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World-renowned pastor Dr. Myles Munroe has the country up in arms over comments he made several weeks ago about Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell. In a nutshell, Munroe basically wants the minister removed from his post because he feels that Mitchell is supporting an agenda that is ungodly and wrong.
Munroe has received sharp criticism from his statements from the local and international communities. There seems to be a shift toward persons who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) and there is strong support from the West that it is wrong to discriminate against persons of these orientations. U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged his support for the GLBT agenda. He has even praised people of fame for coming out of the closet, the most notable and recent being NBA veteran Jason Collins.
If we go deeper into what everyone is saying, we must first look at the source and what they stand for or represent. Munroe is a man of God and he believes in the Bible. Nowhere in the Bible does it give credence to men sleeping with men or women sleeping with woman. I wonder what would have been the reaction to Munroe's statement if he said that he supports GLBT lifestyles? Would the U.S. president have sent him a note too and supported his stance?
Fred Mitchell is a politician and we must realize that politicians always have shifting views on various subjects. I think it is dangerous to sit idly by and allow politicians to become our moral leaders and dictate to us because we will always have confusion and chaos.
In lieu of Munroe's statements, Mitchell sought fit to publicly bash him. I think this was in poor taste. When we have persons, especially politicians, publicly bashing our church leaders for biblical values that are entrenched in the Holy Bible and there is no public outcry, we then see how far our values have shifted as a country. I am of the view that if persons are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered then so be it. But I think that trying to convince the masses that this lifestyle is okay, to me, is being dishonest, deceitful and ungodly.
I honestly don't know if there is a scientific reason why persons are GLBT, but I do know that persons who truly believe in the Bible cannot support lifestyles that go contrary to God's teachings. Persons who are truly of God cannot have shifting views about their sexuality and this is why Munroe's statements as a man of God are on point. The criticisms leveled against him are certainly uncanny and distasteful.
Many world leaders and celebrities of all walks of life have given public support for the GLBT agenda. Many of them have their different desires and views on this subject but we must always remember the source - that is, who is making these utterances.
Our value system has deteriorated as a people and as a world. We are more tolerant of many things these days. We now have married men and women openly having sweethearts, school children hugging each other while walking home, persons in the church choir who are perpetrators of sin and known criminals in high office who are deserving of long prison sentences. Jean Toomer said, "Acceptance of prevailing standards often means we have no standards of our own."
I hate to say this but enshrined in our preamble to the constitution it clearly says that we are a nation of God. We can't have it both ways. If we don't do it the way God teaches us then we are acting contrary to His will.
I applaud Munroe for having the grit to speak biblically on this matter and I hope that persons understand that all of us are still God's people but that there are certain standards that must be maintained if we are calling ourselves Christians.
- Dehavilland Moss
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.
NASSAU, Bahamas (Oct. 26, 2012) - The public is advised that normal
operations will resume at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA)
at 3:00 p.m. on Friday October 26.
NAD's Hurricane Preparedness Team has conducted inspections of the
terminal buildings, airfield and surrounding area and have concluded
that the airport is fit to resume normal activities.
Passengers with itineraries to or from LPIA should contact their airline
NASSAU, Bahamas - Fashion designers won't be the only ones in the
spotlight at the much anticipated
Islands of the World Fashion Showcase
May 11th and 12th.
Four artisans from very different design fields have accepted the
challenge of taking materials they would traditionally use to build and
accessorize homes, offices and other buildings and make them fit on a
new kind of canvas - the human body.
Val Pintard, Apryl Burrows and the team of Reuno Pratt and Elizabeth
Clarke are the first official class of the newly created category of
L. Burnside Fashion and Design Presentation. The
division highlights one...
An interesting sporting relationship was forged this past weekend in Long Island. Bodybuilding/Fitness expert Omar Daley has agreed to be the representative for the national pro boxing arm of the Government of The Bahamas.
The Bahamas Boxing Commission, answering the call of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture for organizations to reach out into the Family Islands to build a foundation for the coming National Sports Industry, ventured into Long Island. Although with a boxing focus as the chief objective, the commission has determined to provide a general base for conditioning and health care for those mini sporting programs in the Family Islands that need assistance. The idea is to establish boxing programs or tie into other disciplines for mutual development.
The traveling group included Chairman Alvin Sargent, Deputy Chairman/Secretary Fred Sturrup, Medical Committee Chairman Dr. Patrick Roberts, Officials Committee Chairman Fernley Palmer, Alvin Davis and James Tynes. Now based in Long Island as the community dentist is commission member Dr. Munir Rashad.
It was Rashad who to set the stage for the commission's presence. He selected Daley as one of the key sports leaders in Long Island to be interacted with. On Friday past, at the Community Centre in Clarence Town, the Deputy Chairman/Secretary Sturrup presented the commission's concept to Daley and his sister Erica Knowles. Daley is the island's outstanding bodybuilding expert who now heads the Long Island Sporting Academy. He has agreed to expand his bodybuilding and fitness program to include boxing conditioning.
The commission on its part, has pledged to provide Daley, for his very comprehensive center in Stella Maris, heavy bags, speed bags, boxing gloves, boxing cups, head gears and mouth pieces.
"We have agreed to make this gesture to show how serious we are about projecting boxing across the country, but also in assisting in sports development. We are happy that Omar has bought into what we are doing. We make a promise also to help him as he works to provide wholesome development opportunities for the young boys and girls in Long Island," said the Chairman Sargent.
Daley and Knowles are adequate for this initiative. Daley plans to structure the academy more efficiently by merging his bodybuilding/fitness with that assistance to be afforded by the commission. He also intends to make education a major part of the entire operation.
"The Long Island Sporting Academy is headed by myself as president. The vice president is Donavon Whymns and the secretary/treasurer is Alexandria Bullard. The academy caters to young individuals, starting at the age of 12. We wish to enhance their development in skills in areas of sports, the teaching of sports, the importance of being dedicated and disciplined to become good athletes and strong academic individuals.
"Thus far, the academy has been strictly funded out of my pocket since February, 1997. I speak of training, travel, sporting outfits and other expenses. I have also assisted some of my students with school needs. I have absorbed the costs for national examinations and I am proud to inform that a past student is now studying medicine in China.
"I am a firm believer that the children are our future and we should invest in them for a brighter tomorrow. My wish is to continue running this program for the children of the Long Island community, but because of financial constraints, this is becoming quite difficult. The road has not been easy, but quite worthwhile," said Daley.
He represents those unsung heroes of the Family Islands who normally are not nationally given due credit. Daley is much more than a mentor of students. He is a father figure. There is the competitive side to him as well. Daley has formerly represented the country in bodybuilding successfully. His students have been awarded about 200 medals, 50 of the gold variety over the years. Knowles, who is a rap artist of note, has a strong martial arts background. She expressed excitement over the attention the commission is showing to Long Island.
"This is good. I like what you are doing. So often, people from New Providence come into the islands and just talk. The commission is serious and has impressed me. This is now a good way to elevate the young boys and girls in our island and keep them in a productive program," said Knowles.
The commission plans to revisit Long Island in the not too distant future. It will present boxing equipment to add to Daley's fitness center.
(To respond to this sports feature, contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Malaysia-based conglomerate Genting Group; China State Construction and Engineering Corporation; Inter-Energy, a Cayman-based company; Texas-based Caribbean Power Partners and Bahamas-based Northern Bahamas Utilities Holdings Company (NBU), along with U.S.-based Pike corporation and PowerSecure are among the companies who paid the $25,000 fee to participate in the request for proposal for the Bahamas Electricity Corporation, Guardian Business has been reliably informed.
