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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.
Freeport, Bahamas - It was a night of Mystical
Wonders, beauty and elegance, as the seven Miss Grand Bahama 2012 contestants
displayed confidence, personality, good posture, grace and maturity
in there evening gowns this past weekend at an event sponsored by the Treasure Bay Casino.
The contestants chose
wisely in hopes to best reflect their personality and to share a colour that they love.
The contestants sense of style was maturely executed and each gown
worn gave ample leg room allowing the girls to move freely, yet gently
hugged their upper torsos to show off their fit physiques...
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the holiday season can be a challenge.
When everyone else around you is eating ham, turkey, macaroni, peas and rice, rum cake, fruitcake or any other holiday special, you may be trying to hold out.
It may have been a resolution made at the beginning of the year, a promise to lose weight and lower the risk of health-related illnesses.
On the first day that you are tempted, you may say to yourself that you've been down this road before and you faltered. You may have also hated yourself in January and swore not to give in this year.
So you stick to your diet or healthy lifestyle. You don't want high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems or other health-related issues that arise from an unhealthy lifestyle.
While there is nothing wrong with holiday food, there are those who wish to abstain in an effort to eat healthy.
But as most doctors would say, starving yourself for three days and pigging out on the fourth is not the right idea.
Skipping to the third day, when you are surrounded by family and friends and the food is being shared, you say to yourself that a little bit of ham and macaroni won't kill you. Then, you secretly break in to your parents' home and pilfer as much ham and turkey as you can.
Does this sound familiar?
Janine Carey, co-owning manager at Liquid Nutrition in Old Fort Bay, said that the best way to avoid giving in to unhealthy foods during the holiday season is to promote the change you want to see.
"I think we have to get to a point where the majority of what we eat creates health assets - food that doesn't lead to illness," she said.
"If we have to eat those foods in excess, we should only do it in small portions.
"If it only accounts for 10 percent of your diet and you are only having that once, it isn't the end of the world.
"But if you know that 90 percent of what you eat is not filled with nutritious ingredients you have to change the way you eat."
Carey said attending family functions where heavy food will be served can be tempting, but bringing healthy alternatives can make a difference.
"If I go to a family function and I know there is a lot of heavy but delicious food, I take the initiative to bring a healthy dish to contribute to the buffet," she said.
"And slowly, over time maybe, I'll influence my aunt to change her way of eating.
"You have to be the person to promote the change."
G-Fit Academy President Charles Johnson noted that one should not stop exercising during the Christmas season.
"If you are consuming those unhealthy things, don't take a break from exercising during the holiday season," Johnson said.
"Exercising and being active would help to keep your calories down."
Johnson noted that if one is maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the entire year, the holiday season should not be so challenging.
"We run into trouble when we are accustomed to eating bad all year and then when the Christmas season comes around we tend to over indulge," he said.
"My whole thing is changing your lifestyle first."
Listed are the professional bouts, in addition to some of the amateur bouts, which will be contested on the 'Pain and Glory' fight card next Friday December 13, at the Rainforest Theatre inside the Wyndham Nassau Resort:
Meacher 'Major Pain' Major (Bahamas) 20-6-1 vs. Rodger Rosa (Brazil) 5-4-1 - super featherweight
Mike Sawyer (USA) vs. Alex Perez (Cuba) - welterweight
Bahamian grudge match
Lester Brown vs. Dencil 'Death' Miller - junior lightweight
Tyrone Oliver (Bahamas) vs. Jeff Souffrant (USA)
Oliver - Strikers Boxing Club; 19-years-old; 140 lbs., 5'8"; Orthodox; 6-0 win/loss record under Strikers. He has approximately 20 fights under his belt under the guidance of several coaches in the past.
Souffrant - Sweatbox Boxing; 24-years-old; 147 lbs., 5'7"; Orthodox; 36-6 win/loss record.
Kendric Stuart (Bahamas) vs. Fernando Marrero Calderon (USA)
Stuart - Strikers Boxing Club; 18-years-old; 122 lbs., 5'5"; Orthodox; 5-0 under Strikers but has had approximately 20 fights under the guidance of several coaches in the past.
Calderon - Ft. Lauderdale Boxing & Fitness; 27-years-old; 120-125 lbs.; 25-7 win/loss record.
Charlton (Kerone) Knowles (Bahamas) vs. Arvin Santiago (USA)
Knowles - Champions Amateur Boxing Club; 18-years-old; 149 lbs., 5'10"; Orthodox; approximately 20 fights under Ray Minus Jr.
Santiago - R-Factor Boxing; 152 lbs., 5'11"; Orthodox; approximately eight fights under current coach Roberto Rios.
D'Angelo Swaby (Bahamas) VS Tamaria Edgecombe (Bahamas)
Swaby - Strikers Boxing Club; 24-years-old; 215 lbs.; Orthodox; 4-1 win/loss record.
Edgecombe - East Side Boxing Club (Quincy Pratt's club); 250 lbs.; Southpaw; 1-0 win/loss record.
With a strong focus on healthier living and family life, the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBFF) is starting the new year off with a fun run/walk set for March, 2014.
BBFF President Danny Sumner said that it is their goal to get as many of their athletes as possible, and Bahamians in general, fit, eating right, and living healthy lifestyles. He said that it is imperative to maintain a certain level of fitness, especially for bodybuilders and fitness athletes to produce better results at international competitions.
"Proper diet and nutrition is so very important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle," said Sumner yesterday. "In the federation, it is our goal for our athletes to get their bodies in shape early in the year. I think it should be like that across the board, with all sports. That is why we are putting on this fun run/walk which will be open to all Bahamians. During the IFBB (International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness) Congress this year, it was determined that a stronger focus should be put on fitness and family life. We want families to be aware of their diet and the type of food that they are eating. We are hoping to decrease the rate of obesity here in The Bahamas. Obesity, diabetes and hyper-tension are serious problems here in The Bahamas. We want to do our part to curtail that."
Sumner said that they are looking at it as their duty, as a sports organization, to promote health and fitness for the entire Bahamas. He said that they are doing this for the benefit of the whole country.
"We want to encourage people from all walks of life to take part in this fun run/walk," said Sumner. "It is our first event for the year, and we're hoping that it will be well attended. We want it to be a family affair - mothers, fathers and children of all ages are all welcomed to come out and take part. The focus is on the entire family. This is our first step in developing better athletes for 2014 and beyond."
Sumner said that they intend to get all of the major gyms in the country involved, so that Bahamians from every walk of life could take part in the event.
The fun run/walk is just the beginning of things to come for 2014 though, as far as BBFF events are concerned.
Sumner said that it is their intention to finally get the armed forces championships off the ground, which could possibly be held in conjunction with the novice championships. The event could possibly have a high school segment as well. After that event in May, the federation will move into the Northern Bahamas Championships, which is expected to include Bimini this time, and the nationals will wrap up local competition in July.
"With the armed forces championships, our goal is to get the police, the defence force and the prison together in friendly competition. It is imperative that these three arms of our national defence system maintain a level of fitness," said Sumner. "These championships will allow for those officers to engage in friendly competition, and at the same time, stay fit. We have been strategically getting the high school championships off the ground. We started it this year, but we still have a ways to go. There's a strong possibility that you will see a segment of that with the armed forces championships this year."
Overall, Sumner said that the focus this year is definitely fitness for all athletes.
