by going international," he told Guardian Business.
Smith anticipated, however, that the customer should ultimately benefit as the two companies grow and improve.
Rolle from the BCCEC hoped CBL's move will inspire other businesses to not have a "closed" approach.
He said The Bahamas tends to have a "laissez-faire" way of doing business, and entering the U.S. market could up its game. Local business should ultimately be enhanced through CBL's ambitions.
Keith Davies, the CEO of BISX, agreed with Smith that he has never heard of such an expansion by a publicly-listed company into the U.S.
"It is unique what they are doing. The way the world is going, if you're not thinking internationally, you'll have difficulty. Those international companies will come here," according to Davies.

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News Article

September 18, 2012
Turning to the caveman's diet

In an age of microwaves, cooktops, fast food and ready prepared meals, the thought of adopting a high protein diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, void of processed food sources, may seem less than palatable and even impractical.
But for the 21st century hunter-gatherer this is a lifestyle change and quite possibly the untapped secret to a healthier, longer life.
The Paleolithic Diet, a diet similar to that of the caveman in the Paleolithic or Stone Age, has changed little from that of the first humans million of years ago.
As noted by family physician Dr. Ben Balzer in "Introduction to The Paleolithic Diet", humans have eaten meat, fish, fowl and the leaves, roots and fruits of plants for millions of years, but a major obstacle to getting more calories from the environment has been the fact that many plants and other food sources are inedible without processing.
Dr. Balzer also noted that a selection of these include, grains, beans and potatoes, which although full of energy, are inedible in the raw form due to the toxins they contain.
An agricultural breakthrough around 10,000 years ago meant that these once inedible foods could be consumed when cooked. Heat destroyed enough toxins to render them edible.
What has occurred in the last few thousand years is the average man, woman and child leading increasingly sedentary lives and eating a highly processed synthetic diet. Here in The Bahamas the problem is acute. According to leading health experts, 70 percent of Bahamians are overweight or obese.

The website sets out the basics of the diet, which includes the consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and seafood and low-glycemic carbohydrates that promote good health. It is low in refined sugars and grains, saturated and trans fats, salt, high-glycemic carbohydrates and processed foods that can frequently cause weight gain and other health problems.
I have had intimate contact with someone who has made the change back to the old way of eating. For my father Royston A. Jones Sr., a previous high carbohydrate consumer who underwent a lifestyle change in mid-July 2007, the Paleo appeared the ideal diet after months of extensive research.
He said there were a lot of opposing views on the ideal eating lifestyle, ranging from vegetarianism, veganism and meat-based diets - all with moderate to extreme versions - but it has been quite the journey after more than five years adapting to Paleo.
"In the first few months it was very, very strange," said Jones, as he recalled the first few months of his lifestyle transition.
"I can only describe it with hindsight as withdrawal, very jittery, cloudy mind. I just couldn't think cleary for periods of time and I was low on energy and irritable.
"I also had a real desire for carbohydrates - sweet things, bulky grainy foods - thinking I need something solid. I was wondering what was going on and this lasted for at least three to four months.
"I now refer to that period as a period of adjustment, and although it improved as I went along it took at least that amount of time before I felt revitalized."
Jones, 53, said after many years of attempting to address some primary health concerns, including high cholesterol, both he and his physician have marked noticeable physical and health-related changes.
"I now have better stamina for long endurance events and I can sustain energy for a longer period," Jones said.
"I think glucose stored in the muscle runs out pretty quickly but fat is a more dense form of energy, a heavier source of calories. When you start burning fat as an energy source you can sustain exercise much longer and a lot of the studies say that.
"You're not necessarily faster but you can go for longer. In terms of eating, I can go for much longer periods of times without food. I can go a whole day without any gastrointestinal discomfort."
Julia Lee, registered dietician and coordinator of clinical nutrition at Doctors Hospital, said there are benefits and drawbacks from leading a Paleo lifestyle.
And while most health professionals would agree that a plant-based diet that incorporates animal-based foods is a good way to go, she added, the Paleo may not be a practical dieting option to comply with in the long-term for the average person.
"One of the foods that is often omitted is white potatoes because they are considered to be a high glycemic index food, but I have really never met anyone with health issues because of eating potatoes," Lee said.
"I think that you could maintain the energy and gain the calories needed to function and live healthily with the Paleo diet. But the more restrictive, the more foods you say no to, the more you may be at risk of eliminating certain nutrients."
Lee emphasized, though, that the closer to nature your food is, the better your diet and long-term health will be because processing food often removes good nutrients, which food producers then try to put back.

Changing your lifestyle
Many historical and anthropological studies show that hunter-gatherers were generally healthy, fit and largely free of the degenerative cardiovascular diseases common in modern societies, according to James H. O'Keefe Jr., MD, and Loren Cordain, Ph.D, authors of "How to Become a 21st-Century Hunter-Gatherer".
"Our remote ancestors consumed only natural and unprocessed food foraged and hunted from their environment," reads the research paper by Dr. Cordain.
"This subsistence strategy provided a diet of lean protein that was high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial phytochemicals.
"The typical Paleolithic diet compared with the average modern American diet contained two to three times more fiber, one-and-a-half to two times more polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, four times more Omega-3 fats, but 60 to 70 percent less saturated fat.
"Protein intake was two to three times higher, and potassium intake was three to four times higher. However, sodium intake was four to five times lower.
"Finally, the Paleolithic diet contained no refined grains and sugars (except for seasonally available honey). Clearly, the ongoing epidemic of cardiovascular diseases is at least in part due to these striking discrepancies between the diet we are designed to eat and what we eat today."
Jones also spoke of other noticeable physical benefits he thinks might be the result of his lifestyle change.
"I also used to have a significant case of shifting clouds (Tinea versicolor) on my back and after about six months on the diet someone looked at my back and said, 'What happened to your shifting clouds?' They had just disappeared after 25 years of them being there and getting progressively worse," Jones said.
"It seems that the immune system operates more effectively and does not react to lifestyle problems based on the diet - at least that's my theory.

