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Although the addition of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Relay Championships has caused challenges for the selection of national teams, numerous federations have resorted to various options for solution.
Most national championships occur either at the end of June or during July, which would be after the world relays. Only federations in the southern hemisphere like Australia and South Africa have their national championships early, which would be prior to the world relays. An exception to this is Cuba, just miles south of The Bahamas. Cuba always hold its national championships earlier than any other nation in the northern hemisphere.
For those other federations in the northern hemisphere, the possibilities are to stage trials expressly for the selection of team members, which would be difficult for those countries with numerous athletes attending schools in the United States; or to select who they consider to be their best athletes based upon prior competition, or by their listing in the current IAAF competition list or performances from 2013.
A few countries may have special trials for the relays.
The Bahamas' plan
In The Bahamas, the current plan, which might change, is to have a selection at the Silver Lightning Classic in early May. Numerous Bahamian athletes attend United States schools and may not be able to obtain clearance from their schools to participate in either the Silver Lightning Classic, or the world relays. On the weekend of the world relays, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Regional Championships will be held.
In the case of Jamaica there will be no trials, but athletes will be selected based upon the IAAF competition list two weeks prior to the submission of entries deadline for the world relays. With regards to the NCAA Regionals, Jamaica has numerous senior athletes who are finished their college obligations, and many of those athletes reside in Jamaica.
Once they have that information, further scrutiny will be done by the federation prior to selecting the team.
In the case of the United States of America (USA), the proposal submitted by the High Performance Committee and agreed to at the annual meeting last December was that a pool for the 4x100 meters (m), 4x200m and 4x400m is to be selected from the top six athletes in each relay event in the 2013 World Championships, and the top six on the 2012 London relay teams, along with the first two finishers at the USA Indoor Nationals. Then they look at the top athletes from the IAAF lists from 2013.
At the same time, various pools will be assembled to participate at several national meets in relays including the Texas Relays, the Kansas Relays, the Mt. SAC Relays and the Penn Relays. After the final pools have been identified, they will have a camp in The Bahamas prior to the relay championships.
The USA vs. the world
Several nations will be invited to the Penn Relays, a month prior to the world relays, to participate in the USA vs. the World competition. This event, which is sponsored by Nike, has been quite popular over the last decade. The stadium overflows, especially with the Jamaican fans. Federations will have a good opportunity to see how fit the athletes are at that time, and make judgments if any adjustments are necessary in the few weeks prior to the deadline for final entries for the world relays.
At present, many countries do not have specific trials for the world indoor championships. They use guidelines to determine which athletes would best represent them, and usually, just one performance will not do. With this in mind, we anticipate that there might be some challenges in selecting athletes for this year's world relay teams but the nearly 50 nations will work it out.
When the inaugural World Relay Championships are finished, most of us will wonder what all the discussion was about.
The $12 million South Ocean Palms (SOP) division is nearly 40 percent complete, and construction of the first model home will be finished by year's end.
The development's Chief Financial Officer Shelley Darville, revealed to Guardian Business that all of the underground utilities and road works have been completed on the five-acre subdivision in the southwestern end of New Providence.
"The underground utilities are completed with only the custom transformers to be erected. The security gatehouse is now in progress with the front wall and landscaping will be completed later this year," she explained.
The development's solar-powered lighting is scheduled to be completed within the next month.
Darville confirmed that the construction of a single-story model home will begin in July and be completed in December.
"Before year's end, a recreational lot with a tennis/basketball court and other recreational equipment will be done, and the clubhouse with swimming pool, weight room, lounge, office/gift shop are just a few on list of amenities that will be completed," according to Darville.
She said approximately $2 million has been invested so far in the development.
The 13-home development will feature green products such as solar powered streetlights, energy star appliances and range in price from $460,000 to $778,785.
"A 'green' home uses less energy, water and natural resources, and creates less waste and is healthier and more comfortable for its occupants," she shared.
To date, four lots have been sold. There are seven models to choose from, including a one story home with three bedroom and 2.5 bath, or a two-story resident with four bedrooms and 3.5 baths.
All houses are "luxurious", turn-key and outfitted with laundry and a garage.
Once a model is chosen, depending on the size of the home it can take either six or nine months to construct.
"Simply put, you'll have a fabulous Lyford Cay or Ocean Club Estate Turnkey Home in six or nine months (single or two-story), but without the exorbitant price, incorporating the latest technology," she noted.
Contemporary Builders is SOP's exclusive builder and is known to have built green homes in Ocean Club Estates, Lyford Cay, Port New Providence, Charlottville and Westridge.
"Partnering with Debby Deal (the project manager) of Contemporary Builders was the perfect fit. She has more than 20 years experience in building and has built a number of green homes. Her company already constructed a number of comfortable, durable environmentally friendly homes. I am impressed with her work and energy, so the development is in great hands," Darville added.
NASSAU, The Bahamas - An assessment of the fire and the damage it caused to the National Emergency Management Agency building continues, Director Captain Stephen Russell said.
On Tuesday, November 26, personnel from relevant agencies were at the site on Gladstone Road carrying out assessments of the damage to the main workstations in the centre of the newly constructed facility.
Structural engineer Kirk Bullard from the Ministry of Public Works and Urban Development carried out an inspection to determine whether the roof has been compromised, and any other structures affected by the fire, which erupted on Friday, November 22, 2013.
The ministry would also determine the scope of works for repairs to be carried out and when the building would be fit to resume occupancy for the 17 staff members.
A report is being compiled by the Royal Bahamas Police Force Fire Services that would detail what caused the blaze at NEMA, which was constructed at an estimated $1.7million.
Bahamians have much to cheer about regarding the success of their international track and field campaign in 2013. At the Moscow World Championships, no medals were won for the first time since 1995 but much hope was shown.
Junior Shaunae Miller, this year's Austin Sealy Award winner for the outstanding athlete at the 2013 BTC CARIFTA Games, switched to the 200 meters (m) from the 400m and finished fourth in Moscow in 22.74 seconds. Miller was the only junior athlete on the team and capped quite a successful season.
Her 22.45 seconds, done at the BTC National 'Open' Championships in Grand Bahama this June behind Anthonique Strachan's 22.32 seconds, is a Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Junior record and is fourth on the CAC senior list for 2013 and 12th on the world's list. At the 2013 BTC CARIFTA Games, Miller set a new CARIFTA record for the 200m at 22.77 seconds, breaking Anthonique Strachan's 22.85 mark from Bermuda in 2012.
Miller dominated the world junior list in both the 200m and 400m. In the 200m, she had the top six times in the world. Her 50.70 seconds time done at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, is the fourth best in the CAC region and 16th worldwide. In Moscow, Miller was a member of the 4x400m relay team that won their semi-final but was later disqualified for lane violation.
The 2011 and 2012 Austin Sealy Award winner Anthonique Strachan concentrated on the 200m this season. As a senior and professional athlete, she improved her personal best to 22.32 seconds at the BTC National 'Open' Track & Field Championships in Grand Bahama. This performance was the second best in the CAC region behind Jamaica's Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce and sixth worldwide. Strachan missed qualifying for the final in Moscow by a hundredth of a second.
The 2008 World 200m Junior Champion and 100m bronze medalist ran 11.18 seconds this season, at the BTC National 'Open' Track & Field Championships for 11th place on the CAC list. She made it to the semi-final in the 100m in Moscow and participated in the 4x100m relay. In the relay she was charged for a lane violation.