"As you can see by our performances at the CAC Championships every year, we have some of the better athletes in the entire Caribbean, and that's across the board. What we are lacking is more advanced training to get our athletes as fit as possible. We are certainly getting there in that regard, but we still have a way to go. I would love to see a cross section of Bahamian athletes getting more fit, and that's in every sport. If they are getting the type of training that a bodybuilder or fitness athlete goes through, they would be better when they compete in their respective sport.
"Having said that, we desperately need more funding to get our athletes the proper training and proper dieting. That was a major problem for us in 2013, and hopefully we could get more assistance in that regard moving forward. For athletes to improve themselves in all aspects in their respective sports, we need for funding to be increased so that our athletes could get the proper training."
The BBFF will wrap up its year, in 2014, with representation at the 42nd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships. A 15-member Bahamian team finished with 10 top five finishes, a pro card from Grand Bahamian Dominique Wilkinson, and an overall fourth place finish this year.
Sumner said that they are looking to possibly host the CAC Championships in 2015.
Bahamas Medical Center's (BMC) Clinical Exercise Physiologist Sharad Johnson is the 2013 recipient of the Medical Fitness Association's (MFA) Rising Star Award -- International Region.
Johnson, one of the key team members at Medical Fitness Center at BMC on Blake Road, received his award at the annual MFA Conference in San Diego, California in November.
"MFA is thrilled to have such strong leaders dedicated to helping their communities become healthier through medically based fitness programs," said Bob Boone, president and CEO of the Association. "We are proud to recognize centers and individuals who are making a difference through the provision of individualized fitness programs and services that impact lifestyle-related chronic diseases within their community."
The Rising Star Award -- International Region recognizes outstanding individual achievement and leadership by front line staff within the medical fitness community.
Johnson played a lead role in the development of the new Medical Fitness at Bahamas Medical Center. He focused on establishing customer service standards, developing a pricing structure and was instrumental in strategic development decisions, and is praised by his clients and colleagues for his enthusiasm and ability to motivate. By helping to establish hiring standards for Medical Fitness at Bahamas Medical Center, he ensures a high quality of services will be delivered to clients and patients.
"We are very pleased to have Sharad working at the Bahamas Medical Center to lead the team providing medical fitness," said Barry Rassin, president of Doctors Hospital Health System of which Bahamas Medical Center is a part. "He is a knowledgeable, energetic and dedicated young man who wants to be a part of the change to improve health in The Bahamas. He truly is a star in medical fitness and we are happy that the Medical Fitness Association has recognized him for his contribution so early in his career."
Medical Fitness at BMC offers personalized fitness assessments and training, sports training, nutrition consultation, chronic disease management, physical therapy, cancer rehabilitation and outpatient cardiac rehabilitation as well as corporate wellness and their customized obesity management program, weight loss solutions.
The Medical Fitness Association is a professional association representing fitness facilities that believe in and promote the medical fitness difference and integrated care as the prescription for better health. MFA serves facilities and professionals who are committed to providing individualized health and fitness programs that help people manage their health risks, proactively work on primary and secondary prevention of lifestyle related chronic disease and post recovery step down programs.
A non-profit organization founded in 1991, the MFA is the only provider of a high quality facility certification process provider of industry standards and benchmarks, educational programs, professional development and networking.
Bahamian basketball standout Jean Rony Cadot is increasing his chances of making it to the National Basketball Association (NBA).
The 6' 5" guard will work out with the Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls in a few weeks. In this Nassau Guardian exclusive, Cadot explains that it has always been his dream to play professional basketball.
"I got a call at the end of my senior season here at Texas Christian University (TCU)," said Cadot. "I got a call from the Chicago Bulls first. That was at the end of the season and then one from the Houston Rockets about a week or two weeks ago. I am scheduled to work out with the Rockets at the end of this month and I have an opportunity to train with the Chicago Bulls in the middle of June. I won't say it was hard but I know it was not easy (to get noticed). I feel as though I was putting in the right amount of work during the season on and off the court. All my hard work made for better results and made it easier for something like this to happen."
Even though he is being looked at by two NBA franchises, Cadot said he is still weighing his options. The Rockets organization is based just minutes away from where Cadot stays, and might be a perfect fit for the graduating senior at TCU. In fact, Cadot likes the Rockets' overall look. Of course, he is not counting any team out, but said, "I see more of an opportunity there (Rockets), but I feel like I can contribute to any team. If given the opportunity I would be productive."
The Bulls were the number one seeded team in the east going into the NBA playoffs this year. However, they were eliminated in the first round by the Philadelphia 76ers. The Rockets did not advance to the playoffs.
Cadot knows that the transition from college to the professional ranks will not be easy. At TCU, he averaged 11 points per game for the Horned Frogs. He played in 33 games in his senior year and was named to the All-conference team. Cadot had the
second highest field goal percentage for the Horned Frogs this year. It wasn't an easy road for the former C.V. Bethel Stingrays player though. He thanked God for blessing him with the talent and paving the way for him.
He said: "It was tough, especially coming from a situation where my family was not able to provide me with the support I needed. I know that they wanted to but they were not able to. I had to start from scratch and climb my way up when I got over here in the United States and just chase my dreams. I was just willing to do whatever I had to do, as far as being successful on the basketball court and taking care of my school work, is concerned. It was a tough process but I pulled through. I prayed to God and I knew that at the end of the day, He would help me, and He did that.
"Basketball over here is more organized and it provides the opportunities needed to be exposed so it adds pressure. Over here you can play on a high level where people can see you. Back at home sometimes the talent is overlooked and it is not appreciated. You don't have the right amount of support and there aren't enough people pushing you. I knew I needed to get out where I could be seen. I was able to be seen and I took off from there. I took full advantage of it and picked up where I started from, at home."
Cadot hopes to bring energy, leadership and maturity to whatever organization he signs with. He said he will do his best to ensure that his team wins. As far as his condition is concerned, he said he's not where he wants to be right now, but plans to improve before the training sessions start.
The guard is also expected to return home and play for the national team at this summer's Centrobasket Championships.
Thomas Humes has spent the last seven years living on the streets of New Providence, depending on the kindness of strangers to get by.
Complications from diabetes, glaucoma and arthritis have kept the 57-year-old out of the workforce for nearly 10 years and forced him to beg for money to buy food, he said.
His life is filled with uncertainty about where the next meal will come from and where he will sleep at night.
A month ago, he said, he was sleeping on a church porch, exposed to the elements and the dangers that a street life brings. Now he lives in a shelter but does not have long-term accommodations, he said.
Humes is one of the many homeless and downtrodden people who are fed by Great Commission Ministries' Feeding Centre on Wulff Road.
He and more than 100 men, women and children lined up outside the center's doors recently, clamoring for a hot meal.
"After you get lunch here there's no telling what will happen later on, when you get hungry again," he said, as he waited for a plate of food, clutching a green ticket numbered 111.
"If I ask for a dollar or two I probably could buy a bag of chips or maybe even sometimes [I have] enough to get a snack from one of the fast food chains."
Humes said he lived in the United States for a few years before returning to New Providence shortly after the September 11 attacks.
He said the last time he had a steady job was in 2004, before his declining health led him to withdraw from the workforce.
"Within the space of a month I had two diabetic comas where I had to be hospitalized," Humes told The Nassau Guardian.
"It caused me to have a phobia about taking on an eight-hour job. I was living with family and at the time they [were] willing to house [me] but only for so long.
"It deems me unfit [to work] but people look at my structure and think he is fit to hold a job."