While a confidentiality clause in the terms of their participation has stopped much information from being released to the public on who is involved in the process, this newspaper has been told by several sources close to the matter that Genting, China State Construction and Engineering, Inter-Energy and Caribbean Power Partners were interested primarily in being involved on the generation side, while Pike, who was partnering with NBU, and PowerSecure were seeking the transmission and distribution contract.
The Bahamian group, NBU, a utility engineering and consulting firm composed of four former management and engineering employees of Grand Bahama Power Company, is reported to have exited the process, according to several sources close to the process, as has the Genting Group.
Northern Bahamas Utilities had initially partnered with PowerSecure, but was removed from the submission after NBU is understood to have determined that it would also enter into a partnership with Pike.
understands that with Pike and NBU now out of the process, this may just leave PowerSecure in the running for the management contract to take over BEC's transmission and distribution functions and assets, which will be transferred into a new company.
Carlton Bosfield, president of NBU, yesterday declined to comment on his involvement in the BEC RFP process, including whether he remains involved.
His exit, however, would fit with recent comments made by Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis, who indicated that no Bahamian companies were involved in the RFP process, after one fell out in the second stage.
PowerSecure's Senior Vice President for Investor Relations and Corporate Communications John Bluth yesterday declined to comment on any participation by PowerSecure in the RFP process, which calls upon participating companies to be bound by a non-disclosure agreement.
Guardian Business yesterday received mixed signals as to whether KPMG has submitted its final recommendations to the government on which company should be treated as "preferred bidders" in the BEC reform process. While these recommendations are believed to be imminent, enabling the government to move into the negotiation phase, it could not be confirmed if they have yet been put forward.
Based on information received by this newspaper so far, recommendations on the transmission and distribution side will be more straightforward, given the exit of Pike and their partner, NBU, from the process. Meanwhile, on the generation side, three companies could still be in the running.
Bidding for transmission and distribution responsibilities, PowerSecure is a publicly-listed North-Carolina-based sustainable energy company. It made itself known to the Bahamian public prior to the BEC RFP process began in mid-August in an interview with Guardian Business in which it touted its "smart grid" solution with "distributed energy" that would see smaller-scale "firm solar" power generation throughout The Bahamas.
PowerSecure Chief Sales Officer Mark Martyak said at that time, which was prior to the government issuing the redefined RFP, that PowerSecure's intention was to take advantage of The Bahamas' abundant solar resources, while backing this up with diesel or natural gas-powered generation.
Guardian Business understands that among the "core competencies" highlighted by PowerSecure as relevant to its bid to take over transmission and distribution responsibilities - these include having installed over 1,600 miles of T&D lines in the last five years; having 300 commercial vehicles involved in construction and maintenance of power lines, most of which are based in South Florida; serving numerous U.S. utilities; having over 1,500MWs of distributed generation capacity installed and controlled on a "turnkey basis" for U.S. utility demand response and load management purposes; and specializing in utility scale solar power, among other factors.
On the generation side, the Genting Group is best known for their investment in the resort sector, in particular in Bimini, in the form of the currently controversial Resorts World Bimini project.
That project saw the Malaysia-based conglomerate purchase the former Bimini Bay Resort, and swiftly begin to significantly expand the development.
The company's plans to build a ferry terminal on the island are now the subject of a legal action by the Bimini Blue Coalition, which hopes to obtain an injunction and a judicial review of the project in light of concerns as to whether permits were properly obtained, and potential damage to the surrounding environment.
The multinational company is primarily focused on the leisure and hospitality sector, but does have some experience in power generation.
China State Construction and Engineering Corporation is a state-owned Chinese company that primarily focuses on large-scale construction projects. They are presently best known as the parent company of Baha Mar general contractor, China Construction America.
Guardian Business understands that they have also been involved in installing significant generation capacity globally.
Caribbean Power Partners, led by Texan principal, Taylor Cheek, also came forward prior to the official launch of the redefined BEC RFP process, touting their $700 million proposal for a power plant in Nassau that they suggested could have $15.4 billion impact on the Bahamian economy over a 25-year span.
Their build/own/operate solution, in partnership with Fluor Corporation, a major power plant construction company which has installed the largest volume of generation capacity globally of all of the entities bidding, would have seen the company become an independent power producer selling power back to BEC as a means of reducing energy costs. It is not clear how their proposal has evolved since they entered the RFP process.
Inter-Energy, meanwhile, is one of the largest investors in the power sector of the Dominican Republic, and describes itself as a "renewable energy pioneer" in the country where it established its first wind generation park.
The company's website sites plans to leverage its experience and expansion in the Dominican Republic in order to enter other markets in the Caribbean and Latin American region.
The chairman of Bahamas Speed Week Revival has said that groundbreaking on a race track that will allow Bahamas Speed Week to "treble" its participant numbers and "double" its economic impact, must occur by February of next year, with the race track critical to tapping further into the U.S. racing market.
David McLaughlin, who is also the event director of Speed Week Revival, said the racing track could be an "international facility" that could be used for multiple sporting events throughout the year, making it a "sustainable" investment for the government.
Guardian Business understands the development of the track could cost between $1 million to $2 million.
The co-owner of a luxury Exuma resort, which is hosting a large group of high-net-worth individuals involved in Speed Week, has also backed government's plans to support the racing event by building a new race track, saying he "can't stress enough" the importance of the development for the ongoing success of the three-year-old event.
Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis announced plans for the government to construct the race track in time for next year's Bahamas Speed Week, during the opening of the event last week.
The track will incorporate some of the original Oakes Field race track, which formed the epicenter of the original Nassau Speed Week, which would celebrate its 60th anniversary next year.
Peter Nicholson, co-owner of Grand Isle Resort and Spa in Great Exuma, told Guardian Business: "The third speed week revival was a success, and everyone was talking about the bright future it has as long as we can get the track built; that's the key ingredient and we can't stress enough that we really need that speedway.
"That's been the buzz throughout the whole weekend; how excited people are about the track. The concern we have is that the track at Arawak Cay can only go so far. We've hit maximum efficiency there. It really needs to go to a larger track and a larger level."
This year Bahamas Speed Week generated just under 1,000 room nights for local hotels, according to its organizers.
It drew dozens of high-net-worth drivers, who brought vintage and modern super cars valued in some cases up to $6 million, from countries including the U.S., Canada, the UK, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark.
For now, the event has been heavily European-centric, but with the addition of the race track, it is believed that it can treble the number of participants by encouraging more U.S. racers to enter. By enabling Speed Week to incorporate more racing, the idea would also be to allow it to transition to a more spectator-based event, encouraging yet more visitors.
"Undoubtedly it's fun to drive on a street track but you can't race seriously on that. On a purpose-built facility with all the safety features I am sure the American drivers will come," said McLaughlin.
"Back in the day, Nassau Speed Week was like a kind of Super Bowl, a play off between Americans and Europeans, and the top drivers of the day came. We're confident that we will be able to attract some of the top drivers that used to race if the track gets built."
McLaughlin said that the track would ideally be under construction by February, with marketing to begin shortly thereafter.
Nicholson suggested there could be a significant multiplier effect from attracting dozens of extremely high-net-worth individuals to The Bahamas on an annual basis via the event.
His resort has been selected as the Out Island host for 32 participants, fans and organizers of the event this year, a move which both he and McLaughlin said bodes well for the impact of the event on the wider Bahamian economy.
Nicholson, who chartered four planes and a helicopter to bring in and host the Speed Week visitors at the resort, where he purchased 31 villas in early 2012, said the relationship with Speed Week makes good business sense for Grand Isle Resort and Spa.
"It's important for The Bahamas to have events to bring people in, to give them a reason to come for a long weekend, and motor car racing is a high-net-worth attraction and The Bahamas and the Caribbean is a high-net-worth place; it's not the cheapest place to come and visit.