The Bahamian national record holder in the long jump had the best performance in the region at 6.73m, done June 12, in Dakar. Stuart was unable to advance to the final in Moscow.
Adderley has run the third best time in the 800m in Bahamian history after Vernetta Rolle and Whelma Colebrooke. Adderley was the first Bahamian to participate in the 800m at the World Junior Championships. This season, she ran 2:06.38. This time was the 15th best in the region this year.
Charlton captured the under-20 girls 100m at the 2013 BTC CARIFTA Games, running a personal best of 11.60 seconds. She had won the event two years ago in Montego Bay. Charlton led the 4x100m team to victory at CARIFTA.
Anderson won a bronze medal in the 400m at the 2013 BTC CARIFTA Games. She won the Most Outstanding Female Athlete Award at the CAC Age Group Championships in Curacao, helping The Bahamas to win the championships. Anderson is coached by World and Olympic 400m Champion Tonique Williams.
Thomas had a challenging year but in the end, he jumped his best in several years, 2.32m to finish in sixth place in Moscow. This was ninth on the world's list.
Ingraham jumped a personal best of 2.30m at the Edmonton Invitational in July. This placed him in second place on the regional list and 21st on the world's list. At the World Championships in Moscow, Ingraham, who was still 19 at the time, finished in a three-way tie for 10th place with a performance of 2.25m.
Wilson jumped a best of 2.28m at the Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational. His performance was third in the region, helping The Bahamas to sweep the top three spots.
Barry, the 2011 World Championships bronze medalist, was injured this year and was only able to clear 2.25m. This placed him fifth in the region.
After making a comeback in 2012, the national record holder and Osaka silver medalist ran a best of 10.06 seconds for 14th place in the region. He was injured after the 2013 BTC National 'Open' Championships and did not compete in either the CAC Senior Championships in Morelia, Mexico, or the Moscow World Championships.
Hart had a best of 10.16 seconds which was 28th on the regional list. At the Moscow World Championships, he did not advance to the semi-final.
Men 4x100m relay
In Moscow, history was made when all four relay teams qualified for the World Championships. The men's 4x100m relay team had broken the national record twice at the CAC Senior Championships in Morelia. Trevorano Mackey had been suspended for a doping infraction and was replaced by Warren Fraser at the Moscow World Championships. The team of Adrian Griffith, Jamial Rolle, Fraser and Hart was able to run 38.70 seconds for a new Bahamian national record in Moscow.
Mathieu, who set a new Bahamian national record in the 200m last year, was able to run 20.35 seconds in San Paulo, Brazil. This placed him 11th on the regional list. Mathieu ran at the National 'Open' Championships but was not fit enough to participate in Moscow.
The anchor man from London had the best time of all 400m runners in The Bahamas this season at 44.93 seconds. He ran that time at the 2013 BTC National 'Open' Championships. In the first round of the Moscow World Championships, Miller suffered "tightness" in his legs and was unable to advance to the next round.
Brown did not have a banner year after having dedicated much of his time to organize his invitational meet. He made it to the semi-final of the 400m but did not advance to the final.
Gibson ran himself into the Bahamian track and field record book when he ran 49.39 seconds in the men's 400m hurdles at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, breaking Greg Rolle's record of 49.96 seconds which was set in May of 1983. In doing this, Gibson qualified for the Moscow World Championships. He is the first Bahamian to qualify for the event since 1983. Gibson advanced to the semi-final.
Stephen Newbold had a fantastic showing at the 2013 CARIFTA Games even if he did not win. Newbold, the 2011 World Youth Champion in the 200m, ran the 400m this time. In the heats of that event in the morning, Newbold ran a National Junior record of 45.94 seconds, and was only able to run 46.01 seconds for third place in the final that evening. To be able to come back that evening with such a performance was just unbelievable! At the National Junior Championships, Newbold set another National Junior record, this time in the 200m. He ran 20.76 seconds, breaking Michael Newbold's record which stood since 1987.
Smith finished sixth in last year's World Junior Championships' 200m. At the 2013 BTC CARIFTA Games, he upset the field, running from lane eight.
Eleuthera native Andre Colebrooke finished second in the 800m at the 2013 BTC CARIFTA Games. At the Pan American Junior Track & Field Championships in Bogota, Colombia, Colebrooke captured the bronze medal in that event, the first Bahamian ever to do that.
Finally, one of the greatest performances at the 2013 BTC CARIFTA Games was the under-17 boys 4x400m relay. It seemed unlikely that the team of Henry Deluze, Tyler Bowe, Kinard Rolle, and Mikhail Bethel would win. On the final lap, Bethel shocked the fans and finished in 3:16.38.
There are numerous things to be happy about in Bahamian track and field this year. These are only a few!
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.
I would like to address the few persons who seem to think that Dr. Hubert A. Minnis is not the best choice as leader for the Free National Movement (FNM) party.
Some seem to think that he is mundane, and not aggressive enough. Some even say that he is not charismatic enough. Well, let me remind the Bahamian pubic that what some concluded to be the pit bull attitude may have just caused the devastating loss of the Free National Movement's government!
Let me also remind you that Dr. Minnis came from practically nowhere in 2007 and beat one of the most popular ministers of the Christie administration, Neville Wisdom. He then turned around and transformed Killarney into a model constituency, using 21st century technology, taking representation of the people to another level! You may not have liked his party but you knew where he was and what he was doing 24/7 for the past five years. I know because he was in my face the whole time.
Dr. Minnis did not become a success almost overnight by failing to plan. He came back to Nassau, a poor Bain Town boy, with nothing but the education that God saw fit to provide him with. The first thing he did was establish himself by investing in people and things that eventually gained him the position he has achieved, both financially and otherwise.
May I also remind you that out of the "giants" of the Ingraham administration, he is one of the few who was left standing. Not only did he retain his seat in Killarney, but he won by a bigger margin on Monday than he did in 2007, in spite of the fact that the FNM government was rejected by the people. That speaks volumes! There are whole families of PLPs in Killarney who told me personally that they voted FNM for the first time in their lives. In fact, I sincerely believe that had he been duplicated in every constituency, the PLP would not have stood a chance. People know good representation when they see it.
Yes, there are more charismatic politicians and eloquent speakers than Dr. Minnis, but I do believe the Bahamian people are tired of eloquent speeches. People want to see action. Moses himself complained to God that he did not want to be chosen to lead the people out of Egypt, but when God has a plan for your life, he will equip or provide you with the skills that you need and more. It is no mistake that Dr. Minnis has been chosen to lead. Everything that has happened in the last few days has proven that. Those who fight it are wasting their time.
Dr. Minnis is approachable and humble. He knows how to use the strengths of the people around him; the people whom he can trust. He listens, he takes note and then he acts. He has no problems making tough decisions, or saying no. He is also honest in his dealings and is not scandal-ridden. Best of all, he knows how to ignore fools. He is not deterred or side-tracked by naysayers. I love that side of him. He is not perfect, but he knows a God who is. He knows that when there is no earthly solution there is a God in heaven who has it covered. He is the kind of leader the FNM and the country needs.
Don't sleep on Dr. Hubert Alexander Minnis. He is a not so quiet storm.
The best is yet to come!