In spite of his bleak situation, Humes is able to see the positive side to his life.
"People asked me about my sleeping quarters and when I told them, they asked me if I'm not afraid to sleep out in the open like that," he said.
"To me, I felt like I trust God enough not to be harmed while sleeping under the open skies. I'm glad that God placed the people in my presence that looked out for me."
Humes said it is important that people not judge those who are homeless and out of work, adding many street dwellers do not have the skills to hold down a job.
"It's real serious out here," he said.
"A lot of brothers that are able to work can't find a job because they're illiterate and can't fill out an application. I mean the way this world is going now, even with a high school education a lot of brothers and sisters still can't fill out an application."
Humes' number was eventually called and he made his way to the front of the line.
He emerged with a plate of white rice and chicken, two sodas, and a smile on his face.
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.
A developer in Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera has estimated he might have lost $10,000 to $20,000 in profits after reservations for three new cottages had to be canceled when the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) did not come to install electrical power in time for occupancy.
However, despite this and other delays, the developer behind the French Leave resort and marina on Eleuthera said he is pleased with the progress of construction to date.
Eddie Lauth, CEO of developer Shaner Bahamas Ltd., told Guardian Business: "I would say that we lost between $10,000 to 20,000 since the cottages weren't opened in time for the holidays like the original plan. It's disappointing because it's a lost opportunity, but we don't want to dwell on that. Hopefully, we can get the power in and then continue to move forward.
"We have had so many delays between us hitting flint rock and having no power. The three cottages were leased out for the holidays but obviously we couldn't do that because none of them had power. But things over at French Leave are going well."
To date, Shaner Bahamas has invested $7 million of an anticipated $17 million spend in French Leave.
Construction on the resort's 1648 Bar and Grill, fitness center, wedding pavilion and events lawn are all currently underway. Once that is completed, Lauth said work would begin on the rest of the cottages.
"Right now, we have a good chance of having the commercial area and the first three hotel cottages opened no later than March. And then bar and grill, along with the pool, should be done by June 30," according to Lauth.
"We're pleased with the progress of construction so far. I believe those who have seen the cottages so far, it has exceeded their expectations.
"We think that on Eleuthera, especially in Governor's Harbour, our vision has always been the old Bahamas, the other Bahamas. I think what we're building fits perfectly into that mold. I think when people see the cottages and the stone work, they get it."
Formerly the site of Club Med, the property was purchased in 2004, with further land acquired from Frank Lloyd Trust.
Shaner Bahamas, a company founded by Lance T. Shaner, entered into a partnership with Governor's Harbour Resort & Marina to build and finance the property. Shaner Bahamas is an off-shoot of the Shaner Hotel Group, a corporation with more than 24 owned or managed properties and thousands of employees.
Former Prime Minister and Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Hubert A. Ingraham made several strategic moves in the months leading up to the May 7 general election in an effort to stave off the political onslaught of the Progressive Liberal Party's (PLP) Gold Rush in Grand Bahama. The FNM's six candidates in the 2007 general election were able to win five of the six seats that were up for grabs that year. Sensing that the tide in Grand Bahama was turning against the former governing party, the leadership of the FNM decided to make several significant changes to its slate of candidates on the island.
The former governing party's slate of candidates that would contest the May 7 electoral contest was called the "Take 5 Team". This group of candidates was touted as being the best fit to revive Grand Bahama's economy as Ingraham's leadership did before. During the campaign, this team reminded Grand Bahamians that the FNM government gave minimum wage to workers; provided free medication for chronic diseases; and some $25 million for the education of Bahamian students.
The FNM government also introduced the unemployment benefit program and the national job readiness and training initiative in order to cushion the blow of the stagnant recession. There were other things that the FNM government did, such as the construction of the $19 million government complex on Mall Drive and the multimillion dollar upgrade to Rand Memorial Hospital. But obviously the FNM's message was not resonating with the majority of voters in Grand Bahama. This is due to the fact that thousands of Grand Bahamians are jobless.
A few days before the May 7 election, campaign workers of the then opposition party were all over Freeport handing out anti-FNM flyers. The flyers read "We Deliver?" Of course, this title was referring to the campaign theme of the then governing party. These political propaganda flyers listed 27 businesses that had closed down under the Ingraham administration in Freeport. Some of these businesses include: Consolidated Electric, Miniature Golf Course, Redwood Inn, Casa Bahama, Ice Cream Palour, Pusser's Pub, Island Palm Resort, Stone Crab, Royal Palm Resort, Food World, Perfume Factory, Reef Village at Our Lucaya, Ferry House, The Columbian, Fenestration Glass Company and Kay Shell Furniture. Obviously, the closure of these businesses meant the job losses of hundreds of Grand Bahamians.
Such a negative campaign spelled disaster for the FNM and its Take 5 Team. As far as the FNM was concerned, something had to be done. Ingraham was counting on this team to win all five seats. Considering the fact that the FNM had won five seats in 2007, anything other than this would obviously be considered a let down.
Another issue that undoubtedly played a factor on the election outcome was the Hannes Babak debacle. His work permit was not renewed by the Ingraham administration in December of 2009. He was the chairman of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA). This controversial decision obviously caused a friction between the FNM government and the GBPA. In fact, there is a school of thought that says that Babak allowed several of his businesses to go belly up in order to get back at Ingraham. This action by the Austrian born investor had caused scores of Grand Bahamians to be placed on the jobless line. Obviously, the FNM suffered a voter backlash from these people and their family members. In addition to the Babak fiasco, the residents of this island have had to contend with outrageous electricity bills from the Grand Bahama Power Company. There have been reports of families living without power because of their inability to pay their light bills.
Late last year, the controversial decision was made to drop Kenneth Russell, former member of Parliament for High Rock and housing minister, and Verna Grant, former representative for the constituency of Eight Mile Rock. Ingraham would go on to fire Russell as his housing minister after he openly voiced his disapproval of being dropped from the ticket by the former prime minister.
Former Chamber of Commerce president and businessman Peter Turnquest received the nomination to run in Russell's place. Turnquest was able to win East Grand Bahama because it is one of the two remaining strongholds of the FNM on the island. As for Grant, her seat was eliminated by the boundaries commission. Ingraham chose journalist Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe to run in that area instead of the former Eight Mile Rock representative. Some political analysts saw this as a move by Ingraham to kill two birds with one stone.
The former prime minister wanted to retire Obie Wilchcombe in West Grand Bahama and Bimini by running a popular and attractive journalist against him. Like Wilchcombe, Parker also hails from west Grand Bahama. Ingraham also wanted to place the community of West End in the win column of his party by joining it to the community of Eight Mile Rock. West End has been represented by an FNM MP for only one term, between 1997 and 2002. Judging from the beating Parker received on May 7, the plan to eliminate Eight Mile Rock, an FNM stronghold, had obviously backfired.
The Eight Mile Rock constituency was formed in 1987; and has always been won by the FNM. Before then, it was a part of the West End constituency. Had Eight Mile Rock remained a separate seat, it would have more than likely remained in the win column of the FNM even with Grant as the standard bearer. Many Grand Bahamians have probably missed the significance of Wilchombe's win on May 7. He is the first PLP to represent the community of Eight Mile Rock in 25 years.