"The drivers themselves all seem to be multimillionaires, the cars are incredibly expensive to own and maintain and even the fans that came, they are car enthusiasts and they are all high-net-worth individuals. People who own expensive race cars are the same people who want to have luxury villas, so we feel it's going to be a good fit."
McLaughlin said he has long hoped to expand the scope of Bahamas Speed Week to take in more islands.
"My quest for three years has been to send all the visiting drivers home, many of whom are very, very, wealthy having seen the real beauty of The Bahamas, to be able to take people to the Exumas and to send people home with that message," he added.
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.
Baha Mar has extended its recruitment outreach to more than 6,000 Bahamians in four countries in 2013.
The Baha Mar Academy, the resort development's training and recruitment arm, has visited Bahamian students and professionals in The Bahamas, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom over the last 12 months.
In a release from the company, it said that recruiting thousands of Bahamians to work at Baha Mar is not just about reaching a target number.
"Baha Mar is about taking the best of The Bahamas - our people and our culture - to the world," said Kristin Wells, Baha Mar Academy director.
Most recently, Baha Mar Academy hosted a mix and mingle event for Bahamian students and professionals in New York City to share information about the diverse career opportunities that will be available at the resort, and to interview potential candidates.
Human Resources executives attending the mixer included Terry Holden, area director of HR for Hyatt in New York; Benjamin Sims, HR director for Mondrian at Baha Mar; Nancy Kiska, HR director for the Rosewood Carlyle in New York, and Kristin Wells, director of the Baha Mar Academy and acting representative of the Baha Mar Casino & Hotel.
More than 8,000 people have submitted resumes on the company's website with the hope of filling one of the thousands of jobs by the scheduled opening of December 2014.
Each of the resumes is carefully reviewed by one of Baha Mar Academy's fifteen recruiters who identify the best candidates and invite them to face-to-face meetings.
"Baha Mar has a culture where people have a passion for being better than best, no matter their position," said Wells. "While we are looking for skills to fit all levels of the company, we're really looking for people who are friendly, pay attention to details, thrive as part of a team, and have a heart for hospitality."
Those who are interested in working for Baha Mar are advised to upload their resume on the Baha Mar careers page, and to stay up to date with the latest developments via Facebook and Twitter.
With The Bahamas preparing to host its first rum festival next month, a senior government official has suggested that events like these throughout the year could generate up to three percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).
Festival Rum Bahamas is just one of ten festivals that The Bahamas expects to benefit from, according to Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson.
Recognizing that the country's economy is currently "flat", he stressed that there is a tremendous opportunity to "exploit culture" as another revenue generating stream. "Culture is a billion-dollar industry and this festival is going to slice off a piece of that pie. The better you get, a bigger portion of the pie you will receive, and that's been a challenge to us. We have to push it and support it. We have studied the impact of culture and what it could do on our country," he revealed during a press conference to officially announce the three-day rum festival.
"There is a billion dollars worth of art and entertainment sitting there for us to take. Now it's up to you how much of that economic potential that you are able to walk away with. But there is a billion-dollar culture industry based on the fact that we have five million visitors and they extrapolate the spend. Cruise ship passengers have money that they're willing to spend but they need something to spend it on. We know that tourists will spend money on festivals."
Fort Charlotte is expected to undergo a complete transformation as part of the festival. Rum competitions, rum vendors, food booths, live entertainment, visual displays, rum tastings involving over 30 rums, culinary competitions, educational talks and live demonstrations will be just some of the features that will be highlighted at the festival.
Event Chairperson Alexandra Maillis-Lynch projects that it will cost $600,000 to stage and an estimated 9,000 people will attend the inaugural event.
"We believe in the potential of this event, so we are challenging our vendors to think outside of the box. Come out and sell yourself. We're not taking profits from our vendors so we don't control how you sell yourself. We're merely the facilitators, you make your money so how you price it, how you market, that's entirely up to our vendors," she said.
"There's a huge following of rum festivals around the world. So that's why we're really pushing to take this to the entire Bahamian market, in addition to tourists."
The Ministry of Tourism is also onboard as the festival's marketing partner. Tourism officials believe that Festival Rum Bahamas is an "excellent" fit with the country's tourism product, providing another compelling reason for visitors to come to The Bahamas.
The festival is set to take February 21-23 at Fort Charlotte from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., with a daily entry fee of $25 per person or $60 for a three-day package. VIP packages are also available.
The Bahamas' Men's National Beach Soccer Squad, which reached the doorstep of qualifying for the prestigious FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, was named as The Nassau Guardian's Team of the Year for 2013, with 26 points.
With the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Championships being held here in The Bahamas, the upstart squad took full advantage of home cooking as they rode the momentum of the fans to a 2-1 record during the round-robin section of the tournament, barely missing out on a semi-final spot.
During the five-day tournament, The Bahamas defeated Puerto Rico and Guatemala, but lost emphatically to the eventual gold medalists, the United States of America. Only the pool winners and the best second place team advanced to the semis. The Bahamas was among the best second place teams, but lost the tiebreaker to the eventual silver medalists, El Salvador. Only the top two teams qualified for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup which was held September 18-28, 2013, in Papeete, Tahiti.
The Bahamas finished sixth in the CONCACAF Championships, but it was the best ever showing for a Bahamian team in beach soccer. Also, with the new national beach soccer facility at the foot of the Sir Sidney Poitier Bridge, there are expected to be many more opportunities for regional prominence in the future.
Professional field soccer player Lesley St. Fleur led The Bahamas in scoring with four goals during the CONCACAF Championships. Nesley Jean added three goals, and two other players contributed two apiece. The squad is hoping for a breakthrough in the future.
The men's 4x100-meter (m) relay team, which destroyed the national record this year, finished second in voting for The Nassau Guardian's Team of the Year for 2013, with 23 points. The quartet of Adrian Griffith, Jamial Rolle, Trevorvano Mackey and Shavez Hart, in that order, ran a blazing 38.92 seconds in the heats of the event at the 24th Senior Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Track and Field Championships, to qualify for the final with the fastest time and erase a 13-year-old national record of 38.98 seconds. That same quartet came back in the final to lower the national record to 38.77 seconds and win the gold medal.
At that same meet in Morelia, Mexico, Hart became the second fastest Bahamian ever as he ran a personal best time of 10.16 seconds in the heats of the men's 100m to qualify at the 'B' standard for the world championships.
At those Moscow World Championships, Mackey was forced to sit out, but the team of Griffith, Rolle and Hart, to go along with newcomer Warren Fraser, bonded together and pulled off The Bahamas' best performance in the event, ever. The quartet ran a national record time of 38.70 seconds to finish sixth in their heat, and 14th overall. It was the third time in two months that the national record was broken in the event after not being touched for 13 years.
All of the sprinters, with the exception of Rolle who didn't run much of the shorter sprint last year, ran under 10.30 seconds in the open century in 2013.
The Scottsdale Vixens which won a ninth consecutive New Providence Volleyball Association (NPVA) women's title this year, finished third in voting for The Nassau Guardian's Team of the Year for 2013, with 20 points, The Bahamas under-20 girls 4x100m relay team from the CARIFTA Track and Field Championships, finished fourth with 19 points, and The Bahamas' under-15 girls volleyball squad, which won the bronze medal at the Caribbean Volleyball Championships (CVC), rounded out the top five in the voting process, with 17 points.