- A proud FNM supporter
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 www.apma.org or to see a podiatrist visit Bahamas Foot Centre, Rosetta Street telephone 325-2996 or Bahamas Surgical Associates, Albury Lane telephone 394-5820.
With The Bahamas preparing to host its first rum festival next month, a senior government official has suggested that events like these throughout the year could generate up to three percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).
Festival Rum Bahamas is just one of ten festivals that The Bahamas expects to benefit from, according to Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson.
Recognizing that the country's economy is currently "flat", he stressed that there is a tremendous opportunity to "exploit culture" as another revenue generating stream. "Culture is a billion-dollar industry and this festival is going to slice off a piece of that pie. The better you get, a bigger portion of the pie you will receive, and that's been a challenge to us. We have to push it and support it. We have studied the impact of culture and what it could do on our country," he revealed during a press conference to officially announce the three-day rum festival.
"There is a billion dollars worth of art and entertainment sitting there for us to take. Now it's up to you how much of that economic potential that you are able to walk away with. But there is a billion-dollar culture industry based on the fact that we have five million visitors and they extrapolate the spend. Cruise ship passengers have money that they're willing to spend but they need something to spend it on. We know that tourists will spend money on festivals."
Fort Charlotte is expected to undergo a complete transformation as part of the festival. Rum competitions, rum vendors, food booths, live entertainment, visual displays, rum tastings involving over 30 rums, culinary competitions, educational talks and live demonstrations will be just some of the features that will be highlighted at the festival.
Event Chairperson Alexandra Maillis-Lynch projects that it will cost $600,000 to stage and an estimated 9,000 people will attend the inaugural event.
"We believe in the potential of this event, so we are challenging our vendors to think outside of the box. Come out and sell yourself. We're not taking profits from our vendors so we don't control how you sell yourself. We're merely the facilitators, you make your money so how you price it, how you market, that's entirely up to our vendors," she said.
"There's a huge following of rum festivals around the world. So that's why we're really pushing to take this to the entire Bahamian market, in addition to tourists."
The Ministry of Tourism is also onboard as the festival's marketing partner. Tourism officials believe that Festival Rum Bahamas is an "excellent" fit with the country's tourism product, providing another compelling reason for visitors to come to The Bahamas.
The festival is set to take February 21-23 at Fort Charlotte from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., with a daily entry fee of $25 per person or $60 for a three-day package. VIP packages are also available.
CR2 (College Ready 2), the non-profit arm of College Ready Bahamas (CRB), is now an official partner with the U.S. Embassy. Founded in 2013, CR2 aims to expand tertiary education opportunities to Bahamian students.
There are many opportunities for tertiary education available to Bahamian students -- be it The College of The Bahamas, The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) or international tertiary institutions, there are opportunities for financing tertiary education. Students who prepare and plan early for tertiary education have a higher chance at gaining entrance and scholarship awards. The key is preparation.
CR2 helps students to focus and create a path that makes the student more competitive on the global education stage. Its message to Bahamian students is that college is for anyone who wants to go, and that they can help them find the right fit.
The organization works with colleges and universities worldwide. It also partners with local institutions -- junior and senior high schools, clubs and foundations. The organization thinks of itself as a complement to the invaluable services that junior and high school guidance counsellors perform.
In November 2013, CR2 partnered with the U.S Embassy and hosted College Week Live International Student Day Virtual College Fair which featured over 100 colleges and universities. Students from C.R. Walker School and Mt. Carmel Preparatory were invited to speak with college representatives. In January 2014, CR2 worked along with the U.S. Embassy, the Lyford Cay Foundation, The College of The Bahamas, the Ministry of Education and the College Board for a counsellors training and scholarship forum.
The initiatives of EducationUSA give Bahamian students a great tool with which to navigate the U.S. tertiary education system. We will be able to provide students with the most accurate and current information available due to the network of schools that work along with EducationUSA. Many of EducationUSA services are free, or for a minimal fee.
CR2 works with students through workshops and forums. Students may participate through a membership or can work with individual services. CR2 ensures that its services are either free, or minimally priced, so that as many students as possible may take advantage of the services. The membership provides the student with even more savings. For example, EducationUSA advisors sit with students during the application process to ensure that the scholarship application is completed correctly.
In a workshop setting, the advisors walk students through filling out the application and ensure that they submit all required support documents. Another service CR2 provides is essay critique during which the advisers tell students frequently, that they cannot write their essay for you, but they can help them brainstorm ideas, write a focused outline, and provide professional editing.
CR2's sister company, CRB, focuses mainly on test preparation. CRB provides classes in Scholastic Aptitude Tests and Advanced Placement Calculus. The company also has a foundation math and English course. During the summer months classes are offered in pre-calculus and college writing which are geared specifically towards students who are leaving for college and want to hone their skills.
As the first year of college is a big adjustment they try to ensure that students have exposure to some of the materials they will be expected to know when they get there. The courses make the adjustment smoother and the retention of scholarships easier. CRB is looking to expand into even more test preparation courses.
For CR2 the aim is college readiness -- being academically qualified, financially prepared, and emotionally and socially capable for the rigors of college life. CR2 and College Ready Bahamas have made it their business to help assist more students to be college ready.
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
What You Will Need:
Medium mixing bowl
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 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.
What you will need:
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
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:
Medium mixing bowl
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
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.
MAKE USE OF YOUR KITCHENAID'S 13-CUP FOOD PROCESSOR
What you will need:
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
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.
What you will need:
Serving bowl (glass or clear plastic)
1-2 small heads romaine lettuce, trimmed
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.
MAKE USE OF YOUR KITCHENAID BLENDERS
Tropical Breakfast Smoothie
What you will need:
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)
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:
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
What you will need:
Serving bowl or cups
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.
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.
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.
A bonus point and a win by more than four tries is the only way The Bahamas men's national rugby team can avoid missing their chance to compete in the Rugby World Cup.
The team can no longer contend for the North American Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Championship, and the chances of advancing through the qualifying rounds for the Rugby World Cup 2015 are slim, after dropping its first match to the Cayman Islands. That defeat placed The Bahamas in a must win situation, in the game against Bermuda. The Bahamas will have to win convincingly to avoid relegation into the pre-qualification group.
The countdown to the game against Bermuda has already started, and Team Bahamas is making its final preparation. The game will be played on Saturday, at the Winton Rugby Pitch. This is the third game in the second round for countries in the north.
Play in that division started on May 19 with Bermuda taking on the Cayman Islands. Bermuda defeated Cayman Islands, 10-3. Seven days later, The Bahamas was defeated by the Cayman Islands, 27-7. According to Elystan Miles, board member in the Bahamas Rugby Football Union (BRFU), the Cayman Islands will still move on, despite that loss to Bermuda. He also noted that Bermuda is almost guaranteed to move on, no matter the outcome of Saturday's game.
"We have to rip their legs off," said Miles. "We have to get a bonus point and win the game by at least four tries. We are out of contention for the Caribbean Championship but we need to beat Bermuda to avoid relegation into the second group. We don't want to drop down.
"We had a good team in the game against the Cayman Islands, but we weren't strong enough. It was a heart-breaking loss. We have a young team so there's always next year, but the positive part is that the fitness is up from previous years. The main difference is that Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, they play with expats and our team is Bahamian, so you never know who you are going to see."