The move to join Eight Mile Rock to West End and Bimini reminds me of Aesop's famous fable entitled 'The Dog and its Reflection'. In the fable, a dog carrying a stolen bone looks down at a crossing stream and saw a reflection of itself in the water. Mistaking the reflection for another dog with a better bone, it opened its mouth to snatch at what it thought was another bone. In the process, it lost the bone that it had. Obviously, the moral of the story is that in its attempt to capture the seat of West End and Bimini by joining it to Eight Mile Rock, the FNM ended up losing both. In any event, the series of moves that were made in that area by the FNM were disastrous, to say the least.
In another move that raised many eyebrows, Ingraham moved former Minister of State for Finance Zhivargo Laing from Marco City to an area in New Providence, and nominated veteran educator Norris Bain to run in his place against the PLP's Gregory Moss. Both Laing and Bain lost their contests by impressive margins. The former Marco City MP has recently been named to the Senate for the opposition party. Moss' victory in Marco City did not come as a surprise to me at all. I had written on several occasions that the FNM was in grave danger of losing that seat. Apparently, the leadership of the FNM was also aware of this. That is why the party made the decision to run Laing elsewhere. However, there are some who are beginning to question the decision to move Laing. According to these people, he stood a better chance at being reelected in Marco City.
Many political observers were expecting a dead heat between the FNM's Kwasi Thompson and the PLP's Dr. Michael Darville in Pineridge. But that was not to be. Thompson was obviously a very good MP. That is why the FNM decided to run him again in that area. He ran on his own merits as a good, productive representative. But he received a thrashing at the polls by over 800 votes. Surprisingly, that contest wasn't close at all. Perhaps the unfriendly reaction to the former prime minister's visit to the Garden Villas community on the day before the election should have served as an indication that Thompson was in deep trouble. Pineridge has for years been considered a safe seat for the FNM. Yet the way the residents in that area carried on when Ingraham visited them, you would think that the former prime minister was visiting the PLP's bastions of Bains Town and Grants Town, Englerston, Nassau Village or Centreville.
Thankfully, the FNM's Neko Grant was able to stave off his main opponent in Central Grand Bahama, the PLP's Julian Russell. No reasonable analyst expected differently. That area in Grand Bahama has many middleclass and rich constituents who have more in common with the conservative FNM than with the PLP, a grassroot political organization. However, the thing that should concern the FNM is that the PLP is gaining ground in that area. Grant's margin of victory wasn't all that impressive.
The election results have taught me that the Grand Bahamian base of the FNM has eroded significantly. Grand Bahama is no longer FNM country. While the PLP made a good showing at the polls in its bastions in New Providence, the FNM has struggled to even hold on to the two seats (Central and East Grand Bahama) that are considered to be its strongholds. The next five years must be used to rebuild its base on this island. The FNM must also identify its candidates much earlier than it did in the last campaign cycle.
- Kevin Evans
Nassau, Bahamas - The
New Providence Body Building and Fitness Association will be
hosting, it's first ever
June, 16th 2012 8:30pm at the Rain
Forest Theater Cable Beach. The event is in aid of the National Team members
travel to Puerto Rico in October for the CAC Championships, where they
will be trying to better their 2nd place finish in 2011.
Classic will be honoring and paying tribute to some of the veteran body
builders and fitness athletes who've won the National titles in
previous years, and have represented the country and won medals at the
CAC level or higher.
Some of the names being
honored are Della Thomas, former middleweight, lightweight and
heavyweight champion as well as CAC medalist..
Freeport, Bahamas - Grand Bahama kids get the chance
in a couple of weeks time
to share in a sports experience already enjoyed by more than three million young people in the UK.
a tailor-made programme aimed at giving the children confidence,
teaching them teamwork and responsibility while giving them fun and
helping keep them fit.
That's the day-to-day
responsibility of the three pro coaches who will be leading the
Sir Jack Hayward Soccer Camp
June 25 to June 29...
Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner said yesterday Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage's decision to carry a gun could have a negative impact on the society and urged the government to rethink that decision.
"The record reflects that no previous minister of any government has ever carried arms and I would ask this government to reflect on the gravity of what is happening and reconsider that decision because it now opens the door to perhaps allowing our country to become a legal gun-toting society," said Butler-Turner during debate on the budget in the House of Assembly yesterday.
Minister of State for National Security Keith Bell confirmed earlier this week that he and the minister of national security are personally armed with police issued firearms.
Butler-Turner, who is also the Free National Movement (FNM) deputy leader, said she is opposed to this "reckless action".
"I cried yesterday that we have come to a point in our country where ministers of the government now see fit to be armed with automatic weapons," she said.
Butler-Turner said even though she received two death threats while she was minister of state for social development, she never felt the need to arm herself.
"There is nowhere in this country where I'm afraid to go even as a woman," she said.
Butler-Turner quoted a Nassau Guardian article in which Bell explained, "As a minister of national security it would not only be prudent, but it would be unwise for a minister who has to...make critical decisions which deal with life to not be armed given the serious business and nature and decisions that he has to make."
But Butler-Turner said, "To have the national security minister armed, where does that put our people who don't have... bodyguards, who feel unsafe in their homes? Where does that put us?"
MP for Mangrove Cay and South Andros Picewell Forbes insisted that the previous National Security Minister Tommy Turnquest carried a weapon, however, Butler-Turner denied that claim.
"Whenever arms are distributed from the armory, they are signed for. There is a record of every firearm taken from the armory," she added.
Turnquest previously said he has never carried a weapon.
Earlier in the week, Bell said both he and Nottage have been trained to use firearms.
But Butler-Turner questioned their level of training. She said the matter is too serious to be taken lightly.
"The level of acrimony that happens right here within the chambers of this place and the level of anger that some people display in here, when they are armed with a gun it makes it that much worse," she said. "We do not know what we can do when we become angry."
As it relates to crime in general, Butler-Turner said the government must increase its efforts to reduce crime.
She noted the large number of murders committed since the PLP won the election on May 7. Twenty murders were recorded since then.
"The government was overall unprepared for office on day one," Butler-Turner said.
"The past few weeks demonstrate that it is shockingly unprepared to aggressively combat the scourge of violent crime.
"The rapid escalation of crime and drug and gang related violence raises troubling questions."
The CEO of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) says franchise opportunities should create up to 200 jobs once the opportunity is available this summer.
Geoff Houston noted that the telecommunications provider is reluctant to place a firm deadline on when that first franchisee will come to fruition. Developing the model has been more difficult and exacting than expected, he explained.
"This endeavor has tested our ability to handle a much more demanding partner," he told Guardian Business.
"There is no longer the excuse that the phones aren't available on time, or it's not the right price or service they want. There is no waiting until tomorrow. This is now a partner where livelihood is at stake."
The top executive at BTC said efforts are "well advanced" in terms of what the margins are for franchisees. The economics of the partnership are more or less set, he explained, but logistics and support are key areas they want to get right the first time.
BTC executives revealed that business plans with prospective franchisees will be measured on a case-by-case basis. Bahamians may be required to come up with an up-front fee for the franchise, or perhaps specific arrangements can be made concerning commission on sales.
"We are being very flexible at the moment, because we are feeling our way forward. It will depend on the location and what the partner wants to do. If the partner wants to build a 3,000-square-foot store, that's a very different discussion than if he wants a smaller unit," according to Marlon Johnson, vice president of marketing and business development.
In addition to job creation, the open-ended model of BTC franchises should help make the company increasingly Bahamian. At a press
conference this week, Houston revealed that 97 percent of the company is now Bahamian, and approximately 50 locals have been hired in recent weeks to executive-level positions.