The Bahamas under-20 girls 4x100m sprint team from CARIFTA, inclusive of Devynne Charlton, Shaunae Miller, Carmiesha Cox and Keianna Albury, ran 44.77 seconds for the gold medal, almost a full second ahead of second place finisher Barbados, and the under-15 girls volleyball squad shocked everyone at the CVC Youth Championships with their bronze medal performance.Team of the Year scores1st - Men's Beach Soccer Squad (Beach Soccer) - 26 points
2nd - Men's 4x100m (Athletics) - 23 points
3rd - Scottsdale Vixens (Volleyball) - 20 points
4th - U-20 Girls 4x100m (CARIFTA Track) - 19 points
5th - U-15 Girls CVC Team (Volleyball) - 17 points
6th - U-16 Boys FIBA Americas (Basketball) - 15 points
7th - U-17 Boys 4x400m (CARIFTA Track) - 10 points
7th - CARIFTA Swimming Team (Swimming) - 10 points
9th - Creter's Bulldogs (Softball) - 6 points
9th - MailBoat Cybots (Basketball) - 6 points
Others receiving votes: Men's 4x400m (Athletics); CAC Team (Bodybuilding & Fitness); Sigma Brackettes (Softball); Bommer G. Operators (Women's Basketball), Scotiabank Defenders (Volleyball) and Women's 4x400m (Athletics).
There are times when, in order to do justice regarding history, certain events should be redone.
Earlier this year, on February 25, the former central administration caused a so-called opening ceremony to take place at the new Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. The state-of-the-art facility is a gift from the People's Republic of China. The nation that made the kind gesture saw to it that the project was completed and the handover took place as planned, in June of 2011.
Unfortunately the government of the day did not make sure that the connecting infrastructure work was done, so at the handover ceremony, the stadium was not fully operational. The local authorities had the project so far behind schedule that Christmas of 2011 came and there really was no light at the end of the tunnel.
The year 2012 dawned and seemingly the big focus for the Free National Movement (FNM) government was to use the national stadium as a showpiece to garner support. So, despite the fact that roadways were not finished, the parking lots not constructed and the sewerage system was far from completion, the
government spent the taxpayers' money and orchestrated what amounted ultimately to a farce.
I give full credit to Cleophas Adderley and all of the assist teams that worked on the activities. They did what they had to do and the full house (some 15,000 spectators) enjoyed the affair. Yes, although, there were some glaring omissions, those in attendance had to feel some pride. I got a good feeling and held the view that having had the opening ceremony, the government through the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture; the Ministry of Works and other sectors, would cause the remaining infrastructure work to be done in short order.
Alas, the work pace did not pick up at all and that's when one had to seriously ponder the situation. The opening seemed to be all about looking good at general election time. The big day, May 7, came and the national stadium still sat there like an albatross, looming large but virtually a dead item. Today, a year to the month since the handover, the stadium that had an "official opening ceremony" in February, is still not fit to function as intended.
The sewerage system is the Achilles heel of the project. The track is not certified and neither is the soccer field. There are no areas for vendors. There is no media work area. All such facilities around the world are constructed with a media area/center than enables those on assignment to be able to process coverage material directly to their newspaper, radio and television bases.
It's really one big farce, about to become a great embarrassment. Such situations are the reason why the warning "be careful what you wish for" has resonated through the ages. The present Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Government has inherited this and many other problems and the electorate expects them all to be addressed to satisfaction.
Accordingly the huge challenge of getting the stadium ready to host events adequately, confronts the new central administration. Obviously the network the previous government had in place failed miserably. Even with a special committee, inclusive of the then ministers of works, environment and youth, sports and culture coming together in regular meetings (I understand), the progress was dismal.
This present government must now put the right nucleus to work so that in the near future the national stadium will be able to host all events, local, regional and international, appropriately. There ought to be a solid concentration on getting the facility fully suitable for operation.
Then, the new powers that be should redo what the previous government did and stage a proper opening ceremony befitting a facility of its kind and doing justice to the Bahamian people. Also, make sure that the major contributors are on hand and saluted for the significant roles they played.
Along with the present Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson, all of those who formerly monitored the national stadium (on behalf of the various governments), Neville Wisdom, Byran Woodside, Desmond Bannister, and yes, even Charles Maynard, should be showcased because of their efforts from 2005 to present.
Among the special invitees should be the Original Golden Girls (Pauline Davis-Thompson, Chandra Sturrup, Eldece Clarke, Savatheda Fynes and Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie); quartermiler Tonique Williams-Darling, the only Bahamian in our history who has been an individual World and Olympic champion; world champion high jumpers Troy Kemp and Donald Thomas; 2001 World Champion in the men's 400m Avard Moncur; first track and field Olympic medalist, triple jumper Frank Rutherford; other living world champions such as Kingsley Poitier and Glen Wells of bodybuilding; Sir Durward Knowles of sailing; and Mychal Thompson and Rick Fox of basketball.
It must be done right. Of course, the man, the legendary one the national stadium is named in honor of, Thomas Robinson, should be allowed to say a few words during the ceremony to the people of The Bahamas and yes, the wider world through technology. He wasn't granted that simple courtesy by then Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard.
Prime Minister Perry Christie certainly has a full plate, but this is one of the ways to prove without a doubt that he is ready to spearhead quality causes and make some really fine things happen during this second time around, for him as the nation's leader.
To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com.
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
With Freeport, Grand Bahama coming on stream as a major player in bodybuilding and fitness in the country, that sport's national championships is now being moved to that island. For the first time in the history of the country, the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation's (BBFF) National Championships will be held in the nation's second city. The 39th annual Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) sponsored event is set for Saturday June 21, at the Our Lucaya Resort, in Grand Bahama.
"The main thing is to give them a chance to see what they can do," said federation president Danny Sumner. "They have been calling for this for a while, and now they have it. A lot of the athletes themselves are from Grand Bahama. There was a time when Grand Bahama dominated the nationals, and it was just over the last 10 years, when New Providence took control and reigned supreme. Now, we are seeing a return to prominence for Grand Bahama."
Actually, all four overall national champions from a year ago hail from Grand Bahama. Rob Harris and Tammy Stubbs won the overall titles in male and female bodybuilding respectively, Charnice Bain was the overall winner in fitness, and Dominique Wilkinson prevailed in body fitness. They are expected to be back to defend their titles. Veteran Raymond Tucker and former overall winner Lorraine Lefleur are expected to make the trek to Grand Bahama to compete as well.
Apart from being in Grand Bahama, the nationals will have an added twist this year, as it is being combined with the novice championships and the Northern Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships. The novice athletes will still enter as novices, and will still be judged as such, while the northern Bahamas athletes are expected to be an added treat.
"First of all, I want to apologize to the novice athletes who have been training for not being able to stage the novice championships
separately this year. Quite frankly, we didn't have enough athletes entered. Anytime you have less than 10 athletes entered to compete, it doesn't make sense to go ahead with that particular event. One of the problems that we have faced is that the government has cut back on funding as it has done with all of the sporting federations. Hopefully, the ministry can make some adjustment in that regard. It is expensive for us to put these shows on, and it is expensive for the athletes to compete. Over the last two years, we have still been going to the CAC (Central American and Caribbean) Championships, but we had to cut back on the teams. These are just some of the challenges that we are looking at now."
The New Providence athletes who cannot make the trip to Grand Bahama do have something to look forward to this year though. According to the local association president Stephen Robinson, a fitness and physique competition is set for June right here in New Providence. Despite the setbacks this year, federation president Sumner said that they still have plans on the drawing board to expand the sport here in The Bahamas.
"Well, we have to find a way to venture into the high schools," he said. "We had one successful year where we had about 12-15 athletes, but we have to see if we can keep that going on a more consistent basis. It is our objective to sit down and see if we can formalize a plan with the incoming minister. I would like to officially congratulate him on his new post. Fitness and overall health are some of the main goals of the federation. We're looking at getting more people involved, possibly taking it into the Family Islands.