In the last meeting against Bermuda, The Bahamas lost 13-10. That game was played last year in Bermuda. Miles believes that the home field advantage should work in The Bahamas' favor this time around. The Bahamas defeated Bermuda in 2005 and Miles is confident that they can do it again. He said the team is up to the challenge, even though they know it is not going to be an easy task.
Miles said: "Some of the players who were expected to travel to Cayman did not due to personal commitments and technical problems. Now that we are home I expect a better showing. We will have the fans behind us this time."
The team will continue training for the game, which will start at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
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.
At the beginning of every hurricane season, most of us give some thought into investing in a stand-by generator. Because you will be shelling out a fair bit of cash for the purchase, you may want to sit down and do a bit of homework before making that call to a supplier.
There are different considerations depending on if you are purchasing for residential or commercial use, and further still if you already occupy your property or are merely in the planning stages. Regardless of where you fit though, your first step is always to think about conservation. And secondly, you should assess what your real needs are during a power outage.
From the point of view of conservation, you simply want to ensure that you have the most efficient lighting and appliances that you can comfortably afford. This is good practice in general, as it will save on your monthly bills and reduce the amount of standby power that you require.
If you are assessing an existing property, you can have your electrician or electrical engineer help you decide what size generator you require. If money is no object, you may just want to buy a system that can power up your entire house or office building.
However, it might be worthwhile to consider what your real needs are in an outage. For example, air-conditioning can easily account for 35 percent of your electrical load so crossing this off your list of essentials might be a good idea. For the homeowner, your list of essentials might be the kitchen, water pump, bedrooms and bathrooms minus the air-conditioning and hot water of course!
For some businesses, air-conditioning is essential as the sheer size of the space means that most building occupants are away from operable windows. In such a case, there may be other ways to minimize the size of the generator required.
If you do prefer a standby system for only essential loads, I would recommend having an engineer redesign your existing electrical system so that you have a separate generator panel that is loaded with the essentials and you utilize an automatic transfer switch so that these are the only areas that receive power during an outage. If you are still developing building plans, consider this option as a way to save on the upfront and operational costs of the generator.
A very green solution would be to utilize photovoltaics and generate your power using the sun or wind using a windmill. To make these investments in renewables worthwhile, it is ever more important to first invest in energy efficient lighting and appliances, ensure that your building envelope is tight and that your roof is properly ventilated and insulated.
Whichever way you decide to go, ensure that you establish your needs, do your homework and seek professional advice to both select and install a suitable standby power system.
o Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sonia Brown is principal of Graphite Engineering Ltd. and is a registered professional engineer.
Hundreds of young Bahamians who otherwise would likely not have had the opportunity to have learned to sail in New Providence during the summer months, have been able to do this through funds raised by the Bahamas Sailing Association's (BSA) Sponsor A Child program. By donating $400 for each child, the public can allow a child to participate for two intensive weeks in this program that has helped to change the lives of many youngsters.
This year's summer sailing program is scheduled from July 9 through August 17 and the BSA is again inviting individuals, corporations and civic groups to sponsor a child. The first summer sailing program was launched in 2005 and 30 young sailors from D.W. Davis, C.H. Reeves and H.O. Nash took part.
Since then, hundreds of students from 38 schools in New Providence and Long Island have learned to sail in seven summer programs and a number of the youngsters developed a real affinity for the sport, and have gone on to represent the country in international competitions.
Junior Bahamian sailors are now participating each year in the International Sailing Federation's (ISAF) Youth World Championships, Laser North American Championships, Orange Bowl Regattas for Lasers and Optimists and international sunfish events. Also this year, three junior sailors, ages 12 and 13, will be participating in the Optimist World Championships being held in the Dominican Republic.
"We found it unfortunate that in a country surrounded by some of the most incredible waters in the world, so many of your youngsters were denied an opportunity to learn a sport that is such a natural fit for the country because of their financial situations," said Robert Dunkley, director of the National Sailing School with responsibility for fundraising. "It's obvious that if we can get our kids involved in activities that build self-esteem and teach discipline, we can help them grow and mature and that is something that's positive for them and positive for the country."
Keeping the program going and growing is expensive as certified instructors need to be hired. Also, the fleet of optimist dinghies, sunfish and lasers needs to be purchased and maintained and food and drinks need to be provided to keep the youngsters' energy levels up.
In the years since the program was initially launched, a total of 12 Bahamian sailing instructors have been certified, two Bahamian sailors are now on the College of Charleston's sailing team (one of the top teams in the United States) and a number of others are working today in the marine industry - one of which is training to be a ship captain.
The cost for each two-week session in this summer's program is $400 and sponsorship checks can be made payable to the Bahamas Sailing Association and dropped off at the Nassau Yacht Club or mailed to P.O. Box N-752. Questions about the program and sponsorship needs and opportunities can be directed to Robert Dunkley at 357-3959 or email@example.com.
Judgement in Paradise, written and directed by award-winning filmmaker-turned-playwright Adrian Wildgoose, promised the end of the world - well, The Bahamas - as we know it, but delivered something quite different.
In the context of destruction, Wildgoose tried to hold a magnifying glass to Bahamian society by highlighting issues like religious hypocrisy, lack of political accountability, familial neglect and national dependence.
The play really focussed on the relationship issues of the protagonist, Destiny Wilshine, with her father, Christian; her grandfather, Grandpa Wilshine, and her best friend, Chance. Subsequently, Christian Wilshine (well-placed irony) sells The Bahamas to foreign investor Seymour Bucks, who then renames the archipelago "Laziton".
While this is going on, reporter Terry Smith is convinced by a Mayan priest that The Bahamas is meant to be destroyed on December 21, 2012, which she feels she must share with the rest of the country.
Firstly, I have to commend the cast because they clearly put a lot of work into the production and their effort can not go unnoticed. It was a cast of young people, many of whom were COB students and alumni. Though some shone brighter than others, I didn't see one person on stage that made me remember I was watching people act. The players clearly had a sense of character and where they fit into the story.
So, did I come away feeling I had watched a good show? Not exactly. The fundamental element that was missing in this play was strong writing. Perhaps with the desire to tackle so many pressing issues, Wildgoose was being over ambitious. The play seemed chock full of issues and themes and perspectives, but there was a serious lack of cohesion.
In terms of characters, some were written and directed with a lot of insight into life and the human condition. Others... not so much. Many characters were written and directed with comedy or furtherance of one of the various plots rather than realism in mind.
The character of the journalist was trying to convince The Bahamas to be prepared for the end of the world, but she never said why ("Because the Mayans said so" is not much of an explanation). At the same time, the radio talk show host, Haroldina Thriller, had moments of gold and moments when I wondered if she was on the radio or at the hairdresser. Two characters that should have provided the bulk of the insight into the situation had no insight to offer.
The elephant in the room with productions at The College of The Bahamas (COB) is often the technical issues. So needless to say, the lighting in the Performing Arts Centre (PAC) needs to be revamped for plays. Unfortunately from the middle of the theater, the glare of the state-of-the-art concert lights made it impossible to see the characters and it actually hurt my eyes after a while.
In addition to that, many would argue the use of microphones by the cast was a serious faux pas. Many would argue the opposite. The clincher? When the microphones didn't work, the audience couldn't hear the actors at all. This seldom happens when you use the good old lungs and project - something easily done in a theater like the PAC, which has less than 500 seats.