The franchise opportunity will not be restricted to high-end-worth individuals, Johnson said. In fact, Bahamians can participate by even setting up a small kiosk, for example.
Houston explained that franchisees will all get paid commission based on sales. There is also the opportunity to add accessories to the mobile phone offerings.
"They should be able to sell broadband as well, not just mobile services. As soon as we work on the technology, they can become bill payment centers, and take a percentage of what they collect," the CEO revealed.
"We want to build more revenue streams for these partners, so it becomes more profitable of them. We don't want to force fit a formula that restricts the opportunity."
BTC is also in the midst of reopening a number of upgraded stores across the country, spending millions in the process. The goal is to have 14 new stores open by October.
The Nassau Container Port (NCP) has spent $75 million so far on development to Nassau's new front door, reporting that all major shipping companies have fully uprooted operations from downtown.
But work still remains. Top executives at the port said a further $7 million is still to be spent on infrastructure, and before shipping operations are fully consolidated, the companies need to "fit out" their leased space at the Gladstone Freight Terminal.
CEO of APD Limited Michael Maura Jr. said shipping companies have one month to complete this process.
"Bahamas Customs is also in the process of completing their fit out space as well at Gladstone. The expectation and reality is it must be done in less than a month. Then importers can submit their paperwork at Gladstone, pay, and pick up their freight in the one-stop-shop environment," Maura said.
Final delivery of the one-stop-shop is considered integral to the success of the new port.
Whereas today the process can be quite tedious, requiring payments and approvals at various offices and docks on the island, consolidation and efficiency are at the heart of the $82 million initiative.
"All of the carriers have relocated their vessel operations from Bay Street docks. Everything seems to be working very well," he told Guardian Business. "As anyone would expect, we have had a few minor adjustments and learning challenges rely on, but I think for the most part we have got past all of that."
Among the critics of the new port at Arawak Cay has been Rupert Roberts, the owner of supermarket chain Super Value.
In the early going, he said, "It's easier to get in and out of Fox Hill prison down there."
He said full consolidation might be in the plans, but in the person, that pledge has yet to come to fruition. Roberts noted how the process was actually demanding more staff requirements on his end. Other rules and regulations imposed by the port have been criticized by Roberts and other members of the business community.
Nevertheless, as NCP continues to fine tune the process, it is also carrying on with minor infrastructure projects that make up the remaining $7 million investment.
"Probably the biggest phase is the construction of the administration building at the Nassau Container Port," Maura explained.
Once these preparations are complete, the CEO revealed that the port will pursue picking up additional business from transshipments. NCP's upgraded cranes and dredged harbor give it the capacity to take on larger ships. There is the potential that $2.6 billion Baha Mar project will demand enough cargo to warrant an additional carrier into Nassau, he added.
Maura said this capacity may entice more shipping companies to include Nassau on their global routes.
As societies shift and evolve in a time of mass communication and media brought on by the electronic age, the global economy
has changed with it. A creative class of artists, thinkers, entrepreneurs, and the like are changing the way we think about
how we live through the commodification of ideas and creative projects.
Yet how does The Bahamas fit into this global dialogue, and how can our creative class build the kind of societies and spaces
that encourage idea space?
After its success last year, the branding and design company The Method Group (tmg*) is bringing a second round of community
discussions this summer that examine how The Bahamas is already building such spaces and that will provide opportunities to
imagine how much further we can go.
Bringing together creative thinkers, entrepreneurs and leaders in the creative fields on panels in three core discussions
surrounding topics of the emerging creative class, says tmg* marketing and branding specialist Royann Dean, will provide provocative
and engaging discussions central to the growth of The Bahamas.
"These talks all started because I thought about things I like to do that I couldn't do here going to lecture series and
listening to these ideas being shared and spurring me to think about things I never thought about," said Dean.
"It's about getting the conversation out there and flowing," she continued. "When you live in a city where ideas are encouraged,
openness is encouraged, diversity is encouraged in terms of thinking and people who participate in the exchange, that is the
point of a creative and livable city."
Last year, tmg* talks focused on how design of cities, of national stories, of culture creates Bahamian identity in an attempt
to think different about how we brand The Bahamas. This year, the talks make the personal universal by expanding outward:
how does The Bahamas function in a global dialogue about ideas socially, economically, culturally, physically?
The key, says Dean, lies in the creative class. This community may not be as arts-centric as you may think. Its core lies
in the ability to use ideas to create and shape society, so the creative class includes artists, gallery owners, architects
and the like, but also engineers, designers and entrepreneurs who all commodify ideas and encourage us to think differently
about ours spaces and ourselves.
"There are certain values identified with the creative class which include valuing meritocracy, this ability and appreciation
of complex problems and the ability to solve those problems, this sense of always trying to make things better and improve
of things," explained Dean. "So these are people who don't follow the status quo, who aren't happy with the status quo."
Indeed, this year's three talks "Architecture, Design and Sustainable Development" (June 21), "Entrepreneurism and the Creative
Class" (July 19) and "Economic Diversification and the Creative Class" (August 23), all examine how the community of creative
thinkers and entrepreneurs in The Bahamas can bring sustainability and growth to Bahamian society and economy if given a
The truth is, The Bahamas has no cultural policy and provides little incentive for creative endeavors, creating a harsh economic
environment where creative thinkers and entrepreneurs yet this is where the sustainability of the country lies in a world
where technology is collapsing borders and expanding possibilities into an unknown realm.
"I think the creative class is where our sustainability will come from if we transfer into this new type of global economy
where imagination and innovation is valued because you need to have these people who think in that way," pointed out Dean.
"These are the people who can think in ways that can solve
complex problems and are not afraid of collaborating with people in different disciplines to solve those problems."
The talks kick off next week Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas with a look at how the creative
class can help us think differently about sustainability and design, particularly in architecture. The talk will not only
address sustainability in terms of alternate energy but also in population growth.
With a panel made up of architect in The Design Group, Carlos Hepburn, President of Arawak Homes, Franon Wilson, and Director
of Sales and Marketing at Schooner Bay, James Malcolm, the discussion will shed light on how we can build more sustainable
societies through building design. The discussion will build upon last year's talks, which shared a major focus on architecture
as a creative industry.
"When we look at architecture this year in terms of the built environment and sustainability, we're going to ask how we see
architecture developing that sense of place in public spaces and in residential communities," says Dean.
"There's going to be a nice juxtaposition between Schooner Bay's perception of creating a sense of community through architecture
and design and Arawak Homes because they're the largest real estate residential developer. How do they use design to create
a sense of community? How does this fit in with expanding developments in islands where populations are expanding?"
Discussions like the first one next week are a chance not only for leaders in certain fields who may not normally spend time
together to sit down and discuss ways they can work together to build a better, more sustainable Bahamas, but also for creative
professionals and the wider community to attend and contribute their own thoughts to the process. Collaboration is essential
in creative fields, and this sharing of knowledge provides great collaborative opportunities for those who will attend.
"I think people attending should just be open to what the ideas of the panelists are, come willing to contribute to the conversation,
and come with the expectations that you may leave thinking differently about what creativity is from when you arrived," says
"We want to change how people perceive creativity in order to be able to use it effectively. I read that one of the definitions
of a creative city is having a feeling that there's momentum and there's something exciting that's happening and that's what
I want people to leave the talks with--this sense that something is happening here and they are a part of it."