"When you look at most of our senior athletes, they have reached an age where they are almost at retirement. There is just one senior athlete who has been competing consistently over the past 20 years, and that's Raymond Tucker. Hats off to him for his performances over the past 20 years or more. Other than him, most of the senior athletes have reached the age where they don't want to get back in shape or it is difficult to get back in shape. Therefore, our main goal is to bring more young talent into the sport. What better place to start than in the high schools."
Out of the national championships in Grand Bahama, teams will be named for the Antilles and Southern Caribbean Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships, and the CAC Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships. The Antilles is set for late August in Trinidad and Tobago, and the 40th CAC Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships is set to be held from September 20-22, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Sumner said that it is the plans of the federation to send national teams to both events.
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..
First Light Technologies Ltd., a leading designer of architectural-quality, integrated solar lighting products for pedestrian applications, is pleased to announce that it has designed and installed 300 solar LED bollards for a high-profile client: Atlantis on Paradise Island.
"We successfully designed these lights from the ground up to meet Kerzner International's unique demand for a solar-powered light that would fit a high-end architectural aesthetic, be unobtrusive and yet provide sufficient lighting," said Sean Bourquin, First Light Technologies managing director and co-founder.
The lights, used for landscape lighting and way finding applications around the resort, replaced existing lights.
Because electricity prices at the resort are $0.37 per kilowatt-hour (versus typically $0.12 per kWh in the U.S.) and all electricity is generated via diesel fuel, it was important that the new lights be solar powered to cut down on operational costs and greenhouse gas emissions. A savings of 78,840 kilowatt hours per year is projected.
First Light Technologies worked with the resort's facilities and operations teams to meet these design challenges and was able to design, implement, test, manufacture and ship all of the lights within 12 weeks - completing all the work on time and budget.
The resulting design is a robust, completely self-contained, solar-powered LED bollard that will operate reliably under virtually any environmental condition, for years on end with no electrical consumption, bulb changes or other maintenance or operational costs. First Light's proprietary Energy Management System (EMS) technology ensures continued operation even in cases of low-solar weather patterns or unusual charging conditions.
The First Light bollards offer several advantages over the existing lights, such as more environmentally robust construction; improved cost savings; improved lumen output; improved light distribution; improved light color temperature, and increased intelligence with self-learning, adaptive capabilities (patent pending)
Also, since the lights are completely self-contained, they require no trenching or wiring. "The installation was easy," stated Greg Mazor of Service Electric Limited. "Our team was able to install 300 solar LED lights efficiently and on time."
First Light Technologies recently released this design-build product for other markets as its WLB Series Solar LED Bollard, an ideal light for all low-level architectural, commercial way finding and landscaping applications.
"Following on the heels of our PLB Series Solar LED Bollard launch, this offering continues our commitment to bring simple, effective self-contained solar-powered lighting to a market with an accelerating demand for such environmentally friendly and cost-saving innovations," said Bourquin.
According to McKinsey & Company, the $13 billion (2010) market for outdoor and architectural lighting will grow to $18 billion by 2016, while LED lighting is expected to outperform the general lighting market with a CAGR of 34 percent from 2010 to 2016.
"Energy efficiency is the driving force that will contribute the most powerfully to the upcoming discontinuity in the lighting industry," states the report, driving LEDs' share of the general lighting market to grow from seven percent to 70 percent by 2020.
The death of a witness does not necessarily mean the information he or she supplied to police cannot be entered into evidence during a criminal trial.
Section 66 of the Evidence Act allows relevant statements given to investigators before their demise into testimony as long as certain conditions are met.
The Act sets out various circumstances for the acceptance of statements, among them, when witnesses have become medically or mentally unfit or cannot be located.
However, the court has sole discretion on whether the statement is admitted having regard to the circumstances in which the application is made, the contents of the statement and any likelihood the accused will be prejudiced by not having the opportunity to cross-examine the person who supplied the information.
This provision of the Evidence Act could be invoked in an upcoming murder trial in which Nora Mae Johnson and her son Dario Dean were scheduled to testify. Johnson and Dean were killed during a home invasion at their apartment in Pinewood Gardens on Tuesday.
Police have not said whether they believe they were murdered in an attempt to pervert the course of justice.
An investigator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said when officers take statements they should ensure the documents contain facts and not hearsay. The officer said the person taking the statement should also factor in questions that may arise during cross-examination.
He said videotaping the proposed witness' statement would allow jurors and the court to see the witness' demeanor.
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.
On June 7, 2012, the last of a small caucus of mulattos, who at a time in this country when racism was at its height saw the need to form a political entity (the Progressive Liberal Party) to combat the scourge of racism, victimization and intimidation of the downtrodden citizens of color in this country, died.
Whether coincidentally or by design, the movers and shakers of the movement were all mulattos, Henry Milton Taylor, Cyril St. John Stevenson, William (Bill) Cartwright, Clement Pinder, Urban Knowles and Charles Rodriquez. The officers were Taylor, chairman, Stevenson, secretary-general, and Pinder, treasurer. At the time of the formation of the party (1953), both Taylor and Cartwright (Long Islanders) were sitting members of the House of Assembly, Taylor as the junior member for Long Island and Cartwright as the member for Cat Island, both having won their seats in the general election in 1949. There was no party government so they had to continue as independents in the assembly.
The sheer audacity of such a move in this country at that time was to the ruling oligarchy (Bay Street Boys) like the waving of a red flag in front of a raging bull. Taylor was only a lowly bookkeeper employed by British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC); but Cartwright was a realtor and the rest were like the remainder of the country at the time, trying to keep afloat. Cartwright became the target of the powers that be and, contrary to statements made to the media by others that he served for seven years (a full term), had to resigned his House seat in April of 1956 a few months before the life of that assembly ended. It was the last of the seven-year terms of the House of Assembly and the beginning of the five-year term as we now know it.
In an article published in the June 8 issue of The Punch by P. Anthony White, he said that Cartwright fared better than the rest. I beg to differ. Cartwright, fared worse than all the rest and paid bitterly for the stand he took.
It is ironic that the leaders of the group, Taylor, Cartwright and Stevenson, were all ostracized and with the exception of Cartwright, who was targeted by the Bay Street Boys, eventually driven from the party by the very persons whom they sought to help.
After usurping the party, the group led by L.O. Pindling never rested until they hounded Taylor and Stevenson out of the party, using their (Taylor and Stevenson's) pigmentation against them; Taylor for attending a Board of Tourism function in England with Stafford Sands and Stevenson for visiting a group of Cuban refugees on Cay Lobos with a contingent of white reporters from the United States. Taylor fared better than the rest, as Pindling tried to salve his conscience by giving him a job and later making him governor general when he, Taylor, had one foot on a banana skin and the other in the grave. Cartwright was given a helping hand by Perry Christie when he was PM in 2002; but Hubert Ingraham saw fit to take it from him in 2007 and allowed him to wander the streets as a wanton until the Rev. Kendal Capron took him in at his facility.
In the June 15 edition of The Tribune was an interesting and well-written letter by one Kevin Evans, a regular contributor to that daily under the heading, "Cartwright deserved an honor"; save for a few inaccuracies, I entirely concur with his summation.
Both Pindling and Milo Butler joined the party quite some time after it was formed and along with others wasted no time in wrestling its leadership and disposing of the mulatto segment of the party. They eventually, because of dire necessity, ran two white candidates, Edison Key in Marsh Harbour and John Purkiss (an Englishman) in Clarence Town. Key eventually won a seat; but Purkiss, who started the Tall Pines Sub-division, like Cartwright, suffered a bombardment of victimization so great that he had to pack up and leave the country. For Evans' enlightenment, the PLP did not win any election in 1967. It won by a landslide in 1968. The 1967 election was a tie, both the United Bahamian Party got 18 seats as well as the PLP. The 1967 government was a coalition one, which was brought about by Randol Fawkes of the Labour Party and Alvin Braynen, an independent, throwing their support behind the PLP.