All in all, the concept of the play was brilliant, as well as the use of the Wilshine family as the audience's window into the situation. But plays are about people - their wants, their actions and their purposes. Many players ended up just on stage acting, when they should have been playing three-dimensional characters with purpose.
This was a valiant effort by young people in theater that is absolutely essential for growth - both of the individuals and the industry. Wildgoose and his vibrant cast should be commended for taking the time to contribute to Bahamian theater, and hopefully, they will continue to produce and learn.
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).
More than 1,150 runners will pound the pavement at the 2014 Sunshine Insurance Race Weekend, beginning on January 18, 2014. RBC has renewed its support of the event for the fourth consecutive year. Marathon Bahamas, as it is affectionately known by running enthusiasts around the world, includes events for persons of varying abilities and fitness levels. In addition to the Marathon and Half Marathon, Marathon Bahamas includes a four-person relay, with distances ranging from 5.7 miles to 7.5 miles, and the Susan G. Komen Bahamas Race for the Cure 5K.
The Sunshine Insurance Race Weekend has become an increasingly popular event for both local and international runners. Marathon Bahamas hosts close to 500 international runners, has contributed $260,000 to the fight against cancer and continues to draw both participants and spectators from every walk of life. Joining in the race this year will be more than 100 RBC employees. Nathaniel Beneby, managing director, RBC Royal Bank, expressed his pleasure that so many RBC employees are taking advantage of the opportunity to participate in race weekend at cost fully subsidized by RBC.
"RBC is delighted that so many of our employees have accepted the Marathon Bahamas challenge. RBC is proud to once again support the Sunshine Insurance Race Weekend. The event is a wonderful opportunity to get fit, have fun and support a worthwhile cause."
RBC is committed to raising awareness about breast cancer and to supporting cancer research and education not only through supporting external initiatives such as Marathon Bahamas, but also through the RBC/RBTT Caribbean Children's Cancer Fund. The fund was established five years ago to assist young persons throughout the Caribbean who have been diagnosed with cancer.
The Sunshine Insurance Race Weekend kicks off the morning of January 18th with the 5K Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. The race raises awareness about the fight against breast cancer, honors those who have lost their battle to breast cancer and celebrates breast cancer survivors. The race begins at Montagu Beach and ends at Paradise Island. The Bahamas Marathon, the feature event, is scheduled for Sunday, January 19th, 2014. The full marathon begins at 6 a.m. at Junkanoo Beach.
Proceeds from all Marathon Bahamas events will benefit the Cancer Society of The Bahamas, the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group, the Bahamas Breast Cancer Initiative and the Cancer Association of Grand Bahama.
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama - A delay in payment from the Department of Social Services forced Sawyer's Fresh Mart to refuse food stamps for the last two weeks. Frustrated residents who depend on the coupons are up in arms.
Sawyer's is one of the three remaining food stores on the island that has an agreement with the government to accept food stamps.
However, as of July 25, the store stopped accepting the coupons.
Now residents who prefer to shop at the food mart say their selection, which was already limited, is quickly depleting.
A 30-year-old mother of one who is on the monthly program was dumbfounded on hearing the news when she went to collect her stamps. She said shopping at Sawyer's was a perfect fit for her.
"It is frustrating. Sawyer's is the only food supplier I shop at. I think Sawyer's is an excellent food store because the items are much cheaper and they have a better variety. While some of their items are generic, it is actually more reasonable," she told The Freeport News.
The young mother, who has been on the program for the last eight months, said her stamps go a much longer way in Sawyer's than anywhere else.
Another resident, a 28-year-old mother of two, shared her sentiments and said she had to go to one of the other stores twice in three days because the breadbasket items she needed were not in stock.
When The Freeport News contacted Sawyer's on Tuesday, we were told that the decision was as a result of "problems with government".
The move leaves only Solomon's, Queen's Highway, and Cost Rite in the pool.
According to Department of Social Services Assistant Director Lillian Quant Forbes, the matter is being addressed.
She also explained the process and any number of instances that may cause a delay.
"Once a food coupon has been redeemed, the supermarket sends that batch to social services. Once we get it we also have to process it by denomination, whatever the amount of the coupon," Quant-Forbes said. "We then attach that to a payment voucher and a spreadsheet and that would be sent on to the Treasury for processing."
Once it is verified that all of the attachments are in place, the numbers are correct and the accompanying documents have the necessary signatures and stamped by the vendors, the Treasury then prepares the check, Quant-Forbes explained.
The vendor either collects the check from the Treasury Department or the check is sent out via mail.
While Quant-Forbes could not give a timeframe for this process, she pointed out that, technically, this procedure should be carried out on a monthly basis.
Any food store has the right to decline participation in the government's food assistance program, Quant-Forbes noted.
"When we enter into an agreement with any of the vendors we would have written to them indicating that we wish to set up an account with them, whereby they would agree to accept our food coupons," she said.
"At any point and time a vendor can say 'you owe us an X amount of money, this is your ceiling and so we are not prepared to go beyond your ceiling, and until such time that we have received all of it or a substantial that is owing, we will cut off your credit.'"
In fact, any vendor can stop accepting food stamps at any time, as was the case with Sawyer's, the social services assistant director revealed.
"Once it is that we would have paid them, then our credit will be reinstated and they will so inform us. Once they tell us, then we inform our clients," she said.
Last year, during the period July 2011 to June 2012, the department issued $6.6 million in food coupons, the Minister of Social Services and Community Development Melanie Griffin revealed last week.
Government intends to borrow $7.5 million from the Inter-American Development Bank to implement its new social safety net program, designed to move residents off of welfare.
Just last month in Grand Bahama, the Department of Social Services catered to 3,000 people in food assistance, issuing over $300,000 to those on the monthly program, primarily senior citizens and disabled persons in Freeport and Eight Mile Rock.
Those receiving emergency food stamp assistance amounted to 883 applicants.
With those numbers still high, Quant-Forbes added that the department is working diligently to institute the social safety net program.
"We are hoping that it will help us to be able to reduce the amount of persons because of the proxy means test that will be put in place for them to transition off of the program," she said.
A recent downgrade of Family Guardian Insurance Company is the result of a "one-size-fits-all" approach, says the president of the firm's parent company Famguard Corporation Limited, as the standards of the U.S. economy are not necessary "in sync" with the situation in The Bahamas.
"The focus on mortgage loans, we felt, was out of sync with this market. Our loan concentration has actually improved when we had a rating of 'A-'," said Patricia Hermanns.
A.M Best, the top rating agency, downgraded Family Guardian by revising its financial strength from "A-" to "B++", or from excellent to good. Its issuer rating also fell down a notch. However, the rating agency has now classified the overall outlook from negative to stable.
The top executive at Famguard told Guardian Business that the BISX-listed firm's delinquency rate within the mortgage portfolio is in good standing at 7 percent, which is well below the national average of 13 percent.
Hermanns said it is unclear on what basis A.M Best focused so heavily on mortgage loans. In The Bahamas, she said, mortgage loans are often administered on a more intimate, individual basis.
This country does not have the same kind of experience as North America, she explained.
Hermanns noted that A.M Best claimed that Family Guardian's growth opportunities are limited, and yet at the same time, the rating agency acknowledged that it had achieved meaningful growth despite the harsh economic conditions.
In fact, Family Guardian recorded growth in premium income, and over the past five years achieved an annual rate of premium growth of 13 percent.