The first tmg* talks, "Architecture, Design and Sustainable Development" takes place next Thursday, June 21st at 6:30 at The
National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. For more information about tmg* talks, check out their website at www.tmginovates.com.
The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) is hoping for a boom in post-paid subscribers after the hotly anticipated launch of the Samsung Galaxy S III.
As part of a 145-nation release, Bahamians had a unique chance to purchase the smartphone in tandem with consumers in North America. The release sparked a buzz among Bahamians. By 6 a.m., a long queue had formed outside of the BTC's Bay Street location, as the first 50 consumers received a discount on the coveted device.
Gershan Major, vice president of channels and marketing, said the prompt release of the Galaxy S III in the Bahamian market represents an important precedent.
The company, he said, is more focused than ever on keeping up with the demands of modern consumers, and pushing new revenue streams that go along with the smartphone market.
"What we are finding now, is a number of our customers on pre-paid are seeing the value of post-paid. They are asking for the types of devices that engender a certain lifestyle," he explained. "Bahamians are moving towards an understanding that it's not just voice. It's data, email checking, scheduling, download photos, posting photos and social media. The lifestyle change is tied to the kinds of devices they are asking for."
Thus far, consumers are responding. Major said the first 50 devices sold out quickly, and the company expects the country's stock to dwindle.
The device has been hyped across the globe, from London to Zimbabwe, as Samsung rapidly emerges as a serious competitor to the iPhone. BTC is banking on this hype in its push to get more Bahamians on post-paid packages. The country's sole mobile service provider estimates that less than 50,000 Bahamians are on a plan and receiving a bill each month.
In this vein, data has been targeted as a strong area of revenue growth.
BTC has invested millions in the past year on updates to the network, including the introduction of 4G, in anticipation of this demand.
"We are doing a better job of improving our data offerings. They are getting more attune to 4G," Major added. "We've had some challenges improving the platform, but rest assured that experience will improve as we build up the capacity of the network."
Consumers will no doubt come to expect a functional level of service that properly matches the sophistication of the phones.
Altonique Saunders, Samsung expert at BTC, was on hand for the launch last weekend to help roll out the device.
She noted that, in the past, The Bahamas tends to be behind when it comes to the introduction of new technology. It's often the better part of a year by the time the country seizes the next big thing, Saunders explained.
"There was a very large crowd in the parking lot waiting for this phone, and we've had many more come in since then as well," she told Guardian Business.
While there are many features that make it special, Saunders highlighted its 8-megapixel camera. Not only does it have a "Super HD" function, but the camera has the ability to take 20 consecutive shots in just one or two seconds.
A camera can be found both in the front and back of the device. The front can actually track a user's eye movement, which ensures that the screen never goes dark or switches off while someone is looking at the phone.
The Galaxy SIII features a 4.8-inch screen that is 20 percent larger than its predecessors, she added, whereby it treads the trendy line between smartphone and tablet.
"The browser is faster and it moves seamlessly," she said.
A laundry list of other features and functionalities also set it apart. But for Saunders, she felt the natural feel of the Galaxy S III truly makes it unique.
"Even though it's much bigger, it fits well in your hand, and the surface is very smooth," she explained. "The phone is inspired by nature. The device is inspired by the natural curves or leaves and petals. When you feel the phone, it feels like you're touching a smooth pebble out of the sea."
By RENALDO DORSETT
WITH the increasing popularity of road races and triathlons on the Bahamian calendar, Abaco island is all set to play host to the inaugural Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend (GAFFW).
Promising a safe, fun, fast-paced weekend complete with racing and entertainment, the big event is scheduled for March 23-25 in Treasure Cay. It begins with a one-mile open water swim followed by a welcome reception for participants.
And Saturday will be highlighted by the sprint, junior and Olympic triathlons, followed by a "Bahamian Night" awards reception dinner.
The weekend concludes with a 5K/10K Fun Run/Walk on Sunday.
Lee McCoy, ...
Freeport, Grand Bahama - Grab the girls and come celebrate "life" with a few friends on the beach...and support the Cancer Society! Royal Bahamia Park, 7pm on November 4th.
Big ole bonfire, wine and hors d'oeuvre, games, story telling, and a bit of entertainment.....just a great night out with the girls and a great way to give back......if you have that bra that doesn't fit but is still in good condition, please bring it or them out,
we will be donating a box of bras to another charity...
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.
LONDON, England - One of the questions surrounding Team Bahamas has been the health and fitness of Shaunae Miller.
The national junior record holder has qualified for the Olympic 'A' standard in both the 200 and 400 meters (m), but will run her specialty, the 400.
Shaunae was troubled by an ankle injury which caused her to miss the BTC/Scotiabank Olympic Trials in June, and she finished fourth in the event at the World Junior Championships in early July. But according to her coach and father, Shaun Miller, who is part of Team Bahamas' coaching staff, Shaunae is almost at full strength and anticipates that she will represent The Bahamas well.
"Well, we just had a light workout and everything looks pretty good," said Shaun in an interview.
"She's still not 100 percent yet, but she looks pretty good and is ready to run. We're hoping for some good races out of her. That will make her feel good and give her some confidence going into next season."
The former World Junior and current World Youth Champion was unavailable for comment, but her father said she is right where she needs to be in this stage of her development, and The Bahamas need not worry about her fitness level for these games.
Shaunae is the only Bahamian to ever hold individual World Junior and World Youth titles at the same time, and the only person in the world to have done it in that order.
Miller ran a personal best time of 22.70 seconds in the 200m in March, and broke her own junior national record by running 51.25 in the 400m in May.
She was unable to successfully defend her 400m title at the World Juniors in Barcelona, Spain this year, as she finished fourth in 51.78 seconds. American world junior leader Ashley Spencer won the race, in a championships record of 50.50 seconds; Kadecia Baird, of Guyana, was second in 51.04 seconds, and American Erika Rucker won the bronze medal, in a personal best time of 51.10 seconds.
Shaun Miller is responsible for training three other athletes at these games: Andrae Williams and Wesley Neymour, who are both listed for the men's 4x400m relay, and Amara Jones, who is part of the women's 4x100m relay pool.
"I'm just looking for them to get on the track and run some good races," Shaun said.
"They might not get to run, but that is something that would be in the hands of the relay coaches. All of the teams are looking very well, so you can't take certain things for granted. The athletes I have here, I just know that they are ready to run, so hopefully they would get a chance to do that."
The athletics portion of the Olympics get underway on Friday at Olympic Stadium. As for Shaunae, she will run in her opening round of the 400m on Friday at noon.
The biggest concern for parents and educators during the summer months is that students do not lose everything they learned over the course of the previous school year, so for many people, ensuring that students keep their noses in their books during the break is essential. But there are those people who believe that hitting the books at all times isn't all that it's cracked up to be. They believe education comes in many forms and that book work should be supplemented with creative outlets that allow students to be able to express themselves.
This is why the 306 campers that attended the Central Division Police Summer Camp were encouraged to do more than just stick to their books over the summer. Organizers of the annual activity-based summer program say that excelling in life is not always about being focused academically. They say that sometimes for students to be the best they can be, they need to be pushed into honing natural abilities and technical skills.
It is with this value system in mind that many campers flocked to the fun-based camp.
For 12-year-old Rodesha Brown, who described herself as quiet and a person who doesn't always say what she would like to say, being in a camp where she got to use her hands was a perfect fit. While she has managed fine academically, she said she felt a greater sense of purpose and interest in the crafts she made during the summer program.