Political leaders tend to honor their cronies and supporters who in actual fact did nothing more than shout slogans, wave flags and vote for their party. This, Mr. Evans, is the modus operandi of the political entities in our nation. To the countless number of William Cartwright's relatives surviving and the hundreds of them who differed with him on his choice, to this day they have not supported the PLP; and who says that the party's record of victimization, cronyism and ingratitude are the reasons for their disagreement, I say that it took grit and fortitude for one to do what he did.
I do not think for one moment that any of them were in search of glory. They did what they had to do for the betterment of their brothers and sisters and the good of this nation as a whole. They are the real national heroes of this nation. May the great architect of the universe forgive them of their shortcomings and grant them peace and eternal rest while we as a nation say: "Well done thou true and faithful servants".
William is the last of that gallant band, his family should be proud of him.
- Errington W. I. Watkins
Coming off its biggest and most successful year to date, the Bahamas Flag Football League (BFFL) is making final preparations to launch its fourth full season of the nation's fastest growing and most exciting sport, according to league spokesman Jayson Clarke.
Last weekend, The Bahamas' first women's flag football division was introduced into the league with five women's teams - the Heineken Lady Spartans, the Lady Raiders, the G-Fit Pink Foxes, the Femme Fatale Predators and the Lynx. In addition, a record 10 men's teams are scheduled to compete over 13 games this season, climaxing in the playoffs and championship in July.
Returning to the league to defend its 2011 title will be the Ravens, and they will be joined by the pennant-winning Heineken Spartans, the Predators, the Hitmen, the Warriors, the RBC Lions, the Bahamasair Flyers and the Hurricanes. Rejoining the league after a one-year absence will be the Galaxy Invaders and new to the league this year, is the Pirates. This season, for the first time, the league will split into two divisions to accommodate the record number of teams.
Clarke said: "We had a very successful year in 2011 and we anticipate an even more competitive and successful season this year as participation is exploding at a phenomenal rate. This year we've added the women's division and five female teams have registered to participate. With all games being played on Sunday at the Winton Rugby Pitch, we will have to play two games simultaneously just to ensure that all teams play each week. With 15 teams in our league this year, this is truly a very exciting time for the sport of flag football in this country. I'm just happy that I am able to contribute to it's overall growth and development."
Last year, the BFFL and its teams had a full year of events beginning with its 2011 regular season and championship, the Freeport Independence Tournament, the Devard Darling 'As One Foundation' Tournament and the National Invitational Tournament that saw teams from New Providence, Freeport, Grand Bahama and the Cayman Islands collide in the men's and women's divisions.
The only event of the year where designers and visual artists come together to celebrate local arts and culture, Fash/Art is gearing up for its second year with an early call to emerging artists, fashion designers and models to participate.
Set for July 7, 11 a.m. at Doongalik Studios, the meeting, says organizer Kedar Clarke, will be a chance not only for artists to come out and see how they can get exposure, but also for the organizers to see what is trending on the local art and fashion scenes.
"We want people to come out and we want to meet them and see what emerging artists are doing here," said Clarke. "This is it - now's the chance to come and show us what you've got and see how you can fit into and benefit from our event."
Fash/Art 2012 will be a little bit different this year, with the visual art exhibition and fashion show being held on different nights in new locations. Clarke is also planning several seminars and educational opportunities for the selected group of artists and designers to help develop their creative skills into lucrative businesses in order to build up a sustainable creative economy.
"You know the struggle for most artists - they can't create a business from their talents," said Clarke. "So we will have a mentorship opportunity and seminars on merchandising and branding open to all participants in order to cultivate the arts in this country."
Yet the excitement for all selected participants is to come out on top as the ultimate designer, artist and model. Not only will models get a chance to vie for a top spot in the revered PTG Modeling Agency, but fashion designers will compete for a the title of The Harl Taylor Emerging Fashion Designer Award and visual artists for the title of The Jackson Burnside Emerging Artist Award.
Last year's winners - designer Derrika Williamson and photographer Sophia Taylor - have been blown away by the
opportunities presented to them since their exposure last November.
Recently they collaborated on a fashion photo shoot, the results of which are in Sophia Taylor's first solo exhibition, "Beaulah Land", which opened this week at Doongalik Studios. The solo exhibition was one of the perks of winning the Jackson Burnside Emerging Artist Award.
After being approached by one of the event's creators, Taylor entered her work into the 2011 exhibition along with about a dozen other artists vying for their first art show.
The young artist, who is fresh out of the International Baccalaureate Program at the Lyford Cay International School, impressed the judges with her self-taught photography skills and eye for arresting perspectives.
Like Eden, "Beaulah" carries the connotation of a land blessed by the Lord. This favored land manifests as fertile, abundant, serene - a land much like the natural, untouched corners of Caribbean countries.
Indeed in her exhibition, Taylor explores her love for nature in the tropical landscapes of her dual nationalities - The Bahamas and Costa Rica - through gorgeous photographs and paintings.
"I love vibrant colors," she said. "I like to take something that everyone sees and try to put it into a different perspective and angle - so it's the same thing everyone is used to seeing, but the picture is presented differently."
"I want viewers to have a personal connection to my photograph - that they're right there viewing it live," she continued. "Sometimes I wish that my eyes can take pictures - can grasp images. That's what I do in my work, they are what I was there seeing and I capture that moment forever."
Taylor discovered photography years ago in her art studies at The Lyford Cay International School, and has since pursued the craft with the exuberance and dedication of a committed artist. The fact that this young artist is mostly self-taught makes her work all the more impressive, yet she looks forward to formally studying the craft in her college studies in Costa Rica beginning this fall.
"I'm self-trained - I've never had anyone teach me how to use the camera and its settings," she said. "So I hope when I go off to college I can learn some settings and learn how to use my camera properly."
"It's the same thing as using paintbrushes or tools - that's what my camera is, I'm using that to create my art," she added. "There are certain rules you need to apply to photography in order for it to have an aesthetic value."
Having her first gallery show before heading off to college is the perfect start to her artistic career - already, she says, winning the Jackson Burnside Emerging Artist Award has helped her form important relationships to other photographers and the wider art community.
"I've never sold my work so I've learned how to price it properly and set up a show. It's good exposure especially for getting ready for college," she said.
"I got really great feedback. Everyone loved my work, I was surprised - I'm not overly confident, so sometimes when I take pictures and I sit back and review my work, I think, ok, I'm pretty good at this."
"I'd encourage any emerging artist, no matter how young they are, to submit their work to Fash/Art this year."
Her exhibition continues at Doongalik Studios on Village Road until July 17 (Mondays-Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.).
The space - which hosted the first Fash/Art last year - remains committed to the project not only through Jackson Burnside's legacy to young artists but also through Pam Burnside's own training and love for fashion. Doongalik Studios and the Burnsides have always preached to support local artists and craftsmen, which aligns them with Fash/Art's vision to develop local design culture.
"Jackson always made sure he was very involved in encouraging young artists," said Pam Burnside. "Sophia is very talented, and it was wonderful to be able to host her here at Doongalik. We had a wonderful opening this week and people were amazed to find out how talented Sophia is just emerging from high school."
"It has a lot to say for Sandra Illingworth teaching the art programs there in the Lyford Cay School, and also other schools teaching the IB program in The Bahamas that allows the students to really shine," she added. "I say kudos to them."
"We urge everyone to come see the young talent we have and in July to host the casting call for this year's talented artists."
The Fash/Art 2012 meeting commences Saturday, July 7 at 11 a.m. at Doongalik Studios. For more information, check them out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fash.art.event or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
School is almost out, but learning doesn't have to stop just because summer break is here. In fact, education can take fun and creative angles with art-focused summer camps - especially at The Place for Art, where their three summer class options for young children through to teenagers keep learning alive.