Eva Sverdlova, a senior financial analyst at A.M. Best, explained to Guardian Business from New Jersey that the limited investment market, combined with a relatively sluggish economy, could not be ignored.
Pointing out that Family Guardian's financials "are not poor", macro economic factors nevertheless placed the firm at risk, and conditions are not getting any better.
"The prolonged exposure to these risks contributed to the downgrade. It is part of a perfect storm that forced us to make that step," according to Sverdlova.
When asked if other companies in The Bahamas should be wary of a downgrade, the senior analyst said: "Probably not this year".
"I can't say for sure. There could be rating changes next year, when the annual rating comes about. It will depend mostly on the economic conditions, and the fact that in June of last year you had the downgrade to the economy. That also didn't help Family Guardian."
The A.M Best senior analyst highlighted that, for now, the insurance industry as a whole enjoys a stable outlook. The ratings are considered global, she noted, and a person looking at a Bahamian rating in the U.S. should expect it to be at the same level and standards.
While exposure in the mortgage portfolio was a strong reason for the downgrade, Sverdlova further explained that A.M. Best "does not look positively" on any concentration of assets. It noted overall performance poses a challenge to the longer-term financial results and growth opportunities.
Famguard, the parent company, was issued a rating of stable by A.M Best.
Our feet bear the brunt of all the stress we endure during our daily working life. Prolonged standing, walking, operating machinery, wearing high heels, carrying heavy objects and slippery surfaces are just some of the many dangers our feet are exposed to in the workplace everyday.
Every year, it is estimated that 2 million work days are lost due to complaints and disorders in the lower limbs, however many of these sick days can be prevented. Studies show that about 80 percent of adults will experience some foot complaints during their lifetime. This can vary from aches and pains, swelling, corns, calluses, injuries, fungal infections, varicose veins and more.
These common foot problems occur both on and off the job. However, there is no doubt that some work-related factors can lead to or aggravate foot problems, especially jobs that require long periods of standing or that put the feet at risk.
It is recommended that workers spend no more than 30 percent of their working day standing, however there are many jobs where workers stand for longer periods. Workers who are required to spend too much time on their feet are at increased risk of pain and discomfort in the feet, legs, hips and lower back. Standing for long hours, day-after-day, not only tires the worker's feet but can also cause permanent damage. It can cause the joints and bones of the feet to become misaligned causing flat feet, inflammation that can later lead to arthritis, and damage to the veins in the legs leading to pain, swelling, varicose veins and even ulcers. Prolonged standing can damage joints, causing swelling of the legs, and result in a range of problems for the feet, including bunions and corns and heel spurs.
Worksite accidents also result in a significant number of injuries to the feet and lower legs including sprains, strains and fractures. Foot injuries account for 15 to 20 percent of all disabling injuries. While not all of these are the result of work activities, a large proportion occur due to the conditions feet are exposed to at work.
Our feet are exposed to many dangers at work but fortunately the risk can be avoided or removed if employees and employers take simple, straight forward steps to protect the feet at work. Here are the recommendations to prevent foot injuries at work.
o Wear the right shoes for work: Prolonged standing, hard flooring and inappropriate footwear are very common working conditions for the feet. Workers should wear shoes that are appropriate to their occupation, working environment, and foot type. Improper footwear can cause or aggravate existing foot problems. Footwear that fits poorly or is in need of repair also contributes to foot discomfort and injury. If safety or special footwear is required for the job (e.g. steel toe boots) employers must ensure that employees have the correct shoes and are not allowed to work without them. In many worksites such equipment are supplied by the employer at no cost to the worker.
High heels are the favorite work footwear for many women but should not be because they throw the body weight onto the balls of the feet, which may lead to calluses, painful bunions, corns, neuromas, foot and back pains. The position of the foot in narrow width high heels can cause the ankle to become unstable, resulting in ankle sprains.
Wearing high-heels for long periods may cause the calf muscles to become shortened and tight over time. Backless (sling back) high heel shoes force the toes to claw as you walk, straining the muscles. To prevent this, two-inch high heels are recommended for everyday use. Calf stretches can help to keep the feet supple and maintain a good range of motion to the ankle joint. It is best to vary your heel heights from day-to-day; one day wearing low heels, and the next day slightly higher heels rather than high heels at all times. Wearing shoes with a strap or lace over the instep is better than slip-ons because they improve the fit and help stop your foot from sliding forward in your shoes. Comfortable, well structured, sensible and properly fitted footwear is essential to maintain good foot health and prevent minor foot ailments and injuries at work. Proper footwear is important, not only for foot comfort but also for one's general well-being and for you to have a good and productive day at work.
o Properly fitting work shoes: It is important to ensure that the safety shoe is appropriate for the task for which it is intended. The upper should be made from natural materials such as leather or a breathable man-made fabric. Toe box (front of the shoe) should be rounded or squared and deep enough to prevent rubbing, allowing the toes to wriggle. Insole can be inserted to provide padding and absorption. The heel should fit snugly on the foot, stopping the heel from slipping out of the shoe with each step you take. Heels should have a broad base and be no higher than two inches if they are worn for a long time. The sole should be strong and flexible with shock absorption to cushion the jolts of walking on hard surfaces. Laces, buckles or velcro should be used to secure the foot in the shoe.
o Foot safe work sites: In addition to the footwear, the work surfaces also have an impact on the feet at work. Hard, unyielding floors like concrete are the least comfortable surface to work on.
Wood, cork, carpeting, or rubber -- anything that provides some flexibility -- is gentler on workers' feet. Footwear with thick, insulating and shock-absorbing insoles can alleviate some of this discomfort. Working on a hard floor can feel like a hammer, pounding the heel at every step. Slippery floors can be hazardous resulting in slips and falls, ankle sprains or even fractures. Employers should make sure that floors are kept clean and dry or non-skid floors should be installed. Special anti-slip flooring or mats can also reduce slipping accidents. Stairs is a common site for foot injuries at work. To prevent these injuries make sure you are wearing the right shoes and paying attention when taking the stairs, the stairs are well lit with rails and are dry.
o Prevent workplace injuries at work: Most occupations have different footwear requirements.
Such requirements should be followed at all times to prevent injuries. Even if there are not specific foot wear guidelines, we recommend well-fitting, supportive shoe with moderate heels. If possible sneakers can fit the bill and they come in all styles and colors.
Remember, foot pain is not normal, it tells us something is wrong. If you have foot pain especially at work, see a podiatrist for a complete exam and treatment to get you pain free.
o For more information or to see a podiatrist visit Bahamas Foot Centre Rosetta Street, telephone 325-2996, Bahamas Surgical Associates, Albury Lane telephone 394-5820 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.apma.org.
Since the early 1980s, I can remember talk about illegal immigrants coming to The Bahamas. At the time, the only immigrants widely talked about were Haitian nationals. In addition, since the mid 1980s, The Bahamas has been starved for a long-term effective minister of immigration. The most notable minister of immigration, A. Loftus Roker, definitely left his mark on illegal Haitian immigrants at the time.
I remember quite vividly the fear that the illegal Haitian community had when Roker was at the helm and the jubilation experienced by them when Roker demitted office. Just as Haitians worldwide were celebrating the departure of Baby Doc Duvalier, Haitians in The Bahamas also celebrated the departure of A. Loftus Roker.
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
Paradise Island Harbour Resort has a date with the gavel next month, as the 246-room oceanfront property goes up for sale.