"I really like that I can express myself in different ways at the police camp," she said. "I like learning to do crafts like making picture frames and sewing. It's fun and something I never knew about before," she said.
And 18-year-old Miguel Neely found his niche through working with his hands. He admitted to not being the smartest academically, but said he felt useful when he used his hands to make things. And during the camp he taught the younger campers to make jewelry boxes as well as how to draw human faces.
"I'm really glad that I have been a part of this camp. I'm learning how to get along better with other students and younger children. I'm learning more about arts and crafts which I always loved but never really put my all into. I am really inspired just being here," he said.
The four-week camp which will end on Wednesday, August 8 focused on not only keeping students on top of their academics, by having specific periods times when students brought their schoolwork from the previous school to review it, but the camp also provided an outlet for the campers to express themselves creatively.
"We want to foster children who can do well on different fronts," said Sergeant 2212 Berkley Johnson, coordinator of the summer camp. "Not every student is academically talented, so it was important for us to encourage them to exhibit their skills in other areas as well. We have so much for the youth to do from day to day like sports, crafts, academics and field trips. We try to keep everything interesting so students don't get bored and actually learn something they can use for school later in the year or for the rest of their life. We are here to do more than just have fun and play games."
And it showed in Andrea Hanna, who said the camp helped to improve her positive characteristics.
"Everyone used to tell me that I didn't have a pleasant attitude or anything before, but when I came to the camp and listening to the police officers I have learned how to be a better person by respecting people, listening to adults and being honest and obedient. It's not easy but I feel everything the teachers and police officers are telling us makes sense," said the 14-year-old.
For 11-year-old Larissa Rolle the camp is about new experiences. According to her there were so many projects that she wasn't able to participate in half of them. She said she learned something new every day she was there. And she was fascinated to learn rug making and sewing. The reality of having so many options made attending the camp something she looked forward to every day.
While some children looked forward to the extracurriular activities, Torianno Rolle, a 12-year-old student at Oakes Field Primary School, said he was happy he was able to review his sixth grade academics as he prepared for junior school. He also enjoyed his new experiences.
"I am having so much fun," said Rolle. "I can study old things and learn about new things. I'm making a rug now and it's great. I like that I get to do so much at one camp. I wish school could be like this. I'm really having a good time this summer," he said.
While the younger students went about their craft projects and brushed up academically, many of the older campers between the ages of 13 and 17 were sent out to learn about life in the real working world at business establishments. It is hoped that the new feature would teach students to be appreciative of what their parents go through, as well as build their work ethnic and sense of responsibility.
Campers are looking forward to their final day when an arts and crafts exhibition will be staged at the National Arts Theater on Friday, August 3, for all divisions of the police summer program. It's there where their family and friends can view all that they've done.
LONDON, England - Based on what happens in practice today, the World Junior double sprint champion just might be scratched from her best event here at the 30th Olympic Games.
Anthonique Strachan has been removed from the 100 meters (m), and there's a possibility she might miss the 200m as well with tendinitis in her right foot.
According to her personal coach Henry Rolle, who is also a part of the Bahamian coaching team in London, they are taking no chances when it comes to Strachan's health. Right now, it's a wait and see situation based on what she does at practice today.
"Well, I made the tough decision to scratch her from the 100 meters prior to coming here," said Rolle yesterday in an interview.
"She's very young, and she needs to be protected. She should be okay to run the 200, and two rounds of the 4x100-meter relay, but we'll make a decision on that after Wednesday. Based on how much the foot has flared up, we'll make a decision on whether or not she'll be able to take the pounding and [be] fit enough to run the 200."
Strachan wasn't available for comment yesterday, but Rolle said that they really haven't been doing any intense training since her double win at the IAAF World Junior Championships at the beginning of July in Barcelona, Spain.
Strachan, who has set personal best times in both short sprints this year, left The Bahamas at the end of last year to train under the watchful eyes of Rolle in Auburn, Alabama.
"Really and truly we haven't trained the way we should have since Anthonique came back from Barcelona. We did some light workouts in the pool, but that was it," said Rolle.
"I don't want to put a young lady who has just come off a high in a situation that is going to demoralize her. You would want her to finish on a high after she won the world juniors."
An absence by Strachan from the 200m, and possibly the 4x100m as well, would be a huge blow for The Bahamas. She ran a new world junior leading time and championships record of 22.53 seconds in the 200m final at the World Juniors. In the 100m, she was just a hundredth of a second off Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie's junior national record.
On the senior level, a similar run in the 200m semis here in London would almost certainly get her into the final.
As far as the relay is concerned, she's a pivotal part of that team. With her personal best of 11.20 seconds in the 100m this year, Strachan is the second fastest Bahamian behind Sheniqua Ferguson. Ferguson, who also is a part of Rolle's camp in Auburn, has a personal best time of 11.07 seconds this year. Both young ladies are expected to figure prominently in the women's 4x100m relay here.
Rolle said they're just taking it one day at a time and hoping for the best.
GREGORY TOWN, Eleuthera - A new $30 million, 50-room resort in North Eleuthera is expected to employ close to 200 Bahamians once its doors re-open in November.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Perry Christie toured the site of the 35-acre Cove Eleuthera Resort.
Christie told Guardian Business that the development is a testament that investors are once again becoming confident in The Bahamas. The current site has been in existence since 1969 and undergone several changes in ownership.
However, the prime minister believes the new owner behind the Cove Eleuthera Resort will generate just the kind of turnaround that the North Eleuthera community needs to boost its economy.
"I have been involved with people who have bought and sold this property many times, never making it a success. And I would come here and sit with them. We cannot have an investor come into this part of Eleuthera where there is no other such investment and fail. We must give him the support that he needs and pay attention to what is going on here," according to Christie.
"If he succeeds, then perhaps he will do another on this island or on another one. But, he's young, aggressive and smart. He has all the funding he needs to do even more."
Christie said the key to ensuring the resort's success now lies in the marketing strategies led by the Ministry of Tourism and the resort.
The resort's owner, Sidney Torres IV, confirmed to Guardian Business that work began on the development in March, just one month after the contract was signed.
To date, Torres said that more than $3 million has been invested in the project. Approximately 150 Bahamians have found employment in construction.
In addition to its 50 guest rooms and suites, 33 two-bedroom home sites are expected to be built. At the soft opening in November, three of these homes should be completed, along with the 50-room resort.
"We have already broken ground and we are about $3 million into it. We are employing about 150 Bahamians through all different settlements, and not just Gregory Town. When the hotel is open, there will be food and beverage, housekeeping and other positions available. This is a project that is going to go on for a few years," he explained.
"We will have 50 new cottages upon opening. We will also be building 33 home sites. Three of them have already started and will be completed in November. We are very excited about this project because I have a lot of history on the island. I was introduced to the island through Lenny Kravitz."
The 26-new garden and beachfront guest suites will complement the existing 24 rooms.
Renovations include an Infinity pool and full-service Bahamian restaurant. The sunset bar located on the point of The Cove will overlook the water, and a cocktail bar will include a fire-pit and lounge area.
A new Bahama Bean coffee shop will also feature on-site, freshly roasted coffee, lattes and cappuccinos. A fitness and business will be added.
Torres, a New Orleans entrepreneur and French Quarter hotelier, has been in the hotel business since 1996. He pointed out that he loves Eleuthera because of its similarities in cultures to his hometown, New Orleans.