Since 2001, artist Kim Smith has been providing a space where children with a gift in art can grow and learn at The Place for Art. His after school and weekend classes have included children wishing to explore art to teens who have been accepted into revered art institutions like Savannah College of Art and Design and Emily Carr.
"The focus has always been the education of art more than the product of art," said Smith. "The philosophy here is that art is a process more than a product so children come here and will learn skills and concepts and the principles and elements of art in a more structured way."
"You're not coming here to create something to hang on the wall. Kids need to experience, explore and have fun with art, have a space to make mistakes and learn, and this is that space."
Discovery for children
His summer camp classes will be no different, offering children and teens an opportunity to explore art history, art-making techniques and a range of media through a variety of creative exercises.
"Discovering Great Artists and Calligraphy for Children", being held July 10-July 27, will teach kids ages nine and older about a range of international and local artists - even one of their own choice - through creative art lessons. After examining their biography and work, and maybe even viewing a DVD or book, students will set out to create pieces in the artists' signature styles, exploring drawing, painting, collage, and even making their own paint.
"It combines art history with hands-on art activities," said Smith. "So it's more than just coming to have fun with art, you're actually learning something about an artist and maybe a particular style and genre of art, art technique and art history."
Another class that uses creativity to explore the world around them is "Coral Reef Artventure", scheduled for July 30-August 17. Children ages eight and older will learn about an important Bahamian ecosystem, the coral reef, through art exercises that draw from research and field trips. Joining Smith will be a guest marine biologist who will contribute her scientific background to the lessons.
"The focus is the value and importance of coral reef ecosystems," explained Smith. "So again it's a variety of techniques but it's that education component where kids are learning something too. It just brings the coral reef to life."
Bahamian architecture for teens
A great highlight about summer offerings from The Place for Art is their one-of-a-kind camp on Bahamian architecture for children twelve years and older. Being the only course of its kind, it brings a keen interest of architecture into the art realm. Having two parts, this course is heavier on theory at first and then gives way to beautiful practical applications.
Level One, held July 10-July 27, invites the students to discover what architecture is and how it functions in the landscape and affects everyday life. While studying the history of architecture from prehistoric times through to the modern era through a special booklet carefully put together by Smith, they also work towards creating their own illustrated glossary of terms, helping them understand the language of the craft.
"It's not so much hands-on in level one, it's very education-heavy," said Smith. "But without level one, they wouldn't be able to do level two, which is the practical application."
In Level Two, July 20-August 17, students set out to design and then build a model of a residential or commercial space that incorporates features of Bahamian architecture. The class in its entirety, says Smith, is meant for anyone who wants to gain a thorough understanding and appreciation for the landscape around them.
"This summer program is not to push children into an architectural career, it's more about building an awareness and appreciation for what is Bahamian, because they are going to be a part of this landscape in the future," he said.
"We used to have a guided tour of the Marina Village by the late Jackson Burnside and I know the kids enjoyed meeting with Jackson and talking with him, and I know he enjoyed sharing Marina Village with the children," he added.
"We still visit it, and they get to see what architects like Jackson did and that you can build something new to look old. After three weeks they're able to discern 'Does this fit, or does this not fit?' 'Do I like it, or do I not like it and why?'"
The perfect formula for an unforgettable experience
For Smith, the educational component of his classes just adds weight to the overall rich experience his students get at The Place for Art, giving them a space to experiment and have fun but also the tools for a strong and well-rounded artistic practice should they wish to pursue it further.
"Teaching is giving back to the community as well as sharing," he said. "Being a natural born artist, I feel it's important I give back and share. I've always enjoyed working with children. I love teaching my classes."
"I get a big kick out of little children over the years who say 'Mr. Smith, can I come again tomorrow'? And I have to say 'No, because I have other boys and girls coming tomorrow'," he laughed. "That's the biggest compliment, when you get children asking if they can come tomorrow."
Space is very limited for each class. All materials and instruction are included. To find out more, call 393-8834, 557-9979 or email email@example.com. Visit them online at www.theplaceforart.org.
Our feet bear the brunt of all the stress we endure during our daily working life. Prolonged standing, walking, operating machinery, wearing high heels, carrying heavy objects and slippery surfaces are just some of the many dangers our feet are exposed to in the workplace everyday.
Every year, it is estimated that 2 million work days are lost due to complaints and disorders in the lower limbs, however many of these sick days can be prevented. Studies show that about 80 percent of adults will experience some foot complaints during their lifetime. This can vary from aches and pains, swelling, corns, calluses, injuries, fungal infections, varicose veins and more.
These common foot problems occur both on and off the job. However, there is no doubt that some work-related factors can lead to or aggravate foot problems, especially jobs that require long periods of standing or that put the feet at risk.
It is recommended that workers spend no more than 30 percent of their working day standing, however there are many jobs where workers stand for longer periods. Workers who are required to spend too much time on their feet are at increased risk of pain and discomfort in the feet, legs, hips and lower back. Standing for long hours, day-after-day, not only tires the worker's feet but can also cause permanent damage. It can cause the joints and bones of the feet to become misaligned causing flat feet, inflammation that can later lead to arthritis, and damage to the veins in the legs leading to pain, swelling, varicose veins and even ulcers. Prolonged standing can damage joints, causing swelling of the legs, and result in a range of problems for the feet, including bunions and corns and heel spurs.
Worksite accidents also result in a significant number of injuries to the feet and lower legs including sprains, strains and fractures. Foot injuries account for 15 to 20 percent of all disabling injuries. While not all of these are the result of work activities, a large proportion occur due to the conditions feet are exposed to at work.
Our feet are exposed to many dangers at work but fortunately the risk can be avoided or removed if employees and employers take simple, straight forward steps to protect the feet at work. Here are the recommendations to prevent foot injuries at work.
o Wear the right shoes for work: Prolonged standing, hard flooring and inappropriate footwear are very common working conditions for the feet. Workers should wear shoes that are appropriate to their occupation, working environment, and foot type. Improper footwear can cause or aggravate existing foot problems. Footwear that fits poorly or is in need of repair also contributes to foot discomfort and injury. If safety or special footwear is required for the job (e.g. steel toe boots) employers must ensure that employees have the correct shoes and are not allowed to work without them. In many worksites such equipment are supplied by the employer at no cost to the worker.
High heels are the favorite work footwear for many women but should not be because they throw the body weight onto the balls of the feet, which may lead to calluses, painful bunions, corns, neuromas, foot and back pains. The position of the foot in narrow width high heels can cause the ankle to become unstable, resulting in ankle sprains.
Wearing high-heels for long periods may cause the calf muscles to become shortened and tight over time. Backless (sling back) high heel shoes force the toes to claw as you walk, straining the muscles. To prevent this, two-inch high heels are recommended for everyday use. Calf stretches can help to keep the feet supple and maintain a good range of motion to the ankle joint. It is best to vary your heel heights from day-to-day; one day wearing low heels, and the next day slightly higher heels rather than high heels at all times. Wearing shoes with a strap or lace over the instep is better than slip-ons because they improve the fit and help stop your foot from sliding forward in your shoes. Comfortable, well structured, sensible and properly fitted footwear is essential to maintain good foot health and prevent minor foot ailments and injuries at work. Proper footwear is important, not only for foot comfort but also for one's general well-being and for you to have a good and productive day at work.
o Properly fitting work shoes: It is important to ensure that the safety shoe is appropriate for the task for which it is intended. The upper should be made from natural materials such as leather or a breathable man-made fabric. Toe box (front of the shoe) should be rounded or squared and deep enough to prevent rubbing, allowing the toes to wriggle. Insole can be inserted to provide padding and absorption. The heel should fit snugly on the foot, stopping the heel from slipping out of the shoe with each step you take. Heels should have a broad base and be no higher than two inches if they are worn for a long time. The sole should be strong and flexible with shock absorption to cushion the jolts of walking on hard surfaces. Laces, buckles or velcro should be used to secure the foot in the shoe.
o Foot safe work sites: In addition to the footwear, the work surfaces also have an impact on the feet at work. Hard, unyielding floors like concrete are the least comfortable surface to work on.