The resort, owned by Driftwood Hospitality Management and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., is going up for auction on September 6 for a minimum price of $6 million. The sale itself will take place in Fort Lauderdale at the Hyatt Regency, directed by a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers, with bids accepted in person or online.
Financial services firm Lehman Brothers is perhaps the most famous victim of the financial crisis after it filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2008. It was the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.
"It was up for sale for some time," said David Johnson, the director general at the Ministry of Tourism. "It was sold, but the sale didn't go through to the purchaser. There were complications, so it went back on the market. I'm sure they will at least get the minimum sale price, and it should inject life into the property."
The all-inclusive resort is considered an affordable alternative to other hotels on Paradise Island, such as Atlantis and the One&Only Ocean Club. According to the auction listing, the resort presents investors with the opportunity "to acquire a full-service resort unencumbered by management or franchise agreements, allowing an investor to renovate, reposition and brand the asset to generate significant profit".
When asked about the minimum sale price at $6 million, Johnson said the aim is to take market value from around six or seven years ago, prior to the financial crisis.
The director general said the Paradise Island property still represents a premium location, although it would likely need work should a new owner come in.
"I believe it will get sold. Real estate on Paradise Island is worth an awful lot, especially on the water," according Johnson.
Peter Dupuch, the president of ERA Real Estate, told Guardian Business that the $6 million price tag "does seem low".
"It is a very old hotel. The land though is worth a lot of money," he added.
Dupuch said the Paradise Island Harbour Resort hasn't been thriving for some time, so an auction and new ownership could be exactly what it needs to revitalize it.
Johnson agreed with that logic, hoping that whatever investors scoop up the resort make a serious investment to "inject new life".
The all-inclusive property features two on-site restaurants, a pool bar and a fully equipped fitness center. A 300,000-gallon free-form pool, hot tub, kid's video arcade, snorkeling lagoon and an addle activity program round out the resort's amenities and offerings.
Diabetes is becoming more and more common with almost 10 percent of Bahamians currently living with the disease. With the increasing numbers of obesity and poor lifestyle choices, the World Health Organization estimates that the prevalence of diabetes worldwide is projected to increase exponentially and that complications and death due to diabetes will double by 2030.
Uncontrolled diabetes can have detrimental effects on the feet and many other organs in the body including the heart, eyes and kidneys. High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and nerves causing decreased circulation to the leg and foot as well as loss of feeling in the feet. Diabetes can also cause the feet and toes to be deformed and change their shape and the skin to become very dry and cracked. These changes put all diabetics at high risk for foot complications such as ulcers that take a long time to heal, or never heal, leading to infections and amputations.
Diabetic foot complications are the most common cause of hospitalizations and deaths in persons with diabetes. All diabetics have a 25 percent chance of developing a foot ulcer in their lifetime. Most of the amputations performed worldwide are done on persons with diabetes and one is performed every 30 seconds. Eighty five percent of these amputations are done on persons who had a foot ulcer or open sore that did not heal. Having an amputation (part of the foot or leg cut off) is a devastating life changing event from which most people never recover because it increases the chance of more amputations and death. The International Diabetes Federation estimates that 45 to 85 percent of all amputations can be prevented.
Preventing ulcers and amputations is vital to ensuring that diabetics live a long, healthy life. While there is no cure for diabetes, there is hope. With proper diet, exercise, comprehensive medical care and careful self-management, persons with diabetes can prevent complications and enjoy a full, active life with both feet intact. The keys to preventing amputations are regular routine foot examinations by a podiatrist and early recognition and treatment of all conditions that put the feet at risk for amputations. Podiatrists are an integral part of the diabetes management team and are effective in preventing amputations. A recent study by the American Podiatric Medical Association showed that persons with diabetes who received care from a podiatrist had a nearly 30 percent lower risk of a lower leg/foot amputation, and 24 percent lower risk of being admitted to the hospital for foot problems, than those who did not see a podiatrist. The bottom line is that seeing a podiatrist saves diabetics' legs, lives and money.
The person with diabetes is indeed the central figure in preventing complications. They must ensure that their glucose is well controlled to prevent developing complications in the first place. Do not smoke because nicotine further decreases blood flow to the feet and toes which stops ulcers from healing.
These four strategies can help all diabetics prevent foot complications and amputations.
o Prevent injury to your feet. Never walk barefoot inside or outside. Avoid extremely hot or cold temperatures on your feet and do not soak your feet. Never use razor blades, scissors, pins or other sharp objects on your feet. Never try to remove calluses, corns, warts or ingrown toenails by yourself. Do not use over-the-counter corn removers, they can burn the skin and cause ulcers to the foot that may not heal.
o Wear proper footwear. Wear sensible, supportive, well-fitting shoes at all times. Wear the right footwear for the sports you play. Have your feet measured first and buy your new shoes in the afternoon when the feet are slightly swollen.
Avoid thong sandals or flip flops, wear a sandal that goes over the top of the foot instead. Persons with foot deformities (hammer toes, flat feet, bunions, etc.) will need to wear specially made diabetic shoes that fit and better protect your feet, preventing ulcers and amputations.
o Preventive foot care. For good foot hygiene, wash your feet every day, dry them well, especially between your toes and apply lotion or moisturizing cream. Inspect your feet and between the toes daily for cuts, bruises, sores or any changes to the skin and nails on the toes or feet. Cut your nails straight across, avoiding the corners and smooth the sharp edges with an emery board file. Wear comfortable, seamless, light colored socks.
o See a podiatrist to have your feet examined. All diabetics should routinely have their feet examined by a podiatrist at least once per year. If they have problems with their feet (such as ulcers, deformities, loss of feeling or poor circulation) more frequent visits may be needed. Diabetics should also see the podiatrist urgently if they have an injury or any sudden changes to the feet such as an open wound (ulcer), drainage or odor from the foot, swelling in the feet, changes in the color, shape or temperature of the feet (red, hot, swollen), ingrown toe nails, fallen arches, corns and calluses, any other concerns.
If persons with diabetes follow these simple recommendations they can protect and preserve their feet and prevent diabetes related complications for a lifetime.
o For more information visit www.apma.org or bahamasdiabeticfoot.org or email us at email@example.com. To see a podiatrist visit Bahamas Foot Centre on Rosetta Street or call 325-2996 for an appointment or visit Bahamas Surgical Associates Center on Albury Lane or call 394-5820 for an appointment.
One of the most productive amateur boxers in Bahamian history, is this morning laying up in a hospital bed after himself being a victim of crime over the weekend.
According to a police report, a young man standing in front of an apartment complex on Kemp Road, in the vicinity of three others, was shot multiple times around 2 a.m. on Saturday morning. It was later revealed that the young man in question was junior welterweight boxer Valentino Knowles, who was on the cusp of qualifying for the London Olympic Games one and a half years ago.
Knowles, 25, is one of the most talented boxers the country has ever produced. He turned professional a little over a year ago, after a stellar amateur career in which he was a multi Caribbean Amateur Boxing Association (CABA) medalist, won an Independence Cup bronze medal, a Commonwealth Games bronze, a Commonwealth Championships silver, a Pan American Games silver, and a Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games gold just to name a few.