"Eleuthera is a magical island and our goal is to bring the same legendary hospitality, food and décor of the New Orleans French Quarter to the Bahamas. We're very excited to welcome guests back to the breathtaking secluded, pink sand beaches of The Cove at Eleuthera."
Financing for the 33 homes is also available through Torres's IV Capital Investments.
The business community is praising Cable Bahamas Limited's (CBL) move into the U.S. market, calling its acquisitions a rare, if not unprecedented moment for local industry.
CEO of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) Winston Rolle said CBL has "absolutely the right mentality". He said more Bahamian companies, particularly those listed on the Bahamas International Securities Exchange (BISX), should adopt a broader perspective.
"The Bahamas has a limited market capacity in terms of size. The only way to grow would be to look outside, and that's why as a chamber we have been doing a number of things, such as trade missions to Haiti and soon Panama," he added. "Bahamians need to look to do business elsewhere."
The comments follow CBL's formal announcement that will acquire telecommunications companies in Florida with the aim of tapping up to 18 million new U.S. customers. The deal, worth $65 million, is essentially unprecedented, according to James Smith, a former governor of the Central Bank.
CBL now requires regulatory approval in both The Bahamas and the U.S. before the deal officially goes through.
"It is the first time I have ever heard of it," he told Guardian Business. "I don't see approval being a problem, except it has implications for foreign reserves. As a local company, their revenue base is in Bahamian dollars. I don't think it's a problem but they need approval."
Guardian Business understands that CBL plans to trade under an entirely different name in Florida. That said, the overall logistics of the U.S. division and how it fits in with Bahamian operations are still relatively unknown.
"It really is an intriguing proposal," Smith added. "Usually, these deals are the other way around. Also, given the U.S. and its efficiency in the cable market, and the number of firms, it seems rather ambitious."
The former state minister of finance said CBL was "preparing for the future", in the sense that exclusivity agreements have come to an end in the telecommunications market. Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) has made its intentions known concerning a TV product in 2013.
Inevitably, the introduction of a competitor should eat into its market share.
"Cable Bahamas might very well be trying to rebalance by going international," he told Guardian Business.
Smith anticipated, however, that the customer should ultimately benefit as the two companies grow and improve.
Rolle from the BCCEC hoped CBL's move will inspire other businesses to not have a "closed" approach.
He said The Bahamas tends to have a "laissez-faire" way of doing business, and entering the U.S. market could up its game. Local business should ultimately be enhanced through CBL's ambitions.
Keith Davies, the CEO of BISX, agreed with Smith that he has never heard of such an expansion by a publicly-listed company into the U.S.
"It is unique what they are doing. The way the world is going, if you're not thinking internationally, you'll have difficulty. Those international companies will come here," according to Davies.
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.
Prime Minister Perry Christie arrived, late as usual, to deliver his annual address to the Bahamas Business Outlook Conference without a prepared text. He explained that he had spent seven hours rearranging his remarks the day before and that the finished text was still not ready.
He then began to speak to the assembled business persons without prepared remarks. That was unfortunate. The prime minister considers himself to be a great orator. He is not. His unscripted words revealed disjointed sentences that pulled away all disguises of his growing intolerance for any and all who oppose him. So much for consultative government!
Newspaper reports have brought the PM's unguarded remarks to the public's attention. Many are now alarmed.
The prime minister attacked citizens who dare to oppose the government's plans to introduce VAT this summer. Recalling his success at raising money to fight an election, he seemed to caution the private sector not to fight the government on tax reform matters because, in his own words, "There is no limit to any campaign I would go into" presumably using the resources of the public treasury to win the tax fight.
Using public money to fight his political agenda is nothing new for the prime minister. In just over 18 months he created two expensive but unnecessary ministries with portfolios that overlap and conflict with the responsibilities of other ministries (Grand Bahama and Financial Services); spent over a million dollars on a useless numbers referendum meant to protect his effort to deliver on his pre-election promises to the numbers men; expended another million dollars plus on a public witch hunt at NIB to remove a public official who refused to approve unlawful use of NIB funds; wasted additional millions of dollars on unnecessarily large official delegations travelling internationally during difficult economic times; and committed countless millions of public money to fund politically motivated contracts and consultancies for political friends and supporters and for foreign consultants on all manner of subjects: gaming, stem cell, VAT - you name it.
Indeed, a minimum of two foreign consultancies seem to be necessary on all of these matters: British and then South African consultants on gaming; Washington-based and then Florida-based consultancies on stem cell therapy -- to bolster advice from a Canadian interested party; IMF, the IDB, then New Zealand and now US based consultancies on VAT!
And all this from a man who claims to "Believe in Bahamians"!
The PM went on to tell his audience how many violent criminals had been released on bail. He chided the judiciary for granting them bail and accused the church of not 'talking to' such individuals charged before the courts. And he claimed that The Bahamas has 'no system' to provide counseling to its' at-risk population. Social workers and counselors assigned to the school, community and prison systems will be surprised to learn that the prime minister does not recognize their work. Many would have been hoping that he would have highlighted the urgent need to increase both their numbers and the resources available to them to improve the tough work that they do.
The prime minister renewed a recent promise to make the terms for bail more difficult in contradiction to PLP election campaign promises to soften the tough anti-crime laws enacted by the FNM. And, he attempted to usurp the authority of the judiciary by renewing another new PLP anti-crime promise of having 10 supreme courts all to become operational in the near future.
The PM used his Business Outlook talk to justify another of his signature programs. He claimed that household surveys, to be undertaken using funds he proposes to reallocate to the Urban Renewal 2.0, would identify, ' who is deaf, dumb, not working, and who's the smartest resident' in every household in the country beginning with his own. This it seems is central to the PM's anti-crime fight. Why the health or employment status of individuals in his own household would impact the government's anti-crime program is not self-evident. Perhaps the prime minister will further enlighten us at his next unscripted public talk.
Bahamians are right to become concerned with the increasingly intolerant public statements by the prime minister. In recent weeks alone he has publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with the commissioner of police; questioned the ability of the Royal Bahamas Police Force to meet its anti-crime mandate; dismissed the concerns of the chief justice over incursions by the political directorate into the constitutional preserve of the independence of the judiciary and chided the president of the Bahamas Christian Council to whom he claims to wants to deliver a message on what the church ought to be doing in the crime fight.
The prime minister's assertion that the chief justice knows that "he is a democrat" rings more hollow with his every outburst against those who do not support his every view or program. This is especially so when one considers that earlier, the prime minister had declared the leader of the opposition to be unfit to become prime minister - as if he is qualified to determine who is qualified to hold that office!
Bahamians cannot take any great comfort from the prime minister's advice on the economic front either. Having the benefit of receiving his prepared remarks, the prime minister told assembled persons that the economic outlook for The Bahamas was good. Days before, the chairman of his party, Bradley Roberts issued a statement making the same claim - as if to set the path.
The PM's optimism is based on two points: Firstly, that the government will reform the tax system enabling it to reduce government spending even while maintaining all essential health, education, social welfare and national security services; and secondly, the projected success of a litany of foreign investment tourism projects meant to create menial jobs for Bahamians extending from Grand Bahama in the north to Exuma in the south.
Several of these projects will intrude on highly sensitive environmental regions in Bimini and the Berries but this is clearly not a concern for the prime minister. His economic agenda does not stop for the Bahamian environment.
So much for believing in Bahamians!
- Geoffrey Cooper
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.