Wood, cork, carpeting, or rubber -- anything that provides some flexibility -- is gentler on workers' feet. Footwear with thick, insulating and shock-absorbing insoles can alleviate some of this discomfort. Working on a hard floor can feel like a hammer, pounding the heel at every step. Slippery floors can be hazardous resulting in slips and falls, ankle sprains or even fractures. Employers should make sure that floors are kept clean and dry or non-skid floors should be installed. Special anti-slip flooring or mats can also reduce slipping accidents. Stairs is a common site for foot injuries at work. To prevent these injuries make sure you are wearing the right shoes and paying attention when taking the stairs, the stairs are well lit with rails and are dry.
o Prevent workplace injuries at work: Most occupations have different footwear requirements.
Such requirements should be followed at all times to prevent injuries. Even if there are not specific foot wear guidelines, we recommend well-fitting, supportive shoe with moderate heels. If possible sneakers can fit the bill and they come in all styles and colors.
Remember, foot pain is not normal, it tells us something is wrong. If you have foot pain especially at work, see a podiatrist for a complete exam and treatment to get you pain free.
o For more information or to see a podiatrist visit Bahamas Foot Centre Rosetta Street, telephone 325-2996, Bahamas Surgical Associates, Albury Lane telephone 394-5820 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.apma.org.
Young Bahamian beauty Vanessa Leach is eagerly anticipating her trip to Chicago, Illinois to represent The Bahamas in the Miss Teen International Pageant, which will be held on July 26 and 28.
The competition will showcase 43 delegates from around the world as they compete in fitness, fashion, interviews and community involvement.
The competition attracts people from the fashion and entertainment industries - from directors, producers and modeling agents to network executives. A unique opportunity will, therefore, be afforded to Vanessa to be seen by top professionals in the beauty and talent industries.
Vanessa has done many fashion spreads in local publications, including NU Woman and Profiles Magazine. She has also walked the runway and strutted her stuff in fashion and runway charity shows for Coles of Nassau and Islands of the World Fashion Week, has a talent for fashion design and is an excellent painter.
"It brings me a lot of joy and relaxation to sit down and create," she said in a release. "It transports me into a different world".
Her artwork has been exhibited at the Bank of The Bahamas during special exhibitions.
Miss Teen Bahamas International aspires to become a self-made business woman after completing her studies in accounting and emerging markets. She also aspires to learn Italian and French.
Recently Vanessa was afforded the opportunity to work with The Bahamas Children's Emergency Hostel, where she was able to take the children on an all-day field trip to the Adventure Learning Center.
"I don't like seeing kids look as though they are troubled or hurt. I don't like seeing kids being mistreated or isolated," she said.
"I think that many of the children at the Children's Emergency Hostel are fortunate to have a place to stay. They're not on the street, but it does bother me to learn how many of them end up in shelters."
Vanessa explained that her involvement in the student council at St. Andrew's High School was the catalyst for her initial visit to the hostel.
Both her parents, Kelvin and Kathyrn Leach, said with pride: "We support Vanessa and all of our children in whatever they aspire to do. We believe in Vanessa and know that she has the stuff that great queens are made of. She is diligent, hardworking, very bright, and has a genuine love for children as well as for community service."
The local pageant team is encouraging the public to go online to www.missteeninternational.us to cast their vote for Vanessa.
On the heel of hosting a successful international tennis tournament, the governing body for the sport in the country is all geared up for their annual Junior Nationals set to swing into action today.
The week-long tennis tournament, at the National Tennis Centre, will feature some of the up and coming junior players competing under the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association's (BLTA) umbrella. Runner-up in the under-14 girls' singles at the recently held Junkanoo Bowl Tournament, Gabriela Donaldson, is expected to lead the charge once again. Donaldson was defeated by Kianah Motosono, of the United States of America (USA), 6-2 and 6-1. The Junkanoo Bowl Tournament was a grade four event, sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
A number of high ranked players from around the world participated in the event, which wrapped up this weekend. The under-18 boys' title went to American Daniel Kerznerman, who defeated Farzin Amiri, 6-1 and 6-3. American Mariana Gould secured the under 18 girls' crown with a 7-5 and 6-3 win over Valeria Salazar, of Mexico.
A 6-4 and 6-2 win was landed by Blaise Bicknell of Jamaica for the under-14 boys' singles title. Bicknell took to the court with Joshua Turnquest of The Bahamas. In the doubles, Bicknell partnered with fellow teammate Dimitri Bird. The duo defeated Nick Lines and William Way, both of Bermuda, 6-2 and 6-2.
The doubles title, for the under-14 girls, stayed in the country thanks to Donaldson and Iesha Shepherd. The Bahamian team stopped Eva Frazzoni and Motosono 6-2, 4-6 and 6-3. Tshea Ferguson won the consolation round robin match, in the under-14 girls, and Sierra Donaldson was the runner-up.
President of the BLTA Derron Donaldson is looking forward to the event and said he is excited about the high level of play that will be seen.
"If the players compete the way they did in the Junkanoo Bowl tournament, then I see no reason why the nationals won't be a success," said Derron Donaldson. "The Junkanoo Bowl tournament went rather well. The competition was very stiff and all the games were at a high level. I think the Bahamians did well, but there are a few areas they fell short in. One main area was fitness. They are not in tip-top shape so playing at that level might be hard. They don't see that level all the time and having a tournament like this is needed. Even though we hosted this one, we still need more tournaments like this. We had one last year and that is on the schedule again for November."
Derron Donaldson is hoping that all the players will take full advantage of the Junior National tennis event this weekend. The tournament will cater to players between the ages of 10-18. The draw in each division will be released today.
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.
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.
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In an effort to spark and nurture early interests, with the awareness that students will one day be employed professionals, the Guidance Department at Kingsway Academy recently hosted an interactive week of spiritual, physical and academic enhancement for their elementary school students.
Under the theme "Purpose Driven... Success Bound... Equipped for Service," the week was hosted for the purposes of emphasizing innate character traits, fostering an awareness of making the ideal future career choices and exposing students to the world of better, healthy living.
Kingsway Academy's elementary school guidance counselor, Sonia Bain said her ultimate goal was to empower the students to live wholesome, healthy and purpose-driven lives as they evolve in an ever-changing society.
The three-day event culminated with 'Super Heroes Day' for which girls created original princess crowns and wands and the boys created original capes reflecting positive character traits.
"One of the main objectives of the Guidance Department is to spark and nurture early interests, encouraging students to become who God intends for them to be. The highlight of this event was a K5 student who was torn between professions. She was adorned in doctor's attire from her waist up and ballerina attire from her waist down," she said.
During Career Day a fashion show was also staged. The all-inclusive teacher-student career catwalk spoke to what students want to be, and created a learning environment of fun and fellowship.
The week's activities concluded with a health and wellness day with a focus on culinary adventures. Students transformed into culinary artists for the day and created healthy treats. The more popular treat was the fruit kabobs, a medley of fruit on a wooden skewer. After eating their treats, students engaged in a school-wide Zumba workout with fitness trainers from J-Line Fitness.
"My aim is not only to train students in the King's way, but to ensure that they are fully equipped with all the necessary life skills, and exposed to all the positive attributes and behaviors that will encourage students that are purpose driven, success bound and equipped for service.
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.