Also, he is the first Bahamian to ever win a bout at the prestigious International Boxing Association (AIBA) World Championships. He accomplished that feat when he outscored Joseph Njogu from Kenya, 11-8, in 2009 to advance to the round of 32. Knowles failed to reach the field of 16 but had already made history for The Bahamas with his first round victory at the championships.
According to the police report, shortly before 2 a.m., three men and a woman were fired at when the occupants of a red Honda Fit vehicle pulled up alongside them. Knowles received multiple gunshot wounds and another reportedly received a gunshot wound to the leg. According to reports, Knowles is now listed in stable condition in hospital. The other male who was shot in the leg is reportedly listed in stable condition as well. The woman was not injured during the incident.
Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas (ABFB)
President Wellington Miller said that he got an opportunity to visit Knowles on Saturday, and the once promising professional who currently has a pro win/loss record of 2-0, remains in high spirits.
"From all indication, he is going to be okay," said Miller yesterday. Miller is also the president of the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC).
"This is a terrible thing what happened, but Valentino is in good spirits. He was happy to see us. We just told him to take the tablets to kill the pain and get some rest. Right now, it is unsure if he will ever box again. If that is the case, it would be a big loss for our boxing program but the most important thing right now, is for him to survive this ordeal and be okay. Valentino has represented The Bahamas very well for the past 10 years. He is one of the most decorated amateur boxers in Bahamian history. We wish him a speedy recovery."
Miller said that Knowles' leg is broken in three places, his jaw is fractured, and he was also shot in the chest. He was admitted to the emergency room but is apparently resting comfortably at this point. In 2011, leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games, Knowles was ranked as the number two junior welterweight amateur boxer in the Americas. That's inclusive of North and Central America, and the Caribbean region.
Police are requesting the public's assistance solving the shooting incident. Investigations are ongoing.
The link between education and true emancipation from economic, social, political and physical bondage was well articulated by Frederick Douglass when he stated that "knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave". While some references substitute the word knowledge with (true) education, the essence of this timeless quote resonates from one generation to another.
As the curtains are drawn on National Youth Month 2013, there is no doubt that the education of an individual is not constrained to the physical classroom in which a teacher instructs a student. In these modern times, the delivery of formal education has become sophisticated to the point that one can pursue and attain a postgraduate qualification from an institution while not being physically present in the country in which the institution is domiciled. In this sense, the barriers to education are often limited to the will and determination to progress as well as access to the requisite resources.
Exposure, education and opportunities
In today's Bahamian society, more and more individuals are taking advantage of higher education both locally and abroad. However, the significant challenge of limited funding still confronts our aspiring young people in their quest to obtain higher education. The preparation for professional success by the Bahamian youth is also impeded by the limited level of exposure that upcoming professionals embrace or are afforded. It is becoming clearer by the day that formal education alone in the conventional sense will not be the sole determinant in an individual's progress and success in life; especially in the workplace. In this sense, the crucial role of opportunity and exposure cannot be overemphasized.
Although many Bahamians have taken advantage of the opportunity to pursue higher education, some still find themselves disenfranchised due to their lack of exposure. A classic example can be found within the financial services and tourism sectors where Bahamians are sometimes deemed not to be adequately qualified to lead key posts within certain organizations. It is not unexpected for institutions and/or their shareholders to protect their investments; however, it is also not unforeseeable that Bahamians with the requisite experience, education and exposure are recruited to fill pivotal roles that would otherwise have required expatriates. Indeed the result of a recent survey by the Association of International Banks and Trust Companies in The Bahamas is a testament to this fact. The survey showed that Bahamians made up 80 percent of total employees, 66 percent of management, 48 percent of executives and 52 percent at the highest levels within the institutions surveyed.
Attainable heights for the youth
The perception that the highest levels of leadership within an international organization, either based in The Bahamas or outside The Bahamas, is beyond our reach but within the grasp of others is nothing but a myth. While we acknowledge the reality is that there are insufficient fully Bahamian-owned businesses within either of the aforementioned sectors to accommodate the Bahamian workforce, our zenith cannot be determined by the ownership structure of organizations within our archipelago.
As The Bahamas continues to evolve and is absorbed into the emerging global village where investment opportunities abound for multinational corporations and international investors, the competition for labor will intensify. The Bahamas must seek to maintain its edge in the global arena and attract viable and sustainable foreign direct investment while ensuring the professional advancement and preparedness of its citizens.
A modernized Bahamianization policy
The Bahamianization policy in its raw form was relevant at the time of introduction and served its purpose at the time it was instituted. The leaders of the day saw the need to improve the economic status of Bahamians and consequently ensured that there was a process in place that made higher paying and more sophisticated jobs available to Bahamians.
Bahamianization continues to occupy an important place in today's context; however, the policy must be further revised and enhanced to address and meet the demands of the 21st century. The policy should address the current needs and dynamics of The Bahamas with specific attention being given to young Bahamians both home and abroad who would like an opportunity to progress in their country.
The policy among other things, basically states that where there is no Bahamian identified to fill a post, a work permit can be issued to a foreign worker with the condition that a Bahamian will be identified for training with a view to filling such a post in the future. This policy has been widely accepted by successive governments, foreign investors and organizations over the years. The reality on the ground is that foreign workers who migrate to The Bahamas usually would have had extensive work experience that extend beyond their home countries in multiple jurisdictions where their employers would have had branches or subsidiaries. They effectively come in to compete with an advantage over the average Bahamian worker.
Discovering the global landscape
In cases where Bahamians have the opportunity to train under an expatriate in anticipation of filling senior roles in future, he/she still more than likely did not have the opportunity to travel abroad and receive sufficient training and exposure outside of The Bahamas. In this regard, it is arguable, that Bahamians who school or train abroad may have an opportunity and advantage to take on leadership roles upon their return home over and above the individuals who have not.
Consequently, more must be done to ensure that foreign investors provide more opportunities for cross-training and work exchange programs across several jurisdictions in which they have affiliates or presence. Within the financial services industry, there is a great opportunity for such an initiative which will not only broaden the exposure of our youth to other cultures but could also yield the benefit of learning an additional language. It is accepted that it is not the responsibility of the organizations to ensure that their Bahamian workers are multilingual; hence, we must take our destinies into our own hands with a commitment to ongoing personal and professional development and advancement.
The future is in our hands
In the final analysis, we must take responsibility not only for our future but for the future of our Bahamaland. While the government must implement policies that create an environment that is conducive for the achievement of the Bahamian Dream, we must be mindful that national borders and barriers are falling with the execution of international agreements. We must therefore be prepared for opportunities at home and abroad; ready to take on key roles globally and export the knowledge and expertise that we have successfully distinguished ourselves in. This writer is convinced that with the right education, exposure and mentoring, Bahamian youth are well equipped for the road ahead and the future is in our hands.
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Amazed by its popularity, staff of Breezes Bahamas got together to create their own Breezes version of Pharrell's wildly popular 'Happy' video.
In the video, posted to the resort's YouTube channel, team members from all areas of the beachfront resort sing along and perform choreographed numbers as they conduct their daily tasks.
"The song is so infectiously 'happy' and bright" said Muna Issa, vice president of operations to SuperClubs - Breezes' parent company.
"It was a perfect fit for our resort and the fun-loving atmosphere. So we wanted to share it!"
Located on Cable Beach, Breezes Bahamas is a playful paradise for occasions of all sorts--a quick reprieve from the cold, an economical spring break, or a memorable honeymoon, said the company in a release.