"Certain foods I hadn't been able to eat for 10 years without causing stomach upset like raisins and grapes, I was able to digest in any volume without any problem, which had gone on for 20 years."
Jones said it is equally important for him to complement his eating habits with workout regimes that match the high endurance activities of his ancestors. An ardent athlete and sports enthusiast, Jones frequently spends two to three hours on average up to four days a week kayaking and rowing, running on the sand and spearfishing.

o For Cordain's and O'Keefe's full publication on Paleo go to the National Institutes of Health's website:

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News Article

January 14, 2014
Man who escaped hangman's noose says he wants to do good

To meet Stafford Clarke now, you may not believe that the quiet, unassuming man spent 25 years in prison for murder.
Clarke, 58, said he used that time to turn his life around.
As a youth, Clarke admits that he fell in with the wrong crowd.
That wrong path eventually led to a murder conviction in 1985 for the shooting death of Leon Pratt a year earlier in what Clarke claimed was a drug deal gone sour.
Clarke was released from prison in March 2010 as a consequence of the landmark 2006 Privy Council decision in Forrester Bowe Jr. and Trono Davis that determined the death penalty was discretionary and not mandatory and should be reserved for exceptionally gruesome killings.
By that time, Clarke's mandatory death sentence had already been commuted to life in compliance with the Jamaican case of Pratt and Morgan that banned executions after five years on death row.
Clarke had to be resentenced because the decision in Bowe and Davis invalidated his original sentence of death.
The sentencing judge considered the circumstances of Clarke's crime and the progress he made while in prison before determining that he was a fit candidate for re-entry into society.
Now Clarke said he spends his time trying to convince wayward youth to avoid the same mistakes that he made.
Clarke said he often spoke to students when they visited the prison.
"Anytime I see wayward youth, I tell them they need to better their condition," he said.
"I tell them make sure get your education because you're not going to get far without it. Discover your purpose and walk in your anointing.
"You can't get sucked into the vacuum of lawlessness because those things are going to lead you to destruction and death."
Clarke said he delivered this message to group of young men who he encountered on the street recently.
One of them who dismissed his advice as "foolishness" is now in prison, Clarke said, adding that the young man's friends thanked him for reaching out to them and helping them avoid the same fate.
"If I can reach one," he said, "it isn't in vain. I feel that it's my calling to motivate wayward kids."
Born to a single parent, Clarke said his mom tried to steer him on the right path "but I was rebellious and followed Satan, instead of following my divine creator."
Clarke said he regretted not completing high school and getting a college degree.
However, he said he made up for the deficiencies in his education while in prison by taking classes and doing a lot of reading.
Clarke learned to do electrical work while in prison and he has used that trade to sustain himself. He said he was also taught sewing, plumbing and welding at the prison.
Clarke said he was devastated when he went to prison because he left behind three children and an unborn child.
He said reading the Bible sustained him because it gave him "the peace of mind to know there is life beyond prison".
"I had that feeling that one day I was going to emerge from prison and make a positive contribution to society and live a life that was pleasing to God," Clarke said.
He said he was scheduled to be hanged on April 11, 1989, but was granted a stay. He considers that reprieve as divine intervention.
Clarke recalls, "I had been praying a lot, reading my Bible, trying to get my mind spiritually inclined. It's as if God stepped in. I felt he was responding to me."
Clarke said he does not believe the death penalty is a deterrent to a potential killer. He said there were three murders shortly after his death warrant was read.
"A lot of guys don't think," he said. "They just react. And if that means killing someone, they do."
Clarke said that prior to his murder conviction, he served three years in prison for robbery.
"At that time I just did my time," he said. "I didn't use my time. I sat back and counted days on the calendar."
However, he said most inmates who serve sentences of 20 years or more lose the inclination to reoffend.
"After doing that amount of time, you don't allow anyone to suck you into a vacuum that's going to lead you back to prison," he said.
Clarke said that while attending a recent crime symposium he suggested that the government amend the laws to give longer prison terms for firearms to deter gun crimes.
"It looks as though I'm wrong. A lot of guys, if they're going to church they carry a gun because of their lifestyle," he said.
"I spoke to a guy and he said, 'I don't care how much time they give me. I'm going to have my gun with me wherever I go'."
Clarke said although he was "wayward", he never had a need to be armed constantly. He said his gun wasn't for protection "but a working tool".
"Our country on the whole has taken some dramatic turns for the worse," he said.
"Before witnesses made it to court. That doesn't happen anymore. Guys today, they're more bold. They don't care, where, who or why. They just do what they want to do. A lot of guys they just don't care what's going to happen.
"I consider myself a part of the problem. This mayhem and chaos began in the 80s. I'll do anything right now to be a small part of the solution. We're a country used to tranquility. I trust that before I go I can see our nation come back to that."

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